Destination Weddings Discussions

What made you choose a destination wedding?

I am in very early stages of planning our wedding and trying to decide whether we would like a destination wedding or a local wedding. I am very torn as I have always had a vision in my head since I was a little girl about how my wedding would go, but now that vision just doesn't seem to be anything close to what I want.

We have discussed getting married in Las Vegas as we both love the city and the excitement, but we know not everyone we want to share our day with would be able to go for a variety of reasons. 

Re: What made you choose a destination wedding?

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited January 2017
    Destination weddings work best for people with a small guest list.  If you are picturing a larger wedding, then a destination wedding probably isn't for you.

    Las Vegas has many hotels that will help you have a lovely wedding, but it will cost you.  Generally people expect more than just a cake and punch reception if they are flyinig across the country to witness your ceremony.  Be prepared for some objections from people who do not, or cannot spend the money to join you on your wedding day.

    Planning a destination wedding is just like planning any other wedding.
    1.  Budget mys be set.
    2.  Guest list must be set, and assume 100% attendance, even if that probably won't really happen.  You never know.

    Now you can start planning your wedding.  Everything must fit both your budget and your guest list.  If you are planning a destination wedding, you need to check with hotels for room blocks at at least two price points, and you should also plan a breakfast get together for the following day, since people are traveling farther for your wedding, and everyone will need to spend the night at a pricey hotel.

    It will be easiest if your wedding attendants are very few in number, or don't have them at all.  They are really not necessary.
    For any pre-wedding parties like showers or bachelorettes, remember that everyone who is invited to any of these MUST also be invited to your wedding.

    Your childhood vision of your wedding is no longer relevant.  Hopefully, you are now a grown woman, and you can make mature decisions about planning your wedding.  Best wishes.
    I am in very early stages of planning our wedding and trying to decide whether we would like a destination wedding or a local wedding. I am very torn as I have always had a vision in my head since I was a little girl about how my wedding would go, but now that vision just doesn't seem to be anything close to what I want.

    We have discussed getting married in Las Vegas as we both love the city and the excitement, but we know not everyone we want to share our day with would be able to go for a variety of reasons. 
    You might want to consider being married closer to home and having a Las Vegas honeymoon.

    Pros for destination wedding:  fulfills bridal vision.
                                                   Nevada has easy legal requirements.

    Cons for destination wedding:   expensive for guests to attend.
                                                     difficult for older guests to travel.
                                                     planning must be done through a
                                                      coordinator at the hotel.














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    SP29ahoywedding
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I am in very early stages of planning our wedding and trying to decide whether we would like a destination wedding or a local wedding. I am very torn as I have always had a vision in my head since I was a little girl about how my wedding would go, but now that vision just doesn't seem to be anything close to what I want.

    We have discussed getting married in Las Vegas as we both love the city and the excitement, but we know not everyone we want to share our day with would be able to go for a variety of reasons. 
    The bolded tells me you probably shouldn't have a destination wedding. I ditto Cmg. Go to Vegas for your honeymoon and have the wedding closer to home. 

    Is it more important to have everyone you want be able to be there or is it more important to have your childhood wedding vision? Which will you regret more? Only you can decide that. Personally, I think having everyone I want there trumps vision, but that's me. 
    InLoveInQueensSP29cowgirl8238ahoywedding
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I agree with the others. If you feel very strongly about wanting certain people there, then you'll regret going to Las Vegas and excluding them when you could have had everyone together at a local event. 

    Of course, there is wanting people there versus it making sense for them to all be there. In my case, it would have been awesome to have our parents at our wedding. But, his parents can't really travel and my parents can't be in the same room with each other. So rather than deal with the stress of figuring it out and the drama of my parents, we chose to elope. 

     







  • We are having a destination wedding out of necessity.  I am American, FI is British and we live in Switzerland.  Our guest list (about 35 people) is pretty equally spread across the three countries (and spread out all over the US and UK).  

    A "local" Swiss wedding was the first we ruled out - it's super expensive, the lack of food options make me cry on a weekly basis, flights can get really pricey from the US (and most wouldn't be direct), the technical requirements make everything difficult (timing wise, ceremony wise, getting birth certificates translated and apostilled).  And can you imagine committing yourself to a lifetime of love with another person in German?

    We decided on London even though FI is not from London.  It seemed most fair to people who had to travel internationally that they only had to make it to a major city, there were lots of restaurants with private dining rooms and reasonably priced menus, things for people to do and see on a weekend trip, easily accessible by a direct flight for all of the US guests (who were all consulted and stoked about the London wedding), and it would be easy enough for the guests from the UK and Switzerland to get there.

    We are not necessarily saving any money (but getting more quality for cost), and the legal requirements for getting married in the UK as non-residents, one of whom is also not a UK or EU citizen, are really tricky (but at least everything can be done in English!).  But for us, it was what made the most sense.  It also helps that we already made lots of weekend trips to London, so planning has been easy enough for us.

    Now that a destination London wedding is my reality, I can't imagine anything else. 
    SP29RaRCahoywedding
  • We didn't choose a destination wedding because we wanted to make it easier for our guests to come.
    CMGragain
  • OP, do remember that you only get ONE DAY.  If you have a destination wedding with limited guests, you cannot have a re-do later.
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    Knottie002c6ec107bca81d
  • kahluakoalakahluakoala member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2017
    My family lives on the opposite coast than my BF's family (hopefully eventual FI). We live far away from both families and most of our long-time friends. I've seen destination weddings work when  "it's a destination for everyone so let's make it somewhere easy to fly to and fun to stay at" and I think this is likely what's in the cards for me. If you have a place that's local or convenient to a majority of guests, I would be inclined to chose that, but that is not the case for everyone.
    ei34CMGragaincharlotte989875cowgirl8238
  • H and I travel a lot. We just enjoy it and it's something that's brought us together. So, when the time came to plan our wedding, we knew we wanted a destination wedding. We have small families who also enjoy traveling. It was a small wedding, about 60 people, but it had all of our key people and was a fantastic time. I wouldn't have done it any other way.

    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • FI is Greek, I'm Brazilian and we live in Texas, near our immediate family. Opposite of FI, I have a few (2-3 close friends) here, both willing to travel. Hence for us DW is a no brainer. We're inviting non close friends, to say we want them there, but we don't expect them there. For the people that actually matter that they're there, they are not worried about how private the celebration is, as long as there is one, and Mexico isn't outside of their regular vacation location and time. The resort we chose is not stupid-expensive, and it's not the cheapest either (this way the side of the family who is relatively cheap will be happy and the side who doesn't mind spending a ton of dough is happy too). 
    Would I do Vegas as a DW? Not unless we were eloping. Vegas to me just doesn't agree with wedding. Everything there is WAY more expensive. 
  • Not saying this is you but there have recently been some posts about non tropical destination weddings... General consensus is that if your guests are booking flights,  traveling long time in a car, taking time off work, getting hotel rooms for multiple nights in a hotel (Most weddings I go to I spend the night in a hotel for one night)), spending money eating out etc., you should probably "step it up" when it comes to hosting.

     I would be very annoyed if I came to your destination wedding and it was dry, or your reception is cake and punch with no meal, even if it is technically etiquette approved. Your guests need more than those extremely cheap Vegas buffets. If you are having a bridal party let them choose their own dresses. Try and block hotels (that wont penalize you) at different price points but close together so not everyone is renting a car.

    Also... you are an adult. Your fiance is probably different from the prince charming you wanted as a little girl. Your house is probably not what you wanted a little girl, and your friends are not the same as when you were a little girl. Decide what you want NOW and what makes the most sense for you and your FI. Don't ever put "your vision" ahead of logistics and your guests comfort.


    InLoveInQueensahoywedding
  • lnixon8 said:
    Not saying this is you but there have recently been some posts about non tropical destination weddings... General consensus is that if your guests are booking flights,  traveling long time in a car, taking time off work, getting hotel rooms for multiple nights in a hotel (Most weddings I go to I spend the night in a hotel for one night)), spending money eating out etc., you should probably "step it up" when it comes to hosting.

     I would be very annoyed if I came to your destination wedding and it was dry, or your reception is cake and punch with no meal, even if it is technically etiquette approved. Your guests need more than those extremely cheap Vegas buffets. If you are having a bridal party let them choose their own dresses. Try and block hotels (that wont penalize you) at different price points but close together so not everyone is renting a car.

    Also... you are an adult. Your fiance is probably different from the prince charming you wanted as a little girl. Your house is probably not what you wanted a little girl, and your friends are not the same as when you were a little girl. Decide what you want NOW and what makes the most sense for you and your FI. Don't ever put "your vision" ahead of logistics and your guests comfort.

    Absolutely to the bolded.  Hosting our guests properly was our top priority.  We want people to be able to fly in Friday, and other than flights and hotels, basically not have to pay for anything until Sunday evening.  

    We are hosting a full meal with open bar for a "welcome dinner" Friday. Our wedding day reception will involve two full meals, an open bar, a hosted after party, hosted transportation for every guest, etc.  Sunday morning, we are hosting an informal, drop-by when you want brunch - starting early and going late.  People can show up and have breakfast and/or lunch on our tab if they want as well as all the booze the want.  Hosting our guests properly was our top priority.  We want people to be able to fly in Friday, and other than flights and hotels, basically not have to pay for anything until Sunday evening.
    japrincess24
  • Our wedding is a trip for a good number of our guests, but our families and friends live all over the US so no matter where we had it most people would have had to travel. If that's your situation as well, then Vegas may not be a huge deal since there is no shortage of flights there and if your activities are on the strip guests won't have to travel too much. We tossed around having the wedding elsewhere in the US, but the long-distance planning would have made me a basket case.

    However, if most of your family/friends are local and your priority is having them attend....then my vote would be for a local wedding and Vegas honeymoon if you're still wanting to go there. 
  • mollyms619mollyms619 member
    Sixth Anniversary First Comment
    edited March 2017
    My husband and I had a destination wedding at HammerSky Vineyards in California wine country this past August and it was the BEST decision we could have ever made! Don't get me wrong, it had its moments (planning a wedding across the country is a challenge to say the least), but the six days we spent in California celebrating our marriage were by far the very best of our lives. So why did we decide to have a destination wedding? A few reasons.

    Intimate size. I consider myself to be an extroverted introvert, and the idea of having a 300+ person wedding unnerved me. It was imperative to us that we were able to savor every moment of our day, because as a photographer I know first hand how quickly it goes by.

    Outdoor wedding. We always knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, and liked the peace of mind knowing that getting married in California wine country almost ensured us a dry, sunny day.

    Perfect venue. When we first started looking at local venues we found them to be beautiful, but none really "connected" with us. No matter what venue we looked at we couldn't get HammerSky out of our minds, and we just knew in our hearts it was where we were meant to be married. The feeling of being married somewhere so unbelievably beautiful and picturesque can't be described, but it truly added a completely extra layer of magic and gratitude to our wedding day.

    Family connection. One of the best parts about having a destination wedding was that we spent nearly a week in wine country with our closest friends and family. By the time our wedding rolled around we had already spent time with about 95% of our guests, which meant that we felt no pressure to have to do the obligatory "rounds" at our wedding.

    Family bonding. Perhaps the best part of the entire destination wedding planning process was how close our families became on our wedding week.The time we spent together and memories we made during our wedding week were absolutely priceless, and I will forever be thankful that they brought our families together in such a beautiful way.

    (edited for TOS violation) 

    Happy wedding planning!
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited March 2017
    My husband and I had a destination wedding at HammerSky Vineyards in California wine country this past August and it was the BEST decision we could have ever made! Don't get me wrong, it had its moments (planning a wedding across the country is a challenge to say the least), but the six days we spent in California celebrating our marriage were by far the very best of our lives. So why did we decide to have a destination wedding? A few reasons.

    Intimate size. I consider myself to be an extroverted introvert, and the idea of having a 300+ person wedding unnerved me. It was imperative to us that we were able to savor every moment of our day, because as a photographer I know first hand how quickly it goes by.

    Outdoor wedding. We always knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, and liked the peace of mind knowing that getting married in California wine country almost ensured us a dry, sunny day.

    Perfect venue. When we first started looking at local venues we found them to be beautiful, but none really "connected" with us. No matter what venue we looked at we couldn't get HammerSky out of our minds, and we just knew in our hearts it was where we were meant to be married. The feeling of being married somewhere so unbelievably beautiful and picturesque can't be described, but it truly added a completely extra layer of magic and gratitude to our wedding day.
    Bahahaha this line.  

    Family connection. One of the best parts about having a destination wedding was that we spent nearly a week in wine country with our closest friends and family. By the time our wedding rolled around we had already spent time with about 95% of our guests, which meant that we felt no pressure to have to do the obligatory "rounds" at our wedding.

    Family bonding. Perhaps the best part of the entire destination wedding planning process was how close our families became on our wedding week.The time we spent together and memories we made during our wedding week were absolutely priceless, and I will forever be thankful that they brought our families together in such a beautiful way.

    ____(removed the TOS bit)

    Happy wedding planning!
    Oh joy.
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueens
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