Destination Weddings: the where, the how, the wow!

Weddings have changed over the last few years. The traditional wedding in a church, followed by a reception in the church hall, from which the couple rush off in a car rattling a tail of tin cans, is a choice increasingly less taken by modern couples. Instead people are choosing to hold their wedding as an event. Essentially, they opt for a dream destination – either boosting beautiful surroundings or somewhere dear in memory, such as the place where they first met.

This destination can be near or far, even in another country. Very often it includes a full weekend of activities for the guests; the wedding ceremony held under a specially designed awning in a forest, on a beach, in a wine cellar, on a hilltop, a boat, or even mid-air in a hot balloon!

The point is to make the wedding as memorable as possible. And thoroughly enjoyable with a built-in ‘wow’ factor. Travelling to a chosen destination lays the groundwork for the excitement ahead. But because of the travel factor, or because some destinations may not be designed to cope with a large number of guests, the guest list usually has to be somewhat shorter than a traditional wedding at home. This in its own way, makes the wedding more intimate and personal.

The benefits of Unique

It’s this very uniqueness of choice that makes a destination wedding so immensely exciting to plan; it will be enjoyed over a matter of days, rather than a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. Every choice will be distinctive and different for each couple – and there are a thousand ways to reinvent the experience.

A destination wedding often means accommodation in venues outside the city, or even at a distance requiring a long plane flight. When the bride and groom invite their guests, they want them to enjoy the event as much as they do. As destinations nearly always involve travel and accommodation of some kind, many hotels and other facilities have set up to provide a range of superlative and personalised services for the happy couple – from receptions as the guests arrive to evening dinners and entertainment, to special high teas for the bride and her female guests, to a superb outdoor setting for the ceremony, to after wedding cocktails – along with private and relaxed accommodation for the couple to enjoy their honeymoon without further packing and tiring travel after the festivities are over.

  • Once reaching the chosen destination, the couple can put the entire event into professional management hands, and join the various functions with their guests. Destination weddings promise a less hurried event than a traditional wedding – some can last up to five days, allowing for real quality time with family and friends. There is time to mingle, to talk, to sip the champagne! It becomes a personalised, memorable experience for guests, as opposed to a one-day celebration.
  • Beautiful, natural surroundings are often the favourite choice – because you don’t have to dress up nature. A lush garden, a sunset beach, a shady vineyard, an historic house, or a fairy-tale castle…the choices are endless. Go modern and chic; go glamping and fun; go old world and classy. The enjoyment is as much in the choice as the final event.
  • A destination wedding has the potential to make taking your marriage vows a more emotive and poignant ceremony – especially if you have chosen your venue because it has special meaning for you, such as your old home town, a place where your parents met, or a place where there are shared memories of old friends and good times.
  • In fact, destination weddings are becoming so popular, that even married couples are seeking to reaffirm their vows by choosing from a number of select destinations to hold a second-time event for family and friends. Destination marriage events offer an incomparable way to tie the knot a second time.

The dream destination for a wedding planner

However, there’s no arguing that destination weddings require meticulous organisation, and create a thousand details that simply must be planned and executed with utmost efficiency. So it makes sense to hire a wedding specialist who is well-versed in the vision and implementation of such events. There are many wedding packages to consider, flights to be arranged, and special instructions to be conveyed to the venue of choice.

If you haven’t engaged a personal wedding planner, many wedding resorts will present their own onsite co-ordinator to help you plan the great getaway wedding. All packages offered are invariably flexible and you can add your own customised touches regarding décor, time factors, and any special gestures such as gifts and surprises for guests.

It’s a good idea to visit the venue well beforehand to confirm your choice, and to discuss with management how you would like the experience to unfold, choosing flower arrangements, car rentals, and any accessories the bridal entourage may require. This is the time to decide on an itinerary for guests, such as group tours, wine tastings, and pre- and post-wedding luncheons, etc.

We are an award-winning wedding venue just outside Hermanus, Cape

Nestled between fragrant fynbos, spectacular vineyards and swatches of olive trees, Bona Dea Private Estate is the perfect wedding, conference and function setting just 90 minutes from Cape Town. Whether you’re planning a breath-taking winelands wedding or a outstanding corporate function, our venue is the perfect year round, all-weather destination.

Spectacular and memorable is our business – so you can be sure your dreams will be brought to life in unforgettable style and elegance. Whether you’re planning a wedding or business function, our team of highly imaginative and resourceful event planners will make it happen.

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