The Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

Are you wondering if a destination wedding is right for you?

Destination weddings have soared in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Beautiful locations, smaller guest counts, and a built-in vacation are just a few reasons to consider a destination wedding.

While the idea of exchanging vows in a beautiful, far-off location can be incredibly appealing, a destination wedding doesn’t have to be thousands of miles away—it can be just a few towns over. 

For many, Washington, D.C. is a destination location! Couples in the area also look to national parks, such as the Shenandoah Mountains.

Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue here in Washington, D.C. or you are considering jetting off to a different country, here are the pros and cons to consider for your destination wedding.

Photo Credit: Maddy Williams Photography

The Pros

1. Intimate Atmosphere

    Having a wedding further from home often entails a smaller guest list, which is perfect for couples wanting a more intimate wedding. With fewer guests, you’ll have more time to spend connecting with each person.

    Fewer guests can also mean a smaller budget. Your wedding guest count often has the largest impact on your total wedding spending. With fewer people, that’s less food, tables, chairs, and linens to pay for. 

    2. Built-in Vacation

    Why wait to start the honeymoon? A destination wedding creates a seamless transition to your dream vacation.

    By having your honeymoon in the same location as your wedding, you’ll save time and money on travel. 

    By combining all the planning into one extended trip, you will also avoid the stress and headache of trying to plan a honeymoon while also planning your wedding.

    3. All Inclusive Options

    If you choose a city known for being a destination wedding location, many resorts offer inclusive wedding packages that are more cost-effective than finding individual vendors on your own.

    With the right resort bundle and wedding planner, you can have a stress-free vacation and wedding all in one.  

    4. Beautiful Locations

    If you feel like your venue options are limited in your hometown, venturing out to scenic locations such as beaches, mountains, and vineyards can give you the perfect backdrop for your wedding day. 

    The Cons

    1. Logistical Issues

      If you’re looking at getting married in a foreign country, navigating their systems can be tricky, especially if you don’t speak the local language.

      Marriage license laws, time differences, and planning from afar all pose logistical challenges. This is why it’s critical to have a wedding planner to help you identify any hidden restrictions.

      For destination weddings, it’s common to have a local wedding planner who can easily communicate with you on your schedule. Your planner will then partner with a wedding planner local to your wedding destination in order to navigate and finalize vendors and logistics. 

      Photo Credit: Maddy Williams Photography

      2. Challenging for Guests

      Based on your venue location, some of your favorite people may be unable to make it for your big day. 

      Older guests or those with young children may not be able to easily fly, and airline tickets and accommodation prices may be too steep for some friends and family. If your wedding will be abroad, guests will need to have a current passport, which might require getting one for the first time or renewing one that is soon expiring.

      3. Smaller Guest Count

      As mentioned above, this is a huge plus for some couples. But for those who want to celebrate with all their friends and family, a destination wedding may pose challenges.

      Due to the logistics and costs we mentioned above, it is harder for many guests to attend a destination wedding, which means you can expect more people to RSVP “no.” Keep this in mind, and how important your guest count is to you, when deciding where to host your wedding.

      Is a Destination Wedding Right For You?

      Deciding whether to have a destination wedding depends on your priorities, budget, and vision for your wedding day. 

      As wedding planners in the Washington, D.C. area, we specialize in helping couples navigate these decisions to create a celebration that feels authentic and stress-free.

      If you’re dreaming of a destination wedding but are unsure where to start, we’ll guide you through every step, from choosing the perfect location to managing the intricate details. Contact us today!

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        Kristy Silva, Wedding Planner

        Meet Kristy

        Hey there! I grew up in the dry heat of Phoenix, AZ but now live in my favorite swamp, Washington D.C. My dream job? Owning a cat cafe. Just kidding (kind of). I’ve wanted to be a wedding planner for as long as I can remember. But not just any planner. The cis-heteronormativity of the wedding industry kind of gives me the ‘ick,’ so I’ve built a team to help all couples celebrate their love in a way that feels good to them. Not how society says ‘this is what a wedding should look like.

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