When you think of a destination wedding, you probably picture a couple exchanging vows on a tropical island or at the top of a mountain halfway across the world, but a long plane ride isn't the only requirement of a destination wedding. In fact, you may not even realize your own wedding is a destination event for most guests. So, what constitutes a destination wedding? Here's the scoop, plus what it means for your big day.
Are overnight accommodations required?
If your wedding is within an hour's drive from the town most guests will be traveling from, it's safe to call it a local event. However, if guests are driving two or more hours, that's usually far enough to need an overnight hotel and can start to fall under the category of a destination wedding. You'll need to reserve hotel blocks and treat your wedding like a destination event, providing guests with information about the local area and more.
Will the majority of guests need to book a flight to the wedding?
Even if it's not a destination wedding for you, it may be a destination wedding for your guests. If the majority of your guests haven't been to the area previously and are looking to book flights, accommodations, and rental cars, your wedding would be considered a destination wedding.
Is this a place guests are familiar with?
Let's say you're getting married in wine country, a few hours from your hometown, and most of your guests are familiar with the area from summers and weekends spent nearby. In this case, it wouldn't really be a destination wedding, but that doesn't mean you have to plan just a one-day celebraiton. You can still treat this as a destination wedding and turn it into a weekend-long affair.
Why does it matter if your wedding is considered a destination wedding or not?
Hosting a destination wedding typically means your guests will be in your vicinity for the length of a full weekend. This allows you to host multiple events over the course of multiple days. So, you could have a welcome party on Friday, your wedding on Saturday, and a day-after brunch on Sunday. A destination wedding is a great way to optimize the time you have with your guests all in one place. But if your event is considered a destination one, it's nice to consider ways to make traveling a little easier for loved ones.