Is a Destination Wedding for You?

One of my agents came to me the other day for some input on a question from a friend of hers.  The friend recently got engaged and was trying to decide where to have her wedding.  She was torn between having a local wedding and reception or going elsewhere.  We talked about different locations and challenges with each and in the end came up with a good check list to help anyone decide.

The first thing that the bride needs to decide is what is the most important thing for her with the wedding.  Does she want a big wedding with lots of guests?  Does she want a beautiful destination and an intimate setting?  There are many other things to question as well.

If cost is a big factor, for some, having something at home is the best solution, unless they will have a lengthy guest list.  A way to limit the number of guests is to have a destination wedding.  You won’t have to invite as many guests because it may be expensive for them to join you.  If there are people you must have at your wedding — friends, family members, etc., you will want to choose a location that will accommodate them the best.  For me, having my family and friends at my wedding itself was important so we were married in my parent’s backyard.  For my sister, she was more interested in having a tropical setting so she was married in Florida on the beach with only a few immediate family members there.  She then had a reception back at home.

Things to remember about a destination wedding is to keep in mind who will be going.  If your guests do not have passports, an international location will require them to get passports, adding approximately $110 per person (or more) to the cost to attend your wedding.

If you are selecting a destination that has a “season” when people usually travel there, you will want to plan as far in advance as you can.  While you can usually put together a destination wedding in less time than one that is local, popular destinations could be booked up just as far in advance.  For instance, Disney Cruise Line only has up to two weddings or vow renewals per sailing – one onboard and one on Castaway Cay.

If you do decide to have a destination wedding and there will be more than just you and your groom, I would recommend working with a travel agent.  Planning the details of a wedding is stressful enough, but to also have to deal with questions and bookings for your guests will make you wish you just eloped!  Whether you decide to get married on a cruise ship, on a Caribbean island, in the Pocanos or even Las Vegas, working with a travel agent that knows the destination and information on weddings can be a great asset to you.

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