Is a Destination Wedding Right for You?

Destination Weddings may be the hottest trend in nuptials but is this the right option for you?

At a Glance

A destination wedding may be right for you if:

  • You’re not conventional or you’re not worried about being conventional when it comes to your wedding.
  • Timing is a concern – possible to plan a destination wedding in less than a year
  • You’re on a budget – overall, destination weddings cost less (as much as 40%) than a traditional hometown wedding.
  • You’re completely “over” or “stressed” with planning a local celebration.
  • You love to travel!
  • You’re planning an encore wedding – one or both of you have been married before
  • You want to limit your guest list to close family and friends
  • You want to elope!

Toss out Tradition

A destination wedding may be right for you if want to do things your way! For starters, receiving an invitation to a destination wedding acknowledges that the hosts are different. There are no rules (outside of your destination’s legal marriage requirements/laws).

Get hitched in less than a year

It’s possible to plan a destination wedding in less than a year. In fact, many Caribbean resorts and hotels that host weddings do not open availability more than 15 months ahead of your arrival date. For off-site destination weddings, however, you’ll need more planning time.

Spend less

Overall, Caribbean destination wedding costs less (as much as 40%) than a traditional hometown wedding. Your dollars go further in the ‘islands’.

stress-free wedding plans

The word ‘wedding’ can cause a range of emotions…including stress. And that relates to the number of decisions that need to be made. But with a destination wedding, oftentimes the word ‘fun’ comes to mind. That’s primarily because the majority of Caribbean destination weddings are packaged and removing the need to make decisions. It’s all been done for you.

Love to travel?

This one’s a no-brainer. Travel is a necessary part of a destination wedding and makes perfect sense if visiting other parts of the world is something you enjoy doing. By the way, if your wedding guests are scattered all over the globe and need to travel anyway, a destination wedding makes sense.

encore wedding

If one or both of you hve been married before, a destination wedding is a great way to do things differently (unless you had a destination wedding the first time!). This is a great way to include your children in the festivities

Less guests

Traveling to a destination for someone else’s wedding takes a lot of commitment: time and money. And it’s these factors that almost guarantee that not everyone will be able to make it. However, those closest to you will likely make the trip resulting in a smaller guest list.

Let’s elope!

The Caribbean is a beautifully romantic destination and the perfect place for two people in love to disappear to. Assuming you follow your destination’s official guidelines to wed


Before you jump-in and start planning your wedding paradise, keep this in mind:

Nothings familiar – From using the services of your favorite hair stylist to the venue you select, planning a wedding means putting your trust in a range of services without seeing or experiencing them until your wedding day. If you’re used to being in control of absolutely everything, a destination wedding will be a challenge for you.Is the ceremony legal? Although most countries of the Caribbean are open to hosting a destination wedding, the legalities differ from country to country. Residency requirements, paperwork and marriage license fees all play a part to ensure that you’re legally married following your destination wedding ceremony.

Guest expense – although a Caribbean destination wedding may save you the hosts money, for guests the investment can be quite steep – time off work, cost of travel and lodging. And even for you, you’re still responsible for reception meal, excursions and any pre- and post-wedding celebrations at your destination. Depending on your guest headcount, your costs could grow.

Debbie at HitchedAway

Debbie is a destination wedding travel advisor and the face (and voice) of HitchedAway. With a focus on breathtaking destinations and venues in the Caribbean, her goal is to demystify the process of planning your special occasion from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

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