Congratulations on your engagement! You may have always dreamed of a destination beach wedding, or you started to plan a local wedding and quickly found out how expensive those can get. Either way, you're here to gather more information and see if a destination wedding is the right fit for you.
As a past destination resort bride, I'm a little biased and would happily tell you to GO FOR IT, but I'm also realistic and know that it's not a fit for everyone. Below, you can find my thoughts on some advantages and disadvantages to consider as you are deciding if this is the route you want to go for your big day!
Advantages of a Destination Wedding
One of the best parts about a destination wedding is the quality time you will get with your close friends and family. Typically you only get a few hours at the reception, and so many couples say they felt obligated to talk to all their out of town guests that they didn't have enough time to enjoy their own reception they spent months on planning. With a destination wedding - most guests stay at least 3 nights and others make a vacation out of it, so you get at least 3 days to hang out, let loose and create memories together! These wedding vacations are definitely ones that everyone remembers and never forgets, so you will know your wedding will be unforgettable!
As I mentioned earlier the simple wedding packages with preferred vendors by the resort provides you a less stressful way to plan. You typically just work with 1-3 vendors, instead of a much bigger list of vendors involved when planning a traditional wedding. By having a vacation atmosphere, it can put people at ease and relieve some of that family drama - plus you can always hit the pool bar if you need a break from someone!
Lastly, it's great on the budget to combine your wedding and the honeymoon. You can stay where you are, upgrade your room category or even move to a nearby resort that may be a little more luxurious for your honeymoon celebration after the wedding. Since you are already in paradise, you can avoid the hassle of jetting off to the airport early after a traditional wedding!
Disadvantages of a Destination Wedding
Earlier I said it was easier to plan, but this could also be a disadvantage for some that need that face-to-face meeting to feel more comfortable. There are many resorts that offer a "big day preview" type option, where you can stay a few nights to meet with the onsite wedding coordinator, walk through the venue locations (and back-up options), taste the food and see or even meet with the other vendors. This would have an additional cost, but if you need a bit more control, it's a great way to ensure your sanity.
Language could also be a factor depending on your location. Sometimes words don't translate as intended, so it takes a little extra patience and understanding. You tend to also have a delay in response between emails, and it could be 3-4 days before you hear back. With the amount of weddings they perform each week, and a more laid-back culture in many Caribbean destinations, you will have to quickly appreciate the relaxed demeanor and go with the flow to keep your stress-levels in check.
Some destinations will have more strict requirements to perform a legal ceremony, including extra costs and "residency" rules in where you need to arrive a certain number of days, weeks or months prior. Be sure to check your destination's specifications to determine if you want the legal ceremony there, or if it's easier for you to do the legal paperwork back home first and have a symbolic ceremony in destination. You can find more information about the legality in my other article about How to Plan your Destination Wedding.
Destination Weddings are typically smaller than traditional weddings, so you may have to cut out some friends, extended family or co-workers - depending on your budget. Many guests may not even be able to make it due to the cost of travel, health issues, and even work or family obligations that won't allow them to take extended time off.
Travel is also unpredictable, so there could be flight delays that may cause some people to not make the actual wedding. Mother Nature is also erratic, but not only just the rain that can happen in a tropical destination, but seaweed or a red tide can be a factor. While you can try to organize around the seasons that tend to have higher chances for these events, you can't predict natural phenomenons. If something like that would absolutely ruin your day, focus on properties that have Sky Terraces with ocean views or a romantic Garden or Gazebo location.
I hope you found some valuable insight to help you determine if a destination is right for you. If you feel overwhelmed or would like assistance to narrow down the perfect destination or resort, we are here for you!
We spend most of our vacation time touring resorts, meeting with the wedding coordinators and training for destination weddings, so we can make it very simple for you. We save you time by filtering out all the bad advice and countless options for you. Let us take the guesswork out and match-make you to the destination and resorts that fit your style, vision and budget the best.
Together we will find your most perfect wedding resort and we take care of the logistics after that. All you have to do is the fun wedding planning and creating an unforgettable event your friend and family will remember for a lifetime! Schedule your free consultation to see how we can assist and learn more about our services!
7/16/2020 10:33:06 am
I'm glad you mentioned that planning is usually more simple for destination weddings since resorts generally offer all-inclusive packages. My fiance and I decided we want to get married sometime next year but haven't made any other decisions about the location or date. Having a destination wedding at an elegant, resort-like location sounds like a dream, so I'm really happy to hear it would be easy to plan as well!
Haley - Destinations HD
7/16/2020 03:03:44 pm
We are happy to hear this article was beneficial for you! You will be amazed at how easy it can be to plan a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort verse a traditional local wedding. Best of wishes with your wedding plans! If you need any assistance with travel or understanding the destination wedding planning process, just let us know. Congrats and enjoy your engagement!
2/11/2021 10:54:24 am
Thank you for pointing out that destination weddings can make the occasion a memorable experience for everyone involved. I want my wedding this summer to be memorable, so I'm thinking about having it at an outdoor destination. I'm going to search for a good outdoor venue in my area that offers destination weddings.
2/12/2021 12:46:05 pm
Wonderful to hear! Congratulations on your engagement and I hope you find the perfect outdoor venue for your memorable celebration!
3/24/2021 11:23:23 am
Will do Clare! Thanks for letting us know you find value in our destination wedding content! I want others to feel more prepared than I was :)
3/23/2021 02:27:14 pm
I'm glad to know a lot of venues and resorts allow you to preview everything before the big day. My fiance and I want our wedding to be perfect. We'll gladly go look at a venue in person before renting it just to be sure we like it and know where everything will go.
3/24/2021 11:21:41 am
Great to hear Chris! Glad we could help! Have fun exploring your resort options!
3/25/2021 07:06:14 am
Thank you for this suitable article about pros and cons of a destination wedding, it will help me and people like me looking for the same. I appreciate your effort for taking time to do your research and present these details before us. Really nice way to present this content, very appreciative!!
4/7/2021 08:49:14 am
My daughter will be getting married soon, and she wants me to help out with choosing a venue. It makes sense that I would want to get one that's nice and local! I can see how it would be easier for their friends and family to be able to attend it that way.
4/7/2021 05:20:58 pm
Congrats on your daughters engagement! When you have a very large group of family and friends that you want at the wedding, a local wedding is more ideal to ensure most everyone can join. Typically when you want less than 100 guests, or trying to keep it smaller, that's when a destination wedding can be a great option. Have so much fun planning!!
4/30/2021 06:46:35 am
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5/3/2021 10:19:05 pm
You made a good point when you shared that it is great to choose a destination wedding where you can combine your wedding together with your honeymoon. My friend just mentioned the other day that she is thinking of getting married at the beach that is located nearby to her hometown. I will suggest to her looking for a reliable service that can offer beach wedding packages for her.
12/9/2021 10:26:22 am
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1/27/2023 10:52:57 am
It captured me the most when you mentioned that a destination wedding allows you to make a vacation out of it. My friend wants to add entertainment to their destination wedding. I should advise her to add DJs, MCs, and party specialists to make her reception lively.
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