Your wedding day is one of the most important milestones in your life and we all know how much stress wedding planning can give you and thinking of ways how you can make your wedding unique and reflect you as a couple at the same time. Before deciding on what color scheme or wedding theme you want, a bigger question should be tackled first. Where should you hold your wedding? (2,5) In this modern day and age, couples aren’t limited to just local venues - anywhere in the world can be your wedding venue.
Is a destination wedding expensive?
The short answer is not necessarily. There are a few things to consider before determining whether a destination wedding is expensive or not. In the end, it all boils down to how you plan your wedding.
The easiest way to figure out if a destination wedding is expensive or not is to choose between luxury or economy. It all depends on the location, time of year or season, design, and guest count. First, find out how much a wedding can cost to get married in your city then compare that cost doing a similar wedding in your dream wedding destination (1). Generally, all-inclusive deals can give you the best deals, but the time of the year should be greatly considered.
If you opt for an overseas wedding destination, the most important additional expense that should be considered is plane tickets. Keep in mind that hosting a destination wedding generally lowers your guest count, but now will factor in the additional cost of travel.
How to recognize that the wedding destination is perfect for you
You want a lower guest count
Moving your wedding to somewhere out of town will cause fewer RSVPs because of the cost and commitment to a destination wedding. But do not invite more than your budget can handle. In an instance where everyone you invited is available and can attend you don’t want to find yourself in a financial predicament (1,3,4).
A lower guest count means a less expensive reception. Although the reception may be less expensive, other factors will be added i.e. travel costs. Sometimes, destination wedding etiquette calls for the couple to shoulder the accommodation of guests and other expenses - though etiquette varies greatly and can dramatically change over time. Some only pay for the reception and the ceremony, and some do not pay anything at all and are taken care of by their parents.
You are inviting a lot of guests from out of town
If most of your guests are going to travel anyway, then you might as well move your wedding venue somewhere people are excited to go and give your guests and yourself more time to spend with your friends. Instead of only seeing your guests for a few minutes during a reception and taking photos, a destination wedding will allow you to socialize more after your wedding. You’ll have more opportunities to hand out on the beach, in a pool, or in bars before and after your big day.
Having a limited budget
Yes, it may seem counterintuitive to have a destination wedding if you have a limited budget, but you will be surprised how it can control your wedding budget.
So how does a wedding destination help you save? One, you can limit the guest list, and limiting the guest list means a smaller reception - you can automatically save on the food, beverages, and entertainment. Your reception is one of the most expensive components of your wedding and you can cut it in half with a destination wedding - and weddings aren’t about receptions anyway. Two, wedding destinations offer you dramatic and scenic backdrops for your portraits reducing the cost of your decor, flowers, and other designs. Lastly, having your wedding on your honeymoon destination consolidates travel costs, saving you a huge amount of money.
If you have concerns about your guests, you can hire a travel agent. An experienced travel agent can suggest accommodations that are affordable for any of your guests.
Wanting to have a unique wedding compared to the dozen boring weddings you have been to
It is normal that we would want a unique wedding compared to the dozen of traditional weddings that we have been to. A destination wedding is a great way to show your great personality. But do not limit your idea of a destination wedding with the image of a beach wedding. There are a lot of choices you can choose from. If you love the beach, being under the sun, and great tropical food - a remote island with dramatic sceneries and gourmet chefs will be a great choice. If you and your partner are athletic or sporty then a hike to your wedding venue or a ski wedding should give you the memory of a lifetime. Or if you are a historical geek or a bit more high-brow, then a European setting in a lush garden would be more appropriate for you.
Read our article “Elopement Guide in New Zealand” for interesting wedding destinations with romantic and dramatic views.
You love to travel with your partner
Your wedding is about you and your partner and it is only fitting that you incorporate something important to the two of you into your wedding. If you really want to travel then there is nobody to stop you. The people who really love you will find a way to be there no matter what.
How should you choose your wedding destination?
Brainstorming and research is the best way of finding the perfect wedding destination. It is important that you and your partner arrive at a decision together. You should write out a list of your dream wedding destinations and then combine the list by identifying which destinations are in common or are interesting for both of you.
It is crucial that you envision how you want your wedding to feel like - for both you and your guests. Do you imagine relaxing on the beach with your guests with a coconut in your hands, going on a hike to watch the sunrise, or maybe skiing in the alpines? Think about how you want to spend your wedding weekend and which destination will best achieve this vision.