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Aug 28

Destination …Florida

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The Word Is …August 2015

So you are planning a trip to Florida. Hey , why don’t we get married while we are down there, Family and friends will already be there.. …

Sounds like a great idea! Here are a few things to help you out.

First lets get the legal stuff taken care of…Go here for wedding resources to help you plan and get ready for  a successful destination wedding in Florida. I have costs for the license the form you can fill out ahead of time the link to the booklet they ask you to read and just some general laws….you are welcome!

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Planning a destination wedding in another place can be a daunting and exasperating experience. But it does not have to be. Here are a few key tips to keeping it all together when planning your wedding in the state of Florida.

  1. Stalk social media sites for real people opinions. Social media sites like Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus are your friends.

Why these sites? because you get the sites from a user perspective, not the pretty professional shot that may be altered. They tell you what the experience is really like and give realistic pictures from their vantage point, not the one that make everything look magical.

2. Make a list of the venues and professionals that you like best and reach out to them directly. You may want to use some of the popular  wedding referral sites or scroll a little farther down on the search page and pick your own to choose from. decide up front what your venue needs to have to make your day special. Then tailor your searches around those things.

3. Enlist the help of friends and family and keep your guest list short. If you don’t plan on inviting them at least they feel like they had a special part in your day from afar. You can always do a google hang out face-time or video of the ceremony from your phone or tablet. Get a selfie stick that stands up!

4. Don’t Panic. Ask your vendors to make suggestions of who they work with or would recommend

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5. Pack lightly. Don’t feel like you have to bring down everything thing but the kitchen sink . What are you going to do with all of that stuff when you leave? See if there are options that can be avoided or rented instead of purchasing.

6. Your ceremony traditions may need to be reconsidered for traveling purposes. Will you be able to carry sand back on the plane? Do you have a container with a lid and bubble wrap so it does not break? Do you have a candle case so your unity candle does not get squished or the tapers broken? Do you have somewhere secure for your rings. ( some couple by imitation bands to exchange while on holiday to avoid theft and potential loss.)

7. Do you need to be under an arch or would a flower ring in the sand suffice? Go super simple and draw a heart in the sand. Arches usually start around $300 for something simple like this. You can make a flower ring like the one I made for my couple for about $50-60  Get the materials from your local diy store like Michaels or Jo-annes or Hobby Lobby.

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8. For formal destination weddings does your venue have an all inclusive package so all you have to do is show up and get married?

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9. Does your venue have inside and outside locations for photos and your ceremonies. It rains a lot in July and August in Florida due to the beginning of our Hurricane Season. Also the humidity will have you dripping with sweat. consider light wedding attire for outside weddings and be on time so you and your guests are not subject to the heat any longer than necessary. Remember to stay properly hydrated. Lots of water wait until after the ceremony for adult beverages.

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10. How close is your vacation rental to local bakeries, caterers, rental companies and flower shops. Consider if everyone really needs flowers. If so and you are on a budget there are some Publix supermarkets by vacation spots that make bouquets for a fraction of the cost a regular flower shop would cost. Granted you will be limited in choice. They also make really good cake. You can also order bulk flowers and put them together yourself.

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11. Be prepared to drive if you want a beach wedding. The closest beaches are a minimum of 1 hour away from Disney. (and that is with tolls). Don’t forget your sunblock.

*Setting sun beach photos. Here’s a tip if you are getting married at  Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Vero, St Augustine or any beach on the east cost of Florida, your sunset pictures will look different from ones on Clearwater and Tampa, etc on the west coat of Florida. The sun is behind you away from the sea on the east coast of Florida. Since the sun rises on the east side, your beach pictures, the timing of your ceremony and the actual heat from the sun will be something you want to consider. Pictures may be washed out in early morning weddings  so consider a pro photographer that knows how to shoot in these conditions. Many times they will suggest doing the ceremony behind a dune. its not always as romantic but you will not be squinting in your pictures. West coast beach pictures at sunset are gorgeous because you get the big sun ball in your pictures but be prepared to drive almost two hours from Orlando to these locations.

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12. Consider staying the night closer to the beach and the rest of your vacation at the Disney resort.

13. Get a Planner!

14. Are they able to accommodate all couples or do they have limitations on the type of ceremonies they allow? What about the vendors they recommend?

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