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  • Writer's pictureCindy Lee

Thinking about a Destination Wedding? Should we???

Should we consider a destination wedding?

Destination weddings are weddings that are held away from home, usually in a vacation location, and are popular for many reasons, one of which is the opportunity to save money on the actual wedding.

Destination weddings come in different sizes – some are just the couple on an elopement, some involve just close family and friends and others have lots of family and friends with multiple parties over the course of a long weekend or several days.

Deciding to have a destination wedding can be overwhelming and that’s where your Destination Wedding Expert comes in. We can answer all of your questions, from our first contact either by phone or email, and our free one hour initial consultation.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved in choosing a destination wedding and discover if you want to move forward…

Reason #1…most destination weddings are held at an island resort, however you can plan a destination wedding anywhere in the world. Just keep in mind that a wedding in Italy is going to cost a lot more, not only for you as the bride and groom, but also for your guests. There are typically no package deals in European destinations, but if your dream is Italy, Scotland, Ireland, etc, we can still assist.

All inclusive resorts are usually the most affordable options when it comes to a destination wedding due to the fact that they offer packages complete with welcome parties, wedding ceremony set up, officiant, cake, flowers, a reception including dancing, etc. They typically have a complimentary on-site wedding coordinator who will help you with choosing colors, flowers, etc. Your Destination Wedding Expert will take care of all of your guests attending, including travel arrangements from their home to the resort and back - and all you do is show up!

Depending on the size of the wedding group, including all guests, your actual wedding costs can vary from $5000 to $15,000 and up, depending also on how elaborate you want the wedding to be. This does not include travel expenses, but usually, the more guests you have attending, the lower your costs for the actual wedding itself.

Reason #2 – You don’t have to invite EVERYONE to your wedding!

We all have those irritating relatives, neighbors and friends who we feel obligated to invite to a home-town wedding. But with a destination wedding, you have the option of only inviting the people you really want to have attend – or you can keep it really simple and intimate and not invite anyone! It’s a good excuse to cut the guest list way down! You can always send pictures to the irritating people!

A smaller guest list can also mean a lot less expensive reception. Chances are good that if you have a wedding at home, your guest list will be anywhere from 50 to 250 people. The cost of a nice sit-down dinner at a restaurant at home could cover the entire wedding at a destination resort.

Even though the cost of the reception is considerably lower, keep in mind that you need to include the cost of travel in your budget. You may read that etiquette suggests that the bride and groom pays for the hotel, meals and some guest expenses, but with a destination wedding, most guests pay their own way and that is their gift to the wedding couple – and it’s a vacation for them! Keep your family and friends’ budgets in mind when choosing a location and work with your Destination Wedding Expert to determine the best resort, not only for your dream wedding location, but also one that will work with your guests’ budgets. Your Expert will negotiate on your behalf with resorts to get you the best package with a block of rooms at a reduced rate for your guests and can set up payment plans so that it’s not a burden for anyone to pay all at one time. And don’t judge anyone’s pocketbook until you ask! You may be pleasantly surprised when you bring up the subject and your friends and family all say YES!!

Reason #3: Honeymoon at your wedding location! When a couple gets married at a local venue, most likely, their first night as husband and wife is at home, at a local hotel or a bed and breakfast. With a destination wedding, your first night is at your dream wedding location in a beautiful resort. And another perk? You have a good excuse to go back for your anniversaries!!

Reasons why a Destination Wedding might not be for you…

Reason 1: Your friends and family are on your honeymoon. To make sure you have enough romantic time together, plan some activities away from the group, just for the two of you. Go on a sunset catamaran sail; take an excursion to a secluded island, etc. Insist that you have some alone time. Go a few days early, before the wedding (that’s actually required in some locations) to have a few days alone – or plan a honeymoon in the same destination but at a different resort! Or it could be as simple as requesting a room in the same resort, but far away from the rest of the group! There are lots of options and your Destination Wedding Expert can help you with those plans!

Reason #2: Some of the people you really want there won’t be able to make it… It’s a reality of life that not everyone has the same budget. So take into consideration the main people you want there – their budget, their health, their vacation time from work, etc. If cost is the only factor, you might want to think about helping reduce their costs, especially if they are really important to you. Before you make any deposits, talk to your key players and if you would be devastated that they can’t be there, you might want to re-consider a destination wedding or at maybe increase your own budget to help them with travel expenses. No one else has to know that you helped your best friend get there so she could be your maid of honor! The good news is, you’ll have a lot more time to spend with the people you love at a destination wedding than you would for one day at a wedding at home.

Reason #3: You are a control freak and want to have a say in every little detail about the wedding. Or you are impatient. This may not work with a foreign destination. Most of the time you book the wedding date a year or so in advance to get the date you want, the ceremony time you want and to give yourself and your guests time to make payments. But you don’t actually talk to the on-site wedding coordinator until a couple of months prior to the wedding. All of the travel details will be worked out by your Destination Wedding Expert well in advance but some all inclusive resorts have multiple weddings every day and they don’t plan the details until the last couple of months prior. So if you are a detail controller – a destination wedding might not be for you.

Think you want to go ahead with a Destination Wedding?

There are some hurdles to cover when planning a destination wedding. Your Destination Wedding Expert will be there every step of the way to help you to choose the best resort for your group dynamic and suggest resorts that specialize in weddings. Click the link below and let’s set up your complimentary consultation to discuss your options!

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