As a destination wedding couple ourselves, we may be a bit biased, but we think having a destination wedding is the best decision. While we do wish we knew what we know now, we wouldn’t have changed a thing and hope to share what we learned from our experience and now being Destination Wedding Experts with couples who are considering or having a destination wedding. Even 6 years later, our wedding is something that not only we still talk about, but our guests do too. We had such an amazing time, created memories that will last forever, and love reminiscing about that day often.
So what are the benefits of having a destination wedding?
1. Less stress
Getting married in another country at first may seem like a lot to take on - the unknown and loads of information on the internet is what makes it stressful. However, when you have the right team of vendors, your stress will wash away. Most couples say picking the destination and resort are the most stressful part of the planning process and the rest is a piece of cake. Just remember, you don’t have to do it alone. When you hire a Destination Wedding Expert, they will narrow down the top destinations and resorts with your dreams, vision, and budget in mind making it much easier for you to pick the perfect place for you. Plus, most of these resorts and your Destination Wedding Expert already have a list of trusted vendors they know will produce the world class experience you desire. All of this means you do not have to be in overdrive for the next 12-18 months and can spend more time enjoying your engagement.
2. Save time
Look…. We are pre-programmed to think it takes 12+ months to plan a wedding and this may hold true for local weddings, but this is not the case when you choose a destination wedding. The only reason destination weddings are typically planned 12+ months in advance, is to give your guests enough time to check their schedules, request time off work, arrange sitters, and have an easy payment plan to be able to attend your wedding. In reality, your actual wedding can be planned in 90 days or less. And… you free up much of your time because you won’t be looking to source vendors, no physical in-person meetings, no final venue checks, etc – everything can be done virtually and you’re planning in your seat and not your feet.
3. You’ll receive more bang for your buck
Local weddings on average in the United States cost around $27,000 and it’s over in a few hours!! Now, you’re probably wondering how much a destination wedding costs? Well, they can absolutely cost the same amount as in the states, but they can also be a fraction of the cost once you consider the perks and travel incentives you can earn from the resort and your Destination Wedding Expert based on your guest count, resort package, etc… PLUS your events are now spread over a few days versus a few hours giving you much more value.
4. It’s a vacation for you and your guests
As travel designers, the one thing we hear the most from people is they wish they took more vacations. And isn’t a wedding the perfect excuse for said vacation? Vacations tend to bring relaxation and excitement, so your guests will probably let loose more, be much happier, way less drama, and have more fun when attending your wedding.
5. Longer celebration & quality time
Have you ever wished you could spend more time with your loved ones on your wedding day? Typically, local weddings are for one evening and can feel rushed and be a total blur. Many couples say they didn’t even get a chance to say hi to everyone in attendance. At your destination wedding, on average your guests will stay 4 nights, giving you much more quality time with each in a relaxing and fun way for a few days. Many couples will even opt to have a welcome bonfire the day before the wedding or a farewell booze cruise the day after, extending your celebration to multiple days.
6. Unique & memorable
How many weddings have you been to? You may have lost count or don’t even remember the ones you’ve been to as they all start to blend together. Are you the last one to get married in your group and want something different from all your friends? Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular with couples to create unique experiences for themselves and their guests. Everything from private events to personalized excursions that add a special VIP touch your guests will talk about for years to come. We still have guests talking about our wedding and especially the food, 6 years later!
And then think about your wedding photos….. The stunning beach, the lush greenery, the sunrise and sunset shots, and everything in between, there will be plenty of magazine worthy shots to cherish forever. One of the most unique experiences you can have with your photographer is a Trash the Dress session, we did one at sunrise on the beach and in a cenote, those are some of our favorite shots.
7. More intimate group of guests
Have you found it a struggle to narrow down your guest list? For us personally, if you weren’t on our recent call list or speed dials, you didn’t get an invite to our wedding. This can be a very daunting task for some, but typically about 40-60% of your invited guests will say yes to attending your destination wedding. So there’s no more feeling guilty about removing someone off the guest list because now you can invite them and chances are they won’t be able to attend anyways. Keep in mind, 200+ guests at a local wedding may show up, but chances of you getting to enjoy your day or even spend time with everyone will be slim. We always recommend to our clients to get their key guest’s buy-in and everyone else that says yes is a bonus. This results in your closest friends, family, and loved ones that you’ll be able to spend good quality time with.
8. Honeymoon right away
You’re already at the beach, so right after you say “I Do” your honeymoon starts. Less travel time, less planning, and very convenient. Many of our couples extend their stays past when their guests leave for some much deserved alone time, some even opt to experience another resort, and some extend their stay a bit and then plan a more elaborate honeymoon later on in the year. The options are endless to celebrate your recent nuptials your way and set the tone for your forever.
Convinced? What’s next?
Start brainstorming your ideas - family friendly or adults only, countries that have caught your attention, do you want a large group or more intimate, legal or symbolic ceremony, do you want toes in the sand, what style are you going for, etc. Whether you have answers for all of that and more or you’re not sure of some of the answers, next you’ll want to connect with a Destination Wedding Expert. Seek out one that not only will help with destination and resort options, securing a room block, and handling your guest’s reservations, but one who will also help organize and guide you with your wedding planning and will be a liaison between you and the onsite wedding coordinator. Some Destination Wedding Experts also offer full onsite planning services.
A great Destination Weddings Expert will spend a lot of time getting to know the both of you, they will ask lots of questions and the more you share, the more likely they will be able to turn your dreams into your destination wedding. While hiring a Destination Wedding Expert, just like all your other vendors, will cost you, it’s totally worth it. This is your wedding day and you don’t want to leave things up to chance, you deserve to have a team of experts that know what they’re doing and have you in mind every step of the way providing you with the world class service you deserve.
Want to learn more about destination weddings? Visit United Travel's destination wedding planning page!
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MEET YOUR TRAVEL AGENTS
Heyyyy!!! We are John & Jennifer -- husband and wife duo. Experience seekers, obsessed with good champagne, charcuterie, designing cocktails (John), tacos (Jenn), & of course travel. Our love of travel started with our first international trip as a couple back in 2012 to Punta Cana & then our own destination wedding in 2016 back to where our love for travel all started -- Punta Cana. Hope you can feel our passion, kindness, & connection through all our work and adventures. Welcome, we are excited to have you here!