If you're flirting with the idea of having a destination wedding, then you're probably trying to dig up enough reasons to justify your far-flung celebration. It's hard to know if a wedding away from home is right for you, especially when you're probably receiving tons of unsolicited advice from everyone around you about why you should or shouldn't tie the knot in your favorite locale. While no one can make the decision for you, you might find it most helpful to talk to others who've had a destination wedding themselves. What were their reasons for turning down a hometown affair? This can help you decide what makes the most sense for you and your fiancé. To kick off the conversation, we asked some recent brides to share the reasons why they decided a destination wedding was right for them.
Whenever Inna L., a recent bride from New Jersey, imagined the wedding of her dreams, she pictured being surrounded by the ocean and palm trees with close family, friends and loved ones. When she and her now-husband became engaged, a destination wedding was a no-brainer. "We knew that if we kept the wedding local, our budget would go completely out the window and there would be a lot of things we'd need to compromise on," she says. "Needless to say, shortly after our engagement, we were on a plane to Mexico to scout locations." It was during that visit that the couple came upon the Paradisus La Perla, which was in the process of being built at the time. Just five months later, they celebrated an amazing wedding weekend in their dream location. "Having a destination wedding also afforded us the ability to turn our celebration into a three-day affair, kicking it off with a welcome party and rounding it out with a farewell brunch for all the guests who traveled to celebrate with us."
Although Lytania M. and her now-husband, who are based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, didn't originally intend to have a destination wedding, it turned out to be the best option for them after a series of unfortunate events occurred during the year they spent planning their wedding. "Several family members passed away and we kept postponing it. Suddenly it was four years later and we just wanted to do it already!" she says. Because they didn't want to offend anyone, the couple still invited 300 guests to join them for a rooftop wedding Mexico, but ended up with a small final guest list, a result they were just fine with. "There was so much less stress and we were able to upgrade all the packages because we did not have to budget for all of those people," the bride says. "We had a welcome party on Friday, a rehearsal on Saturday, a wedding on Sunday, and Monday brunch. Some people left on Monday, but we rented a private boat on Tuesday and took the 20 people who opted to stay longer to a private island."
For Pittsburgh-based Katrina T. and her husband, Anthony, a destination wedding was the ideal choice because they didn't want the traditional event that their parents had always imagined for them. "Everyone held a lot of expectations about what our big day should be like, and we were just so caught up in the moment that we just went with it. Ayear into planning, when deposits were due and the details were really starting to come together, it just didn't feel right," she says. Once the guest list ballooned to over 350 people, the couple made the mutual decision that this wasn't what they'd really wanted, so they started over, determined to find a way to make it uniquely theirs. "We thought about our personalities, what makes us happy and what we enjoy doing together and this ultimately boiled down to two things: we love to travel and we love a good party," she says. The couple planned a wedding in Las Vegas, instead, and were married in an intimate ceremony surrounded by just 50 guests. "It was the absolute best day of my life, and I wouldn't change a thing!"
Lisa A., from Los Angeles, California, decided on a destination wedding for one main reason: She had family and friends all over the country and knew most people would have to travel regardless of where she and her now-husband tied the knot. "We figured why not provide a place more relaxing and enjoyable?" she says. "It was a personal touch for the both of us if we traveled for our wedding—we wanted to get married somewhere warm where we had beautiful natural scenery without needing a lot of decoration."