Is a Destination Wedding Right for You?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news… but… Brides who think that a destination wedding is going to save them money are misinformed.

The fact is, your budget is your budget. At a home venue, you will spend your budget on one day. At a destination, there are generally four days of offered activities, food and hotel rooms to pay for. Don’t get me wrong. I love destination weddings. I had one myself and it is my favorite choice of weddings. It’s a multi-day celebration!

What you need to ask yourself when you are planning a destination wedding is, “Are the people who I really want to attend my wedding able to afford this right now?” Understand, your guests will need to take time off of work, buy dresses/suits for multiple days, plane tickets, current passports and gifts at the very least. Etiquette generally calls for the bride and groom of a destination wedding to pick up the tab for the lodging, food and beverages. So go through your guest list and make sure those most important to you can not only afford to do this but are willing to spend five close-knit, enjoyable days with each other.

Here are the real benefits of destination weddings:

1 – Less stress. You show up with the dress/suit, you and your guests are treated exceptionally well by devoted servers, and you get it all for a super package price.

2 – Gorgeous Location. Whether by the water with a light breeze or on a mountain top, with a gorgeous location, the décor is just icing.

3 – Family Time. All of the people who mean the most to you are here. The worry that you have to invite the cousin that you never see, etc. is gone. It’s about two people getting married and their close loved ones by their sides.

If you have your heart set on sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets but don’t think you have a large enough budget, see if family members will host receptions, dinners or brunches to help with the costs. Packages abound and you will get special rates with room blocks but don’t expect for the resorts to give you reduced pricing unless it is off season.

Please call the area’s Tourist Office if you are not working with a Certified Wedding Consultant, to learn the legal requirements for marrying in the destination. Most Caribbean islands require a three-day residency prior to the ceremony, proof of citizenship, completing several documents, and a nominal fee.


Mary Spicer is the owner of Spicer’s Events, which is based in Boulder. Spicer’s Events specializes in stylish, exclusive, and exceptional weddings worldwide. Find more information at

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