Ohhhh so many reasons. Honestly I knew I wanted to have a destination wedding even before I attended my first destination wedding in 2012. My fiance on the other hand needed a bit more convincing. I think sometimes that men get drawn into what the wedding industry tells you that you must have to have a proper wedding even more than women! Of course this makes sense because (some!) men only see main wedding marketing and don’t spend hours on pinterest searching “budget wedding” or “wedding under 5K”.
Of course herein lies the dilemma because your “average” wedding has an above average price of over $30,000. We knew we didn’t want to spend anywhere close to that but if we had a home wedding our guest list was non-negotiable. We both have big families and with just our “must have” family members we were at almost 100 people. To save you time, when you google how to cut wedding costs it really comes down to two things that make the most difference: guest list and catering. Our guest list couldn’t really be made smaller to replicate the affordable pinterest weddings that usually have a guest list between 50-75. My fiance was originally against having a destination wedding but he also didn’t love the idea of having a wedding without serving food or drinks either. And obviously the idea of saving money for the next five years to spend on one day wasn’t appealing. So I searched and searched the internet and found that if I chose the cheapest of everything I could find that we would want for our wedding we would be looking at a conservative $15,000. I REALLY did not want to spend $15,000 on the cheapest wedding I could muster up! So enters the opportunity to show my fiance the perks of getting married abroad.
Perks of choosing a Destination Wedding over the Traditional Wedding you originally wanted:
- We could invite everyone. Literally Everyone we wanted to feel included was. Obviously not everyone came. To be honest only about 30% of the people we invited signed up. Howver, the people who are coming are some of the closest people in the world to us so our wedding can have a very intimate feel.
- We could spend a whole week with our guests. This is especially true for Canadian weddings for a destination wedding is almost always a week (2-4 day destination weddings are more common in the US but in Canada 7 day packages are much more popular). Have you ever been to a wedding where you could hardly connect with the bride and groom because they are so busy trying to visit with everyone they invited? I knew that wasn’t for me.
- You can have your cake and eat it too with an At Home Reception (AHR). You don’t have to give up the dream of having a big party with 150 of your closest family and friends just to have a destination wedding. But when you plan an At Home Reception there isn’t as much pressure to have everything perfect and adhere to wedding standards like there is with a traditional wedding. Cake and cocktails? Sure. Backyard BBQ? Sounds good. Even though you might not want these for a traditional wedding they make excellent affordable choices for a AHR.
- You can plan as little as you like. This point is kind of ironic because I swear I spend more time planning our destination wedding than the average couple spends planning their traditional wedding. The key difference here though, is that I am planning and researching because I want to and because I love planning and researching not because I need to. If you are planning on getting married in an “All-inclusive” location like Mexico or somewhere else in the Caribbean the resort planner won;t start planning your wedding details until about 3-4 months before your wedding date. And really, they have professional wedding-ready packages so you can really personalize it as much as you wish but you don’t need to and you will still have a beautiful wedding.
- You save money and get an absolutely breathtaking wedding. Let’s face it, Destination Weddings are absolutely stunning. I am not saying that traditional weddings aren’t beautiful (obviously if two people who are close to you are tying the knot – it is going to be stunning no matter what!). You can have a destination wedding for a very small investment but if you do have money to spare it can become incredible. For myself personally I know that based on what I found $15,000 for my guest list and wedding requirements I would not have been happy with what I would have had but for our destination wedding if we spend even half of that on our destination wedding it will be everything I could have hoped for. Obviously everyone will have different ideas on what they want from a wedding but if a beach wedding is something that appeals to you, a Destination Wedding is well worth considering.
Let me know! Are you currently planning a Destination Wedding? Did you have the same conversation with your fiance when one of you wanted a Destination Wedding and one of you wanted a Traditional Wedding? What did you decide or have you still not decided? It can be a really big compromise because the two styles are so different and if the two of you disagree somebody has to give!