Saying ‘I Do’ to Far-Flung Weddings and Honeymoons

Above: Bali’s famed Island of the Gods is an exotic, romantic land, ideal for newlyweds seeking an unforgettable honeymoon destination.

BY STEVE DINNEN

Kelly Rummelhart and Houston Harreld are planning a traditional wedding in eastern Iowa, to be near friends and family. Their honeymoon will take them farther afield – to the rainforests of Bali with some beach time alongside the Java Sea.

“We wanted to do something different,” Kelly said of their decision to jet halfway around the world to celebrate their wedding.

These far-flung honeymoons, along with weddings to destination spots like the Mexican Riviera, are increasingly popular and attainable. Allied Travel, in Johnston, even has a full-time staffer designated as a wedding navigator, co-owner Jody Valentine.

Destination weddings and destination honeymoons may at first glance seem to be interchangeable, but there are subtle differences on why you would choose one over the other. And they aren’t typically combined, Valentine said.

A destination wedding often will be to a resort in Mexico or the Dominican Republic. The couple would likely opt for an all-inclusive resort because it would most likely house and feed guests.

As for honeymoons, “95 percent of them want someplace relaxing after the stress of the wedding,” Valentine said. So a zip line in Costa Rica might not fit as a wedding locale, though it would for a honeymoon.

Valentine has worked many years in travel, so she has handled many destination queries involving most corners of the globe. Europe seems to be a more popular destination, she said, and even cruises have popped up. And yes, even some Disney cruises.

Kelly, a wedding consultant at Schaffers Bridal in West Des Moines, and Harreld, a banker in Leighton, have previously gone on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera, and for a honeymoon considered Europe.

“I want to experience the culture and the food,” said Kelly, who said she’s up for an adventure. She figures she can do that just as well in Bali, and especially found that to be the case when a friend who is a travel agent wrangled her a deal that makes it more affordable than Europe.

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