Destination or Local Wedding?
You got engaged and you're planning your wedding. You've heard about destination weddings, and maybe even attended one. Maybe you're considering a destination wedding for yourself. Let's examine the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.
Joe said he'd never get married. Never say never, Joe! Of course, he met a girl, fell madly in love and proposed. Although it was Joe's first marriage, his fiancée had been married before. Rather than spending a lot of money on a big wedding, they decided to have a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. With the ocean as a backdrop, they didn't have to worry about how to decorate the venue. What little there was to do was taken care of by the resort where the wedding is being held. It was also where they wanted to go for their honeymoon, and adding a wedding only increased the cost slightly. That's another reason destination weddings are appealing—they are generally cost effective. The average cost of a local wedding is in the $25,000-$30,000 range. Prices vary widely, but a destination wedding is usually a fraction of that cost.
A study conducted by theknot.com indicates 24% of engaged couples opt for destination weddings. These types of weddings are attractive for a variety of reasons, from those mentioned above to couples who want to keep the celebration small and private—if you have an out-of-town wedding, fewer people expect to be invited, or attend. However, there is a downside…
Although some of your friends will think your out-of-town (or sometimes out-of-country) wedding is a great excuse for a vacation, others might not have the funds to attend. They might even think it's a lot to expect. Family members could think the same thing. What if your best friend can't afford to go and you wanted her to be in the wedding? What if family members can't afford to go or are afraid to fly? What if the destination is out of the country and someone doesn't have a passport? These are all things you have to consider.
Before you settle on a decision, run the idea by those closest to you who you can't imagine your wedding without. This will give you a feel for what they think about a destination wedding option. If you decide on this option, give guests plenty of notice so they have time to save money for the trip and get a passport if they need one.
If you opt to get married where you live, there's less risk of people not being able to come. Of course, if you're trying to watch costs, this means cutting down the guest list. Again, you risk hurt feelings, but when it comes to weddings, it's bound to happen. At least keeping the wedding in town means your closest friends and family will be able to attend and you're not putting them in the position of having to explain that they can't afford to go.
Although local weddings can end up costing more, they don't have to. There are plenty of ways to plan a wedding on a budget. A lot of the planning is left to you, but then you know you'll have everything you want to make your day complete. By the time the big day rolls around, you've tasted cakes and food from several caterers, looked at portfolios from several photographers and videographers, looked at countless venues, spoken with florists and checked out lots of bands or DJs. You've arranged transportation, chosen ceremony music and chosen the order of the ceremony. You made the decisions yourselves because you were in control. Of course, if you'd rather not plan it yourself, you could hire a wedding planner instead. If you can't afford that, your friends and family are probably willing to help!
Whichever option you choose, remember to stop at some point during the reception just to take it all in. Enjoy it and try to remember as much as you can because the day will be over before you know it, and you'll want your memories to last a lifetime.