11 Pros and Cons of Destination Weddings (Full Breakdown)

A destination wedding is the pinnacle of romantic adventure. There’s a captivating allure in choosing a scenic, distant location as the backdrop for your vows. However, it’s essential to understand the advantages and drawbacks of such weddings.

In summary, the pros and cons of destination weddings include:


  1. Naturally beautiful wedding setting
  2. All-inclusive wedding packages
  3. Wedding and honeymoon in one location
  4. Memorable and extended celebration for guests
  5. Potentially more affordable than traditional weddings
  6. Reduced stress due to all-inclusive services


  1. Potential for fewer guests
  2. Legal complexities in foreign lands
  3. Challenges of long-distance planning
  4. Added financial burden on guests
  5. Possible language barriers

Understanding Destination Weddings

wedding couple beach

A destination wedding is an event where the ceremony and reception occur in a vacation location, typically distant from the couple’s hometown. This could be in a different city, state, or even country—think Fiji, Bali, Tulum, Costa Rica, or Santorini. Opting for a destination wedding instead of a traditional one could help a couple save money while still realizing their dream wedding in an idyllic setting. However, the costs of travel for the wedding party can add to the overall expense.

Destination weddings can range from intimate ceremonies with only a handful of guests to large, grand affairs with a sizeable guest list. Some couples even turn their wedding into a weekend-long celebration, hosting multiple parties over two to three days. As a result, destination wedding packages can vary significantly in terms of price.

Pros and Cons of Destination Weddings

Effortlessly Beautiful Wedding

Destination weddings often occur in stunning locations with breathtaking views, from sprawling mountains to glistening beaches. Such natural beauty can make wedding photos truly spectacular. Additionally, the natural beauty of the location can reduce the need for elaborate decorations, potentially making a destination wedding quite affordable.

Complete Wedding Package

The wedding industry is rich with professionals who specialize in destination weddings. These experts offer comprehensive packages that include every aspect of the event, from travel arrangements and accommodations to catering and decorations.

This means couples can focus on their special day, rather than worrying about logistical details. However, it’s important to research different packages thoroughly, comparing prices, perks, and customer reviews.

Doubles As A Honeymoon

A destination wedding can easily segue into a honeymoon. Couples can schedule the wedding over a weekend, then remain at the location for a few days after the guests depart. This approach can lead to significant savings, as couples can avoid the cost of traveling to a separate honeymoon destination. Just be sure to select a location with a variety of activities to enjoy during your honeymoon.

Memorable And Extended Celebration

A destination wedding provides guests with a unique and memorable experience. Not only do they get to celebrate the couple’s union, but they also enjoy a mini vacation. The couple can even organize activities that suit the destination, adding to the enjoyment of the occasion.


Despite the perception that destination weddings are expensive, they can often be more affordable than traditional weddings. This is due to factors such as cheaper venue rentals and the ability to trim the guest list. However, the final cost can depend on various factors, including location, guest count, and chosen activities.

Less Stressful

Many destination wedding venues offer all-inclusive packages, streamlining planning and reducing stress for the couple.

However, there are cons to consider as well…

monochrome woman wedding

Potential High Cost

While destination weddings can be affordable, they can also be quite expensive. The final cost can depend on the number of guests, duration of the wedding, and the location itself. Airfare, accommodation, and activities can quickly add up, particularly for international locations.

Fewer Guests

Given the travel requirements and costs, fewer guests may be able to attend a destination wedding. While this can be an advantage for those desiring a smaller ceremony, it may be disappointing if important people in your life are unable to attend.

Legal Difficulties

It’s very difficult to attain a marriage license in a foreign land, especially if you’re not a resident there. Even if you plan to get the marriage license from your hometown, it’s still challenging to work out the details long-distance. The entire process is easier when you have a coordinator. Another tip is to get the marriage license beforehand and then just perform a ceremonial wedding, but that can diminish the authenticity of the event.

You can also expect some problems that can hinder you, like the language barrier and local regulations.

Extra Burden On Guests

Guests of a destination wedding often bear the costs of airfare, accommodation, and other travel expenses. To mitigate this, it’s recommended to send save-the-date notices at least 9 to 12 months in advance.

Long-Distance Planning Challenges

Coordinating a destination wedding remotely can be tricky, as promotional photos and descriptions may not accurately represent the venue or location. Hiring a local coordinator or visiting the site in person can help avoid unpleasant surprises.

Language Barriers

In foreign locations, language differences can create communication challenges, leading to potential misunderstandings and stress.

In Summary

Destination weddings offer unique advantages and challenges. When deciding if a destination wedding is right for you, consider all the factors and consult with seasoned destination wedding planners. The goal is to ensure a memorable and enjoyable celebration for all, with minimal stress.

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