Pointers for Planning a Destination Wedding


    The planning started about six months ago, just a few days after you announced the engagement. The wedding gown is all sorted out. The set of wedding bands has been selected. It’s going to be synthetic diamond rings, with the band made of titanium. The entourage is still being finalized as one of the bride’s maid hasn’t confirmed her participation. She’s still doing volunteer work in Africa and won’t return till a month before the actual wedding. You haven’t invited anyone for this reason. Also, you’re still deciding on what kind of wedding it’ll be. Beach wedding was stricken off the list, together with the garden wedding.

    What’s sounding good lately is a destination wedding. But could a destination wedding be for you? What are the considerations? Let’s look into the possibilities:

    Reviewing the Data

    You seem pretty sure about your would-be spouse. But let’s look at some interesting facts that can help you with your decision. Americans spend an average of $35,329 for a typical wedding. There’s probably not much truth to the term June Bride anymore as October and September take the no. 1 and 2 spots respectively.

    If there’s still some discussion about how the wedding will be paid for, consider the following:

    • Parents of the bride pay – 19%
    • Bride and Groom pay – 32%
    • Bride and Groom pay with both parents chipping in – 15%

    Are you starting to re-evaluate your position? Remember, the important thing is you love each other.

    The Low-down on Destination Wedding

    Destination weddings are a $16 billion industry. Couples budget around $28,000. The domestic vs. international destination is a 60% vs. 40% split, and the top three wedding destinations are Las Vegas, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    If you’re unreasonably worried about the number of guests, 48 is the average number of attendees at a destination wedding, and a guest will spend an average of just below $700.

    Other Considerations

    If you’ve decided on a destination wedding, then the first thing you need to do is to choose where. Here are some significant considerations:

    1. The location must have “everything.” This doesn’t mean “have everything.” It means you need to be practical and all the necessary amenities must be present—sound systems, caterers, car rentals, proper hotel accommodation, etc. Yes, there’s a beautiful island, but without electricity?
    2. Hire a Wedding Planner. Coordination is going to be crazy from booking hotels to coordinating flight schedules etc. This will be too much on your plate. A professional with expertise in destination weddings should do most of the grunt work.
    3. Pick a good month. September might be good in the USA, but it’s the monsoon season for South East Asia, so Pattaya, Thailand or Bali, Indonesia might not be a good idea.
    4. Advanced notice. Let people know way ahead of time if it’s going to be a destination wedding, especially your entourage. This will allow them to decline if there are money problems.
    5. Do an ocular. You do an ocular for a small company meeting before you book a place. Why shouldn’t you visit your wedding destination? Hop on a plane and do it to avoid unpleasant surprises.
    6. Take care of your guests. Plan carefully for where your guests are staying. Make sure that you find a hotel that could accommodate all your guests.

    Coordinate well with your planner. There are still many items on the list, like how to factor in unforeseen expenses and file for relevant permits locally. But these pointers should get you started.