Should I Stay or Should I Go? Pros and Cons of Destination Weddings
We may not admit it, but as children most women imagined what their wedding day would look like; Cinderella-inspired wedding gowns, pink bridesmaid dresses, and inedible cake toppers. While childish, these whimsical daydreams form the basis of our adult hopes and dreams of an ideal wedding day. Just as our taste in clothing and personal style change as we age, so too does our vision of what we want for a wedding. Compound this with the introduction of a real-life partner, and our childhood musings morph once again into something new and different.
Similar to the realities of marriage itself, choosing what kind of wedding you want has real-life repercussions. There are many factors to consider including individual cultures, religions, budget, and personal taste. Once a couple has committed to spending their lives together, talk invariably moves towards the type of ceremony and reception that each envisions for their special day. This can be a tricky conversation, after-all wedding details are as unique as the individuals themselves. There are a myriad of decisions to be pondered: location, style, and budget, just to name a few. Perhaps the most important decision in regards to a wedding’s location, is will the nuptials take place locally or at a destination? How do you decide? Listing the pros and cons of a destination wedding might help both the child and adult within us, to decide.
1.The budget is often a deciding factor in many decisions in regards to a wedding. The average cost of a local or domestic wedding is approximately $35 000. A destination wedding is usually a cheaper option. Tip: Hiring a destination wedding planner can help to lower the costs as well. The planner will often have first-hand knowledge of local vendors at the destination who can provide essential services. Not having to transport flowers, cake and décor for instance, will lower costs. Additionally, a planner will be aware of which resorts offer packages, as well as any current promotions or deals.
2. A destination wedding is usually a more intimate affair. Not only does this save the couple money in regards to providing food and drink for their invitees, but it also allows the couple to spend quality time with their friends and family. It might even provide an opportunity for the couple to involve their guests in the actual ceremony. Tip: Investigate original ideas with the destination wedding planner to organize an arts and craft activity the day before the wedding and include these items in the décor at the ceremony.
3. For couples that hale from different parts of the country/world, a destination wedding might provide an opportunity for the bride and groom’s families to spend time together and to get to know one another. Afterall, another pro for destination weddings is that this is an opportunity for an amazing vacation for both the couple and their friends and families. Tip: Involve the destination wedding planner to help include authentic details in the ceremony and reception so that attendees can experience the local food and lifestyle.
4. A destination wedding can be as unique as the bride and groom and this is exactly what millennial couples are looking for. While 1 in 5 Canadian couples (of all ages) are choosing to marry abroad, 40% of millennials choose a destination wedding. This generation wants to incorporate unique details and interesting locations. For them, life isn’t about the addition of objects but rather the addition of experiences, both for themselves and for their guests. Tip: A destination wedding planner will research a variety of locations and provide options that call to a couple’s unique interests.
1. Planning a wedding from afar can be problematic. Depending on where the ceremony will take place, the couple may not even have personal experience with the specific location. Getting married in a foreign country may also involve visas and licences and this can compound an already extensive list of details. Tip: A destination wedding planner is well versed in what legalities are involved and will inform both the bride and groom as well as the wedding guests, as to what is required. Furthermore, many planners have personal knowledge of resorts and specific locations, and can plan a wedding accordingly.
2. Destination weddings require advanced planning. Locations need to be researched and booked at least one year ahead. If a couple is looking for a short engagement, this is not the option for them. Additionally, save-the-date cards need to be sent out 9-12 months before the wedding in order to allow friends and family to book the time off and to save money for the trip.
3. Unfortunately, not all invitees will be able to attend. As destination weddings require travel, some guests will not be able to book vacation time, will not be able to afford the trip, or will not be able to physically manage the journey itself. Tip: A destination wedding planner can help organize a casual follow-up reception at home, in order to include both those that couldn’t attend, as well as those not invited to the ceremony itself.
4. Destination weddings require a massive amount of organization as the event includes a ceremony, a reception and a vacation all-in-one. A bride and groom desire custom details and unique features at a destination located hundreds or thousands of kilometres away; this can obviously cause stress and anxiety. Tip: Hire a professional destination wedding planner. He or she will research locations, activities, local vendors, décor, and other wedding details. Additionally, the planner will organize all travel arrangements for the bride and groom, as well as for their guests.
Choosing between a local and a destination wedding is a big decision. For many of us, our childhood daydreams of poufy gowns and multi-tiered cakes have transitioned into adult-fueled visions of exciting, fun-filled days at a far-away destination. Only after weighing the pros and cons, can you and your partner make an informed choice. However, the decision to hire a destination wedding planner will be as easy as saying “I do”.