When it comes to planning your wedding day, the two most important factors to start with are determining the location & the date. Ultimately, whether you decide to host a lavish destination wedding or a fab local soiree, you’ll have to consider the pros and cons of each. Below we break down some keys points to think about as you plan your special day.
If you’re planning on hosting a small, intimate wedding with your closest friends and family, then a destination wedding might be the way to go. Hosting a destination wedding can be a way to eliminate some of those “fringe guests.”
A destination wedding can also translate into a fabulous vacation experience for you and your guests. Booking at an all-inclusive resort means you and your guests can benefit from all of the onsite amenities, like the spa or golf course.
You can also choose to have a party upon your return and invite those that did not make the Destination Wedding guest list. There are many options, and you do not have to feel bad for your choice as it is YOUR wedding.
Pro or Con:
Keep in mind that since you are asking your guests to travel sometimes a long distance, many will be arriving a few days before the wedding date. As the host, you will be responsible for ensuring that their time spent at your chosen location is as comfortable as possible, which can mean more responsibilities for you.
It is considered good etiquette to host a wedding weekend to thank your guests for joining you and spending the time and money to attend your special day. Festivities usually kick off with a welcome party to greet your guests and prepare them for the rest of the weddings events. Consider hosting a farewell brunch the day after your wedding as well. These events provide a fantastic opportunity for you and your fiance to spend more quality time with your special guests.
Be prepared to potentially lose some guests when you decide to host a destination wedding. The financial burden of travel cost might not be attainable for all of you guests.
Planning a destination wedding implores a great deal of trust in your wedding day professionals. Remember, most of your planning team will be remote. So if the idea of letting go makes you nervous, a destination wedding might be a recipe for stress.
Consider hiring a professional wedding planner if you choose to host a destination wedding. This way, you have someone who can act on your behalf and take on all the logistics for you, so you don’t find yourself overwhelmed. Most often, resorts will have a preferred vendor list with trusted professionals who have firsthand experience working with the staff and understand the specific venue rules & requirements.
Another critical factor to consider when choosing to have a destination wedding is the specific laws of the state or country in which you plan to host your special event. Think about how you will get your marriage license to ensure your wedding is legal. Who will officiate your wedding, and are they legally able to do so in your chosen destination? If these logistics begin to stress you out, consider having an intimate elopement ceremony in your home state beforehand. This way, you won’t have to worry about if your marriage is legal or not, and you can focus all your energy on being in love in paradise! If you are traveling out of the country, be sure to stop at a local money exchange so that you can easily cover any vendor tips or last-minute payments once you arrive at your destination.
If the thought of managing the logistics of a destination wedding is much too stressful for you or not financially realistic for you and your family, then a local wedding is the way to go!
Having a local wedding could be less stressful for many reasons. You have the luxury of being able to see and visit your wedding venue more frequently if needed. Your vendor team will often consist of local wedding pros you can communicate with and meet with to assuage any wedding planning jitters. You’ll also have the benefit of doing in-person cake tastings, catering meetings, and any other essential vendor meetings.
Hosting a local wedding can also mean that you won’t have to trim your guest count since you aren’t asking all of your guests to pay expensive travel costs to attend a destination wedding.
Lastly, a local wedding offers something that you can’t buy, and that’s the comfort of being home. Hosting your wedding in your home town or state means celebrating with those you love most in the place you love most. If you have guests arriving early for your special day, you could use that as an opportunity to show them around your city and introduce them to all your favorite local hot spots.
Whether you choose a destination wedding or a local wedding, either one can be the wedding of your dreams. It is up to you to choose what is best for you. For tips on how to pick your wedding venue check out our blog, 8 Tips to Choosing your Dream Wedding Venue.