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Today, Marci Zied of A Love of Travel will share about the affordable wedding options available in Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.

More and more couples are planning weddings in Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico and other places, especially in the Caribbean. The bulk of them are going to Jamaica because of reasonable prices for both the wedding and the guests who attend. Many are going to Mexico as well. In both places free weddings (often after a small government tax) are available. They also offer vow renewals for special anniversaries such as a 50th wedding anniversary.

At one time, most of the people doing a Weddingmoon were married previously. For some, especially divorced couples, they did not want the same destination where they had the original honeymoon.

That has changed and young people marrying for the first time understand the value of having the people who they care most about and who care the most about them in an intimate setting.

We had a big, expensive wedding for our daughter and son-in-law with a large champagne and hors de oeuvres reception in a beautiful social hall next to the sanctuary. Then, we went to a Westin Hotel ballroom for a sit down dinner after the bride and groom arrived by horse drawn carriage. Most of the people that attended, are people that we have lost touch with and never see.

It would have been so special to know that the people who came cared enough about the couple to incorporate their wedding with their family vacation.

The most popular resorts for this type of thing are couples only resorts like Sandals since they are closely allied with sister properties like Beaches Resorts for couples, singles and families.

June 24 my husband, Ernie and I (I have to take my accountant on my trips) will attend a destination wedding in Jamaica. The couple originally wanted Nassau at Sandals Royal Bahamian. After I scouted the various properties in person, we decided that Beaches Negril would better suit their needs, continuing the honeymoon at Sandals Whitehouse afterwards. Beaches enabled them to have guests at no additional charge who were not couples. Some guests opted to stay at Sandals Negril, a couples only resort with complimentary privileges at Beaches only 5 minutes away. Those staying at other resorts must pay a fee to come to the wedding at Sandals or Beaches.

Resorts in Mexico are also reasonably priced. However, there are none that I know of that are couples only. Some are adults only, which are preferable for honeymooners. People with children have to stay somewhere else and in some cases can pay a fee to attend the wedding.. Most are all inclusive resorts.

In most of the Caribbean, you need to be in the country at least 2 days before the wedding. In St. Lucia it is 3 business days.

Weddings are free at several resorts, including Sandals and Beaches, which require that the bride and groom stay a certain number of nights to qualify. A few small amenities are included like a bouquet and boutonniere, an official or minister, legal documents, a small cake, and in most resorts a small reception for a handful of guests, including champagne and canapes or hors de oeuvres

Usually there are items that are optional at a cost such as photos, music, etc., etc., etc.

Some brides have even embellished their wedding with a wedding in a box (silk floral arrangements from a local florist to take along). They can even be designed in such a way that they can be given as keepsakes for some or all of the guests to take them home (so the bride need not cart them back).

Recently a bride ordered free "save the date" invitations to let people know about the wedding and who to contact to make arrangements to come.

The biggest obstacle is finding a place reasonably priced, especially for guests, without additional costs, and a place where the bride and groom can also have a romantic honeymoon after the guests leave.

Another obstacle is the family wanting the wedding at their church with their friends and business associates. Some people are offended that they will have to spend money to come to a wedding. However, those who love them the most will be delighted as we were when we were invited by this client couple in June, Bryan Edmondson and Amy Daddino. Even though it will take us out of the office and cost money, we know it will be a warm loving experience and one that we all will remember for a long time.

Many Happy Returns,

Marci Zied, A Love Of Travel