Destination weddings are growing in popularity every year. Have you ever been a guest at a destination wedding? Do you know what distinguishes a destination wedding from any other kind of wedding?
It isn’t simply a matter of distance, although they usually take place more than 100 miles away from where the bride currently lives. Indeed, the most popular places for destination wedding outside of the U.S. are the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii. Together, these locations represent about 70 percent of all destination weddings. So, why are couples opting for a wedding so far away from their home environment?
The fact is, there are many benefits of a destination wedding. From a purely financial viewpoint, there are great savings to be made by combining the wedding with the honeymoon. Many destinations offer free wedding ceremonies when you book a certain number of nights at the resort.
But it’s not just about money. The editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine compiled a shortlist of other reasons to have a destination wedding:
- You can say “I do” anywhere in the world, and you’ll be different from the majority following the more traditional pattern of local wedding halls or hotels.
- A destination wedding usually spans around three days, and that allows you to enjoy your family and friends simply because there’s more time. An average regular wedding lasts five hours with the bride and groom spending most of that time running from table to table, trying to say hello to everyone.
- You can save on decorations if you choose a location with a stunning setting to provide a natural background to both the ceremony and the reception afterwards.
- Maybe some of the guests can grab the chance of a short vacation also. Resorts often offer discounted packages to wedding guests.
- You’ll share a location you love. Part of the joy of a destination wedding is showing off a place that has special meaning to you, or simply going to a locale you’ve always dreamed of visiting.
- You can get into the honeymoon spirit early. Just arriving at your destination is sure to put you in a relaxed mood as the pre-wedding festivities begin.
In a number of respects, a destination wedding is easier. Many wedding-worthy resorts offer free planning help to couples and give options to customize. But if you want to feel really secure you’ll need to employ the services of a wedding planner specializing in destination weddings.
One such company is called Endless Escapes, which is a luxury travel agency specializing in destination weddings, love escapes, family vacations, and corporate travel.
While the romance of a destination wedding makes the extra effort worthwhile, attention to detail is a critical factor in ensuring that everything goes according to plan. For peace of mind, you need to use a professional planner.
We asked Lesa Robinson, Travel Consultant at Endless Escapes, for her tips for planning the perfect destination wedding. These are her suggestions for the main aspects you need to pay attention to:
- When planning your destination wedding, arrive at the destination a couple of days before the ceremony, for those last minute items.
- Most (if not all) locations require a waiting period between applying for the marriage license and when it is issued. This can be a matter of hours, or it can be days. Be sure to include this in your time-line.
- Take your wedding dress & tux/suit with you as a carry-on on the plane. Most airlines allow this.
- As soon as you book the wedding, send out “save the date” cards to potential guests to allow them sufficient time to make the necessary travel arrangements.
- Make sure all attendees are familiar with any travel requirements (passports, visas, immunizations, etc.).
- Familiarize the guests with any cultural differences they can expect.
And that’s all there is to it! Outside of the travel aspect, all the other elements that go to make up a wedding are no more complicated just because of the distance. With companies like Endless Escapes taking care of the details, all that is left for the happy couple is to relax and enjoy this special day in their lives.
And the honeymoon!