Should I have a destination wedding?

November 6, 2013

With the days getting colder, a destination wedding is something that may seem appealing to many couples. Sun, sand and surf can make for a perfect backdrop for your “I do’s”, but it’s important to take all the factors into consideration while making the decision.

When planning a destination wedding, most people automatically think of going to some place down south – Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, etc. but keep in mind that if you’re planning to fly somewhere for your big day, it doesn’t have to be to one of these typical places! You can choose to go anywhere in the world, perhaps a place that is special to you and your partner. If you do decide to go to an exotic international location, just make sure you look into the marriage laws and customs, or alternatively take care of the legal part at home before or after the wedding. Some airports even contain a small chapel so that you can legally get married on your way to your wedding!

Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica – these places are popular for a reason! They are all gorgeous places and each containing tons of resorts that specifically cater to those couples who want to tie the knot somewhere warm. They often act as a one-stop-shop and can provide you with everything you need. While this may be appealing to some couples, those who are interested in doing a lot of DIY or those who really enjoy planning the details of a wedding might find it a bit difficult to hand over the reins to someone else. With the venue being so far away, you don’t have the option to plan a site visit on the weekend or to stop by and make sure you like the colour of the linens. In this case, it’s important to find a planner that you can trust to ensure everything gets done the way you want it to. If, however, you prefer to have a hand in more of the planning, a destination wedding may not be your best bet.
Another nice thing about a destination wedding is that they typically are a bit more relaxed and laid back. Since everyone generally arrives on site prior to the day of the wedding, there’s no rushing around or travelling. Furthermore, almost everything is done on-site at the resort so there’s no worry about vendors not showing up, etc. Some couples will also use this as an opportunity to combine both their wedding and a honeymoon into one. Just keep in mind that it’s likely that your close family and friends will be joining you as well!

Your guest list may be a big factor in deciding on whether or not to have a destination wedding. In some ways, the commonly smaller guest list can be a blessing – it limits the pressure to invite your little-known cousins and colleagues. But it’s also important to bear in mind that not everyone will be able to travel to your wedding. Illness, lack of funds, work commitments, kids, and any other number of reasons can prohibit someone from being able to join you on your special day. If there are people in your life that you absolutely must have present at your wedding, discuss the possibility with them first before committing.

The other nice part about a smaller guest list is a smaller budget! Destination weddings tend to be generally less expensive due to the smaller number of attendees, the lack of necessary décor, and the fact that the guests will be doing a lot of the paying themselves.

There are clearly pros and cons to a destination wedding and while they can be a great option for some, they’re not the right fit for everyone. What do you think? Does a destination wedding appeal to you? Let us know in the comments below!

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