Destination weddings have become a popular trend among couples looking to tie the knot. According to some reports, roughly 1 out of every 4 weddings occurs at a destination. Whether it’s the beach, mountains, country club, etc., there are certain perks associated with destination weddings. If you’re planning on having one, though, you should consider the following.
Couples should always consider the total cost when planning their wedding — and destination weddings are no exception. Surprisingly, however, getting married at some far-away locale can often save you money. This is because the guest lists are typically smaller (see below); you’ll already be at or near your honeymoon, and vendors are readily available near most preferred wedding venues. In any case, you should set a budget by deciding exactly how much you can spend on your wedding, and roughly how much it your destination wedding will cost.
How many guests do you plan on inviting? Destination weddings typically have fewer guests than traditional “local” weddings. One report found that brides and grooms invited an average of 86 guests to their destination weddings, while the average number of guests at local weddings is 139. Keep in mind that you’ll probably receive more “no” responses from your destination wedding RSVPs as well.
Being that you aren’t familiar with the area, you’ll have to spend extra time researching and finding vendors for a destination wedding. A simple solution, however, is to begin searching well in advance, preferably right after you and your fiance have selected a destination. Once you know where you’re getting married, you can begin searching online for caterers, DJs, photographers, bakeries, and other vendors.
You have one of two options when finalizing the legal aspect of your destination wedding: you can obtain the wedding certificate at home before traveling to your destination, or you can get legally married at your destination. The latter, however, can be more complicated since wedding laws vary from state to state. If you plan on getting legally married at your destination, check the requirements beforehand to determine what exactly is needed (e.g. birth certificates, blood work, etc.).
You should also consider the parking and transportation accommodations for guests when planning your destination wedding. If you’re planning a beach wedding, for instance, parking could be limited, with guests forced to pay for parking by the hour. If the venue is private, however, chances are it will offer at least some parking. And if the venue doesn’t have on-site parking, perhaps it offers a shuttle service to transport guests to and from the venue.