Baby, it's cold outside. It's December, and here in Northern Virginia, it's dark, it's cold and I'm already dreaming of a gorgeous island getaway in the warm sun, on a beautiful beach. Well, to escape the cold and the hectic holiday scramble of December, this month is going to be Destination December!!
Destination weddings are by far my favorite kind of weddings. (I'm not biased or anything :) But they have so many benefits if you can get over a few of their drawbacks. This week I am going to talk about a few of these benefits and drawbacks so you can decide if having a destination wedding is right for you!
First, what is a destination wedding? A destination wedding doesn't actually have to be in some exotic location across the world or even out of the country. A destination wedding is generally just far enough away from where you live that you have to make legitimate travel plans (with overnight accommodations) to go visit the location. This distance is what creates challenges but also can create a vacation-like feel to your wedding.
Let's start with the bad first. Travel. Travel to your destination may be time consuming and/or expensive. This will limit the amount of time you can spend inspecting things onsite and making decisions on local vendors. Not being in the area, you may have a harder time finding reputable vendors and ensuring you are getting what you have booked. If there is a misunderstanding, something goes wrong, or something is forgotten, it will be harder to fix it because you don't have your local resources and home is usually too far away to go get what you may need. It is generally harder to bring special or personalized items to decorate your wedding, especially if you have to fly to get there and the items you do bring need to be well packed in order to survive the trip. While this may sound bad, many of these same issues can arise in a local wedding as well, and if you are well prepared, and can also roll with the flow, you will be able to handle any of these issues easily.
Now let's move into the bad that you may see as good, depending on your personal preferences. Guests. Destination weddings generally have lower guest counts than local weddings. If you can't imagine not having a huge wedding with everyone that you've ever met in attendance, then this may not be the option for you. While your closest family and friends will be sure to make the trip, there are many people that will not be able to swing the time off or the expenses. The good news here is that you will truly have the people around you who care about you the most because they will make it a priority to attend. Destination weddings may be a little pricey on your guests, so it is a good idea to make sure they feel welcomed, appreciated, and a part of the action.
Now let's look at the good! Destination weddings are generally cheaper for you!!! YAY! Because you will likely have less guests, your destination wedding will be cheaper. Think about $80+ per head - it is far cheaper to have fewer guests. And you can have a smaller wedding without feeling like you are leaving extended family members out. You can send them an invite, but many will likely not be able to come so you do not have to feel guilty for having a smaller wedding. Destinations also often have great package deals that include fun upgrades and inclusions to save you money.
The best new of all: destination weddings are vacations. Over the many weddings I have worked, there is truly something to be said about the inability of guests to go home after the wedding. Local weddings often have guests who need to be the designated driver, limiting their drinks for the night and leaving early to get home. Destination wedding guests stay onsite and therefore can drink to their heart's content. This means more dancing, more partying, and more guests into the later hours. This can make your wedding incredibly fun to attend. My husband and I raved for weeks about just how much fun we had dancing all night long with all of our friends at our destination wedding. Plus when your guests feel like they are on vacation, they will generally remember your wedding more fondly.
There are a million other points to be made, both positive and negative, but I will stop here. Stop and really think about a destination wedding. Where do you envision saying I do? For me, it was photos of weddings with that gorgeous, teal ocean in the background that I wanted so badly that made us sit down and talk seriously about how this would work. Now we can't imagine a more fun, beautiful, and exciting wedding. Think it's and unattainable dream? It's not! We have a destination package that can help you get through all of the hurdles in planning your destination wedding. If you love adventure, have a dream location, or just want your wedding to be a fun vacation with all of your closest family and friends, a destination wedding may be for you.