Is a Destination Wedding Right for You?
If you are thinking about having a destination wedding, there are many factors to mull over before making your decision. To help you weigh the benefits and challenges of a destination wedding, consider the points below.
- Offers a complete package in one place.
Many resorts and cruise lines offer package deals that have everything you need for your wedding. Many offer a complimentary wedding consultant (who would work with your AAA Travel Consultant) to coordinate all of the ceremony essentials, organize activities for you and your guests, food, location, etc. This means you spend less time focusing on the logistics and more time with your guests.
- Destination weddings are extremely affordable.
Because many resorts provide the wedding as part of a complete package, the smaller guest list and the casual atmosphere, couples can have a wedding and honeymoon starting at around $3000. When compared to a typical traditional wedding, which costs in the $23,000 range, it makes for a very attractive option.2.
- Less guests for a more intimate, less expensive, less stressful wedding day.
A destination wedding relieves you of most of the “obligation” invitations and allows you to keep your guest list down to only your closest family and friends – the people who are most likely to travel for a wedding. With less guests you are likely to spend less for a weekend than you would for a one-evening seated dinner.
- Creates a great central base.
For couples who have families spread out in different locations across the country, a destination wedding allows everyone to meet in one spectacular place rather than having to decide in whose hometown to hold the wedding. Additionally, having everyone converge in an unfamiliar place makes for a terrific family bonding experience for families that may not normally have opportunities to be together for days at a time. By the end of the wedding week family members can be great friends from welcome dinners, shared excursions, shopping, etc.
- By combining the wedding and honeymoon you can afford the honeymoon you want.
Since you’re already at the honeymoon location once the wedding is over, you save money on travel, accommodations and time – you’re already there! Often the honeymoon is in a complimentary or reduced price suite.
- More rest and relaxation.
When you’re away from your normal environment, you’re less likely to check your email, answer mundane and routine phone calls, need to deal with everyday stresses. Plus, surrounded by your closes family and friends and using the services of the wedding coordinator, you’re more likely to be well-rested and relaxed for the wedding.
- Possible language barriers.
If you’re getting married in a foreign country you may find a language barrier between you and the resort’s wedding coordinator. This is where a AAA Travel Consultant can solve the problem by serving as the liaison between you and resort personnel.
- While the wedding may be less expensive for you, it will be more expensive for your guests.
Instead of spending money on a wedding gift and an evening at a dinner, you’re asking your guests to take time off from work, possibly purchase airfare and pay for hotel accommodations. AAA will assist in getting the best rates for your guests, but even at a discounted rate, it’s still an expense they would not have to incur for a traditional, local wedding.
- The smaller guest list may offend or hurt some feelings.
Those who don’t make the smaller guest list may be offended they weren’t invited. Also, those who are invited may not be able to make it. For some it may be a financial hardship, for others it might be a physical difficulty, and for those with small children it might be logistically difficult to attend. Others just don’t agree with the idea of a destination wedding – be prepared to hear the negative opinions. But if a destination wedding is right for you you’ll have plenty of benefits to outweigh the opinions of a small few.
- Your family and friends are on your honeymoon with you.
Most guests make a vacation out of the destination wedding, so once the wedding day is over they're still there with you - on your honeymoon! Couples who have had destination weddings typically report that guests are usually understanding about giving the new couple plenty of "alone time".
- Planning a wedding from long distance.
There’s a lot of legal red tape if you are planning your wedding in a foreign country – AAA Travel Consultants can help you navigate through this. Plus, if you like to control the details you might have a difficult time accepting a ceremony and reception location that you can’t visit ahead of time, a photographer or florist you haven’t met, or a caterer whose food you haven’t tasted. Some couples prefer to be very hands-on and find this stressful.