Today I arrived in Kauai for my fourth event in two weeks and needless to say I hit the island a bit behind in some much needed paperwork for my day’s meetings. Easy enough you would think…I’ll just hit a business center and be all set…wrong! Not only did my hotel or the neighboring hotel not have a business center, but the closest one is in the next town and not open on Sundays, per the hotel manager. Of course!! Punishment for procrastinating…

Now Kauai is remarkably charming, but it is still one of those places…you know the kind…no cell phone reception, highway speed limits of 45 mph and drivers not even willing to go that fast and a place that still believes in closing up shop on what some consider the Sabbath. It really is the perfect spot to just get away from it all, except of course when you are trying to put the finishing touches on a wedding. But, as luck would have it, I went driving in search of an internet cafe and stumbled upon the supposedly closed Business Center and well, they weren’t closed. Now, the shop hours claimed Monday through Saturday only, but when I asked the manager, he just “felt like opening today” which of course made me count my blessings. Anyway, I sit down, get comfortable and start sifting through my day’s work, when I realized the “business center” doesn’t have Microsoft Office on any of the computers. To this, I just had to giggle. Only on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, would someone have a Business Center opened due only to a whim on a Sunday afternoon without use of a software the entire world relies on to function. You just have to smile at the thought of it.

So, I’m sure you’re now wondering what my point is and here it goes…when it comes to destination wedding planning, all bets are off. You cannot assume anything and you have to be prepared for everything. Don’t assume for a second that you’ll pop into your destination and find those last minute place cards you’ve been putting off (which is a topic for another day), or even something as simple as your favorite cereal to snack on for the week. When you choose to have a destination wedding in a remote location, you have to go into with one of two attitudes:

1. Budget is no limit and I will pay whatever I have to get the flowers, photographer, linens, etc. that I have always dreamt of.
2. I love the destination so much that everything else is secondary. I’ll forgo peonies for protea and learn to live with the idea of having a person I’ve never met marrying us if it means I can get married on the beaches of Mexico, a castle in Switzerland or a chapel in South Africa.
If you don’t keep these things in mind, you will end up frazzled, frustrated and, dare I say, disappointed. Not a great combination when trying to celebrate one of life’s greatest moments.

So, if you’re considering a destination wedding, keep the trade offs in mind. Remember that you will get a weeklong celebration rather than six hours of attention. You will witness as all of your closest family and friends unite together and become one big happy extended family by the end of the celebration. And you will, undoubtedly offer guests an experience they will never forget. But again, if you go the destination wedding route, learn from my mistake and don’t even leave the smallest of tasks for your arrival…I know it’s hard to imagine but there are still many, many places left in the world that function without Kinko’s, a Target or any of the other staples we all depend on to make our lives (and weddings) go smoothly.