One-of-a-Kind Destination Weddings

Why Beach Weddings are Easier Than You Think (with the right Travel Advisor)

By Justyna Smith and Jesse Cisneros

Justyna Smith shares her insights

A destination wedding is very personal, and couples want their event to be unique to them. That usually means picking a place that their friends haven’t gone. For millennials, who are at the age where a lot of people are getting married, that can be a challenge.

The solution I found for one California couple was a hotel that hadn't yet opened! The bride-to-be and I toured several venues around Ojai, which has weddings every weekend, but nothing felt right. Then we took a hard hat site tour of the Rosewood Miramar Beach, slated to open in Montecito. The hotel’s 124 rooms and 37 suites were perfect for her guest list, and she booked the entire hotel for her event. It took imagination to envision the venues, but we had fun with the idea of planning the wedding at a not-yet-built site. She even sent me a picture of her fiancé re-proposing on the grounds of their future wedding venue!

Hawaii offers many wonderful options for weddings and is especially popular with West Coast couples. I work with a trusted wedding planner in Hawaii. She knows the best florists, photographers, and other suppliers as well as amazing venues, both at hotels and on secluded beaches and in lovely gardens.

Mexico is also extremely popular, and for good reason. Both in Los Cabos and along Yucatan Peninsula, five-star resorts offer stunning beach and garden venues and personal service to help couples carry out their vision. Mexico also provides a lot of value.

My role in wedding planning varies. I often help couples select a destination and a venue and make all the travel arrangements for their guests. As a destination wedding specialist, I am familiar with both popular and less-known venues and can often provide a new perspective. I plan everything from elopements and small groups of 25 or less to huge weddings where the event takes over the whole hotel.

Most brides have their own wedding coordinator, and sometimes even have selected a venue and are turning to me to negotiate the room block and make the travel arrangements. My experience allows me to leverage my own contacts along with exclusive benefits available to me as a Protravel International and Virtuoso travel agent to secure the best rates. I also negotiate for favorable attrition conditions, so if the guest list drops from the estimates, my clients aren’t left holding the bag.

Couples also can add my contact info to their website so that their guests know to reserve with me, allowing me to track their bookings and coordinate special guest amenities and other arrangements with the hotel.

In most cases, I also plan the honeymoon. There has been a trend towards postponing the honeymoon. For those who can manage the time, I usually advise taking at least some time sometimes right after the wedding. I think it is a special time and it is nice to have some time to revel together in the bliss of the wedding as opposed to going right back to work.

It is fun working with couples on their destination weddings, and I love the idea that I am helping make their big day everything they dream it will be. I also love booking the travel for their guests because weddings are an exciting time for everyone.

Let me know if you’d like suggestions for your destination wedding!

Jesse Cisneros wedding services 

For the past 20 years, Jesse has worked in the wedding industry focusing strongly on Latin American destinations. He understands the importance of his clients’ journey and ensures he’ll take care of everything needed to make their experience a memorable one.

Couples looking to plan the perfect nuptials get sparkles in their eyes and smile when travel advisor Jesse Cisneros tells them about destination travel for weddings. While the idea of a destination wedding is certainly tempting, brides and grooms often find themselves amazed that saying “I do” somewhere exotic or special in an equally wonderful way can be less stressful and more cost-effective than saying getting married in a traditional manner.

When Jesse plans destination weddings to beautiful places like Mexico—or anywhere in the world—he provides a couple with everything needed for a truly special day. A romantic setting is a given, so you can check that off the list. He books hotel, resort or villa accommodations for the bride and groom, and friends and family, often including VIP perks such as complimentary breakfast or spa credits. Jesse also handles entertainment, flowers, catering and other typical wedding services. The only thing Jesse’s clients need to do is show up for the ceremony. Unless they’d prefer to put some of their personal touches on the occasion. As a destination travel consultant specializing in weddings, Jesse’s resources, talent and passion combine with his clients’ hopes and vision to create a truly memorable day, night, weekend or week-long celebration.


Inspired to wed beachside in Mexico? Connect with one of our expert travel agents.