Fiji, Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Iceland. These are just a few of the many beautiful and exquisite destinations that engaged couples plan to wed at. The desire to get married abroad is a trending theme and wildly growing in popularity. Some people however, don't care for this new idea. They would rather the happy couple tie the knot close to all of their family and friends or in their hometown church. New ideas and changes to the social norms tend bring negative nellies out of the wood work and can make you feel horrible about your wedding decisions. Planning a destination wedding won't be without it's ups and downs, but I can help in avoiding some of the worry factors surrounding it.

  1. Safety- I think one of the main concerns of family and friends who want to attend their loved one's destination wedding is "how safe is it?" This all depends on the location you chose. Make sure you look into the crime stats and news from the area you are interested in getting married at. You don't want to have your guests fearing for their safety in a bad part of town or in an area where it's known for it’s rise in crime. You can provide comfort to your guests by letting them know you have spoken to the local authorities and the area you are requesting is reasonably safe.
  2. Guest Expenses- Wedding etiquette dictates that the guests pay for all of their travel costs. These costs include airfare, lodging and food. They should also pay for any added excursions they choose to go on while they are at the wedding destination. Some of your invited guests may not be able to attend due to these costs or time they have to spend traveling. I have spoken to several brides who said this was a major setback for them. While they want their family and friends to attend, they prefer to have their destination wedding- which is the wedding of their dreams. There are two ways to go about this: 
    1. Live stream the wedding and air it at a specific venue in your home town so all of your family and friends can view the wedding festivities for afar. This allows you to still have your destination wedding and hopefully will reduce the amount of hurt feelings.
    2. Host a reception for all your loved ones when you get back from the wedding. This way they can celebrate with you and still feel a part of the wedding memory making.
  3. Wedding Party Expenses: Being in the wedding party can get pretty expensive if you're in a wedding where you have to travel. The wedding party will have to pay for their attire, airfare, lodging, gifts, bachelor/bridal parties and any other expenses that arise. If you have a member of the wedding party that cannot pay for all of these expenses, you might want to pay for an item to help them out. Just remember, what you do for one, you need to do for all. Let's say you've paid for the bridesmaids’ attire but one of them is still complaining that they cannot afford to go and are demanding you pay for all the other expenses. As much as you want them in your wedding, I know this may not be feasible. Even if you do decide to pay for this persons way, other wedding party members might catch wind of this and demand you do the same for them as well. To avoid a mutiny, just tell that person "I am so sorry but we cannot afford to do this. We really want you to be a part of our big day but understand if you cannot afford to do so."
  4. Questioning who pays- Some guests may question if the bride and groom are paying their way to the wedding after receiving their invite. To avoid this confusion, insert a saying such as "Some options you might like to consider for airfare and lodging is ......... These sites have reasonable and competitive prices."  Make a short list to include sites that offer competitive fees for airfare and lodging so your guests have an easier job of researching and booking their travel plans. You will also need to state when you want to know who is able to attend so you can book a large enough venue and order enough food for the wedding.
  5. Unwanted Honeymoon guests- Having a destination wedding with all your friends and family which were able to attend is a great way to celebrate your nuptials. However, it's not a ton of fun if they tag along on your honeymoon. How to avoid this is pretty simple. You can change hotels/resorts after the wedding so you aren't bumping into family in the lobby each day. You can also tell everyone goodbye after the wedding so they know you are going off to enjoy your honeymoon, just the two of you. 
  6. Holiday Weddings- Just don't. Holiday weddings, especially destination weddings during the holidays, are not joyous for quite a few people. This means they (if they can afford to attend) would have to give up their holiday traveling to someplace they wouldn't normally go and possibly have to give up their family traditions to celebrate your wedded bliss. Their holiday would no longer be a holiday.

I hope these tips have helped you in some way. If you have some tips on how you handled a stressful situation with your destination wedding we would love to hear about it.

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