All posts filed under: My Destination Wedding

Light + Cheap Decor Perfect for Personalizing your Destination Wedding

  Opting for a destination wedding I was a bit worried it would feel like a resort wedding versus our wedding. I didn’t have much in the way of photography provided by Melia Varadero (a property we had never been to) so I didn’t have a clear vision of what we were working with. My solution was to bring decor items with us. They needed to be compact but have high impact. They should be light enough to travel with yet inexpensive enough to leave behind. It just so happened that I was shopping for decorations in November. Turns out, Black Friday is a huge opportunity for brides to score steep discounts. Some items were reduced as much as 40% off with free shipping. I’d estimate we spent about $400-$500 on extra decor items which felt adequate. Here’s what we brought: CHAIR SASHES $2.95 USD for a 5-pack from chaircoverfactory.com These pops of colour communicate your wedding’s theme, colour scheme and personality. Melia Varadero did not have the champagne-gold sashes I was after so I easily sourced them online. …

It’s OK to get Married in Cuba Just for the Havana Photo Shoot

I left Cuba married and heartbroken. You see, I fell madly in love with Havana. I adored her pastel hues, crumbling architecture, and the vintage cars. I loved the doorways that lead to concealed courtyards coated in dust and draped in nostalgia. Most of all, I loved the city’s decaying beauty; it’s as if Paris was stowed away in an attic for half a century. The love affair was a brief 16-hour whirlwind romance; I left Cuba intoxicated by Havana and wanting more. Two days after the wedding we drove to Havana in a 60+ year-old vintage Chevy  to don our wedding attire one last time for a photo shoot. As the city awoke we wandered aimlessly photographer in tow, champagne and cigar in hand. We ducked through walkways, into lobbies and through public squares. By mid-morning we had attracted a small crowd of admirers and paparazzi. I wondered what they’d do with the photos they snapped of us. Would they print them and put them on their fireplace mantles? Likely not, so why the invasion? They fired away with such dedication …

DIY: Easy and Free Wedding Invitations, Destination Welcome Letters + Thank You Cards

  When you’re planning a wedding it can seem like the costs are never ending. There are so many expenses to cover, from beauty services to dress to favours to décor and more. I say, whenever there’s an opportunity to DIY something with professional results, get all over it. Here are two ways I saved hundreds of dollars on paper goods and printing. What I will show you can be used for save-the-dates, wedding invitations, destination welcome letters, wedding day itineraries and thank you cards. Option 1: pick a design then have it customized and locally printed Originally I went to Etsy.com and found an invitation design I liked (pictured above) from Sea Paper Designs. I sent the money, the designer added our names and dates, and then I downloaded a zip file. I easily sourced a local printer, emailed him the documents and picked up the proof same-day. Total cost: $34USD (design) + $35 CAD (printing) + cost of stamps   Option 2: use Canva.com to painlessly create your own design Unfortunately, when it came to ordering …

My Melia Varadero Destination Wedding: the good, the bad & the ugly

Photos by Wild Whim Photography + Design by Wade Carr Where are all the Cuban wedding blogs? One of the greatest challenges of planning my destination wedding was a lack of real wedding blog posts. I scoured the internet and bridal websites like TheKnot.com for more resources. To my initial surprise, there were few-to-no personal stories. Presumably, this is because most wedding blog posts are voraciously penned by American brides…American brides who can’t travel to Cuba. A second challenge was Cuba’s web presence, or lack there of.  It was, and to some degree still is, offline. Official statistics indicate less than 5% of Cubans have access to open (non-state controlled) internet. Lest I conclude, Cuban vendors (venues, photographers, florists, etc) are not creating promotional web content for prospective brides. This even applied to the resort we eventually selected. There were few wedding photos apart from a small white gazebo and pictures of a dated, pink satin-draped reception. TripAdvisor had some user-contributed images but nothing which really inspired romance, wanderlust or a dreamy (modern) wedding. This …

Avoid a Destination Wedding Meltdown – Make These Back Up Plans

  Planning a destination wedding sight unseen is tough. I had never been to the Caribbean, (let alone Cuba), never been to an all-inclusive, never attended a destination and never been married before. That’s a lot of firsts! With so many moving pieces and only so much you can plan from arm’s length, planning your back up plan is imperative. Here are some strategies to avoid wedding day melt downs. Back up: Beauty Is there a salon at the resort? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Learn how to do your own make up – just in case. A bridal look may differ wider between countries. Drop by Sephora or MAC before leaving Canada and have them teach you and a bridesmaid how to do your eyeshadow and fill your brows. (Video tape it if needed.) If you’re getting married in a hot destination enquire about primer, long wear foundation and setting powder. Skip matte lipstick in lieu of sheer or do what I did for an unfussy look: use a light coloured lip …

5 Considerations Before Deciding to Wed in Cuba

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 …

6 Reasons I’m Getting Married in Cuba

It’s not Mexico. Everyone’s been there. Time to go a different place. It’s a comparable price point. From the guest perspective, Cuba is as easy – if not easier – on the purse strings as Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Bali. The beaches. Do I need to elaborate? It’s all about to change. The prevailing fear held by Canadians is that Cuba is 100% going to change once the Americans arrive. I won’t lie, Barrack Obama is kind of a factor in our guest list. Now is the time to go right? Havana. The darling culture capital of Caribbean. Good enough for Hemingway and the Godfather II, good enough for a Hubbert-to-be. Direct flights. Did you know you Vancouverites can fly direct to Varadero. Winner winner chicken dinner!   Have you been to a destination wedding? Would you have liked to go to Cuba for one?