Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular as couples decide to forgo the traditions and rituals of getting married in the bride’s home town and choose to exchange their vows on a tropical sun drenched beach instead.
If the idea of a destination wedding is appealing, but you aren’t entirely sure you want to give up that big white wedding, here are some of the pros and cons of a destination wedding to help you make up your mind:
Five reasons to have a destination wedding
Your wedding will be a more intimate and personal celebration, including the two of you, and either just two witnesses, or a handful of very close friends and relatives. You won’t feel pressured to invite work colleagues, distant cousins, or people you barely know just because they invited you to their wedding.
A destination wedding tends to be more relaxed and less formal than a traditional wedding at home. If you want you can skip the processional, the receiving line, the speeches, the first dance, and the cake cutting, and just focus on enjoying yourself with your new husband and the wedding party.
Wedding planning may be easier with a destination wedding if you opt for an all inclusive package. You won’t have to choose between endless suppliers, and negotiate on everything from the catering to the music as all this will be done for you by the wedding co-ordinator at your destination.
A destination wedding can be something different from the standard, cookie-cutter weddings your friends may have had back home. As well as having unique scenery as a stunning wedding backdrop, you can incorporate local traditions, decorations, and cuisine into your ceremony and reception. There are plenty of destination wedding ideas to make your wedding unique.
Generally a destination wedding works out cheaper than a home based wedding due to the smaller guest list and the reduction in expensive wedding customs and items. With many resorts throwing in the wedding ceremony for free, you might end up only spending a little more than the cost of an average honeymoon.
Five reasons to think twice about a destination wedding
While it’s easy to say that a destination wedding gives you the perfect excuse to cut down your guest list, you may find that some of the people you really do want to be there can’t make it. Work and family commitments might mean they can’t afford to take a couple of days away, when a single Saturday for a wedding at home would have been quite possible.
If you choose a resort that offers an all inclusive wedding package, you won’t have very much say in the suppliers that are used, and you might find the decorations, the catering, or the photography aren’t exactly what you’d hoped for. Unless you travel to see the venue in advance, and check out samples of the suppliers’ work at the time, you won’t know what you are getting until it’s too late.
Depending on the country you get married in, there can be a lot of paperwork associated with a destination wedding. As well as visas, passports, birth certificates, and so on, you may need to prove that you aren’t already married, and you may have to be resident in the country for a certain number of days before the wedding. You will need to check the validity of your marriage certificate and find out whether it needs to be stamped by the Australian Embassy in your destination country.
Although it may be a relief not to have to worry about all the traditional wedding rituals, you may eventually start to feel like you have missed out. Once you are married, other wives will start to ask you about your wedding day, and if you have never thrown a bouquet, walked down an aisle, or heard your father making a heart warming speech, you may feel a little let down.
Your destination wedding will probably double up as your honeymoon, but assuming you have at least a few friends and relatives with you, you may find you are sharing your honeymoon with them. No matter how much you love your wedding party, the honeymoon should be just for the two of you, and if they expect to see you every day you may start to resent that.