Wedding Wednesday is a weekly feature discussing all things wedding-related! To suggest a topic or question, contact Gwen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we got engaged, we knew that we wanted to have a destination wedding. Our friends and families are scattered throughout the country, so we knew that no matter where chose to have the wedding most of our guests would have to travel. And our observation at most weddings was that the bride and the groom hardly get to talk to their guests because the day is so busy! A destination wedding allowed us to combine our marriage ceremony, love of travel, desire to spend more time with our friends, and take a honeymoon all into one package!
Even though there are some great reasons to have a destination wedding, there are also some things you need to consider. We’ll touch on a little of both!
Great reasons to have a destination wedding:
1. Have a destination you’ve always wanted to visit? Why not get married there. It’s a great excuse to travel!
2. Make it a weddingmoon! You can save money by combining your nuptials and honeymoon in the same location. Also, the days leading up to a wedding can be very stressful. In a destination wedding, those days leading up to the big day will feel more like a vacation and give you a chance to decompress. And once your wedding day happens, the rest of your time will feel like an amazing vacation with your best friends and family.
3. Cut down on the guest list. Let’s face it, all couples worry about a growing guest list. You’re already stressing over who to invite and who not to. Planning a destination wedding is a good way to cut down that guest list. A majority of family and friends may not be able to travel to your destination location, but the ones that are closest to you will find a way to come!
4. More time for photos! When you take a destination wedding, it’s possible for you to plan to be at your location for a least a few days. Depending on how long you plan on having your photographer on location, you have more opportunities to take photos, including an on-location engagement session and a day-after session. Chances are, your destination location has a bunch of great spots, so why not take advantage of them. You will feel less pressured to get all your photos done on your wedding day, especially if you’re willing to do a day-after or trash-the-dress session.
Some things to carefully consider:
1. There’s a chance you might not get to see the location before you get there. It’s a bit of a risk, but as long as you do your research, things will be fine. An on-site coordinator is almost a must-have in terms of making sure things are setup as you want and arrange for vendors.
2. Travel plans can be stressful. If you have family and friends flying in from all over the country to one location, there can always be some travel-related issues. Airport delays, weather issues. When planning your destination wedding, make sure you have some built-in buffers to allow for any unexpected travel issues.
3. Different countries have different marriage laws. The Bahamas requires a couple to be in the country for 24 hours before they can apply for a marriage license and the ceremony must be performed before sunset in order to be valid. Other countries require blood tests and other examinations. Make sure you know the requirements in the destination you are interested in.
4. If you have a destination wedding, bringing favors, programs, and other typical wedding items, transporting them to your destination location can be tricky. Also, if you have a bouquet and cake in a foreign wedding location, you will not be able to bring them back to the US. Some brides don’t worry about saving their bouquets or having lots of favors, but if it’s a sticking point for you, make sure you consider it when thinking about having a destination wedding.