The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Destination Wedding
Are you considering having a destination wedding? There are several pro's and con's of doing a destination wedding, so let's jump into the obvious reasons:
The obvious pros are:
1) Your wedding will be forever memorable
2) You weed out the riff-raff (ie: you get to be more picky with who you invite)
3) You can have a smaller, more intimate wedding
4) You MIGHT save some money (depending on where you go and how many people you invite)
The obvious cons are:
1) Legal issues (around ceremony rituals, marriage licenses, etc)
2) Travel and logistics
3) Expense (they're not always cheaper)
4) Attendance (some of your fave friends may not be able to go or afford to go)
So, if you're OK with everything listed above and you want to move forward with the destination wedding, let me first say how important it is to hire a planner! And I'm not just saying this because I am a wedding planner... There is a lot of red tape that you need to navigate through in order to have your dream destination wedding.
So, what kind of red tape am I talking about? I'm talking about ground transportation, room blocks, hotel amenities, city ordinances, hotel and beach protocols, shipping, decor regulations, and the list goes on and on.
With that said, how do you pick the best spot for your destination wedding? Believe it or not, the good 'ole United States has plenty of awesome destination spots; that is if you want to keep things SIMPLE. But, if you want to head to Fiji, then go for it, but make sure you have plenty of time to do your research and dot your i's and cross your t's!
A destination wedding should be planned at least 18 months in advance. Considering the times we live in now, even more time might be more appropriate. So, keep the above information in mind when looking for your perfect spot.
The average cost for destination weddings in 2021 was $32,700 according to the Knot.
In fact, if you read the article on the Knot highlighted above, you can see that having a wedding in your own hometown was that much cheaper than doing a destination wedding!
Again, the # of people that attend can play a big part in your final budget, but it's worth considering.
I had a bride who recently decided to move her wedding from Houston to Colorado. Aspen, as a matter of fact. A pricey town, to say the least! However, when I asked her why she wanted to move her wedding, she simply said "because it's prettier there and I want to make my wedding as memorable as it can be." To that I say, "Awesome."
I tell all my brides...."it's not your mom's wedding, your sister's wedding, your future MIL's wedding, it's yours. If you want to get married in a Louisiana swamp because you and your fiancé met there on a gator tour and it's nostalgic for you two, then do it!"
Girls, our biggest problem is that we try too hard to please EVERYONE ELSE. You want THEM to enjoy your day; you want THEM to have a wonderful experience; you want THEM to be jealous of your dress (lol!), yada yada. Sound familiar? What about how YOU want to enjoy your day? Or where YOU want to say "I do?"
Are you scared that if you invite 300 people to Jamaica and only 12 people show up your wedding will be a disaster? Let me assure you, it won't. There's nothing disastrous about marrying the love of your life. I know you want to share it with ALL of your peeps,
but it's really not about them, is it?
So, hire a good videographer and throw a killer party and show them how awesome your wedding day was and hand out custom post cards with you, your new hubby and the gator in between! It doesn't matter that they weren't there. Whoever was destined to be there will BE THERE.
In conclusion, if having a destination wedding is something you are seriously considering, let me encourage you and say DO IT! People are dying to get out now. Covid is supposedly "over" and travel protocols have eased up. So, if you're going to do a destination wedding, now is the time!
I think people are looking for a reason to travel and they will look forward to your destination wedding like no other trip! Everyone has been in lockdown for two years so why not schedule your wedding for Honolulu in 2023?
If you are seriously considering a destination wedding, please know that I am here to help you. I can help you put a preliminary budget together and assist with ceremony restrictions, hotel room blocks, country protocols, and anything else you will need to consider when planning a destination wedding; whether it is in the United states or in a foreign country.
Feel free to schedule a quick call with me to get more info on your destination wedding. I would be honored to help out. Lastly, I offer a lot of inside information for brides so don't forget to sign up to receive monthly FREEBIES to your inbox. Each month I send valuable such as; Day of Timelines, 12 Month Planning guides, Bar Calculators, Budget Spreadsheets, full Accessory Lists and much more to help you along your wedding planning journey!