“Destination vs Local” … The Pro’s & Cons of getting married abroad

Let me set the scene…. Your madly in love! You’ve just been proposed to by your incredible soul mate and all you can think about right now is how much you want to scream from the top of the buildings “I DO” & have your nearest and dearest witness what is undoubtedly going to be the happiest day of your life.


So poses the next big question…Where should you hold the wedding?

Couples these days are spoilt for choice when it comes to the multitude of exceptional wedding venues and locations available to them however the burning desire to somehow romantically just whisk yourself and your finance away, to an exotic and remote destination is one that will forever raise itself in every newly engaged couple’s thought process when it comes to planning where they want to host their big day.

There are by far benefits & disadvantages to both sides of the spectrum and these all need to be taken into consideration before making the big decision however there are some crucial factors that play a huge role in tipping the scales towards either side of the coin.


Here at Puremotion, we’ve photographed & videoed countless destination weddings, and we aren’t afraid to admit…. that’s our JAM.  We LOVE THEM – however, we urge our couples to first weigh up the pros and cons and see if their list sways more to one side than the other. To help you out a little, we’ve listed a few vital factors to mull over (from our experience)

ADVANTAGES to having a Destination Wedding

  • Neutral Ground: These days it is very rare for a couple’s families to all reside in the same place, city, state or even COUNTRY so opting to have your wedding in a completely different location to where either couple’s family currently resides can mean that there are no hard feelings when everyone has equal ground to cover in order to come together to celebrate your special day. It also means that everyone can enjoy a little ‘mini break’ too – what a great excuse to get old Aunty Betty away for a weekend of fun in the sun with the family.

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  • Reduced Guest List & costs: One area that nearly all couples find stressful during the planning process is their ever growing guest list therefore an ever-growing budget. If your main priority is to have a small, intimate wedding attended by family and close friends only, a destination wedding could be exactly the right option for you and many couples choose a destination wedding for this very reason. Opting for a destination wedding allows you to have more control over your guest list as it eliminates the idea of having to extend an invitation to every cousin, second cousin and member of your mother’s lawn bowls club. Only those that are closest to you will really make the effort to be there with you. It will also mean that costs are diminished compared to hosting a local wedding where you are paying per head for costs, as less people are bound to come to a destination wedding and this is just a given.

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  • Quality Time: One factor that we are constantly being told by our destination couples after their wedding is how much they cherished the quality time that they got to spend with the guests that attended. Because the guest list was smaller and there was more time, the bride and groom weren’t rushing around trying to get to every table so that they could thank their guests for coming in the space of 8 hours. Given that most guests arrive a few days prior to the wedding kicking off, it generally means that the bride and groom get to really catch up with everyone that made the trip and it also meant that guests from both sides of the family had a chance to get to know each other. By the time the wedding came around, guests were so relaxed, the atmosphere was incredible and it just felt like one big party.


So now to look at the flip side. What are some of the possible hurdles you may encounter when planning a destination wedding?

Potential DISADVANTAGES & important factors to consider with having a Destination Wedding;

  • Lack of Support: If you decide to have a destination wedding, family and some friends are going to have an opinion. The hope is that they will all be very excited and embrace it but for those that are not in favour of it, will you be able to handle their expectations and deal with their negativity? Be prepared for mixed reactions amongst your guests and focus on the positives – everyone who is able to attend will enjoy a ‘mini break’ for themselves also.

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  • Legalities & Planning: Before choosing a destination for your wedding, we highly advise that you do your research and list the countries that will allow you to have a legally binding marriage ceremony and those that won’t. For example, if you are Catholic – you can be legally married in a Catholic Church in Rome without having to have a civil ceremony first, but you can’t in France. The rules are different. Once you have made your list, you should sit down together, evaluate the legal requirements decide whether it is worth it or not. Is it important to you that you are legally married in one ceremony or are you equally as happy to have a legal ceremony at home first? These are the big questions.

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  • Not everyone will be able to come: Finally, it’s really important that you carefully consider those that are dear to you that won’t be able to travel to your wedding. Financial situations, logistics and family or health reasons are all major factors in many people’s decision not to travel. We are thinking about grandparents here that have difficulty getting around, and family and friends that might have felt the effects of the recession. How much does it mean to you that they witness your wedding day?

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So with taking all of this into consideration, It’s always a good thing to be well informed on both ends of the spectrum, that way, you can make a proper judgement call on what option suits you and your partner’s lifestyle (and desires for your big day) best!

If you are interested in talking to a highly experienced & professional travel agent about your destination wedding plans, give our good friend Donna Phillips at Mobile Travel Agents a call. She can help you with all your globe-trotting needs and the best bit is…she comes direct to YOU. Click on the link below to download a PDF of some of their awesome deals.

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