A destination wedding: is it right for you?


Statistics show and experience tells me that destination weddings are on the rise. It’s not hard to understand why: a wedding in a tropical locale with sun, water and lush green gardens is nothing less than pure romance. Is a destination wedding for you? Read these commonly asked questions and the answers to help you decide.

Where can I get married? Just about anywhere. Popular spots for weddings include Florida, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Mexico and a variety of Caribbean islands. You can also get married on a cruise ship. A wedding outside of the U.S. will take a bit more planning (see below).

Will my wedding be legal if I get married outside of the U.S.? Yes, but you’ll need to follow the legal procedures of the country where you will be married. You may need to register your marriage with the local government (usually for a fee). And, there may be additional requirements such as remaining on the island for a set number of days.

How many people can I invite? Destination weddings can be as small as you and your fiance (with a resort-supplied witness), or upwards of 100 people. The larger the group, the more you’ll want to plan. Many resorts have wedding coordinators available to help you (sometimes for a fee) and travel agents can also assist in coordinating details.

Are destination weddings less expensive than a traditional wedding? They can be. However, you need to consider travel expenses, and whether or not your guests can afford to come. Many resorts, Sandals included, offer a free wedding if there are a small number of guests. Free comes with a catch – you may have to book one or more rooms at the resort in return for the wedding. There also may be additional fees for items like flowers and photography.