We have all probably thought about it once or twice: packing up, flying to the sunniest beach we can find, and getting married with sand between our toes. So what stops us?
Being that most of our brides are in Indiana, it isn’t often that we see a bride who is going to be wearing her dress by the ocean. This is why we were ecstatic when Madeline Hunter, who found her dress with us, shared some stunning wedding photos and answered all of our questions regarding having a destination wedding!
If you’re tossing around the idea of a destination wedding, keep reading for inspiration and information!
Bride: Madeline Beyer Groom: Isaac Hunter
Wedding Date: 7/25/2019
Destination: Destin, Florida
Madeline and Isaac have known each other since they were just 3 years old, and their families have been close friends for just as long. Although they attended high school together, they didn’t begin dating until they were in college. Isaac got accepted into medical school their senior year, popped the question, and they started planning their dream wedding together!
Madeline shared that she always had her heart set on a beach wedding, and both she and Isaac had great memories of family vacations to the beach, so the decision to travel to Florida was quick and easy. She also added that Destin, Florida has breathtaking turquoise water and white, sandy beaches – making it the perfect location for a wedding!
So how do you go about planning a wedding that is states away?
Madeline shared a lot of helpful details about their planning process. They began researching venues 8 months in advance, and found “Island Sands Beach Weddings” – which made their planning extremely smooth.
Through Island Sands, they were set up with a wedding coordinator that took care of all the important details. Options for ceremony set up, decor, flowers, hair-and make up, dinner and drinks, and more were presented to them with her help.
“Having a wedding coordinator made the entire process of planning a destination wedding totally manageable. We couldn’t have done it without our wedding coordinator!”
Madeline also shared that she kept things simple by putting together their own floral arrangements before making the trip, and having friends and family help with hair and make-up.
Another resource that Madeline found helpful was “Zola”, which allows brides to create their own free wedding website featuring gift registries, lodging options for the wedding, and even things to do while in the area! If your guests are traveling, this is a great option to help them make the most of their vacation!
The website also features options for wedding invites, RSVP’S, and thank-you cards.
Something we really loved hearing about Madeline and Isaac’s destination wedding was their goal of making it “feel like one big family vacation”. What a great way to treat your guests and yourself during a time that’s all about love and being united!
“Together our families rented a beach house and spent the week having fun instead of stressing about the wedding!”
To both of their surprise, they had 80 guests join them on their wedding date! Couples who are thinking about a destination, you may be shocked by the number of people willing to travel for you!
Madeline emphasized the significance of a few things that made a difference in their wedding. Future brides, you may want to consider these points:
1. The Photographer. Taking your own photographer will keep your engagement and wedding photos consistent, as well as photos for any future life events. When you travel for a wedding, there will likely be a few people who have to celebrate your joy through photos rather than being present. With any wedding, the photographer is important, but knowing the photographer before-hand and trusting the quality of their work can be very beneficial and relieve stress. These memories are priceless, so splurging on a good photographer to capture them is absolutely worth it.
2. The Minister. If your heart is set on a specific minister, likely one you’ve known for a long time, you may want to check in with them early to be sure they can make the trip! Madeline and Isaac are happy they were able to have theirs by their side.
3. The fun. You’re going somewhere beautiful, getting married, surrounded by loved ones. Weddings can be stressful, but don’t forget to look around and enjoy the scenery! More specifically, Madeline recommended being at your destination the week before the wedding if you can to really spend time soaking up the sunshine and being with your favorite people. “We didn’t have to worry about trying to visit with tons of guests in just a few hours and made some fantastic memories that we’ll cherish forever.”
After celebrating the words “I do”, they enjoyed another unique experience with family and friends.
”After our reception, we had a bonfire on the beach and even made s’mores! It was the perfect ending to a great week with family and a fun way for everyone to send us off as a married couple!”
When we asked Madeline if she would encourage other brides to have a destination wedding, her response was “I would absolutely recommend considering a destination wedding!”
It’s been a little over a year since their wedding, and all of us ladies at Jessica’s On Main would like to congratulate Mr. & Mrs. Hunter on their first year of marriage! We wish you all the best in the years to come!
Thank you for sharing your story and insight with us!