wed your one-and-only at one&only

February 19th, 2013

With the mother-in-law overstepping her bounds, parents padding the invite list with long lost uncles and college friends, and the stress of keeping everyone happy – planning a wedding can be a little stressful. Enter One&Only. Outsource the wedding planning to their amazingly capable planners, and along with taking away the angst of planning a wedding, the guest list will automatically be strictly nearest and dearest for a destination wedding. Here are some dream wedding options, and tips for any destination wedding, from the experts at One&Only.

Out of Africa at One&Only Cape Town

One&Only Cape Town’s new Weddings Consultant has over 2,000 weddings under her belt and can arrange very personalized weddings in the Marina Room with views of the V&A Waterfront, an outdoor reception on the hotel’s spa island, or an intimate maritime celebration on the hotel’s yacht with Table Mountain in the background and the sun setting over the sea.


Hacienda Style Ceremony at  One&Only Palmilla

One&Only Palmilla’s on-site chapel makes the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony, or a larger blow out if it takes place on the steps outside. A chapel ceremony package includes floral arrangements for the altar, an array of candles, and a horse-drawn carriage with a coachman and footman – a Mexican fairy tale!


Classic Destination at One&Only Ocean Club

Say ‘I Do’ with the views of the Nassau Harbor from the top of the Versailles Gardens. One&Only Ocean Club offers wedding ceremonies under the arches of a 12th-century Augustinian cloister, a romantic and whimsical setting for ceremonies and receptions. A five-night package includes private airport transfer, photographer, complimentary spa treatments, and catering by Ocean Club’s signature restaurant, Dune by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.


Tips for the Destination Bride:

Adele Bennett, Personalized Wedding Consultant at One&Only Cape Town

  • Try to arrive at least four days before your wedding to familiarize yourself with the surroundings, climate, etc.
  • Be daring when doing a wedding menu tasting – you are in a foreign destination so really enjoy the local flavors, which may be a delicious surprise for you and your guests.
  • Check with your resort’s spas, which may have tailor-made packages like One&Only Cape Town’s De-Stress Bridal Spa Wedding Packages to keep you relaxed and calm until you’re down the aisle.
  • Wherever you are – keep hydrated. New climates can rob your skin of moisture and you want to maintain your dewy complexion well past the reception
  • Ask your planner about hidden perks.  Resorts like One&Only Cape Town offer special services for brides, such as pressing your wedding dress before your wedding and offering perks and special discounts to newlyweds for their honeymoon after an on-site wedding.


Donald Akin, Director of Group Sales/Weddings at One&Only Palmilla

  • Put effort into building your personal wedding website, especially if you are having a foreign destination wedding.  The website is the perfect opportunity to really share information with your guests and build enthusiasm for their trip.  Think of it as a tool to give them facts about the property, tips for climate and culture changes, even exciting local activities and places of interest, since this will most likely be considered as a vacation by many guests.
  • For those guests vacationing at the resort after the wedding, check with the hotel to see if they offer specially reduced wedding rates.  One&Only Palmilla offers wedding rates for up to three days prior and three days after your wedding.
  • Ask your planner about local entertainment and what would be best to add a sense of “wow” to your nuptials.  Usually resorts can source amazing local entertainers who will bring cultural flavor and flair to your wedding affair. One&Only Palmilla has a list of recommended entertainers that range from Flamenco Dancers to Fire Dancers to Cigar Rollers.


Anna Schmid, VP of Weddings & Special Affairs at One&Only Ocean Club and Atlantis, Paradise Island

  • Consider your guest list when picking your wedding location.
  • Speak to the on-property coordinator to see whether access for all your guests to the location is possible.  Brides getting married at Atlantis and One&Only Ocean Club have a dedicated Wedding Specialist to ensure all couple’s questions are answered.
  • Be sure to plan a beach wedding around sunset at the location you’ve chosen on the day you’ve chosen. Plan for a ceremony two hours prior to sunset so you hit the “golden hour” for photos and can still enjoy a little sunlight for cocktails with guests prior to the reception.
  • Ask your planner if the location you’re considering can change during different times of the year. You might fall in love with a beach or small island hideaway you visited in off-season and expect the same experience months later, only to find out too late that the same areas will be swarming with tourists or the tidal patterns will shift and extend the tide much farther onto your beachfront.
  • Ask your planner for a solid plan for bad weather.  A tent is not always going to be a solution, so really work with the planner and venue to make sure they have an indoor backup plan in place.  Atlantis and One&Only Ocean Club offer several alternative indoor venues to host a reception in case of rain.

Be sure to pick destinations that have something for everyone in your party and can satisfy all ages. Properties like Atlantis, Paradise Island have dolphin interactions, kids clubs, teen hotspots, water parks, spas, and golf courses that are sure to satisfy.  Do your homework on resorts having sister properties nearby.  For instance, One&Only Ocean Club has programs in place that allow their guests to access facilities at Atlantis, Paradise Island.  The alternative is that you will be spending a large amount of your energy playing concierge and will possibly need to extend your budget to include planned activities to keep everyone satisfied.


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