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Miss USA Tara Conner models a wedding dress near the site of the future Trump On The Ocean on Jones Beach, N.Y., to promote Donald Trump’s $40 million planned catering facility. An experienced destination wedding planner can tell you about details you might overlook — such as long dresses and beaches don’t mix well, unless you don’t mind wear-and-tear.


It’s absolutely astonishing to see just how many businesses out there now cater to the destination wedding business — particularly when you consider how many wedding planners specialize in the area.

But as couples are increasingly wary of being sucked into the “wedding industrial complex,” is hiring a destination wedding planner really something you need, or a frill that could needlessly cost you a ton of cash?

Well, fact is, going away to be married can increase the number of details you need to look after, particularly if you wish to haul a large group of family and friends away with you. And when you’re getting married in a tropical destination or a ski resort, there are going to be all kinds of things to think about that you might not have had to consider back home.

Take, for example, the dress.

“There are considerations a bride might not have at a wedding at home,” says Tara Soloway of Toronto-based Luxe Destination Wedd­ings,, which specializes in organizing sophisticated destination weddings. “Not too many brides here have to worry about salt water and sand when posing for photographs!”

With that in mind, here are some tips from Luxe on how to choose and prepare the attire for that special day:

  • Go with light, flowy material which will breathe well, preferably without long sleeves, says Soloway. Avoid heavy fabrics like velvets. Bridal boutiques such as Queen Street West’s Lowon Pope can suggest appropriate fabrics and styles.

  • Consider going to shorter or cocktail length. Salt and sand can play havoc with fabrics, especially when you are walking close to the water’s edge. “If you’re a bride with your heart set on a full-length gown and train, be prepared for it to show some wear and tear!” counsels Soloway.

  • Speaking of dress length, you must also consider footwear. High heels might not be appropriate as the terrain might be uneven, or you will be walking on long stretches of beach or lawn. Consider low-heeled sandals, cute flip flops, classic ballet flats or even the barefoot look.

  • For many brides, keeping the dress a secret until the big day is important. Most resorts will hide it away for you, and many will steam it as well.

  • And for him? Think whites and beiges, linens and light cottons. It’s best to avoid black tuxes, formal morning suits, and heavy sports coats.

bridezilla on the beach

fort myers/

Is this really a relaxed, carefree couple? Well, if she made him (and his groomsmen) get pedicures, there’s likely more than a bit of tension in the air.

When you think of getting married in a tropical destination, you think of a sunny, warm day, the happy couple barefoot on the beach, and you — and everyone else— relaxed and carefree. Right? Wrong. Destination weddings don’t necessarily mean you’re immune from the modern-day scourge of Bridezilla, that now-infamous creature who freaks out if every single detail is not exactly to her liking.

w If you doubt us, just hark back to the May 20, 2001 New York Times piece that made the term Bridezilla widely famous. That piece contained the following demands of a beach bride:

“When Valerie Latona, 31, beauty director of Shape magazine, was married in the Bahamas last May, she insisted that her husband-to-be and his four groomsmen have pedicures before the beach ceremony. ‘As a bride you want everything perfect from head to toe,’ Ms. Latona said. ‘Since they weren’t wearing shoes, pedicures became important. Guys aren’t known for having the greatest feet. Being the beauty editor that I am, I told Dave they had to get them.’”

w Now, to some women, pedicures for the groom and groomsmen may make perfect sense. To us, it sounds like the fastest possible way to ensure all his best friends never speak to you again.