Destination Weddings

Traditionally, weddings have been held in your own home church, or in a local 
garden, or in some venue close to the home of the groom or bride's family. But 
as Americans become more mobile, living thousands of miles from their families 
in some cases and marrying people from the other side of the country in others, 
it's grown more and more inconvenient to schedule the right place to have your 
wedding. His home, or hers? How do family who live in fifteen different cities 
get here? What is fair?

Rather than worrying about these issues, more brides and grooms have been opting 
for destination weddings. A destination wedding is one that is centered around 
getting married at a particular place that is not at the home of either bride or 
groom, often a tropical or otherwise romantic location. This isn't a runaway 
marriage, like the ones that used to take place frequently at Niagara Falls and 
that still take place in Las Vegas; rather, it's a planned wedding with guests, 
with the only difference between it and other weddings being the away-from-home 
location.

Destination Weddings

Destination Weddings

Destination Weddings

Destination Weddings

Destination Weddings

Destination Weddings

Popular places for destination weddings include Hawaii, the South Carolina 
beaches, Disneyworld, and, yes, Las Vegas. Brides not satisfied with these 
locations can consider some other, more unique ideas: getting married on a 
yacht, Ireland, Fiji, the Bahamas, or weddings in locations that are important 
to the bride and groom for some reason. A destination wedding can be a very 
personal event.

Advantages of Destination Weddings

There are numerous significant advantages to having a destination wedding, 
especially if you have a far-flung family. For one, it spares you from having to 
make the decision between his city and her city; instead, everyone has to travel 
to get to your wedding, making it fair. And then, if you have relatives you feel 
certain would cause trouble at a wedding, a destination wedding is a subtle 
discouragement for them to show up, so you can apologize profusely to them when 
they complain about not being able to get to your wedding and just say you had 
your heart set on a beach wedding at Cabo, or being married in front of the 
falls at Niagara, or whatever destination wedding you've chosen.

Additionally, if there are family clashes between bride and groom in laws, a 
destination wedding brings the whole thing to a neutral location. The only thing 
you want to avoid, in this case, is renting a huge house for everyone to stay 
in; better keep them in separate houses!

One of the worst things that happens to weddings is when Mom takes over, trying 
to plan the wedding for her daughter - and sometimes son - to "make it easier" 
for the bride. Choosing a destination wedding is a great way to get rid of the 
interference of a mother.

Destination weddings tend to be in very romantic, often exotic, locations, which 
leads to several other things. First, those weddings on the beach lead to some 
amazing wedding photographs, especially if you choose your location so that you 
catch the sunset. They also allow you to combine your honeymoon with your 
wedding, and you can tell reluctant family that it will make a great excuse for 
them to take a vacation at your destination.

The surprising advantage some destination weddings has is that they can be much 
cheaper than traditional weddings, if you plan them carefully and choose the 
right destination at the right time. While the U.S. dollar is a little weak 
right now, it still has an excellent exchange rate over some countries. And many 
popular destination wedding sites have been taking advantage of the wedding 
tourist trade by offering great deals on wedding packages of all sorts.

Disadvantages of Destination Weddings

To be fair, destination weddings also have drawbacks. Many of your invited 
guests won't come, and others may invite themselves on your honeymoon if you're 
not careful. Of course, since fewer guests are coming, the wedding will be 
smaller and you'll save money on catering, venue size, and other things, so you 
can dip into your wedding funds to help subsidize the plane tickets for people 
you absolutely must have at your wedding.

Not all destinations are cheap and glorious; it's entirely possible that the 
destination you have your heart set will be more expensive, so you'll have to 
shop around and lock in the best deal you can early. Because the destination may 
be quite remote from America, you'll find planning of sorts you didn't expect is 
necessary, and a good travel agent may become your best friend.

Finally, you must think about a few legalities: passports, visas, and whether or 
not a wedding at your destination will be recognized in the U.S. (not all are!) 
The last problem can be bypassed if you have a simple civil ceremony back home 
and then your elaborate wedding at your destination.

A destination wedding is not the right answer for everyone. And many people who 
would like a destination wedding decide in the end to get married at home for a 
variety of reasons. But if you have your heart set on one and you have plenty of 
time to plan, there is no reason you can't have a destination wedding, and all 
the wonderful memories that go along with it.