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Destined for a Destination Wedding

Gillian Claire Photography

When you first get engaged, chances are the people you love around you that you share the happy news with can’t help but ask, “So… when and where is the wedding?!”. Your first instinct may be to think, “I got engaged five minutes ago, give me a break!” However, once your feet touch back down on the ground, "when and where" are the first big questions to tackle. When chatting about options with your fiancé and your families, it may be worth considering if you are a good candidate for a destination wedding. Many couples may instinctively gravitate towards hosting their wedding in their home town, but there are a variety of circumstances that could make a destination wedding more appealing in the end.

1. Been There, Done That, Got the Koozie.

Does it feel like all of your upcoming weddings are in the same location? Sometimes, in a close group of friends or in a smaller city/town, people gravitate towards the same wedding venues and vendors over and over. It’s one thing to use the same photographer as your friend, but do you really want the same entire meal by the same caterers at the same venue with the same band? Even if you like the options, it can start to feel incredibly repetitive for you and your guests. If your cousin and your bridesmaid and your sister in law all used the same wedding reception venue, it may be time to consider a destination wedding! This will create a fresh and exciting experience for you and your guests that feels much more uniquely yours.

2. Off Season Dates

When you sit down with your family and your fiance’s family and compare calendars, sometimes there are factors that can make choosing a date complicated. Work schedules, other social obligations, etc. can all get in the way, leaving you with a date in an off season that you might not be as excited about. Sometimes the best dates for you aren’t prime dates for your home area, but they could be ideal dates in another destination. For example, while Chicago in February isn’t necessarily appealing to many people, Florida or the Bahamas certainly might be!There also might be less competition for wedding attendance from your guests if your wedding is in the off season for your local area- everyone will want to get out of Chicago for a sunny beach wedding in February, but if your guests are already invited to three weddings in June they may be less likely to be able to make it to yours.

3. Take the Planning Pressure Off

If your wedding is hosted in a vacation destination, you may feel less obligated to entertain your guests all weekend. If your guests are all visiting Charleston SC, there are so many fabulous things to do and see (and eat!) that they will want to have some free time to explore and enjoy the area on their own. This takes the pressure off of you for hosting them the entire weekend and coming up with fun things for them to do. You can focus on planning your dream wedding, and feel confident that your guests will still have a great weekend as it’s more of a vacation for them with a wedding built in!

4. Travel Trade Off

After putting together your rough guest list, take a look at where most of your guests live. Are they mostly in one localized area? Or are the majority of them spread out across the country or even world? If you answered with the latter, then a destination wedding might be a great option for your wedding. If everyone is going to have to travel anyways for the wedding, why not have them go somewhere fun and exciting? If they have to come in from out of town and hop on a plane anyways, your guests are likely to be much more excited about visiting a new destination like Napa Valley or Jackson Hole.

Tamara Gruner Photography

5. The Perfect Excuse

We all know that putting together and trimming the guest list isn’t an easy task. If you are hoping for a guest list on the smaller side, it can be difficult to decide how to justify removing people that you feel obligated to (but don’t want to!) invite. Enter: the perfect excuse. If you are having a destination wedding, it is an easy way to justify not inviting a number of guests without hurting their feelings as much. “We are just having a small destination wedding” seems to be a universally accepted reasoning for not including others who may have assumed that they would be invited otherwise. If you are hosting the wedding in your hometown and the aforementioned guest lives around the corner from the venue you have selected, things can become a little bit more awkward. Having a destination wedding can remove the pressure of many of the obligatory invites and you can have the more intimate wedding you’ve been dreaming of.

6. Neutral Territory

If a couple is planning the wedding all in the bride’s hometown, the rehearsal dinner at the bride’s favorite restaurant from back home, the church she grew up going to, etc., the wedding can sometimes start to feel a bit one sided. Embracing a destination wedding can make it feel more focused on the couple as a whole and their future instead of focusing on just one party and their past. While a hometown wedding works for many, sometimes having a neutral spot for the wedding can ease some tricky family dynamics and ensure no one is feeling left out.

Hometown weddings can be fun and sentimental, but may not be the best fit for every circumstance. If you find yourself facing any of the above dilemmas, a destination wedding may be a great option for you and your family. NSWE handles both local weddings and destination weddings with the same detailed, thorough, and creative approach. We love making each wedding unique to the couple and their needs and would love to chat with you about your destination wedding options!

Julia Franzosa Photography


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