Wedding Planning Q+A
The Knot editor-in-chief Carley Roney answers your most pressing questions.
Do we have to pay for our guests' transport and hotel?
While it's wonderfully generous to foot the bill for your guests' travels, few people can afford such benevolence. Aside from the wedding, you're primarily responsible for planning activities (many of which can be free). You can also call hotels to try to get group rates and alert guests to bargain airfares that you've found.
Do we have to invite everybody?
A wedding away is expensive, and you're not expected to invite everyone. Ask those you think will attend (and whom you really want to have there). You can have a second reception closer to home and invite everybody, so no one has to feel left out of the celebration.
How do we let guests know about accommodations, etc.?
Set up a wedding Web site and send guests the URL. That way, you can update it as needed. If you're not tech-savvy, a mailing (which you can include with, or send after, your save-the-date cards) is your best bet.
Must we choose a resort site that's all-inclusive?
Of course not, though it's often the easiest way to go because everything—from the ceremony to the party to the paperwork—will be arranged for you. If you opt for a venue that's not all-inclusive, it's best to visit a few times to check out vendors and sites.
How do we choose local vendors?
Ask around; your venue (if you have one) is a good place to start. Try to meet with vendors in person before you sign a contract. Look at portfolios and request at least three recent wedding references.
How long should the event be?
It depends how long you want the celebration to last, but a general plan would be for guests to arrive three to four days before the wedding, allowing ample time for relaxation and mingling. It's customary for guests to leave the day after the wedding.
How do we maintain some privacy with all those guests around?
Come earlier or stay later than everyone else. Make the post-wedding brunch the last item on the official itinerary, signaling the end of the public festivities. Another option is to honeymoon at a nearby resort.
Should guests still buy gifts?
Some couples take a "your presence is your present" approach to destination weddings; others also register. If you register, choose a range of gift options so guests who are cash-strapped from the trip don't feel pressured.
These six women know all the tricks to throwing the perfect party.
Marcy Blum This queen of New York planners orchestrated Billy Joel's recent nuptials. She specializes in long-weekend Caribbean affairs. (Marcy L. Blum Associates; 212/929-9814)
Jo-Anne Brown A Cayman Islands wedding guru, Brown was featured on the Travel Channel. She'll dress up a beachfront party with bamboo, arbors, orchids, and tea lights. (Celebrations; 345/949-2044; www.celebrationsltd.com)
JoAnn Gregoli With 20 years' experience, Gregoli knows how to make a splash. Her signature: waterfront events with fireworks, from Gotham to Nevis. (Elegant Occasions; 888/361-9177; www.elegantoccasions.com)
Alison Hotchkiss This doyenne of the Google generation plans funky dos for the hipster set. Her own "paddle-out" wedding will be held on longboards. (Alison Events; 415/567-7605; www.alisonevents.com)
Yifat Oren At the Colorado ranch celebration of Kevin and Christine Costner, she arranged for the bride to arrive in a vintage Chevy pickup. (Yifat Oren & Associates; 818/981-9950; www.yifatoren.com)
Barbara Whitehill She specializes in shipboard ceremonies, and her basic services are included with many cruise nuptial packages. (Wedding Experience; 877/580-3556; www.theweddingexperience.com).
travel-romance.com/destinationweddings for the lowdown on weddings away, including tips, locales, planners, legal details, as well as slide shows of exotic nuptials