The "realities" of destination weddings

Destination weddings are quickly becoming a popular trend for both first and second time nuptials. Couples are attracted to the cost effective aspect and what they perceive will be a less stressful event to organize. Misconceptions however can and do arise as to just what the experience can and cannot deliver. Being prepared for the realities will allow both the bride and groom and their guests to best enjoy the experience.

1.  Not all resorts offer "free" weddings. Some require a minimum number of guests or a minimum category of accommodation to be booked. Legal weddings (as opposed to “spiritual” ceremonies) will generally always incur some documentation fees.

2.  Don’t be surprised if not all your guests/family support your choice of a destination wedding. Not everyone will be able to afford the cost of a vacation package so be sure to not take it personally when guests are unable to attend. In fact, this situation should be a determining factor when the bride and groom decide on an exotic location for their wedding celebration.

3.  The destination and resort should reflect the bride and groom’s budget. Now is not the time to go too high or too low to make others happy. This is your wedding and the surroundings and locale should be your ideal.

4.  Most destination wedding packages require a seven day stay. As the bride and groom, you have invited your friends and family to share in your happiness and witness your declaration of devotion to each other. It is not your duty or responsibility to either entertain guests or monitor family issues which may arise during that time!

5.  Be sure to research the requirements for wedding ceremonies in your destination of choice. Details such as minimum duration of stay prior to ceremony, required documentation, required medical tests and whether or not you can actually “legally” be married are worth looking into. For example, until recently you could not be legally married in Tahiti.

6.  Once you are in a destination, you will meet with the on-site wedding coordinator to finalise the details of your chosen ceremony. It is at this time that the “up-selling” will begin. Be prepared, take no offense and don’t get caught up with all the extras and go over budget!

7.  Not everyone will appreciate your choice of resort. Don’t let any negative comments or remarks affect you personally.

8.  Even the best laid out plans can have hitches. Flights can be delayed, hotels can be over-booked, weather can be uncooperative. Breathe deep and roll with the punches. Depending on the size of your group, you may consider negotiating with your travel consultant to have he/she attend as your on-site coordinator so that any difficulties can be handled on your behalf.


A destination wedding can be a wonderful affair when properly arranged with the expertise of an experienced and professional travel consultant. Find someone with recent references, who embraces your vision and who can best assist with crucial advice and direction in making the right choices.

Remember, the perfect wedding is simply the crowning glory to a wonderful marriage!

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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