We wouldn’t say destination weddings are a traditional option, but more and more engaged couples seem to be making the choice to tie the knot somewhere other than their hometown. Seriously though, there’s something intriguing about flying somewhere warm, spending the day at the spa and then saying ‘I Do’ on a beach at sunset. Whether looking to get married on the beach, in the gorgeous colors of fall forest, or in a mountain top chalet, the only destination restriction is your imagination! Of course, just like with everything there are pros and cons, so here are a few as you begin your consideration.
Let’s start with some benefits! While destination weddings are not cheap, they are likely to be less expensive than a large traditional ceremony and reception. Much of the cost savings come from the fact that destination weddings are usually smaller and more intimate gatherings with only your closest friends and family. This option also gives you the ability to wrap some of your honeymoon costs into the cost of the ceremony, therefore equaling another savings opportunity. Hotel venues most likely have combination deals that wrap up all of the details into one neatly presented package saving you time, money and effort. All you have to do is show up! Imagine that! The quality time spent with those closest to you, with the memories and adventures experienced during such a precious time is certainly worth more than gold!
Of course one of the biggest downfalls of destination weddings is the possibility for feelings to get hurt. Not being invited to attend or not being able to attend because of the financial cost can really add stress to the celebration. Remember, that unless you’ve got it in the budget, guests will have to pay for their own travel, accommodations, meals and ground transportation for your wedding…these expenses add up very quickly. Another thing that many would consider a downfall is the lack of ability for ‘hands-on’ planning. If you have a destination wedding, you must be prepared to put your wishes into the hands of a wedding planner or a representative from the venue. While the wedding planner will take the burden of making arrangements, you will most likely lose some control over the details.
Be sure to ask as many questions as you can think of. If at all possible, try to get a dedicated representative from the venue that you can contact during your planning, or better yet, consider hiring a wedding planner who is local to the destination to do the footwork for you. Of course, unless you are running away to Vegas, you must be proactive about planning. Popular venues fill up long in advance, and you are also competing with conferences and events for hotel blocks. Don’t forget the importance of checking on the state and county regulations for marriage licenses! You’ve gone through a lot of trouble so you’ll want your marriage to be legal!
Couples who opt for destination weddings often have a hometown reception when they return from their honeymoon, which is a great chance to include your friends and family who could not get to the ceremony. It’s even a great chance to wear your wedding gown again, and what bride doesn’t want an excuse to do that!
Happy Destination Hunting!
Your New Beginnings Bridal Studio Team