Are you planning a destination wedding? If you are thinking of heading out of town or out of country for your celebration, then you are not alone.
A study done by the Conde Nast Bridal Group's American Wedding Study (2006) reported that 16% of couples are now choosing to have a destination celebration, and it is rising. As many of the costs get out of control, many couples are choosing to get married "out of town".
Many people think of these out of country weddings, as something the rich and famous would do. Get whisked away by plane and get married at some posh resort. But in actual fact, more and more couples are choosing this route as traditional marriage expenses continue to rise.
A destination package, can actually be cheaper than your traditional at home grown one!
The reasoning behind this, is that the guest list is usually smaller. Limited to close family and friends, and also the many extras that come with big price tags closer to home, are included in many of these packages. There are no surprise bills, the "all inclusive" packages cover everything you want. So, you know the price up front and can plan and budget for it. The resort you choose for your ceremony, takes care of all the extras, so you don't have to fuss over who is doing this and who is doing that.
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One way to decide if a destination package is for you, is to decide the type of ceremony you want. If your focus is on having fun, then going away with a package may be just for you, as it combines the ceremony, and honeymoon in one convenient package. Plus look at the type of memories and backdrops you will have for your photos.
There are many planners that are experienced in arranging destination packages, as well as many travel agents are educated with regards to these packages. (A travel agent will be much cheaper than a planner)
If your plans are simple, then this will not be hard to arrange by a travel agent who is experienced with these packages, and arrange them all the time.
The down side to a destination wedding, is if you wanted a big celebration. Not all your family and friends will be able to take a week off of work to go to your wedding and have a holiday at the same time. Not everyone will have their passport, etc. So, if you had your heart set on all your neighbours, friends, family and extended family coming to your ceremony and celebration, then you had better get your pencil out and start creating a budget for a one closer to home.
But if you are absolutely dreading the fact of organizing and trying to organize your wedding without going bankrupt, then consider going away. One friend of mine, who was well set in her career, asked her friends and family to just pay for their ticket (which was discounted with the package through the travel agent) and forgo any marriage presents. That their presence at the wedding was more important than gifts.
If you give your family and friends as much notice as you can, then you can arrange for them to be there. The good news about going away to get married, is that your wedding attire can be totally casual, such as a beach wedding. Many go barefoot!. Talk about saving on wedding outfits!
This is also a great alternative for second marriages or for couples who just want something different and only their closest friends and family there.
After all, it is YOUR wedding, and with most traditional weddings, sometimes this is forgotten, as all the relatives, especially well mean parents, trying to run the show. The dollars keep going up, to the point you wonder if you should just ask for it as a down payment on a house. Nothing else in our traditions seems to cost as much for one day as a wedding can!
Who would have thought that many people will think nothing of spending the equivalent of a down payment on a house for ONE DAY! It can easily get out of hand.
If you want that, then get started early, but if you don't? Start planning a destination wedding. Go and talk to a travel agent, and find out all the paperwork you will need, and then plan your informal beach wedding or whatever you want, with a small group of your closest people, and have fun, no stress, just fun, then send them home after a week, and you stay there for the second week, and have your honeymoon!
Destination weddings don't need as much notice, depending on the day and time of year you decide to get married. My friend did a mid week wedding, and got discounted airline tickets and hotel rooms for both sets of parents, and the best man and the maid of honour. You can have as small as you want or bigger. While you are planning your wedding, why not go and visit a travel agent and see what you can get and for how much. So, that when you are all arguing over the cake, center pieces, wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, you can pull this information out, and have a re-think!