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Congrats on your engagement! Are you considering a destination wedding? Whether you're looking to stay close to home or make your special day even more memorable by getting away, here are some pros and cons to consider before making the big decision.


Destination weddings can create an unforgettable experience - with breathtaking scenery, unique event spaces, and a more intimate atmosphere. On the other hand, it requires more organization, and you may need to adapt other details such as travel plans, transportation, and additional costs associated with a destination wedding. Consider these elements before deciding if this is the right fit for your big day!

The Benefits of a Destination Wedding

  • Easy Planning

  • Mostly All-In-One Complete Wedding Packages

  • It can be More Cost Effective

  • Extended Celebrations and Quality Time with Loved Ones

  • Unique and Lasting Memories for Everyone Involved

  • Relaxed, Stress-Free Atmosphere Absent of Family Drama

  • Combines Your Wedding and Honeymoon in One Trip

Planning a destination wedding from thousands of miles away may sound daunting, but it can be surprisingly easy. Many resorts have already partnered with excellent local vendors in the various areas needed for the event and will assist you with the connection. If you choose to use a non-preferred vendor, an additional fee may apply. Fortunately, many resorts offer simple, cost-effective packages which can then be customized according to your own unique style. This allows you to control the costs while taking advantage of the natural beauty of your chosen destination for free! No matter if you envision a small and simple affair or an elaborate extravaganza, the possibilities are truly endless.

A destination wedding makes it easy to spend quality time with friends and family. Unlike a traditional wedding, you won't feel pressured to talk to all your out-of-town guests during the brief reception. With a destination wedding, most guests will stay for at least three nights, and some may turn it into an extended vacation. This gives you a minimum of three days to bond with those closest to you, create unforgettable memories, and make the most of your special event - something everyone will remember for years to come!

The simple wedding packages available from resorts provide an easier way to plan, as you're typically only working with one to three vendors as opposed to the often lengthy list of vendors needed for a traditional wedding. Furthermore, the vacation atmosphere can help put people at ease and reduce family drama - and if it all gets too much, you can always take a break at the pool bar!

Combining your wedding and honeymoon can be a great way to save money. You can stay at the same location, bump up to a higher room category or even move to a nearby resort for an extra luxurious experience. You also won't have to worry about making an early trip to the airport after your traditional wedding, as you're already in paradise!

The Challenges of Planning a Destination Wedding:

  1. Possibly Harder Planning

  2. Communication / Language Barriers

  3. Legality

  4. Size of Wedding

  5. Cost for Guests

  6. Some Family or Friends are Not Able to Travel

  7. Unpredictable – Travel Delays and Weather

  8. Privacy of Outdoor Locations

Earlier, I said it was easier to plan, but this might not be ideal for those who want the reassurance of a face-to-face meeting. For these cases, some resorts offer "big day preview" options. These include an additional cost but help alleviate stress and ensure that everything is going as planned. For example, it allows you to stay a few nights and meet with the onsite wedding coordinator, see the venue locations (and possible backups), taste-test the food, and meet with other vendors.

Language could be another unexpected obstacle, as words may not translate as intended. Additionally, it can be difficult to get a response in a timely manner. Many destinations have a slower pace and relaxed atmosphere, which make it important to go with the flow and remain patient. This is especially true when considering that many of these resorts perform multiple weddings each week, and delays are bound to happen.

Be aware of destination-specific requirements related to legal ceremonies, such as extra costs or residency rules. If the paperwork for a legal ceremony is too overwhelming, consider having a symbolic ceremony instead and completing the legal elements back home. For more information on this topic, please refer to my other article, A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Plan Your Destination Wedding.

Destination Weddings tend to be smaller than traditional ones, so the guest list may be more limited depending on the budget. In addition, due to travel costs, health problems, and other commitments, many guests may not be in attendance.

Travel can be unpredictable and cause flight delays, potentially resulting in some guests not making the wedding. Natural phenomena such as rain or red tides are difficult to predict, so if you wish to avoid that kind of disruption, consider venues with Sky Terraces with ocean views or a Garden or Gazebo location.

Ready to get started?

If you need help deciding whether or not a destination wedding is right for you, we'd be more than happy to help. With our extensive knowledge of resorts and wedding coordinators, we can narrow down the best options for you quickly and easily. We'll do the hard work of filtering out bad advice and endless possibilities, so all you have to do is plan the fun stuff! Together, we'll find the perfect resort that fits your vision, style, and budget the best. Then, all you have to do is enjoy the adventure and create an unforgettable event! Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about our services.

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