A “destination wedding” describes a wedding that takes place in a location away from the hometown of both bride and groom. It is becoming a popular alternative because when one is planned correctly, it offers the unbeatable combination of a great venue and a perfect honeymoon location. A destination wedding can be a small affair or it could be a huge party with dozens of guests. As you might expect, there are pros and cons to this kind of wedding, and we outline both below.
Advantages of a Destination Wedding
- Neutral Ground: In the likely event that a couple hails from different towns, perhaps even different countries, a destination wedding is equally fair to the friends and family of both bride and groom.
- Smaller Guest List: While we all want to have the world’s most lavish wedding, it simply isn’t practical, as most couples can’t afford a gala event with hundreds of guests. With a destination wedding, you know only those closest to you will make the journey.
- Less Expensive: The aforementioned reduced guest list helps cut costs, but there are other ways a destination wedding saves money. There are a host of discount airlines offering great fares to popular destinations, and you can choose local cuisine and wine at the wedding reception, which will certainly work out cheaper than standard wedding food and beverages.
- Built-In Honeymoon: You can choose a destination on a holiday island or in a romantic city like Paris or Rome. Instead of having to jet off to another location for your honeymoon, you can have it right where you got married. It is also great news for guests who can treat the wedding as a vacation.
Disadvantages of a Destination Wedding
- Legal Technicalities: Before choosing a location for your destination wedding, be sure to do your research, because there are different rules depending on where you travel. As a Catholic, for example, you can’t be legally married in a Catholic church in France without having a civil ceremony first, but you can in Italy. You may need to have a legal ceremony at home first before going to some countries, so it is important to decide if you are willing to go through this.
- Linguistics: A destination wedding is no easier to plan than a massive traditional one. In fact, it could be a lot more difficult, especially if you don’t speak the language. It would be helpful to learn a few local phrases in order to converse with the planners. It is a good idea to hire a wedding planner in this situation to ensure there are no issues due to the language barrier.
- You Might Not Get a Real Honeymoon: While it is great to have a handy honeymoon location, you may not get to enjoy it if your friends and family are around. Perhaps you will feel duty-bound to act as a good host, which means you’ll spend more time showing them the sights than spending time as a couple. This is not the best way to start life as a married pair!
If you decide to go for a dream destination wedding, there is much to be done, but if you get it right, it will be the most amazing wedding and honeymoon combination you could possibly imagine.