Destination Wedding – To Be or Not To Be?

Congratulations! You’re engaged!

In the next couple of months, you’ll be making a lot of crucial decisions as you plan your wedding and honeymoon. If, like many other couples, you wish to have a small, intimate wedding, then one of the first things you have to decide on is whether to have your wedding  locally or abroad.

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Photo by AndroidsinBoots

A destination wedding, also called a “weddingmoon”, is a special kind of wedding where the ceremony, reception and the honeymoon are held at the same place, typically a resort outside of the country that’s been especially chosen by the couple. Unlike traditional weddings in Singapore, a destination wedding has the ceremony followed immediately by the reception and other post-wedding activities, and the guests are normally just the bride and groom’s closest family and friends.

For the more travel-savvy couples, a destination wedding is extra special as it is more private and, in a sense, more sacred because of it. To know whether a destination wedding is for you, check out the following professional advises:

Reasons to Consider Destination Weddings

1. Fewer Guests May Mean Less Expenses for You

Let’s do the math: A wedding party of 300 guests at $75 per head is $22,500. That’s too much money for the food alone, isn’t it? If you have a destination wedding instead, a luxurious nuptials at a fabulous location often costs less than a 6-course meal at a big local hotel. The etiquette for a destination wedding calls for the guests to pay for their own travel fare while you take care of their lodging and dining. If you’re feeling generous, you may add some perks, such as gift certificates to ice cream houses, nearby resorts or spas.

It’s also a good idea to work with a travel agency to get more savings through their discounted airfare and lodging rates. For couples working on very limited resources, a travel agency can direct you to domestic locations with much more favorable rates.

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Photo by Kent Wong Photography

2. The Benefits of Package Deals

Resorts and cruise lines have wedding packages to make wedding planning simple and less stressful. Some venues offer the professional services of their on-site wedding planners to help bridal couples accomplish some necessary legalities. When you avail these packages, all you need to do is to show up on the day of your wedding. Travel agents can sometimes even expand wedding packages to include activities for you and your guests, such as snorkeling adventures, shopping trips, or sightseeing excursions.

3. Avoid Awkward Invites

Since destination weddings are intimate affairs, you can avoid the awkwardness of inviting people who are not really close to you but are still related enough that customs dictate you invite them if you have a typical wedding. Opting for a destination wedding allows you to choose the level of intimacy for your ceremony and therefore gives you better control on whom to invite. If you want, you may even invite just your immediate families and maybe 4 or 5 of your closest friends.

4. Lesser Travel Time for Out-of-Town Guests

A destination wedding is perfect for you if you have lots of family and friends all over the world. If many of your guests would have to travel overseas to attend your wedding, then you might as well choose a location that is favorable to a number of them. This is advantageous in two ways: first, your guests from your home country will be able to travel (always an exciting thing), and second, your guests from abroad won’t have to travel so far to attend your wedding.

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Photo by Chris Ling Photography

Reasons Why It May Not Be the Best Choice

1. Legalities and Long Distance Planning

For those bridal couples getting married at destination venues with no complimentary wedding planner, you’ll have to plan for every single detail through phone calls or via Internet. It can be very challenging to arrange and file your requirements to get a marriage license in another state or in a foreign country with this kind of setup. Also, keep in mind that many places require residency requirements and marriage fees to grant your request.

It would be much easier if you hire a planner who specializes in destination weddings to navigate through the many twists and turns of planning a destination wedding. A good wedding planner can help you stay within your budget by utilizing professional relationships to obtain discounts and other special benefits.

2. Not Everybody Can Afford to Travel

Although exotic locations are the best way to avoid inviting undesirable guests, it may have a reverse effect to your loved ones who may not be able to attend your wedding due to expenses, health limitations, or time constraints. When deciding whether to go for a destination wedding or not, think about the people who matters to you the most. If expenses are a major concern, let them know that their presence is the only gift you need.

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Photo by French Wedding

3. No Room for Impulsiveness

When you opt for a destination wedding, it’s very important to make final decisions early on and send your save-the-date cards well in advance, preferably eight to ten months before the big day. This will allow your guests to save up money for the trip and make sure that your wedding fits in with their schedule. Also, fair warning will give your guests time to look for more affordable travel arrangements.

4. Crowded Honeymoon

With family and friends staying with you at the same resort, it can be a tad difficult – if not embarrassing – to leave the rest of the world behind and just lock yourselves in your room. If you really want to be totally alone with your spouse, you either have to arrive earlier or stay longer then everyone else, or check in at a neighboring resort – both of which will definitely cost you more. If none of those options are possible, you can also plan some activities to keep your guests occupied while you and your spouse sneak off to somewhere more private.

If you’ve decided that destination wedding is the way to go, bear in mind that it takes considerable research and planning to make the event successful, and that the best destinations and accommodations often get fully booked in advance. The earlier you start your wedding planning, the better your chance of getting the exact venue and date that you want for your most special day.

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Photo by Avior Pictures

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