According to The Knot’s 2021 National Real Estate and Wedding Survey, which surveyed nearly 27,000 newly married couples in the United States last year, destination weddings are much more popular today than they have ever been in the past. And they are not only for the busy and looking-for-the-quick fix couple. Many brides and grooms are choosing destination weddings because they offer something truly unique and unlike any other wedding. For example, a destination wedding can be set up just about anywhere–at a state park, a beach, at the zoo, or even on a cruise ship. Destination weddings can also take place on a private yacht or cruise liner. No matter where you choose to get married, planning it will be time well spent.
Destination weddings have been quite popular for many years. The Knot’s report found that in 1998, there were almost twice as many destination wedding couples as there were those who tied the knot in an average U.S. county. Today, however, more couples are choosing these types of weddings, perhaps because they are less stressful. Many of these couples are coming from places where there is little to do but vacation. And when you can get away for a week or two and then be at home, relax and enjoy a lovely destination wedding.
The biggest factor that keeps couples from opting for these types of weddings is the expense. Couples today are fighting hard to stay within a very tight budget. However, when you factor in the time and money saved on travel, accommodations, meals and the reception, destination wedding expenses really are not that much more than traditional weddings. Plus, many couples who opt for these types of weddings can afford the ceremony and reception at venues located in areas where it is less expensive to have them: Look at cities like Las Vegas, where you can have the ceremony and reception for a fraction of the cost of New York City or San Francisco.
Still, some couples still opt for these types of weddings because they like the idea of getting away from it all. For instance, some couples who do destination wedding ceremonies in Hawaii may feel the need to take a break from the traditions of their respective countries, cultures and families and get away to experience another place, another world. Others like the symbolism that a symbolic ceremony can represent. (There’s a reason why ancient Greeks and Romans regularly held sacred weddings.)
Of course, it’s easy to think of reasons that a destination wedding might not be right for you. Maybe your financial situation does not allow for extravagant weddings, or maybe you would prefer a more private and less commercialized celebration. Others may view these types of events as isolating, even distasteful. (Wedding receptions in public parks used to be a common practice, and there’s no arguing that they’re fun.) Still others might view them as tacky, or as displays of wealth and power.
But when it comes down to it, the choice of destination wedding should be up to the couple. If it’s a dream come true for them, then go for it. And if there are factors like financial stability or family concerns holding you back, then by all means, shy away from having a traditional wedding in the first place. Just be aware of the potential pitfalls before you choose to marry abroad.