Destination weddings are quickly becoming a popular option, but as with any wedding choice, they come with their own pros and cons.
The biggest appeal of having a destination wedding is being able to get married in a beautiful setting and potentially having a much smaller guest list as not everyone will have the time or money to make the trip. However, this also means that some people that you would have wanted to be there might not be able to make it.
Before settling on the idea of a destination wedding, chat to the people that you absolutely have to have at your wedding and see if they are able to make it. You can also consider covering a portion of their costs if your budget allows. For example, you could pay for their accommodation and then they are just responsible for their flights.
While your guest list may be smaller, meaning your ceremony and reception will cost less, you will have to spend more money on events surrounding the wedding to thank your guests for attending and making their trip worthwhile, and again, if you decide to cover their accommodation or some other costs, you will be spending even more.
The biggest gift you will receive from your guests is their presence; if you are having a destination wedding, that should be enough. Since most of your guests’ budgets will go towards flights and possibly accommodation, you need to be okay with receiving smaller or fewer gifts.
Some resorts at popular destination wedding locations offer all-inclusive packages which means that most of the planning and execution will be done for you, which takes a lot of the stress off. But leaving the fate of your wedding day in the hands of others, especially when you are not able to be there to oversee planning and preparations, can also be very stressful. One way to combat this is to be flexible and to find reputable vendors.
Do your research on marriage laws in the location of your wedding and find out if the marriage licence you obtain is also legal in your home country. A way to get around this potential hassle is to get legally married in your home country and use your destination wedding as your celebration. You can decide whether or not to tell your guests about your legal marriage before the wedding, but since your destination wedding will be the main event and look exactly like any other wedding it might not be necessary.
A big pro that comes with having a destination wedding is that you will save on your honeymoon as you will already be in the setting of your dreams. Although, this also means that your wedding guests will potentially be on your honeymoon with you as they have already travelled quite a way. You can consider travelling a short distance from your wedding location for a more private honeymoon. For example, if you decide to host your wedding in Santorini, you and your partner can travel to one of the other Greek islands for your honeymoon.
Things to consider:
– Whether the location of your destination wedding is easily accessible
– Sending out save the dates way before the recommended time to give your guests enough time to look at flights and book at cheaper rates
– Whether you are able to contribute towards any of the costs that come with a destination wedding like flights, accommodation or food
– The fact that not everyone will be able to make it… and that some people you were hoping wouldn’t come will think this is a great excuse to take a little vacation.
At the end of the day, it is your wedding and you decide where you get married, so you just need to see if the pros outweigh the cons based on your personal preferences.