What to Wear to a Destination Wedding

For destination weddings, most brides want a fabric that flows and plays with the weather and air around them. Breezy not beaded gowns are definitely a wise choice.

Lightweight, breezy dresses made of fabrics such as tulle, organza, and chiffon are breathable and travel well, but brides can still be comfortable in a ball gown if the material is not heavy. Brides don't have to do the slinky dress, but they have to be sure it isn't heavily beaded.

Designer Vivian Dessy Diamond of the Dessey Group worked with destination wedding coordinators to develop a line of sleek, modern destination wedding dresses made of free flowing fabrics such as stretch charmeuse, lace, and matte satin with small sweep trains. The dresses are available in sizes 0 to 28 with a retail price of $499, below the average wedding dress cost of $1,000.

For the groom, Vanessa Mason, founder and senior designer at Layne Corban, said that the traditional dark tuxedos for formal weddings can be confining in outdoor destination weddings and light weight cotton suits and shorts are the best alternative for grooms. Grooms should opt for linen and two piece suits for comfort at beach weddings.

Alternatives to the dark suit or tuxedo include a white dinner jacket with black tuxedo pants or shorts, a non-pleated tuxedo shirt and patterned cummerbund and tie.

Designer Stephen Geoffrey offers informal tuxedos for destination weddings that feature two-button, single breasted styling with a non-vented back and coordinating pleated trousers.

Destination weddings have become popular because it gives the bride and groom comfortable settings, comfortable clothing and most important a laid back comfortable atmosphere.

Many couples are getting away from the older, traditional wedding and this attire allows them to have some freedom and flexibility during the service and reception with a relaxed and laid back feeling evoking during the ceremony and reception.

So to sum things up... the best fabrics for a destination wedding, be it for a bride or groom, are cotton, linen, lightweight tulle and organza. And the best styles are non traditional styles, mid length dresses, lightweight fabrics, shorts and short sleeved shirts.

Happy Shopping!

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Next Destination Wedding Site..."The Fort"

Now that Sarah & Gary are wed and well on their way to a happy marriage, I can begin to place the final touches on my next "elope" ceremony. This couple is from San Francisco, California.  Her name happens to be Sarah as well and they will be getting married on June 22.  Their ceremony will be held at the historical fort in Old San Juan named "El Castillo de San Cristobal".  I know it will be a very unique and beautiful ceremony, how could it not with such a dramatic backdrop as your site. The fort is a historical monument and is located smack in the middle of Old San Juan. The Fort offers a variety of beautiful areas to hold the ceremony and I picked a spot that overlooks both the ocean and the city, with little access to anyone other than the Bride & Groom, the officiant and myself. How awesome to exchange your vows at a historical site overlooking the gorgeous Caribbean and one of the most romantic cities in the world Old San Juan and to have it basically all to yourself! 


May this wedding go off without a hitch and may the weather turn out to be as magical as Sarah & Gary's day...I should sign off now and immediately place my order for the rainbow ;)

Hasta la proxima! (Until next time!)
Lisa

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Wedding Day Bliss

As I am driving to Sarah & Gary's ceremony site I am hit with a storm... rain, wind and flooding, but of course! I thought for sure it was going to be a wash-out for a beach ceremony. But I always have a Plan B and I arranged for the ceremony to be held indoors at the restaurant (on the same beach) where Sarah, Gary & guests would be having the reception dinner.  


Well, I finally arrive at the site,  the officiant arrives 5 minutes later followed by Sarah's mom and sister and yes, we all agree, the ceremony will be held indoors. All of a sudden, just as Sarah and Gary arrive, the rain slows down and within minutes it totally stops!  OK... the minister takes full responsibility for the miracle by stating "his boss" arranged it and so we are off to the beach.  As we start to approach the area... there it was... just as I had ordered... a beautiful rainbow! :) Now tell me that isn't a sign, a sign that Sarah and Gary are blessed.  I am so sure they will have a lifetime of happiness and I know for sure that they will never forget how magical their wedding day turned out! And so my work is done! :)

One last secret code message for Sarah and Gary.
Sarah... lo ciento!
Gary... quieres cerveza?  LOL

Felicidades Sarah y Gary!  I hope you will take up my "post wedding" offer and come visit PR again real soon!



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Happy Wedding Day Gary & Sarah!

After much running around yesterday we are ready to have a beautiful ceremony today!  As they say expect the unexpected and so yes, the lab work was suppose to come in yesterday early morning and ended up arriving at 4:00 pm.  Now that's a problem when you have to file for a marriage license in Hato Rey (about 40 min from the lab) and there is tons of traffic and I still have to pick up the bride and groom and get us there before the office closes. But sure enough luck was on their side.  I got the results, jetted over to Isla Verde, picked them up and got to the Demographics office 10 minutes before closing.  And guess what... it turned out to be a perfect time to get there, I think I may bring every couple in at 10 to 6. Everyone wants to get home and they were on fire getting our paperwork done! We made it out with their marriage license in 10 minutes.  

Now today is the "BIG DAY"! Sarah & Gary tie the knot at a gorgeous beach in Ocean Park at 5:30 pm.  They are so excited! They will be joined by Gary's brother, Sarah's mom and sister, my assistant (my husband) and the officiant.  Just like they imagined it... quiet, intimate and very meaningful. 

Wish them well and may the weather stay as gorgeous as it has been.  I will update with a wedding picture asap!

Congratulations!

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Sarah & Gary 5/22/08

Sarah and Gary arrived today from West Virginia and they are well on their way to becoming Mr & Mrs on Thursday.  Their story is very sweet and seems to be the catalyst for most eloping couples these days.  See they were scheduled to have a LARGE traditional wedding in July and as the guest list grew and budget exploded they agreed "this is not for us". They called off the wedding and planned to do something a little more private and intimate.  By chance, Gary's brother invites them to join him in PR for a week vacation. And so Sarah came up with a "big idea", she would surprise Gary by proposing on the plane (he had already proposed first so is it really a proposal?) and advises him that she had set everything up with a wedding planner (that's me) for them to elope this week!  Can you believe her courage! Well, thank goodness he said yes (I was so nervous for her) and so there I was at the airport waiting for them and hoping I would get great big smiles as they were approaching... well thank goodness I did!


Not only are Sarah and Gary adorable, they are so funny, sweet and madly in love!  It's so wonderful to see a young couple have it all together, their education (Gary just graduated and Sarah has one more year to go), their careers lined up (social work) and last but certainly most important in life they have found their life partner!  I am so thrilled to be the one assisting them through the process of eloping.  It's a real honor to be a part of such a pivotal moment in their lives.  I wish them all of the love, luck and health life has to offer.  And may their marriage last at least 100 years! 

Felicidades Sarah & Gary... hoy y para siempre! (Congratulations Sarah & Gary... today and forever!) That translation is for you Sarah!

PS: The shot of them was taken while they were having their lab work done. Never have I laughed so much watching a couple get their blood drawn. If laughter is key to a happy marriage, they will certainly last to at least 100! :)

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Hair & Makeup

Eloping is usually a very simple affair.  In attendance, for the most part, are the Bride and Groom, the officiant, a photographer and the wedding planner.  But that does not mean it shouldn't be a beautiful, classy and chic wedding. And that goes for the Bride as well, she should look and feel FABULOUS!  What I am saying is yes, you are very smart for saving lots of money by eloping and not succoming to the traditional 250 guests shabang. But do not skimp on some important things, for example, the Bride's appearance.  You want to look at your wedding pictures and say "Wow, I look beautiful, modern, fresh and put together!".  Spend the extra cash and have your hair and makeup (even a mani and pedi) done.  You not only will look beautiful but you certainly will feel it too.  And why not be pampered a bit on one of the most important days of your life.  It will also make a difference when you look in the mirror right before heading out to see the love of your life. When you see yourself all dolled up, for example, your hair in a gorgeous updo, ringlets of curls, loose bohemian curls or flowers in your hair you will be so happy you had it done professionally.  Your makeup too should look natural and fresh.  And when makeup is applied professionally it will last that way throughout the day.  Another benefit is that when your ceremony is over and your heading out to your special dinner you will still look great.  Brides, it's the least you can do for yourselves on your wedding day!   

Ladies, keep in mind it's your day... spend the extra money to look and feel your best! Believe me you won't regret it and you are certainly WORTH IT!

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Paperwork #1 Priority


Getting married in PR is no big deal as long as you are fluent in Spanish, know how to get around the Puerto Rico fairly easy and have a doctor here who is your "friend" LOL.

But I have to say,  if you don't have your end of the paperwork ready then even the most brilliant wedding planner cannot perform miracles.  

Here is a checklist of everything you need in order to marry in PR... there are NO EXCEPTIONS! (No more than 14 days prior to your wedding date)
  • VDRL (Syphilis) Blood
  • Gonorrhea (urine or the dreaded swab)
  • Chlamydia (urine or the dreaded swab)
  • Two forms of photo ID; driver's license, passport or military ID (make sure they are up to date)
  • If divorced, the Divorce Decree
  • If widowed, the Death Certificate
  • If either partner is under 20; one parent must be present with current ID
OK, if you have all of the that applies to you... I can work my magic and make it happen! :)

Gracias!

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Friday Funny

To All The Moms, Happy Mother's Day!

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Who's footing the Destination Wedding Bill?

Couples often ask me "Who is responsible for this or that?" when they are planning their budget for their destination wedding. For example, "Do the bride and groom pay for everything?" "What about hotel rooms and airfare for their guests?" Here are a few tips to help you sort it all out;  


The Bride and Groom (and/or their parents) are expected to pay for?
  • The wedding reception (whether it's a five-course meal or a pig roast on the beach)
  • A rehearsal dinner
  • A welcome party
  • A morning-after brunch (a friend or a family member may volunteer to host this for you as a gift)
We highly recommend the hosts also cover:
  • Selected activities (a group sailing trip, a tour around town)
  • Transportation to and from the ceremony and reception sites
  • A shuttle to pick up guets at the airport when they arrive
  • Attendant hotel rooms. According to tradition, the bride or her family should cover lodging for the bridesmaids; the groom or his family should do the same for the groomsmen. If these expenses will burst your budget, tell your attendants their presence is their gift to you. (Keep in mind: If hotel room rates are $400 a night, that may be more of a present than they intended to give!)
  • Travel expenses for VIP's with no other means to make it to the wedding (think:elderly relatives or the starving-artist maid of honor)
Guests should expect to pay for:
  • Their plane ticket to and from the destination
  • Their hotel room stay
  • Any meals or beverages that aren't part of the wedding festivities
  • Any nonwedding activities they choose to participate in
Attendants should expect to pay for:
  • Travel to and from the destination
  • Formalwear and accessories
  • Hair and makeup or spa appointments
  • Food and drinks that aren't part of ta wedding event
I hope this is helpful to couples putting together a destination wedding budget. Remember though if something is out of your budget, scale down.  Reexamine your bridal party... do you need 8?  Double check your guest list... does Uncle John's ex-girlfriend and new boyfriend really need to be invited?  Can I make my own bouquet of flowers? etc.  Their are many ways to tighten the wedding budget you just have to be creative.  

Good luck budgeting!

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This is why you should "Elope to Puerto Rico!"

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Most asked question... Where in PR should we get married?


As a wedding planner I'm often asked  "Where is the best site to marry in Puerto Rico?". It's so wonderful to be able to answer "Where isn't!".  The choices are endless!  Puerto Rico is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to destination weddings and the choices are as varied as a 5 star resort to a quiet wedding on a stretch of white sandy beach... and that's where my expertise comes in.  I know the island well, I have made numerous contacts throughout the island.  I have vendors and site options from the northeast coast to the southwest coast and everywhere in between. 


Having all of these choices is truly a blessing for me as a wedding planner but can be a total nightmare for couples figuring out "where, what and when!".  That's where my professional experience comes in.  As a wedding planner I always ask first "What is your dream for your destination wedding?" That is a very important question for me because that is my ultimate goal... to fulfill your dream. I have heard of wedding planners (and they shall remain nameless) that work around what's convenient for them.  What's easiest for them.  What's closest to them. It's a "bam, wham, thank you mam" affair and that is certainly not my style! I feel that I would be a total failure in the wedding planning business if that was my attitude. This wedding experience is all about you and your significant other... it's your day!  And so if the destination site that attracts you the most is on the other side of the island 3 hours away... well that's where I'll go to make your dreams come true.

Contact me... let's get started fulfilling your dream destination wedding. It's just an email or phone call away!  

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Weddings in Vieques


I receive many requests asking for assistance eloping to Vieques. I wish I could fulfill these couples needs. Vieques is a dream destination wedding site. The tiny island is just 7 miles off the eastern tip of PR and is unique in many ways including wild roaming horses, the brightest bioluminescent bays and some of the most amazing beaches. Unfortunately, having a full time wedding planning business on the main island of Puerto Rico and being a wife and mother keeps my calendar completely booked. And arranging weddings in Vieques would certainly be a full time job. Fortunately for you lucky couples, I recently made a friend who is the ultimate "Get Married in Vieques Pro" her name is Sandy Malone.  She lives in Vieques (with her husband Bill and family dog Houdini) and is the Elite Vieques Wedding Planner.  She is smart, savy and extremely organized. She has established relationships with vendors, knows how to expedite your paperwork (that could be a nightmare) and has Weddings in Vieques down to a science.  Believe me, I would not refer a bride and groom to anyone I did not feel would be totally professional and capable in every way. Bottom line is...if you are looking to Elope to Vieques Sandy is the perfect wedding planner for you. 


Take a look at her website and blog and begin your journey into the wedding if your dreams.  By the way, tell Sandy Lisa sent you, it may get you a special deal.  
Good Luck y felicidades! 

(202) 486-7575
(787 )455-6222

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El Morro (The Fort) Elope Package


If you and your partner appreciate history, landmarks and old world charm then El Morro would be the perfect spot to exchange your wedding vows. With a history that dates 500 years, this stone structure truly deserves its place of honor in the National Historic Register. El Morro has a view like no other and has a history and life of it's own. The English and the Dutch attacked the Morro repeatedly in its time. Located on the San Juan Bay, the six-story fort was originally constructed in 1540, although its exterior walls were not erected for another 200 years. Inside the walls is a veritable labyrinth of chambers, barracks, hallways and prison cells. The fort was given a complete facelift in 1992 and is a classic spot for having a landmark wedding ceremony.

If you are looking for a spectacular place to begin your life as husband and wife this is the spot for you. Whether you are eloping with your significant other or having a wedding with 200 guests El Morro is a special, unique and historical site. It overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and you can have your ceremony and reception under a romantic starry sky. It is also perfect for an intimate ceremony and subsequent dinner at one of the fine restaurants located just minutes away in one of the most romantic cities in the world, Old San Juan.

This package can be customized to any budget. Send me an email or call me so that we can begin to plan the most "historical" event of your lives.

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Friday Funny

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Puerto Rico Wedding Planner

I would like to introduce myself and share my experiences as a wedding planner.  My name is Lisa Rodriguez, I am 43 years young, I am the mother of a smart, articulate and gorgeous 11 year old daughter and wife to an amazing husband.  We live in a wonderful unique community in the town of Humacao in a resort area called Palmas del Mar in Puerto Rico.  Since relocating our primary residence to PR from NY, I yearned to continue my love of "event planning" and so PR Wedding Planner was born.  My experience is extensive in the "event planning" industry.  I have planned hundreds of weddings, birthday parties, baby showers and a like in the States and now here in PR.  I have decided to narrow my services and am now specializing in "eloping packages" for couples looking for something, unique, special and memorable.  I have to say that of all the weddings I have planned the most memorable one was my own destination wedding which was magical and perfect.  In researching for my wedding though I realized their is a lack of information and assistance available to couples looking for a different experience in planning the most important day of their lives.


The advantage of acquiring my services here in PR is that I am fluent in Spanish.  I know the island well.  I have extensive relationships with numerous vendors, hotels and out of the way places that most people know nothing about.  I can get all of you paperwork expedited and I have a keen sense in helping couples with decisions and management of orchestrating a perfect destination wedding. 

If you are looking for simple perfection in every aspect of the most special day of your lives... look no further.  I am here awaiting your email or phone call. 

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