Q. I am planning a destination wedding on the beach in the Caribbean and I am not sure what type of dress to wear. I want to go barefoot but also want to have a sophisticated look…any ideas how I can pull this off?
There’s nothing sexier than hosting a wedding barefoot in the sand, and a destination wedding dress should follow suit. Skip the heavy, overly bejeweled ballgown in favor of comfortable, lightweight silks that graze your skin, a loose, flowy silhouette, and perhaps just a hint of beading to mirror the sparkling ocean.
Here are some of my favorite breezy, lightweight gowns from Island Bridal which would be great for a casual to semi-formal wedding in the sand.
An elegant V-neck chiffon, with delicate shoulder bows covers you wherever life takes you. From the Calypso Collection
With it’s strategically placed lace appliques, this sheer dress offers a bride a seductive allure. From the Angel Collection
Runway meets the aisle, in this fun, yet sophisticated satin gown, that twirls with your every movement. From the Angel Collection
A golden touch of delicate appliques exudes a heavenly sense of luxury. From the Angel Collection
Short Wedding Dress?
Q. I am getting married on the beach in San Diego next year. Since this will be a destination wedding for myself and most of my bridal party I want to keep things simple. I am planning to wear a short colorful knee length sundress but my future mom-in-law says I can’t as it isn’t dressy enough? This is my second marriage so I think a long white gown is too much. What do you think?
A. I think a knee length dress would be lovely for a casual beach wedding. How about something along the lines of this dress…..
This figure flattering dress has a swingy silhouette which makes it perfect for a wedding (even for your bridesmaids). This is the style dress you want to wear long after your wedding. From the Socialite Collection
Paying for Bridesmaids’ Expenses?
Q. I am getting married in Hawaii. At first I planned to have four wedding attendants on each side. I agreed to pay the bridesmaids’ airfare if they paid for the hotel, but now I’m considering costs, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to. Should I just tell them we’ve decided to only have our maid of honor and best man, or should I ask them to pay for their trips?
A. Instead of telling them you’ve decided to exclude them without offering a reason — which is bound to hurt some feelings — honesty is the best policy. Sure, the added cost of getting to Hawaii may mean some or all of them won’t be able to make the trip, but it should be their decision. If you simply explain that you overestimated how much you were going to be able to contribute, that’s something they can understand and appreciate. If they’re doubtful of the cost but still really want to try to make it, help them look into discounted fares through a travel agent or an online broker. They may be able to get a good fare if they travel during off-hours, for example. It can be done, if you’re willing to do the research.
Do We Pay for Our Guests?
Q. I am getting married in Aruba next year and want to invite close friends and family. Are we obligated to pay for our guests or subsidize any portion of their trip?
A. If you are able to pay any portion of your guests’ way, it is a nice gesture and they will certainly appreciate it. Couples usually go this route when there aren’t many affordable lodging options near their site. In general, though, it is not required that you cover any of your guests’ expenses. But aim for harmony regardless and choose a location that offers accommodation options in all price points. You know your guests best, so keep in mind what you think they’ll be willing and able to spend when you select your location.
Reception at Home After Destination Wedding?
Q. My fiance and I want to have a ceremony in the Caribbean with just our parents as guests. We would like to have a big reception for our friends and family when we return home. How can we do this without hurting feelings?
A. Well, first you have to face the fact that you very well might hurt feelings regardless of your tact: Some friends and relatives will surprised that they were not included in the ceremony. But you should also remember that it’s your wedding, and if you want an intimate ceremony on a beach, who can blame you? Explain to those who ask that this is your wedding dream, and that you’re looking forward to a big, celebratory bash with all your nearest and dearest when you get home.
If your heart is set on an intimate ceremony, follow your plans and don’t worry too much. Then when you get home, send out invitations to a party “celebrating your marriage” where you can show slides or photos of your ceremony. It will be as if they had all been there with you after all
Inviting B-List Guests to a Destination Wedding?
Q. I have a wedding guest list of 50 for my destination wedding in Hawaii. With such a small wedding guest list, there are plenty of people on my B-list that I’d still love to have — I just need to be sure that I keep the total from going over 50. If some of my initial A-list guests decline my wedding invitation, can I then go ahead and extend an invitation to someone else?
A. This situation isn’t too tough, believe it or not, but it’s still important that you handle it without hurting anyone’s feelings — after all, no one wants to know they’re on your B-list. The easiest way? Before you lick even one stamp, touch base with all the key players to see what their availability is on your wedding date. You can do this by talking to people in concentric circles of importance, if you will: immediate family members first, then the friends or family you plan on asking to be your attendants, then other family, then other friends, and so on. Barring unforeseen circumstances, you’ll be able to get a good idea of your attendance figures right away, which will allow you to better map out your guest list. You can still send invitations to those you would want to be there but whom you know can’t attend just so that they know how you feel. You can also extend invitations to your replacements right away, without them having to know that they weren’t part of your initial 50. If you find later that your response cards are pouring in with regrets, go ahead and invite some new folks — just don’t wait too long, since they’ll need time to make travel arrangements.
* Photo Credits: Island Bridal