Now that winter has arrived, many couples who are planning to marry are considering whether they should head to sunnier climes for their special occasion.
The following guide will explore the advantages and disadvantages of destination weddings, to help you decide whether this option will be a good idea.
Benefits of a Destination Wedding
Save Money on Guests and Decorations
It can actually end up costing you less to do a luxurious wedding weekend in a gorgeous location than having a seated dinner locally. Not only are venue prices high compared to some exotic places such as Thailand or Bali, the main issue is that you won’t have to agonise over the many people who are not close friends but would feel slighted if they weren’t invited. What’s more, while destination wedding etiquette dictates that the bride and groom normally pay for everyone’s hotel rooms and food, guests pay for their own airfare, which would be off-putting to people who aren’t close you. Thus, with a small but crucial amount of people attending, you’ll keep costs down nicely, including on the decorations.
While on the subject, a good idea for some added flair while being something that can be easily and cheaply transported are paper parasols – not only do they look lovely, they will keep the ladies from overheating in sunny weather.
These days, many resorts and tourism organisations offer complete packages specifically designed for destination weddings. Some even offer the complimentary services of an on-site wedding consultant who can help you coordinate all the ceremony essentials such as your marriage license, cake and the officiator. They can even organise sightseeing and other fun activities for your friends and family while they’re there.
Combined Wedding and Honeymoon
Many couples these days are struggling to afford both a wedding and a honeymoon, so one of the nicest things about a destination wedding is that you’ll be getting married in a stunning location which will also double as your honeymoon location. Not only is this highly convenient (no travelling needed after the ceremony), it will also save you money.
Disadvantages of Destination Weddings
Long Distance Planning and Legal Red Tape
If you opt not to choose a resort which caters specifically for weddings, there is likely to be some niggles when it comes to sorting out the logistics at your nuptial destination from afar. Then there is also the issue of the marriage license and laws in the country or even county of your choice. The best way to get around this is to hire a wedding co-ordinator who specialises in destination weddings to iron out all the creases. Also gather information on the web, plus check with the tourist boards for details on local services such as florists, photographers and venues.
Absent Family and Friends
While you might heave a sigh of relief that certain guests won’t be able to afford the flight or take the time out to attend your wedding, the downside is that some of your loved ones might not be able to make your destination wedding either. Older guests in particular might find it all too much to handle. For this reason, it’s important to talk to those whose presence is crucial on your big day before you book tickets and send invitations. On the plus side however, with less people attending you will be able to dedicate more time to your special guests.
No Alone Time for Honeymoon Romance
While having your wedding and honeymoon in the same lovely location is a boon, the problem is that your friends and family will be there too, which might make it difficult to spend time alone with your new spouse. Consider arriving at the destination sooner before the guests arrive, or if this isn’t possible, be sure to arrange some alone time with your partner by booking your friends and family in for some sightseeing and other activities.
The above guide covers the pros and cons that you will face if you decide to have a destination wedding. It also offers some useful tips such as paper parasols to add decorative flair and prevent the ladies from wilting in hot weather, plus hiring a specialist co-ordinator to ensure that the planning goes smoothly.
About the Author: Jasmine Chu is an independent retailer of paper parasols