There's something magical about destination weddings.
(And I'm not just talking Disney-themed ones, either.)
Getting married in a location out of the ordinary that's exotic and beautiful, or simply holds special meaning for you as a couple, is not an experience you or your guests will easily forget.
However, you also have to consider a lot of the destination wedding pros and cons before you commit to anything.
I, for one, almost had a destination wedding in the Pacific Northwest because I adored the lush green forests there in the summer, and many of my family members lived there. But I decided against it because it wasn't practical like getting married in my home state of Arizona would be.
As much as you may like the idea of a destination wedding, will it ultimately be worth it for your efforts? Use these quiz questions to help you figure that out!
1. Are you looking to save some money? (Y/N)
If you answered YES: A destination wedding may be a great option for you. Though many think that these weddings are some of the more expensive options they don't have to be, and many times aren't.
The reasoning that you can have a cheap destination wedding comes from the idea that even though you may be factoring in higher travel costs, for example, you will have many guests who can't afford to come to the wedding, which will reduce your costs in the long run.
So let's say you're going to have a destination wedding in South Africa. You find a fantastic venue that will take care of many of your needs and planning, for a cost that's going to nearly max out your budget.
However, if you were to invite 300 people to your wedding, how many people do you think would actually show up? Fifty at the most? That means you won't have to pay for 250 meals and will have to make 250 less wedding favors.
A destination wedding suddenly doesn't seem so expensive anymore, does it?
If you answered NO: You can easily afford a destination wedding, no questions asked! If budget is not an issue, the only limit is the fact that no one's able to fly to the Moon or Mars to get married (yet).
2. Do you want lots of guests to attend so you have a large wedding? (Y/N)
If you answered YES: Unfortunately, a destination wedding may be out of the question. As you read in question #1, many times relatives and friends simply can't afford to attend a destination wedding, especially one that may be out of the country.
Even if you still want to entertain the idea of having a destination wedding, you'll have to realize that you will be giving up size for location. If you're okay with that, you can still have your vows exchanged in a far-off location.
If you answered NO: Welcome aboard the ship to your destination wedding!
You don't want a crowd, and you don't want to have to pay for lots of guests, either. Intimacy with those closest to you (and the subsequent savings) is easily found in a destination wedding.
You may even want to consider an estate wedding if you're looking at destination options, because it'll contribute to the unique feel you're looking for instead of having just another hotel wedding.
My friends had a destination wedding specifically because of size. They called off their wedding that was supposed to happen in Washington state because they no longer liked the idea of all the guests that said they'd come, and they rescheduled for months later so they could have a Texas wedding at a winery.
3. Do you want your wedding planning to be a bit easier and not involve so much DIY? (Y/N)
If you answered YES: Then you're in luck - destination wedding planning is usually handled by not just the bride, but also by the destination staff, venues, and guides.
There's a downside to this, though. The less physical presence you have the less you'll be able to see, touch, taste, and smell everything going on during the wedding planning process.
Fortunately, there are some solutions for this if you're determined to have a destination wedding!
For starters, try to save up some cash to visit your favorite destination wedding location to make sure it's what you're looking for. You can even create a destination wedding checklist by taking detailed notes on the size, amenities, etc. so you know exactly how to plan from afar.
If you're not able to make it to the destination yourself, recruit any relatives or friends who live nearby whose judgement you trust.
Also, look at online reviews of every venue and vendor you're considering. The Internet's a shady place sometimes, but when it comes to your wedding, thoughtful reviews from previous brides can be the difference between showing up at your destination wedding location that's in a bad part of town or having the best day of your life.
Once you feel comfortable with your destination wedding choices, you should have no problem handing over some of the planning responsibilities to the staff on hand!
If you answered NO: A destination wedding may be in your future, but ask yourself how much DIY you really want to do.
Are you gung ho on setting up the flowers yourself, or making your own cake, or providing most of the decorations yourself? If so, a destination wedding isn't a great fit for you.
However, if all you're looking to make are things like wedding invitations, favors, and programs, you'll be able to do these things no problem and leave the other items to your destination venue and vendors.
How did your quiz turn out? Are you the right kind of couple to consider a destination wedding?
Answering "yes" to all three makes you a perfect destination wedding candidate. Even if you answered "no" to one of these questions, you can still have a destination wedding as long as you figure out the workaround to your "no."
So where are you going on your destination wedding?