If you're planning a wedding, you've likely considered the pros and cons of destination weddings. Destination weddings offer couples the chance to put a unique stamp on their weddings. Some find them easier and less expensive, and a big vacation with loved ones can be so much fun. Still, there are some things you'll want to keep in mind as you weigh your options, like travel costs for family members and your wedding party.
Below, a professional wedding planner shares everything you need to know about destination weddings to help you navigate your decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 FAQs About Wedding Venue
- 2 What Are The Drawbacks Of A Destination Wedding?
- 3 What Are The Advantages Of A Destination Wedding?
- 4 Is A Destination Wedding A Good Idea?
- 5 Do You Regret Having A Destination Wedding?
- 6 What Is An Intimate Wedding?
- 7 Pros Of A Destination Wedding
- 8 Cons Of A Destination Wedding
- 9 Conclusion
FAQs About Wedding Venue
- They're not always cheaper. The overall cost of a destination wedding is cheaper than what a local wedding would be in some states—but not all.
- You may have fewer guests.
- All-inclusive packages can feel impersonal.
- Legality can be an issue.
- More Quality Time with Your Guests.
- Higher Spirits, More Fun.
- Less Stress.
There is no home-field advantage: You can bring authentic local flair to a destination wedding, like food and music. It will be a pleasant experience for you and your guests. Fewer management hassles: Trust us when we say that planning a wedding can cause anxiety.
Destination wedding respondents were more likely to regret not inviting more guests to their wedding. According to Digital Third Coast, 27.1 per cent of them wish they had had more loved ones around them, versus 21.6 per cent of their counterparts.
Intimate weddings (also called micro-weddings) are intentionally small celebrations with only a handful of guests in attendance. It might surprise those who've been following our photography for a while, but actually, HALF of Adventure Instead, couples bring their family along on their wedding day.
Pros Of A Destination Wedding
Destination weddings allow couples to start their lives together on an adventurous note, often with their closest friends and family. In addition, the chosen destination may provide a unique backdrop for wedding photos you may not find if you get married closer to home. Here are the top reasons to say "yes" to a destination wedding.
Intimate Wedding Celebration
First, a destination wedding is a great opportunity for an intimate wedding celebration. Intimate wedding affairs are good for couples who want to keep their weddings low. Hosting a wedding in some distant location makes you invite only those you feel close to.
Perfect Vacation For Your Wedding Guests
Life has become hectic for everyone. We all need breaks from the regularities of life. And a destination wedding is a great way for your wedding guests to have a fun time. Your guests can do both, attend your wedding and holiday in a beautiful location, which would be difficult for them otherwise. Your guests can even extend their time in that location to explore more.
Great Experience For Your Loved Ones
When you host a wedding in your town, your loved ones find themselves stuck doing wedding-related tasks. Your parents will keep attending to wedding guests, listening to their complaints, making arrangements, etc. All this makes them restless, and they hardly get time to enjoy their kids' weddings. But hosting a wedding in a distant location gives them time to enjoy themselves. They get opportunities to have fun, experience new things in a new place, etc.
Fewer People, Less Drama
Inviting too many people to the wedding means too much drama. And it is no exaggeration at all. You take any marriage in your family. The more the people, the more the drama; it's as simple as that. However, hosting a destination wedding allows you to cut off all the drama from your life and enjoy your big day. Of course, you will have only those who care for you at a destination wedding. People who care do not dramatise; they understand you and support you, making your celebration even better and memorable for you.
Wedding Plus Honeymoon
Couples can easily extend their days at the location to enjoy their honeymoon. Destination weddings are a great way to save a lot of money on airfare and other travel, as you can also plan your honeymoon in the same location. All you have to do is just bid adieu to your wedding guests after the wedding and start your honeymoon. Of course, you don't need to stay in the same location where you hosted your wedding; you can book a different hotel or resort for your honeymoon. And if you want to save money on your stay, you can ask your hotel to give you the best deals for your honeymoon.
You Get A Chance To Create Happy Memories
When you have less dramatic people around you, you get a chance to create happy memories. A destination wedding enables the couple to have a good time together and with their loved ones before the wedding. They get a chance to enjoy each moment of their life in a new place.
Believe it or not, destination weddings are less costly. You can save a lot of money on a destination wedding. Of course, by choosing a romantic location with natural backdrops for your wedding, you don't need to spend money on venue decoration. In a destination wedding, natural views work as a wonderful setup. Besides, hotels and wedding venues across the world promote destination weddings. They give their clients the best deals so that more and more people get inspired to host a destination wedding. It again helps you save a lot of money on the venue. And by clubbing your wedding with your honeymoon, you can save a lot of money that you would spend on travelling to another location otherwise. All in all, a destination wedding is an affordable affair for couples.
Stunning Wedding Photographs
A destination wedding in an amazing location makes it easy to have stunning wedding pictures. Your wedding pictures are the most important part of your wedding. Your wedding pictures are the memories that you can cherish all your life. A destination wedding allows you to have amazing wedding photographs in the most natural and breathtaking setup. Your wedding photographer will not need to struggle to find a place for the couple's photoshoot. Or you will not need to create an artificial environment for your wedding pictures. You can get the best pictures without much effort.
Apart from this, you can even have your pre-wedding shoot. You don't need to travel to another location for your pre-wedding shoot. You can take advantage of your wedding destination for the same. A great way to enjoy multiple benefits in one investment.
Your Special Day Becomes An Adventure.
Any wedding day will likely feature high emotions and a surprise or two. And wherever you get married, it'll be the start of a new adventure. But Jessica Ghazal, the owner and founder of JG Eventi, says a destination fee can kick things up a notch.
They Can Be Small And Intimate.
Some couples crave soirees with only their immediate families and best friends, but they may have large extended families and a wide social circle. So cutting down the guest list can be difficult. Ghazal says long-distance wedding celebrations are a way for couples to have their dream guest count without hurting anyone's feelings. It's an especially genius hack if couples know many guests won't want to take time off work or spring for added costs like airfare.
"Some couples know friends and family won't be able to come, so it's kind of a trick," Ghazal says.
You can still find ways to celebrate with friends and family members who won't be able to make the big day. Ghazal suggests having local parties, like bachelorette parties and showers, to celebrate with them in other ways.
Destination Weddings Are Vacations.
Destination nuptials turn weddings into big getaway with your closest friends and family members. Besides toasting new adventures with welcome drinks and sharing an intimate first dance, couples can create many unique memories with their nearest and dearest.
"[Destination wedding couples] are [people] who want to spend quality time with family and friends," Ghazal says.
You Can Have A Large Guest List If You Want.
Ghazal says destination weddings have a reputation for being small affairs, but that's not always the case.
"I've had one in Mexico with a count of 30, but I've done destination weddings where [the final head count] is closer to 200," she says. "A lot of times, a family can travel."
And sometimes, they want to. Perhaps your friends and family are adventurous, or your chosen destination is on their bucket list. Ghazal says it's important to know your crowd regarding wedding guest lists.
Destination Weddings Offer Flexibility.
Ghazal grew up in Oklahoma, which isn't exactly the best location for a beach wedding or an outdoor ceremony in February. However, by opting for a destination bash, couples in a similar predicament can set the scene they want, regardless of their wedding date or hometown landscape.
"By doing a destination wedding, you've opened up your venue research to many more states and destinations," Ghazal says.
Cons Of A Destination Wedding
Although destination weddings are a fun and exciting option for some couples, they aren't for everyone. Ghazal says you'll want to consider your guest list—particularly VIP loved ones and your wedding party—and your idea of a dream celebration when making your final decision. Here are four potential drawbacks to a destination wedding.
They're Not Always Cheaper.
The overall cost of a destination wedding is cheaper than what a local wedding would be in some states—but not all. Local weddings are typically less expensive. A survey by The Knot found the overall cost of a wedding in 2021 is projected to be around $22,500, which is about $10,000 lower than the average destination affair. Ghazal suggests establishing a budget before deciding whether or not to plan a destination wedding.
You May Have Fewer Guests.
Destination weddings may not only be pricier for couples—the travel costs can add up for guests. What's more, Ghazal says not everyone can get time off approved for travel. So if your heart is set on having all of your loved ones in attendance, you may want to ask them if they'd be on board with a destination bash ahead of time.
All-Inclusive Packages Can Feel Impersonal.
Although it's convenient to have a venue provide a package with everything you need, Ghazal says sometimes these packages can make parties feel a tad cookie-cutter.
She says couples often choose destination weddings for the unique factor—and they want to see it reflected in their wedding photos. But it can be challenging to meet with a florist in person if you're from Idaho and getting married in Italy. So instead, Ghazal recommends having virtual consultations with your vendors and bringing in a wedding planner who can communicate with them to ensure your special day is the one you envisioned.
Legality Can Be An Issue.
Couples holding a local wedding have to obtain a marriage licence, hire an officiant and exchange vows. Destination wedding couples may need to jump through a couple of added hoops—and ensuring the legality of a marriage is not something Ghazal suggests saving for the last minute. It can get confusing, and some places, like England, have a residency requirement.
"Research local laws before you go," Ghazal says. Sometimes, it's easiest to go down to the courthouse and get married (in the eyes of the law) before jetting off for your destination wedding.
Not Everybody Can Make For Your Wedding
The biggest drawback of a destination wedding is that not everybody can be part of your wedding. You can have only limited people at your wedding if it's a destination wedding. Usually, it's not considered a big problem if you want to host an intimate wedding. It becomes a problem only when you want to have too many people at the wedding.
Besides, not everybody would be able to make it because destination weddings are time taking affairs. Of course, your guests will need to travel to another location for your wedding. Some of your guests would get off from their work, but some would not get. Attending a wedding for such guests would be impossible, and you cannot do anything about it. There is a possibility that your best friend will not be able to make it if she has some important project in hand. Or if she has joined her job recently. You may have such little disappointments.
Hosting A Wedding At A Larger Scale Is Not Possible
Destination weddings are for intimate wedding celebrations. Hosting a wedding on a larger scale is not possible. Also, it will simply add to your cost. You will have to arrange for accommodation, food, travel, and other costs for your guests. Moreover, managing too many people in a new location will be nearly impossible. Instead of enjoying your wedding, you will have difficulty managing your guests. So, larger-scale weddings are not possible in a distant location.
Wedding Planning Can Be Challenging
Wedding planning can be challenging in a new location. There are thousands of things to be taken care of when hosting a wedding. And if you do not have any idea about the location, it becomes difficult for you to manage things. Besides, language can be another major hindrance in a new location. There will always be some constraints; for instance, meeting your vendors in person is impossible, and you have no idea how trustworthy your vendors are. An element of unpredictability will always be there.
Destination weddings can add up to your cost, especially when you have specific demands. For instance, you want a famous photographer in your town at your wedding. You will have to arrange for his travel, food, and accommodation for all days. So it will just add to your wedding budget. Besides, you will have to arrange cabs for your guests for local excursions.
If you plan a wedding in another country, you will have a lot of paperwork as each country has different marriage laws. Therefore, you will have to arrange everything keeping their laws in mind. Besides, arranging visas and other required documents for yourself and your guests is again a hassle. However, this is manageable; you can have a travel agent take care of everything.
Chances Of Fraudulence
It is common. Sometimes people become victims of fraudulence and cheap tricks. Of course, your lack of knowledge about the place can get you into a trap. Your vendors may sound sweet during virtual meetings or claim big things, but you have no way to know about them, especially if you are hosting a wedding in a location where you know no one. It can be managed if you hire a professional wedding planner with experience. Professional wedding planning agencies have contacts in almost every part of the world. For them, it's not tough to get things done. They are skilled people who know how to work out things even in an adverse situation.
Destination weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years, but they come with their pros and cons. Before deciding if a destination wedding is right for you, carefully weigh all the pros and cons. If you decide to go ahead with a destination wedding, plan well and put plenty of thought into every detail so that your big day goes off without a hitch.