Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Caleb Oquendo
Groom's Guide To A Destination Wedding: The Thought Process
As soon as the destination wedding planning began, I defined the role I wanted in the decision-making process. However, my approach was a bit chauvinist. I wanted to contribute financially, and then, show up in my suit and red-bottom shoes that show my ankles on the wedding day. However, as soon as I saw my soon-to-be-wife’s frustrations, I had to change my thought process for the better of our relationship. It was not an easy road to go down, but I had to try for our relationship.
Before getting started, there is one thing that I want to make clear. I cannot speak for the men of the world. This is an examination of my own thoughts and experiences, and I hope that they can help you navigate your destination wedding planning.
A Prequel For Our Different Thought Processes
By 8-years-old, my fiancé and her sister were dreaming about their weddings. My fiancé knew that she wanted all her family and closest friends in attendance.
She comes from a home where her parents have been together for over 40 years. Growing up in a household that had that type of love on display set the bar for what she wanted in her own personal love life. To me, her family is very aspirational. I am honored to have been accepted into their family.
As for myself, I never thought about marriage as a boy. The thought never even crossed my mind. While I witnessed genuine love between my parents, their divorce was not pretty, and it deeply affected me as a preteen. When I was in my twenties, I entered into my first marriage.
The two of us were married in a courthouse in the Bronx, New York. Before getting married, I never lived alone or loved anyone long enough to understand all of the intricacies of marriage. This marriage not only gifted me the lessons that I needed to navigate another marriage, but also my beautiful son.
While I was open to another marriage, I never imagined what the wedding would be like if I were to do it again. It is something that was not in my DNA.
Destination Wedding Planning: “I Have More Important Things To Do”
To be completely transparent, I am fully focused on my new writing career. I was putting pressure on myself on myself to be successful. My writing career consumes a lot of my attention. My fiancé was gracious enough to understand how much time I wanted to give to writing, and she took on the wedding planning task.
We also were balancing pending projects between our real estate and freelance gigs, which I felt should’ve been prioritized. To me, the wedding was just one big party in another country. I didn’t dig deep under the surface to understand all of the moving parts. As I was working, she would chime in from time to time and keep me updated. I came to realize that my approach wasn’t winning points with my fiancé.
There were unspoken frustrations bottled up between us, and we eventually exploded. In her eyes, I didn’t care about the wedding; therefore, I didn’t care about the marriage. However, to me, I believed it was more important to prioritize our finances during the day and tackle the wedding planning during the evenings. At one point, I remember asking what was the purpose of a wedding planner, if she was still dedicating about five hours per day for a wedding that was a year in advance.
As I look back at those moments, I realize that destination weddings take a lot more planning than I thought. There are a lot of decisions that go into having the day run smoothly.
The Moment of Clarity
One day while on a break from writing, I happened to overhear some of the numbers being spent on the venue and vendors. My fiancé set up shop in the kitchen, so I could be on our office floor without interruptions. When I glanced over to her laptop, I saw a full spreadsheet with the vendors’ numbers and names.
I asked her what she’s been up to with the wedding project, and that eye-opening conversation helped me come to the realization that planning a destination wedding was similar to running a Fortune 500 company. Without being able to speak Spanish, my fiancé was communicating with vendors and reviewing contracts in another language. She even learned the words that would appear on the vendor quotes.
A destination wedding is an all-hands-on-deck project. From selecting a venue and choosing vendors to deciding the ambiance you want to provide your guests, a groom is extremely vital to the planning process.
Bride and Groom Co-planning the Destination Wedding
If you decide to be a little hands-off with the wedding and let your fiancé take the reigns, make sure that you are present for every major component. It’s also important to discuss who has the better negotiating skills. That is important when approaching vendors and for meetings with your wedding planners.
I can’t stress enough how planning ahead is vital to the success of your destination wedding. I also recommend having multiple date ideas for your wedding. The toughest task is getting the venue you want and the caterers you need for the most important day of your love life. With popular destinations, you risk losing out on the better vendors if you don’t plan at least a year in advance.
Destination Wedding Planning is Not Over Yet
Shopping for the right vendors is a daunting task, so imagine how my fiancé and I felt when our wedding planner quit two weeks before we were scheduled to visit the destination. To say that it was a wild ride would be an understatement. Stay tuned for the next installment of the groom’s guide to destination weddings.