The Pros and Cons of Planning Destination Weddings

destination wedding planning


Flying off to an exotic locale to get married – how exciting!  Many couples have decided to have destination weddings instead of ordinary married-in-hometown weddings.  If you are thinking about having a destination wedding, here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • More flexibility in planning the ceremony – destination weddings are a relatively recent phenomenon – it seems like only yesterday that it was just expected that people marry in their hometown churches, near all their family and friends.  Getting married someplace else means you can pick and choose which wedding traditions to keep, and which to toss.
  • A nice compromise – if you and your fiancé are from different areas of the country, getting married someplace that is entirely separate from your respective hometowns can be a great compromise for both you and your guests.
  • Could be cheaper – there can be a great deal of pressure on engaged couples to have large, expensive weddings if they get married in their hometown.  Having the wedding in an entirely different location can provide a great deal more financial freedom for the couple in their wedding planning.
  • It’s just cool – a wedding is an exciting event, and travel is exciting too.  Getting married someplace beautiful or exotic can add a special energy to a wedding ceremony – and the honeymoon and marriage!


  • Planning way ahead – a destination wedding requires much more lead time than a traditional wedding, due to the additional complication of travel arrangements and reservations, as well as making the wedding arrangements from afar.  Popular destinations and resorts often are booked several months out, so you need to make reservations (and request RSVPs from your guests) at least 4-6 months in advance.
  • You’ll probably need help – there are a lot of travel companies that specialize in destination weddings, and unless you are a travel agent yourself, you will probably benefit from their help.  They can handle large parties, arrange group bookings and discounts, and handle travel arrangements for a wide variety of budgets and demands.  The good ones can help you figure out the legal requirements if you are getting married in a foreign country.
  • Better small than big – the more guests you invite, the more complicated the arrangements can become.  Destination weddings are wonderful for small parties, but depending on your arrangements, can become progressively more difficult to plan as the number of guests increases.
  • Considerations for guests – if there are certain people whom you really want to have at your wedding, you may need to ask them directly if they can afford to travel in order to attend your ceremony.  Depending on your arrangements, you may also need to consider if they have any other restrictions on traveling, such as health problems, legal problems, or no passport.
destination wedding planning

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Destination weddings are a wonderful way to get married if it suits you, your fiancé, and your guests.  There are certainly many factors to consider, but ultimately only you can decide if a destination wedding is right for you.  Good luck!

destination wedding plan



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  1. Adina - Italian Dream Weddings

    I agree that planning a destination wedding is very different, however, the requirements vary from country to country and venue to venue. In Italy, for example, you can have a symbolic ceremony with as little lead time as needed as long as the venue you want is open! If you want a Catholic or Jewish official ceremony then the lead time is closer to 6 months. If you are tired of the same old weddings at home then a destination wedding may be perfect for you.

  2. Paul Smith

    I think that getting married in an exotic place sounds fantastic but most of the time all your guests can’t take the time off or can’t really afford to fly off somewhere far. I thought about going to Italy for my wedding reception but I changed my mind as some of my best friends would not be able to make it. Make sure that your family and special friends are up for it before being extravagant . So I am planning to stay in the county I grew up. No palm trees but good local food!

  3. Jen

    We wanted a simple beach Wedding with our immediate family. We flew to Hawaii and had the most beautiful simple beach Wedding on Maui. We fell in love with the Island and moved!! 🙂 Now I get to enjoy the other end. I’m a Maui Wedding Photographer capturing brides with the same dream I had! 🙂 I wouldn’t change a thing!

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