Okay, planning a wedding is hard y’all. Harder than I thought it would be. All the decisions involved require so much research and thought. Ultimately James and I decided to a Destination Wedding, but often we’re asked ‘Why?’ So, stay tuned for the steps we went through in how we decided to do a Destination Wedding.
How We Decided to Do a Destination Wedding
Creating a Budget
Well, before we picked a location, a day, a theme or ANYTHING, I made a rough draft guest count. Why? So that we could make a rough draft budget to estimate what we could spend. James and I are paying for our wedding ourselves and we’re simply too practical to waste a ton of money. Even if it’s meant to celebrate our marriage with our friends and family. Plus, we have student loans to pay off, day to day expenses and somehow manage to save for a house and future. So yeah – the big wedding was definitely a no go. Even though we wanted a bigger wedding and wanted to be able to invite more family and friends, we simply couldn’t afford to do so.
Picking a Location
After determining what our budget was, we decided on a location. Our options were the following.
- Charleston – where we live.
- The northeast – close to James’ family and my parents.
- Trinidad – close to my entire family.
Deciding to do a Destination Wedding
We came to the decision to do none of these, options and instead do a Destination Wedding. A Destination Wedding would cost us close to what a US based Wedding would cost.
Also, by forcing everyone to travel we weren’t favoring one side of the family regarding the travel requirements. With my family living in Trinidad, it’s not guaranteed they would all be able to get visas to travel the United States, and that was something I didn’t want to happen.
We also realized we would be spending tens of thousands of dollars to throw a big party, and if we’re doing that, we should do it in a manner we would enjoy. With all of those considerations, we ultimately decided to do a Destination Wedding. Of course, before we finalized Italy as our location, we did poll our family members to see if they would consider attending if we did a Destination Wedding, and most of them said yes.
Is a Destination Wedding for You?
Ultimately, in any Wedding, you need to consider your budget. Whether you’re paying for it, parents or other family are helping, budget should always come first. Too many times people overextend their budget, and put themselves, and families in financial strains, for their “dream wedding.” Be realistic, and considerate of the financial ability for yourself/those helping pay. Will a Destination Wedding be cheaper/the same/or more expensive? If it will be more expensive, are there areas that you can live without to achieve it i.e. decorations/music/photo+video?
Can you handle family and friends not attending? I promise you, this gets harder when it actually happens. I think most Destination Brides go into it understanding people won’t make it, but when it’s a grandparent or sibling, someone you were expecting to be there through hell or high-water, it can be defeating. Is this a risk you’re willing to take?
Will you look back in twenty years and regret this decision? Don’t have a Destination Wedding just because it’s ‘popular’ on instagram. Do a Destination Wedding because you actually want to.
Can you handle planning from afar, or giving up control to a wedding-planner, or stomach potentially never seeing your venue?
Lastly, and most importantly, is this the best decision for you, and your future spouse, as you enter this new chapter of life?
If you can answer all these questions and it’s clear that a Destination Wedding is the winner, then do it, celebrate it, and share plenty of pictures!