The Buzz: DW brides – why did you choose a destination wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Weddingbee
Post # 3
30284 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

*BUMP* I know there are destination wedding brides out there!:D

Post # 4
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I had a DW cause FI and I are from different countries and have friends and relatives on two continents so we got married in the country where we met which is neither where FI nor I am from.  It seemed fair.

Reactions of guests: Most were excited since the country was on many of their Bucket lists.  Unfortunately we had some old relatives who could not make it and relatives with young children who could not make it, but really no matter where we would have had our wedding it would have been a DW for the majority of our guests anyway.

Helpful tip:

I donno really.  I was lucky to have amazing vendors (for the most part) who communicated well over e-mail.  We also went to the location 2 times and met vendors in person.

Post # 5
2571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

1)  We chose a destination wedding because we are generally very private and somewhat introverted people…  We didn’t want a lot of attention on us, and also we both thought it’d be cool to get married on a beach!

2) The reaction from family and friends has been almost 100% positive.  We aren’t having guests, so I wonder if people are hurt by that, or relieved at not having to pay costs for a wedding in December with holidays being so close.

3)  E-mail is your friend!  I think we have (so far) a good relationship with our vendors which will hopefully make the big day go smoothly.

Post # 6
312 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Why did you choose a destination wedding?  Ours is kind of  different destination wedding, because we live in a different province then either of our families, and we’re getting married in a different one. So it’s a destination wedding for everyone else but us. We chose it because we couldn’t decide where would be a good location for everyone. We live in a pretty hard to get to place, so we decided to move the celebration to a bigger city that was easier for everyone to get to. It’s also just as far from my family as it is to his, and it allows everyone the same general cost/travel distance, and makes it more likely to be equal for both of our family to get there.

What was the general reaction of your friends and family to the travel aspects of your wedding? Since we do live in another location, I think it was expected. The older family members complained about it because they won’t be able to go, and tried to convince us to hold it in our respective hometowns. But once we explained that we were trying to make it easy for both families to travel (those who could), and that it was equal for everyone, most relented. We’re going to be doing a webcast for people who are unable  to make it. 

What’s your #1 helpful tip for planning a wedding from afar? Don’t let anyone talk you out of your plans. Be very excited about everything, and stick by them. Emails, phone calls and texts are great way to keep in contact. Never be afraid to ask for photos. And enjoy the planning! It’s a bit nerve wracking planning something if you’ve never been there, or even if you haven’t been there in years (I haven’t been to our venue in 4 years, and I know things have changed!), but simply accepting things are going to go the way they are, and you can’t really change it the day of, has been something I’m working on!

Post # 7
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

@Mrs. Penguin:  

Why did you choose a destination wedding? 

My fiance works for a Major League Baseball team in Texas, the state in which we currently reside, but our families live on opposite coasts.  My fiance is a California native and I am a Florida girl.  Thus, our families would have had to travel far regardless of where we held our wedding.  That got us thinking: if our family and friends will have to book flights and hotels regardless of the wedding location, why not make the venue somewhere very special so the trip is worth their while? 

As we considered destinations, we found ourselves immediately taken with the enchanting, exotic, romantic ambiance of Hawaiian Weddings. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is a simply breathtaking resort property, and the magic isle of Maui shows God’s creation at its finest.   It was an easy decision to make.  The atmosphere of our location is elegantly refined and soothingly relaxed all at once.  Most of our wedding guests are successful, hardworking professionals, and we love that that our wedding celebration will allow them the opportunity to bury their perfectly pedicured toes and cares in the sand.


What was the general reaction of your friends and family to the  travel aspects of your wedding?
Our friends and family were thrilled by our decision to have a destination wedding, and delighted by our venue choice.  Our guests love to travel!

What’s your #1 helpful tip for planning a wedding from  afar?

I have three that I think are equally important!


1. Get a great planner and use a venue you can trust.

As you can’t be at your venue in person to physically oversee certain steps of the wedding planning process, it is essential that you can trust in the judgment and recommendations of your wedding planner.  I  recommend utilizing a fine quality venue and experienced wedding planner who understands the ambiance you wish to create at your wedding.  If your wedding planner is on the same page as you, it makes a world of difference. 


2. Give guests detailed information.

With a destination wedding, you can’t be too detailed in providing guests information.  The day our venue was booked, I began creating a wedding website that provides our guests with anything they could possible need to know in great detail.  I sought to anticipate any needs or wishes our guests might possibly have over the next year, and addressed them on our website. Everything is on the website from major airport and accommodations information, to tiny but important tidbits like the phone number for the resort courtesy shuttle and the best local surf shop at which to rent a board.

3. Invite people early.

Send out engagement announcements or save the dates as soon as possible for a destination wedding.  Similarly, send out invitations early enough for guests to have the opportunity to made vacation requests, financially plan to attend your event, and attend to booking details.  For example, you must consider how long your hotel room block will be available before sending out invitations.

Post # 8
3698 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Why did we chose a DW? 

DH (!!!!) is originally from Glasgow. His parents still live there and are older and aren’t in the greatest of health. Getting his dad to America would have been impossible, and getting his mom there, while possible, would have been hard and unpleasant. So in order to have them at the wedding, we did the wedding in Glasgow. 

What was the general reaction of your friends and family to the travel aspects of your wedding?
Ssince it was clear that DH and I were serious and heading towards marriage, all of my friends kept asking when they would et to go to Scotland for a wedding. Once we were engaged and seriously thinking about a DW, we polled people to,see who would be interested in coming over. The vast majority of people were thrilled to have an excuse to come to Scotland and made a vacation out of it. Most of our guests stayed about a week, some as long as two weeks. 

What’s your #1 helpful tip for planning a wedding from  afar?

 For me, it was to NOT worry about everything being perfect. I found vendors I liked and trusted. And then just let it be what it would be. I couldn’t stress too much over it or control it all. I had to trust people and just go with the flow 🙂



Post # 9
3257 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2010 - Al Cielo / La Laguna

Why did you choose a destination wedding? 

Two fold reasoning. First we love to travel and there was nothing more amazing to us than the Riviera Maya when it comes to beauty. The second was to keep the wedding smaller. We each have a parent with between 9 and 10 siblings which would have made for a HUGE wedding. So this was a way to get a small guest list without all the drama. 

What was the general reaction of your friends and family to the travel aspects of your wedding?

For the most part people were really supportive even though they (and we) understood most would not be able to come with us. We did have a second “reception” back home which was just a big party. So I think that helped smooth any ruffled feathers.

What’s your #1 helpful tip for planning a wedding from afar?

Document everything! The hardest part across distance (and sometimes languages) is to convey your idea. Use MS paint or photoshop and mock up a diagram of what you want. I would copy and paste items I was using into photos of the location so that our DOC knew exactly what my vision was. I even went as far as to mock up the tables and pasted items from photos onto the diagram to show the layout I wanted. Put it all together into a little mini booklet and give it to your DOC. Then they don’t have to do any guess work and you don’t have to worry.

Post # 10
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010 - The Atlantic Beach Club

Why did you choose a destination wedding?

We met in college and really couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. So many special moments happend in our colelge town and we wanted to share our favorite place with friends and family.


We also liked that it was a little more central than if we chose either of our home states. We figured no matter where we held our wedding, someone would have to travel since most of my friends and famiyl live in MA and my husband’s mostly live in New Jersey. So traveling would be necessary for someone so we thought people would enjoy traveling to a beautiful, which isn’t too far from either state- Newport, RI.

What was the general reaction of your friends and family to the  travel aspects

Some people laugh when we call our wedding a destination wedding since it’s about an hour and a half away, but you’d be surprised at the complaints we receieved from people having to travel. We had a mix of reactions, some people were excited for an excuse to visit Newport, but others didn’t understand why we couldn’t just have it at home.


Planning from afar wasn’t too hard since it was only one state away, but when it comes to guests, my tip is to make everything as easy as possible for them. Include lots of info. on a wedding website and give them time to book a room, especially if your wedding is in a popular location on a busy/expensive weekend. Also, give hotel options in diferent price ranges. If you are asking them to travel for your celebration, make sure they feel appreciated with things like a welcome bag, or a list of things to do in the area or if you can afford it, a welcome reception or good-bye brunch.

Post # 11
6983 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion

Any more destination brides out there?

Post # 12
718 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Trinity United Methodist Church/Garibaldi

1 – We chose a destination wedding because we live in Tallahassee but the city doesn’t have any meaning to us (other than this is where we met and live).  His hometown (Tampa) didn’t appeal to me and my hometown (Wilton, Connecticut) seemed far away for all of our friends so we started looking elsewhere.  We spent our first anniversary in Savannah and we both realized pretty quickly it would be an awesome place for a wedding!

2 – Everyone was pretty excited to go to Savannah, which is exactly what we wanted!  We made the whole weekend a fun Savannah experience and everyone seemed grateful to have an excuse to go to a cool city for a few days.

3 – Reviews, reviews, reviews!  I don’t know how I could have planned from afar without all the different wedding websites (Wedding Wire, The Knot, and of course Weddingbee!).  I also looked at local photographers’ websites to see vendors and venues in action. 

Post # 13
2 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

1- we live in the south our family is out west. We started planning a wedding in california easy enough for our family to attend. But so many details were stressing us out and timing. So we just said forget it and with our family’s blessing and almost push we decided on Hawaii.

2- everyone is excited for us hardly anyone is coming. But it started out their idea and we have a blessing from everyone.

3- reviews is the only way this bad boy is getting planned!

Post # 14
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Mrs. Penguin:  we’re having a sort of destination wedding.  It’s local for us, but destination for 95% of our guests.

we’re from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia originally, we met in New Brunswick.  I got in to school in Ontario so off we moved.  When it came time to choose a place to get married we had 4 choices

1. my hometown

2. his hometown

3. where we met

4. where we live

his hometown was ruled out right away because it’s in the middle of nowhere, there is 1 venue (the fire hall) and 1 hotel (which is really a motel and wouldn’t be big enough for all our guests)

Where we met was ruled out because there are only a couple wedding venues, we’ve been to weddings or events at all these places and have never been impressed.  We also decided that since none of our fmaily lives there and we don’t live there it would be a little silly.

That left my hometown and where we live now.  About a third of our guest list is in NB/NS.  For them to fly to Newfoundland or fly to Toront would cost about the same, they can also drive to Toronto.  There’s a lot more to do in Toronto if people want to make it a vacation.  We live in Toronto (almost).  After talking to friends who’d planned weddings back home, we decided that since most people have to travel anyways, they might as well come to us!

It’s been a planning challenge, because although we’re here, a lot of our support system isn’t.  We also have a lot of things to consider that we might not otherwise.  We have to remember that many people won’t have cars – should we arrange transportation?  We are being very concious about planning and making sure we have suggestions for things to do, things to see, and planning some extra events to make people feel really welcome and appreciated for making the trip.  It also means that we might have a higher than normal number of declines – which is sad, but it comes with the terrtory.

Post # 15
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - The Island House, Charleston, SC

1. We chose a destination wedding because the majority of our guests would have had to travel somewhere, it was just a matter of which somewhere! We looked at a lot of options in Charlotte, but ultimately our hearts were in Charleston. It was only a few hours away for our local friends, and everyone else got to have a mini-beach vacation wrapped into the wedding. 

2. EVERYONE was excited to go to Charleston! Our local friends (for the most part) had been before, and loved it – it’s kind of a go-to weekend trip locale for bachelor/ette parties, vacations, and even a “celebrate the finalization of a divorce” party. Those that had never been were just as excited. A few people from Pennsylvania told me that they had been meaning to get to Charleston forever, but just never made it and it was the perfect excuse! We heard about how grateful everyone was that it was in such a fun place for weeks afterwards. I think it went over well. 

3. Thank GOD for the internet! I don’t have a clue how I would have done it in the days of yore. Reviews were incredibly helpful, especially since I couldn’t just run down the street and check things out for myself. Luckily, we were able to make a few pre-wedding trips to see vendors and taste-test etc., but I think we could have had just as wonderful a wedding without them, thanks to the internet! 

Post # 16
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Why did you choose a destination wedding?

The fiance and I both come from rather large families. A wedding at home wouldn’t have been financially feasible, without cutting out list and offending MANY people. We loved the idea of being able to invite EVERYONE and letting the chips fall where they may. We were also just coming off the heels of our best friends wedding… they’re wealthy and had a beautiful golf club affair. We would never have been able to compare without doing something totally out of the box! It seemed like a great option since no one we know had had a destination wedding before.

What was the general reaction of your friends and family to the  travel aspects of your wedding?

I’m sure there were people who were less than thrilled about it… but they never said anything about it to our faces 😉  there’s definitely some disappointment from families that can’t afford to bring all their of their children, and from our grandparents who won’t be able to travel. but we had to do what was best for us. in general, people seem PUMPED! we have 85 guests attending and our friends can’t stop talking about it! it helps that no one in our circle has had a destination wedding yet and most of our friends/family are pretty well off financially. I think you need to know your guests!

What’s your #1 helpful tip for planning a wedding from  afar?

LET IT GO. I am seriously a planner, super controlling, and very intense about weddings. The biggest struggle for me has been my stress – not being able to see everything, not being able to plan things down to the cent, not knowing how things will go, how things will look… it’s been torture. I have to constantly remind myself they do this EVERY DAY, multiple times a day. All I really need is my fiance & the paperwork… everything else is just icing on the cake. Learning to let go and be laidback about the whole process will be insanely helpful for any DW bride!

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors