We know that destination weddings can be a hot topic for couples and their families once they are engaged. Most of the time families want you to get married close to home so that everyone can attend and couples often felt torn between what they want to do and what their families want them to do. So if you are one of these couples on the fence we have found a little quiz from Destination Weddings Magazine that might help you make a firm decision.
Here are 10 questions to ask before you commit either way.
1. The main reason we’re considering a wedding away is:
A. We want to slash the guest list without causing a familial civil war.
B. We’ve both been to a million mediocre weddings and want to do something different.
C. We fell in love with a particular locale on a previous trip.
2. When picturing our wedding day, our main focus is on:
A. The setting: a meaningful locale with lots of flavor.
B. The details: the perfect flowers, an amazing menu and an out-of-this-world wedding cake.
C. The people: It’s all about spending quality time with the ones we love.
3. The bulk of our A-list guests:
A. Have never stepped foot outside our home state.
B. Like to travel — just nothing too exotic.
C. Have multiple inoculations and well-used passports.
4. We need to find a band at our locale. The plan:
A. Import a band we know — we need someone who can do a note-for-note cover of “Purple Rain” for our choreographed first dance.
B. Look for recommendations, then ask potentials if they can play the must-have romantic standards on our list.
C. Troll the Internet, then pick the band with the most interesting name. How could you go wrong with Reggae Ron and the Rake ‘n’ Scrape Trio?
5. If the wedding flowers drooped before the ceremony and the cake was the wrong flavor, I’d likely:
A. Weep uncontrollably in the ladies room until my MOH calmed me down.
B. Call up the vendors immediately and demand a refund.
C. Shrug my shoulders and hit the dance floor. Hey, at least we’re married!
6. I have a question for the photographer. I expect a response:
A. Immediately. I’m the client here!
B. Within 24 hours. Patience is a virtue, but only for so long.
C. Whenever they manage to get back to me. They’re probably busy with other weddings.
7. One of our VIPs can’t afford the trip. The solution:
A. Go on without her, but have a celebration back home and share the video.
B. Spring for her airline ticket and hotel room so she can celebrate with us.
C. Panic. A wedding without our A-listers is not going to happen.
8. As a bride, how would I rate my organizational skills?
A. I thrive on chaos and haven’t planned anything bigger than a last-minute barbecue.
B. Call me a star strategist: I’m the go-to gal for organizing group plans with my friends and have been known to alphabetize my spice rack.
C. I’m about average: I can definitely keep things straight, but I don’t freak out if the unexpected occurs.
9. How complex are the wedding plans we’re envisioning?
A. We want everything customized: a totally done-up space, five-star menu and couture cake. Is it too much to have a monogrammed dance floor?
B. We’d like some special touches — certain flowers in my bouquet, a few favorite dishes on the menu — but nothing too crazy.
C. As long as the food’s good and the location’s pretty, we’re set. We’ll pick a package and be done with it.
10. When it comes to wedding planning, my groom:
A. Is pretty easygoing but wants input on a few key details like music and food.
B. Wants to be involved every step of the way — why should all the burden fall on me just because I’m the bride?
C. Just wants to know when and where to show up: The rest is my call.
1 A: 0, B: 1, C: 2.
2 A: 2, B: 0, C: 1.
3 A: 0, B: 1, C: 2.
4 A: 1, B: 2, C: 0.
5 A: 0, B: 0, C: 2.
6 A: 0, B: 1, C: 2.
7 A: 1, B: 2, C: 0.
8 A: 0, B: 2, C: 1.
9 A: 0, B: 1, C: 2.
10 A: 1, B: 2, C: 0.
What did you score?
If you scored less than 6: Stay home. Marrying away complicates every detail of your planning, and your circumstances may make a far-from-home ceremony challenging, if not downright impossible.
“A destination wedding is not for someone who has a large list of must-have guests,” says Alison Hotchkiss, owner of Alison Events in San Francisco and author of Destination Wedding Planner. “It’s for someone who wants to spend quality time with a small group of her friends and family.” External issues — VIP guests who can’t (or won’t) travel, a large must-have guest list or a less-involved groom — may mean you’ll need to decide between eloping at your dream locale or saying I do near your loved ones.
But your personality also comes into play. The complexity of a destination wedding may be beyond the grasp of a not-so-organized bride, while a perfectionist may have a hard time handling the fact that some details will veer from her vision. “If you want that fairy-tale, black-tie wedding with an eight-course meal and lots of exotic details, it’s going to be complicated,” says Tatiana Byron of 4PM Events in New York City. You’d be better off planning a wedding close to home, where you’ll be available to manage every detail to your liking.
The alternative: Hire a planner and let her handle the stress. “If you fall in love with specific photos from magazines and you’re very particular, you really need to get someone who can help you,” says Napa, California-based wedding planner Sasha Souza. A top-notch consultant can make certain that your vision is carried out — even halfway around the world. But you’ll have to pay for it: Expect 10 to 20 percent on top of the wedding budget.
If you scored 6-12: Venture forth — but not too far. You have the organizing chops to put together a destination wedding, but to make it simpler for you and your guests, stick with more established locations along easy travel routes. “You need to ask yourself, ‘What will my guests be into? How easy will it be to get there?’” Byron suggests. “If you fall in love with a venue that takes three planes to get to, maybe you should just elope.”
Choosing a domestic locale, especially in a popular wedding spot such as California, Florida or Las Vegas, ensures that you’ll have access to quality vendors used to working with destination brides. Better yet, you can make a site visit (some resorts offer complimentary planning trips) so you’ll be able to meet with vendors and get a more accurate picture of their capabilities. “The people at these locations do weddings all the time, so if you like the way they presented it to you, let them do their thing,” Byron suggests.
If you scored 12-20: Grab your passport and pick your spot. Experts agree: You’re the perfect candidate to wed away. “Destination brides tend to be nontraditional, adventurous and open-minded. They want something unique,” says Hotchkiss. Your excellent organizational skills will help you strategize a multiday event, and your laid-back attitude will enable you to have the time of your life, even if a detail (or five) isn’t exactly as you’d expected. “If you can just relax, you’ll have an amazing party — even if it doesn’t turn out precisely as you had in mind,” says Souza.
It also helps that your friends and family are willing to travel to the ends of the earth to witness your vows — and that you’re excited to spend several days with everyone you’re inviting.
Most of all, it’s important that you’ve fallen in love with your destination. “If you’re planning a destination wedding, you need to have a passion for the local culture,” says Byron. “The food, the music, the flowers — it’s all going to be influenced by the local scene.”