Joyce and I share a love for travel and adventure. Between the two of us, we have traveled to the some of the dreamiest spots in the world. So we have decided to create a series of occasional posts about destination weddings, highlighting some of our favorite places to tie the knot.
But first, I want to address a fundamental question that newly engaged couples often ask themselves: Why should we consider having a destination wedding?
Here are 7 reasons to take your celebration on the road, along with my “Trip Tips” for making it an awesome experience for everyone.
1. Be unique. Only about 20% of American couples have destination nuptials, so if you get out of town to get hitched, you won’t have to choose from the same old spots that the other 80% of your married friends have already booked.
Trip Tip: Pick a locale that represents you as a couple. Think of memorable vacations that you have enjoyed, or places that you have always wanted to visit.
2. What a Great Excuse! Believe me, your guests will appreciate a destination wedding. With everyone’s busy schedules, a destination wedding gives guests an excuse to travel and plan a vacation.
Trip Tip: Make sure to send your Save the Date cards well in advance, to allow guests plenty of time to arrange their work schedules and travel plans. Wedding couples should determine their venue and date as soon as possible, and then let guests know!
3. Quality time with your loved ones. The standard wedding lasts 6 hours, and the bride and groom spend most of the time running around trying to say hello all their guests! A destination wedding usually spans a minimum of three days, which means the bride and groom have plenty of time to spend with their guests, and in a more relaxed setting.
Trip Tip: Plan easy and fun pre and post wedding activities. Some favorites include relay races, cooking classes, sunset cruises, bike tours and spa days!
4. Simplify your Guest list. Having a wedding at home can often lead to the feeling of obligation to invite everyone you know (or sometimes don’t know) like parent’s friends or distant relatives. Since those who aren’t close to you are unlikely to make the trip to a destination wedding, this keeps the guest list nice and simple.
Trip Tip: You can consider having a cocktail party with extended family members and friends once you return from your destination wedding.
5. Happy Wallet. It follows that with a simplified guest list, a destination wedding can turn out to be more economical as well. If you keep it to just close family and friends, this will help keep the budget down.
Trip Tip: Many hotels will offer wedding packages or special group rates. All inclusive hotels are also a nice option for some couples.
6. Neutral ground for blending & bonding. The opportunity to get married some place different sets up an equal playing ground between families. This way, there will be no hard feelings about setting the wedding in one family’s hometown or another. If the destination is something new for both families, it will become a place special to them, as well as to you. With you and all of your guests spending time in such close proximity and away from home, it creates a much more intimate setting, and a great way for families and friends to mix and mingle.
Trip Tip: Be the gracious host, remember to introduce everyone to each other by first and last name and their relation to you or your fiancé. Encourage conversation topics that highlight common hobbies, careers, hometowns, etc.
7. The Honeymoon can be part of the package. Consider combining your honeymoon with your wedding celebration. This is not only cost effective, but you’re already in a location that you love, so why not stay and enjoy longer!
Trip Tip: After the wedding, transfer to a different hotel, or even better, a different part of the city, for a change of scenery. And don’t forget to splurge on the Honeymoon Suite!
In our next post, we will focus on one of our favorite locations for a destination celebration. In the meantime, pull out a map of the world and start thinking about where you might want to wed.