Pinned on the wall above my computer is a calendar with colorful and bewitching photos of castles, beaches, lavender fields, cobblestone streets, and a host of other lovely and exotic destinations. I delight in packing my suitcase, digging out my passport and setting out for new locations. It’s that travel bug that bit me when I was young and just hasn’t let go.
Friends and relatives have been reporting that they’re receiving invites to destination weddings for such hotspots as Cancun, Paris, Hawaii, Jamaica and even Australia. My, oh, my! An excuse to dig out one’s luggage and travel gear in the name of a matrimonial celebration? I like this idea!
More and more couples are forgoing large local weddings for smaller, more intimate nuptials that combine the ceremony and honeymoon all into one upscale travel adventure. This year is projected to be a record-breaking year for destination weddings, with an estimated 60 percent increase in the number of American couples opting for weddings abroad, resulting in nearly one in five couples exchanging vows away from home. Some of the more popular choices include Mexico, the Caribbean, the Greek Islands, Thailand, and Cyprus. Across the pond, British brides and grooms are also packing their suitcases for their big day, with one in ten couples choosing destination weddings. Why are so many soon-to-be newlyweds so eager to say “I Do” on foreign soil? Well, there’s not one simple answer.
Budget has a lot to do with it. Clearly, it would be extremely rare for a couple to foot the bill for a reception of 300 guests if the wedding was in the Greek Isles. Destination weddings typically include a small, intimate gathering of closest family and friends. Colleagues of the bride’s parents surely won’t be in attendance, nor will the groom’s long lost second and third cousins. Not only does a small gathering allow the couple to cut costs, it also allows them to restrict their guest list to only their closest loved ones and friends. Many couples are finding this smaller circle of invitees to be more meaningful.
Furthermore, couples are realizing that combining the wedding and the honeymoon can make for one celebratory trip that includes amazing and exotic pictures of the ceremony plus one extended celebration with close friends and family. If an overseas honeymoon is already being planned, why not extend it a few days and make your dream destination also the locale for your vows?
Many all-inclusive resorts are really ramping up their wedding planning help and options. All-inclusives also make things easier on guests who may not be travel savvy – no worries about logistics or entertainment before and after the wedding. If a resort isn’t in a couple’s plans, there are wedding consultants who specialize in helping brides plan destination weddings, wherever they may be.
Couples need to bear in mind that planning a destination wedding will usually prohibit some family members and friends from attending. As much as we’d all love to travel to the Caribbean to see a loved one marry, sometimes travel expenses just aren’t in the budget. Additionally, couples might want to consider giving guests ample time to plan for an overseas journey. The expense alone calls for a lengthy heads up, and some of the attendees might need to apply for their very first passport, which can take several weeks to receive.
Whether a couple’s dream includes exchanging vows on a white sandy beach, atop a mountain, nestled in a vineyard, or in a centuries-old European church, there is ample help out there to assist with wedding arrangements.
Be sure to check out Carlson Craft’s innovative wedding invitations designed for destination weddings. Remember – there’s quite a bit more information that needs to be conveyed to guests regarding a destination wedding. Carlson Craft has some fabulous options that will captivate invitees, provide them with a clear picture of the wedding plans, and have them scrambling for their passports, flip-flops and sunscreen!
And to my close friends and family, if any of you are anticipating an engagement soon, I’ve always wanted to see the beautiful waters and islands of the Mediterranean!
Destination Weddings: It’s all about Location, Location, Location!