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  • Writer's pictureCindy Lee

Destination Wedding vs Traditional at Home - which one??

Planning a wedding can be one of the most fun and enjoyable things you'll ever do - and it can also be one of the most stressful things you'll ever do! There are so many details to plan, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. You have work and social obligations and limited time for planning, so let's break down the biggest questions...

1. Where should you have the wedding? At home with all of your family, friends, coworkers, etc. - at a country club, farm location, barn, or other local wedding venue? Have you googled the wedding venues near you and decided to go check out a few? Call and make an appointment and ask LOTS of questions - what dates do they have available; do they have an on-site coordinator or do you need to hire one? Do they provide the caterer or do you need to hire one? What additional costs are there for using the venue? How many weddings per day do they hold? If the wedding and reception is to be outside, is there an alternate place to hold the wedding in case of rain?

OR if your dream has always been to be married on a beach with palm trees swaying, a Destination Wedding might be your choice. The Caribbean, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and other beach locations are very popular and all-inclusive resorts make the planning that much easier.

If your dream has always been to have a large wedding with everyone you know and love in attendance, then a local wedding might be your choice. But if you've ever gone to a family wedding and had a great time, but afterward thought "wow, it sure would have been nice to have everyone together for more than just a few hours" - a destination wedding might be your choice!

2. How much does a wedding cost? The average cost of a traditional "at home" wedding (in any typical wedding venue in the Maryland/DC suburbs, with 100 guests, is about $35,000 according to the financial website 24/7 WallSt. The average cost of a destination wedding, at an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean, with 100 guests, is about $17,000 (average number of guests at a destination wedding is 40 so that brings the cost closer to $10,000).

With a local wedding, all of the expense is paid for by the bride and groom and possibly their parents or sometimes even grandparents. At a Destination Wedding, the bride and groom can usually have their hotel expenses paid complimentary from the resort, depending on how many guests end up attending. There is usually a "package" that is also free but can increase your costs when you start adding extra flowers, a DJ, photographers, etc., so those "free" weddings do end up costing more than zero. Every resort has a different "free" package so the total cost will depend on how many guests, extras added, etc. All of the guests pay their own travel and resort expenses so don't let that figure scare you - but hire a travel advisor to help take the stress of managing all of those air and hotel reservations for you - you have enough to plan with the wedding details. Let a professional take care of your guests!

3. How do I start planning a destination wedding? Your best option is to hire an experienced Destination Wedding Expert - a travel advisor who is specially trained in destination wedding planning. There are a lot of "parts", such as choosing a destination, choosing the right resort, navigating the room block contract, assisting guests with their reservations, coordinating with the on-site wedding coordinators, keeping everything on a smooth time-line.

At All the Details Destination Weddings, we do just that - we help you with ALL THE DETAILS!

Curious to know more? Contact us for a FREE consultation - up to 45 minutes on the phone or on a ZOOM video meeting to ask any questions you'd like! Let's explore together to make sure that you have all the answers before committing to any agreement.


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