(Closed) Destination Wedding regrets?

posted 11 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I am planning on having a destination wedding myself in Hawaii. I am planning on having my mom and grandmother from my side and about 14 people on his side (his family is awesome..my family sucks major a$$). 

I will open the invite to any of our friends (we are doing a Hawaiian cruise), but don’t expect any to come since we won’t be able to afford to pay for anything (ie, airfare, part of their package, execursions, etc) for them.  We are however planning on hosting a big backyard bbq later on in the year.  This will include some of the family memebers that I actually like from my family, the rest of his and all of our friends. 

This way I don’t have to worry about bridesmaids not liking the dress or the shoes or something else. I don’t have to worry about what dress my mom is going to where or what his mom is going to wear. I am not going to have to worry about his mom trying to bogart the planning-not that she would.

For me a destination wedding is perfect because I don’t really like to be the center of attention, neither does my BF. Plus we are no religious so no church. And this way it will be like a mini family vacation for his side since he has family on different coasts.

Post # 5
5992 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

we had our wedding in tropical Paupa New Guinea last year

How many people did you invite?
How many people came?
no one – it was only us

Did you ever regret having a Destination Wedding instead of a traditional wedding?
no – its been 6mths and we both still buzz about it.

What is better/worse about a DW? 
worse: the legalities and paperwork but we had to deal with a 3rd world country and it was much easier than my cousin that married in Italy – that was painful and a year later possibly not a legal marriage

it was us, it was our way of doing things and the entire day we laughed, smiled and was happy – absoultely zero stress for us

oh, and only thing i would change was the time of the wedding – we married at 1pm on the beach and it was hot

Post # 6
2 posts
  • Wedding: April 2007

Aloha HoneyBear,

My husband and I are from the mainland but we met and have lived in Hawaii for 10 years. When we were married here (on the beach) it was like having a destination wedding for everyone else.

Some things to keep in mind-

Make it easy on your guests: have information available for them to make their planning easy, suggest places to stay, plan some family events for everyone, refer them to a wedding website with links to the location and attractions. It may sound like more work but once you get to your location everything will be done… unlike the typical wedding week when you are running like crazy.

Close your eyes and think about what it looks like when you are walking down the isle… are you barefoot and is your fiance standing in front of a big blue ocean, or…

How many people did you invite? 100

How many people came? 70

Did you ever regret having a Destination Wedding instead of a traditional wedding? nope…it can be both!

What is better/worse about a DW? I think the Destination Wedding bride can spend less time planning and stressing, especially during the event and have more time (like a week) to play and enjoy her guests and fiance.


Go with your gut, everything else will fall into place.


Post # 7
484 posts
Helper bee

How many people did you invite?  about 120

How many people came?  36

Did you ever regret having a Destination Wedding instead of a traditional wedding? 
not for a second. I had to let go of some control but it all worked out in the end.

What is better/worse about a DW?
Better: randoms we had to invite out for ettiquette (sp?) reasons  – you know weirdo family members etc. – didn’t/couldn’t come. It was all our closest closest family and friends which felt more special. It was SO FUN to have everyone there in party mode for a week. It really extends the celebration and everyone is relaxed and happy because they are on vacation. We stayed another 10 days for our honeymoon and because we were there for a week before the wedding it felt like we really got to do everything we wanted on our honeymoon without the pressure of ‘only having so many days’.
Worse: we had a few close friends that couldn’t afford the trip which was a bummer. I had to give up/scale down some DIY projects because I obviously had limited luggage – as it was I had to pay $700 in luggage fees to get on the plane!

Post # 8
420 posts
Helper bee

I started a destination wedding… Paid deposits, and it ended up being too overwhelming (for ME.) My parents were against it, as they wanted alot of family there.. That was my experience however i still think it’s a good idea.

Post # 9
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

we’re kind of having the opposite problem. We’re getting married here in FL, which is home for us, but destination for all of our families. We expected that with it being a destination wedding and the state of the economy, that alot of people would decline. Now we are getting back ALOT of accepts….. and are starting to get worried about cost.

Post # 10
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We had ZERO regrets about doing a destination wedding.  This is YOUR wedding and by having a destination you will have someplace to always go back to visit to celebrate.

We invited 140 guests (this included children and +1s)

We had 85 attend (most people did not bring their children and chose to treat it like a weekend getaway, we only had 7-8 couples who could not attend and many singles didn’t bring a date)

I think what’s better about having a destination wedding is that we got to include everyone in all of the weekend activities, i.e. we had a welcome party instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner so we had two major events to spend time with everyone who had traveled to see us.  Our guests got a fantasticly fun weekend and had a chance to explore a part of the country many had never seen.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. 

Post # 11
1317 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We want a destination wedding, just the two of us – somewhere we can continue onto our honeymoon. But every honeymoon location we’ve looked into has had some messed-up wedding laws making it such a hassle for foreigners to marry! So our plan is to marry here, but alone.

We’re planning on having a wedding dinner the night before our wedding day with family. It will be convenient for everyone since it’ll be on a Saturday. We also don’t feel comfortable being the center of attention so we’ll be wearing non-wedding clothes. Then on Sunday, on our wedding date, at dusk, we’re to be wed. We want to do it alone, but because we’ll be in town, I feel bad not inviting his parents, even though they say they’re fine with it. His Mom always seems to get glassy-eyed when we just talk about the wedding and this weekend, she even offered to help pay … she said we can use it for our wedding or honeymoon, wherever we want. I feel guilty not inviting them but Fi assures it’s OK. If we do invite them, then I’d feel bad not having my Mom there … but the flight is so far that if my Mom comes, the cycle of stress is just as if we’d want a traditional wedding!

So I’m also having doubts … specially after watching Mrs. Cowboy Boot’s wedding vid! But everytime I think about all the hassle and stress it will be, I snap out of it!


@Ms Sassy, it’s like you took the words out of my mouth!

@eloping, girl, you give me strength to follow through!

Post # 12
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We’re getting married in Aruba in 5 MONTHS!!  Eeekkkss!!

How many people did you invite? guest list is 132

How many people came? we estimate about 40-50 people

Did you ever regret having a Destination Wedding instead of a traditional wedding?  I’m still planning it, but I have no regrets at all!!  The planning has been so easy and stressfree!  My BFF is getting married here locally and her guest list is 415 and shes super stressed!  It also helped that the fi and I went on a site visit this past summer did food/cake tasting, met the florist, DJ, and officiant.  We love out wedding coordinator too!

What is better/worse about a DW?  better-cheaper and smaller/ bad-slower communication time with vendors

Post # 13
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I certainly understand what you are going through – I think I just ditched my whole destination wedding plan… not because I didn’t want it, but because of the price.  I figured I could rent a house for $3000 and have it there…. turns out there are certain houses for events, event fees, service charges, taxes, cleaning, etc.  Long story short – I was at $7500 for the house.  

Since we are using most of the money from my dad for a down payment on a house, I cut the destination part, (as of now,) and saved about $6000.  Plus, now I can have the real reception with all of the stupid traditions that, yes, I was a little bummed about missing out on.  

Good luck with your decision – it’s a tricky one!

Post # 14
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2020 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman

We had our wedding in Grand Cayman (recaps are still in the works!), and I would do it again in a heartbeat!!

How many people did you invite?  I think around 200 or maybe a bit more.  We invited the entire list we would have for a big, hometown wedding.  In fact, I think our list was even bigger (we could include all those randoms our parents wanted), because we knew that most people wouldn’t come anyway. 

How many people came?  We were expecting 30-40, but around 80 people came!!  Big shocker!!  Our budget doubled, but it was so worth it!!

Did you ever regret having a Destination Wedding instead of a traditional wedding?  NO WAY, not even for a second.  It was an awesome vacation with all of our closest friends.  Sure, there were a few people missing, but that didn’t put a damper on our day (or, week, to be exact!) at all.

What is better/worse about a DW?  Usually people want to make a vacation out of it (and you should encourage that by organizing events, etc.), so you end up spending way more time celebrating with the people you love.  That is by far the best part.  Also, people raved about our wedding.  We could tell that everyone was having a blast.

Some of the drawbacks are working with vendors in a different country, credit card transaction fees (watch out for those–cards charge your for converting currency!), planning a wedding from afar (helps you to loosen up and have a relaxed attitued though!), guests spending more money, schlepping all your wedding crap to the location, guests not being able to make it, people trying to make you feel guilty about having a wedding that is not convenient for them to attend.

If you want to maximize attendance, try to make it affordable.  Find out the cheapest times to fly (I recommend shoulder season, the time between high and low season), negotiate good group rates at hotels, help match people who may want roomates.  Oh, and make an awesome wedding website with lots of details about the location and all the fun events!!  Good luck!!

Post # 15
8 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

I am getting married in October in Mexico and currently we have about 52 guests out of about 100 invited.  It brings a different kind of stress then planning a local, more traditional wedding as you have to communicate with your wedding planner and plan from far away.  I used destinationweddings.com and they have been great.  They got great deals for all of our guests and everyone is pretty excited.  There are a few VIP people that are not going to make it, which is sad, but I knew that by having a destination wedding, that would be the reality.  Your closest friends and family will do their best to be there, and giving them A LOT of time to plan (about a year) is appreciated and reasonable.  If they want to come, this gives them plenty of time to plan for a big financial commitment.  The best part is not having to invite people you would have felt obligated too, it elimintaes a whole bunch of wedding stress, and everyone (mostly) is looking forward to getting away and celebrating!  Good luck on your decision! 

Post # 16
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Our wedding is in just over a month but I thought I would respond anyway.

How many people did you invite? 90

How many people came? We just got our final count of 34

Did you ever regret having a Destination Wedding instead of a traditional wedding? 
NOPE!! Our theory all along has been we only want the people there who want to be there.  With the except of maybe 2 or 3 people, EVERYONE could have afforded to go, but they chose not to.

What is better/worse about a DW? 

This is my second wedding, his first, so my answer might be a bit different. My first wedding was VERY traditional…and I hated it.  Df and I wanted something intimate and fun. We don’t want to spend our reception walking from table to table thanking people.  We want to enjoy our wedding and our guests.

The topic ‘Destination Wedding regrets?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors