Destination weddings can be an amazing and unforgettable experience for both couples and their guests. As the world becomes more accessible and affordable, more people are opting to get married somewhere beautiful, exotic, and memorable. Having a destination wedding, while easy to imagine, comes with its fair share of challenges. Luckily, Reddit is full of tips for having an epic destination wedding.
Save Money On A Destination Wedding
A big reason why people consider having a destination wedding is to save money. In the U.S., venue, accommodation, and catering costs can be exorbitant, which makes it cheaper to get married in more affordable countries. One Reddit user shares some details of their upcoming wedding in Mexico, with only 20 guests, which brings up the next Reddit-approved tip.
The smaller the destination wedding, the better. Reddit user, u/trolllante, shares their destination wedding experience. While costs were low and the experience was fun, people would not show up to the wedding. This is a very real possibility, so the bride and groom must manage their expectations. It's better to invite a few, close guests and make sure they attend than to plan a huge wedding and find out that most people were unable to attend.
Invite Fewer People
Having an intimate wedding in an affordable country will save the bride and groom a lot of money and make it a thrilling experience. u/shpdawg14 had a great destination wedding experience in Costa Rica. He recommends looking at all-inclusive resorts, as they can be cheap and versatile.
Choose a resort that's safe and appropriate for the attending guests. If, for example, the wedding involves adult activities such as casinos, excessive drinking, or cultural tourism, choosing an adults-only resort might be a good idea to avoid boring the younger guests.
Saving money on a foreign wedding should not come at the cost of inhibiting loved ones from attending. There are two main considerations: ensure that important guests can afford to attend and try to schedule the wedding at a time when most guests are free from work-related obligations.
Think About The Guests
u/nygirl454 shares a positive experience they had while attending a destination wedding in Bali, Indonesia. Take note that to make it a good experience, the bride and groom paid for three days of Airbnb accommodation for all guests. This is the least one can do, especially if guests are expected to take time off work and buy plane tickets. Three days seems like a good period, as it covers the days of the wedding plus some extra. Most people who are flying across the world for a wedding probably have the time to do so, so they might as well turn it into a vacation.
Couples considering an exotic wedding should only do so if they're alright with some guests not coming. They should also be aware that having a destination wedding will give guests the impression that their attendance is less important than the couple's wedding location. To avoid sending the wrong message, couples should offer as much as they can afford in order to facilitate their guests' trips. This means providing accommodation and food as a bare minimum, and even plane tickets if guests should need them.
This brings up another point. If the destination wedding is somewhere too far away, make sure to plan the date during a common holiday period. It's a lot easier to fly somewhere exotic during a national holiday, long weekend, or annual break. Keep in mind that certain holidays are traditionally spent with family, so avoid times like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Use Group Discounts
Flight tickets can cost significantly more during holidays, so be sure to inform guests well in advance and provide some resources for booking the flight, ideally with a travel agent who offers group discounts. u/ujaeke4 highlights how it might be wise to choose the wedding destination based on available flight deals. Multiple Reddit users use Scott's Cheap Flights for booking their guests' flights.
Destination Weddings Don't Have To Be Far Away
Sometimes, destination weddings don't have to be on the other side of the planet. Somewhere raw and remote in a U.S. national park will have the same effect as an exotic jungle in Thailand. Consider choosing a wedding destination that's closer to home. It will still require a smaller guest list, but the costs will be cheaper and the photos just as good.
Make Sure The Trip Is Worth It For Your Guests
u/lmaliw reflects on his trips to Croatia. The lesson here is to choose a cheap, but accessible destination. If most of the couple's guests are scattered across Europe, it's best to settle on a location where everyone can meet without needing a visa. Ideally, make sure the middle-ground destination is affordable and offers activities and attractions to visitors. After all, if guests are going out of their way to attend the wedding, there should be enough to do on top of the wedding to make it worth the trip.
u/srd1017 echoes the above sentiment by highlighting the importance of choosing a wedding destination with lots of non-wedding activities.
In conclusion, Reddit offers a fairly comprehensive guide to having a wonderful destination wedding. Keep in mind that some guests might be unable to navigate a foreign or exotic setting and require special considerations from their hosts. Also, it is likely that many guests will not attend, as international trips are costly and time-consuming. These outcomes can be mitigated by following some simple tips: Give plenty of notice before the actual wedding date so that invitees can plan accordingly; Pay for accommodation and flights where possible; Manage expectations about how many guests will attend; Make sure the wedding destination has plenty of activities for the guests. Most important of all, make sure to have a fun, beautiful, and memorable wedding.