4 Reasons You Should Plan a Destination Wedding

You can save money AND have choices

Traditional weddings are now averaging about $29,000 or more, which is an amount some couples just aren’t interested in spending. You can save a good amount of money by planning a destination wedding, and you’ll have many different package options and sizes to choose from.

You will be in control

By taking your wedding to a totally different destination than somewhere familiar, like your hometown, allows you the freedom to do and plan what you want. You’ll be less likely to be tied to traditions and rituals and more likely to choose ways to celebrate that are unique to you and your relationship.

Your plans will be simplified

Planning for your honeymoon can take almost as much time and effort as the actual wedding. A destination wedding is the perfect way to do everything all at once, making the planning process easier and less stressful for you.

You’ll enjoy more quality time with your guests

Destination weddings tend to be smaller than traditional ones, so you’ll have more time to be with your guests. An intimate group of family and friends will give you a more quality experience, even if the quantity of guests is smaller.

PLANNING THE PERFECT HONEYMOON

After months of planning the perfect wedding, the honeymoon is your time to truly unwind and enjoy those first few moments of wedded bliss. Here are some factors to help you choose the ideal locale for your ultimate getaway.

Make a list of your favorite vacations and determine what you liked best about each one.

  • Consider how much time you can take off work and the availability of flights to the destination you are considering from your departure location, along with the seasonality of the location.
  • Determine your budget and find a package, a tour or a cruise that gives you the most bang for your buck. Ask the Romance Travel Consultants at Violet Clover Travel Group for options.
  • Don’t be afraid to splurge on a romantic meal, VIP tour or spa treatment—you deserve it!
  • Do plenty of research into the location before you book—do you need a visa? What kind of currency do they take? Is there a language barrier? Ask the Romance Travel Consultants at Violet Clover Travel Group for advice.

Contact us today to start planning for honeymoon.

HOW TO PLAN A FLAWLESS BACHELOR / BACHELORETTE WEEKEND

Saving the date, choosing invitations, making fun decisions with your Destination Wedding Travel Specialist—there’s a lot going on between “Will you” and “I do.” Yet the highlight of the anticipation leading up to your big day, without a doubt, are the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Who doesn’t love a weekend filled with champagne and beer, besties and bros and those scandalous moments that hopefully stay in Vegas?

In the 2,500 years since bachelor parties were invented by Spartan soldiers, it has never been a good idea to throw it the night before the wedding. In fact, there are many dos and don’ts to planning the event.

So heed these pointers carefully, and share with your bridal party, to throw a weekend so epic that even the Kardashians will be jealous of your Instagram feed.

FIND IT

Do you choose a city everyone knows well, one filled with familiar night spots and activities that will add a touch of nostalgia to the weekend? Or do you choose a destination no one has ever been to, infusing the getaway with an element of the unknown? Ask a few probing questions to the bride-to-be to get a sense of where she’s leaning. And always consider how far invitees must travel to the destination you choose.

THEME IT

Choosing a theme gives the weekend a fun, cohesive feel. It can be generic like “sports” while attending several sporting events, or “pampering” and spending time in a spa, or it can be super specific to match the bride or groom’s areas of interests and passions. How about a “Superheroes” weekend where the fellas dress in the color scheme of different characters, or a “Sex in the City”-inspired romp filled with shoe shopping and cosmo drinking?

PLAN IT

This is not the time to wing it. Any successful party, especially one that stretches over several days, needs a schedule of events complete with venue locations. This gives the participants a clear idea of what to expect, what to budget, and more importantly, what to pack. Having a schedule also gives the weekend a sense of momentum as the party continues from one amazing event to the next. However, always leave a little wiggle room in any schedule to encourage organic fun and spontaneous sleeping in.

FILL IT

Every wedding includes people you had to invite to not ruffle any family feathers. Those people should not be included in the bachelor/bachelorette party. Only invite those special people who the couple feels comfortable letting loose with—high-energy peeps who will keep spirits high and the fun ongoing.

ROCK IT

The most important part of an awesome bachelor/ bachelorette party is having the time of your lives. There are no wrongs during the celebration—wear what you want, dance how you want, sing at the top of your lungs and simply own the weekend. The key is to wake up the following day filled with amazing memories and no regrets.

Be careful in how much your group shares via social media. What happens at your bachelor/bachelorette party may need to stay at the party! Give your party a hashtag, so everyone can search and see the pictures!

The Romance Travel Consultants at Violet Clover Travel Group are ready and waiting to help you with your awesome celebration. Contact us today at 216-236-8450 to get started!

Why are destination weddings so popular?

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. But now the thought of planning your wedding leave you feeling overwhelmed? Good news—we are here to help! Have you considered a destination wedding? It can be a great alternative to a traditional, hometown wedding, and here’s why...

NEUTRAL TERRITORY – Most couples today don’t live in the town they grew up in. You left the nest when you attended college out of state, then graduated and moved to another place to start your career. And on top of that, all your college friends moved across the country, our fiancé’s parents live on the coast, and your parents and siblings are spread out over the globe. Having a destination wedding can bring these people together in one location, that is neutral territory, for all to celebrate your big day.

YOUR MONEY GOES FARTHER – Have you seen how much a traditional wedding costs today? The average wedding in the U.S. runs $26,000, rising as high as $60,000 in larger cities! Gone are the days of running off to a Las Vegas wedding chapel with Elvis as your officiant! The good news is that destination weddings offer an attractive, affordable option.

YOU WANT FIREWORKS AND FIRE DANCERS? – Brides want what they want. It used to be that you had to choose pre-packaged wedding bundles, but today your destination wedding can be completely customized to your desires. The Romance Travel Specialists at Violet Clover Travel Group can work with you and your chosen resort’s on-site wedding planner to customize your wedding. From fire dancers, to mariachi bands, color coordinated linens and flowers, fireworks and more!

96 HOUR RECEPTION – A destination wedding is a great way to celebrate with friends and family for more than just two hours at the reception. Many couples often say that once the wedding day is over, that they wish it could have lasted longer. With a destination wedding, you and your guests can celebrate for multiple days and enjoy a vacation as well.

THERE IS A PLACE FOR EVERYONE – Finding the perfect resort for your destination wedding is easier than ever. From adults-only to family-friendly, there are styles to fit every couple and their guests. Many resort chains have multiple properties in one destination, allowing you to hold the ceremony at one upscale resort while your guests stay at other properties to accommodate various budgets and needs.

EXCITING INCENTIVES – Many resorts offer a test drive pre-wedding visit for couples considering a destination wedding to see the resort and wedding décor options, speak with the on-site wedding photographer, or pick out the reception menu. Plus, many resorts offer incentives and credits for the wedding couple and for each guest who attends.

RESORTS HAVE ON-SITE WEDDING PLANNERS – If the resort you are booking offers destination wedding packages, then they are sure to have a wedding planner on-site. These specialists will meet with you upon arrival to finalize any details you have yet to complete as well as arrange the necessary legal documents. Your wedding planner will take the time to verify your plans, show you the venues, and be there each step of the way on your special days.

PICTURE PERFECT LOCATIONS – If you have dreamt of exchanging your vows on a white sandy beach overlooking turquoise blue waters, or perhaps a vineyard setting in Tuscany, destination weddings offer the opportunity for you to have the world as your backdrop. Work with your travel agent to determine what location is ideal for you and your finance.

Contact the Romance Travel Specialists at Violet Clover Travel Group to find the perfect destination wedding for you!

Destination Wedding Checklist

Have you been considering a destination wedding, but you're not exactly sure of what you should be doing when? Well we have found the answers for you. Take a look at the Destination Wedding Checklist created by Destination Bliss....

A destination wedding is a magical way to celebrate the biggest day of your life. We have created a checklist to help you navigate the planning process.

18 MONTHS FROM WEDDING

WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND YOUR FIANCÉ? A favorite movie, an amazing photo spread, or a special vacation spot you have shared? Put a list together, add some photos and bring it to your appointment with your travel agent

12 MONTHS FROM WEDDING

BRING YOUR INSPIRATION LIST WITH SOME PHOTOS TO SHARE WITH YOUR TRAVEL AGENT so you can start planning!

Also, consider the following:

  • EXPLORE DESTINATIONS
  • DO A SITE VISIT
  • CONSIDER CEREMONY LOCATION
  • BUY YOUR DRESS
  • SET A BUDGET
  • ACQUIRE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS Ask your travel agent what you need to bring along
  • WEDDING LICENSE clarify which steps need to be taken in order to get married outside of the U.S. as some countries require you be to there so many days prior to the nuptials.
  • CONFIRM YOUR WEDDING DATE, TIME, AND LOCATION
  • MAKE SURE YOUR PASSPORT IS VALID
  • SEND UT YOUR SAVE THE DATES CARDS

6 MONTHS FROM WEDDING

  • CONFIRM YOUR TRAVEL PLANS WITH A DEPOSIT
  • SEND OUT INVITATIONS TO GUESTS

3 MONTHS FROM WEDDING

  • CREATE A HONEYMOON AND WEDDING REGISTRY
  • CONFIRM DETAILS WITH YOUR VENDORS. Speak to your wedding planner at the resort to be sure all of the details are complete. And get everything in writing.
  • BUY GROOM’S ATTIRE When looking for your groom’s attire for a destination wedding, be sure to think about location temperature and color.

1-2 MONTHS FROM WEDDING

BOOK EXCURSIONS & SPECIAL AMENITIES

  • Consider booking a surprise for your spouse, like a couple’s massage.
  • How about special requests upon arrival at your hotel for you and your guests?
  • Make arrangements for pre-wedding events/ activities for your guests, such as excursions, a welcome reception, and a rehearsal dinner.
  • Assemble and ship welcome bags for your guests or arrange with your resort to provide.
  • Have your gown fitting
  • Write your vows and choose the readings for your ceremony.
  • Check-in with you travel agent to ensure hotel reservations for your guests have been completed.

1 WEEK FROM WEDDING

START PACKING – Don’t forget to:

  • Pack your wedding attire as a carry-on for the plane, as your flight attendant will put it away for safe keeping, until you arrive at your destination
  • Print your travel itinerary and an agenda to hand out to your guests upon arrival.
  • Grab your prescriptions, chargers for your electronics, sunscreen, snacks, treats, and entertainment for the airplane ride, and cameras that are charged and ready to go!
  • Surprise your spouse with a special gift, perhaps some wedding night attire

UPON ARRIVAL AT DESTINATION

  • Meet with the wedding planner on site.
    • Inspect ceremony and reception sites
    • Confirm details with your ceremony officiant.
    • Confirm delivery time of flowers.
    • Make an appointment to have your hair and make-up done. Bring photos to help show what you are looking to do.
    • Have your dress pressed/steamed
  • Apply for a marriage license.
  • If your destination requires an on-site blood test, make arrangements to have them done.

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Why not have a cruise ship wedding?

Spring has arrived and the weather warming up, so clients are beginning to look for different options and destinations to tie the knot. Cruise ship weddings provide an ideal opportunity for couples hoping to celebrate that special day either on the ocean or at an exotic port of call.

More than 2,600 couples each year exchange their vows on Carnival Cruise Line ships, and this year the line has completely revamped its wedding program, with upgraded amenities and new choices for flower arrangements, decorations and photography, as well as new culinary selections and a greater variety of on-island ceremonies. Some of the destinations include Grand Turk and Freeport, complementing Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. The “Just You & Me” package provides a ceremony for up to eight people starting at $1,355 and includes a bouquet and boutonniere, tiered wedding cake with keepsake wedding topper, photography service, champagne toast with keepsake flutes and an officiant (couples are also welcome to bring their own clergy).

There are also packages which can cater to larger groups, such as the “Time to Celebrate…Big!” program, which can cater to up to 20 guests and starts at $1,975. All of the amenities of the Just You & Me package are included, along with a one-and-a-half-hour reception, open bar, a selection of hot & cold hors d’ oeuvres and a custom-designed ice carving.

Holland America Line is also offering a variety of wedding services this season, as well as packages for anniversaries and vow renewals. Wedding cruise itineraries include a personalized ceremony with wedding coordinator services, flowers, cake, champagne, a photo album and a keepsake wedding certificate. Photography, music, receptions and pampering appointments can also be added to customize wedding cruise packages.

The programs are available on multiple ships in Holland America Line’s fleet and start at $999 for a simple ceremony for two for North America and Caribbean sailings, or $2,999 for European sailings.

Princess Cruises creates three different wedding itineraries for couples with varying styles. The first package is ideal for couples looking to tie the knot at sea, with a ceremony set in either the chapel or library, depending on the ship. The legal ceremony is performed by the captain, and the package includes a one dozen rose bouquet, boutonniere, 9-inch single layer wedding cake, a bottle of sparkling wine, two Princess logo champagne flutes and a keepsake wedding certificate.

There is also a program designed to cater to couples who may have non-sailing guests, with similar offerings as the sailing package. The ceremony is performed by a local officiant at the specific port of call. For guests looking to take the celebration ashore, there is also an itinerary that includes a beach, garden or glacier ceremony (depending on the port of call), bridal bouquet, boutonniere, specialty cake for two, a bottle of sparkling wine and a keepsake wedding certificate.

Tip: After the initial celebration is over, Princess Cruises also offers a new Honeymoon Wishes Registry, providing a way for friends and family to give newlyweds the gift of personal contributions to cruise fare, beverages, spa treatments, added shore excursions, and photographs.

Royal Caribbean has three different wedding packages for couples to select from, based on their personal preferences. The line’s “Royal Proposals Package” includes a personal event planner, day-of-event coordinator, and sets up a private location of the guests’ choosing. A photography service is optional.

Clients looking for a bit more of a lavish celebration can opt for the “Ultimate Love Story Wedding Package“, complete with priority check-in with pier-to-ship escort for the couple and all guests, a private wedding venue, officiant, photographer, three-tier wedding cake and musical accompaniment. The couple will also enjoy a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a decorated honeymoon room, among other amenities.

For guests looking to say their vows in a more private setting, the “Just Us” package is ideal. There’s nothing extravagant or over the top with this program, which includes a simple private venue, non-denominational wedding officiant, keepsake wedding certificate, photography service, a bottle of Moet & Chandon and a mimosa breakfast-in-bed for any morning of the couple’s choosing.

Good to know: These packages charge an additional fee for photography service.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers up a variety of wedding packages for that special day. Wedding celebrations can be created on multiple ships sailing through for the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Hawaii, Alaska, or Europe.

Ceremonies can be celebrated with just the couple, or with friends and family, and the line’s wedding planners can also design for vow renewals and set up a honeymoon registry. Wedding photography packages, flower bouquets and boutonnieres, wedding cake choices and enhancements and décor can all be customized to the couple’s preferences. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line also offers special group cruise discounts for guests booking eight or more staterooms for the ceremony.

Originally posted at: Travel Agent Central written by By Michelle Krol | March 23, 2016

For more information about any of these packages, contact Tiffany at 216-236-8450 or visit violetclovertravelgroup.com/contact.html

15 Reasons Couples Should Go On Vacation Instead of Buying Stuff

If your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse has a birthday coming up, your anniversary is near or you want to plan the perfect holiday surprise, you should consider using your money to fund a vacation instead of buying a gift item.

Here are 15 excellent reasons why it’s better for couples to go on vacation than buy each other stuff:
1. People who collect experiences are happier than those who collect things
“That’s in part because the initial joy of acquiring a new object, such as a new car, fades over time as people become accustomed to seeing it every day, experts said. Experiences, on the other hand, continue to provide happiness through memories long after the event occurred,” according to CNN. The New York Times says, “Our own recent research shows that in addition to buying more experiences, you’re better served in many cases by simply buying less — and buying for others.”
2. You can see the world
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and never leave your hometown, but there’s no way to experience the world like travel. It’s like TV come to life!
3. You can visit family or friends
Why not go meet your 81-year-old Aunt Gracie in Ireland? You only live once — and she won’t be here much longer! Hop to it! It will likely be a life-changing experience for everyone involved.
4. Travel is educational
You can read about the history of the world all you like, but to truly understand it, you have to travel to the places history has touched. Which is to say as many places as possible! Once you develop a curiosity for the world, you’ll only want to travel more, learn more and understand more. It’ll make you and your relationship more interesting.
5. It can be cheaper
For the price of two iPads you can go abroad! Why not?
6. It puts you in touch with nature
Vacations don’t have to be to far off places and they don’t have to be expensive or long, either. A weekend in the nearest natural setting will work wonders for your mental health and your feeling of connection to the earth and to each other.
7. You can take time away from the kids
Sometimes you just need a chance to relax and unwind without the kids around. A few days at a seaside B&B will make you better parents!
8. Or you can bond with the kids!
Then again, family vacations can be a blast, too. Your kids will certainly thank you for a fun weekend at the water park!
9. You often do things on vacation you wouldn’t otherwise.
Physical activities like skiing, hiking or snorkeling are bonding exercises for you as a couple. The pride you’ll feel after having tried something new together will give your relationship a boost.
10. Learning about other cultures and ways of life helps you appreciate your own life
I visited Europe several times with my husband while we were married, and as much as I loved it there, it also made me appreciate the things I love about being American, too.
11. Sleeping in a hotel makes you happy to come home to your own bed
Hotel beds are great! But they make your own bed an even more welcome sight when you get home.
12. Your relationship grows on vacation in a way that it can’t at home
Working together to navigate a strange place, having time to just relax and chat, exploring new cultures and ideas … vacations provide lots of opportunities for relationship growth. They can also test the strength of a rocky relationship, too! So try to pre-plan your vacation at least a little bit to avoid fighting and maximize your enjoyment.
13. You’re making a lasting memory
You’ll never forget the time you went swimming with dolphins or sipped umbrella drinks on that perfect beach. In fact, your vacation memories will likely sweeten with time.
14. Your home will remain less cluttered
Who needs more “stuff” cluttering up their house? Playing with gadgets can be fun, but not as fun as real-life adventure!
15. It’s fun!
Bottom line: vacations put people in a good mood. Traveling lets you de-stress and get back to the basics of enjoying each other and all of the good things life has to offer. Here’s to your next trip!
written by: Carolyn Castiglia
Call Tiffany at 216-236-8450 or visit www.violetclovertravelgroup.com to book your next romantic getaway!