Destination weddings are becoming more popular and can even be considered the trendy and unique way to tie the knot.
However, this type of wedding isn't right for everyone. There are many components to planning your wedding in a far-away locale, so making sure this style of ceremony suits your personality and planning skills from the beginning can help you avoid some big headaches along the way!
Start by thinking about the pros and cons of such a big decision. First, let's take a look at the reasons why you might consider saying "I do" in a far away place.
Most people first consider a destination wedding because they want to get married in an exotic location. Whether that's on the beach in the Caribbean or in the snowy mountaintops of Colorado, saying your vows in an exhilarating location might be right up your alley. There are many places to choose from, so make sure to think about what kind of atmosphere you want on your big day. A funky island vibe? Big city energy? Do plenty of research on your prospective location. You want to be absolutely sure it's the best choice for you and your fiancé as well as your guests before getting too deep in the planning process.
You may just fancy a small, intimate wedding with your closest family and friends with an added touch of excitement from a destination locale. To make things even more thrilling, you can easily turn wedding festivities into a long weekend or weeklong vacation for you and your guests. This not only gives you more time to spend with your loved ones, but also helps them get their money's worth out of their traveling expenses!
Although it seems crazy, a destination wedding can often be less expensive than a traditional wedding. How is that possible? You're likely to have fewer guests attending, and you can obtain good group rates from hotels and resorts. Most couples even feel that they can make their big day a little more special and have more of what they want since their guest list is likely to be smaller, which provides you with a much lower cost on items like food. Some destination wedding locations even offer wedding packages that include a cake, flowers and other fun perks.
Finally, you may have family located all over the country (or even out of the country) that will have to travel no matter where you have your wedding. In this case, why not have them travel somewhere awesome?
Next, let's look at some reasons why a destination wedding might not be your cup of tea.
Planning a destination wedding involves a lot more components than hometown weddings. Consider all that you have to do to plan for your big day, most of which will be done from thousands of miles away -- unless you can afford to make multiple trips to the location. These tasks can include booking hotel rooms for guests, scoping out ceremony locations, securing airfare and more. If planning your wedding from far way doesn't make your heart race with excitement, you should probably keep your celebration local. Or, you can consider hiring a wedding planner who specializes in destination events to do the dirty work for you.
You may have a big family and lots of close friends who you want with you on your big day. If you envision a huge, elaborate wedding, it might be best for you to stay away from a destination locale. The more guests you have at a destination wedding, the more expensive your wedding will be! If having a large wedding with all of your loved ones by your side is important to you, it's worth it to keep it simple and just have your wedding locally. Spend the extra money on an exotic honeymoon, instead.
For most destination weddings, guests are expected to pay their own airfare and hotel expenses. In some cases, it's just not feasible for you to expect that of your guests, as they might not be able to afford it. If you know that the people you want by your side can't afford such a lavish trip, sticking closer to home is a good decision. After all, celebrating your marriage with those you love is important, so make sure they're able to be there with you!
More than one couple has felt the urge to run off and elope. See whether elopement should be your first choice or only your last resort.
- The Knot. "Destination Weddings: Why Marry Away?" (Sept. 20, 2010). http://destination.weddings.com/articles/why-have-a-destination-wedding.aspx
- Wedding Channel. "Are there advantages to a destination wedding? Disadvantages?" (Sept. 20, 2010). http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/destination-weddings/qa/are-there-advantages-to-a-destination-wedding-disadvantages.aspx
- Todorova, Aleksandra. "7 Tips on Destination Weddings." Smart Money. June 11, 2008. (Sept. 19, 2010). http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/marriage-divorce/7-tips-on-destination-weddings-14456/
- Wedding Channel. "Planning a Destination Wedding." Sept. 19, 2010. http://weddings.weddingchannel.com/wedding-planning-ideas/destination-weddings/articles/planning-a-destination-wedding.aspx?MsdVisit=1