Destination Weddings – Wish You Were Here

Written by: Lisa Pearson

Congratulations! It is now crunch time, time to start planning for the BIG day! I know you have lots of friends and family giving you advice about your dress, the cake, the flowers, colors, etc. Having planned a wedding before, I realize all the little details matter but what is one of the things that you and your guests will not soon forget about-the venue. Imagine getting married to the love of your life on an exotic island surrounded by clear blue seas or in a foreign country you have always wanted to visit with your honey. I am talking about having a destination wedding!

Couple walking towards Eiffel Tower at their destination wedding

Couple walking towards Eiffel Tower at their destination wedding

There are many great reasons to have a destination wedding. Besides the fact that you will be in an amazing location; you, your wedding party, and guests will get a mini vacation out of it, you can combine your wedding and honeymoon, as well as lots of fun things for everyone to do and see.

The best part is that you do not even have to go out of country to have your dream wedding and frolic on the beach! You have lots of options when it comes to choosing the location. If you are a bride on a budget, you can plan for a wedding on the beautiful beaches of Florida or Hawaii. If you are a bride who is not on a budget, you can go as far as the inviting islands of French Polynesia or romantic Paris. Another bonus is that since your wedding will be out of the area, you will not have to feel bad about not inviting everyone you know. You can also make it a private affair and invite only immediate family.

Planning a destination wedding takes time and considerable planning. There are many great travel agencies which will assist you in planning everything to the very last detail including a United States recognized civil ceremony in another country. Planning your wedding can get a bit complicated if you wait until the last minute or do not do your research early. Depending on where you like to recite your wedding vows, it could take some extra work on your part. For instance per Tahiti Tourisme, a Tahitian tourism company, in order to have a legally recognized wedding one must complete a range of documents, get the papers translated and submit it for approval to the mayor of the island where you would like to get married.

Although it might seem like a lot of work, your hard work will pay off once you arrive at your destination wedding location. Imagine all of the beautiful wedding photos and memories from your dream destination wedding.

Couple exchanging vows in Hawaii

Couple exchanging vows at their Hawaiian destination wedding

Cooperation is Key To Keeping Drug Smugglers Out of the Caribbean

David Thompson expresses the shrinking window of opportunity for Caribbean drug traffic

As Americans scramble to erect an effective border between the US and Mexico, Caribbean leaders are pleading for the War on Drugs to reconsider a lackluster handle on the rampant drug traffic that presently seeps through many Caribbean island nations. Recently, a regional security conference was held in Barbados, where the hosting island-nation’s┬áPrime Minister , David Thompson, asserted that all Caribbean nations viewed the increased frequency of drug smuggling as threatening not just the well-being of the individual, but that there are also regional, and national consequences.

US defense secretary, Robert Gates, insisted that coordinating the anti-drug efforts of Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States is the best option in scaling back the ever-present smuggling schemes. He mentioned that the US government has dedicated $70 million to help fund Caribbean police and social programs, though they aren’t expected to take effect until 2011; however, at least the money is now available, since such funding was turned down under the Bush administration.

Drug Trafficking in the Americas

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that three-quarters of South American cocaine travels through Central America as it makes its way north. And, though the report also considers a significantly smaller amount to be passing through the Caribbean, Gates himself said that he was informed (by Caribbean leaders) that the situation has taken a turn for the worse; a situation which is directly linked to the 1.4-billion-dollar program – Plan Merida – which was put into action by the United States back in 2007. Gates closed the discussion with hopes that recent efforts illustrated the US’s reconsideration of the Caribbean issue, and that intercontinental cooperation is the ultimate solution for addressing these predicaments.