Should You Plan a Local or Destination Wedding?

By Jim CampbellJim CampbellJim CampbellJim is the owner of A lifelong traveler, Jim's wanderlust has led him to spend months living on the Mayan Rivera, instruct SCUBA diving in Croatia, sail from San Diego to Hawaii, and cruise the Caribbean on a catamaran. Jim launched his honeymoon business while planning his own honeymoon in 2019. Since then, he has helped thousands of honeymooners plan their trips through his honeymoon travel agency.Meet Our Team | Updated on February 8, 2024 | Posted In: Destination Weddings

Congratulations on your big day! You and your partner have sealed the deal. Excitement is in the air except—and this is a big except—you aren’t sure where to have your wedding. If you’re wondering whether you want to plan a local or destination wedding, this guide is for you.

New and foreign destination wedding? Or something sweet and close to home? The stress is slowly increasing: which should you choose? Rest assured, we’ve got you covered.

Destination Weddings

Pro: Two-for-One Vacation

Want to take a trip to Hawaii? Or what about Fiji? Maybe even Vegas? Why not use your wedding as an excuse to take that long-awaited vacation?

You see, destination weddings offer you a chance to not only showcase your love but explore a new culture. Go snorkeling and see the beautiful marine life. Or tour the Amazon. Your options are limitless.

And, this two-for-one vacation-wedding does not just apply to you and your partner. Your friends and family can also take advantage too!

Even better, why not improve the experience: start the wedding fun on board an exclusive plane one of several luxurious private jet charter flights to Las Vegas. Enjoying the private charter experience with family and friends will give you the time you need to catch up, laugh, and have fun.

Pro: You May Have Your Work Cut Out for You

Depending on the destination you travel to, you may not have to do that much planning Instead, let the hotel do it for you.

Talk with the hotel concierge ahead of time for a list of fun cultural activities: hang-gliding in Costa Rica or hiking to Haleakala if you go to Maui (and aren’t from the US).

Most likely, the hotel partners with several touring groups. A simple call may be all you need to do on your end to set up a day of fun and adventure.

Con: Most Likely More Expensive

Unless you purchase tickets, lodging, and a wedding package during off-season, plan on your wedding budget being a tad tight. Remember, when it comes to a destination wedding, there’s plane tickets, hotel costs, touring, food to consider…on top of a wedding and reception to pay for.

Not to mention, you may want to help out with your wedding party’s expenses too. Long story short, if you do go the destination wedding route, expect to pay more—or, spend considerable time doing research to snag good deals and cut costs.

Con: Not All Your Friends and Family Can Make It

Let’s cut to the chase, weddings outside the country are expensive (as we’ve mentioned). While you may be able to work the airfare and lodging into your budget, it may be too tight for others in your wedding party.

Also, some family and friends may not be able to take off a week (or more): they have that important project coming up, or they can’t find babysitting. In any case, know that some of your wedding party will bow out. Not because they don’t want to share the fun and joy—of course, the do!—they just don’t have the time.

Local Wedding

Pro: It’s Closer to Home

Forgot your sneakers and toothbrush? Take a quick 30-minute drive back home and grab them. Even if your wedding is in another state, chances are, you have several chains to make that quick purchase.

What we’re getting at is domestic destination weddings are going to be in more familiar territory than abroad weddings simply because it’s physically closer to home. This makes it easier to plan and afford logistical costs for your vendors and may give you some wiggle room in your budget—a wedding win!

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Con: Less of a Thrill Factor

There’s something about stepping off that flight in a different country: You’re completely out of your comfort zone. While that can be a little stressful, it’s also exciting. You may lose some of that thrill factor if you have a domestic wedding.

Yes, you haven’t been to that city or state before. But, in general, the country is still roughly the same. The culture may change a little but you have an idea of what to expect—familiar (and comforting) yet, depending on you and your partner’s taste for adventure, maybe a little boring?

Final Thoughts

Local or destination wedding, no matter which one you choose, you are sure to have a memorable experience. It all boils down to you and your partner’s individual wants and needs.

Especially when it comes to having a wedding in another country, we suggest you plan early so you can take advantage of discounts and all-inclusive packages, which will save you and your partner the stress, not to mention free up your budget.

If you intend to have your wedding in another state—or at a picturesque venue 30 minutes down the road—still plan, preferably several months out. Doing so will help nail down vendors and coordinate logistics before showtime really begins.

What type of wedding will you choose? Have you had your wedding at a foreign destination? Or did you go more local? Let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section below.

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