Pros and Cons
Every woman has a fantasy wedding…if you are recently engaged, choosing a wedding venue location is the first, and most important step in your wedding planning. Once you have chosen a venue (and a date), the details begin to fall nicely into place!
And when choosing your location, you are presented with the following options:
1: Something local to your home town
2: A Destination Wedding within driving distance
3: A Destination Wedding inside the United States but a flight or two away.
4: A Destination Wedding outside the United States.
There are many pros and cons to each of these four options, all of which should be considered, so let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of each. And remember, there is no right or wrong approach, it just depends upon your personal interests and desires for your Perfect Day!
Option # 1:
Something local to your home town:
Since you’re more familiar with the wedding venues and services in your area, you’ll have more options that you’re personally sure are the best ones. You can take a fun road trip with the bridesmaids to several locations, handpick and taste test the food you want to be served, etc.
Even if you could save on not having to travel too far for several occasions, you might be forced to squeeze in 200 people. With the convenience of a local wedding, you should be more careful not to offend your distant relatives, your friend’s friends, basically anybody who lives nearby who don’t want to miss out on your big event (but you don’t want to send an invite to for valid reasons).
Marriage is not for everyone, and the challenge begins right after the proposal. The best thing you can do to make the preparations as less of a hassle as possible is to get the people that you know you could trust. From the entourage to the wedding band, and to the guests, the key is secure communication with people who would make your dream wedding possible.
Living near the venue will give you more access to it, which can be a benefit for planning purposes.
Most venues limit your number of “re-visits” to one or two, so even though you may have a venue near you, it doesn’t mean you actually have access to it.
You likely have already gone to several weddings at your local venue, so you are familiar with it.
Many of your guests likely have gone to several weddings at your local venue, which means your wedding is not likely to stand out in any way.
Option # 2:
A Destination Wedding within driving distance
Simply put, destination weddings are beautiful. Whether it’s at a sunny beach, snowy mountain top, or European castle, the backdrop for your special day will be absolutely stunning and unique. You can also almost guarantee that none of your friends or family have gotten married in the location you choose, making your wedding one of a kind!
A destination wedding within driving distance is the most accessible type of destination wedding for your friends and family. In many respects, it can be the perfect compromise between the European Castle and a hometown wedding. Within driving distance you may have beaches, farms, and mountains, all of which can be fabulous settings for a destination wedding, creating a unique experience and memorable wedding for you and your guests. Once you start to do some research, you will be surprised at what your options are.
If one of your attractions to destination weddings is to reduce the number of family and friends that can participate in the wedding, a destination wedding within driving distance will not accomplish this.
Destination weddings can be so much simpler to plan and execute than close to home weddings. This may seem counter intuitive since it can be very difficult to orchestrate an event long distance, but it actually is easier to plan a wedding at a distant destination. The reason it is simpler is that many destinations have pre-designed wedding packages that are created by professional wedding planners. The packages include all of the components a beautiful wedding requires, and the bride and groom need only make a few decisions and the rest is taken care of for them. If the couple wants to create their own wedding design, they can obtain the assistance of professional wedding planners who are located at the desired destination, and they can take care of all the little details that need attention.
If you want to be involved in every little detail of your wedding, a hometown wedding may be a better choice, as you can shop for flower companies, caterers, photographers, plate and linen rental companies, transportation companies, bands, DJs, etc. etc. In each category you can meet with people locally to become educated about all of your options and make the best choice. This can be incredibly time consuming and demanding in other ways, but some brides have a lot of time on their hands and enjoy this part of the process.
Option # 3:
A Destination Wedding inside the United States but a flight or two away.
If your destination is within the US but requires plane travel, you are likely travelling to a unique area of the country that your guests may have never experienced before.
Each state has its own laws regarding marriage and associated licensing requirements, and this can be a bit of a problem or hassle, depending upon what state you choose, and sometimes adds additional legal fees on top of an already expensive wedding.
This option will certainly reduce the number of guests substantially, if this is a goal of yours, as many family and friends will not be able to afford to go from a financial perspective, or from a time-away-from-home perspective, as the air travel adds several days of preparation and travel time for your guests.
If you are hoping to have an inclusive wedding with as many close friends and family as possible, the moment airline flights are required, most of them are likely not to attend. Many brides who organize destination weddings with required flights are often surprised (and disappointed) at how few friends and family are actually able to attend their wedding. Be very careful and clear about what your ideal wedding is before you select a location that requires airfare.
Option # 4:
A Destination Wedding in another country:
More exotic often means more memorable.
If you select a destination in a foreign country, your guest list is likely to be extremely small. Like destination weddings that require air-transportation, many brides are not realistic in terms of what family and friends are willing to travel to another country for their big day. A foreign wedding not only tends to be a lot more expensive for your guests, it requires passports, much more logistical planning on the parts of your guests, and brides are often not realistic in terms of what family members or friends will have the time and financial resources to get to the destination, which has the possibility of being a very disappointing option.
Foreign venues that are used often as destination venues will have wedding packages, reducing your choices and need for making lots of decisions.
Foreign weddings can be very difficult in terms of legal issues – each country has its own laws regarding the recognition of marriage, and navigating these laws can be very tricky, which can lead to an extra expense on your end in terms of legal fees.