8 Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

The Pros and Cons of Planning a Destination Wedding

Finding the perfect wedding venue is one of the first big decisions you’ll make. And for some couples, the perfect venue might actually be on the opposite side of the globe!

Whether you’re dreaming of a tropical beach party or an escape to the countryside, destination weddings are renowned for being a fun and memorable experience. But, they might not be a realistic choice for every couple.

Personally, we love the idea of a destination wedding – but completely understand there can be some limitations to keep in mind.

If you’re currently trying to decide whether a destination wedding is the right fit for you, keep reading as we share 8 pros and cons to consider below. 

Photo by Ether and Smith

Pro: Extend Your Wedding Celebrations

Destination weddings are all about sharing an amazing experience with your loved ones. Instead of rushing around on your wedding day trying to mingle with as many guests as possible, a destination wedding allows you to extend your celebrations over a few days rather than a few short hours.

If you’d prefer to spend your wedding day at a relaxed pace and enjoy more time with friends and family, a destination wedding is definitely an option to consider.

Con: More Planning and Communication

Whether you host your destination wedding interstate or abroad, there will undoubtedly be more planning and communication involved in the lead-up to the day.

Don’t forget: as well as organising the day itself, you’re essentially hosting a mini vacation for you and your guests. Be prepared to answer a bunch of questions regarding everything from flights, accommodation and transport right down to packing lists and restaurant recommendations!

Pro tip: Wedding websites are a great way to work around this, allowing you to easily communicate all of your destination wedding details in one central place. We’ve shared a complete guide on everything you need to include on your destination wedding website here!

Photo by Finch Photo

Pro: Affordable Wedding Packages

Depending on your chosen location, a destination wedding can actually work out to be quite cost-effective. Popular destinations like Bali, Fiji, Hawaii, and Mexico are renowned for having resorts that specialize in all-inclusive wedding packages.

These affordable packages are usually priced per guest and include everything from food and decor to flowers, entertainment, and cake – making it super easy to manage your budget.

Con: Limited Styling Options

On the flipside, all-inclusive wedding packages might not be ideal if you’re wanting to create a more personalized day. You may find yourself feeling limited with a choice of 3 centerpiece options, 3 cake options, 3 linen options, and so on – especially if they aren’t suited to your tastes and preferences.

Of course, you can always find a venue that allows for total customization, but this almost always works out to be more expensive.

Photo by Stefano Santucci

Pro: Keep Your Guest List Intimate

Due to the costs and logistics involved, destination weddings are best suited for a smaller, more intimate guest list. While this could technically be seen as either a pro or a con, we personally think there’s something pretty special about celebrating with just your closest friends and family!

A destination wedding allows you to narrow down your guest list without feeling the pressure to invite your entire address book. This is your wedding day after all; so why not party with those who mean the most? 

Con: Guests Missing Out

With this in mind, destination weddings inevitably mean some of your loved ones could miss out. Attending a destination wedding is a big commitment, so a handful of guests may have to decline due to work, family, health or other reasons.

To avoid disappointment, make sure you run the idea by your absolute VIP guests first before you lock in the finer details! You might also want to consider making the trip more feasible by organizing things like hotel block discounts or childminding services for those with kids.

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Pro: Double as Your Honeymoon

Budgeting for your honeymoon can be a serious struggle after all of the wedding expenses. But a destination wedding can essentially double as your honeymoon, too! No need to worry about planning (and saving for) a separate trip – simply enjoy an extra week or two at your chosen destination as you wind down after the wedding.

Con: Legal Complications

When it comes to tying the knot, the legality of a destination wedding might not be so straightforward. Different countries have different rules and regulations for a legal ceremony, with some locations requiring over 12 months notice (and a bunch of confusing paperwork!). 

Keep in mind that these regulations might not work with your own vision and preferences. For example, a legal ceremony in Italy must be hosted at a pre-approved town hall or church, while in Bali, you’ll need to host both a religious and legal ceremony on the same day conducted by an Indonesian priest. You can see how things can get complicated!

With this being said, you can always compromise by getting legally married at home before or after your trip, and host a symbolic ceremony instead.

Photo by D&A Photo

Destination Wedding Planning Made Easy

At the end of the day, only the two of you can decide whether a destination wedding matches your vision, personality, and budget. While it does require some extra planning and research, we think the experiences and memories shared with your guests will definitely last a lifetime!

We’ve made destination wedding planning super simple with these free checklists and planning resources to get you started: 

You can also follow us on Instagram and Pinterest for more destination wedding planning advice and inspiration!