Are there wedding bells ringing in your future? According to the CDC’s National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends report, more than two million couples tie the knot each year. If you’re planning to join the crowd by saying “I do” this year, you’ll need to choose between a traditional local wedding or a destination wedding.

The Scoop on Destination Weddings

Destination weddings have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They allow couples to exchange vows in a setting away from their home – the most common being a beach. The combination of a sandy-white beach paired with the sound of waves cresting in the background offers a truly remarkable atmosphere for this special occasion.

With a destination wedding, you don’t have to travel very far to reach your honeymoon. You can actually book a venue at your honeymoon destination for the wedding ceremony, eliminating the need to travel. Once the ceremony is over, you and your newlywed spouse can head off into the sunset to enjoy your honeymoon. This alone is reason enough for many couples to choose a destination wedding over a traditional local wedding.

There are some potential downsides to having a destination wedding, including the simple fact that some of your friends or family members may not be able to attend. Keeping your wedding local will ensure that most if not all of your guests will have the opportunity to attend. But if you choose a beach that’s several hundred miles away, some guests will probably have to decline the offer. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (some couples prefer smaller, intimate weddings), but it’s still something that you should be aware of when planning your big day.

What About Local Weddings?

Of course, many couples still prefer traditional local weddings. For starters, it’s easier to obtain your wedding certificate if you opt for a local wedding. Each state and country has its own laws governing the way in which couples are wed. Failure to follow these laws – even if they seem trivial – could result in your marriage license being rejected or nullified. This usually isn’t a problem with local weddings, however, since the bride and groom familiar with their respective state’s laws.

Most couples will also agree that it’s easier to plan a local wedding than a destination wedding. It’s often difficult to find wedding disc jockeys, florists, caterers, musicians, photographers, and other vendors if you choose to get married on a remote island. This typically isn’t a problem with local weddings, though, as service providers are eager for your business 365 days a year.

As you can see, there are benefits associated with both local and destination weddings. Talk with your fiance to see what he or she envisions for the big day and choose the setting that best matches your goals.