I dreamed of getting married on a beach.
The idea of palm trees, turquoise water, and white sand (oh, and a whole freakin’ weekend with our loved ones) made us fall in love with the idea of a destination wedding.
Phil and I got married at Zama Beach Club in Isla Mujeres, Mexico … and it was pure magic!
So it should come as no surprise that I LOVE destination weddings.
If you and your other half are flirting with the idea of getting married thousands of miles from home (or heck, even a 2-hour drive away), here is a little insight to know if a destination wedding is perfect for you.
You want to create an experience for everyone outside of just your wedding day
Outside of celebrating your wedding day, your destination wedding is an experience for everyone that comes. If you are getting married somewhere exotic like a Caribbean island or at a vineyard in Napa or in a castle in Itay, chances are your guests are equally excited about the new experience and vacation. The weekend will be full of exploring new places, trying new things and possibly some r&r. Your wedding day will be a highlight for your guests, but they will also enjoy an unforgettable experience too.
You want more time with your closest friends + family
Let’s face it. Wedding days are a total blur when it is your wedding day. You spend nearly a year to plan the day and it goes by so fast that you barely get to chat with your guests for more than a few minutes.
When you have a destination wedding, your wedding weekend is extended. Instead of trying to visit with everyone at your wedding, you get to do that in the days before and after your wedding day. You can actually sit down and have real conservations with your guests. Plus, you will be making new memories together as you explore your favorite place together or a brand new place you haven’t been to.
Then, come your wedding day, you can spend your time on the dance floor and enjoying your party instead of just saying hello to everyone.
You have always wanted to get married in _______.
Maybe you loved the little lake town you vacationed to every year growing up. Or maybe it was the beach town you and your fiancé took your first vacation to. But if you have always thought about getting married somewhere outside of your hometown, a destination wedding is likely perfect for you.
You like the idea of a smaller, intimate wedding
Depending on the destination, destination weddings tend to be smaller than the typical 200+ weddings couples have back at home. Between the travel expenses and days off work, a majority of your guests might not be able to attend, so you will likely have a smaller wedding. If you and your fiancé are the types of people who don’t love to be the center of attention and prefer smaller groups, a destination wedding could be the perfect way to celebrate your love and not be overwhelmed by all the attention.
You have a smaller wedding budget
Weddings cost a lot! When you start planning a wedding, you will see those totals add up quickly. If you have a smaller wedding budget, you can often stretch it further if you have a destination wedding.
Chances are you will have fewer guests come, so your cost will likely be less. You may opt for fewer flowers or simpler decor because you are somewhere with so much natural beauty.
You are dreaming of epic wedding photos
Confession. We selected our wedding location based on the landscape for the photos I was dreaming of.
If you are lusting over photos with palm trees but don’t live near a beach or you have always dreamed of photos in the mountains, planning a wedding in the destination that you love might be the way to get the photos you will have for a lifetime.
Loving the idea of a destination wedding, but still not totally sure if it is for you? Use these 9 questions to see if planning a destination is really right for you.
- Do you and your fiancé both want a destination wedding?
- Have you always envisioned a destination wedding?
- Are your parents ok with the idea of you getting married somewhere farther away? And if they aren’t totally pumped, will they still support your decision and be a part of your wedding day?
- Can you afford the additional expenses for travel and hotel in addition to your wedding costs?
- Will you be upset if not all your friends / family are able to be present at your wedding because of location / travel fees / not being able to take time off work?
- Will you be excited about the extra time you will get to spend with your guests at your destination wedding?
- Are you ok with the fact that depending on the destination, things might not be the same as planning a wedding back at home? For example, you might not be able to get the flowers you were dreaming of or certain decor items?
- Can the members of your wedding party afford to travel for your wedding?
- Can you give up some control with the wedding planning to a local wedding planner and vendors who live where your destination wedding is taking place?
I have photographed destination weddings worldwide in locations including Grand Cayman, Jamacia, St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Naples (Florida), Cancun (Mexico), Riveria Maya (Mexico), Napa (California) and more. If you are looking for someone to travel to photograph your destination wedding, I am your gal! Feel free to contact the studio for more information and a custom travel quote.
>>> Looking for more wedding planning advice? Check out what to do right after you get engaged and how to find the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding day. <<<