I recently got engaged and we are having a hard time deciding whether to get married here, or to go away.
So, I'm looking for some first hand knowledge! :yes:
Did you do a destination wedding? Were you glad that you did, or did you wish that you did it at home? How many guests travelled with you? Did you do the free wedding package, or did you upgrade? Where did you go? Any recommendations on resorts? Any resorts to avoid?
I have never travelled south, my fiancé has once and would not go back to the resort he stayed at previously. We will probably have a minimum of 30 guests travelling with us and would like to keep the cost in the 1500-1700 (all-inclusive) per person range. Would ideally prefer 5 star. Thinking January 2015.
Hmmmm...I have some real thoughts on this :).
I think vacations are AMAZING and I love taking them.
I don't want someone else deciding where I go on vacation.
I think it's insane to expect people to spend $1500-$1700 per person on a vacation somewhere someone else dictates and during the dates that person dictates.
I know they are popular right now. A dear friend got married a year ago in Hawaii and I missed her wedding because I had just gone to Hawaii and I didn't want to spend the money again. I was very sad to have missed it and wish she'd had it "at home."
I think that it might make sense when all people are coming from somewhere else and it's not that expensive. I love five star resorts...but I'm not going to go to one for someone else's wedding. Just not going to do it.
Personally, my opinion (and have a wonderful time if you do go!!), is to have the wedding at home if most everyone is there, and then take a wonderful vacation honeymoon yourself. Or, if you are really loaded, pay for everyone's trip.
Weddings to me have become all about everything but celebrating the marriage. It wasn't like that 25 years ago, but maybe I've become a fuddy duddy. :)
I've never been it one, but I don't quite like the concept. I dislike making people feel like they have to spend $1000+ just to be at my special day where I'll probably have 10 minutes to talk to them. If any friends or family had one in the near future, I would not be attending. I can think of better ways to spend money I don't have ;)
My aunt and uncle did do one. They only brought a best man and a maid of honor and they paid for them.
I agree with righthorse - as nice as the idea of a destination wedding is, it can be difficult and expensive for your guests.
Better to have a wedding at home, where everyone who loves you can celebrate with you, and then have a terrific honeymoon somewhere else.
That being said, my niece had her wedding in New Orleans. It was not a package deal including arrangements, she made the arrangements from here in Ontario.
All went well, and everyone had a wonderful time, but she said it was very stressful to organize.
Well.... I attended one in Cancun in 2008, and I loved it! It was beautiful, and I had an amazing time. There were about 20-25 people total and everything turned out perfectly. Gave me a reason to justify a trip I otherwise would not have taken.
That makes sense too! :)
Originally Posted by janedoe726
My folks just came from one in Cuba. There were 50 guests, which is pretty good for a destination wedding, and they got a great price (flights and all-inclusive for just under $1100/pp). They spent a week.
But the couple knew their closest friends would be able to afford it, and chose a good time when most were still on holidays, or could easily extent their Xmas holiday.
I don't want to spend my limited vacation time going far away to a wedding. I also think it's pretty selfish to expect guests to spend $1000 plus to attend.
Now, if you wanted to use your wedding budget to pay the tab for 15 to 20 friends and family to accompany you to your destination wedding, that's a different proposition.
We've been invited to a couple of these of the last few years and have declined them all. I find it obnoxious to expect people to shell out a lot of money to come to you wedding.
If I am going to spend money on a trip it will be to go where I want to go.
I couldn't possibly afford such a thing, and it would make me sad to miss a wedding I would otherwise love to attend.
I'm old-fashioned (old) enough that I firmly believe that the ceremony is for celebrating with family and friends, and the dream destination is for the honeymoon.
We will be doing a destination wedding of sorts. We live in Colorado but I'm from SC and he's from NC. Most of our friends and family are there. We'll have it in my hometown of Hilton Head Island which is within driving distance for most of our guests. We'll likely look into getting a block of rooms from a local resort.
I'm not against a real destination wedding, but I want a small wedding anyway. No more than 25-35 people, somewhere in that range anyway. A destination wedding is a great way to weed out those who you don't really want coming ;)
I did a destination wedding. But my situation was a bit different from the average American girl. My family lives all over the country, from sea to shining sea, and then some. So people were going to have to pay to fly to my wedding regardless of where I held it. If I had held the wedding at my husband's home town his, literally, 300+ relatives would have all wanted an invitation and a big catholic wedding and neither he nor I wanted that.
So we went to Hawaii. I had about 30 people in attendance. Most worked it into a lovely personal vacation as well. I also made it very, very clear that I understood I was asking a lot of them. When asked what I wanted as a gift, or where I was registered I told them that having them in attendance at my wedding was more than gift enough, and I did not want or need anything more on their part.
I think this is true for a lot of people now. All my good friends do not live in the same state as me, and as a result I have attended several weddings that were in another state. I had to pay for airfare, hotel, and a rental car -- but I was happy to do so because I wanted to be there on their big day. It doesn't matter if my friends get married where they live or if they choose a "destination" location -- I might have to travel either way.
Originally Posted by Twisting
We have been invited to a few, have attended two. One I would never have attended except that my husband was the best man. Not a location that I had a desire to go to, nor a time of year that I would have chosen (Antigua in June - hotter than hell and a time of year that people from northern states really don't need a warm beach vacation). OTOH,, pretty much every family wedding that I have attended in the past three years has been very out of town - one in Maine, one in Georgia, one in Oregon, one in California. Fortunately each of these has been in a location that I had not visited previous and in addition I wanted to visit, so turned into an actual vacation with the wedding on one end or the other of the trip. My sister is getting married in California next fall, so that one is gonna require more than one trip out.
Be prepared for the 30 people that you think will attend to get much smaller. Maybe it won't, but once they have to actually commit money to go, often guests decide they can't afford it. One of the caribbean weddings was well attended at about 40ish people - the other had a total of 6 including the bride and groom. The bride was pretty upset that no one was willing to make the trip. If you are thinking a caribbean/mexico type wedding - though it is your wedding, try to be somewhat conscious of the time of year and where your guests will be coming from. We attended a wedding in Big Sur last fall - gorgeous location, but if they had the wedding a week later the lodging would have dropped by 40%. Would have made no difference in the weather, but I would not have paid almost $300 a night for a room that was worth about $50 a night anywhere else.
I would say think carefully about it. I know some couples who chose destination weddings (I have attended none of them) and I know it caused some strife because of the cost for attendees. The only person I know who had a successful destination wedding (Bahamas) chalked it up to the fact that it was small and the groom's family could afford it, and her parents were coming from Australia so it didn't matter much where they flew to. Agree with many of the above posters - it puts a lot of financial stress on people to attend, and that's really not what you want on your wedding day. I suggest polling the people you really want to attend to see if they'd be able to afford it and would attend first. Good luck and congratulations!
Check out redtag.ca It's a travel site our of Canada, and it's "last minute" deals (like 90 days) are AMAZING. You can fly from Canada to places all over, flight all inclusive NICE places for $500 to $700 for a week.
We went to Curacao from Toronto for a week, all inclusive (with a dive a day) for $700--airline, hotel, all food. I saw people there doing destination weddings.
Something to consider. They do all over. Cuba is especially affordable.
Personally, I wouldn't be financially able to attend a wedding like that. If you know that all or most of your guests have the money, then go ahead. But don't be disappointed if you get a lot of declines.
Even with widespread friends and family, it's not quite the same to say "Well, people have to travel anyway." There's a difference between people organizing their own travel, lodging, etc within their budget and being stuck with a single option at $1700.
I would rather elope with the SO to somewhere fabulous instead of a big, expensive destination wedding. If I were ever to get married, I'd be more inclined to "run away together", get married in some fabulous location, then come home and throw a big bash with family and friends.
The wedding isn't important, the marriage is.
As someone planning a wedding I have a different take on this.
I don't understand all the responses of "Well I don't want to use my time to go somewhere when they could have been polite and gotten married here."
Well, maybe it's me, but since when exactly is it about YOU?
People are mostly invited to weddings as a formality. I haven't talked to my mother's best friend since I was 14, but I'm expected to invite her and pay for her plate because she's my mother's best friend. I could not care less if she is at my wedding, and my fiance doesn't even know who she is.
If she doesn't want to fly to my destination wedding? Ace. Now I have a reason for her not to be there.
Sorry, but I'm embittered about this. I hate the idea of having a totally standard, cliche country club soiree solely so that other people can come to it.
We're getting married in Key West. The people who are actually important will make it happen. The others can watch it online and save their pennies and vacation time. I couldn't care less, it's MY wedding and I'd like to have it somewhere special to me, and that does not include a park somewhere near home that I see every single day of my existence. What's special about that?
If you want destination, because it means something to you, DO IT and apologize later. You only get one and you can throw a barbecue to appease the pearl-clutching masses.
I think this is why I would opt to "run away" then have a destination wedding. No one has to feel obligated to attend, no one has to feel bad they can't afford it, no one has to get bent out of shape about having to spend their vacation time on a wedding. Just me and the man.
Originally Posted by soloudinhere
All that being said, my best friend got engaged at Christmas and will probably be getting married this summer. I doubt she'll have a destination wedding (I know she and the man are saving pennies), but if she were, I would do everything in my power to be there for her. But, she's one of maybe, MAYBE three people I would do that for. Thankfully, the other two are highly unlikely to do it ;)