What does your dream wedding look like? For many, the setting is an integral part of this picture. Last year, about 25 local couples planned destination weddings through Ambassador Travel. The most popular spots were Mexico, specifically the Riviera Maya, as well as Jamaica. However, as Connie Corbett, president of Ambassador Travel, points out, nearly any destination is possible. She’s heard of underwater weddings in the Bahamas and a wedding overlooking a volcano in Costa Rica, to cite a few of the more exotic choices available to couples. Destination weddings also can be hugely popular with friends and family of the bride and groom because “along with attending the wedding, the guests get to enjoy a vacation,” notes Corbett. Couples who take part in destination weddings often choose to honeymoon in the same location. However, Kelly Wanninger, a personal travel consultant with All About Honeymoons & Destination Weddings in Evansville, says some couples opt to move to a different resort for the honeymoon portion. “They may choose a family-friendly resort for their wedding, but then move to a more romantic, adults-only resort for their honeymoon,” she adds.
To maximize the benefits of using an agent, start planning a destination wedding up to a year in advance and certainly at least six months before the ceremony. Experts like Ambassador “can keep you within your budget and on task,” Corbett says. Ambassador also offers an online feature where wedding guests may contribute to the honeymoon and/or destination wedding fund. This is “easy and convenient both for the gift-giver and certainly the recipient,” she adds. Wanninger adds that patience is key when dealing with international destinations, since communications can be slow. “When traveling, many things will be out of your control, such as flight delays, weather, and other guests at your resort,” she says. “Control what you can, and let the rest go.”
A popular local destination is French Lick (Ind.) Resort. Located just 90 minutes northeast of Evansville, the resort features two hotels, a casino, live evening entertainment at each of the hotels, a number of golf courses, two spas, as well as a number of scenic hiking routes. West Baden Springs Spa, one of the two spas at the resort, has ranked as high as 87th in Conde Nast’s national spa list. Conde Nast also has ranked West Baden Springs Hotel as high as the 15th best mainland resort nationally in recent years. For those looking for a location outside of Evansville but too far away, French Lick Resort represents a perfect balance of the two.
For more information about Ambassador Travel, call 812-479-8687 or visit myambassadortravel.com. For more information about All About Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, call 812-962-3665 or visit its Facebook page. For more information about French Lick Resort, call 888-936-9360 or visit frenchlick.com.