(Closed) Opinions Please! What do you think of Destination Weddings?

posted 14 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 32
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

LM – that’s exactly it.  If I was in your shoes though, I just simply wouldn’t be going to all those weddings.  I’d have depleted all my savings and have gone into debt if I did.  If it wasn’t a close friend it would be no big deal but if it was a close friend whose wedding I had to turn down, I would feel guilty as hell even if they didn’t guilt-trip me.  I think maybe Destination Wedding brides think that it’s no big deal if their guests decline but I think they forget that a lot of people feel a sense of obligation to go if it’s someone they’re close to.

We went to our best friends’ wedding and I’m glad we were able to witness their celebration but I’m still resentful over the costs we incurred and how far it set me back in my savings plan.  Because of that wedding, I have no money going towards retirement savings this year.

For this reason, I would NEVER, NEVER put my friends in the position of having to scrounge up cash they don’t really have or else feel guilty and like bad friends for neglecting to attend their best friends’ wedding.  Hometown wedding it is.  We’ll save the vacation for our honeymoon.

Post # 33
14 posts


I think what people will think about you having a destination wedding will depend on a couple of factors…

1- Are you going to be upset when (not if) not everyone you would like will be able to be there?

2- If you had the wedding "at home", what percentage of your guests would have to travel anyway – and what would the approximate cost of that be to where you are going to have the DW?


It really depends on the situation. My mom was really upset when I first broached the idea of a Destination Wedding (although its not decided yet – I’m on the long term engagment plan). But when I explained that 90% of the invitee’s would have to travel to where I live now anyway, and the hotels in the city I live in would be just as expensive as any Destination Wedding hotels, then a Destination Wedding could actually end up being cheaper then a "hometown" wedding for our guests. 

I also mentioned that both sides of our family have a big family reunion at least once every 2 years, and the Destination Wedding could sub for that. My college friends do the same. 


My experiences have really informed these opinions. I went to a Destination Wedding a couple of years ago and got to spend a week at a lake cabin with friends I never get to see anymore – it was fantastic. The bride and groom had went out of their way to make it very affordable, including arranging groups to share rental houses for the week.

And I’ve spent the same amount of money or more to go to a weekend wedding where I hardly saw the bride and groom and got the priviledge of hanging out in their suburban town where they grew up for 36 hours. 

Know which situation I prefer? 🙂


Post # 34
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Fair enough, cs.  If most of your guests would have to travel anyway to get to a hometown wedding, then my point is moot and I’m all for a DW!

Post # 35
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

Hmm, smartl. I see your point a little more clearly now too.  Esp. in terms of $.  I suppose many weddings are troubling because of this not just destination weddings.

I don’t think finance is a factor in our situation.  But I sort of understand more why some people would think a destination wedding was a bit of a pain for the finances.

I think LOTS of weddings are a pain for this reason.  But if you can attend, they certainly are worth it right?


Post # 36
5 posts
  • Wedding: September 2008

We’re planning a Destination Wedding in Hawaii, but we definitely don’t think it will save us money.  We just chose it because we felt travel is part of our identity and is one of our shared loves.

One thing I haven’t seen recurring in this thread is that you make provisions for friends to celebrate with you even if they can’t make it to the destination.  Then they don’t feel like they are damaging or discounting the friendship by declining the wedding invitation. We thought of having a "cake party" at home after the honeymoon, since we love the bakeries in this area and wouldn’t be too picky about cake choices in the destination.

Instead, we’re probably going to have an "anniversary party" and list it on the invitation (e.g. RSVP will be "yes" or "no but I will try to come to your anniversary party in SF next year"), so people know they’ll have an option if they don’t want to shell out for a forced vacation.  An anniversary party would spread out the wedding-related expenses and planning to another year and would probably mean a smaller attendance (allowing us to get an even better small cake!).

Post # 37
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

I will say that destination weddings are hard for some, like the Fiance and I.  Time off from work is very dificult for us.  We were just invited to one and the mess I knew I’d come back to for the 2 days off to make the long weekend stressed me out big time!

Cost is also hard.  We didn’t want to say no, but a few thousand dollars for the two of us on top of the gift was also a consideration.  
If it’s what you want, then do it.  You can’t please everyone.  But, please tell me it’s not on a holiday weekend.  That makes it extra hard and extra expensive.  And, check out one of those airline programs for weddings– like booking a hotel block.  I know American does it, I don’t know who else.  I think a Bee blogged about it too.

Post # 38
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

My funnest moment ever in my life was at a friend’s Destination Wedding in Punta Cana.  And that is something I will always remember.  That’s why when I got engaged, we decided on doing a Destination Wedding.  I think there’s nothing wrong with it…and for the people that go, it’s sooo much fun.  Yes, some people can’t make it due to various reasons (time off and money being majority of them), which is fine.  Each person makes there own decisions on whether to attend or not. 

Post # 39
1 posts

This post really confuses me.  Selfish?  I mean, that proves what a spectacle weddings have become.  The day is about the bride, the groom, and the love that they share, not 600 guests.  It seems to me that guests who beleive that DWs are selfish are actually selfish themselves–that day is not about you. 

As far as my fiance and I, the reasons we chose a Destination Wedding were many.  1) Our families were LITERALLY in every area of the country.  90% of our guests were going to have to travel, no matter where we held it.  We live in a rather undesirable area of the country (it’s no vacation haven–trust me) and it’s also VERY expensive to travel here.  Our Destination Wedding is CHEAPER for our guests to attend than it would be to fly to an at-home wedding for us. 

I can tell you–we are NOT saving any money.  We are spending as much on our Destination Wedding for 50 as we would for an at-home wedding for 300.  We are making sure our guests are taken care of and are having a great time.

For those that couldn’t afford to/didn’t want to come, there are certainly no hard feelings.  We chose this and knew it would happen, and we’re ok with it. 

Post # 40
11 posts
  • Wedding: August 2007

I think they sound awesome, but have never been to one.  If you were having one I would keep the guest list small, to family and close friends.  If you are not helping out with the cost of hotel rooms, etc, then I wouldn’t expect much for a gift though as the cost to attend would be VERY high.  If people are so appalled by the invite, they don’t have to come, and maybe you don’t want those people there anyway!

You can always have a low-key reception for the rest of your friends/family that couldn’t come once you get back home.

Post # 41
9 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008

When I first started planning, I was going to having my wedding in town. FI’s family and friends would have to travel because they are all on the other side of the coast. My local guestlist alone was getting way way out of control (i’ve lived here for 20 years!) and I was getting so stressed out trying to accomodate everybody. Due to our very limited budget, we realized that a Destination Wedding was the best way of keeping our guestlist to a minimum. We’re inviting about 50 people but already anticipate only about 30 will attend. Some of my closest friends have already told me they might not make it because of the financial burden. Although I would love for them to be there, I TOTALLY understand why someone would decline. I know all about debt and I wouldn’t ask anyone to go in debt because of OUR day! Like many of you said, it is about the bride and groom. I didn’t want to compromise on my dress or my honeymoon simply because I had to make more room for my wallet for the big reception!

A Destination Wedding isn’t for everybody, but it made sense for us. Hawaii has a special place in my heart so we’re doing it there. Most of his guests have never been there and have always wanted to go, so they’re using our wedding as an excuse to finally visit! I’m planning a  ‘Welcome to Paradise’ cocktail party or a BBQ for all guests in place of the rehearsal dinner. I’m going to set up some activities for them to do but leave them optional in case they want to explore the island on their own. I’m making Out of Town bags for all guests to thank them for coming all that way to share in our special day, and I’m not even registering because I don’t expect any gifts. Our guests spending their hard earned money to see us say our vows is present enough for me!

And, for the 150+ people I’m not inviting, we’re having either at home reception to celebrate our union. Just cocktails and appetizers so it doesn’t inflate our budget! 🙂

Hope this helps! Remember it’s all about you and your Fiance.

Good Luck 🙂

Post # 42
15 posts
  • Wedding: June 2007

 I know this is going to be an unpopular view but in I do not think a wedding is just about the bride and groom it is about the community.  To make a marriage work you need the support of friends and family.

Weddings mean different things to different people.  For some it’s a great reason to throw an awesome party and celebrate their love.  For me a wedding is about standing in front of my family and friends and vowing to God that I will commit to this other person for the rest of our lives. We’re asking our friends and family to be a part of our marriage and to help and support us.  For this reason I would never want to have a destination wedding, I would never want to put someone out financially or stress them so that they can participate in this important event. I don’t know anyone that could afford to come to my wedding if it was out of the continental US.  Our family and friends are scattered all over the country so there will be travel, but it is much easier to load up the kids in the car and drive 16 hours than buy passports, plane tickets, hotel rooms etc.  Having my friends and family witness this wonderful event is my top priority. 

  I’m sorry if this sounds snarky but one of my greatest concerns has been the financial burden my wedding will cause others.   

Post # 43
22 posts
  • Wedding: November 2008

We are having a destinaton wedding in Jamaica and if none of my friends can make it, I am not going to hold anything against them.  I understand the financial aspects of it and the only people that I expect to be there is my family and his family.  Our friends who can make it are just icing on the cake. 

Post # 44
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

i think destination weddings can be great, in certain circumstances:

-you both have a short family/friends list that can get along (& you can persuade your parents that their 30 closest co-workers & friends won’t be offended if they aren’t invited)

-there are sufficient finances for yourselves & all the guests (ex: dont have a destination wedding if your parents cant afford to get there and you can’t pay for them either)

-immediate family can get the time off work and dont mind going to your destination as their vacation

-your family is spread out so they’d have to fly somewhere anyway

-there is no "common ground" location for you to have it, or your "common ground" location IS that far away place

-youre ok with the potential environmental issues/ consider sustainable tourism

-youre ok with not meeting every caterer/florist/etc or overseeing every detail yourself

There are a million personal reasons to decide to do a destination ("it’s pretty" being one of them!) just as there are a million reasons why you decided to get married. There may always be someone who complains. But if these types of things are considered first & everything seems ok, a destination wedding is probably a great idea for you!

Post # 45
1 posts

We have been back and forth on our decision to have a Destination Wedding or not and have gone through many locations we like, but we definitely will be keeping ours in the continental US. Reason for that is b/c we know most people we plan to invite don’t have passports and we dont want to make them get those and make them travel very far.

We are both from 2 different states and friends living in 4 other states so regardless of where we have it, over 50% of our guest list would need to travel anyway. We both feel our hometowns aren’t the best vacation destinations, so we thought if people are going to travel, might as well have them travel to a place we think everyone may enjoy going to.

We realize not everyone will be able to come no matter what since our guest list is spread across the country, but if you are paying for your wedding yourself you choose where you want it. it’s about what you and your Fiance want the most, it’s your day so pick the place you like. I would love to be able to pay for people to come if they can’t afford it, but we’re not rich unfortunately and we’re going to spend thousands on the wedding so we won’t have th means to pay for our guests. We just hope giving everyone 9 to 12 months advance notice is enough to ask off work and save for the flight and hotel.

And a DW for us will not be any cheaper overall than if we did it in one of our hometowns. It all depends on where you do it and what you want out of it.

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