What are your thoughts on destination weddings?

posted 4 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

If you’re having people fly from California to Europe, then yes, it’s a destination wedding.


I’m generally fairly anti-destination wedding, which is funny, since we’re essentially having one. In our case, our family is scattered throughout the US and neither of us lives in our hometown(s), and since we are having a family-only wedding, everyone would have to travel regardless. We picked somewhere in the US that is fairly central to our families, easy to get to, and much more fun than where we currently live. 

I don’t necessarily like the more stereotypical destination wedding, where a bride and groom whose friends/family are all fairly geographically close invite 100+ people to a specific resort somewhere, and get pissy if they can’t come. It’s expensive. 

Post # 3
2799 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Yes for those guests it will be a destination wedding, but it’s not really your fault/couldn’t be avoided as it’s in your SO’s home country. A true destination wedding is somewhere that the bride and groom don’t live/is not their home area. Our wedding was technically a destination wedding for all of the grooms guests as they lived overseas, but I never referred to it as that because it was in my home region. 

Destination weddings are fine, as long as the bride and groom understand that some people might not be able to make it, even if they are close family or in the wedding party.

Post # 4
6630 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

socalgirl1689 :  if you live where the wedding takes place, approximately, then it’s not a destination, even if other people need to travel. It makes sense though, if the vast majority of your guests are local to your ‘destination.’  We weren’t local to anyone anymore and our families were on opposite coasts, so all were invited to us – inconvenience everyone, lol. Our attendees were about half the number invited. We tried to cover accommodations for the younger ones to help out since they were dealing with long drives and plane tickets on top of not being as well established as our parents’ generation of guests. 

I’m not a fan of actual destination weddings because it seems to foist all the cost onto guests and I have yet to see a couple who doesn’t deny it. Couple gets a cheap deal on their event but guests are paying for flights, forced stays in specific resorts, passports, childcare, vacation time, food, etc. However, I’d just decline, not kick up a stink, if it was somewhere I didn’t want to be and/or couldn’t afford.  As the bride at our kinda-sorta, I didn’t hold declines against anyone (barring being annoyed with those who didn’t bother responding). 

Post # 5
190 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t actually consider this a destination wedding, because it is being held where the groom is from.  I went to a wedding like this (legal marriage in USA with reception, followed by Catholic wedding in bride’s home country).  I actually attended both, although (like you), most of the guests were only invited to one or the other depending on where they lived.  i didn’t mind the travel since it was in the bride’s hometown and not an arbitrary resort destination.  Since you are only inviting a few American guests who are your family and very close friends, I assume you may have already talked to them about the travel and they are okay with it.  I would just be understanding if anyone is unable to make it due to the long distances.

Post # 7
1401 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t mind destination weddings as long as there’s no pressure to attend, both of my cousins had weddings abroad (in Europe so not too far for us) and we could stay at whatever hotel we wanted, we made holidays out of it and it was really nice.

I’m seriously contemplating a very small destination wedding with around 15 guests, but we will be footing all the costs minus the flights as we’re going to hire a villa to stay at that can also accommodate our immediate families and my best friend and her family. The flights will be cheap as we live and will be getting married in Europe. We have put the idea out there and everyone is more than happy to attend and love the villa idea. It’s a lot cheaper for us to do it this way rather than in the UK, as to not offend anyone we would have to invite about 65 people here minimum, it has nothing to do with guests footing the bill as we will get married in the local town hall and paying for accommodation for everyone. 

Post # 8
2799 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Yes, I would say a true “destination wedding” is held somewhere random that the bride and groom or their families don’t live. Like a resort destination. I think that it is very uncommon today that 100% of the wedding guest list would live in the same town where the wedding is held, so your personal situation would not be typically referred to as a destination wedding. Although from your US guests point of view, it kind of is a destination wedding for them specifically, but not in general. socalgirl1689 :  

Post # 9
2892 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

socalgirl1689 :  That’s a destination wedding.

I actually really like destination weddings because it gives us an excuse to travel, we generally make a trip out of the destination weddings we go to. 


Post # 10
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I used to not be a big fan of them… until it was time to have our own wedding. If we had it in our hometown in Ohio, FH’s family would pressure us to invite like 200 people. We live in the Bay Area currently and FH has friends all over the country. We chose Joshua Tree because, while most of our family is in Ohio, he has friends everywhere, and family in Texas and Maryland as well. Ultimately we chose “destination” so we could have a smaller wedding without pressure to invite everyone under the sun. I get now why people have them, and I think as long as you aren’t disappointed if we people don’t come, then there’s nothing wrong with destination. 

Post # 11
12224 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I dislike the vast majority of destination weddings. They put venue ahead of people and are an imposition of time and money. 

That said, yours is local to your fiance’s family, so by definition it is not a destination wedding. I would, however,  not agree to any other pre-wedding events that are not for local people only. Your guests already have a sizeable financial burden. 

Post # 12
3384 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t consider this a destination wedding because it is in your fiance’s hometown.

Have you talked to the church about your plan? The Catholic Church does not allow a wedding ceremony after a civil ceremony. The only option is a convalidation ceremony.

Post # 13
2855 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I like destination weddings. They are an excuse for a holiday. I’ve been to ones in Turkey, Morocco, Cayman Islands and Mexico …but each of those either the couple lived there or it was the home country for one of them 

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