Destination weddings involve the thrill of travel and romance in the wedding ceremony! A destination wedding typically lasts for a few days and takes place away from the couple’s hometown. They can range from a few hours drive to a plane ride across the Atlantic! Craig and Jackie, Annapolis locals, love our city but were drawn to celebrating matrimony on the Hawaiian islands!
Images by Natalie Franke Photography
At what point did you decide you wanted to have a destination wedding?
Jackie: My family regularly vacations in Hawaii, so in the back of my mind I’ve always thought about having a wedding in Hawaii. Craig and I both have large families, making it nearly impossible to choose a location where our family and friends did not have to travel. We were hoping for somewhat of a midway point. We also considered Sandals in the Caribbean and the Florida Keys as potential destinations. Hawaii won out! My Dad is currently in the military stationed in Japan and Craig’s family is spread out over the U.S and wanted to re-visit Hawaii. So it was the perfect location!
How did you approach the destination decision of Hawaii?
Craig: Jackie had mentioned it a couple of times while on a previous vacation there so it was not a surprise when she approached me with the idea. One of my main concerns about the destination was to ensure affordability for all.
As a groom, what were next steps to consider?
Craig: Asking my friends to be groomsmen would be the next step and that weighed heavy on me. You have to take into consideration the financial commitment (to include the cost of the flight, hotel stay, attire for the wedding, etc.), time off work for the groomsmen and their wives, as well as the fact that we were now planning their vacation for the year. Initially, I posed the invitation as a hypothetical to get an idea and research the most affordable options … before finally asking them to be in the wedding. All three groomsmen are married and each accepted the invitation!
Has Craig’s involvement in the planning surprised you?
Jackie: He actually took the initiative to plan our honeymoon! I have no idea where we are going; it’s a surprise! I know he has it covered though. Craig has been very involved. He has his opinion on everything and we are able to compromise! I’m glad that he has been involved! If I am stuck on a decision, he can help me. I didn’t expect him to be as involved as he’s been. Based on what I had heard from others couples and read online… most consider the wedding to be more of a bride’s thing. Craig also took care of his attire… the bride spends so much money on her dress and never wears it again. So my thoughts were for Craig to splurge and get his custom suit that he could wear time and time again! And I am so excited that Craig had the opportunity to share the same experience as I did with the fabric selection, design and fittings for his custom suit. I have been pleasantly surprised. Because of his involvement I feel that it’s “our” thing and not just “my” thing!
How far along in the process did you find that a wedding planner might be helpful?
Jackie: Early on in the planning stages the details became stressful; and we both knew we needed a planner, but struggled with getting one because that meant that our wedding budget would be reduced by those fees. Well worth it though! Our planner has since provided us with ideas and options that we never thought about. It has been an enjoyable experience now that she is involved.
Due to the location of your wedding how did you select your wedding planner?
Craig: We interviewed 3 or 4 and trusted that the final one could meet our expectations. We found a company in Hawaii; the owner now lives in California, and runs a company out of Hawaii. She understands the urgency by which some things need to be accomplished and she is able to make the necessary accommodations for us. Her response time has been great and she has been wonderful to work with.
What was the most difficult part of planning a destination wedding?
Jackie: The planning process takes months, and the most challenging aspect in having a destination wedding in Hawaii is the different “cultural” regard for time. Some vendors took at least a month to respond to me, and some were responding sporadically. Here on the mainland, we are accustomed to more timeliness.
Visit us on Monday for a special full-week celebration for the official start of summer!