The Great Debate: Should You Host a Destination Wedding?

Find out if a wedding away from home is the right choice for you.
destination wedding on beach
Brandon Kidd Photography
harmony walton the knot wedding industry expert
by Harmony Walton
harmony walton the knot wedding industry expert
Harmony Walton
Wedding Industry Expert
  • Harmony Walton is the founder of The Bridal Bar and Jet Fête.
  • Harmony is the host of iHeartRadio’s Bridal Bar Radio.
  • Harmony is a wedding TV spokesperson, marketer, and writer.

Did you just get engaged? Congratulations! Chances are you're narrowing down a wedding venue—and that doesn't have to mean just in your zip code. You can have a wedding anywhere around the world. But is a destination wedding right for you and your fiancé? We think they're pretty special, so before you book in your own backyard, consider the benefits of a destination wedding with family and friends.

Your Guest Count Goes Down

Destination weddings allow you to cut that invitation list without causing the hurt feelings. Destination weddings are typically about a third smaller than hometown weddings so you can be more selective about whom you invite, and those that didn't make the list will understand. Plus, the high cost of travel and more challenging date availability means those that are invited are less likely to all attend. So if you've got a big family but you want a more intimate wedding, a destination wedding could be perfect for you.

You Get to Experience Somewhere New

They say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer—so why not host your nuptials in a location you get to experience together? Whether you've been before and it has special meaning to the two of you or you're touching down for the first time, travel makes the heart grow fonder of not just each other, but our planet and others too.

The Party Lasts Longer

Let's face it, everyone wants their wedding to go beyond a day, since it flies by in the blink of an eye. Well a destination wedding gives you more time together with friends and family and the chance to host a variety of parties—from a welcome party (think: sunset cruise) to a rehearsal dinner with everyone who traveled (how about a beach barbecue?) then the wedding, post-brunch and even other group activities like golf, hiking, spa treatments or wine tasting. You'll be grateful for the extra time with loved ones as you extend the party over your destination wedding weekend (or week).

You Get to Let Go

Hear me out on this one, the fact that there are more unknowns and sometimes more challenges when planning a destination wedding (especially in a foreign country) is a good thing. It means you're forced to plan from afar and, at some point, just let go. You can't stress over the tiny details and so you'll often have an easier planning experience because you don't really have a choice but to go with the flow a bit. And once you let go, your wedding becomes that much more fun, no matter where you're saying "I do."

It Can Be More Cost Effective

Sure you can plan a million dollar destination wedding or one at home, but often, your destination wedding will be more cost-effective than your wedding stateside. Depending on where you wed, you may find better vendor pricing in certain cities, parts of the world or other countries (especially if you're coming from a major US city). Your guest count will likely go down, allowing you to either save on the bottom line or spend more per person to give them a better overall experience. If you've chosen a venue with a magical backdrop, you'll need less décor as you let Mother Nature set the stage. There are plenty of ways to save on a destination wedding if budget is a concern of yours.

A destination wedding is an experience you won't regret. You've probably been told to savor every moment, and if nothing else, you'll have more of them when you travel. Enjoy that extra time with family, the extended wedding experience and, of course, the amazing location that surrounds you.

Harmony Walton is the founder of The Bridal Bar, host of Bridal Bar Radio airing on iHeartRadio and editor of destination wedding blog Jet Fete by Bridal Bar. With a vast celebrity clientele and over a dozen years of experience, her brands have been recognized around the world and featured in media outlets such as The Associated Press, The New Yorker, The Knot, The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and many more.

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