What is a Destination Wedding and Should you Consider One?

Choosing the correct venue is important when arranging a wedding. If you want to tie the knot in a special place that will be remembered for a long time, consider having a destination wedding. Weddings that take place in locations outside of the couple’s hometown are known as destination weddings. These ceremonies typically require guests and wedding party members to travel to the location. These weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years as more couples opt for unique and exotic locations to exchange their vows.

Key Points

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  • A destination wedding is a ceremony that takes place in a location away from the couple’s hometown or current place of residence. 
  • Compared to preparing a traditional wedding, the cost of organizing a wedding at a destination, which often has fewer guests and a more intimate celebration, can be significantly lower.
  • You can save money on travel costs to a destination wedding by using credit card points or miles.
  • Preparing for a wedding at a remote location requires great attention to detail because factors such as shifting weather conditions or travel restrictions worldwide may affect your ability to carry out the wedding as planned.

When preparing for one, it is important to consider the benefits and downsides equally.


Compared to a traditional wedding, having the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon at a remote location offers a number of positive aspects and factors to consider. The most significant benefits, often associated with a destination wedding, are those that pertain to the cost, convenience, and overall experience it may bring.

Get married in a dream location.


Getting married at a location that is meaningful to both you and your future spouse is the first and most evident benefit of organizing a wedding at a location away from your hometown. This may mean exchanging vows in the Caribbean for some couples, while for others, it will mean tying the knot close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You can make memories during your wedding, regardless of where you decide to have it. You will also have the chance to take some breathtaking wedding photographs. Often, families and friends come together from different parts of the world, offering a chance for couples to enjoy quality time with loved ones while exploring a new place.

Plan a smaller guest list.

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With fewer attendees, destination weddings may also have a more intimate atmosphere. Two hundred individuals attending a wedding in Bali, for example, may not be possible or realistic if most of them have jobs or families requiring their attention. As a result, you may customize your guest list to include the individuals who are most important to you.

Potentially save money on wedding costs.

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Even when done on a modest basis, getting married may still be expensive. The usual cost of a wedding in a destination is $32,700 or $38,700 if you add the cost of the engagement ring. A traditional wedding may appear to be the better option at first look. But, with careful planning, you may spend less on a destination wedding.

For the wedding, reception, and honeymoon, booking all three events at an all-inclusive hotel or resort makes sense. Because there may already be partner wedding suppliers present at the location, this decreases the number of venues and vendors you need to hire for your event. Suppose you want to make your dollar go farther. In that case, consider having your wedding in a foreign country with a more favorable exchange rate or a cheaper overall cost of living.

Additionally, couples can customize their wedding experience to suit their unique interests and preferences when they choose to have their ceremony and reception at a destination.


While weddings at exotic locations certainly appeal, such celebrations may not be the best choice for every couple. Here are a few of the most crucial things to bear in mind while organizing a wedding in an unusual location if you are considering doing so.

More planning may be required.

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The process of planning a wedding in a country that you have never visited before or that you may have only been once might add some complications. For instance, you should think about things like the current exchange rate for currencies, the possibility of language difficulties, and the requirements for obtaining a marriage license. You’ll also need to evaluate travel limitations to see if you can visit your preferred place.

Guests may not attend.

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It is absolutely okay not to invite some individuals to your destination wedding as long as you know they either won’t be able to go or would prefer not to. This is an unspoken law that destination weddings adhere to. However, that does not mean the folks you invite will definitely attend the event. They may be unable to attend due to financial constraints or difficulties in getting there, which may result in your wedding party being fewer than you had first anticipated for it to be. Your enjoyment of the day may be affected if someone extremely important to you cannot be there. 

There are no guarantees.

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When you plan a wedding, you are taking a chance that everything will go according to plan on the big day. However, a destination wedding may involve a few unusual risks. For example, you may be two days into your wedding celebrations when a hurricane or earthquake forces you to flee. In this scenario, you would have to cut your wedding short. 

Investing in wedding and travel insurance is one way to protect yourself financially in a worst-case scenario. If your destination wedding is cut short for whatever reason, you can get part or all of the money you spent on preparing and paying for it back, depending on the coverage that was purchased for it.

How to Plan a Destination Wedding

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If you believe a destination wedding is appropriate for you, here are some planning tips to get you started.

Set your wedding budget.

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It is necessary to have a budget when planning any wedding, but having one for a wedding at a destination is especially crucial. Think about the maximum amount you can afford to spend and the specific charges you will need to account for in your budget.

Plan the guest list.

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Because you need to be certain of the number of people who will actually attend your destination wedding, selecting the guests is a crucial step. Therefore, give some thought to the people whose presence you would value the most and who are most likely to be able to make it.

Evaluate the destination.


You might have a perfect location in mind, but you should first determine whether or not it’s the best option. For example, how will the climate be when you intend to visit? Are there any restrictions on how and when you can travel to or from that location? How convenient is it going to be for visitors to get there? Is the terrain manageable for any participants who are particularly old or very young? What is the current rate of the currency exchange?

Apply travel points and miles.

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If you have acquired travel points or miles from one or more rewards credit cards, think about the most effective method to spend them to maximize their worth. If you use them to book tickets or a hotel, you might get more value out of them than if you used them to rent a car.

Get the timing right.

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Off-season or shoulder season travel to a destination wedding may be less expensive than peak season travel. You can also avoid greater tourist crowds if you are visiting a popular location.

Consider travel or wedding insurance.

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If you’re concerned about losing money due to circumstances beyond your control, purchasing travel and wedding insurance may provide some relief.

Who Should You Invite to a Destination Wedding?

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When you get married in a location far away from where you and most of your friends and family live, it might not be easy to convince people to attend your wedding. If you plan on being married on the other side of the world, you should be aware that your guests will need to take more time off work and spend more money to be there. That denotes that you should truly invite those who are quite close to you personally.

Do Guests Pay for Destination Weddings?

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Typically, guests are expected to pay for their transportation to the wedding as well as their accommodation, presuming they will need to stay overnight. However, every wedding is unique, and there are no set rules.

Are Destination Weddings Less Expensive Than Traditional Weddings?

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That depends on a few different aspects, such as the location of the wedding and the number of guests. Yes, destination weddings can come out cheaper if the couple chooses to get married in a less expensive location that is too far away for more distant relatives and acquaintances to attend the ceremony.


Destination weddings are a popular and exciting trend in wedding planning. While they offer many benefits, couples should carefully consider the challenges before committing. With proper planning and a willingness to adapt to new surroundings, a destination wedding can be a memorable and magical experience for both the couple and their loved ones.

Although destination weddings can be highly romantic and unforgettable, there are better choices for everyone. If everything goes according to plan, you might have your wedding in a stunning setting with only the people that matter to you the most, all while reducing the cost of the event. However, to make that fantasy a reality, you will often need to put in more effort to prepare, accept a higher level of risk that something may go wrong, and make more requests of the people you want to invite to share in your special day.