(Closed) How did people react when you told them you wanted a destination wedding?

posted 7 months ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

futuremrshaynes331 :  Are your friends able to afford a vacation outside of the US? I’ve done several destination weddings and they have cost me thousands of dollars each time, which I don’t really mind because they were in fact awesome vacations, and I could afford it but not everyone will feel that way.

We were going to do a destination wedding but ultimately decided against it, my husbands siblings would never be able to afford to go on a trip like that and we were definitely not paying for them, so when we talked to my now Mother-In-Law she was really against the idea. That’s not the only reason we decided to not have a Destination Wedding, we got engaged in the spring and wanted to get married the same summer (August 2018) because we didn’t want to wait till the following summer and we couldn’t have planned a Destination Wedding in four months or expected our friends/family to plan a trip like that with such short notice.

DW’s can also end up being really expensive, but that totally depends on where you’re getting married and what kind of wedding you want to have.


Post # 3
11489 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I can tell you without exception how everyone I know who has ever been invited to one of these has reacted in private. Not positively. And most of them could afford the expense. 

I think most destination weddings, defined as a location not local to you or either family, are inconsiderate. Your wedding happens once and many people close to you can and will feel pressured or sacrifice unreasonably in order to attend. It involves using vacation time, money, and a trip not of their own choosing. You’re imposing your idea of other people’s vacation, and shifting all kind of extra, unreasonable costs onto  your guests in order to save yourself money. That’s rude. 

Keep in mind, once you invite other people, it’s no longer just about you. I’d plan something you can afford, for example an intimate wedding ceremony followed by a beach honeymoon and a casual delayed reception. 

Post # 4
712 posts
Busy bee

We sort of did a destination wedding. A location thats about 6 hours travel for many of our guests but didn’t require a flight (driving/ferry) however alot of our guests travelled from out east so it was a true destination wedding for them.

Our parents were very understanding and really fabulous so I can’t comment on your mom. Our bridal party we paid for their travel and accomodations. This worked out to about $500 per person, we couldn’t expect them to fork over that kind of money considering everything else they were doing for us. The family from out east either didn’t come due to costs or turned it into a big vacation. We knew we would have a number of people not come due to the costs, but we were surprised by how many people wanted this as a vacation, so that was a nice surprise!

We only had one person complain about the costs. My fiances aunt who has a bit of trouble getting around and doesn’t have alot of money. We helped arrange a carpool for her and found her some really reasonably priced accomodations. We helped find accomodations suited to everyone’s budget, if they needed the assistance.

Post # 5
3090 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

The reaction from our friends and family has been entirely positive. Those who can’t make it / afford it aren’t making waves about it, our immediate families are all on board with making it work, and our friends are all stoked about the prospect of a big group vacation. 

However – just a heads up, it’s not as cheap as you might be thinking. If you have a pretty small group, it’ll almost definitely be cheaper for you as the couple getting married than to have one domestically.  But if you have a large group, like we do (70-90 ppl), it adds up pretty quickly.

It also isn’t super cheap for guests either. We haven’t booked ours yet or gotten final prices, since ours is over 2 years out yet (Jan 2021), but we are looking at $2300-2500 CAD a person, so that’s pretty significant. It’s probably a lot cheaper from the USA, but just letting you know.

The reasons we are doing a Destination Wedding are:

– Over half the guest list has to travel regardless. My whole family lives on the other side of the country and they are all traveling out here for my brother’s wedding this coming summer so we figured we might as well go somewhere new if everyone is going to spending all that time and money anyways.

– Our friend group is older and more established (30+) and both want and can afford this type of vacation. By the time we get married, ours will be the third Destination Wedding in my group of friends. It’ll be the first among his friends, but they are all excited about it since it’s something new for them. 

– Neither of us wants to actually *plan* a wedding, so we are super into the idea of just letting a resort plan a cookie cutter wedding for us. 

My advice would be to be totally upfront with people about the costs as well as the benefits, and be prepared to have a higher decline rate than you maybe would having it locally. You know your family and friends better than anyone on the Bee does. There seems to be a lot of hate towards DWs on this site, as a lot of people see them as very selfish and entitled, but honestly, that all depends entirely on the people involved. Some people love DWs, others hate them. It’s up to you to gauge how it will go over with your loved ones. 

Post # 6
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

We did a destination wedding last year, we got married in Puerto Vallarta.  We actually did it to keep our guest list small.  We both have huge extended families, and a local wedding would have meant about 250 people, which was exactly what we didn’t want.

My husband’s parents were thrilled, because they own a vacation property in Puerto Vallarta, and were dying for one of their kids to get married there.  My parents were a bit harder to convince.  My mom had never left the country, so she was concerned about that, and also concerned that my grandma probably wouldn’t make it.  Once we got all the parents on board, we didn’t really worry about anyone else.  If people wanted to come, they would, and if they didn’t, no big deal either.

We invited 150 people, and 65 people came.  We were missing a few key people that couldn’t make the trip:  my grandma and step grandma couldn’t make the trip, and two of my husband’s sisters couldn’t come and one of my dear friends couldn’t come either.  But if you have a destination wedding, you have to understand that some people you really want there, won’t be able to come, and you have to be ok with it.

At the end of the day, a wedding invite is just that, an invite, not a summons.  People who really want to attend will find a way to be there.  Good luck with your planning!!

Post # 9
2314 posts
Buzzing bee

Some people hate destination weddings, some people love them.  

Almost all weddings are a destination weddings for me since I live away from my family.  I always have flights, hotels, rental car expenses and I’d much prefer to go to a fun destination than a random midwest town.  So I’m sure that’s what is coloring my opinion.

But also, if I can’t afford it, I just would respectfully decline.  I wouldn’t get upset about not being able to go.

Post # 10
321 posts
Helper bee

I was the maid of honor at my cousins wedding in the Dominican Republic it was gorgeous and all inclusive (even all the alcohol! Lol) so it was cheaper for her and us (we took advantage and used it as a vacation also!) plus since we all stood at the all inclusive resort she got married in she also got a discount for her stay. She found that It’s a lot cheaper than a wedding in the US because everything is included and they used it for their honeymoon as well. The only negative (which could be considered a plus lol) is that not everyone will come 

futuremrshaynes331 :  

Post # 11
369 posts
Helper bee

My reaction when people invite me to a destination wedding is $$$$$ and the couple is being cheap for shifting the cost of the wedding they want onto the guests.

All-inclusive resorts will give good deals to the couple if they invite a minimum number of guests, and some resorts even have a minimum stay requirement. One of our friends had their wedding at such resort which was $300/nt with a 3 night minimum. A 50 person group would mean the resort locks $45k, so they gave the couple “free stuff” like free flowers, free cake, free DJ, free wedding coordinator. All in all I think the couple only paid $5K for their $45K wedding. Totally great deal if you want your guests to subsidize the rest.


After money, its taking vacation time to travel. A wedding isn’t a vacation. Unless you’re a fan of cruises, nobody goes on vacation with 40-50 other people. 

You have to be ok with people giving you excuses about why they can’t go because nobody will say the truth to the couples face and piss on their day. Common excuses will be: 

– Can’t afford it

– No vacation time

– Work

– Zika (a bunch of people used this as an excuse not to go to Mexico/Caribbean Destination Wedding last year)

Honestly you ought to do the wedding you want, and if you are going to pay for your family’s expenses then good for you. Just be prepared that not everyone you want to be there will be on board.

Post # 12
5959 posts
Bee Keeper

“Not to mention that most of my friends haven’t been outside of the US and to think it would work as an incredible vacation for them.”

If your friends haven’t already been outside the US, do they have a passport? Do they even WANT to explore outside the US? I find it very weird that you use this as a pro to a destination wedding, it seems very much a con imo. 

It’s also very unlikely that an all inclusive resort is somehow going to be cheaper for your guests.

Honestly you seem to be using any reason to justify this in your mind, but its all incorrect. 

it’s also somewhat difficult to get married in another country. Mexico requires a blood test prior, other spanish speaking countries require document translation. Most people get married at home prior and do a “symbolic” ceremony in the tropics. Of course, some people won’t want to travel for that. 

Post # 13
6269 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

futuremrshaynes331 :  FYI, people who are excited now are likely to bail later, when it really comes down to it. My wedding doesn’t count as destination because it was localish to me, but most of our guests had to travel 1000 miles or more. Only half the guest list attended. The most enthusiastic person on receiving a save the date never so much as rsvp’d when the invitation came. In fact I was shocked at the number who just didn’t respond at all. It was really weird to me. 

Another thing to remember is that a destination wedding will involve entire families. Mom, dad, a couple of kids and you’re looking at $2000 just to fly out. Never mind food, hotel, rental car, additional activities to keep busy. And with kids involved, a November wedding won’t be feasible because of school. A weekend trip is one thing but kids can’t miss a week of school for vacation. 

I think you have to decide what you want more: guests or venue. If it’s the latter, you might want to invite the immediate family and host a local reception later. The other posters have covered my other issues with destination weddings already, though I’ll add that usually if someone hasn’t left the country before, it’s because they don’t actually want to. 

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