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Destination Wedding: Perceptions, Ideas, Dreams and Disappointment.


RusticGirl submitted an article for the Project Wedding Guide.

Destination Wedding – Perceptions, Ideas, Dreams and Disappointments.

Wikipedia defines a destination wedding as any wedding in which the engaged couple, alone or with guests, travels to attend the ceremony. This could be a beach ceremony in the Caribbean or on the California coast, a lavish event in Las Vegas, or a simple ceremony at the home of a geographically distant friend or relative.

Destination Weddings have gotten consistently popular in the last decade or so.  Magazines, planners, and various websites have argued that this surge in popularity is due to a failing economy - people still want to get married even if they cannot afford the big event, therefore they choose to elope.  This means that destination weddings started out of the elopement "circles".  The couple in love friends and family were wowed by the photos that showed the intimate and romantic secluded exclusivity of their elopement and that planted a seed - a wonderful idea for others who saw themselves as non traditional, and committing to lifelong love on the shores of an ocean with the sand between their toes, and the wind in their hair. 


Married with a cool, tropical breeze in their hair...or NOT

This is the traditional mental picture that we have of a destination wedding.  Turquoise waters.  White sandy beaches.  Warm winds blowing wisps of hair out of the bride's elaborate bun.  Golden sun kissed skin under green palm trees as they gaze into each other's eyes to say I do.  


But what about this destination wedding that took place in Scotland?  Beautiful, isn't it?  That is a destination wedding for some.



Or what about this Ice Palace in Sweden?



Or better yet, what about this gorgeous picture from a destination wedding in a field in Ohio?



Or this one in New Zealand?


Destination weddings come in all sizes, shapes, colours, cultures, locations and budgets.  Many of us has been caught in the snare of the falsehood that DWs have to be simple, intimate affairs conducted on a beach by a local shaman with pukka shells.  This is not true.  I honestly feel that the longer this ideology is prorated the more harm it will cause for not only the DW industry but for brides who are non-traditional, who are thinking out of the box and want the best of both worlds. 

I’d like a chariot please- The question of elaborate elegance or simplicity sense.

In the nineties, MacDonald's had an advertising campaign that said Have it your way.  Or maybe that was Burger King, but the point remains that we can do whatever we want as long as we have the means to achieve it.

Someone once said "with a destination wedding, the small minute details are not so important.  A DW is supposed to be simpler and laid back."

I disagree.  This is a disclaimer that pretty much says ‘Don't get your hopes up.  Don't expect the trappings of home and intricate elaborate ideas you want, because we're not doing it".  Now I will not go as far as to say that is a lazy outlook by vendors, but it does give me some pause.  Furthermore, I truly believe that this is a really general ideology that is being propagated and that facilitates a general acceptance for poor quality and service. Like, I said, it acts as a disclaimer, almost like its saying DW are too complicated; don't expect anything more than my version of simplicity.   Many DW have intricate details and ideas.  Many people have specific ideas and visions and all weddings can be as intricate, elaborate or simple as the budget defines.  DW or at home weddings.

To say that the small minute details are not important and that a DW is supposed to be simple laid back is just one idea of DWs. If you have an elaborate and intricate vision, and you can achieve it then go ahead and work for it.  But don't be limited by the idea of "false simplicity" because if we're to be honest DWs are very intricate in terms of legality for some, resorts, photography, travel, insurance etc for others.  It's not just a beach dream anymore, it's much more.  Like for example - the weekend wedding. 

Wikipedia defines this as a wedding in which couples and their guests celebrate over the course of a weekend. Special activities, such as spa treatments and golf tournaments, may be scheduled into the wedding itinerary throughout the weekend. Lodging usually is at the same facility as the wedding and couples often host a Sunday brunch for the weekend's finale.

We also have some couples who have a WeekLONG wedding!  And you guessed it, weeklong festivities.  This is what we are typically seeing now with some destination weddings, especially if it is in a tropical location.  The family and friends fly out for a weeklong wedding that includes some alone time, but also includes some group activities.  A lot of couples now want to make it super special and fun for their guests and if they have the means they arrange a welcome dinner, and few touristy things that get done as a collective group.  So now we have the weekend destination wedding or the weeklong destination wedding.

I’ll hold you to it, the budget I mean-  “Money and Sense”

Yes, finances play a huge role in the planning of any event.  We are bound by the limits of our circumstances and financial resources and responsibility. No one is advocating that people go into debt, but we have to be honest that some couples do have a financial freedom that others do not have.  You can still have an intricate and wonderfully elaborate wedding with exquisite details on a backyard budget. 

DIY.  This can shave off so much off your final price tag, but be aware of your materials or you could find yourself way over budget.  This is true for all weddings- DW and AH.

Low season.  The beginning or end means that you get cheaper prices.  Booking a block of tickets 300days before the departure day.  You would be amazed how cheap things are that far in advance. 


Let's play a game.

Below are some pictures of different weddings.  Tell me which was a DW or an at home (AH) wedding.

They are all destination weddings! Some in the Caribbean, and in Nantucket at a relative's house.

Disclaimer:  I take no credit for these photos.  I found quite a few in various blogs and wedding websites like Best Destination Wedding, Style Me Pretty etc. Thank you for sharing and providing inspiration to brides.
Last Updated: August 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm
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