(Closed) Destination Wedding: TO DO or NOT TO DO?

posted 9 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I was in your same situation a few months ago.  I live in MA and I’m doing my wedding in Myrtle Beach.

For me it boiled down to this –

how special is the location

realistically budget what’s the dollar difference in a local vs destination

Yes some will be upset but those who truly want to see you married will go

Lastly, throw an engagement party/jack & jill shower or even bbq post wedding in your home town so that those that would like to be at the wedding and can’t make can still enjoy being part of the festivities.

Post # 4
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Hey there we are having a destination wedding. It is about 5 hours from us.  So most people will just drive and make it a weekend mini-vacation.  My FI’s family will all have to fly because they are all over the US.  So to them it wouldn’t have mattered where we had the wedding.  I did find that venues, food, drinks and such were half the price of the ones here in Houston.  So since we are saving a little on the wedding we are going to pay for the bridal parties rooms for one night just to help them out.  We are also doing our Bach parties that night before so that we aren’t asking our friends to do two separate events (resulting in more $$ for them).  We are inviting everyone that we would have invited had the wedding been here.  That way no one can get upset that they weren’t invited.  If they come great and if not we understand.  We just love the venue we choose and couldn’t think of a better place to have our big day! 

Also, keep in mind you can have showers that guests who can’t afford to come to the wedding can attend the shower. That way they still feel like they were included in the celebrations!

Post # 5
1220 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

The wedding is about you and your Fiance.  Not about people who are bent out of shape over not getting an invite.  We’re having a Destination Wedding and cut (more like butchered) a guest list from 300 if it was in town to 80.  Yep, we have to buy plane tickets and other things but the day will be about US, not the 300 people, 200 of which I couldn’t care the less if they show up, that are at the wedding.

If money is super tight, make the guest list even smaller.  Like a family vacay small then have a reception/BBQ when you get home.



Post # 7
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Wow, I really feel for you Aimee! i commend your determination to not take on debt for the wedding. My fiance is the same way and later I’m sure I’ll be grateful. Its just too bad your family / friend support is something you have to worry about right now. 

I’m with Jaydee in figure out how special the location is to you. A destination wedding can easily be more or less expensive. I think it kind of depends on you. When we were interviewing destinations we were visiting really high end places but we definitely could have made it more affordable. You could choose high end resort, or modest but gorgeous secluded beach / park.

Follow your heart. If that place is special to you then I would go for it. For us it boiled down to the ‘politics’ of the guest list. We wanted something that would be intimate and special to us and we didn’t feel like we could do that as easily at home (especially since we live in two different states). Our guests have been wonderful and are really excited. Almost all the people we care most about will be there. Just try to give them plenty of notice so that they can save the money if they need to.

Post # 8
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

Destinations can be a wonderful and intimate event, the biggest (potential) downfall is that some will be upset due to the expense/distance etc. for the guests. How important is it for EVERYONE to be there is the debate for you… Keep in mind, even in a perfect scenario (no travel for anyone) you will have some invitees who decline to attend. 

If the place is special to you, then it makes sense… the way you described yourself when there… says it all to me, I wouldn’t consider anywere else! You said” I transform into this calm, relaxed, uphoric woman with no cares or woes.”  Sounds like a stress-free bride to me!

Certainly do your budget homework, as suggested above, and then if it works. I would consider inviting all that are important to you… Give themj PLENTY of notice, and then let them decide.  To keep costs lower you may want to offer a few lodging options (In Season on the Cape can be $$$.) Additionally you might consider “no gifts, please, your pressense is gift enough” on the invitations. 

An at-home reception/pre-party etc are all great options to include the onew who can’t or will not make the trip. 

Post # 9
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We didn’t intend to have a wedding at all, but planned to elope in Vegas. WOrd got out, and volia, insta-wedding. We sent out a whopping 25 invitations, and right now are expecting about 20 guests. We are not hosting a reception, but hope guests will join us for supper and cake post-ceremony. If they would rather catch a show, that’s fine too, we’re planning it as if it were just the two of us. (I’ll admit to making favors, and buying gifts for a few special people) It’s perfect.

It’s YOUR wedding- do what you want.


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

My fiance and I are having a destination wedding. We both live in Chicago, and most of our family is in NY, and since we wanted to make it easier on everyone, we decided to have it in NY. Now, NY is a pretty big state, and we picked a location that’s about a two-hour drive for my family, but a six hour drive for his. Why? Because the location had special meaning to both of us. When we lived in NY, we often went to this town for day trips and fell in love. We HAD to have our wedding there.

We realized going into it that some people wouldn’t come because of the distance, and we were fine with that. For example, one set of grandparents can’t make it because of the travel involved, and we’re sad they won’t be there, but that didn’t make or break the decision for us (there are always pictures!).

As far as pricing goes, it differs just as with any wedding. Just comparison shop a LOT. For us, the biggest struggle has been having to do everything via e-mail and phone. It’s hard when you can’t talk to your vendors face-to-face, but since I’m pretty fast with e-mail, it hasn’t been TOO much of a burden.

Good luck with your decision!

Post # 11
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

if that’s always been your dream, go for it!! it’s good though that you recognize it might be expensive for your guests. some may opt not to come because they can’t afford the trip (either time or money).  if folks are around the whole weekend, (and you feel obliged to pay for additional meals, etc) it might not end up being any cheaper than a non-destination wedding. just something to keep in mind.

do what will make YOU happiest!

Post # 12
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

do what will make you happy!  i was just talking to someone last night who had to fly from FL to the midwest and then drive four hours to get to the wedding.  actually, most of the guests were from FL i think!  everyone worked out carpools and room sharing and they all had an amazing wonderful time and enjoyed their mini vacation.

Post # 13
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

it’s all about what works best for you and the fiance! If you want to get married on the cape, then look into what those costs would be. There are certain rules and regulations that the Cape abides to, so take that into mind – my cousin just got married in Chatham and the town only allows 2 weddings/season. Also, any outdoor music must be shut off be 10 or 10:30. There are many positives to getting married there – gorgeous place, sounds like you get really relaxed there and it’s a lovely vacation spot so your guests could take a mini-vacation. you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons! Good Luck!

Post # 14
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Its your wedding!  Do what you want!  At first we were just worried about all family and friends being there because we were worried they would be mad if they weren’t invited.  We wanted a Disney wedding, some family thought it was “lame” “childish” and a million other things.  Also my fathers family (whom we are not close and my father said not to even think of inviting) heard that I was engaged and instantly started complaining about how I would be doing it in Florida and its so far away from the rest of the family (my parents, and grandparents, and fathers side of the family)

It all just got out of control trying to please everyone else, so my fiance actually suggested the Disney Cruise wedding after he saw it online.  It was limited to a small gathering, short simple ceremony, a cake and champagne reception with toasts, cake cutting and first dance….all while onboard a cruise.

Is it a fairy tale wedding?  In a way no…there won’t be a huge location and a million flowers, but we are able to save for our new home we hope to buy soon.  The guests we really wanted to be there made changes and plans to attend which is amazing in itsself as most of the friends are just out of college and still broke like us….and our family will be there and we get to spend like 4 days together rather the just one day….I am so happy with our decision because it is very “us”.

I was not the girl to know what and where I wanted my wedding years before I was proposed to , I didnt even know my Fiance was going to propose!!! and we are just very laid back and wanting things to be fun and light and no stress….cruising the open sea seems like a good fit!


Moral of the story…do what you 2 want…others may complain but if they are really happy for you and want to be there for you, they will be…trust me!

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