11th February 2022

The Fool Proof Guide to Destination Weddings

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Destination weddings are becoming an increasingly popular choice for modern couples. It is a sure fire way to make your wedding memorable. If you are interested in hosting a destination wedding there are a lot of aspects you need to consider. Firstly, where would you like to get married! Secondly, is a destination wedding realistic within your wedding budget. Thirdly, do you want to invite guests to your wedding. Can your friends and family afford to travel abroad for your wedding? All of these are extremely important things to consider before booking a destination venue.

Read on for our ultimate guide to destination weddings. We will go through the etiquette, general costs and some popular locations for you.

 

What is a Destination Wedding?

 

Destination weddings are weddings which require the marrying couple and guests to travel away from home to attend. This could mean a plane journey abroad, or a longer journey to another part of your home country.

People choose destination weddings because they can offer a more exciting experience than marrying locally, as well as a more scenic backdrop or more favourable weather conditions.

A destination wedding is a great option for you if you wish to marry outside of the usual wedding season. You can choose a destination with warm weather all year round. However, some couple choose to marry in a colder climate. We love when couples opt for dramatic snowy vistas as the backdrop for their wedding photos!

Destination weddings usually take place over a number of days or even a full week! Once you have asked your guests to travel, it is more often customary to host them for some extra activities. This could include a welcome brunch, a rehearsal dinner, and a morning after get-together.

Often couples will choose to marry in the same destination as their honeymoon. This way you can buy one plane ticket for both events and simply stay on in the country after your wedding is over.

destination weddings

How Much do Destination Weddings Cost?

 

The average cost of a destination wedding is around £25,500. This is tough to calculate though, due to currency exchange rates in between your country and that of your destination.

Remember that destination weddings include all of the same costly factors that home weddings do, only with the added costs of travel and accommodation. It is not a cheap option for you or for your guests!

Travel and accommodation are traditionally paid for by each individual guest. However, this may mean that a lot of your closest friends are priced out of your wedding day. This is something you must take into serious consideration before you decide to marry abroad. You may find that having all of your friends and family there is a deal breaker! Many find it a more important factor than gorgeous scenery.

To offset your guests’ outgoings a little, it is a good idea to arrange group transportation to all of your planned events ahead of time. You could even consider providing at least one meal for your guests in addition to the wedding feast.

One money saving benefit of destination weddings however, is that if you choose a country with a favourable exchange rate then you may end up saving on certain aspects purchased locally. For example, food and drink, entertainment, service, and flowers.

Make sure you buy wedding insurance for your destination wedding. There are so many more variables involved with marrying abroad. It just makes financial sense!

 

What are the Most Popular Locations for Destination Weddings?

 

Las Vegas:

Vegas is the ultimate destination for cool, ad hoc weddings. Getting a marriage licence in Nevada is a relatively simple process, and you will have plenty of cool chapels to choose from in which to say your “I dos”! The Vegas nightlife is unparalleled. There is ample choice of hotels, casinos, bars and restaurants in which to entertain your guests.

Venice: 

A city steeped in heritage, beautiful Venice is the ideal romantic wedding location.

Paris:

The city of love and a classic choice for a destination wedding. This is a great option for couples hoping to elope. You can simply get lost in the great city together! While you’re there you can add a lock to the famous lovers bridge and drink in culture at the Louvre. And of course grab a wedding photo by the Eiffel Tower.

Hawaii:

Are tropical beaches, relaxation, and outstanding natural beauty your thing? Then a destination wedding in Hawaii could be for you. Hawaii has a thriving tourist trade, so there are plenty of hotels with wonderful wedding packages. With several islands to choose from you can really tailor your Hawaiian wedding to your own needs and tastes.

Bora Bora:

If the tropics are on your mind but you’re looking for a more secluded wedding venue then Bora Bora is a fantastic choice. Here you can marry under a scenic waterfall, or on a white sandy beach. A top choice for tropical elopements and micro weddings, Bora Bora offers outstandingly beautiful scenery. Not only that, but it has plenty of luxury hotels, and a tranquil escape for you and your guests.

Lake Como, Italy:

The centre of the Italian Lake District, this stunning destination is located in Lombardy in the North of Italy. Boasting a beautiful lake with  a myriad of waterfront hotels and villas this is the ultimate luxury destination for marrying couples. Think marble balconies, frescoes, and fresh Italian cuisine.

Iceland:

If adventure is your thing then look no further than an Icelandic wedding. This is another popular choice for eloping couples as you have the opportunity to take a helicopter ride to a glacier to say your vows. The wedding photos from Icelandic weddings are second to none. Furthermore, you can cosy up for your wedding night in a cute little cabin. It will make you feel like you’re totally alone in the world – dreamy!

Tuscany:

Destination weddings in Tuscany are ideal for a romantic couple. The Renaissance style buildings and colour palette of the region lend themselves beautifully to dreamy wedding photos. Plus, you will have hundreds of gorgeous ceremony and reception locations to choose from. The region is famous for art, wine and culture! You and your guests will have plenty to keep you occupied between wedding events.

Santorini:

A Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea, Santorini is a beautiful destination. It boasts white sandy beaches, white buildings and traditional Greek blue rooftops which create a stunning backdrop for any wedding. Enjoy warm weather, traditional Greek cuisine and a fantastic array of luxury hotels for you and your guests.

Scotland:

If fairy tale castles and romantic moors are your thing then a Scottish destination wedding may be for you. A fantastic option for those who don’t want to travel too far afield, Scotland has lots to offer.Think beautiful hotels, restaurants and culture to keep you and your guests occupied. You can even get outdoorsy and organise group walks around the area.

destination weddings

Destination Wedding Etiquette

 

Send an information pack with the save the date. This should include a rough timetable, accommodation requirements, and any travel needs they may have.

Send save the dates at least 6 months in advance (9-12 months in advance is better!). This gives guests time to make travel arrangements.

You do not need to pay for your guests’ travel and accommodation. However it is good practice to try and help them out where you can. Whether that’s arranging a hotel block with a group discount, or booking a villa for you all to share, make sure you keep your guests in mind when making arrangements.

One way to offset costs for your guests is to make it a no gift wedding. Simply include something like “your presence is our present” on the invitations. Make sure that if guests do want to give you a gift, they send it to your house rather than bringing it along. This is key to avoid either of you having to lug it across continents!

 

Tips for your Destination Wedding

 

If you can, travel with your wedding dress in a garment bag as hand luggage. You may be able to request for it to be stored in the First Class hanging space. This will avoid any unsightly wrinkles or damage.

Keep your guest list in line with your dream venue. There is no use planning a dream destination wedding and the having to sacrifice on your ideal venue because you invited too many guests! And vice versa, if your heart is set on having your whole extended family around you when you say “I do”, then book somewhere with enough capacity.

Be aware of tourism. In high tourism season, all bookings will double in price. Consider booking during an off-season to take advantage of lower prices and lower footfall.

Check the weather! You may think that booking a tropical wedding will guarantee you sunshine, but in reality lots of warm areas have monsoon seasons. Look at the average rainfall for that time of year to make sure you aren’t signing up for a downpour.

Make guest expectations clear. That means gracefully informing them of what bookings they need to make and when.

Hire a planner that specialises in destination weddings. This is non-negotiable! It is a tough task organising this kind of event and you need a pro on board.

Check local marriage requirements. It may not be as easy to obtain a marriage license in the area of your choice as you may think. Many couples marry legally at home before jetting off for their destination wedding.