What’s Hot in Destination Wedding Trends?

Did you realize that one-fifth of couples getting married today choose to have a destination wedding? Between the ease of planning and the possible savings, along with the incredible, exotic locations and memories to last a lifetime, destination weddings have become downright irresistible.

In our third annual Destination Weddings Trend Report we’ve noted the hottest happenings in this increasingly popular segment of the wedding industry. These trends include…

Romantic Celebrations Beyond Weddings Are on the Rise

We don’t just see destination “I Dos” anymore. Interest in honeymoon travel has spiked 73%, while interest in planning a destination vow renewal has risen a whopping 151%. Romance and travel are becoming synonymous whether for a new beginning, a new start or a well-deserved escape to celebrate two lives becoming one.

Emerging Destinations

Mexico and Jamaica remain favorites with beloved destinations like Riviera Maya and Ocho Rios holding strong at the top year after year. However, adventurous couples are wandering farther afield, pushing Isla Mujeres, Ixtapa, Riviera Nayarit, Curacao and Grenada up the list of popular emerging destinations. Anything off the beaten path is highly in demand.

Family Affairs

Destination weddings aren’t just for the grown-ups anymore. An astounding 92% now boast children in attendance, which is up from 88% the year before! Families are taking their time, enjoying the local culture and bonding together over the course of multiple events and excursions, with an average length of stay of six days. These grand affairs do take some time to plan, of course. The average duration of planning from engagement to travel is now 16 months.

Focus on Local Flavor

Consistent with catering trends across all weddings, destination wedding couples are focusing on menus with local flavor. In particular, many are featuring regionally themed hors d’oeuvres and signature drinks. Think local tequila in the world’s best margaritas, for example! They might even pair these culinary experiences with local music for a truly authentic celebration experience.


The Pantone Color of the Year, Greenery, is a perfect fit for many destination weddings. It has inspired couples to bring the outdoors in, often in the form of beautiful hanging installations. Grand entrances are bursting with natural-looking greens and floral accents are also incredibly popular, giving guests a wow-inspiring entrance that sets the tone for an entire event.

Personalization Remains a Priority

Our couples have been telling us for years that their highest wedding priority is a unique and personal experience. This year, personalization comes in the form of specialty cakes and desserts. Some are locally-inspired, and others are drawn from the couple’s love story or childhood.

These are just a few of the exciting trends that have taken hold in destination weddings today. Which hot trends are you most looking forward to exploring?

Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at Destination Wedding Travel Group, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. Destination Wedding Travel Group, which encompasses GayDestinationWeddings.com, DestinationWeddings.com, and LuxuriousDestinationWeddings.com, has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings around the world. For more information, visit DestinationWeddings.com