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Tie the Knot in Paradise: Your Guide to a Caribbean Destination Wedding

Newlyweds strolling hand in hand on the beach, carrying their shoes.

Dreaming of a beach wedding in the Caribbean? The sandy shores, calm blue ocean, and golden sunsets create the perfect backdrop for exchanging vows. But before you say “I do,” let's make sure your dream wedding becomes a reality, without the stress.


Planning a destination wedding can be overwhelming, especially when you're trying to coordinate everything from a distance. From choosing the right venue to ensuring your guests have a memorable experience, there are countless details to consider. We recommend working with an experienced destination wedding travel agency to help navigate the intricacies of putting together your big day.


 
 

An outdoor ceremony setup with white chairs arranged in rows with flower and plants decor

Continue reading for our guide (with timelines) to make tying the knot in the Caribbean a breeze. Whether you envision an intimate ceremony on a secluded beach, a contemporary service on a terrace overlooking the ocean or a luxurious celebration with a lush backdrop, we'll work with you every step of the way to bring your vision to life.



WHY CHOOSE A DESTINATION WEDDING IN THE CARIBBEAN?


The Caribbean offers a stunning stage and a relaxed atmosphere for your special day, but the benefits go beyond paradise beaches.


Here's why a Caribbean destination wedding might be perfect for you:

A romantic moment on the sandy beach, as the bride and groom exchange heartfelt vows.

Stress-Free Budgeting: 

Many Caribbean resorts offer all-inclusive packages, bundling your ceremony, reception, accommodation, food, drinks, and even activities into one price. This simplifies budgeting and eliminates last-minute surprises.


Convenience for Guests: Toronto boasts numerous direct flights to various Caribbean destinations. Short travel times (often under 5 hours) make it easier for loved ones to attend and enjoy a tropical getaway.


Pre-Packaged Wedding Expertise: Many resorts specialize in destination weddings, offering pre-designed packages that take care of everything from venue to flowers and catering. This saves you time and ensures experienced professionals handle the details.

Wedding ceremony by pool with ocean backdrop, creating a picturesque setting.

A Venue Paradise: With countless resorts and venues to choose from, the Caribbean caters to all styles and budgets. Whether you dream of a secluded beach ceremony, a luxurious ballroom reception, or a charming garden setting, you'll find the perfect place to say "I do."


Extended Celebration: Turn your wedding into a week-long celebration! Guests can enjoy pre- and post-wedding activities. You can also opt to extend your stay for a honeymoon either at the same resort or a different one in the same destination.



FIRST STEPS IN PLANNING YOUR ALL-INCLUSIVE WEDDING


Wedding rings and a calendar on a table. A symbol of love and commitment, marking a special date.

Creating your vision board

A vision board helps you plan your dream island wedding. Gather inspiration for the location, vibe, colours, and activities. Include photos, fabric swatches, and anything that sparks your tropical paradise vision. Remember, your vision board is a journey, not a destination. Add to it, rearrange it, and let it evolve as your dream wedding takes shape. With a little creativity and inspiration, your Caribbean wedding vision board will help you plan a celebration that's as unique and beautiful as your love story.


Determining your budget

Planning a Caribbean wedding requires a budget to match the paradise. Before you set sail, have an honest conversation about finances, prioritize what matters most, and research average costs. Embrace creative touches and explore options that match your budget to make your dream wedding a reality.


Garden wedding setup with rows of chairs, blooming flowers, and a romantic arch for the ceremony.

Deciding the venue

This can arguably be the hardest part of the planning process. Consider your dream ceremony style (beachfront or formal), guest needs (accessibility, accommodation), and budget (all-inclusive vs. unique venues). Research islands for the perfect blend of romance, convenience, and cost.


Checking out wedding packages

It is also great to know about the resort’s wedding package — possibly with an all-inclusive wedding, a coordinator, accommodation, and others. Finding the right package will not only help you be less stressed in planning but could also help you be more mindful of your budget.


Elegant wedding save the date card with gold foil accents and floral design.

Selecting a wedding date

Pick a wedding date that resonates well with you and your fiancé (e.g. an anniversary or something significant in your relationship or an auspicious day for marriage according to the calendars). However, it is also important to consider the chosen date’s season and also a possible holiday — a lot of people may visit resorts by this time which could possibly affect the wedding (especially if it’s an intimate one!)



WEDDING PLANNING TIMELINE


9-12 MONTHS PRIOR TO WEDDING DATE: PLANNING THE GROUP “VACAY”


Choosing a Travel date. Decide on the travel dates for the group. We recommend arriving 3-4 days prior to the wedding day to meet with your onsite coordinator to finalize the details and give room for last-minute changes.

People having a great time on a sunny beach, playing beach games and soaking up the sun.

Managing group flights. Once the travel date is finalized, we will check out published flight pricing to have an overview of possible costs. Contact suppliers (i.e. airlines or resorts) to obtain group rates. Upon observation, researching for group rates 9-10 months prior to the wedding is cheaper than doing it a little earlier or later.


Making an airline deposit. Once you have group rates that you're happy with, deposit with the airline to reserve a certain number of seats. This deposit is typically around $500 CAD.


Sending out RSVPs: After the travel arrangements are made, gather responses from the guests regarding their attendance by sending out RSVPs. Sending out RSVPs is a crucial step in the wedding planning process, as it helps you finalize the guest list and make necessary arrangements for the celebration.


8-11 MONTHS PRIOR TO WEDDING DATE: LOCK-IN


It's time to solidify your guest list! This is where we gather guest names and travel details as required by the suppliers. Guests should be prepared to make deposits (around $150-$250 CAD per person) to secure their travel arrangements with the chosen supplier.


6-8 MONTHS PRIOR TO WEDDING DATE: PLANNING THE “FITS”


Vibrant Indian wedding celebration showcasing the bride and groom in traditional attire, with cultural elements.

Choosing your wedding outfits. This is a very special day, so the pressure to find the perfect attire is understandable. Depending on how intricate the dress is, it is important to give an ample amount of time for it to be created, therefore 6-8 months before the wedding is highly suggested. This will help identify any needed alterations and improve the fit to your preference.


5-6 MONTHS PRIOR TO WEDDING DATE: PLANNING THE DEEPER “DEETS”


Diverse team of Asian professionals discussing work at a table.

Gathering wedding inspirations. While resorts may not actively work on weddings until closer to the date, we can try searching for Caribbean wedding theme inspirations online and possible other requests we could discuss with the resort or wedding coordinator.


Meeting with the coordinator. We will start setting up a time with the resort wedding coordinator to go over the details of your dream wedding, We can discuss the theme of your wedding, and the number of guests on our initial meet-up, and go dive deeper with the rest of the wedding details in the coming months (e.g. entertainment / lighting / menus / etc.).


2 MONTHS PRIOR TO WEDDING DATE: FINALIZING 


Final payments. Make any final payments to suppliers (airlines/resorts) for the travel and wedding packages reserved beforehand. Double-check the payment schedule outlined in your contracts to ensure that everything is settled before the wedding day.


To enhance the smooth execution of your special day, consider whether you'd like me to be onsite for wedding coordination.


1 MONTH PRIOR TO WEDDING DATE: UPDATING AND REMINDING THE “A-LIST (NON-NEGOTIABLES)”


Sending out travel documents to guests. This could include detailed itineraries, information about accommodations, important contact information, etc. Make sure to remind guests about their necessary travel documents such as passports, visas, or travel insurance information.


WEEK OF WEDDING: SEEING PLANS TURN TO LIFE


Stack of newspapers with number 12 on top.

Final checking with the coordinator. Meet up with the coordinator 3 days before the wedding date to finalize wedding plans or to resolve any concerns by making last-minute changes.


Rehearsal dinner. This pre-wedding event gives you and your fiancé a chance to identify any possible issues during that wedding day and resolve them ASAP. This could also be an opportunity to thank everyone for their presence on your special day.


WEDDING DAY


Enjoy every moment and savour the experience of being wedded in a beautiful place such as the Caribbean. Do not hassle yourself thinking of what could go wrong, instead, trust in your wedding coordinator to execute the plans you've put in place.

Elegant wedding cake topped with two champagne flutes, beautifully presented.

Taking time for relaxation and enjoyment: Relax and enjoy the resort's amenities as a married couple. Treat yourself to a spa, a romantic dinner, explore the beauty of the Caribbean, or simply unwind by the beach or poolside.


So there you have it! With careful planning and the help of a professional travel agency like Accompanie Travel, your dream Caribbean wedding can become a reality. Remember, this is just a guide, and the most important thing is to create a wedding that reflects your unique love story. 



With this helpful guide by your side, all that's left is to turn your dream wedding into reality! To help you stay organized throughout the process, we've created a wedding planning checklist that you can customize to your specific needs. This will help you manage your budget, guest list, timeline, and all the other important details leading up to your big day.


Accompanie Travel is an online boutique travel agency based in Orillia, Ontario specializing in personalized group getaways. We provide extensive knowledge and experience in planning destination weddings, ensuring that every detail, from travel arrangements to venue selection and local vendor coordination, is expertly managed. Our goal is to create a seamless and unforgettable experience for you and your guests, allowing you to relax and enjoy every moment of your celebration. Get in touch with us here to get started.

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