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Having a wedding in your hometown is a very convenient option; you know many vendors and venues, can select among a great variety of offers, and plan the wedding on any budget.

All your friends and relatives are (mostly) close to you, while those who live far away still can come to the event to join the celebration. Why have a destination wedding then?

You might be surprised how many advantages this option holds! After marrying in a destination wedding ourselves (Hawaii) we have put together a shortlist of advantages and unexpected perks which make a destination wedding a dream event. Already married? Renew your vows in another event!

The Perks of a Destination Wedding

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Combining Honeymoon with Wedding

A definite advantage of a destination wedding is the ability to unify the expenses for the honeymoon with the wedding day, which is very cost-effective. While your guests may come just for a couple of days and then leave, you may stay longer and have the honeymoon at that destination.

During wedding preparation, you will already feel comfortable in the place, while renting a car and exploring the exotic beauties of some exotic island may be a truly unifying, romantic experience!

Sharing the Moment with Only Your Closest

The reason why a destination wedding may become a suitable option for you is the ability to cut down the number of guests only to those you really wish to see, and with whom you would really like to share the precious wedding moments.

If you select some distant, exotic island for this event, this might scare off the fans of taking ‘plus one’ acquaintances or short-term boyfriends/girlfriends with them.

While you may choose to provide the hotel accommodation for guests, paying for plane tickets is usually their task, so in this way, you minimize the number of guests and organize the wedding in a truly close family/friend circle.

Relaxed Planning

Another ‘why destination wedding’ tip relates to the planning process. Destination weddings are usually organized much simpler than large-scale luxurious urban weddings are.

So, you can relax and enjoy the preparation process – all you need to do is plan accommodation, arrange the banquet, take care of your and the groom’s appearance, flowers, and some festivities.

The choice of wedding offers and vendors in such places is usually limited, and if you have some special requirements for the wedding, most of the planning is done at home. You may take a stylist or a chef with you if needed, but once you are already there – not so much is left to do.

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No Need for a Luxurious Dress

Weddings in large cities have to conform to certain standards of luxury, and all elements of the event have to be organized appropriately, which is quite demanding. Relax!

At a destination wedding, you may have a simple beach wedding dress, and you know what? You will still look gorgeous and flawless in a simple white dress at the beach shore or in the middle of juicy green jungles.

Superior Photos

Wedding photos as a separate topic for discussion. We all want our photos to rock, as besides our sweet memories of the day, it will be the only physical evidence.

Good news! At a destination wedding, your photos will always be original and interesting, especially when using some creative poses and props. One couple, for instance, hiked for 8 days to get married at the base of Mt Everest, and their photos are some of the most memorable and unique I’ve ever seen.

Cost-Effectiveness

Finally, the most unbeatable argument – it is truly cheaper to organize a destination wedding! Even with all those hotel rooms and plane tickets, a luxury wedding on a distant island is traditionally twice cheaper than a similar-status event in a large city.

The secret is simple – in such exotic places, people charge less for wedding-related services, and you generally need less to make the wedding complete.

These are some of the most convincing arguments for choosing a destination wedding. Think it over and if these perks appeal to you, this option is surely your piece of cake!

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

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    26 Comments

  1. This post is spot on. I agree with this which is why I am also eyeing for destination weddings. Nice pictures, by the way.

    • Thanks Angie! Hope you have an incredible destination wedding yourself! 🙂

  2. I am planning a wedding right now and it is SO easy to get caught up in thinking people will care about the tiniest details. Chances are, they won’t even notice. The big things matter, food, drinks, ceremony! It’s nice to be reminded of that sometimes… it can be easily forgotten in the madness that is wedding planning. ?

    • Totally agree with you – we organized a very simple affair for our own, and ordered everything like table cloths, flowers etc from ebay and had it all shipped to the hotel (cut down on costs!) Everyone had a wonderful time, and nobody cared that the tableclothes were $5 instead of $50!

      We paid money for the destination, the DJ and the food; all what we considered the big things 🙂

  3. I would want a destination wedding because as you say, it’s a honeymoon and a wedding in one. Plus, it makes it more intimate. Usually, it is people who really care about you that flies to make sure they are there on your big day, so yes, I will have a destination wedding.

    • Definitely makes it more intimate – we were pretty liberal with our invitations because we figured being so far away from home (guests having to travel to Hawaii from Australia), the guest list would naturally cull itself. From 200 invites we had 40 guests, and it was a really wonderful, close knit occasion.

      I can highly recommend having a destination wedding!

  4. Interesting one Meg! I particulary love your second point that the ones you don’t wanna see, probably won’t come. Made me grin.

    • Haha yes the guest list naturally culls itself, it’s great! Because only the people who care about you the most will be willing to make the trip 🙂

  5. I always had this assumption that destination weddings will cost a lot more than the usual in-town weddings. But you’ve listed down great reasons why we should give it a try. Not sure if you know or not, weddings in India are a lot of pomp & show affair with tons..literally tons of relatives as here +1 is not a term but the invitations are for entire family 😀 So, you can imagine, coming from that perspective a normal person here would not want to try destination wedding. After all this long list of no-go zones, I still somehow hope if I could convince my family for my wedding to be a destination one 🙂
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful list.

    • We did our destination wedding in Hawaii for a total of around 20 grand. But you could do it a lot cheaper if you picked a public beach (we rented a private space at a resort), with catering etc.

      And everyone’s overseas having a great time, so they don’t notice that you don’t have balloons, and a photo booth etc.

      I’ve seen Indian weddings in films and documentaries, and they do seem to be a pretty huge gathering and incredible celebration. Your family guest list might cull itself if you hold it overseas lol

      Either way, it’ll be the most amazing day 🙂

  6. I got married in Bali (the first time, anyway!) and I really loved they wove elements of local culture into the wedding. I had little balinese flower girls who looked incredible and the whole event was a riot of colour. It definitely saved us a fortune too

    • Sounds like an incredible celebration Anne! How wonderful to have been able to incorporate local Balinese culture into the ceremony. It sounds like a fabulous day!

  7. This is a great idea but I’m a bit late for it! My wedding was a local (ish) one so definitely not as exciting as yours but I really like the idea.

    Scaling down by not inviting too many people is definitely a requirement for this type of wedding and so is making it the same location for the honeymoon.

    Let’s hope one of my close friends decides to organize something like this 🙂

    • Alternatively, you could plan a destination wedding as a renewal of your vows for a big anniversary 🙂

  8. My hubby and I almost did the destination wedding but didn’t because my grandparents would never have made the journey. So, I can totally attest to the higher costs for an NYC wedding! As a way to make up for it, we registered for our honeymoon instead of gifts, which resulted in a fab Italian honeymoon. After reading this post, though, I’m now thinking where we could renew our vows…hmmm off to plan! 😉

    • Oh wow, a NYC wedding sounds fabulous too though, even if it’s local for you guys. It’s definitely more difficult when you have really close family who are too ill to travel. Unfortunately my grandfather couldn’t fly for our wedding, but my grandmother made it on his behalf which was really nice.

      Registering for your honeymoon instead of gifts is a fabulous idea – especially since these days, couples usually already live together, so are often already set up with everything you would normally get as a wedding present anyway.

      You could totally renew your vows if you’re lusting after a destination wedding experience :D!

  9. I love destination weddings and always try to talk friends into them. AND you get to return for mile marker anniversaries!

    • Absolutely – I fully plan on renewing our vows on each big anniversary somewhere exotic and crazy :D!

  10. Destination weddings sound so nice. There’s a lot of islands in the Philippines, for example, that couples choose for their weddings. I’m not at that point in my life now but if I do find a partner someday, I’d def do a destination wedding.

    • The Philippines would be an amazing country for a destination wedding – and you’re spoiled for choice – what is it like 1700 islands or something like that?

      Highly recommend it when the time comes for you 🙂

  11. It’s too late for me! I had a non-destination wedding last year! I should plan a destination vow renewal, though! I think that Hawaii would be my top choice (our honeymoon destination). Those photos would be unreal, wouldn’t they? Like, under a massive waterfall. The not-so-luxurious dress sounds much simpler and easier to move around in, but I loved my low-key still glam dress too!

    • I’m all for a destination vow renewal if you missed out on a destination wedding – Hawaii does set the scene for a really incredible ceremony, so I can highly recommend it, from personal experience! Yes, the photo opportunities here are insane!

      Awesome way to spend an anniversary otherwise (Hawaii)!

  12. I certainly see your point! Sometimes we thought that doing it in the hometown is way cheaper because having a destination wedding sounds expensive, but when you list the things that need to be done, the destination wedding definitely has a shorter list. Plus, it makes the wedding a truly intimate one. People will remember the place and will have special memories attached to it because of your wedding, too!

    • It is funny that that’s the stereotype, and I think too that we assume it’s more difficult to organize something that isn’t localized, but the planning list is much shorter too! Because the little things don’t matter as much, and often get cut out completely.

      And people definitely remember it more than perhaps they would have if it was a home town!

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