Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, Not Just for the Rich and Famous
By: Peggy Hattendorf – Travel Editor
If the response to where should we get married is “let’s go away” or “let’s plan something different,” then a destination wedding presents a perfect alternative to a local ceremony and reception. This seems too pricey or unfeasible for many who are living on a lean budget, but they may not be as cost prohibitive as you think. In some instances, they may be less expensive, as noted by Lisa Sheldon, the co-founder and executive director of a travel industry trade group representing over 900 certified travel specialists from the U.S. and Canada called Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA.) “Destination Weddings,” she said, “have better price points than regular weddings with 200 plus guests.”
These ceremonies and celebrations tend to have more “compact” guest lists, averaging 30-80 attendees and for most couples. In addition, the wedding destination serves as the honeymoon spot. Both features are key to managing overall wedding costs.
“Millennials represent the typical client group for destination weddings, as this age group is willing to ‘wait to get what they want.’ They have different buying habits, tend to travel in groups and are very collaborative – they want to be involved in the planning process,” according to Sheldon. But she added that couples on their second marriages, which she terms ‘Encore’ weddings, are also very attracted to destination weddings.
Wedding preparation in general, requires a significant time allocation, precision planning and a realistic budget. When asked the normal lead time, Sheldon indicated, “Some venues average 18 months lead time – while some reserve dates two years in advance…”