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10 Myths About Destination Weddings

If you think a destination wedding is not for you, think again. Marrying away is easier and more affordable than you may believe. Let us clear up some of the myths, from budgets to guest lists.

MYTH: Destination weddings are only for celebrities and the affluent.

FACT: Destination weddings have become popular and available to almost anyone. Celebrities may have put destination weddings on the map, but wedding experts say that half of all engaged couples, on average, are now choosing a destination event.

MYTH: Destination weddings are always in overseas spots like the Caribbean and Mexico.

FACT: A destination wedding can be as far away or as close to home as you choose. If your hometown doesn’t offer what you need, consider moving the wedding just a couple of hours away. A change from city to country or from inland to shore can feel like another world. You and your guests will get the relaxation of travel without the hassle of flight connections, currency exchanges and language barriers.

MYTH: Destination weddings are usually elopements.

FACT: The average destination wedding has 40 guests or more. Most couples want to invite their nearest and dearest to share the party. Plus, an out-of-town wedding is a perfect excuse to leave out the distant relatives and former co-workers, while having a great getaway with the people who matter most.

MYTH: Destination weddings are only for second marriages.

FACT: Couples planning their first wedding have embraced the destination wedding trend. Destination weddings are ideal for couples who want a less formal, more unconventional celebration that reflects their personality. Plus, if you’re dealing with demanding families, moving the nuptials to more relaxed “neutral” territory helps eliminate possible conflicts.

MYTH: Destination weddings cost more than hometown weddings.

FACT: Destination weddings often cost less because of smaller guest lists, package prices, favorable exchange rates and so on. Destination weddings can meet almost any budget, depending on the destination, venue and size. In some foreign destinations, such as Mexico and the Caribbean, the cost of catering is much less than at your local wedding hall.

MYTH: Destination weddings are always on the beach.

FACT: Destination weddings can take place in any setting imaginable, from a historic mansion to a snowy mountaintop. If you have a dream setting or theme, we can help you find it, and it may be closer to home and more affordable than you think.

MYTH: You have to honeymoon in your wedding destination.

FACT: Many couples choose to honeymoon in a completely different spot. While honeymooning in your wedding locale can save on travel expenses, you can go wherever you like after your wedding. And by choosing a honeymoon site that’s close to your wedding (say, marrying at one Caribbean island resort and honeymooning on another), you can still save on airline and travel expenses over making that same trip from home.

MYTH: Guests will be against the idea of a destination wedding and refuse to come.

FACT: Your friends and family will often be thrilled to make a mini vacation out of your wedding. And since most couples have widely scattered friends and family, many of your guests would have to travel, anyway. Just be sure to give plenty of advance notice so your guests can save up and make travel plans. Also take care to let them know what group expenses you’re covering, and what group discounts may be available for your guests. For added incentive, let them know about the destination’s amenities, and whether your celebration will include some group meals or activities apart from the wedding itself.

MYTH: The wedding couple is obligated to pay for all their guests’ travel expenses.

FACT: Guests are responsible for their own travel costs, just as out of town guests at a hometown wedding would be. To get your guests the best deal, reserve blocks of rooms (either at your chosen venue or a nearby hotel) and negotiate a lower rate. Also consider connecting your guests with a travel agency you know and trust for booking assistance.

MYTH: Marrying away is too complicated from a legal standpoint.

FACT: Tying the knot in another state or country isn’t as complicated as you may think. If you’re getting married in the US, check with the local county clerk’s office. For overseas ceremonies, contact the U.S. embassy or office of tourism in that country. Travel agents like us who specialize in destination weddings can be a big help, and so can the wedding planners at your chosen destination, who should know all the legal ins and outs. Just be sure to have everything in place well in advance so you don’t arrive to find you are missing a critical document!

In short, a destination wedding can be an affordable, convenient and memorable way to start your life together. If you have more questions, or want to explore the possibilities, give us a call!

Don Fuchs August 5, 2014