Almost one out of every four weddings are considered a destination wedding, with most occurring in the continental US.
What used to be a novelty is quickly becoming mainstream. After all, why get married in a place that may not inspire you. Instead, go to a location that is truly memorable for you and your guests. The increase in popularity of destination weddings has also made parents more comfortable with the idea of planning the marriage away from home.
Listed below are some surprising destination wedding statistics that are both interesting and informative for couples that are thinking about having one.
- 1 out of every 4 wedding is a destination wedding.
- New York City weddings are the most expensive destination weddings by far. With hotel rates in the $300-$400 range, it is not surprising that the average wedding costs over $70,000.
- The top locations for destination weddings in the USA are Florida, California and Nevada.
- The top three locations for destination wedding outside the continental US are Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii.
- 350,000 destination weddings take place annually. Las Vegas is the category leader for weddings with over 100,000 per year.
- Seven out of ten destination weddings take place in the continental USA. Most of the rest of the destination weddings occur in Mexico, Hawaii or the Caribbean with a small majority elsewhere.
- Half of all destination weddings are planned with the help of a wedding planner.
- The average cost of a destination wedding in the continental US is $225 per person.
- The average cost of a destination wedding outside the continental US is $404 per person.
- Destination weddings are big business for hotels. All your guests will need accommodations so getting group rates is a necessity. The average group discount for a three star hotel is 22% which is much higher better than what your guests will get if they book on their own. If you need to block hotel rooms online without making a phone call, then the group hotel rates request form. Within minutes, hotels in your desired city and budget will email you their group rates.
- The average number of guests at a destination wedding is 86. The average number of guests at a traditional wedding is 141.
- Jamaica continues to be the heavy leader in all Caribbean destination weddings. In fact, the study showed that more than one in three Caribbean destination weddings take place in Jamaica, which netted a whopping 34 percent of the votes.
- Weather is the number one reason for choosing a destination. 9 out of 10 couples say that the climate at the destination wedding location was a critical factor. While most brides want the fun in the sun (Other than Las Vegas, most destination weddings occur in sunny tropical locations), there is a growing number of people looking for adventure weddings, ski resort weddings and vineyard weddings.
- Planning a destination wedding is a part time job. In the last three months before the wedding, the average bride spends about 11 hours per week planning the wedding. That is huge commitment and one that needs to be planned for. If you can’t make the time for it, then consider getting friends and family to help take some of the burden off your shoulders. You’ll be surprised with how eager many people are to help you plan a destination wedding.
- The reception makes up over 35% of the total cost of a traditional wedding and is even higher at a destination wedding. This makes a wedding reception the prime target if you are looking at cutting costs. Holding off on expensive centerpieces, selecting local flowers, and cutting back a seven course meal to five will help scale back the Hollywood scale production back to something more manageable.
- Expect to stay about a week at the destination wedding location. The average destination wedding couple ends up arriving a little less than a week out to make sure everything is in order for the wedding. Finalizing details with all the vendors and getting some down time before wedding guests arrive are two reasons why you should expect to arrive earlier than your guests (they stay an average of 3 nights).
- Guests spend three or more days at the destination wedding location, on average.
- The average spent on a destination wedding is $20,000. If you include the honeymoon, and the travel expenses, you can expect to add an additional $5-10,000 to that number. Read more about how to figure out what your destination wedding will cost.
- 40% of the couples getting married pay for a portion of travel expenses for some of their guests. It is customary to pay for your parents, and immediate family members. In many cases, the couple also pays for the bridal party’s travel expenses.
- 30% of all couples that have a destination wedding will have a party back home after the wedding.
- Destination weddings are a very popular option for second marriages. A third of all destination weddings are second marriages. There are many reasons why a destination wedding is popular for second marriages. One of them being choice, children, intimacy, want to something different, already done the traditional wedding thing etc.
- 60% of destination wedding couples pay for the wedding themselves. It is a trend that the wedding is paid for by the bride/groom rather than the parents.
As you can see from above, destination weddings are on the rise and will continue to rise as global locations and access permits. If you are interested in planning a destination wedding, here is a list of great locations.
Source : XOGroup, Travel agent central