When to Choose a Destination Wedding

You may dream of getting married on a beach in a beautiful locale or in an Italian villa, but is a destination wedding really for you?

There are destination weddings to fit every style and category. From cruise ships to beach homes to exotic foreign getaways, many property owners and hotels push for couple to enjoy their services. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing this option.


Destination weddings are typically all inclusive. Most have an event coordinator on staff to handle every detail. That can make things simpler, as long as you are comfortable with all the vendors the destination uses.

It is beautiful and romantic. Destination weddings are unique and provide a gorgeous backdrop that will leave you with memories.

You can reduce your guest list. If you are looking to politely eliminate the socially-mandated guests, like your mother’s boss, a destination wedding is a good way to do that. Plus, the guests who can’t come will still send a gift.

The costs could be lower than a traditional wedding. For most couples, a destination wedding is typically more intimate and a large, fancy reception is replace with a family dinner and dancing. There is usually reduced costs in other ways also, such in floral and other items that are typical for a large wedding. That could greatly reduce your budget, depending on the destination.

We had a potential client a few years ago who was looking to have her daughter’s wedding on the family farm. The family was prominent and had a good bit of money, so they were looking at 300 guests. By the time all the elements, including valet parking, was put together, the tab would have been $78,000. The family opted to host the wedding for 30 people on St. Simons Island.

You can combine the wedding with the honeymoon. You are already in your dream spot, so extending it into the honeymoon is easy and convenient.


Your family could be disappointed because many will not be able to attend. For some, a wedding is an important family function and many may not be able to afford it. Older relatives, like grandparents, may be prohibited from traveling because of their health.

You may not get the wedding party you want. Some of your friends, whom you love, may opt out of being in the wedding because they can’t afford the travel expense. Being in a wedding typically costs some money and adding the extra expense may be too much for even your closest friends.

Planning from afar can be nerve wrecking. Dealing with an event coordinator you have never met by phone and trusting vendors you can’t meet with regularly can frazzle your nerves.

You have no real control. The event coordinator uses all their vendors, so you have no real choice.

The personality suited for a destination wedding is a couple who are typically laid back, have no need for control and have little family input. They want a small intimate wedding with just a few friends and family. They care more about the romance and simplicity of a wedding than the pomp and circumstance.