Destination Weddings

Starfish On A Caribbean Beach With Two Silver Wedding Rings

Why choose a destination wedding?

Planning their wedding can be an overwhelming process for many brides and grooms. There are so many details to consider – location, décor, vendors, food, and guest list. All of those things add to the stress level when planning a wedding, and then there is the b-word to consider…budget. According to a March 2014 article on CNN.com, the average cost of a wedding in the US has hit $30,000.

Destination weddings offer you a wonderful alternative. They often simplify the planning process and could save you thousands of dollars. Just a couple of reasons that destination weddings have been gaining popularity.

Top ten reasons for a destination wedding

  1. You can say “I do” anywhere! A destination wedding is defined as marrying at least 100 miles from where the bride currently lives. So imagine the options that definition opens up for you – the world really is your playground.
  2. You’ll stand out from the pack. More than 2 million American couples wed every year – and fewer than 25 percent of them have destination dos. Bonus: Wed away, and you won’t have to choose from the same old hometown spots all your friends have booked.
  3. It’s easier. Many wedding-worthy resorts offer free planning help to couples, whether the event is for two or 200, and an abundance of packages keeps things simple while still giving opportunities to customize. Want something more involved? Turn to an independent planner who specializes in more elaborate events.
  4. You can save on decor. With a destination wedding in a stunning setting, your location of choice supplies the theme, from castle fairytale to sea-inspired soiree. And when you choose an amazing backdrop, it doesn’t take much to dress it up. Opt for a pristine beach, a tidy vineyard, a blooming garden, or a historic plantation house furnished with graceful antiques, and you’ll be more than covered with a few simple florals and other modest accents.
  5. Enjoy quality time with loved ones. The standard wedding lasts for five hours, and the bride and groom spend most of that time running from table to table, trying to say hello to everyone. A destination do spans a minimum of three days, which means, now that you’ve finally gotten your nearest and dearest together, you can actually spend quality time with them! Hooray!
  6. It’s a great excuse to limit the guest list. The very nature of destination weddings – they require travel, a longer time commitment, and hotel stays – gives you the perfect excuse to cut down on an often unmanageable number of invitees. Think the second cousins and office mates will be miffed? You can always throw a post-wedding party – complete with plenty of photos – when you get back home.
  7. Guests can save on a vacation. Ask your host hotel about discounted room rates for your guests; most resorts are more than willing to bargain in exchange for group business. Some airlines, such as United and American, offer discounted airfares for groups of ten of more. And ultimately, your friends will have a blast! Destination weddings give friends and family that most valuable commodity: time to kick back, connect, and celebrate. And what’s more fun than that?
  8. You’ll share a locale you love. Part of the joy of a destination wedding is showing off a place that has special meaning to you, be it bringing friends and family back to a beloved college campus, sharing where you took your first vacation as a couple, or finally going to a locale you’ve always dreamed of visiting.
  9. Flexible timing helps with budgeting. You’ll be at your destination for a few days, so work with your vendors to see how timing can trim costs. After all, if everyone is already there, you can wed on a Friday, a Sunday or even a Tuesday. What does the day of the week matter in paradise? Look at seasonality too. Many Caribbean hotels drop their prices dramatically in mid-April, so by planning your wedding for May, you can get the same great digs for a fraction of the price paid by visitors a few weeks earlier. Likewise, mountain resort towns offer big savings in spring and fall.
  10. You can start the honeymoon early. Just arriving at your destination is sure to put you in a relaxed mood as the pre-wedding festivities begin. Many hotels offer automatic upgrades to the bride and groom on their wedding night, and you may be able to negotiate an extended mini-moon at a reduced rate after the guests have gone home.

How to choose your location

Now that you’ve decided to have a destination wedding, you’ll need to decide where that destination should be. Picking your location can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. We are here to help narrow down all of the options and find the perfect spot for your special day. Contact us today and we can start making your dream a reality.

Here are some tips when picking the destination.

  1. Close your eyes. When you close your eyes and visualize your big day, what do you see? Is it a white sandy beach with beautiful turquoise water and a melting sun in the distance? Maybe it is on the high seas aboard a cruise ship, or perhaps you see a fairytale wedding in Disney.
  2. Family friendly or adults only. This is a tough question to consider because it greatly impacts your guest list and your resort options; however, it is a question that must be considered early on in the planning process.
  3. Budget. When picking the location for your destination wedding, you’ll need to consider the cost for your guests. For example, the cost to fly to Mexico may be much more affordable than to St. Thomas.
  4. Time away. If you think most of your guests can only get away for a few nights, you may want to opt for a destination where the travel time is limited. Getting to and from some destinations can be an all-day affair while others can be a short flight away.
  5. Travel documents. Consider whether or not passports are needed to get to your destination and if the majority of your guests have one. If you don’t think your guests have passports already, you’ll want to consider this added cost.