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In Dance/ Save The Date/ Wedding Trends

The Flash Mob, a New Trend For 2018 Weddings

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The 2018 wedding season is open and we are starting collecting information on the new wedding trends! I noticed that the flash mob culture has extremely increased last year and bride, groom and their guests are starting to work on wedding flash mob all over the world. Yes, I used the word “work”, considering that this is something you need to prepare and rehearse several time before the wedding day. As wedding planner, I know that usually weddings are all about timing, there is a very specific schedule that must be followed in details. So I understand that introducing a flash mob would be unconventional for most of you. But this is not impossible, of course what you can do is calculating the timing, and preparing it very well before the wedding day.


credits: Primetime

It could be a bride organizing a flash mob to surprise his husband, or the other way around, or the family and friends who want to surprise the newlyweds. Generally there are bride and father of the bride flash mob, bride and bridesmaids or groom and bestmen flashmobs, etc. Sometimes also bride and groom want to do something different for their first dance and ask some enthusiastic guests to join them for a flash mob. What I know is that everything needs to be perfect! Putting together a wedding flash mob requires patience, time spending on preparation, at least a couple of months, and some athletic skills as well. The result would be a spectacular and unforgettable moment for you and your guests!

Here some tips I can give you on planning the perfect wedding flash mob:

– First of all you need to do an inspection to check your wedding reception venue. It is essential that you see the spaces, if the reception area is too small, check if there is a garden area outside. At some point of the celebration you can ask people to go out to see firework for instance, but once outside they will enjoy another kind of show for sure! 😀

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– You need to choose the song. It is very important to choose a captivating melody! It could be a hit or a song that has a special meaning for you both. But nothing too romantic or too sophisticated, people must recognize immediately the song and most importantly have fun!

– Be committed to practice the choreography for at least a couple of months! You can starting by reviewing video tutorials and learn the steps, this is something all the people involved should do before practising all together. You can also produce your own instructional video, so that people can start the work at home autonomously! A flash mob is all about coordination, musicality, sync and precision, so practising it is often the key to succeed.

– Be sure that all the people involved keep the secret! A flash mob is obviously most spectacular with the surprise factor; that way you can see people chatting at the bar and after 30 seconds running on the dancefloor to join the choreography. Perhaps you can use a secret word that once pronounced loudly can “unleash hell”! 🙂

credits: Michael Justin Studios

– If you have hired a videographer, let him know about the flash mob, the time and ask him to keep the secret! This way he can be in the area and film everything.

– Most importantly, choose the right people for your flash mob and do not force your guests into it if they do not feel comfortable taking part in it. People need to be enthusiastic about the experience and have fun. Remember that if you are enthusiastic and happy while dancing, people around you will be too.

Finally, just try to have fun, learn some new dancing skills and deliver the best performance of your life! Be sure that your guests will be amazed and fully entertained on your special day. They will cherish everlasting memories of your wedding celebration now and forever!

In peruvian style/ Save The Date

All You Need to Know on Andean Ceremony

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Peru, especially Cusco and the Sacred Valley region, is famous for the spiritual side of its natural elements, such as the mother hearth, the water and the wind, and for the very special cosmogony of the Incas. Indigenous people from the Andes have kept alive the ancient Inca spiritual traditions, and while traveling there you can feel this mystic atmosphere in the air. I am sure you have heard about the “Pachamama”, which is the mother heart for the indigenous people from the Andes. She represents the female side of the divine and she is considered the fertility goddess who nourishes plants, harvests and natural elements in general. On the other end we can find the Apus, the male side of the divine word for Incas. The Apus represents the mountain spirits that protect people against any kind of enemy. This is the Andean duality of the Inca cosmogony, which is fascinating and based on few basic principles: respect for nature, importance of the divine and holiness of natural elements: water, land, fire and wind.

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The all idea of the Andean wedding is to unify bride and groom with the “Pachamama” or in case of vows renewal to reaffirm your marriage before the Andean goddess. The union has been performed before the Andean goddess so it is impossible that a human being can dissolve it. I wrote more on the issue here a couple of months ago:

andean ceremony in cusco

If you are looking to get married with a very special ceremony, that you and your guests will remember forever, an Andean ceremony is the choice you should made. When couples look for something spectacular, I always suggest them to consider this spiritual ceremony, since this is a special occasion to live an extraordinary experience with their loved ones and to confirm their love before Incas gods.

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The officiant is a shaman who will guide you through this special path until the end of the ceremony. The shaman is an extremely important element of the ceremony and it is essential that bride and groom create a special connection with him. The day before the ceremony you need to meet the shaman and go to the local market to buy several elements and tools that you will need for the wedding ceremony. Usually a pair of sandal for the groom, a scarf, traditional clothes and accessories, coca leaves, flowers and some food to offer to the gods, basically seeds, beans and candies. Once you buy all this, you are set to get married before Incas goddess.

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As for the settings, we usually suggest you to opt for a charming and characteristic venue in Cusco or the Sacred Valley, rounded by the Andean mountains that will add special spiritual vibrations to your ceremony or Incas ruins. So be careful when choosing the venue, it has to be as charming and fabulous as the ceremony itself.

Other important element is the music! What I usually suggest to couples is to have a little group of musicians playing traditional Andean instruments such as the “Quena”, that is a notched-end flute, the “antara” or panflute, which is the most recognized and popular Peruvian music instrument worldwide, the “pomatinyas”, which are little drums covered by animal skin, among others.

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After the ceremony you can have a little reception with your guests and enjoy the experience you have just lived. I can ensure that your guests will be amazed and very impressed by the ceremony. Usually couples who opt for an Andean ceremony want intimate and private weddings, and sometimes they just want to elope without any guests, and live that moment in complete privacy.

There is so much we can say to describe the beauty and the magnificence of this special ceremony, many words can be uses, but I believe that the only way to understand completely what I am talking about is to live it.

In Destination weddings/ peruvian style/ Save The Date

Wedding Inspiration in The Sacred Valley

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of organizing a very special wedding celebration in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Bride and groom had a rustic wedding in mind since the very beginning of the planning process and I had so much fun putting together all the pieces of this amazing rustic-style event.

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Choosing the venue wasn’t so easy since there are soooooo many wedding venue options in that area that could fit their expectations, and all of them are “rustic-style oriented”. I come up with this expression myself now! hihihihi 😀

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The venue chosen is conveniently located in the heart of the Valley, has a colonial architectural structure, a beautiful courtyard, a charming chapel and the stunning Andean mountains on the background. The first thought I had was: they will manage to have amazing pictures here, therefore everlasting memories of this special moment!

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Also after selecting the perfect venue for them (actually also for me) we started looking into all the specific details related to decorations, furnitures, bride’s bouquet, wedding cake, music, etc. All the details you should consider in the wedding planning process. The decorations were mainly in wood, the centerpieces were amazing with foliage, white Hydrangeas, mini Chinese roses in a glass vase wrapped with twine on a wood base and white candles in little glass vases.

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Bride and groom loved the idea of signs, so they decided to use them to point the reception area for the guest. As decorative elements we also used little slates for the bar and the welcome guests table. The tent they choose was white with rustic details in the inside mainly made of raffia and beautiful fairy lights hanging from the roof. As decoration we used an old bike and old wooden furniture. The result was an amazing atmosphere, soft and cozy lighting and elegant decorations.

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The bride’s bouquet was lovely! The bride opted for an airy bouquet with greenery, foliage, white roses of different sizes, all perfectly assembled.

The cake was a 2-tier almond cake filled with milk chocolate cream and covered by buttercream…absolutely delicious! Also the cake was in rustic style with twigs in chocolate and topped with some greenery.

traditional Peruvian wedding

As in any traditional Peruvian wedding there was also a special time dedicated to the famous “Hora loca”. The couple chose a traditional Peruvian theme, with character from Peruvian traditions, such as the Guinea Pig, two typical Andean characters called “maqtas” and a stilt walker.

great memories

Overall I really enjoyed the planning process for this wedding, looking into all the details, the decorations, the lighting, the old furniture. And the best part is that everything run smoothly that day! Bride, groom and all the guests really enjoyed their time in Peru and I am sure they went back home with some great memories and a desire of coming back to Peru soon.

 

 

In Destination weddings/ Guests/ peruvian style/ Save The Date/ Venues

Assigned Seating vs. Open Seating

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One of the questions that bride and groom always asked me after they found the perfect venue for their wedding and after they prepared the wedding guests list is: should I opt for an assigned seating or for an open one? Actually my answer is not always the same, it certainly depends on the kind of wedding you are planning, and the answer changes depending on if you are hosting a very intimate, private wedding rather than a big wedding with more than 150 – 200 guests. I usually present couples the pros and cons of having an assigned seating and the pros and cons of having an open seating arrangement before they make their decision. In this article I want to share them with you as well:

 

ASSIGNED SEATING PROS:

  • It is more formal than the open seating arrangement.
  • It is very useful for big weddings, since you know exactly where people will be seated and you can easily reach them.
  • It is more organized and your guests will know exactly where to go.
  • For wedding planner is easier to keep track of your guests, especially in case of big wedding. 😀
  • People will be seated on a table for a specific reason. For example people of the same family, a group of friends, people of the same age, so people will feel more comfortable this way for the entire reception, since they will have things in common to talk about and they will have fun!
  • If you are doing seated dinner and some of your guests have food allergy, are vegan, or do not eat a specific food and have selected a specific menu option with assigned seating will be easy for the waiter to know where those guests are seated.

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ASSIGNED SEATING CONS:

  • It could be a real headache for the bride and groom to make their seating chart, sometimes they can also argue about it! It happened, I swear!!!
  • For many people it is a waste of time, since they believe that guests will end up seating where they want or asking to change their seat and go to another table for example, if they do not want to keep the assigned seat.
  • Some guests will not like where they are seated and they will be uncomfortable for all the celebration. They will have for sure a bad memory of your wedding.
  • Some guest will find out that his/her seat is already taken, since some other guest took the freedom to change his/hers arbitrarily. This can create awkwardness.
  • You cannot have extra table.

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OPEN SEATING PROS:

  • It perfectly works for informal and small weddings.
  • It takes no time to put together, and it is very easy for bride and groom since they do not to sit on a table and start matching people.
  • Your guests will not complain, since they will freely choose where to seat for all the reception duration.
  • It allows people to communicate and socialize more, creating a more familiar atmosphere for your guests.
  • You can have extra table, in case some of your guests come with an unexpected date this can be very useful.

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OPEN SEATING CONS:

  • It can be chaotic because your guests will not know where to go once they get into the reception area.
  • People will walk around asking other: “Is this seat taken?”, “Can I seat here?”
  • For people arriving late could be complicated, since they have to seat in the available seats and if they are a couple or a group of people sometimes they have to split apart.

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The decision of choosing between assigned seating and open seating arrangement is actually extremely personal because you guys are the ones who better know your wedding guests, what they would prefer, if they are social people or not, etc. It also depends on the kind of wedding you are organizing. For instance if you are planning a destination wedding having an arranged seating is very useful since you will avoid that people who does not speak the same language ended up seating next to each other. If you are having a small and intimate wedding the open seating is perfect, because people will naturally form into groups and they will take their seat at the tables available.

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Also lately it is also very common to use a mixed format of open seating and assigned seating. So you can use open seating for group of people that will seat together in any case, such as your college buddies, your group of friends, and you can use an assigned seating arrangement for direct family.

In Elopement/ Save The Date/ Venues/ vow renewal/ Wedding Trends

Thinking about eloping in Peru? Here everything you need to know!

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When you look into the dictionary for the word “to elope” the meaning is to run away and to not come back to the point of origin. We usually use this word to refer to run off to be married with your lover usually in an intimate and private ceremony without parents and direct family. The definition of elopement has changed during the years and it has lost day by day its negative connotation, since it was usually used for weddings where lovers got married without parental or societal consent. However today the meaning has changed, as I said, and elopement is a very special way to affirm your love and it is becoming a common practice.

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While some couple love organizing big weddings, there are other couples who do not enjoy this and they prefer a more intimate and private event. Being abroad and visit a new country is always exciting and combining a trip with a marriage is even more exciting! So, why do not run away and elope in Peru?

I have organized many elopements in Peru since I started working in the industry. Favorite spots for elopement are Cusco and the coast, especially in the northern region. Due to the magic of the place and the spiritual atmosphere you can find the old capital city of the Inca Empire is one of the best places to elope in Peru. Also Tumbes or Mancora are beautiful spots for beach elopements, which you can do during your romantic escape in one of the beautiful beaches placed in the north of Peru. I personally love the idea of two lovers going in a beautiful and stunning setting to confirm their love in a very special way. Choosing to elope actually means that you do care about your marriage and that the only important person you want to share that moment with is your lover.3-28

What to consider for your elopement? First of all you have to choose a memorable and charming venue, there will be the two of you or perhaps a friend or few family members and the venue must be awesome! I would say that it is one of the main actors of the event, a part from you and your significant one. Elopement is all about lovers, atmosphere and venue, since you will not have guests and big decorations.

For a perfect elopement you also have to choose the right photographer since he has to capture the atmosphere of your special ceremony. It is necessary to have visual prove of your wedding since there will not be guests and you may want to tell others about your wedding. So a visual memory of your elopement is highly needed!

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A big pro of an elopement is that is stress-free. There is no need to plan everything in advance, there is no need to decide on seating arrangement, there is no need to consider your guests food allergies, there is no need of waiting for RSVP, there is no need to plan how your bridesmaids will be dressed…and believe me all these details are crucial for a successful wedding event. This is a big pro of opting for an elopement rather than a proper wedding.

Another pro is that you can make it fast, that means that organizing an elopement is obviously faster that organizing a real wedding with ceremony and reception and all the details related to them, so you do not need to start planning it one year and half in advance, just take your time to see what you really want and need to make your elopement special! Remember that elopement is all about you, your partner and the venue! These are the three elements!

To the other end a big con of an elopement is that your family and friends will be mad at you both guys because you did not say a word on this and you did not share such an important moment with them. If you choose to keep it as a secret, sometimes couples opt to share this idea with family and sometime there are few friends and family members who do not mindto travel with them. But in case you keep it totally secret, do no panic, just be prepared to strong reactions, do not take them personally and do not feel the need to justify yourself. To elope is your choice, and you can always organize a vowels renewal or a reception for direct family and friends after you got married. Having a post-elopement party is quite common nowadays
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In Beach wedding/ Destination weddings/ entertainment/ Guests/ Save The Date/ Venues/ Wedding Trends

Can I have a beach wedding in Peru?

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When it comes to destination weddings we generally think about weddings in exotic destinations, beachfront weddings with beautiful landscapes, lot of sunshine, stunning sunsets and the smell of the ocean breeze everywhere. This is what comes to my mind…So, one of the questions I often receive from couples is: “is it possible to have a beach wedding in Peru?”

Of course it is!!! Peru is known as a country with a huge variety of landscapes and climate areas. We have three main regions: mountains, forest and coast. Peru has a charming biodiversity and this makes it one of the best touristic destinations in the world! That is why we are able to offer to couples interested in a destination wedding a wide variety of options for their wedding ceremony and reception! So if you are planning to have an exotic beach front wedding ceremony with all the elements we saw before (beautiful landscapes, lot of sunshine, stunning sunsets and the smell of the ocean breeze) you should definitely include Peru in your list!

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I will try to do my best to include the best options here, but I am sure this list will not be a closed one; there will be always a new beautiful destination to discover…that is actually the best part of my work! I am very open to new challenges and I love discovering new venues around the country!

The first destination on my list is Paracas, it is located near Lima, in the Ica region, and it offers beautiful beaches, sun and an amazing fauna. Here you have plenty of choices Bodas Paracas_R3A0534 (2)of venues located in front of the beach, the main hotel chains have their resorts there and the area is pretty quiet and peaceful. So you and your guests will enjoy sun, ocean breeze and you will totally relax under the sun. I do not know if the wife and husband to be will actually manage to relax, we all know that if you are getting married you are all but relax! However, I swear that your guests will have a great time there! There are so many activities and tours they can be engaged in, or they can simply lie on the beach with a great Pisco-based cocktail in a hand and a tasty and fresh “ceviche” in the other! You do not know what Pisco and ceviche are? Oh God you are missing two of life’s pleasures…check it out here and here!

Another destination you might consider is Mancora, located up north in the Piura region. This is place for beautiful and wild beaches, sunshine and stunning sunsets. Same as Paracas, you have extensive venue choices for beach-front weddings and you will definitely have lot of fun. And while you are walking down the aisle barefooted, you will be trapped by the wonderful sunset on the Pacific Ocean. If you have guests who love surfing, or if you love it yourself, this is the spot to choose. Mancora is one of the best destinations in the country for surf spots.Casa Leguia - 4

As you know Lima is the only Latin America’s capital city overlooking the Pacific Ocean, so why do not opt for Lima! There are also here different options you can consider, especially luxury private beach houses in the south area of the capital city. They are mainly located few kilometers far away from Lima. These houses are amazing venues, where you and your guests will have a private and intimate wedding ceremony and you will party until dawn to celebrate your special day! I can ensure you that this is a great option, especially if you have Peruvian guests living in Lima who are not eager to travel elsewhere.

As I said above, these are only few options, but there are many more to discover. Let’s say that Peru is an amazing country and it always gives surprise!

In entertainment/ Guests/ Save The Date/ Venues

Entertain your guests, a key tip for a successful destination wedding week!

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If you are planning a destination wedding you should be aware that your guests will have to travel somewhere in the world and they are probably planning to stay in the country a week or so. Sometime the trip is a long one and they can also wish to stay more than 10 days abroad. So it is worthy to schedule activities for them and give them suggestions on things to do! I have extensive experience on organizing destination weddings in Peru and my job is also giving advices to the new couples on which activities they can organize for their guests once they arrive here.

So guys, this is a little piece of advice for you: do not be unprepared and put together a real program for your wedding guests with specific activities and options they can choose from for the days before or after your wedding celebration. Usually a week program works best.

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Paragliding in Lima, Miraflores

As for Peru, main attractions of the country for people coming here for the first time or people coming here in holiday’s mood are the following: archeological sites, food and adventurous activities. That is why I always suggest organizing cooking classes, special dining experience in Peru’s most famous restaurants, Pisco tasting (for those of you who do not know what Pisco is, just follow the link and you will find out), Pisco cocktail classes, paragliding, bike tours, Sand Boarding Tour, city tours, and last but not least a trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu!

Peru has been considered the best culinary destination of South America recently at the Travel Awards 2016 and the culinary boom that the country has lived is actually unquestionable. So why don’t engage your guests in a hands-on cooking class where they can learn the basic of Peruvian traditional cuisine? They can learn how to cook a delicious ceviche, a “causa limeña” or a juicy “lomo saltado”. From my experience this activity is pretty fun for people and it is a way to socialize, there will always be some guests that do not know each other, especially for big wedding, and this is a great way to break the ice and have fun all together. Of course after the cooking give your guests time to taste their own creation and enjoy a pleasant supper!

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Pisco-based Drink

Another option is also focused on gastronomy: organize a special dining experience for them. You can offer them a rehearsal lunch or dinner in a famous restaurant, or you can organize a nice brunch with a beautiful view of the ocean or an outdoor picnic in the middle of the Sacred Valley of the Incas or in the charming Lima’s Malecon! It is really up to you, there are plenty of culinary options in a country such as Peru.

Do your guests want to have fun and want to learn more about the country’s lifestyle? A Pisco tasting activity in a cool and trendy venue is a must to include in your wedding week! People will have the opportunity to taste different Pisco-based cocktails and to chat to each other and hav lots of fun! I highly recommend this activity especially if you have young guests who love drinking, chatting and having fun. Another option is to organize a Pisco cocktails class, so that your guests will learn how to prepare the basic Pisco drinks, such as Pisco Sour and Chilcano.

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Rafting in the Urubamba River, Sacred Valley

As for adventurous activities we can suggest to do paragliding if you are getting married in Lima and your guests are planning to stay in the capital city a couple of day! This is a great experience for people who love altitude and risk and they will be able to see the city from another perspective! Usually the activity is held in the early afternoon, but it depends from the wind and it is unpredictable, which could definitely be an issue if you do not have a backup plan.

Sand-boarding is also another option if your guests love adventure. For this specific activity you will have to travel to Paracas, a desert area where there are a series of dunes perfect for Sandboarding. You will go up and down the dunes pirouetting, feeling the excitement and adrenaline that the activity offers, and enjoying the stunning landscape. That’s a lot of fun!

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Huacachina, Ica Region

Last but not least, the best option is to plan a “chaperoned honeymoon” to Cusco and Machu Picchu, since these are the most important spots to visit in the country and the majority of your guests will be interested in visiting them. In this case what you have to do is organize a real group trip, and taking care of flights (you need to flight from Lima to Cusco), trains to Machu Picchu, guided tour (once you are there it is extremely worthy to have a knowledgeable guide), transportations, meals, hotels! I know…it is a lot to take care of, but believe me that this is a once in a lifetime experience and very special for you since you will be rounded by your friends and family.

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Machu Picchu

There are plenty of other options I can suggest for your destination wedding week in Peru, just leave me a comment and I will be happy to help you! Peru is waiting for you guys!

In Decorations/ Guests/ Invitations/ Save The Date/ Wedding Trends

The importance of sending your Save The Date on time!

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One of the most common questions I receive when a couple starts planning a wedding is: “Is Save The Date necessary?”. Usually couples start thinking about their Save The Date in the first phase of the wedding planning process, since they have to fix the date of the event and start deciding  about the number of guests they want to invite.Save the date 1

My answer is always the same: having a Save The Date is mandatory, especially if you are thinking about having a destination wedding somewhere in the world. People need to know when you are getti
ng married in advance, so that they can start planning their travel arrangements on time. The aim of this article is to give you some highlights on why the Save The Date is soooooooooo important for a destination wedding! So let’s start!

First of all bride and groom start entering into the “wedding mood” when they see the official version of their Save the Date. In few words, they realize that their special day is coming for real and they need to start getting ready for it!

Also, you and your guests need to start planning the trip abroad, and believe me that planning trips for 80-100 people at the same time is not an easy business. This really depends on which kind of guests you have, you can have guests who are expert travelers and they usually can do their own travel arrangements, but you can also have guests who need suggestions, advices or customized travel packages. From my experience also the expert travelers need some travel tips when traveling abroad in countries such as Peru. So, sending a Save The Date you will be sure that your guests will have your wedding date circled on their calendar, which is your main goal!

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An relevant third point is that your guests will start asking questions on planes, hotel rooms, information on the foreign country, what to do, where to eat and so on. They can feel lost and their reaction will be asking you thousands of questions on the country you are getting married. So do not worry, to avoid replying to each one of your guests you can include a detailed itinerary with suggested activities and tours directly in the Save The Date. I generally use a two-page Save the Date, the first page is the cover page with photos of the couple and the day they are getting married and for the second page I usually send a detailed travel package for their guests. This way they have a travel option ready for them and they feel relieved. In countries such as peru, there are some mondatory things to do: visiting Cusco, exploring Machu Picchu, dining at the best restaurant in the country! So this is what I generally include, but I always customized based on the couple interests and requirements!

Sending a Save The Date will also give you the simplest way to do your initial head-count, since your guests will start sending their confirmation. This is essential from my experience, because it is totally different to organize an event for 80 people from organizing one for 180 people. And believe me the difference it is not only in costs and service prices, there are many other variables to be considered!

The Save The Date’s importance also resides in the design you opt for. This will give you to your guests the first impression of the kind of wedding celebration you are organizing. So think twice before choosing a specific style, a specific color palette and decoration details. It is extremely important that you visualize your wedding and the atmosphere you want to create for your guests. It is very important that your Save the Date matches your wedding theme, colors and style!
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I would also suggest that you do not need to send printed Save The date to all of your guests, but since we are in 2016 you can just send an electronic format of the Save The Date by e-mail, this is a fast, easy and not expensive way to let people know that you are going to tie the knot soon. You can also select the people that do not have familiarity with e-mails and technology stuff and send them a printed version of the Save The Date by mail. This will be easier to handle, since you have to mail only few envelopes.

Finally, as for when to send the Save The Date, I can suggest that for destination wedding the sooner the better. I usually suggest bride and groom to send it at least 12 months before the wedding, so that people who will be attending, have enough time to do their travel arrangements and to take holidays from work (if necessary). You can wait until 10 months before, but as I told you the sooner the better! Your guests will be grateful!