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Bride and Groom: Amanda and Rickie
Resort/ Venue: THE ROYAL Playa del Carmen
Photographer: Kyla Jenkinson
Travel Agent: Terrah Rominger
~ Bride Interview ~

What made you decide on having a destination wedding?
We both love the beach, and loved the idea of a stress-free planning process that would be a relaxing experience. Once we started pricing traditional church and hotel ballroom receptions, it made the decision to have a destination wedding that much easier. Plus, we loved the idea of a weekend-long celebration with family and friends!

What made you decide on the resort/venue?
We had visited The Royal in Playa a year before, and loved everything about it. While we were there on vacation, we saw 2 other weddings take place. At the time, we joked about coming back the next year to tie the knot. Who knew we would actually return 1 year later to do just that?!

Who was your photographer, and if you had one, your videographer?
We used our own photographer, who flew down with us to shoot the entire weekend. We were extremely pleased with the results, because of her creativity and some of the great shots she captured. The resort did have their own photography staff, however, and their work was also impressive. We opted not to have a wedding video, and may regret it on down the line.

What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
The only difficulty was accepting the fact that not all of our family and friends could be there for the wedding. We knew this would be the downside to a destination wedding, so to make up for it, we had a post-wedding reception at home a month later. This allowed family members and other friends to celebrate with us.

What was the highlight of the experience?
I (the bride) was surprised at how calm I was the day of the wedding, even leading up to the ceremony itself. I even hung out at the pool with the girls that morning, and had a casual, relaxing morning before getting ready for the late afternoon ceremony. The wedding coordinator came up to the room and met us, and was very organized about the whole event, so that was very reassuring.

Biggest surprise?
So many of my friends commented about their wedding days being stressful, their ceremony being a "blur", and their reception being overwhelming. Often times, these friends would say "If I have it to do over again, I'd definitely go the destination wedding route."

We were surprised to find that our wedding was none of the horror stories of "traditional weddings"! It was a relaxing weekend with friends, and great memories that we'll have forever.

If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?
Don't feel obligated to book several events for your guests throughout the weekend. Remember that this is a weekend getaway for them, too. We love The Royal because it's a small resort and everyone could easily congregate at the pool, lobby bar, etc. We opted not to plan a nightly schedule of events and times, but instead let everyone enjoy the weekend.

Plan your destination wedding at least 4-5 months in advance, to give your guests plenty of time to save up for their trips and take off from work.

Put together a goodie getaway bag for your guests to send out to them a few weeks before the trip. We sent a beach back to each couple with a note from us, a CD with Mexico-themed music, Flip Flops, fun stuff, etc. It was a big hit and got everyone in the mood for the trip!

Don't buy a traditional wedding dress with all of the layers and corsets. It's so hot and humid at the beach, that you'll be miserable all day. Grooms, opt out of the Tux look. The linen shirt and flip flops were the most comfortable for us!

Finally, don't get stressed about details! The wedding coordinators at the resorts are professionals, and often times coordinate several weddings every week. Flowers, food, and all the little details they can take care of ... so don't stress about the details!