THE PROS AND CONS OF HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING

THE PROS AND CONS OF HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING

THE PROS AND CONS OF HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING


A destination wedding is a very popular alternative to traditional weddings, one that allows the couple to exchange vows in an idyllic destination of their choice and sometimes also save money in the process.

If you are recently engaged and the idea of a destination wedding has crossed your mind, but you are unsure if this is the right choice for you, keep reading as we share some pros and cons for destination weddings below:

PRO – You can be more selective with your guest list

Destination weddings are best suited for a smaller, more intimate guest list, due to the costs and logistics involved. With a smaller guest list you will feel less pressured to invite those cousins that you never speak to or that one relative no-one likes at weddings because [insert reason here].

Pro tip: Another option is to keep it as romantic as it gets and simply elope, just the two of you!

PRO – A smaller guest list makes for a more intimate setting

Less guests means a more intimate wedding setting and allows for more of a romantic vibe! The best part is that you will be able to spend some quality time with each and every one of your guests, and without getting exhausted at that. After all, it is your special day and you want to be spending it with your closest friends and family, right?

destination wedding
Photo by SourcedCo

PRO – Less expensive reception

Unless you have a really small family and a tight group of close friends, it is very likely that you would have a very large wedding if it were to take place in your hometown. Taking into consideration that your guest list for a destination wedding will be much more selective than the one at home, it is logical to conclude that your destination wedding reception will cost less than a big party at home.

Pro tip: Although the reception might cost less, the costs of travel to the location of the destination wedding should be calculated into the wedding budget.

PRO – More time for extended wedding celebrations

The saddest thing about your wedding day is that it comes to an end way too quickly. Should you opt for a destination wedding, you could prolong the festivities over a two or three day period. Just think about it – a welcome dinner on the first night, a spa day or an excursion on the second day, wedding on the third day and a farewell breakfast or brunch on the last day…the possibilities are endless and it will make for a truly memorable experience for you and your wedding guests.

PRO – Honeymoon starts early & at your dream locale

In most cases, a honeymoon budget is separate from your wedding budget and it can present a serious struggle after all of the expenses a wedding can occur. Your destination wedding can double as a honeymoon, by simply choosing to spend it in the same destination. A destination wedding is basically a vacation with a wedding included! Besides many gorgeous locations to have your wedding at, Croatia has a lot to offer to honeymooners, and has often been mentioned in the media as an ideal honeymoon destination. Best thing of all, you will have a worthy excuse to come back for your anniversary year after year.

PRO – Unique & unforgettable wedding

A destination wedding is not an affair one is likely to forget. Your guests may not remember the exact details of your dress or what was served as amuse bouche at the reception, but they will definitely not forget that time they danced until the dawn on a beach or were transported to the wedding venue on a replica of a medieval ship.

destination wedding
Photo by Cottonbro via Pexels

PRO – Beautiful scenery means your wedding photos will be stunning

Whether you choose an island beach venue, a villa from the Roman era in Dalmatia or a vineyard overlooking the hills of Istria, you’re pretty much guaranteed a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos. There’s beauty to be found in any wedding setting, but destination weddings are often held at locations where the scenery is breathtaking. You can also rest assured that none of your friends or family have gotten married in the same location you choose, making your wedding truly one of a kind! For our recommended photographers check out the Photography tag on our blog!

CON – Important people might not be able to attend

There is a really big chance that some important guests may not be able to attend your special day due to expenses associated with travelling to a destination wedding, the difficulty of getting vacation days off work or even due to their age making flights harder to manage or simply impossible. Before making a final decision and putting down the wedding deposit, we suggest taking the time to talk to the people in your life that you feel would be truly essential to have at your wedding.

Pro tip: Small gestures such as offering to pay a part of the airfare or looking into organizing a discounted block of rooms in a hotel at your destination might go a long way. Also, send your save-the-dates early! It gives your guests enough time to plan and save for your destination wedding.

CON – More planning & communication than your average at home wedding

Unlike most popular destination wedding locations, Croatia does not have all-inclusive resorts you can get married at. The approach is more individual here so you will need to research the requirements for getting legally married, find and communicate with vendors and venues, negotiate prices, sign contracts and send deposits, so hiring a wedding planner is a really good idea. Not saying it is impossible to do it on your own, but why go through the hassle?

Pro tip: Wedding websites are a big hit for destination weddings and can be really helpful for passing information along to your guests, as well as organizing your RSVPs and afterwards collecting photos your guests took on the big day.

destination wedding
Photo by Natasha Fernandez via Pexels

CON – Using a lot of imagination & feeling like you are not in control

Not being able to see your venue, flowers, decorations, hear your band play live or taste the food before your wedding can make anyone feel like they are not in control of their wedding planning. Organizing a site visit to your wedding destination and setting up meetings with your vendors is highly recommended for any destination wedding. During this trip you can check out your venue, have a food tasting, listen to the band rehearse and discuss ideas with your florist. If unable to organize such a trip, hiring a local wedding planner can help set your mind at ease as your wedding planning will be in professional hands.

CON – Legalities of getting married outside your home country

One of the most important things to consider and research before deciding to get married abroad is the legal requirements for marriage in that country. There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be submitted and sometimes in an exact order and timeline in order to get the marriage license. This can feel a little overwhelming for someone who has never done it before and is already stressed out by the wedding planning itself. Click here for a full list of Legal requirements for marriage in Croatia.

Pro tip: Compromise by getting legally married in your home country before or after your destination wedding and host a symbolic ceremony instead.

CON – Extra expenses

A lot of couples make the mistake of thinking a destination wedding will be cheap. Yes, your reception might cost less considering you have less guests, but there are many more factors to consider here. We mentioned before the idea of having a prolonged celebration over the course of a couple of days, and while this is a lovely idea, it definitely comes with a price tag. These are just some of the things that need considering when planning for the destination wedding budget, but if you can afford it, it’s a great way to thank your guests for making the trip and it will create memories that last a lifetime.

CON – Your guests are on your Honeymoon

If you decided to have your honeymoon at the same location your wedding was held, you might find yourself stuck with your relatives on your honeymoon. While there are some people who wouldn’t mind spending this time alongside their families, most newlyweds prefer this to be one-on-one time (if you know what we mean!). In order to avoid this kind of a situation, be clear and upfront with your guests about your honeymoon plans. In most cases they will be completely understanding and give you your space.

So there you have it, the pros and cons of getting married abroad. Whether a destination wedding matches your personality, vision and budget, is entirely up to you. If you decide that, in the end, this is the right decision for you, then check out our 10 reasons to choose Croatia as your wedding destination!

Happy planning!

Chantal Holik

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