I Do: Destination Weddings
Destination weddings are a newer concept in the wedding world. While it’s not favorable to invite hundreds of guests to your destination wedding, if you’re looking to tie your Honeymoon into the wedding event and have a few close friends and relatives in attendance, a destination wedding is for you!
In this week’s I DO/I Don’t wedding series, I’m all for destination weddings!
Let’s, again, consider the national average that couples spend on their wedding: $27,000. While this cost generally includes the accommodations for the honeymoon, the average couple can shave $20,000 off their cost by heading overseas or to marriage destinations. Resorts like Sandals (primarily located in the Caribbean) are now offering packages for couples looking to wed on the property. The resorts are geared toward adults, so you don’t need to worry about children imposing on your honeymoon or destination wedding, and the prices for lodging include everything: booze, food, and accommodations. While it’s generally a small upcharge for an on-site wedding, they offer discounts at certain times of year and for group travelers. Since this is a popular type of destination for honeymoon travelers, as well, many of the rooms are “honeymoon suites” allowing you to relish in all of the features of honeymooning.
Cruises are another great option for destination weddings. You can marry aboard the ship or choose a port of call to tie the knot in. They also offer great entertainment, amenities, and features for your guests who will be enjoying a much needed get away and the opportunity to watch the happy couple engage in their nuptials.
A destination wedding is a great opportunity for the couple to engage in a trip that they normally would never go on. Imagine the photos of marrying atop the Great Wall of China, on a Hawaiian Volcano, or in the Jungle of Costa Rica? Why not safari in Africa and tie the knot with a view of a Giraffe herd in the background? A destination wedding offers a couple the opportunities to stray from the norm and have some of the best wedding day stories of any of their friends!
Less planning and stress goes into the prospect of a destination wedding, too. Vacation destinations that offer wedding packages generally have on-site planners that handle all of the small details for you. Through the Internet, it’s simple to find the best accommodations for you and your guests while corresponding with the planner the whole way through.
If you’re looking to get married surrounded by all of your family and friends, this may not be the best option for you. Many guests can’t afford lavish travel expenses. With this in mind, if you’re looking for a traditional affair it’s always ideal to wed close to home. But if you can convince your parents and some guests to travel with you, it’s a memorable option.
Too many couples in today’s society plan lavish affairs and rely on the prospect of receiving cash gifts and registered gifts to recoup their wedding investment and be able to afford their honeymoon. If guests are coming in from out of town, they’re also paying travel expenses, lodging expenses and other costs on top of the expense of the wedding gift.
It’s not unheard of to find affordable travel packages to be able to bring a small party with you to your destination to see you marry. In the summer, fall and winter months, Caribbean travel is much less expensive than in the spring. Recently, I went on a cruise with ample accommodations for just $129 per person for 4 nights and 5 days. If I were using that cruise as an opportunity to get married in the Bahamas, I could have invited over 100 guests, paid for their travel expenses and still come out lower than the average wedding costs—and treated the guests to 5 days of fun in the sun, all you can eat food, and an incredible experience.
Consider a destination wedding if you’re interested in straying from the norm. Casual wedding attire, sunny skies and amazing travel adventures await you on your destination wedding!