You’ve already envisioned all the places that your wedding can occur and a destination wedding is definitely something you have always wanted.
If you have always wanted to get married away from home, whether in the tropical islands or in a Scottish castle, then a destination wedding may be exactly what you need.
But is that vision a reality? As with anything in life, a destination wedding comes with its own set of pros and cons. We have listed below some things that you should think about before you make a commitment to having a far away wedding a reality.
Tip: Consider getting a travel agent that specializes in destination weddings to help you select the right location. Their knowledge is invaluable and their services are free.
Pros Of Planning A Destination Wedding
A Destination Wedding Costs Less
The costs for a destination wedding are considerably less than a traditional wedding. A typical home town wedding will cost about $30,000 for five hours whereas a weekend of fun in the Caribbean with your closest friends and family will cost less than $10,000.
A destination wedding can be expensive and many of the people invited will not come based on the monetary and time constraints. As a result, only those closest to you will be there, leaving you with a wedding that is intimate and special.
Having fewer guests also means that you can do more unique and special things for your attendees. Hand written notes, personalized welcome gift bags, and a special gift for each will help you make their experience memorable.
Wedding And Honeymoon Rolled Into One
Instead of getting married and then having to fly off on your honeymoon, a destination wedding means that you are already in a place that is special. Once you are married, you can either continue at the same resort or move to another nearby location for your honeymoon.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of planning a destination wedding on your own, then consider getting a wedding package at an all inclusive resorts.
Many resorts cater to the destination wedding crowd by offering free wedding packages that include just about everything that you might need at your wedding.
Most wedding packages include essentials like flowers, food, ceremony sites, music and an officiant. Plus, you get to work with a dedicated wedding coordinator (included in the package) to help with the details.
Destination weddings are famous for the non-traditional. Want to wear slippers to your wedding? Does the groom want to wear shorts at the ceremony? There are no rules, no traditions, and no dress codes to follow at a destination wedding.
Destination Weddings Are Different
Do you want to sky dive off a mountain in Costa Rica? Or go camel racing in Morocco? How about jet skiing in Bangkok? Couples that want some adventure will find that a destination wedding suits their need to be different and to have experiences that are truly one of a kind.
If you and your fiance are into spending quality time with your family, then a destination wedding will be the perfect opportunity to have a reunion of sorts. Spend as much quality time with your guests and try to make every moment memorable in some way.
Just remember that attendees have traveled a long distance to attend your wedding and there is going to be very little “me time” before the wedding (and in some cases, after the wedding as well).
Cons of Having A Destination Wedding
Not Everyone Will Make It To Your Wedding
Regardless of how well you plan, there are going to be close family members of friends that are not going to be able to make it to the destination. Some might not come due to financial constraints, and others may not be able to get time off from work.
If the issue is one of not being able to afford the trip, then consider helping them out by paying for a portion of their travel expenses. Couples will generally help out by paying for either the hotel stay or the airfare, but not both.
Have A Favorite Hairdresser?
Your hometown has a lot comforts that you’re used to. You have a favorite place to eat, a favorite store to shop, a nail salon you can’t live without and a hair salon where you know everyone by name.
Unfortunately, this familiarity with the people that surround you will not be there at a destination wedding. If this thought scares you, then you should reconsider whether a destination wedding is right for you.
Long Distance Weddings Can Be Hard To Plan
If you are not getting married at a resort that offers packages then you have your work cut out for you. Planning a destination wedding from afar without the help of a wedding planner is challenge an dyou should be ready for it.
Not only will you have to visit the site at least once, you are going to have to interview vendors, negotiate, and book ceremony and reception locations as well.
Another aspect of long distance planning the you are going to have to contend with is that vendors don’t always work as fast as you need them to and don’t always followup as you would like. For example, vendors in the Caribbean are famous for working on “Island time”.
Wedding Planners Can Be Expensive
If you are not going with a wedding package (and you really should be), then you are going to need to hire a wedding planner that specializes in the city or island that you want to get married in. These specialists are worth every penny they charge but that does not mean that it will fit your budget.
Planners can charge by the hour, by the day or by the total cost of the wedding that they help plan. If you cannot afford a planner for the whole wedding, then consider doing all your research ahead of time and then hire the planner for a few hours to answer questions or to recommend vendors that they work with.
Family and friends will have traveled a long way to come to your wedding, so don’t expect much privacy before the wedding. And if you decide to stay at the same resort for the honeymoon, then don’t expect much privacy after the wedding.
Instead, embrace the lack of privacy. Surprise guests by spending time with them while you are on your honeymoon. You and your hubby will have the rest of your lives to spend together so why not use this opportunity to spend time with the people that you don’t necessarily get to see as often.
As you have learned, having a destination wedding has many pros and cons that you need to think about before making that commitment. As with anything else, weigh the positives versus the negatives to see if a destination wedding can indeed be a reality.
What Should You Do Next?
If you are ready to start planning a destination wedding, then start by looking at some great locations.