Dreaming of a Destination Wedding?

Destination weddings are popular and appealing for a reason: the possible locations range from the majestic and warm to the intimate and beautiful, the wedding photos are almost always breathtaking, and the cost is around the same of a traditional wedding. So, how can you know that a destination wedding is the right choice for you and your future spouse? Consider these questions when you're making the decision about the locale of your wedding: Do you have a small guest list? As in "just a few friends and family members" small? Unless you have a hefty budget (and so do your friends and family), destination weddings have the potential to become pricey. A wedding budget has to be rationed differently when you're making travel plans, and if you're thinking about helping your guests fly out to attend, you'll have to cut back somewhere else. If you're expecting all of your invited guests to pay their own fares and expenses (and they're not immediate family or close friends), expect more than a few "Regretfully Declines." One of the nice things a destination wedding is that they tend to be small and intimate; expect expenses to climb and attendees to shorten if that isn't your expectation. The small nature of a destination wedding is often considered a positive thing, especially if you and your fiancé are private.   Are you okay with skipping bridal showers and mountains of gifts? Etiquette asks that if you invite someone to a shower, they should be invited to the wedding. Small showers aren't completely outside the realm of normalcy, but travel expenses may already be pressing on the few guests you plan on attending. If you're excited for a flood of gifts and parties for you, a destination wedding might not be for you.   Are you a homebody? Destination weddings aren't always reserved for adventure-seekers and exotic foodies, but it does make the choice more appealing if you lean that way. Destination weddings are a fun chance to share in unique experiences with your new spouse and guests. Always wanted to go cliff diving? snorkeling? A destination wedding might be just the time for such an adventure (and the pictures of you parasailing in a wedding dress will be priceless).   Have you been dreaming about planning a big wedding? If you spend days thinking about ordering candles for your place settings or hundreds of wedding favors for your extended friends and family, a destination wedding might not be the best choice for your big day. If you're looking forward to the months of planning, and you can't wait to emerge from your reception under a shower of rice thrown by hundreds of guests, stay home and enjoy the process. If not, and the thought of skipping out on extensive planning makes your nose tingle with excitement, start looking over a map with your significant other; a destination wedding might be just the event for you.