Are you considering a destination wedding? Are you dreaming of getting married on a beach in some secluded area of a tropical island? Maybe you prefer jetting off to Europe to revisit that special spot he proposed to you. Whatever your reasoning, destination weddings have become increasingly popular over the years. But, what are some of the considerations you should make when deciding on staying or going? Here’s a small primer to help get your wheels turning!

Pros:
  • You can be unique and different from everyone you know who has gotten married. The world is full of great locations and options for you to choose from.
  • The average local wedding lasts about 5 or 6 hours from the start of the ceremony until the end of the reception. A destination wedding can be an entire weekend or more, giving you plenty of time to enjoy with your closest friends and family (in theory, this could be a pro or a con I guess)
  • Traditional wedding planning can be extremely time intensive and stressful. Destination weddings typically include wedding coordinators that take care of all of the planning and details of the day.
  • Beautiful locations can be booked at surprisingly inexpensive rates. You can find an all–inclusive destination wedding packages in the Caribbean or Mexico that include flights, the ceremony, and a week-long stay (instant honeymoon included) for a few thousand dollars. Compared to the national average of $25,200 for a traditional wedding, plus a few thousand for a honeymoon, a destination wedding seems like a steal.
  • Wedding planning can create family drama that you never knew existed, particularly when it comes to creating the guest list. Destination wedding guest lists are typically much shorter and include only the people with whom you are closest.
Cons:
  • Some couples like the idea of having a few hours to celebrate with friends and family, and then running off to a faraway destination for a honeymoon with just the two of you. When having a destination wedding, the guests you bring are there with you for a few days or more. It may not feel like much of a honeymoon after all.
  • While many resorts make the process of getting married abroad seem easy, some destinations can be filled with red tape and unexpected expense. Check into the legalities and expenses involved in the country you are considering.
  • Without the cost of a traditional wedding at home, you may have some funds available to fly some of your closest friends and family there; however, it does add up quick and you may have to cut the list of attendees shorter than you would like.
  • Your family may not support the idea of a destination wedding. You need to be prepared for some negativity from family members who do not embrace the idea.
  • While extreme weather and unexpected disasters can happen anywhere in the world, including your hometown, you are more likely able to predict what things will be like at home, than you will in another part of the world. Be prepared with a back-up plan in the event of a natural or unnatural disaster or weather event in your destination of choice.