Destination Weddings: Do or Don’t?

exotic wedding

Writing about Disney Cruise Weddings/Vow Ceremonies made me think about destination weddings.  Given that I wanted my wedding to be as small and simple as possible, it’s difficult for me to relate to those interested in having a destination wedding.

For me, the concept only seems to make sense if the bride or the groom actually hails from the area in which they’re getting married.  Maybe he or she was born abroad, or on the other side of the country.  It’s one thing to ask your guests to spend a lot on travel expenses just because you want to get married somewhere fancy.  It’s something else to want to get married where you grew up.

I realize that in practical terms they’re the same, so I’m kind of contradicting myself.  But something about the expectations just feels different.  The whole concept of a destination wedding is taking an expensive vacation for a wedding ceremony, one that the entire wedding party and all the invited guests are expected to afford.

I feel like most people invited to a wedding in a far-off locale that happens to be the hometown of one of the couple would feel different: we understand wanting to get married in the place where we grew up.  I also feel like the couple would be more understanding of guests not being able to make it to what for them is technically a destination wedding, if the couple is getting married there because they’re from the area.

Of course, a couple can elope to a destination wedding.  My sister-in-law did it.  She and her husband went to D.C., got married in city hall, and then had their honeymoon in the capital.  But they didn’t invite anyone, and anyway D.C. is only about 2 hours from where they live.

Even so, I get the idea of a destination wedding if it’s couple-only.  Or even if the only people invited are ones the couple is certain can afford the trip.  I kind of feel like the concept of a destination wedding should be cleared with all of the guests before it’s planned.

Am I asking the marrying couple to think too much of the guests on their own wedding day?  I don’t think so.  It seems like a fast way to make your guests feel rotten is to invite them to a wedding they can’t afford, especially if a fair amount of the other people invited can’t afford it either.  Couples already get to go wherever they want for their honeymoon, so I just don’t understand why they have to extend that to their wedding, or at least a wedding that they expect many guests to attend.

I know that my own opinion is totally dictated by my thoughts on romance and my personal circumstances (that couldn’t afford a fancy destination wedding).  If you’d like a destination wedding, and you know those whom you’d invite could afford to attend, then go for it.  That’s actually pretty awesome.  Just try to consider your guests when inviting.

Related Articles:

Different Weddings for Different People

Tossing the Bouquet and Garter

Four Terrifying Marriage Proposals

Laid-Back Anniversaries

*(The above image by kongsky is from