What to Consider When Deciding Between a Local or Destination Wedding

November 16, 2017 | nicole

photo by Maggie Grace Photography

Before you book your venue, choose your dress, or even start putting together your guest list, you have a major wedding decision to make: should you have a local or destination wedding? For some, a local wedding seems like a no-brainer, but for others, a destination wedding may be that thought you just can’t quit. If you’ve been trying to decide where to say “I do,” this post is for you!

photo by Ivy and Pine

Destination Pro:

The people who really want to be there will be.

Having a destination wedding can be a blessing in disguise when it comes to keeping your wedding small. The inconvenience of travel can be a clever way to weed down your guest list without feeling guilty about not inviting every one of your groom’s fraternity brothers or your mom’s hairdresser. If you want an intimate wedding but worry about disappointing friends and family who aren’t on your must-have list, a destination wedding might be for you!

photo by Federica Cavicchi

Destination Con:

Travel can add extra expenses to your overall wedding cost.

If you’re on a tight budget already, traveling for your destination wedding and potentially flying out vendors and even family members can come with a hefty price tag. Like with any aspect of wedding planning, it’s important to consider what your priorities are when making your budget. Having the destination wedding of your dreams may mean finding a secondhand dress or skimping on food, décor, or entertainment.

photo by Scott Little Photography

Destination Pro:

If you have family coming in from all over the world, traveling for your wedding isn’t such a big deal.

For some couples, there isn’t a clear location that feels like home. Whether you’ve both moved around a lot or you came from different places and met somewhere else, the decision of where to have your wedding can feel up in the air. However, if you’ve both got family traveling in for your big day regardless, you’ve got a great excuse to pick somewhere exciting to tie the knot that isn’t a huge disadvantage for a large amount of your guest list.

photo by Jordan Voth

Destination Con:

Planning a wedding from afar can be stressful.

Wedding planning has a pretty bad rap for being stressful in general, but tackling the process from afar can definitely elevate anxiety levels. For one, you can only take with you what you can pack, so sourcing décor items at home isn’t really in the cards. Second, your vendor communication will all take place over phone calls and Skype sessions, which could be a bit of a hassle depending on your schedule and the time difference between where you live and where you’re getting married. If you don’t feel like you’ll be able to relinquish some of your control over every little detail that goes into planning your big day, then a destination wedding may not be a great fit for you.

photo by From the Daisies

Destination Pro:

You deserve the wedding of your dreams!

If you’ve dreamed of getting hitched away from home, don’t let these cons hold too much weight! A destination wedding doesn’t have to be more costly than a local affair and hiring the right vendors can make the experience just as stress-free as marrying at home. Put your budget towards what’s most important to you and don’t let anyone try to tell you what your priorities should be. Remember that this day is about you, your partner, and your love, so what anyone else wants or thinks you “should” do is irrelevant.

photo by Eden Strader Photography

One Last Thing to Consider

While it may seem like there are only two options – local or destination – you can actually have the best of both worlds! If a local wedding truly makes the most sense for you logistically but you still feel called to say “I do” in an incredible location, consider eloping privately before or after your local wedding. This allows you to travel to tie the knot without having to make arrangements for family and friends to attend. (P.S. Here are some tips on keeping your family involved if you decide to elope and 4 reasons why you should consider eloping!)

Leaning towards a destination wedding but haven’t picked a spot? Take this quiz to find out which wedding destination is your perfect fit!

Email [email protected] to advertise on Junebug Weddings

One Comment

  1. What a incredible pictures in this post! Thanks for sharing this. x

Leave a Comment