Photo courtesy of Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Thinking of planning a wedding away? Let us introduce you to Tara Soloway, expert extraordinaire on the subject of destination celebrations who offers much insight into planning a party in a dream location. Soloway is the co-founder of LUXE Destination Weddings, a Toronto-based, full-service boutique destination wedding and event planning company, who (with her business partner and husband Matt) has planned unforgettable celebrations for couples in amazing locations all over the world for the past 10 years.
Soloway says the beginnings of her destination wedding expertise happened when she and Matt were planning their own nuptials in Jamaica. The couple found a lack of info and services available to them on the subject and decided to fill the void by creating their own company designed to bring couples’ wedding dreams to life, no matter how intricate or grand and without couples having to be involved at every turn. We chatted with Soloway to find out what makes a destination wedding so special, how the process of putting together such an event unfolds and why it is the perfect wedding party!
Tara Soloway, LUXE Destination Weddings. Photo by 5ive15ifteen.
Weddingbells: As a destination wedding planner, how does your process work with couples?
Tara Soloway: “Destination weddings, for me, are about the whole experience. From choosing the right destination and venue, to planning the group travel and ultimately all of the wedding details, a typical destination wedding isn’t just about the wedding day but rather everything from start to finish. I believe that each element goes hand in hand to ensure a smooth flow and accurate details. Not only are we planning your wedding, but also the travel for everyone coming. It’s a pretty comprehensive process, but also a lot of fun!
WB: Why do you love planning destination weddings and how did it come to be your specialty in event planning?
TS: “This is an entirely personal answer. When I was engaged, I couldn’t picture myself doing a traditional wedding at home. Rather, I was always enchanted by the idea of getting married on the beach with the sand between my toes, and with only my closest people. And my father instilled a love of travel in me early on, taking us on many family vacations when we were little. Fast forward many years, when it was time to get married, this is how it all came together. My love for destination weddings was born out of personal experience. It was the perfect fit. I see destination weddings as the ultimate trip—a vacation surrounded by your favourite people and your wedding all in one!”
WB: Can you share details one of your favourite destination weddings you have planned and what made it so special?
TS: “That would most definitely be my brother-in-law’s destination wedding in Mexico. Getting to experience all that we do with my family was nothing short of amazing. Their ceremony was filled with singing, spiritual readings and lots of love—and even an “unplanned” downpour followed by a beautiful rainbow. It was just so meaningful and thoughtful. To me, it’s all about the personal touches that your guests take away as memories.”
WB: Destination weddings have continued to rise in popularity with Canadian couples year after year, why do you think that is?
TS: “Couples are no longer looking for a traditional wedding that follows a set of rules, rather, they want to throw an amazing party in a beautiful location surrounded by their closest family and friends. Travel is as popular as ever and it’s a great way to take a trip with your friends while celebrating your wedding. And from a cost perspective, the numbers are generally smaller than a hometown wedding, significantly resulting in savings for the couple.”
WB: Complete this sentence: “A destination wedding is the perfect party because_______________”
TS: “…it’s a once in a lifetime travel experience! It’s the perfect chance to get married on a holiday with your nearest and dearest in a stunning location. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your love for one another in an incredible setting.”