Updated: Dec 7, 2021
If you're in the beginning stages of wedding planning and are considering a destination wedding but you're not sure if it's right for you, let's explore some of the pros and cons of this type of event.
You'll (Usually) End up With a Lower Guest Count
This could be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. So many couples feel obligated to invite more people than they would like. Everyone who's ever thrown an event is far too familiar with the predicament of "I invited X so I have to invite Y" even if "Y" isn't someone who'd otherwise intend on inviting. Well, a destination wedding gives you the opportunity to seem overly inclusive with the knowledge that it's very likely that those invites who aren't as close with you will probably send their regards. You tend to see a smaller turn out, which ends up being more enjoyable because the group that does show up is there to genuinely celebrate and enjoy your special day with you, not out of obligation but from a place of love and joy!
On the other side of this coin, if you are someone who has always wanted a huge wedding with every family, friend, and acquaintance in attendance, this might not be the wedding style for you. You have to go in to this knowing that it's likely you will have loved ones who either can't afford the trip, can't get the work days off, or have something else come up that keeps them from getting to your wedding.
Everyone's on Vacation!
Have you ever been on a group vacation with a bunch of friends? Maybe it was spring break, a graduation trip, a friend's birthday or bachelorette party. A destination wedding can take an otherwise stressful event and turn it into a full week party with your nearest and dearest. There are certain things you have to let go of with a destination wedding, for example you can't control every little thing in the same way that you can with a local wedding, but this gives you the permission to sit back and relax and actually ENJOY your wedding experience. In fact, it's almost like you're having a double honeymoon!
The downside here is if you have to invite a bunch of people you would rather keep your distance from as much as possible. This is a bit tough since you're all staying in the same resort or hotel for several days, it is harder to escape and get that alone time. To combat this, I always advise my clients to schedule time alone with their bridesmaids, groomsmen, their fiancé, and even time alone with themselves to reflect and cherish the experience.
The Party Lasts Longer
Keep the party going! With a local wedding, you are in "go" mode from the moment you wake up on the day of your rehearsal dinner, to the moment you go to sleep on wedding night (or maybe even once you get to your honeymoon destination). The day of your wedding flies by and then it's over. With a destination wedding, you're on island time! You and your guests arrived days before (hopefully) and have ample time to relax and soak in the vacation air. As I said before, there are more details out of your control, and the overall experience ends up being less stressful and more "go with the flow".
In the spirit of prolonging the party, I love an event planned the day after the wedding such as a pool party or boat day. This gives everyone even more time to celebrate the newly-married couple before everyone goes their separate ways and you leave for your honeymoon!
Is it More or Less Expensive to Have a Destination Wedding Than a Local Wedding?
To put it simply - it depends. One major perk of a destination wedding is that when you arrange for a block of rooms, you get certain perks that can help you pay for your stay as well as the venues you're using for the actual wedding events. Those perks vary by the resort and the size of your party. This can of course end up making your wedding far cheaper for you than a local wedding. However, depending on the resort you choose, this won't always be the case. If you are interested in knowing more about this please reach out and book a call with me to discuss specifics.
Of course when talking about cost, you also have to consider the cost for your guests. If you have a local wedding and most of your guests live locally, the difference for them will be quite large because now they have to pay for a plane ticket and a hotel room. If you have most of you guests flying in from around the country anyways, it may not make a difference to them and they might even be delighted that they are flying to a gorgeous resort vs. your hometown. So in conclusion, a destination wedding might be cheaper for you, but likely more expensive for your guests.
So, Should You Have a Destination Wedding or Not?
If you remember one thing from this post, I hope it's this: It's YOUR wedding, and you should do exactly what YOU want. I, myself am a people pleaser so I fully understand not wanting to put anyone out to attend your wedding or ask people to spend more money. However, if you are open to the idea that whoever want to come will come, and at the end of the day you will be marrying the partner of your dreams in the destination of your dreams, that's all that really matters.
If you've enjoyed this post and want to read more advice from me on what NOT to do when planning your destination wedding, click the link below to download my free guide - "7 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Planning a Destination Wedding"