I love travel. Nothing invigorates me more than an extended period of time in exotic locales. The history, the food, the jaw-dropping vistas, new people… I’m also not alone in this interest. Judging by my Insta feed, quite a few of us enjoy the freedom and repose of jetting off to foreign lands for some rest and relaxation. Some of my favorite sojourns include South Africa, Boston, Montana, and Spain. That being said, pristine waters and stone bluffs make make Cape Town a gorgeous city, but that doesn’t mean I’d want to get married there. Destination weddings are the nuptial equivalent of sports cars. While amazing and awe-inspiring, they’re not for everyone. (Given my driving record, a sports car would just be an ungodly expensive insurance claim in the works, but that’s another story.) This checklist will help you determine if a destination wedding is the right choice for you or a really impressive waste of money with a view.

Pro: Destination weddings are a convenient way to trim down the guest list.

If you and your significant other have decided that you’d be happier with a smaller than larger wedding, good for you. How to politely tell friends and extended family members about this unpopular decision? Look no further. Your decision to have the wedding in Hawaii or Florida inadvertently (or advertently) raises the cost of attending to the point where only your closest family and friends will come. Great-aunt Martha inconveniently hates flying and you decided that you absolutely HAD to have the wedding in The Virgin Islands. (This judgement had nothing to do with the thinly-veiled racist remarks she spews at every family function, of course.)

Con: Destination weddings trim down the guest list.

This is not the route to take if you want the traditional wedding, complete with a raucous dance floor full of your friends and family and bad renditions of ‘Footloose.’ You’ll have to make some tough calls about who gets invited out to L.A. for this weekend.

Pro: Destination weddings don’t require much in decoration.

The sun setting over the Rockies in the distance as you wed your dearly beloved on a 19th-century cattle ranch is all you need for decoration. This could certainly decrease the amount of wedding-related stress planning. Destination weddings are paradoxically much more elaborate and simpler all at once. You’ll consequently receive a lot of bang for your buck without actually planning and decorating in excess.

Con: Isn’t this the point of the honeymoon?

I personally feel like destination weddings makes the honeymoon superfluous. You’re already away from the stressors and tribulations of your lives and enjoying a completely different type of scenery. I suppose you could combine the honeymoon and destination wedding to create some sort of hybrid of both worlds, which seems like a savvy move. However, I’ll candidly admit that I do not understand the point of having a destination wedding in New Orleans and then going to the Bahamas for the honeymoon. You’re already in a honeymoon destination. Why fly to another? To each their own, I suppose.

Pro: It’ll be a memorable wedding.

Very few people get wed in a completely different destination. That in itself is memorable. Of course, this begs the question of if your main goal is a memorable wedding. But if you’re the type of person who will remember the feeling of grandeur you experienced saying ‘I Do’ on a white-sand beach, then the neighborhood church might not cut it.

Con: Expensive weddings are correlated with an increased likelihood of divorce.

An Emory University study determined that women who spend more than $20,000 on a wedding are 1.6 times more likely to be divorced. The same study determined that couples who spend less than $1000 are less likely to get divorced. Would you like to spend more money to go to an exotic locale or start saving for a house downpayment? We’ve written about wedding costs in several other of our blogs. Follow this link to read about Millennials and Marriage or follow this link to read about budget weddings.

Essentially, you have a plethora of other things you can spend money on. The honeymoon, student loans, a downpayment on a house, a new car. When set against this backdrop, a destination wedding doesn’t seem like the best use of your funds.


Like so many things in life, there’s no right answer to this question. You, our sagacious and erudite reader, are best positioned to take this information and apply it to your own life. We hope this blog gave you some talking points to consider when talking to your betrothed about if a destination wedding is best for you two.