One early morning, still half asleep, I grabbed my phone to check on possible missed text messages. I wasn’t sure if I was seeing things correctly but, there it was in a blue bubble w/ white texts were written words that said: “I’m getting married…..in HAWAII!” My dear cousin was finally getting married to her boyfriend of over 10 years. Under my breath, I mumbled, fantastic! A destination wedding would be my first. There was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have a good time. Although, I stumbled upon the fact that I was clueless in how to prepare for such event. And so, I decided to research.
What made this trip different than any other trips I’ve done was that it was very specific. I had to keep in mind that I would be in Hawaii for a special occasion rather than thinking about being flexible at any moment in time during the course of a trip (especially if it is a short trip).
I started my plan in diving into social media and google first as my go-to inspiration and tips. I have been to Hawaii in the past but, not to this island where the wedding would take place. First, I did a general research about the destination. I looked for budget hotels, types of amenities, island activities, the general feel of the surroundings or its environment, the weather, reviews, to the distance of the event location from hotels. I found a wealth of information online.
Instagram is perfect for getting the feel of the environment. I usually the first search for a hashtag of the destination I’m looking into and select the top hashtags that come up. From there I’ll pick any images that appeal to me and then look through those profiles to see where they’ve been, what sort of activities they’ve done and so forth. 99% of the time they usually have more than 1 image of spots taken in that specific place. Check out some of these inspiring profiles below that I came across from doing a general search.
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On my trip to Hawaii this year, i was lucky enough to go on a lava boat tour. This was an amazing way to see lava pouring directly into the ocean. I would have to say it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. It was a real challenge however to capture a decent photo of this, as it was still dark and being on a moving boat, isn't a great combination for clear photos. But i absolutely loved the experience :):) Anyone making a trip to Hawaii should go check Kalapana Cultural Tours #lava #thebigisland #lavaboattours #kalapanaculturaltours #hawaii #hawaiilandscape #naturalhawaii #thebigislandhawaii #hawaiitag #hawaiilife #hawaiiinstagram #volcanonationalpark #gohawaii #hawaiishoots #gohawaiiau #havealohawilltravel
Finding a dress:
Sigh. It is quite a challenge because I want a dress that is breathable, simple and easy to move around in and not feel sticky (or heavy) in a warm weather environment. I’ve compiled a board on Pinterest to help me focus on an ideal dress for a beach wedding. I’m still searching to this day. In any case, I’ll turn to my backup dress….
The good news about beach destination wedding is that you can pack light. For me, when it comes to beach trips majority of my time I’m in bathing suits. Therefore, the items that would take up the most room is the dress, shoes, sleeping clothes, gear (optional) and toiletries. Everything else you can pretty much buy once you get to your destination; unless you have specific circumstances such as being allergic to certain products then, you would have to pack for those too.
Weddings typically have some sort of registration for guests to buy the bride and groom gifts. Well, in this case, they have none. I suppose when you have a destination wedding it is already a gift in itself to travel and at the same time celebrate it with family and friends on your special day. But what if you’re part of the bride’s family? Do you still provide a present?
This is not a challenge per se but, a fact that when you are part of the bride or groom’s family you are obligated to some degree to show up and hang out. Otherwise, you’ll be the main gossip of the family about being unfriendly until the next juicy gossip comes in. hahahah gotta love the family drama….