Destination weddings

Destination weddings are in vogue, everybody’s doing it: actors and actresses, singers, tv celebrities, YouTubers… and some of our Instagram feeds might be overrun with pictures of our friends’ own destination wedding. But what exactly is a “destination wedding” and how to celebrate one of my own? Well, the answer is rather simple: a “destination wedding” is any wedding that you celebrate in any place other than your hometown, as simple as that. And can I celebrate a destination wedding wherever I want? The short answer is “yes”, and the longer and more accurate answer is “yes but for it to be a legally binding marriage you need to comply with that place’s laws and regulations when it comes to marriage”.

What this means is that, depending on the country, you might need a lot of different documents, a waiting period, vaccines, or even a prior residency in the country like in some Caribbean islands; so if you want your destination wedding to go smoothly we advise you to call the Tourist Office and get informed as much as you can. However, a lot of couples circumvent this by getting legally married in their countries of origin and then celebrating the ceremony in the destination: in fact, this is so popular that some resorts in the Bermudas islands offer “destination wedding packages”.

Destination weddings can be as high effort or as low effort as you want: if you get a “turnkey wedding package” or a book a wedding ceremony at an all-included resort, they might offer you anything from a pack including the officiant, the altar, the flowers, the cake, music and photography services… to higher-priced, luxury packages that will offer you some expenses included for the people attending the wedding. Some hotels even offer discounts for those couples celebrating their honeymoon at the wedding, too! This is a great, reasonably priced, hassle-free option for the lovebirds that don’t want to spend a lot of time planning for every single detail of their wedding.

However, you can plan your destination wedding just like your regular wedding: all by yourself. You can buy the dress and the tuxedo at your destination, same for the wedding ring with loose diamonds, of course, book the venue, the flowers, and the music either over there or in advance over phone or mail… this is completely possible even if a bit more time consuming (but of course, much more exciting for the people who love organizing !); and of course, it might create more problems and risks if you decide to purchase things like the dress or the rings back home and bring them on a plane to your destination: make sure you have a backup plan and ensure your luggage, in case it gets lost or stolen !

Another option for your destination wedding is celebrating the wedding across several days, instead of on a single day: a wedding that spans across 4 days in a Jamaican resort for your closest ones will probably cost less than a reception and a meal for 200 invitees at a luxury hotel in New York, so it is a great choice for the couples that are more interested in having a good time in a family get-together instead of a big, formal celebration.

It’s a tradition that the father of the bride pays for a traditional wedding, but who pays for a destination wedding? Etiquette dictates that the invited will usually cover their own airfare and stay and give the lovebirds a smaller gift (or pass on the wedding gift altogether), and it is the bride and groom who pay for the rest of the services: reception and ceremony, food and beverages, and the rest of the necessary. In addition, instead of wedding favor, the bride and groom might want to prepare a map of the city, a list with fun things to do or places to visit, and perhaps a small pocket dictionary for travelers if the language of the destination is different to their own one. Also, the couple to be married might be able to negotiate special discounts for group travel when it comes to the airfare and the stay of the group.

All in all, a destination wedding is a great option for those couples that are adventurous and fun, and it can be as much or as little hassle as you want. With a little bit of research and effort, a destination wedding shouldn’t be much more complicated to organize than a regular one

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