Archive for the ‘Destination Weddings’ Category

The Dollars and Cents of it All   Leave a comment

Planning a destination wedding incurs many line items that may or may not be featured at a non-destination wedding. I want to talk about the ins and outs of a destination wedding budget. I will be specifically addressing Las Vegas, but many of these items could be applicable to any other destination wedding. When you decide upon a destination wedding, you must decide to what extent you are going to host and take care of your guests. You have several options, rehearsal dinner for all guests, meet and greet/ welcome party (fun activity or party to greet all guests upon arrival), planned grouped outings (hosted or non-hosted), after party, and morning after brunch. The number of activities/parties you host will depend on the number of guests and your budget. Here is a sample of a weekend weddng in Las Vegas.


Rehearsal in Chapel

Rehearsal Dinner with Wedding Party and Immediate family at restaurant near Chapel


Welcome Party/ Meet and Greet- Brides in Vegas have several options for this. You could host an in-suite welcome party where guests can stop by, go bowling, set-up bottle service at a club or bar and reserve private area for guests, book a pool cabana, or do a tour of the Las Vegas strip.


Ceremony and Reception

After Party- You can meet up at a club, piano bar, or lounge in any of Vegas’s hottest hotels


Morning After Brunch- You can host this at one of the many buffets in Vegas or at a beautiful restaruant or do something more formal in-suite.

Mr. Darcy and I have decided upon the following schedule for our Vegas Weekend Wedding-


In-Suite Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner with Wedding Party and Immediate Family

Meet and Greet- Las Vegas Strip Tour on Double Decker Bus


Bridal Breakfast in-suite for the bridal party

Ceremony and Reception


In-Suite Morning After Brunch

Our goals for the weekend were 1. Provide as many meals to our wedding party to help them cut their costs and 2. To provide our guests with ample oppurtunity to celebrate with us and to thank them for taking the time to come celebrate.

We are still considering an after party for later in the evening. I really like the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan.

Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan


Isn’t it pretty? Wouldn’t it be fitting to party with our wedding guests inside a giant chandelier, post wedding? My only concern is post wedding exhaustion. We will see.

The next line item that becomes a big deal for a destination wedding is transportation. You really help should your guests with transportation, especially if they are flying into somewhere and will be lacking wheels. 99.9% of our guests will be driving to Vegas, so we don’t have to worry about transporting guests from the airport to their hotels. We are providing transportation from the ceremony location to the reception location, though. We are also providing one bus from the reception to the ceremony location (Caesar’s Palace to Mandalay Bay) for guests, who want to return there instead of going around the strip.

Another line item for destination weddings’ is the welcome bag. These are not necessary, but go a long way in helping your guests feel welcome and extra special. Welcome bags can range from lavish to basic. Ours will be more basic, but have a few personal touches. Here are the basic elements of our welcome bags

1. Container- tote or gable box, we haven’t decided yet

2. Water Bottles- 2 smart waters with tags that say, “The smartest thing Mr. Darcy ever did was to ask Miss Austen to marry him.” and the other will say “The smartest thing Miss Austen did was say yes.”

3. Snacks- Mr. Darcy’s mom will be making Kifles (a Polish cookie) and I will be making Coconut Macadamia Nut Bundt Cake (a Hawaiian recipe)  to represent our two heritages.

4. Hang Over Kit- This will include mints, gatorade packet, and advil

5. Welcome Note- handwritten note, thanking guests for attending

6. Maps and Information about Destination- The concierge at the Mandalay Bay has agreed to give us a local entertainment magazine, map of the strip, and some other information for all our guests.

7. Starbucks Card- We may add a $5 Starbucks card also. I am not sure on this.

The key to welcome bags though, is not what’s in them, but how you distribute them. Every hotel is different in their policies, some have them delivered to the room, some will hand them out at check-in. Plus, when your having a destination wedding at a place like Vegas, your guests could be staying every where. You must decide whether to distribute them to each hotel or to hand them out at one time.

Did you have a destination wedding? What extra line items did you have in your budget?


Destination Weddings   Leave a comment

In honor of our deciding upon a destination wedding I have gathered some adorable photos to inspire those of you who are having a destination wedding or even if you aren’t. Without further ado, here they are:

Save the Dates

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

I love that lovely twine.

Source: Designs by Liat

How cute are those analgous color dots?

Miss Duckling, Wedding Bee

My personal fave.

Welcome Bags



I love the adorable tin bucket used to package this welcome bag.

Sorce: Elizabeth Anne Designs

How beautiful are these babies?

Lovely Pictures from Destination Weddings

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

Look at the beautiful scenery.

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

This is the most adorable wedding picture, ever.

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

I love the cultural uniqueness of this wedding.

Source: Bentley and Wilson Photography

Captured in front of a window at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas

So after all these lovely photos, are you ready to rush off and book yourself a destination wedding? I know I am.

Posted February 4, 2011 by kcoleybear in Destination Weddings, Las Vegas Wedding

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Destination Las Vegas!!!   Leave a comment

Last time I left you, we were in amidst of deciding between Las Vegas and Palm Springs for our wedding. This debate lasted a while with a lot of back and forth between my parents and I. When asked, Mr. Darcy responded with “Whatever makes you happy my dear.” So helpful, huh? Well in Mr. Darcy’s defense I think he is a little weddinged out between the DVR being full of wedding shows, me Googling wedding cakes, and my obsession with wedding magazines (the top shelf in my closet is full with them). Well after much discussion I decided I wanted our wedding to be about more than just one day. This in itself brought a whole new issue, the budget. The budget is the same no matter what way the cookie crumbles or whether or not I have a destination wedding or not. That being said, my parents don’t understand that a destination wedding means dividing our budget into more line items for things such as a welcome party/ meet and greet, and welcome bags. When I try to explain to them it’s just what you do, they say the only thing we’re required to do to get married, is to, well, get married. But, I say, it’s what I want to do. There I said it. I want to have cute welcome bags and a fun get together with all my guests, and, for that matter, I want a farewell brunch. I want everything to go with my destination wedding. What can I say, my parents spoiled me as a small child and now I have issues? Just kidding.

Journey of the Wedding   Leave a comment

Mr. Darcy and I have been engaged for almost 4 years. I can almost hear your audible gasps. But before you think, “What is wrong with Miss Austen?”, “Did it really take her that long to commit to a wedding?”  There is a story behind this long engagement. May 6th, 2007 Mr. Darcy proposed. I knew it was coming. My ring, which I will explain more about later, is a custom piece and I knew the jeweler had it ready. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not patient. So as soon as Mr. Darcy and I went to the jeweler to pick up my ring (I came along to make sure it fit properly), I was itching to get it on my left hand. What can I say? I couldn’t resist all its sparkling yumminess. So I pressured Mr. Darcy into proposing sooner rather than later. I know, I know… I am a control freak. Anyway, once I had that beautiful sparkly ring on my finger I promptly began planning my destination wedding in Hawaii. Hawaii is where Papa Austen hails from, and for myself and my immediate family, feels more like home than our sunny so-cal home. Since most of my dad’s family lives on the island of Oahu, this was the island I chose. I knew almost immediately I wanted it to be at the gorgeous Turtle Bay Resort. Here are some pictures of this gorgeous resort.

The Glass Chapel at Turtle Bay
I could just imagine having a sunset ceremony in this gorgeous glass chapel. Oh my heart melts when I think about it.


The stretch of beach at Turtle Bay

I had it all planned in my head: a gorgeous Hawaiian wedding with shades of blues and greens complete with all the Hawaiian traditions, lei exchange, conch blowing, Hawaiian Marriage Prayer, and a ukulele player. I even found a gorgeous destination wedding dress. Well fast forward a few months and my mom is in the hospital for eight weeks and she has been diagnosed with two chronic illnesses. Thus our life continued for the next year and half with hospital trips every couple months for a one to two week period. This changed my whole life. I quit my job and moved home to help take care of my family. I have two younger brothers, who were both still in school at the time. Of course Mr. Darcy totally stepped up to the plate and just did what needed to be done. Needless to say the wedding was put on hold indefinitely. Over the last couple years the hospital trips haven’t gotten less frequent. During this time Mr. Darcy and I researched a lot of different wedding locations and I planned a lot of different weddings. In the end the time wasn’t right, until now. There was always something. I am in school. Mr. Darcy was in school. My mom was sick. Finally, its time and this time around the wedding planning is different. The wedding is not about what I want or about me. It’s about Mr. Darcy and I and who we are as a couple. So while my mom’s illness changed my life and my relationship with Mr. Austen was turned upside down, it was for the better. I have a new perspective on my relationship with Mr. Darcy. I now know with absolute certainty that he and I can face anything together, because we already have. I also am closer to my family than I ever was before.

Posted February 4, 2011 by kcoleybear in Destination Weddings, Miss Austen

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Destination Wedding or Not?   Leave a comment

Las Vegas or Palm Springs, herein my problem lies. Las Vegas is awesome. Who wouldn’t agree? Palm Springs isn’t too bad either and it’s where I have the pleasure of calling home. If we have it here, I know this place like my hometown (I should since I have lived here for over 15 years). If we have the wedding here it will be wonderful and everybody will come for a night of dinner and dancing and then go home. It would be one night of bliss and then it would be over. If we go to Vegas it means planning from a distance. The five and half hour drive is doable, but I can’t make the trip every week. If we plan a wedding in Vegas, it will be done virtually through the internet, the knot board, project wedding reviews, vendor websites, and email. If we go to Vegas though we could have a whole weekend full of wedding related activities with our nearest and dearest. What’s a girl to do?