It’s a scene out of a heart-warming romance movie: The betrothed couple exchanging vows seaside with the sun hanging low in the painted sky in front of their most cherished loved ones. Destination weddings are the perfect fairy tale in the minds of brides across the world. The reality, as it so often does, presents many challenges to getting this dreamy fantasy right.
So, how do you know if a destination wedding really is right for you? Here are some things to consider before you book those plane tickets.
They typically cost more money
Weddings are already difficult to budget for the average couple. Add to that the cost of travel, lodging, passports, et cetera and you will be looking at a pretty hefty bill. You’ll have to decide whether or not you’ll be paying the travel expenses for your guests, offer to pay half, or if they will have to foot their own costs.
Do: If you have a high budget or friends and family that are willing to help out with expenses.
Don’t: If your money is tight, especially if the destination is a long distance.
You have to be adaptable
It generally takes more time to arrange for ceremony and reception particulars overseas. If there is a language barrier, chances are you’ll have to hire a translator to work with you to make arrangements. Even then, you have to be absolutely confident that the vendors and professionals you choose will get everything right, as you likely will have to work with them over the phone or online.
Do: If you have extraordinary patience, and can adapt easily when things don’t go exactly as planned.
Don’t: If you are a stickler for perfection and can’t stand the idea of leaving your wedding in the hands of people thousands of miles away.
It can be difficult for guests to attend
A wedding isn’t a wedding unless your friends or family can be there. Your mountain resort extravaganza might seem appealing to you, but it can quickly become a logistical nightmare. Chances are the loved ones you invite already have their own busy lives to attend to. You’ll have to figure out schedules ahead of time and be willing to be flexible on a date for those party members you absolutely have to have in attendance. You also have to be forgiving and not take it personally when someone just can’t make it due to schedule conflicts.
Do: If the party is small enough to manage schedules or your chosen destination is rather easy to get to.
Don’t: If those you really want to attend can’t make it or there are simply too many people to adequately manage across a large distance.
They are magical but stressful
If thinking about all of these details makes your skin crawl, chances are a destination wedding isn’t for you. The best bride for a destination wedding is one who is laid back in style and has simple sensibilities. You have to let go of high expectations and be willing to accept that things could go awry.
If you’re the kind of bride who can think on her feet and not turn into a seething train wreck when a storm ruins your perfect beachside vows, then you can likely handle this lovely yet challenging fantasy. If not, it’s probably best to stay closer to home.