It’s no secret that destination weddings can be a great, memorable way to celebrate holy matrimony. But with the added stress of pent-up demand, inflation through the roof, and shortages of practically everything under the sun, planning a destination wedding in 2022 comes with its own set of never-before-seen challenges.
Read on to learn what you need to know—and do—to make sure your big day is everything you’ve dreamed of and more. With some careful planning, we’re sure it will be nothing short of amazing.
Choosing a Location for Your Destination Wedding
When it comes to choosing a location for your destination wedding, be aware that popular spots may be booked up well in advance or become prohibitively expensive. Do your research and be flexible—you may have to get creative to find the perfect place to say “I do.”
Some examples of common destination weddings are:
- Beach weddings
- Mountain/outdoor weddings
- City hall or courthouse weddings (in a faraway state)
- Weddings at a resort, bed and breakfast, or on a cruise ship
Are you looking to stay within the United States or travel abroad?
Destination weddings are a growing trend in the United States, as more and more couples are looking to take their wedding away from the traditional church or banquet hall setting.
And with so much to offer, it’s no wonder that the U.S. is becoming one of the most popular places for destination weddings.
From the stunning natural scenery of Hawaii to the glittering lights of Las Vegas, there is a location in the U.S. to suit every taste and budget.
So whether you’re looking for a romantic beachfront setting or a fun and festive city setting, you’ll be sure to find it in the United States.
Common Places Abroad for a Destination Wedding
Spain, Italy, and France are the most popular countries outside the United States for a destination wedding.
These countries offer beautiful scenery, delicious food, and a hospitable culture that make them perfect destinations for weddings. Additionally, they are all relatively close to the United States, which makes them convenient for guests traveling from the States.
So, how to choose?
Consider Your Ideal Climate
When choosing a place for your destination wedding, a lot of things need to be taken into account, like your preferred climate of course.
Do you or close attendees suffer from sinus issues? Then a humid place wouldn’t be the right choice.
Hate the heat or cold? Take that into account.
If you’re looking for a beach wedding, you’ll want to make sure the place you choose has good weather year-round.
The last thing you want is for your dream beach wedding to be ruined by rain or cold temperatures.
Also, keep in mind that the temperature of wherever you end up will affect how comfortable your guests will be.
There is no right or wrong answer, just something to think about.
Think About Budget
Destination weddings tend to cost more than traditional weddings, primarily because of the additional travel and lodging costs for guests.
On average, in the past, destination weddings cost anywhere between $4,000 (on the low end) and $10,000. However, costs varied widely depending on the location and type of celebration.
In 2022, the average estimated baseline cost of a destination wedding hovers around $35,000. (According to Brides.com)
Some couples choose to host a destination wedding in order to save money on their ceremony and reception venues.
Others opt for a destination wedding to take advantage of luxurious resorts or beautiful beach settings.
No matter why couples choose to have a destination wedding, it’s important to budget for all of the associated expenses.
Some extra expenses that come with a destination wedding + wedding in general:
- Transportation costs for the bride, groom, and guests
- Lodging expenses for the bride, groom, and guests
- Wedding attire (including dresses, suits, tuxedos, etc.)
- Wedding planner fees (and potentially having to fly them out)
- Reception venue rental costs (if out of country, currency may be different)
- Catering costs
- Photographer/videographer fees
- Wedding cake costs
- Music/entertainment expenses
- Miscellaneous incidentals (welcome baskets, favors, etc.)
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when planning a destination wedding. But with a little bit of research and planning, you can ensure that your day is everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Picking a Date for Your Wedding
Try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to choosing a date for your wedding. Many couples are getting married on weekdays or during the off-season in order to save money. If you have your heart set on a Saturday in June, be prepared to pay a premium.
Booking early is key to securing both your first choice of date and venue, but keep in mind that you may need to make some compromises.
Keep an open mind, and remember that the most important thing is that you end up married to the love of your life.
Who Pays for What?
Typically, guests of a destination wedding pay for themselves including any flights, transportation, and room and board.
Since everyone will be traveling from our of town, there are a few simple add-ons you may consider.
- Research local hotels, hostels, and airbnbs you recommend for partygoers. Provide them with any and all information you can. If possible, and with careful planning, see if you can score some sort of group rate.
- Consider providing additional meals for your guests like a welcome dinner or farewell brunch.
- Securing buses to and from the hotel your guests are staying at is a good idea, especially because there will likely be alcohol at your wedding. In addition to that, guests will require transportation to and from the airport. Try to find a hotel that provides that.
Set up a Wedding Website
A wedding website or app is a great way to keep your guests up to date on all the latest information about your wedding.
You can use it to share your story, show off engagement photos, provide driving directions and accommodations, and even collect RSVPs. This will be extra important for your destination wedding.
Be sure to include all the important details like the date, time, and location of your wedding as well as any other relevant information like dress code or registry.
Save-the-dates are typically sent six to eight months before the wedding date.
This allows guests plenty of time to book their travel and make any necessary arrangements.
Since they will be traveling rather far to attend your wedding, it’s common courtesy to provide ample time to allow for proper planning.
Travel Restrictions for Your Destination Wedding
Once you’ve settled on a location, start planning early and be mindful of potential travel restrictions that could impact your guests. Keep an eye on the latest developments and be prepared to make changes to your plans if necessary.
With Covid-19 restrictions still up in the air and changing from place to place, seemingly by the day, you will have to do extra research to make sure everyone can attend. Find out about any required negative tests, proof of vaccination statuses, and any mask policies that may be applicable to you, your partner, your guests, and your big day.
Finally, remember that a destination wedding is still a wedding—so don’t forget to focus on the little details that will make it special and memorable. With some careful planning, your dream destination wedding can be everything you’ve imagined.
Looking for more inspiration?
Check out our recent blogs!