Destination Weddings – Best or Worst Idea Ever?

May 15, 2012 by Robert Mullikin  
Published in Weddings

Destination weddings seem great, but are they unfair to guests (or even to the couple getting married)?

Destination weddings – the very phrase conjures up visions of beachside nuptials on some tropical beach, the warm purple sunset in the distance as a happy couple joins hands and pledges their undying love while the ocean laps gently at their feet and a small coterie of their closest friends and families smile and dab their eyes before hitting the tiki bar. 

This sounds great, but what is the real deal with destination weddings? There are certainly some advantages to this kind of wedding. It’s self-contained, for one thing, and oftern include outdoor ceremonies, which can help cut down on the overall cost of the operation. 

The money saved from not renting a church or hall however is almost certainly spent on travel expenses in a destination wedding however. But, this could be mitigated by choosing a smart destination that provides the desired atmosphere but doesn’t require a plane trip to get to. Beachs in North Carolina and Florida could provide this – they are driving distance for many and a cheaper flight from most parts of the US than a flight to the Caribbean or South America would be. 

Another aspect of destination weddings that could both save you money and cause some uncomfortable strife is that usually guests at destination weddings are expected to pay their own way to the wedding itself. This generally guarantees that the number of guests even invited in the first place will on average be much smaller than a normal wedding, and limits those again to people willing to shell out the necessary moo-lah to make the trip. This could lower the cost of the reception too; fewer people equals less food and less booze, and therefore less overhead. 

So in a way, a destination wedding could actually save you money over a traditional one! Think about it: instead of renting a hall and being expected to invite 300 of your friends and relatives, you have a wedding with only 20-30 people who all pay for their own transportation and lodging, leaving you with a much smaller party to cater. 

The only drawback that seems apparent in this approach is that inviting few people to your wedding means getting fewer wedding gifts! But, with all the pro’s to having a destination wedding, maybe the ease and lower cost of the wedding itself would be the best gift of all. 

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