I'm Carson and I am the girls' best friend, has-been B+P girl for those of you who remember, and real life #bixbyandpinebride! I wanted to drop by and talk destination weddings with you! I recently got married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and boy did I learn a thing or two. You would think a girl with my experience would have her ish together?! To be fair I have never planned or even been to a destination wedding and there is a learning curve. In order to save you a lot of headaches and a few tears, here are my biggest tips when planning a destination wedding!
1 // Pick a place you have been before.
Or at least go there a time or two before your wedding. I grew up going to Cabo with my family and it was the first place Alex and I vacationed together; I had probably been 8 times before our wedding. This is so freaking important guys! Not only did I know some quirks about the place but I could picture it in my mind. I knew everyone would need transportation organized before they arrived to avoid the chaos of the timeshare sharks. I knew it is a long drive between the airport and the town. I knew the awesome restaurants to plan dinners at. I even knew where to go for our day before photo shoot! Sure you can rely on your planner to give you all the deets but for me it was important to see everything and know what I was getting myself into. Alex and I went and visited the venue a good 8 months before our wedding so I could take photos, get comfortable with the layout and try their food so I could make sure it was THE place! I am so glad we did because 1. it made me so sure of my decision because to say I was obsessed was an understatement 2. I knew how to plan the details because I understood the flow of the venue 3. we learned we needed to book transportation for our guests from the hotel to the venue and back because it was a long way!
2 // Keep it simple.
Don’t go overboard with all of the things. It is easy to over complicate and over-Pinterest weddings. I knew whatever I used to decorate for the wedding I would have to haul down in a suitcase. (Alex and my dad complained the entire time hauling them too!) That really made me think hard and be specific and thoughtful about what I used on the tables especially. Our venue was so beautiful that it didn’t need a lot of extras to make it special! I DIYed a few signs and sewed custom cloth napkins but gave myself plenty of time to work on it. I actually enjoyed my wedding DIY projects because I was intentional about choosing them! We kept the guest list to 39 people so that made it a lot easier too!
3 // Bring your people.
I knew I need Sam (Samantha McFarlen) and Jaimie (Ridgewood Films) to shoot my wedding before I was even engaged. So when we decided on a destination wedding it wasn’t even an option to leave them behind. I knew I needed to make it happen! The thing with photo and video is, after you put in all of this time and money and thought into your wedding, they are the only things you have left to show for it. I just printed photos for my house and I jump at the chance to show people my wedding video. Because we are friends with Sam, Casey, Jaimie, and Brandon, our wedding photos turned out so much more natural than having a stranger follow us around all day. I am so happy we didn’t just rely on someone we had never met to capture our day! Then there is the makeup. Confession time; at first I thought I was going to hire a makeup artist from down there to do my makeup. It was going to save money in the ever stretching budget. I did research and looked and looked and looked for somebody I could trust with my wedding makeup. Here is the thing about makeup in Mexico; there is a style, and that style isn’t want I wanted. I wanted beachy mermaid goddess and what I was seeing was dark eyeliner and bright lipstick. And I was going to have to fly down there to have a trial to even be remotely comfortable with booking somebody ($$$$). Then I got some sense knocked into me and decided I need to bring my girls, duh! So Anne and Alicia (Paperdolls NW) came down and made me the beach goddess I was hoping for as well as 10 other ladies! And I had a trial at home to put my mind at ease! Totally worth it ya’ll! Then there is Bixby + Pine, my saviors. I had grand plans of setting up my wedding casually, relaxed, with a cocktail in hand. Well we had a few little problems with that plan (it is a longggg story including being up the entire night before my wedding throwing up!) and the girls busted a$$ and set up all my tables in like an hour. It was a wedding miracle! I am so thankful I had them there on my team because I seriously could not have done it without them!
Well there ya have it, everything you ever need to know about destination weddings! Ya right!? That list is way longer, but these tips should give you a good start when planning your own destination wedding! Sam was kind enough to do this awesome shoot around town with us the day before our wedding. I could not be any more happy with how they turned out!
PS! You'll soon see my wedding hit the B+P blog, but take a look at our day-before session!