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Pros and cons of destination weddings

Typically, at least once in the wedding planning process, a bride-to-be and her groom look at each other and ask, “Why don’t we just elope?” Over the past few years, a new destination wedding trend has emerged, letting couples combine a somewhat traditional wedding with elopement. Destination weddings aren’t for everyone, however. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide if a destination wedding is right for you.


Destination weddings are surprisingly affordable.

Because of the smaller guest list and the more casual atmosphere, destination weddings are surprisingly affordable. Most destination weddings take place at resorts that specialize in these types of events, and they often offer all-inclusive packages to make the wedding even more affordable.


They aren’t more affordable for your guests.

One of the reasons resorts offer great deals on catering, flowers and the venue is that your guests will be staying with them. Many resorts actually charge entrance fees for wedding guests who are not staying there. Even if you are able to pay for your guests’ rooms, your affordable wedding may be at their expense when you add in the cost of their airfare.


A small guest list equals less stress.

A destination wedding relieves you of all those “duty” invitations. You don’t have to include your mother’s bridge partner, or your boss, or your best friend’s sister. Or, you can have it both ways: Send them an invitation and relax in the knowledge that they won’t come all the way to the Caribbean to see you get married. Fewer people equals fewer worries.


Small guest list equals more hurt feelings.

Remember going to all of your cousins’ weddings? How will you feel if none of them can make it to yours? No matter how convenient and affordable you think your wedding site is, not everyone will be able to make it. While this is true of any wedding, it’s especially true of a destination wedding.

Many of your friends and relatives will not have the vacation time, financial ability or inclination to travel a long distance for your wedding. For older relatives, a long plane trip may be a physical hardship. If you have friends or relatives with small children, they will have to decide if they should bring the kids and miss out on a lot of the fun, or if it’s possible to leave the kids at home with a sitter. While your feelings may be hurt by some dear ones who choose not to come, some of your guests also will feel that you’ve chosen a wedding they are unable to attend.


People will have opinions.

Speaking of hurt feelings, here’s something you need to know: A lot of people simply hate the idea of destination weddings. They find it rude and presumptuous of the bride and groom to decide their vacation plans for them. They find the idea of devoting an entire weekend or more to one couple’s wedding absurd. While your friends are probably more used to the idea of a destination wedding and know that it’s their choice whether to attend, older relatives may be especially put off by the idea. For a lot of people in the older generations, the assumption is that it’s rude not to attend a wedding, so you may wind up with a very grumpy Uncle Morty at your wedding.


You get a head start on your honeymoon.

Imagine it’s day after your wedding. You wake up and you don’t have to pack or rush to the airport — you’re already in paradise! And sometimes you’re even in a complimentary or reduced-price suite.


Your parents are on your honeymoon with you.

You’ve always wanted to see Hawaii, right? That’s why you got married there. Guess what? Your parents want to see Hawaii, too. After all the stress and planning of the wedding, they need a little break, and since they’re already in Hawaii, they might as well stay. After all, it’s not like they’re going to turn around and go home after only two days…

Whatever you decide, don’t forget to check with for great planning tips for destination and hometown weddings alike!

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