8 Reasons Why You Should Have A Destination Wedding

As I sit here reflecting on my past 5 years of marriage, I am nostalgic for it all: the excitement leading up to it, finalizing fun details, packing, and spending an entire week with our closest friends.

It really was one of the best times of our lives! The number one thing I tell anyone who asks is that having a destination wedding was the best decision we made.

reasons to have a destination wedding

If you enjoy traveling, a destination wedding could mean having the wedding of your dreams and benefit you in many ways.

I always knew I wanted to get married away – and after a couple months of research we decided the best bang for our buck was in Mexico, and I wish we could do it all over again!

There is no better way to say “I Do” than at a unique location with your loved ones.

Ever since we got married, I have been involved in various wedding planning groups on Facebook aimed to give advice and ideas to upcoming destination brides. I’ve made a ton of new friends from all over the world and have even met some! It’s crazy to think that we all met because we were planning our weddings in Mexico!

So, what are the benefits of having a destination wedding?

why have a destination wedding
The turquoise waters of Cancun make a beautiful backdrop for a wedding ceremony!

8 reasons why you should consider having a destination wedding:

1 .You (and your guests) get a vacation

Who doesn’t want to take a trip and explore a new place? A wedding is a great excuse! Even some of our guests who we didn’t think would RSVP were some of the first to do so, because they really needed to get away!

Think of your last vacation. Now think of it with your closest friends and family. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

2. It can be less expensive than a wedding at home

Have you ever wondering how much a destination wedding costs? The average wedding in Canada is roughly $30,000 – enough for a down payment on a house!

From saving on your wedding shoes (hello, barefoot!) to receiving travel incentives and perks at the resort, having a destination wedding can certainly bring that cost to a fraction of what getting married at home may look like, and sometimes even for free.

Many resorts offer tiered packages best suited to your guest count, and depending on which resort, it can include things like your flowers, reception, music, room upgrade and more.

3. It can be less stressful

No in-person meetings with vendors, trying to source flowers or décor, or running around last minute for those final venue checks! Everything can be done from your computer and with tons of reputable vendors and reviews, you can plan your wedding from your chair.

Wedding Coordinators at the resort have a simple planner for you to fill out, and they take care of the rest, all included with your wedding package!

p.s. already booked? See these important questions you should be asking your wedding coordinator!

reasons to have a destination wedding
Our wedding setup at Riu Caribe Cancun, May 2015

4. You can have your honeymoon right away (or take 2!)

Many brides extend their wedding stay to include a honeymoon after their guests go home. We took two weeks – and would recommend doing an extension to decompress!

You may find you spend a lot of time with your guests and need some time to yourselves. Opt to change resorts for a completely different experience.

Booked your wedding at a family resort? Switch to an Adult-Only. You’ll be glad you did! Many will also extend their stay by a few days and plan a more elaborate honeymoon later in the year. Nothing wrong with celebrating twice!

5. Longer celebration

Instead of just one night of fun with your guests, imagine a few days, or a week? The photos and memories made will last a lifetime!

why have a destination wedding
Our group of 18 guests!

6. It’s unique

Destination weddings have been increasingly more popular in the past few years – but how many of your friends have had one? Getting married away is exciting and a big deal for a lot of people – especially for guests who don’t often travel. We still have our guests talk about our wedding, 5 years later!

7. You’ll have a more intimate group of guests

Having trouble narrowing down a guest list? This will take the guess work away from you. From what I have seen, approximately 50-60% of your invites will RSVP as a no.

It comes with the territory of having a destination wedding, but as long as you are ok with that, you will have a smaller group of guests which will also make it easier to connect at the resort or spend time with them.

I know many couples who regret spending so little time with their guests locally – but I can imagine it would be difficult to visit with 200+ guests at a home wedding! We had 18 guests and wouldn’t have changed a thing.

8. Think of the photos!

From lush greenery and the beach to sunrise to sunset shots and everything in between, there is no shortage of Instagram-worthy wedding shots. One of the most fun things we did was a Trash the Dress photoshoot!

We did ours in a Cenote and they are some of our favourite photos. You only get to wear the dress once, right? Take advantage of it! I guarantee you’ll have trouble deciding what photos you want to frame at home.

benefits destination wedding
My favourite photo from our Trash the Dress session!
Photo by Fer De La Rosa

Looking for Destination Wedding Packing Lists?

wedding packing list

Where to start?

Find a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings and give them a list of your wants and budget. You don’t have to visit them in person – they can be across the country!

Will you have children attending or just adults? Do you expect a large attendance or keeping it more intimate? Or maybe a specific country you’d like to get married? Do you want a legal ceremony or symbolic, since legal ceremonies can incur more work and cost? They’ll be able to narrow down a shortlist of resorts based on your criteria. There are endless reviews from past brides online to help you get started!

Get active on Facebook – there is no better advice than that of thousands of past brides who have gone through exactly what you’re going through right now! Try searching your resort name and “weddings” and see what comes up.

Looking for the best advice and tips from brides who have been there, done that? Check out the best Destination Wedding advice from 33 past brides!

So, is a destination wedding worth it? Without a doubt, yes.

In all my years of seeing thousands of destination weddings (on Facebook!), I have never heard of anyone saying they regret their decision. I promise you won’t either! It has led to more vacation planning for anniversary trips and more reasons to explore other countries or resorts.

ps I make a great bridesmaid if you need one 😉

why have a destination wedding reasons
Photo by my dad at 6 am a couple days after our wedding

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24 Comments

  1. Sharon
    May 8, 2020 / 6:48 pm

    #9. You meet fabulous other brides planning and they become your friends <3.

    • Sarah
      May 9, 2020 / 8:40 am

      Can’t imagine how boring my life would be without you girls!!! xoxo

  2. Cristina
    May 25, 2020 / 7:48 am

    Love this! every single number is the truth! a destination wedding was the best decision me and my husband have ever made! besides his decision of marrying me of course πŸ˜‰ haha

    • Sarah
      Author
      May 25, 2020 / 1:00 pm

      Hahah!!!! Obviously!!! πŸ˜‰ Thanks! I think we can all agree on most of these! One of the greatest decisions we made!

  3. June 14, 2020 / 8:31 am

    Oh my gosh, you have totally convinced me. The photos from your wedding are stunning! I love travelling and my boyfriend hates the idea of getting married in front of loads of people, so a destination wedding would be perfect. A really great blog, thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Sarah
      Author
      June 14, 2020 / 9:23 am

      You would love a destination wedding then!! It can be as big or small as you wish – and who doesn’t want to get married in paradise AND get a holiday at the same time?? Thanks for your comements! πŸ™‚

  4. June 14, 2020 / 12:52 pm

    Needful content. Keep creating content like this! Tons of love for you

    • Sarah
      Author
      June 14, 2020 / 2:00 pm

      Thanks so much!

  5. July 9, 2020 / 10:58 am

    This post is exactly what I am looking for. I am trying to think of where to get married especially with all of this that is going on in the world. I think leaving the country is the best bet and you just confirmed my thoughts πŸ™‚

    • Sarah
      Author
      July 9, 2020 / 8:08 pm

      Yessss!!!!!! No one I have talked to has once said they regret a destination wedding!!!

  6. July 9, 2020 / 11:28 am

    I always thought a destination wedding would be more expensive but there are great perks too like you mentioned. I love the idea of destination weddings for the vacation, extra time with guests and smaller guests list aspects. We got married in San Diego (where we lived at the time) but all our family and some friends traveled from other states to come to it. We budgeted really well for ours and saved relatively alot compared to most weddings. It was my dream beach wedding–but a destination wedding would be so cool too! Maybe for a vow renewal.

    • Sarah
      Author
      July 9, 2020 / 8:07 pm

      That’s great you were able to save!!! Yours sounds like a wonderful time πŸ™‚ I’ve been looking at vow renewals abroad too πŸ˜‚

  7. July 9, 2020 / 1:42 pm

    Great reasons to have a destination wedding. I really wish we would have done that…..we had our 10 year vow renewal in Jamaica and after that I have always told everyone that they should do destination weddings. We are coming up on our 25th in a few years, can’t believe it’s been that long!

    • Sarah
      Author
      July 9, 2020 / 8:05 pm

      Time flies! We’ve met the 5 year mark and it’s still gone by so quickly for us. How beautiful to have a vow renewal in Jamaica!!!

  8. Lisa Manderino
    July 9, 2020 / 9:33 pm

    I love weddings and love. I like the idea of getting a vacation honeymoon right away!

    • Sarah
      Author
      July 10, 2020 / 8:00 am

      Absolutely!!

  9. July 10, 2020 / 1:12 pm

    Love this! We wanted to avoid the massive cost of the average Canadian wedding too, it’s an easy thing to fall into. We’re planning a very small ceremony and dance and then rolling right into a honeymoon :).

    • Sarah
      Author
      July 10, 2020 / 7:00 pm

      That sound perfect! At the end of the day it’s about you two and your memories – no one will ever remember your linens!πŸ˜‚

  10. July 16, 2020 / 4:11 pm

    I got engaged in Mexico this year so this is definitely something I have been thinking about! We aren’t planning on getting married for a few years but this definitely gives me ideas πŸ™‚

    • Sarah
      Author
      July 16, 2020 / 4:26 pm

      Congrats!!! It’s definitely worth exploring your options! Vacation + less expense + honeymoon all in one!!!

  11. October 29, 2021 / 2:17 pm

    It’s great that you talked about destination weddings and how they feel like you’re on vacation! Recently, my fiance and I got engaged, and we’re ready to start planning our wedding. We think it’d be wonderful to get married somewhere with a beach, so we’ll be sure to keep reading your tips! Thanks for the advice on why we must opt for a destination wedding rather than a traditional one.

  12. Zoe Campos
    December 29, 2022 / 9:36 am

    I like that you mentioned how destination weddings are great opportunities for a longer celebration while getting the chance to travel. My friend recently got engaged, and he and his partner are some of the most adventurous people I know. Maybe I should recommend doing a destination wedding.

  13. DJ Wedding Services
    January 9, 2023 / 12:03 am

    A destination wedding can be a great way to celebrate your love story and to make memories that will last a lifetime. From the beautiful scenery, to the stress-free planning process, and all of the wonderful people who will travel with you to share your special day, a destination wedding is sure to be an unforgettable event. Not only does it provide an amazing backdrop for photos, but it also allows you to celebrate in style without worrying about staying within a budget or dealing with family drama.

  14. DJ Lessons
    January 9, 2023 / 12:13 am

    Destination weddings are a great way to make your big day even more special. They provide an opportunity to travel, explore, and spend quality time with friends and family in an exciting place. Not only is it a unique experience, but it’s also cost-effective and convenient for those who wish to save money on their wedding. Additionally, destination weddings can help create lifelong memories that will remain with you for years to come.

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