Planning a destination wedding is one way for a couple to lessen the time it takes to plan the wedding. With destination weddings, the majority of the work is done by the staff and others at the destination. While these weddings are sometimes thought to be more expensive than a local wedding, there are some financial reasons why the destination wedding might be the best choice for your needs. As is the case with any wedding, planning ahead is the key to pulling off a successful destination wedding and getting to enjoy the accompanying honeymoon.
When you are planning a destination wedding, you need to find a wedding consultant or planner in the destination area that specializes in working with couples from out of town, especially if you are from out of that state or country. Most places require you to meet certain residency requirements. This is something an experienced wedding planner can help you with. An alternative to this is to get married on a cruise, as cruise ships usually offer weddings that don’t have residency requirements.
Financing the Event
According to Smart Money, destination weddings are often less expensive than traditional weddings. The magazine attributes this to the fact that certain colleagues, family members, and friends may feel obligated to attend a local wedding. However, a destination wedding provides an easy “out” for those people. As such, you won’t have to pay for food and other expenses for that person.
When the requirements to have a wedding at your preferred destination seem to be daunting, there is an alternative to tying the knot there. Before you leave on your trip, you can get married by a justice of the peace in your hometown. Once you are at the destination, you can still have your “show” wedding complete with the wedding party, decor and gown. Your guests will never be the wiser unless you tell them.
Bush pilots, active volcanoes, calving glaciers, wild salmon and king crab: Alaska is a wilderness. From moose in downtown Anchorage to remote fishing in glacier-fed rivers, visitors will find a wealth of adventures awaiting.
Choose a cruise in Prince William Sound, a flight over America’s highest peak or ride one of the country’s great railroads for your holiday. From whale-watching to the Moose Dropping Festival, you are guaranteed a unique stay in the Land of the Midnight Sun’s remote splendor, where backyards in Anchorage have more small planes than automobiles.
While Juneau is the capitol, Anchorage is the hub of Alaska. Itself a destination with the picturesque Chugach Mountains to the east and Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm to the west, Anchorage has fine restaurants, museums, salmon-watching and downtown salmon-fishing on your lunch hour as well as hikes, glacier walks and wildlife-viewing.
It is also the terminus of the Alaska Railroad, which will take you south to cruises or north to Denali country and Fairbanks (www.akrr.com).
Choose a cruise
Cruises take off from Whittier and Seward, with Prince William Sound and Kenai fjords the ultimate destinations for animal-watching, calving glaciers, icebergs and spectacular scenery. Don’t worry about missing a whale or bald eagle, the captain will stop the ship (or train or bus) if necessary to allow everyone a good camera angle. Cruises run from two to six hours and have naturalists on board to point out the sights.
Many visitors know Alaska from major cruises from the Lower 48. Ships dock in Anchorage, and cruisers can take trips inland to see Mt. McKinley or Fairbanks.
With the highest percentage of bush pilots around, the chance to book a flight to a remote lodge or to see glaciers or McKinley from the air is irresistible.
Talkeetna, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Anchorage, is the nearest town to Denali National Park and the base of most of the flight-seeing. Pilots get so close that it feels like the wings are brushing the sheer cliffs. Landing at Base Camp filled with climbers waiting to start their ascent is a thrilling option.
With 34,000 miles of coastline and sprinkled with rivers and lakes, Alaska is a wonderland for fishermen. There are five species of spawning salmon that begin in March each year and are followed by trophy halibut. Trophy fish are caught regularly.
Guides offer ocean adventures as well as interior power boats and canoes and kayaks to suit every taste.
Alaska is full of festivals, especially in the summer. Find a full listing at the Anchorage Daily News site, www.alaska.com/events.
Two in particular are world-famous: the Iditarod dogsled race in March and Talkeetna’s Moose Dropping Festival in July.
The Iditarod starts in Anchorage, then again from Wasilla the next day. Nome is where the tired teams cross the finish line nine to 15 days later and offers a great view of the winners and also-rans.
Discover quaint Talkeetna, the gateway to Denali, at the annual Moose Dropping Festival. There is a parade that turns around and passes twice and a chance to win cash with your own personal moose dropping and a festival with Denali as a beautiful backdrop.
Financial difficulties and economic uncertainty can prevent many families from taking their dream summer vacation. However, families can discover plenty of cheap vacation options through careful research. Local entertainment, free museums and service opportunities can contribute to an unforgettable family summer vacation that stays within budget.
Families can save big on recreation but still enjoy a relaxing, entertaining summer vacation by staying in their local area. Save the money you would have spent on hotels, travel expenses and food costs by staying home and discovering the attractions in your own backyard. Coordinate a “Staycation” with popular summer festivals—such as the Ann Arbor Summer Festival in Michigan—to enjoy free classes, shows and activities. Peruse the city newspaper for free summer concerts, low-cost film series and outdoor children’s theatre. Visit at least two of the area’s most popular tourist spots, such as aquariums, zoos, sporting events and museums. Plan one unique activity for a summer splurge, such as an afternoon of horseback riding or parasailing. Enjoy summer outdoor activities through hiking, fishing, canoeing and bicycling.
Families able to drive or snag a cheap flight to Washington, D.C., can enjoy many museums that have free admission. The Smithsonian Museums along the National Mall are some of the most-visited museums in the world. Discover the history of aviation at the National Air & Space Museum through hands-on exhibits and interactive flight simulators. Hours of entertainment await at the Museum of Natural History, where children will squeal in delight over dinosaur bones, mammal representations and famous artifacts (such as the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond). Other D.C. attractions include the newly reopened National Museum of American History; items on display include Kermit the Frog, Dorothy’s red sparkly shoes from “The Wizard of Oz” and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat. An added bonus in Washington, D.C.? The monuments are also free for viewing.
Consider serving others this summer with the family by your side. VolunTourism—a newly coined word that references vacations based around community service—provides the opportunity to make a summer trip meaningful. Head to the Big Easy and work with Hands On New Orleans. Visitors can receive free meals and housing while volunteering in the local community (check with the organization for age limitations). Save on vacation lodging and food expenses and fuel up on emotional fulfillment. Volunteer at St. Margaret’s and socialize with the residents, lend a hand with home-building in needy neighborhoods, plant trees in community gardens or change city lightbulbs to energy-efficient styles.
Are you a family of animal lovers? Spend a summer in toasty Utah at the Best Friends Sanctuary. Take care of more than 2,000 homeless pets—pigs, dogs, horses, birds, bunnies and cats—and help boost their chances of finding adoptive homes. Cheap cabin lodging is available nearby.
In Luxembourg, people often have large families. It is normal for them to raise in a city and to remain there for the rest of their lives. Therefore ties and obligations to other members of their families are very close. Parents play an important role in their children’s lives, often choosing the career and education their heirs will follow. Thus, one can say that there is a form of social hierarchy, which is quite obvious. Most of those living in Luxembourg are of Roman Catholic religion and most Catholic holidays are national holidays.
Luxembourg residents tend not to expose their lives in public. They are close to friends and family, but not to strangers. Very rarely you can see someone displaying emotions or other sides of behavior outside the house. They don’t usually ask personal questions because they respect others privacy. The line between business and personal life is extremely obvious. People are friends at work, but the business relations are separated from the social sphere.
As for the greetings, Luxembourgers tend to be formal and conservative, until the moment they develop a strong personal connection between them and their interlocutors. The common gesture of greeting is represented by a quick handshake. In the moment people start to know each other better, they start to kiss on the cheek (which only happens between women or between women and men but never between men). You must address people by their last name adding “Monsieur” for Mr. and “Madame” for the ladies.
If you’re invited to someone’s home in Luxembourg, it’s a nice gesture to bring some chocolates and flowers as a gift. Even if you’re invited only to tea, it’s still a good idea to bring a present. The flowers must be given by the husband, but avoid the number 13 and the chrysanthemums.
Weddings can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, and the average honeymoon can cost around a few thousand depending on where the couple decides to vacation. There are so many options for newlyweds when it comes to choosing a honeymoon location, but for those who are trying to honeymoon on a budget, finding the perfect destination can seem impossible. With some creativity and flexibility on timing of the honeymoon, newlyweds can save thousands of dollars and still have a fantastic honeymoon.
Steer clear of the Caribbean when the prices are at peak in the springtime. Instead, you may want to choose to take a tour of the cherry blossoms blooming in Washington, D.C., and visit the surrounding area. There are many charming boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts to stay in that are perfect for a romantic honeymoon in the Washington and Virginia area. Checkout the Inn at Dupont Circle for a couple nights stay. Visit their website for rotating specials.
The Dupont Collection
Bed and Breakfast Inn
1312 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C 20036
Choose a tour of the Sonoma wine country to have both a romantic and affordable honeymoon in the summertime. In addition to the great weather in the Sonoma valley, you can find some great deals on winery tours and other activities popular in the area, like horseback riding or hiking. If you choose to tour Sonoma during the week, you can usually get a better bargain on your hotel stay. The Healdsburg Dry Creek Inn is only minutes away from more than 50 leading wineries and offers great deals on weekday reservations.
Best Western Dry Creek Inn
198 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, California 95448
Reservations: (800) 222-5784
Winter and Fall Honeymoons
Search for deals on a Florida honeymoon during the fall and winter months. With a few months’ notice, you can negotiate a better rate for your stay. Peak rates don’t start until mid-December, so try thinking about a budget honeymoon at the chic Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. They frequently have promotions and specials for honeymooners during off-peak times. They even offer wedding packages if you want to get married on the beach.
Cheeca Lodge & Spa, Islamorada, Florida Keys
81801 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 82
Islamorada, FL 33036
Reservations: (800) 327-2888