Our wedding bells will be ringing this month in Varadero. Are you considering getting married in Cuba? Here are five destination-related challenges I’ve run into while planning my own Cuba wedding.
1. Low internet accessibility
Some estimates say as few as 5% of the population is online. (These estimates likely don’t account for those who are accessing the web via remote servers.) The implication? Sourcing vendors outside of the resort proves to be a challenge. Want to shop local photographers or DJs? Close to impossible. Searching Instagram isn’t much help either.
2. Lack of choice
For unfussed couples this is a blessing; you’ll enjoy planning a wedding at arm’s length. If you can’t stand not knowing what type of floral arrangements will adorn your reception then you may be driven mad. At this point I’ve simply communicated the colour scheme I prefer and been told it’ll all be arranged when I arrive. We’re placing our trust in the fact that these resorts host weddings all the time; they’re the experts.
What I am doing to ensure our wedding feels personal is bringing accent decor items from Canada. Things like gold foil coasters, decorative hand fans, lace table runners, and custom advice note cards will ensure it feels like our wedding, not just a resort wedding.
Don’t forget to account for currency when considering the cost. Extra add-ons will be charged in CUC, which are valued closer to American dollars than Canadian. You’ll also want to check in advance about payment of on-site upgrades. Do you need to pay in CUC (cash) or can it be charged to a Canadian credit card?
4. The food
Reviews seem mixed. Three years ago everyone bemoaned the quality of the food in Cuba. Now, it seems hit or miss. I have a feeling it all hinges on the quality (star rating) of the resort and what degree of foodie a traveller is. And you know what? If the food is bland or lackluster, I’m just going to accept that I won’t be overeating before the wedding. See what I did there? Making lemonade out of lemons, folks!
5. Lack of ‘real weddings’
‘Real wedding’ posts are webpages which recount the stories of couples, include wedding day photos and detail the vendors used. They’re a fantastic resource for planning, especially when you’ve never visited the resort property.
Crawl popular wedding websites for ‘real wedding’ examples and you won’t find a lot of entries for Cuba. I suspect it’s the simple fact that most websites (ex: theknot.com) are American written and of course not many can travel to Cuba. Until the embargo is lifted there will exist a sort of information vacuum. Rest assured though, I’ll be writing about mine!
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