Should You Have a Far-Flung Destination Wedding or Save That Locale for Your Honeymoon?
You'll need to consider your travel preferences, as well as how easy or hard it will be for your guests to get there, too.
In today's travel photography obsessed world, it's easier and easier to imagine flying off to some far-away island for a romantic, intimate wedding weekend in a part of the world you've never even been to. But is that locale the right choice for a destination wedding, or are you better off saving it for the honeymoon? Here, we turn to a travel advisor to help guide your decision.
Consider the travel distance for your guests.
"When you're planning a wedding, you have to put yourself in your guests' shoes and imagine the experience from their point of view," says SmartFlyer travel advisor Alexandra Stockton, who specializes in wedding and honeymoon travel planning. "This is especially important when planning a destination wedding. Start by considering where the majority of your guests will be flying from and look at direct flight routes from that airport to make a list of possible destinations. Ideally, your guests would be able to book a direct flight to the destination. Connections are a hassle and add more opportunity for things to go wrong; you don't want the best man stuck at an airport, right?"
Stockton suggests sticking within a five-hour flight's range, especially if guests will be traveling with kids. She says, "If you're having a small, intimate wedding with only immediate family and your closest friends, I think you can get away with destinations that are a little more far-flung."
Remember that guests might not be able to afford the time away from work and the travel costs.
Stockton says, "It's important to think about how much you are asking guests to spend on travel and consider how many days your guests would have to take off of work to attend." For example, if it takes a full travel day to get to and from the destination, and your celebration is scheduled to include a welcome party, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and brunch, the agenda with travel could end up taking a full six days for your guests. For some couples, this may be comfortable, but for others it's simply too much to ask and you could end up losing a lot of your guests in the process.
Ask yourself if it could be your honeymoon spot.
"If your dream destination wedding location doesn't make sense for your guests logistically or financially, you can always spend your honeymoon there," Stockton says. "If you've been imagining your wedding photos in this dream destination you can hire a photographer for an afternoon during your honeymoon so you have professional shots of you and your new spouse there. You could even pack your wedding attire for the shoot." And besides, this way you can head to a honeymoon location that's tiny and obscure without having to worry about your guests' experience.