5 Reasons to Say “I Do” to a Destination Wedding
When you picture your wedding, what comes to mind? Are you walking down the aisle of the church you grew up in, or standing at the edge of an ocean? Are you surrounded by 200+ guests, or have you only invited 30 of your closest friends and family members? Are you enjoying a fancy sit-down meal, or mingling at a relaxed dinner party? Depending on your answers, you might want to consider having a destination wedding.
A lot of couples are hesitant to get married internationally, but we promise there are a lot of good reasons to have a destination wedding. From guaranteeing a gorgeous ceremony site to giving you and your guests a built-in vacation, here’s why you should travel for your big day.
Reason #1: The Beautiful Scenery
What do Aruba, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic have in common? Besides being popular vacation spots, they’re among the world’s top wedding destinations. And it’s easy to see why. Each boasts luxury resorts, white-sand beaches, lively towns, and exotic flora—everything you need to set the scene for your nuptials.
Taking advantage of a location’s natural features is exactly why many couples choose to have a destination wedding. Not to mention, the unique surroundings provide plenty of incredible photo opportunities. Imagine walking along the colorful streets of Puerto Vallarta for your first look, standing on the beach while you exchange vows, and then dancing under the palm trees at your reception. That’s a wedding album we’d flip through again and again.
Reason #2: The Built-In Vacation
One of the biggest benefits of having a destination wedding is that you get to travel. So why not make the most of it? Since you’ve already gone through the trouble of packing, you might as well stay for the honeymoon.
A lot of couples add a few days to the start of their trip, too. This allows you to coordinate with vendors, relax by the pool, and get everyone together for welcome and rehearsal dinners, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and sight-seeing activities and excursions.
Most guests tend to arrive a few days before the ceremony and stay for a few days after. Planning some additional events is a great way to show your appreciation for everyone that made the journey—plus you’ll get to spend quality time with your friends and family.
Reason #3: The Intimate Celebration
Today, more people are willing to travel for a wedding than they were in pre-pandemic times—but even so, it’s likely fewer guests will attend if you choose to get married in a tropical locale. After all, not everyone can take time off work, arrange childcare, or afford to pay for flights and accommodations.
While some couples will invite every single elementary-school playmate, work colleague, and acquaintance, others will want to celebrate with just a small group of close friends and family. If you’d prefer the latter (and you’re okay with the possibility of people checking the “decline with regret” box on your RSVP cards), a destination wedding could be right for you.
Reason #4: The Low Cost
It’s hard to predict exactly how much a wedding will cost, since everyone has a unique vision. In 2021, for example, couples typically spent $10,700 on a venue, $2,300 on flowers, and $1,400 on a DJ—and that’s not even counting invitations, catering, wedding attire, and other needs.*
Destination weddings come with additional costs, including airfare and accommodations, but they can be cheaper than a traditional wedding. Why? Because many all-inclusive hotels and resorts offer special wedding deals and packages.
These packages vary depending on where you book, but may cover the cost of a wedding planner and photographer, décor, cake, a champagne toast, and other amenities. It’s also likely that you’ll get access to discounted room rates and upgrades.**
Reason #5: The Planning Process
People assume that destination weddings are difficult to plan, but that’s a common misconception. Most couples choose to work with a travel agency to take the stress out of booking hotel room blocks and flights—and to gain access to a dedicated consultant that will handle guests’ questions about transfers, health and safety regulations, and other special requests.
Once a wedding package has been booked, you’ll also be connected to the resort’s coordinator who can help finalize your plans. With them and your travel consultant, completing every task on your destination wedding checklist is easy.
Every wedding is worth celebrating. But it’s extra exciting when couples decide to host an intimate ceremony in an exotic locale. Convinced a destination wedding is for you? Get in touch to start planning your dream day.
Please note: Travel requirements and health standards are continually changing. Visit our Traveler Resources Hub for important updates and to learn more about the entry rules of your specific destination.
*Kim Forrest, ‘This Was the Average Cost of a Wedding in 2021,’ The Knot, 2022.
**Conditions apply. Group rates and offers vary based on participating partners and minimum guests/passengers.