Destination Weddings Discussions

How did you pick which island/country?

Hi everyone!   We are in the very very early stages of planning and I don't know where to start.  How did you pick what country to get married in?  All I know is that we don't want Dominican Republic but there are so many options and I'm already overwhelmed.

Thanks in advance!

Re: How did you pick which island/country?

  • We got married in Australia. Honestly, it was super hard for us to choose because we had a private wedding. So, with no guests to worry about and a very hefty budget, we considered destinations all over the world!

    I made a spreadsheet and listed out destinations, their approximate travel costs, residency requirements (found on Google), pros and cons. I narrowed things down based on weather concerns, if we had been there before, if the wedding would be legally binding, and what made the most sense for a honeymoon destination. I consider myself to be fairly well traveled, so this was easy for me to do. If you aren't comfortable with it, you may want to speak with a travel agent.

    Whether you speak with an agent or not, you first need to figure out your budget and what you want out of a destination. You then need to think about your guests. You don't want to choose something that would cause your VIP guests to not want to travel. For example, if we had invited anyone, they would have encountered $2k/person in airfare, a 19 hour journey from the East Coast and a resort that was $1k/night. It would be super selfish of me to ask anyone to pay that. Quite frankly, we didn't want anyone to come! Lol


  • There were a number of factors ranging from fantasy to budget/reality.

    We knew we wanted to get married on a tropical beach. We wanted the location to fit within our VIP's budgets (and our own, of course). We wanted everyone we reasonably believed would attend to have the option of a non-stop flight and easy transfers.

    We live in CO. Most of our attendees do too. We also had family fly in from FL and GA.

    Tulum, Mexico fit all of our criteria (and then some). It didn't hurt that we had family who had just closed on a vacation condo in Tulum the month before our wedding who were back down there at the same time furnishing it, but that wasn't a major deciding factor, although it was a pretty cool coincidence.

    There were a few Caribbean islands that we looked into but they were each either a pain in the butt to get to, too expensive, or a combo of both.

    We had an absolute blast and can't wait to get back down there.
  • We chose Cozumel, Mexico because we go there yearly for scuba diving. And DH has run the Ironman there. We consider it "our island" and we wanted our wedding to be very "us". There are quite a few resorts at different price ranges and it's a chill atmosphere. Plus, we knew we wanted a private ceremony/reception and they had some great private beach clubs that could be rented for events. We found a great planner who was amazing and had a blast with our 60 guests.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • My husband was born in Dublin and 95% of his family lives there, plus they have all fairly recently traveled to the US for his brother's wedding (and presumably will come over again next year for his sister's). We wanted to include as many of them as possible, plus I wanted my parents to travel over there and see the sights; I also have a large family and did not want a large wedding.

    So we got married at a country estate outside of Cork and it was great!
  • Thanks ladies - seems like we have a lot of thinking and list making to do!  I've reached out to beachbum vacations to see what they have to offer.
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We did Hawaii.  DH nixed Mexico right off the bat, just cos we've been before.  We looked at a lot of laces in the Caribbean, but some had tricky requirements for marriage (30-45 day residency, etc.) that didn't work for us, and others seemed to have no real reason for us to be there.  

    We've both been to Hawaii.   I grew up going there as a kid and had a lot of good memories.  Getting our license was super simple so we could be legally married there.  It just made sense for everyone involved (us and VIP's).  We're talking about retiring there eventually, so it's kind of our happy place.  

  • We choose Hawaii.  I'm from the US and FI is from NZ (where we now live).  Hawaii was as central of a location as it gets for both families and friends.
  • We chose Key West because we went there on vacation a couple years ago and fell in love with it! We both loved the atmosphere and the fact that its still the US so the marriage license will be easy to handle as well. Ours is very small so we didn't have a lot to deal with n that side, but I am so excited to get married there!
  • We picked Jamaica! That's where my family is from!
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We chose New Orleans. I did volunteer work there post-Katrina and have a very deep fondness for the city in general, and it's a new place for him that he's SUPER excited about. We waffled with a bunch of different ideas about what we wanted for our wedding, but none of them seemed quite right, but once we looked into NOLA, everything just started falling into place and making perfect sense. 
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