Here or there? Should I plan a destination wedding?
One of the most important decisions is where to have your wedding. If you've stayed in your hometown your entire life, or if you've built a solid foundation in one city, having your wedding there may be a no-brainer. But, sometimes people consider getting married out of town. Whether family is spread across the country, or perhaps a couple wants a more intimate ceremony, there are a range of reasons that may influence whether or not couples decide to have a destination wedding. But, when you're considering which decision is right for you and your wedding, there are a few things you should consider:
- Will a destination wedding work within your budget? This ultimately affects just about every aspect of your wedding, but when it comes to location, it's key. If your parents are footing the bill, would they object to a destination wedding (and/or decide not to pay)? Conversely, intimate destination weddings can also end up saving money in the long run - would it make sense for you to have a destination wedding (sometimes combining the honeymoon and wedding) to save funds?
- How many people should you invite? Sometimes relatives who cannot travel are offended by invitations to destination weddings, while others still are offended if you assume they cannot come and don't invite them - it can get tricky! Talk to parents or other trusted relatives to ensure you're including the right people on your invitation list for a destination wedding, to minimize any hurt feelings. Budget, location and venue can all impact the length of your guest list, so give it careful consideration. There are few things worse than inviting people to a wedding, then turning around and uninviting them because your location doesn't have enough room!
- If you have a destination wedding, will you have another reception at home for friends and family who cannot make it? This is an important aspect to consider, as your family and friends who may not be able to attend your destination wedding will likely still want to celebrate with you. And ultimately, the responsibility for that celebration falls upon you. Think about the best way to celebrate with the family and friends still at home, then be sure to include it in your budget when planning.
- Can you afford "extra" activities that come along with a destination wedding? Destination weddings also tend to include some "extras." When people travel - sometimes across the country - for a wedding, they tend to expect more than traditional wedding guests. A welcome party and farewell breakfast are the minimums you should consider in your planning.
Ultimately, it's your wedding and your day - do what's best for you. But considering these factors in the early planning stages can help set expectations for your family and friends and ensure your celebration goes off without a hitch.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee