Gifting- Welcome Gifts

Welcome gifts are a great way to greet your guests upon arrival, especially when you are not able to. They are very popular for destination weddings or when you have a lot of guests traveling from out of town to your local wedding. Are welcome bags necessary? No not at all! There are various ways to elevate your guests experience, but nailing the greeting is a great start and will be their first impression of the event! Welcome bags can be costly, so it is important to prioritize your budget and spend it in areas that will have the most impact on your wedding and guest experience. We have curated 4 welcome gift inspiration boards. Hopefully they will help you think of ways to add thoughtful but fun details when creating your own!


Details- This welcome gift inspiration features:

  • Gold foil Mexico bag

  • Round beach blanket with tassels

  • Mini piñatas

  • Fun drink float

  • Tumbler with custom decal

  • Cactus lollipop

  • Sunglasses

  • Hangover Kit

  • Thank you card and itinerary



Details- This welcome gift inspiration features:

  • Bamboo handle bag

  • Beach blanket

  • Costa Rica chocolate

  • Costa Rica coffee

  • Boxed water

  • Sunglasses

  • Welcome letter

  • Regret nothing kit

costa gift.jpg


Details- This welcome gift inspiration features:

  • Tortuga Rum Cake

  • Jamaica bag and matching tumbler

  • Mini Appleton Rum

  • Banana chips

  • Voss water

  • LUSH Beach Bomb

  • Welcome itinerary

jamaica bag.jpg


Details- This welcome gift inspiration features:

  • I Love DC cookie

  • Monumental mints

  • City candle

  • Route 11 chips

  • Virginia is for lovers key chain

  • DC illustrated tote

  • Sparkling water


Bridesmaid Dresses and Best Places to Buy Them

Our bride Crista with her bridesmaids at her Finest Playa Mujeres destination wedding in Mexico. Bridesmaid dresses from LuLus. Photo- Mon Adri Photography

Our bride Crista with her bridesmaids at her Finest Playa Mujeres destination wedding in Mexico. Bridesmaid dresses from LuLus. Photo- Mon Adri Photography

Bridesmaids dresses are an important detail when thinking about the overall feel and style of your wedding. Your wedding party will be in a good portion of your pictures, so it’s important that they look fabulous. We have listed our favorite shops for bridesmaids dresses, plus a special section on styles we love!.

Online Shops

Brideside @brideside -The mission of their bridesmaid dress shop is to enrich your wedding day by providing beautiful bridesmaid dresses, expert knowledge, and ultra-personalized concierge-quality stylists and customer service. They make bridal party styling easy for brides and bridesmaids!

You can shop for the best bridesmaid dresses online or in their showroom. Style consultants will work with you to learn your style, fit, color, designer and personality preferences. They ship three bridesmaid dresses for you to try on at home or ship a whole style box for your squad to try at a fitting party. Brideside takes the stress out of choosing a bridesmaid dress and makes finding the perfect dress a piece of cake!

Lulus @lulus- Lulus is known for dressing your bridal party stylishly an affordably. They have the hottest styles for your besties in a wide range of colors online! Whether you're looking for casual dresses in your favorite color or trendy dresses to wear for your friend's big day, they have it all at Lulus!

Azazie @iheartazazie- Azazie is a convenient online shop for affordable bridesmaid dresses and accessories. Each dress is cut and sewn to order. Whether standard or custom-sized, every dress is made just for you starting the day you place your order. Azazie is committed to body-positive fashion, offering all dresses from size 0-30 and free custom sizing with your basic bust/waist/hip measurements. They also adjust the length to your height and heel preference, easing the burden of post-purchase alterations. Azazie also offers a unique try-on at home program and virtual showrooms so bridal parties can select and coordinate outfits with ease.

Rent the Runway- I am always asked where this wedding party found their gold sequin designer dresses and everyone is always surprised when I say RTR! Although we like to think bridesmaids will wear their dresses again, most don’t; it really shouldn’t even be one of the top reasons for your decision. Affordability and style are top priorities, and RTR is a great way to meet both of those objectives! RTR even has stores, so swing by one (even better to make an appt) and try on some styles.

CM Events and Design Wedding, Punta Cana. Designer dresses by Badgley Mishcka sourced from Rent the Runway. Photo- Karina Jensen

CM Events and Design Wedding, Punta Cana. Designer dresses by Badgley Mishcka sourced from Rent the Runway. Photo- Karina Jensen

Local Showroom

Bella @bellabridesmaids- If you are planning a Washington DC wedding or a wedding anywhere in the states where Bella Bridemaids is located, they have the largest collection of bridesmaid dresses from the world’s leading designers in their Bella Showrooms. With hundreds of dresses to choose from, your personal Bella stylist is ready for anything. Whether you’re getting married in a grand ballroom, on the beach or at a barn, they have you covered.

At Bella Bridesmaids, they recognize that every bride has their own vision and each bridesmaid is unique. They give you personal attention to help you find the right dress for your girls and your day-and ship your dresses anywhere in the Continental United States.

Favorite Styles

As a bonus, here are our top 3 styles for weddings.

  1. Convertible dresses because they are easy to travel with, stay pretty wrinkle free, and can be styled into a number of different styles. Make sure you find a good quality one so that all your ladies look their best. Bonus, perfect for destination weddings

  2. Chiffon spaghetti strap dresses because they are lightweight, flattering on most body types, classic and usually come in many colors.

  3. Off the shoulder simply because its romantic and super stylish.

7 Reasons Why A Destination Wedding Is Less Stressful Than A Local Wedding


It’s the happiest day of your life, and it can also be one of the most stressful. Having a great wedding team on your side can help alleviate that stress, but when you add a beautiful destination, you have the perfect equation for a magical day.

Here are 7 reasons a destination wedding is less stressful than a local wedding.

1.  You Still Get To Use A Local Wedding Planner

When you get married locally you may feel you have seen too much of the city and area. You know all the ins and outs and it’s easy to feel underwhelmed by your options. You may be influenced by what you’ve seen others do and the weddings you’ve attended. With a destination wedding, it’s usually a new experience for everyone. Your destination may be a place you are not familiar with. With an experienced destination wedding planning team, there is no need to worry about what you don’t know because they will help you make the best decisions.

CM Events & Designs are wedding planners that allow you to put your trust in them with their clearly defined process.


2. Wedding Stress May Come From The People Involved

When you’re at home, you’re around everyone you know. This is great and contributes to the celebration, but the more people you know the more potential stress that comes your way. There are more people to accommodate and deal with. Local wedding planning can turn into a “too many cooks spoil the broth” situation as you’re getting input from all directions.

With a destination wedding the focus switches to enjoying the time with the people you have there. With a destination wedding the focus becomes more on everyone enjoying their time as opposed to them all trying to “contribute”.


3. A Destination Wedding Cuts Down On Too Many Choices

When you’re planning a local wedding, the amount of options for every detail become endless. It’s great to have different options from flowers to photography, but with all these resources come an endless amount of decisions.

With a destination wedding, the planners and venues do them all the time with their set teams, so it becomes a black and white situation making decisions much easier.


4. Your Focus Is Just On Hanging Out

With a destination wedding you’re on vacation while you’re getting married. It’s much easier to relax and enjoy your friends and family when you’re already in vacation mode. With a local wedding there are still all the distractions of everyday life that can cause you more stress.


5. Your Guests Get A Unique Experience

Local weddings tend to all be in the same type venues and they can become boring. CM Events & Designs provides full service planning an event design for weddings in Punta Cana, Mexico and across the Caribbean.  You can guarantee a unique wedding experience for your guests with different cultural vibes and more exotic cuisines.


6. You Get More Time

There seems to never be enough time to plan a wedding, but with a destination wedding you can plan things further in advance. You need to give your guests more time to prepare for a trip and this can extend the time you get to plan, which can reduce your stress.


7. You Don’t Have To Worry About F.O.L

F.O.L is fear of logistics and you need not worry about them when planning a destination wedding. Having your big day planned with your resort coordinator or event companies like CM Events & Design will take away all those logistical worries and allow you to start this new chapter in your lives on an adventurous note.