"A Wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly."
A Wedding is a joyous celebration of two people madly in love, joining together as one in holy matrimony. There are many cultures that celebrate their nuptials differently, but they all have the same result; a happily married couple. Every little girl dreams of her big day. What she will wear, the type of flowers she will have, who her bridesmaids will be and possibly what she imagines her groom will look like. That moment she is an adult and gets asked those four very important words, "Will you marry me" is like the start to a dream coming true.
Once you're engaged it's time to start the planning. You pick a budget, set a date and then discuss locations. Should you have a backyard wedding? Maybe a wedding in your hometown church is best? Sometimes the venue you've chosen doesn't have an availability for the date you want, so, what do you do? Change the date or the venue? I suggest changing the venue. Weddings can be very stressful to plan and can put a major strain on your wallet. Would you prefer a wedding that is relaxing, beautiful and most of the work is done for you? Then a destination wedding is the best option for you. Especially if the destination spot is someplace that holds great significance to your relationship.
Destination weddings have their pro's and con's like any wedding but are still a wonderful option to consider. I have taken the liberty to list those pros and cons for you and as you will see, the pros far outweigh the cons.
- Beautiful Destination: You can pick a beautiful destination like Hawaii, Fiji or maybe Jamaica. You don't have to travel far to have a destination wedding either. If you live in Virginia, you could travel to New York or Pennsylvania for example.
- It holds great significance: Certain locations may hold a great significance to you and your fiance and would be a great spot to tie the knot. For example- if you first met while on vacation in Puerto Rico or you became engaged in Hawaii. Tying the knot at that special place would make your day that much more memorable.
- Already in your honeymoon location: If you did a destination wedding you could just stay the week for your honeymoon. You can usually obtain discounts for booking a longer reservation.
- Ready made theme: Planning a wedding and picking a theme is daunting. Destination weddings allow you to take it easy because your theme is already set within your destination.
- Less Expensive: Destination weddings are typically less expensive. Especially if you purchase the Wedding Packages offered.
- Possible Discounts: You may obtain possible discounts for reserving a certain number of rooms for you and your guests at the same hotel.
- Heavy lifting is done for you: Most of the wedding planning is done for you by the wedding planners and resort staff. You will just need to express what you want, check in from time to time, and finalize everything once your there. You may also want to plan a trip during the planning process to make sure everything you are requesting is being fulfilled. Just make sure to add this extra trip into your budget.
- Family drama: Having a wedding a ways away from family means you won't have all that family drama. Mainly because not all of your family and friends will be able to afford flights and will therefore have to miss your wedding. Just think, you'll miss your aunts rude comments oh how puffy your dress is, your uncle's weird hugs hello and your families judgmental stares at your new in-laws. This results in a smaller guest list- which brings us to #9.
- Fewer guests: Yes you may have fewer guests than you'd probably like, but you will be getting married in a great location and fewer guests means a smaller wedding; which means less money spent on food for the guests, etc.
- Guests pay their own way: You don't have to pay for your guests to fly to your wedding. This is something they will need to budget for. Just make sure that those whom are able to attend book their flights and let you know in advance so rooms can be reserved in a timely manner. You might be able to get them a discount by booking the reservations in bulk.
Now the cons:
- Difficulty planning long distance: Some brides have complained that it is difficult to plan long distance. The solution to this is planning a trip out to the venue once or twice before the wedding to make sure that everything you are asking for is what you'll be receiving.
- Legal issues: Marriage license legalities vary in different states and countries. Some countries require you to live there for 6 weeks before obtaining a marriage license. Others require blood tests. Make sure to check the laws in regards to marriage licenses before fully deciding on the location for your destination wedding.
- Has to be a smaller wedding: Again some of your guests may not be able to attend due to money or travel issues. They might even be required (if the wedding will be out of country) to obtain a passport.
- Hurt feelings: I have spoken to a few brides who said that they have family members who are hurt that they can't attend the wedding due to travel and money issues. This is something you may run into but always remember it's your wedding day- not theirs. You can always live stream the wedding so that family and friends who couldn't afford to attend can still be apart of the nuptials from afar.
- Honeymoon crashers: Having a destination wedding and a honeymoon at the same location may mean sharing your honeymoon with your family and friends. You might want to plan activities for your family members so that they can do their own thing while you and your love bug enjoy some quality alone time.
- Extra luggage: You may need to purchase extra luggage tickets for the flight home due to wedding decor, souvenirs and gifts you'll be receiving.
- Weather: If you are planning your wedding in a specific month, make sure it isn't during hurricane season. This could put a damper on the festivities or cancel them all together.
Destination weddings in my opinion are a wonderful way to get married. I honestly wish I was able to have been married in Hawaii or Italy instead. If you are interested in planning a destination wedding I have a few tips to help you along with your budget and planning ventures.
- Factor in accessibility for guests: You will need to figure the costs for travel, flights (including connections and layovers), hotel and food for your guests to and from their location. This will allow them to book their flights in a timely manner and save for the trip early on.
- Marriage License: Always check the laws for marriage licenses where you are getting hitched. You don't want to show up the week of your wedding, get married and then find out that you're not really married because you didn't follow the laws for the marriage license.
- WEDDING PACKAGES: I put this in all caps because I strongly believe you will save time, money, and stress if you hire a wedding planner through a wedding package. A wedding package can include flowers, location, food, cake, photography and entertainment. You will be responsible for your wedding attire and those of your wedding party as well as thank you gifts for the wedding party.
- Weather: Always plan your wedding away from hurricane and tourist seasons. You don't want to get rained out on your wedding day. You also don't want to have to combat tourists for the proper amount of hotel rooms you and your guests will need for the week of your wedding.
- Plan ahead of time: Plan ahead of time and pack many of your own items such as toiletries (hair stuff, makeup, etc.). The more personal stuff you pack, the less you'll have to spend time purchasing the week of your wedding.
- Get wed during the week: Getting married during the week may be cheaper on a non-peak day and may mean more availability for wedding spots during tourist season.
- Save on the extras: You can take off site excursions for your honeymoon or group outings during your wedding week. This may save you more money in the long run. You can even see what packages the hotel you are staying at has available for all the "fun stuff".
- Choose local: Choose all local vendors when planning your wedding. Your wedding planner can help you with the best bakers for your cake, florist, photographer, and rentals in the area of your wedding. This helps you save on shipping costs and local might get you a better discount. If you purchase a wedding package, it just might include most of these vendors in the package already.
- Give it the boot: You don't need to provide your guests with favors and gifts. This is something you can cut from the planning. Again this not only saves costs on shipping the items to the location, but also saves you from having to purchase and worry about them at all. If you prefer to purchase thank you gifts, wait till you get back from your honeymoon to give those out. This saves you from having to ship them to the destination wedding site.
- Express-ship gifts: Have your guests send their gifts to your home several weeks prior to the wedding. This helps in saving the guests room in their luggage and you don't have to worry about shipping all those gifts home with you. You'll have enough luggage to worry about- wedding decor, souvenirs, and small gifts from guests who don't like to listen.
"So much of who we are is where we have been"
I hope that wherever you plan to wed, your wedding day is a joyous and memorable occasion. I pray that your special day is beautiful, relaxing and that you're surrounded by your family and friends no matter how big or small the occasion turns out to be.
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