As many of you may already know, I just returned from a wedding in Riviera Maya, but what I didn’t tell you is I actually planned the event for some of my very old college friends, Kelly and Tony. (That’s them above…cute, right?). This was my first experience planning a wedding for a friend and I have to say, it was a little strange in a very good way. You see, while I have planned over 100 destination weddings, I have never, repeat, NEVER, been an actual guest at one of these multiday shindigs and that all changed with Kelly and Tony. Upon arrival to Mexico and my very own welcome bag (which I helped coordinate, of course :)), I immediately got most of my work and meetings out of the way so I could celebrate along side of them throughout the week. It all got started with a “Bienvenidos A Mexico Fiesta” which included cocktails on the oceanfront terrace overlooking the oh, so blue waters of the Caribbean. The week continued with poolside shenanigans, yummy dinners and cocktails each night. Unfortunately I missed the boat & snorkel trip due to a little too much sun and a whole lot of work. And the wedding day was a long day with many stories to be shared in another post, but, for the most part, I felt like a guest (one who knew what was happening before it happened), but nonetheless, an honored guest at a fabulous destination wedding experience. Maybe, you’re wondering what the point is, so I’ll get right to it: While I obviously have always been a big proponent of destination weddings, I would say, my support of these celebrations has grown tremendously. After my week in Mexico with old friends, I felt like I made a few new friends, reconnected with past acquaintances and all around was forced to take a mini vacation which just like all of their guests, I so badly needed. In addition to all of this, just the all around love you are shown throughout the week is incomparable. With destination weddings it truly feels like an honor to be part of a person’s wedding. It doesn’t feel like you are just one of 400 people who may or may not get to chat up the bride for 30 to 45 seconds at her four hour reception. Instead you are one of 10 to even 100 guests who not only will get the time to genuinely wish the happy couple congratulations on the wedding day, but you will probably be getting a massage with the bride or even kick back a few cervezas with the groom the day before one of the biggest events in their lives. Now, of course, I can’t stress enough, that destination weddings are not for everyone and I still have lots of love for large, glamorous weddings filled with hundreds of people, but if what’s most important to you is the overall experience and spending time with the people you truly love most in your life, then this style of affair should definitely be a consideration. Happy Planning!