Archive of ‘Beach Wedding’ category

Destination Weddings: Tips for creating the perfect event

The Greatest Expectations team loves destination weddings. Destination wedding planning is completely different from local wedding planning and as such, provides completely different challenges to the couple, their guests and the vendors involved. It is a challenge we are always up for.


It is such a pleasure to partner with Linda Mitchell from Luxury Destination Travel to bring you an entire series on the importance of travel during your wedding planning. She will address all different aspects of travel and how it relates to wedding planning. In this post she dives into destination weddings. In future posts she will talk about travel needs for all of your guests and honeymoon planning. Linda is a wealth of knowledge and such a bright and joyful person. Be sure to follow her entire travel series right here on the Greatest Expectations blog.

Destination weddings – the trend grows and so does the importance of your planning team!

Why choose a destination wedding? Traveling to a dreamy location and spending fun filled days and exciting evenings is an incredibly memorable experience. One in every four weddings are now destination weddings! A growing trend has emerged, embracing the elements that surround your special celebration. Weddings are fun, travel is fun, being with loving family and friends is fun…. it is a very exciting way to celebrate your special day!

As you begin to think of the logistics, you may feel overwhelmed – so let’s chat!

Choosing your destination can be like picking your wedding attire with so many amazing choices. When you find the perfect outfit, however, you just “know” it is the one! Choose a destination that fits with you and your fiancé/e’s travel interests and it will be memorable place for you for years to come. Be sure to visit the destination before you make a decision. This is a wise idea even if you have been there before. Looking at it through the destination wedding lens gives way to new perspective.


Work with a wedding planner. Wedding planners, specializing in destination weddings, have expertise in which destinations and venues are the best to work with, providing you with the best experiences/value. Working with a wedding planner that you choose means that everything is being done strictly with you in mind! Don’t let the venue convince you that their on-site planner will meet all of your needs. They are awesome, but their main focus is the venue and catering. They are not there to meet all of your wedding planning needs.

Work with a planner you trust and follow their expertise!


Work with a destination wedding travel planner/agent. Someone who specializes in destination wedding travel knows the destinations, what the hotels will offer, negotiates the best rates and amenities, and can manage flights and activities for you and your guests. Be sure to inquire on the travel agent/planner’s experience. Not all travel agents have a specific niche in planning travel for destination weddings. Work with a destination wedding travel planner and let your guest’s travel be coordinated with perfect precision!


When you consider what works for your budget and who to include in your wedding planning team, consider how relaxed and stress-free the experience will be when you build your team with a planner! It may seem like an expenditure that you can cut when you look at cost, but fast forward to the weekend of your wedding. That amazing planning team will be worth their weight in gold. You won’t have one element to think about except having an amazing time with your loved ones and marrying the love of your life.

Greatest Expectations offers a package that include both the destination wedding planning and travel planning. This package is offered by partnering with experts like Linda to bring clients the best possible team and planning experience. The results are priceless.


Know the climate in the destination. Check the future weather/climate charts to ensure that your destination has weather that you enjoy and would be perfect for you. Sunset times are also a key factor to consider when planning the timing elements. This is particularly important if you are going to have your events outside. Comfort is an important element to consider!

Consider the venue. Do you want something small and intimate or large and all encompassing? There is a “right fit” venue for every couple. Work with your planning and travel experts to find the perfect one for you.

Savor the expertise that will create your dream wedding in ways you may only imagine!

Be swooned by creativity. As your creative team organized by your talented wedding planner works their magic, they creatively capture a vision designed exclusively for you!

Indulge in the services! Put your planning team at the top of your budget list. Not only will they work out everything on your behalf, they will alleviate stress and also negotiate the best values for you across the board.

Enjoy the relationships that your wedding planning team brings to you!

Visualize your destination wedding in a dreamy location, be it a tropical beach, on top of a mountain, or wherever your imagination takes you. We wish you an amazing, fun and magical experience that will have you swimming in the memories for the rest of your lives.


Luxury Destination TravelWith 24+ years in the travel industry, Linda Mitchell is the owner and travel professional of Luxury Destination Travel. A niche boutique travel service specializing in destination wedding travel, romance trips, specialty vacations, groups and family reunions created for clients all over the word traveling anywhere in the world.

Linda combines an exemplary level of service with her expertise and experience to make each traveler’s journey a memorable and special one!
Photo of Linda by: Rebecca Davidson photography

Photos by Julia Franzosa Photography.  To see more images of this stunning wedding, visit Julia’s blog post here.

This wedding was planned with Beth from SQN Events (Beth and Greatest Expectations owner, Heather, have a destination wedding planning partnership).

Venue, Pueblo Bonito Pacifica .


Mexican Fiesta – Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

As we continue to suffer through the cold Chicago winter it is delightful to reminisce on past weddings in luxurious destinations. Today we share a really special wedding with you from Los Barriles, Mexico. Julia and Cosmo are a truly delightful couple that wanted an intimate, romantic beachside wedding with those they love most. This was an extra special wedding for us because these clients are also friends. Julia is a very talented photographer and Cosmo is a world-renowned chef. Can we say power couple?

Destination Wedding Greatest ExpectationsLos Barriles is a sleepy little fishing village about an hour from Cabo.  It is also where Cosmo proposed to Julia after working on a destination wedding we did together. Finding a meaningful spot for a destination wedding truly does make the entire experience that much more amazing.

To set the mood for invited guests, Sarah Drake Designs created the most stunning hand-painted invitations. Opening these little beauties was like getting a special gift in the mail. It was the type of invitation that you immediately hang up because you simply cannot stop looking at it.

Destination Wedding Stationery

Kicking the weekend off was one of the most festive and beautiful rehearsal dinners we have ever seen at Hotel Los Pescadores. There was so much excitement and joy in the decor that guests knew it was celebration time! Many of the guests walked to dinner from private beach houses and hotels clustered together in this sweet little village, continuing the personalized and intimate feel of the weekend.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations


Julia was a stunning bride! Every detail was perfectly attended to and she absolutely glowed. The bouquets were full of the rich, vibrant colors of coral, soft pink and white with a few succulents tucked in to add texture.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations Floral

The wedding party was dressed in fun and flirty outfits: soft, romantic gowns for the bridesmaids and casual, tropical printed shirts for the groomsmen.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Everyone gathered on the beach for the sunset ceremony officiated by a personal friend. There was no shortage of tears and laughter throughout this meaningful custom and personalized ceremony.

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Beach Wedding Ceremony Greatest Expectations

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

Directly following the ceremony, guests headed back to the house where a poolside cocktail party awaited. They were greeted with unique sea shell escort cards, hand written by the bride herself, such sweet little keepsakes for people to take home.

Destination Wedding Greatest Expectations

The reception was adorned with long wooden feasting tables overflowing with beautiful centerpieces from Mazarte Floral, candles, custom glassware and rentals from Intuitive Designs and Let it Be Events and, as the sun went down, beautifully strung twinkle lights. There is nothing quiet like dancing and dining under the stars.

Beach Wedding Greatest Expectations

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While all of these other, wonderful things were taking place, Cosmo’s dear friends and fellow chefs (who came in from all over the United States) were busy preparing a wedding feast like nothing any of us had ever experienced before. Upon arriving to Los Barriles, these guys spent days deep sea fishing to catch what would become the wedding meal. The day before the wedding, they went to the local market and purchased the freshest and most delicious items to put the finishing touches on this farm-to-table delight.

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Capping the evening off were homemade cookies (Julia’s grandmother’s recipe, no less) and a speciality bourbon bar coordinated by Julia as a surprise for her new husband. It was quite a feat getting all of these rare and expensive bottles from Chicago to Mexico!

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Bourbon Bar Greatest Expectations Destination Bourbon Bar Greatest Expectations Destination

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It was such a joy to be part of this very happy occasion as a planner and a guest!

Kina Wicks Greatest Expectations Destination WeddingWhile there was no shortage of beautiful photographs from a room full of talented photographers, the images shown here are from Kina Wicks — the official photographer for this wedding.  The only exception is the rehearsal dinner shot which was from our owner, Heather Vickery.