Why have just one day of celebrating your I Dos when you can enjoy days with your family and friends–all in your favorite location? Destination weddings are the perfect way to combine your nuptials with a once-in-a-lifetime trip for you and your guests. And 2015 is expected to be a big year for DWs, with more couples choosing to get married away from home. So what’s all the fuss? Here are 10 reasons why destination weddings are more popular than ever.
It can cost less (really!). All-inclusive deals can be a lifesaver for a bride on a budget (and who isn’t?). From hotel rooms and meals to an on-site coordinator and guest excursions, many resorts are offering amazing deals to entice couples to wed at their location.
You also won’t need to spend a fortune on wedding day decor when you have a gorgeous backdrop as your venue. Whether it’s a tropical beach, country garden, rustic vineyard or snow-topped mountain, let your destination’s natural beauty serve as the focal point of your wedding day decor.
Planning is actually easier. “Couples already bogged down with every day responsibilities are quickly discovering that planning a destination wedding is, quite simply, easier,” says Richard Calvert, president & CEO of Celebration Travel Group. “All-inclusive wedding resorts can walk couples through the entire planning process, assisting with vendor selection, overnight accommodations and off-site excursions.”
It won’t be a cookie cutter event. While destination weddings are on the rise, the majority of couples still opt to get hitched close to home. So your wedding will start off unique simply for the fact that it’s in another location. But that’s not all: A DW allows you to have a unique ceremony and reception that truly reflects both of your personalities and beliefs. From the dress code (go ahead, say I Do in a bikini if that’s what you want) to showcasing the local cuisine and music, your event will be something your guests will be talking about for years to come.
You can limit your guest list. A destination wedding is a great excuse to keep the event small and personal. You don’t have to feel obligated to invite all of your cousins or your mom’s BFF–after all, you can’t expect everyone to take on the expense of traveling for your wedding day. Destination weddings give you the option of making sure only the most important people in your life are present to witness your vows.
The location options are limitless. Destination weddings call to mind sandy beaches and barefoot nuptials–and while Puerto Rico and St. Lucia are being touted as some of the top spots in 2015 to marry, we’re also seeing couples run off to Tuscan vineyards, Greece or Croatia,” says Calvert. But you don’t need to leave the US to have an amazing destination wedding. Beach brides can travel to Miami, Key West, Malibu or Hawaii, while couples who love to ski can opt for Colorado or Vermont. Wine lovers have Napa, while brides and grooms who want the big city vibe can choose to get hitched in NYC, Chicago, LA–the possibilities are endless.
The celebration isn’t just one day. “The appeal of a destination wedding is that it’s not just about the day of the ceremony,” says Mike Busada of Mike B Photography. “While that’s obviously an important component, the destination wedding usually involves several days of events and excursions. Some of my favorite images from destination weddings come from the candid moments while the couple, their friends, and family are just enjoying themselves.”
You can make it personal. Destination weddings have also evolved from the days of ‘select Package A, B, or C,'” says Calvert. “Couples are eager to ensure their wedding reflects their story, and we’re seeing that now more than ever with destination wedding details. From welcome bags and unique invitations to personalized favors, creative touches abound.”
It’s an easy place to incorporate traditions or have an interfaith wedding. A destination wedding ensures “neutral territory” for couples worried about the logistics of pulling off a multi-cultural or interfaith ceremony. In fact, destination wedding resorts often have tailored packages for every type of culture and faith, says Calvert.
You can start the honeymoon early. “Couples are happily surprised to discover that honeymoon savings are one of the inevitable benefits of planning a destination wedding” says Calvert. “An all-inclusive resort, for example, may offer honeymoon concessions to couples that plan their entire day with them. For those interested in a change of scenery, there is also the option to switch resorts after the big day, an easy and cost-effective move since the newlyweds are already at their selected destination.”