(Closed) How Did You Decide on a Destination Wedding?

posted 7 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ours was kind of an involuntary destination wedding.  As a same-sex couple, we had to get married in Massachusetts, which was 8 hours away from us and even further away from most of our guests.  We made the best of it, though, having an intimate ceremony for immediate family and a few close friends and then a delicious luncheon afterward.  (With so few guests, we could afford to splurge on food.)  We then had a bigger party back home afterward.

Post # 4
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I wanted a destination wedding for a few different reasons.  I realized that my fiance and I had huge families  (about 140 family members) and that I don’t really enjoy being the center of attention at such a large event.  I knew we would have a huge wedding if it was not a destination wedding and it dawned on me that I wouldn’t enjoy that as much as a smaller ceremony.  I also have a really hard time spending so much money on just a few hours (big guest list = big $).  I am happier spending less money overall and more time with the people who will make it to our wedding.  We also made sure that certain people would be able to attend our wedding (parents, brother, sisters, etc). 

Post # 5
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Well, when we decided it was just going to be the two of us… it was a pretty easy decision that we were going to do it somewhere else so we could enjoy our wedding.  Wine country was perfect because it was laid back and gorgeous.  (Plus, it was really easy to find someone who could put the whole thing together for us)

Post # 6
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

Fiance and I have friends and family in so many different places that no matter where we decided to have the wedding 90% of guests would have to travel.

Since people were going to have to travel anyway, we decided on Maine because the atmosphere of coastal Maine really fits with out personalities and Fiance spent many summers there growing up.

There really was no way for us to have a weeding where most of the guests were local, so anything we did would require a plane trip for most guests.

Post # 7
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Prior to being engaged, my fiance and I knew that if we ever got married we wanted to have a Destination Wedding. Our families were both a little hesitant about this at first, but they have now come around to it.  A lot of it boiled down to the fact that we did not want to have a 300 person wedding and if we got married in California, we would have. 

These are some of the reasons a Destination Wedding was the right decision for us:

-Our favorite weddings have been destination weddings. We have been to 3 out of country destination weddings before, and these have been the most enjoyable because I have gotten to spend quality time with people I wouldn’t normally, and spend a lot of time with the couple getting married.  it has also made me travel to some really cool places that I wouldn’t normally go to. 

-You are eliminating people that really don’t care about you.  I have a long list of obligatory invites that my mom would kill me if I didn’t invite.  These are people that are not really a part of my life.  By having a destination wedding, I can still invite them, my Mom will not kill me and she will be happy, but most likely they will not come.  And if they do?  They obviously care about me a whole lot more than I ever expected and it will be amazing to get to spend real quality time with them.

-We are paying for most of the wedding ourselves. We are very greatful for the support we are receiving, but at the end of the day, we are paying for it ourselves and we need to do what makes us happiest. 

-We are also on a pretty strict budget. Having a Destination Wedding is allowing us to give our guests a lot more than we would have been able to provide if we got married in the U.S. While i know that it is not about giving them things, it makes me really happy to be able to have more than one event for the people that do come and to not worry about every single dollar like I would be if we were in the U.S.

-Most people were going to have to travel regardless. My fiance is from New York and 95% of his family lives there.  I am from California and 95% of my family lives here. Our friends live all over the world.  No matter what, over 50% of our guests were going to have to take a plane to get to our wedding.  If they have to travel anyway, why not make it someplace incredible?

There are always going to be some disadvantages.  For me, there are going to be people that I really want to be there that just won’t be able to make it, and that is going to suck.  But at the end of the day I think the benefits far outwiegh the negatives.

I think if you really really want to have a Destination Wedding, you should at least look into it.  Your family might change their tune when presented with how great it would be.

Post # 8
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

It was what was best. If we had the wedding in my hometown there would be over 500 people. My side would make about about 400 and I didn’t think it was fair. If we had it in his hometown we’d have to invite EVERYONE that lived in the town, not happening. We decided on Charleston because it was still close to his family but not in the middle of no where. We were able to scale our wedding back to 100 guests and only the people that really matter will be there.

Post # 9
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I chose a Destination Wedding for a few reasons. After my father died unexpectedly last year, I just didn’t want that whole traditional wedding with 500 guests. I didn’t want it before he died, but I was just going along with it. A Destination Wedding has always been my dream and like other bees have said I have family scattered all over the place from the U.S to Europe to the Carribbean so more than half of these people were going to have to travel anyway. Fiance and I have traveled a lot over the past couple of years because he is Dutch and resides in Holland and I am here in NYC so this is more meaningful and fitting for us. Our most romantic trip has been in the South of France and so it just felt right to have it there. Also, like SerenaSF mentioned I want to be able to add some extras to the wedding that would not be possible here. I plan to spoil my guests and give them a memorable experience.

Have you considered having a reception at home after the DW? I will be doing that as well as other bees on the board who have written about throwing a reception back home after they get back.

Post # 10
3142 posts
Sugar bee

My fh and I have discussed our Destination Wedding at length.

I have only ever wanted a tiny wedding with just my best of friends and closest family members in attendance. As well, I have always wanted to get married where it is warm and the atmosphere is romantic to begin with.  I find that tropical weather was made for that.  I just want a fun loving day, where I can wear a beautiful dress and dance under the stars with my hunny.  I’ve sworn *always* that at my wedding, it was going to be small enough where all the guests could sit at same table and hear each other speak ๐Ÿ™‚

My FH, who is an encore groom, hated all the hoop-la around his frist big church wedding.  He despised the fact that he had extended family who he hadn’t seen since he was an infant and that everything was so formal ‘on schedule’.

So lucky, we are both on the exact same page as to what we really want out of ‘our’ day ๐Ÿ™‚


Good luck to you and I hope you can at least get some of the key elements that are important to you incorporated into your wedding ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 11
181 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Finally convinced Fiance to do after a Destination Wedding after our original budget went from $15000 to topping $30,000 to have a traditional wedding/reception. When we finally agreed on a destination we were able to have the wedding and reception we wanted with all the bells and whistles for around 9,000

Post # 14
4771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Considering he’s Belgian and I’m from the US it was gonna be a destination for someone.  Since we met in Ireland we decided to have it there.  Since Ireland has some constraints on marrying there we moved it to northern Ireland, which is easier.  It is still frustrating since it costs his freinds a few hundered to get there and mine a few thousand. ๐Ÿ™

Post # 15
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Ours was a “semi-destination wedding.” We live near Fort Lauderdale, and our wedding was in the Upper Keys. Most guests had about a 2-hour drive, though we did have a few from out of state (a handful of his family from OH plus a few childhood girlfriends of mine).

It was exactly what you mentioned – a weekend full of love, laughter and fun with the people who care about us the most. The two-hour drive meant guests had to stay at least overnight (most stayed the entire weekend), which kept the guest list in check – in our case, we had about 75 guests at the Friday wedding, and about 50 who stayed the entire weekend. It’s true that having a Destination Wedding tends to filter out the people who are just coming for the free party, and focuses on the people who matter most to you.

My advice: Even if it’s not on a tropical island, can you turn your wedding into a Destination Wedding by planning some activities for a full weekend? The key is to make a list of who you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY want to be there (parents, siblings, your closest friends), and clear it with them. Anyone else who decides to come is a bonus.

The biggest benefit for me was to watch our friends and family – those who never knew each other before – become friends themselves over the course of the weekend. That wouldn’t have happened during a four-hour party. On the other hand, you don’t have to be on a beach to make that happen.

Good luck!


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