Location, Location, Location2Photo Credits: Jonathan Steingard

Congrats! You’re engaged and you’re planning out a Destination Wedding!

Choosing a location is by far one of the most exhilarating decisions when planning a wedding abroad.  And it’s true, you can actually choose some spectacular locations and depending on budget and timing, the sky’s the limit. And of course – there are many factors that will change your decision along the way….

So where’s it going to be?

Cuba? Dominican? Barbados? Turks & Caicos? Fiji? Mexico?
Yes, the selection is downright overwhelming, but what’s important to you?
Luxury, Value, Five-Star, white sand, brown sand, coarse sand (you laugh, but I’ve heard and seen it all….) – accessibility? Language barriers, Good Food? If it’s important to you, it’s an important factor. Period.

For us, it was first and foremost, all about our family and guests. Since we had a few friends that would be coming from the United States, Cuba was already off our list. We were quite budget-minded so Barbados, T&C and Bali were crossed off – which left the Dominican or Mexico as the front runners.

Location, Location, Location3Then it came down to three other factors:

1. Travel Time/Duration of flights/Plane fare
Those living on the west coast, will have access to gorgeous Mexican locations quite easily, but most of the Caribbean locations are more easily accessible to those living in the central/east coast usually with non-stop flights. This was the case for us since the bulk of our guests as well as family would be travelling from Ontario; with flights being more available as well as less expensive than flying towards Mexico, the Caribbean was more of a draw for us.  We were very mindful and happier to see a lower price for most of our guests.

2. Safety
Mexico is now safer than it’s ever been, but I couldn’t shake off my nerves and heard a few instances of some unsavoury tales. But don’t let that stop you! I had since been to both and I felt safer in Punta Cana than my time in Cabo – and I went with that.  But there are so many other regions in Mexico that are equally as safe and gorgeous: Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Cancun and Mazatlán to name a few. I just went with my own experience.  With that in mind, it’s very important to research the area you would be staying in. Ensure the resort has a good amount of security and ensures the safety of you and your guests at all times. Debbie’s Caribbean Resort Reviews and TripAdvisor were just two of many incredible resources that I combed through.
We take for granted the amount of safety and security we have living where we are – that it’s always good to be prepared.

3. Wedding Preparedness
Mexico had required specific documentation for marriages – one being a blood test on site prior to the nuptials.  Research what each countries requires from you.   Regardless if you choose a Religious/Traditional or a Symbolic wedding, you will be subject to providing copies of identification, letters from a notary or even medical information.Location, Location, Location4

Those were our 3 most important criteria when it came to choosing our Destination Country of choice. But what about you?  What are your must-haves, deal breakers when choosing?

Next blog will dive into my most favourite part – Resort Selection!

Denise Pang