Destination Wedding Welcome Bag Ideas from Engage!17

We’ve got more great destination wedding inspiration from our recent trip to the Cayman Islands for the Engage!17: Cayman Islands wedding industry event.  If you missed it, check out our favorite destination wedding ideas from all the parties on the blog yesterday.

One great idea we couldn’t possibly fit into that list is all the swag and destination wedding welcome bag ideas that came from the summit.  Known for theming guest goodies to perfection, Gifts for the Good Life created a monster amount of custom product for each of us to take home.  Well worth the checked bag fees!

If you’re looking to gifts your guests some fun in the sun swag for a beach destination wedding, then look no further than these great ideas from Engage!17: Cayman Islands at the new Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa.

To see other wedding welcome bag ideas from past Engage events, be sure to check out Gifts for the Good Life.


Photos by: Rebecca Davidson Photography, Laura Dee Photography, Love Life Images, John Cain Photography, Paul Morse Photographs, Carla Ten Eyck

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8 of the Best Destination Wedding Ideas from Engage!17: Cayman Islands

Today we’re recapping the recent Engage!17: Cayman Islands wedding industry event on Grand Cayman. The summit is where the best of the best of our field from all over the globe come to dish about weddings and destination weddings and improve our businesses so we can be better for you.

This “hard work” doesn’t come without a few fabulous parties and oodles of great destination wedding ideas.  And we’ve brought back those ideas to share with you today.

So take a look at our top 8 favorite destination wedding ideas from Engage!17: Cayman Islands at the brand new Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa.

Penthouse Parties:

If your hotel has a penthouse or rooftop setting that can be booked for intimate gatherings or for a hotel stay, consider an intimate meet and greet for the maids and men, close families, or even a post-wedding day sendoff. It will give your guests a chance to see the destination from a whole new angle and treat them to something a little extra special on location.

Electric Signs:

Destination wedding or not, electric signs are hot, hot, hot in reception décor. Engage used these creative signs by Name Glo to welcome guests, jazz up the bars, and even say good bye after the festivities were over.

Beer Trucks:

Yep, beer trucks.  Food trucks may still be great, but what about a beer truck for your groom and guests on the wedding day?!  Let loved ones fill up on their favorites and try a local brew or two too!

Surfboard Stands:

If you’re hosting a beach destination wedding, why not repurpose your boards to serve as tabletops, signage and other party décor. We love how the Engage team used these surfboards as a shoe valet station!

Boozy Snow Cones:

When the weather is hot, nothing delights kids and the kid in all of us like an old-fashioned snow cone. For the grown ups in the group, consider spiking them with your favorite liquors and create a fun twist on old faithful. Serve this at your kick-off welcome party and your friends will know what fun is to come!

Signature Desserts:

Infusing the local culture, cuisine and flavor into a destination wedding is a must and dessert is a great way to do it! Kimpton Seafire created a ‘torched sweets’ station and served fresh-made popsicles at one of the Engage events and it was a crowd favorite for sure!

Adventure Activities:

Traveling is all about new experiences and making memories so why not give your guests something to talk about and plan a bucket list experience for all!? In the Cayman Islands, you have the rare chance to swim in the wild with friendly stingrays after an afternoon at sea on a Red Sail Sports catamaran. Your guests will not forget this wedding weekend activity! See what your destination has to offer that’s something a little bit different than the ordinary.

Celebrity Appearances: Because, why not?

The Engage Summits are known for big surprises and this event was no different. For the finale night gala, we were treated with a surprise performance by one of my old favorites, En Vogue! I can say from personal experience as a guest, budget permitting, this is money well spent to dazzle your friends and family and take the party to an entirely new level. Loved ones will be talking about that night for years to come.  And wedding music agency, Elan Artists, can get you groups like this – just as they did for Engage.

And a big thanks to the hosts of this fantastic event, Kathryn Arce and Rebecca Grinnals from Engaging Concepts and the Engage Summits.  Without the two of these amazing women, the wedding and destination wedding industry that we get to work in wouldn’t be what it is today and frankly, weddings around the world would be a little less inventive, creative and well-done.  So thank you to Rebecca and Kath (pictured below) for always showing us what it means to be an innovator in the world of weddings!  …And thanks for a really great time in one of my favorite places, the Cayman Islands too!!

Stay tuned tomorrow for one more favorite destination wedding idea from Engage – this one was too good, it needed its own post!  Don’t miss it.

Photos by: Rebecca Davidson Photography, Laura Dee Photography, Love Life Images, John Cain Photography, Paul Morse Photographs, Carla Ten Eyck

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Colorado Elopement at Telluride Waterfall

Lauren and Josh eloped under a waterfall in beautiful Colorado. The pair weren’t entirely alone on their wedding day, their darling son Guyus, joined them to witness their sweet (and stunning!) nuptials. The couple shared their intimate wedding day with us and a little about how it came to be.

We decided that something so important and special was better shared with those to whom it would mean the most. Not that our families wouldn’t have loved to be there, but since I have some health issues that make it hard to cement long term plans, we usually play things by ear. This day turned out to be no different: We made a few plans, went on a road trip (and got lost a little bit) and had an adventure!

Colorado holds a special place in our hearts. My husband was born here and I grew up outside of Denver. We started our relationship here. We felt like it would be really wonderful to incorporate the natural beauty of a place we both love so much in our special day.

The bride and groom loved having their little one by their side as they tied the knot!

He’s such a character, and he makes everything so fun! It was such a treat to be able to have him share in our familial celebration of love.

       

When we asked the bride about the most memorable moments from the day…

I think my son would definitely say the cake!

For me, it was just so special to be able to share that love we have for each other in such natural splendor, feeling at once both magnificent in the power of our celebration and minute in the setting of the world.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  RebeccaMarie Photography

Wedding Vendors: Cake Designer: azucar bakery, Floral Designer: Bella Calla, Design and Decor: Candlelight Ambiance, Dress Designer: D’Lola Couture, Event Planner: Sweetly Paired, Location: Telluride Waterfall

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Festive Destination Wedding in Las Vegas

Tamara and Karol opted for a festive Las Vegas destination wedding, one where they embraced all the city has to offer couples.  This wasn’t a quickie Vegas wedding however, the lovebirds selected the city for the special meaning it had right from the start of their relationship.  The newlyweds shared their story (and their wedding planning advice) with us!

Las Vegas held a special place in our hearts.  It was our first trip together as a couple, I proposed to Tamara in Vegas on New Years Eve 2014, and we had such great memories from all our trips to Vegas that it was just a natural perfect fit to be married in Vegas.

A favorite moment from the day for the groom?  When Robert our photographer set Tamara and I back to back where we then turned around to see each other for the first time that day.  Seeing Tamara in her dress was an emotional wonderful moment that I will remember forever and Robert captured it for us magically. 

Our photo stop at the Neon Sign Museum was really cool and was a great backdrop to capture some iconic and unique photos with our wedding party.

  

We wanted a fun environment with a great strip view for our guests to enjoy.  The Hard Rock Cafe had this cool vibe and a good location on the strip.  We had a lot of family coming in from overseas and many North American guests were coming to Vegas for the first time so we wanted their first Vegas experience to be memorable.  Our Hard Rock Cafe coordinator Christy was amazing and very detailed oriented and patient.  She connected us with a great décor designer from Naakiti Floral Design that helped create the vision we had for the floor space at the Hard Rock.   

The couple’s destination wedding planning advice, now that they are newlyweds?

Communicate with each other through the process.  A local professional wedding coordinator is a good idea when trying to plan an elaborate wedding.  We coordinated everything ourselves but we now have a whole new respect for what wedding coordinators do. 

You will go over budget no matter how stringent you are.  Be ready to spend more than you planned for.

However, if there is one tip we can give anyone planning a destination wedding is to spend the money on the best photographer and videographer you can.  They will help capture and create memories that will make you smile every time you look at your photos or videos.  Robert Evans and Jeff Berlin were our dream team and we cannot thank them enough for their efforts, patience, and amazing eye to capture these memories on our special day.

To see more of this Las Vegas destination wedding, check out the video highlights here!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Robert Evans Studios

Wedding Vendors: Bride + Wedding Coordinator/Designer: Karol & Tamara Warminiec, Wedding Location, Venue Coordinator, Food + Beverage: Hard Rock Café Las Vegas Strip (Christy Rasmussen), Florist & Décor Designer: Naakiti Floral Design, Officiant: Angie Kelly, Videography: Robert Evans Studios, Cake: The Gourmet Cake Factory, Desserts (cupcake tower and chocolate covered strawberries): Retro Bakery, Wedding Dress: Valencienne Bridal, Hair and Makeup: Perfect Hair And Makeup

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Beautiful Beach Destination Wedding on St. John

Felicia and Drew held their destination wedding on the beautiful island of St. John. So how did the couple come to select an island wedding for their big day? The pair shared their story with us…

Drew was born on an island (albeit Long Island!) and grew up in a Florida beach town. Since my childhood, I have spent nearly all of my vacation time on a beach or near the water. Through the years, most of our vacations together have revolved around water, in one form or another. Drew proposed at the top of a snow covered mountain in Lake Tahoe. So, when it came time to choose a wedding location there was no question that we would somehow incorporate our love of water. We ultimately decided that since we got engaged on a mountain, we should get married on a beach.

We knew that we wanted a U.S. destination. Neither of us had been to the Virgin Islands so we decided to cross two items off our bucket list at once! We researched St. John and after seeing photos of Trunk Bay, it was settled.

Working with Island Style Weddings was amazing! I have a Type A personality so planning a destination wedding at a location we had never seen could have easily pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone! However, Mary put me at ease from day one. On our first call she explained that they focus on one wedding at a time. At that point I knew that hiring them would be the best planning decision I would make. And it was! Mary and her team coordinated every detail from guest accommodations, transportation and pre-wedding activities to hair and makeup, décor and flowers, photography, food and music. They provided a vendor list which was all encompassing, yet not overwhelming. They have personal relationships with their vendors and that makes all the difference in the experience that you have with each of them. Mary even officiated the ceremony for us. The level of personal attention we received throughout the entire process was wonderful! They took every phone call, read every email, listened to our ideas and provided guidance and comfort when needed. When the big day finally arrived, we were able to relax and enjoy it. Thanks to Island Style Weddings, our wedding was everything we ever wanted … and more!

There had been the threat of rain all day but on the drive from our villa to Trunk Bay, in between short showers, we saw a fantastic rainbow. We accepted that as a good sign! Yet, we did have to postpone the ceremony for a few minutes to let a brief rain shower pass. During that time, while Mary coordinated the guests and the groom on the beach, Brenda waited patiently with me under an umbrella at the top of the ramp leading to the sand. Just before I started my walk down the aisle, she helped me arrange my dress and assured me that rain on your wedding day is a sign of blessings to come.

I had chosen to walk down the aisle to the acoustic guitar version of “A Pirate Looks at 40”, one of Drew’s favorite Jimmy Buffett songs, but I had kept it a secret from Drew. It was delightful to see his expression when he recognized the song … and when he first saw me.

While I was barefoot for our beach ceremony, Drew (initially) wore flip flops. About half-way through the ceremony, I noticed that he was shaking off his shoes. Literally. When I asked him about it later, he said the thought had suddenly occurred to him: He was standing on a sandy beach … why was he wearing shoes?

St. John is so beautiful naturally, we did not want the ceremony décor to distract from the existing landscape. Instead, we took a “less is more” approach and chose simple decorations in white and pale tones to accent the sand and the ocean as our backdrop.

What stands out vividly is the laughter. There was so much joy and love and laughter surrounding us throughout the entire day.

We can honestly say that the entire day was perfect! We got married on a beautiful island, surrounded by our closest family and friends. What’s not to love??

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer + Videographer: Andrew and Elisha Wedding Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planner: Island Style Weddings, Wedding Dress: Bel Fiore Bridal, Wedding Invitations: Minted, Hair + Makeup: Cruz Salon, Flowers: Roses Too, Officiant: Mary Bartolucci, Ceremony Venue: Trunk Bay, Ceremony Music: Chris Robbert, Reception Venue: The Terrace, Reception Entertainment: DJ Adonis, Wedding Cake: Queen of Tarts, Accommodations: Villa Mistral, Welcome Party Venue: Joe’s Rum Hut, Beach Day Venue: Maho Bay, Transportation: Chris Taxi and Limo Services, Dress Steaming: Kilroy’s Dry Cleaners

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