Destination Weddings Legal or Symbolic

When you are getting married, there are so many decisions to make and so many details to plan. One of the most important decisions is where your wedding will be held. For some couples, a destination wedding may be ideal. A beautiful location with a fun atmosphere that feels like a party every time you look at it! With this in mind, I’ve put together some important things for you to think about regarding destination weddings and the difference between a legal and symbolic ceremony.

destination weddings legal or symbolic

What is a Destination Wedding?

A destination wedding is when a couple gets married somewhere other than where they currently live. A destination wedding can be a great choice for couples who want to explore other cultures, get away from their hometown, or just have an adventure. There are many types of destination weddings, including destination weddings that are more than just a wedding trip.

Location, Location, Location

When picking a destination, it’s important to pick a place that fits both your and your partner’s interests and personalities. This will make the trip more exciting and enjoyable. It can also help create a more memorable trip because you’ll be spending time in a place that’s special to both of you. If you pick a destination that’s too far from home, your guests may feel bad about the cost to travel, and they may not want to make the trip. You don’t want to make your guests feel uncomfortable with their finances or the trip itself, so pick a location that is both within your guests’ budget and fun to visit!

The Beauty of a Destination Wedding

If you’re into traveling and having an adventure, a destination wedding can be a great way to do both. You can choose a destination that fits both of your interests, which will make it even more special. There are many benefits to having a destination wedding, including how it makes your guests feel. It’s more likely to make your guests feel like they’re having an adventure too, and getting away on a fun trip. It’s also a great way to make memories with your partner that will last forever.

If you’re interested in exploring another culture, a destination wedding can be a great way to learn about another place and its people. Many couples feel that the beauty and scenery of their destination are what they love most about it. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, it’s the people, the environment, and other things that make a destination truly special and memorable.

Legal Considerations for a Destination Wedding

While destination weddings are often a lot of fun and exciting, they do have one legal issue for you to consider. A legal (civil) ceremony has an additional cost for the paperwork, officiant blood tests (if they are required), document translation services, an apostille, etc. The requirements and costs vary based on the specific destination.

To avoid the added cost and a few potential headaches, many couples choose to have a symbolic ceremony. They get the legal stuff out of the way back home, before or after their destination wedding. No one is the wiser if you don’t spill the beans that you are already legally married, or plan to seal the deal when you return home.

The Price of A Destination Wedding & Travel

Traveling to a destination wedding can be costly. It’s important to set aside enough money to cover both your wedding event and your travel costs. Depending on where you want to go, the cost could range from $10,000 -$30,000+, based on the number of guests, the location, the resort/venue, and all of the ceremony and wedding activities you want to include.

There are resort locations in Mexico for example, that have packages that include up to 30 people, that range from $4,000 to $5,000 for just the wedding ceremony & reception. Please keep in mind, that many resorts charge an outside vendor fee for photography and videography for example, if you choose someone that is not one of the location’s preferred vendors. The outside vendor fee can range from $300 – $1,800 based on the venue or resort.

Pro-tip: Consider applying for a cashback credit card to use for your wedding deposit, your group room block deposit, and other associated wedding costs to help you save a little bit of money. Look for cards that offer a cashback match, and 0% interest for an extended period of time. For example, The Discover it Cash Back card.

Who’s Invited?

If you’re having a destination wedding, there will be some people you invite, who won’t attend. If that is a problem for you or your partner, consider hosting an after-wedding party back home. So those who couldn’t make it can celebrate with you.

Final Words

To make sure your wedding goes off without a hitch, work with a destination wedding travel specialist or planner. Choose someone that has worked with the resort or venue, and knows the location. They will be your ally throughout the entire process and eliminate any planning stress.

Be flexible with your wedding date. Many popular places for destination weddings have limited availability, as far out as 2024. Consider a midweek day (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) for better options.

For questions about destination weddings, and legal or symbolic ceremonies, reach out to me.

How to Plan the Best Elopement or Micro Wedding

Do you want a small, intimate wedding or a big, ritzy affair? Deciding on the right kind of elopement or micro wedding requires taking into account a number of factors. Are you looking for a small wedding with only a few guests? If so, choose an elopement because it’ll be the most intimate and special option. Do you want to avoid large weddings with hundreds of guests? In that case, you may want to consider a smaller wedding with around 50 guests. Wherever you end up going for your special day, keep these tips in mind so that your special day doesn’t end up feeling like an ordeal. After all, it’s important to have an enjoyable and stress-free celebration. So here are some helpful hints on how to plan the best elopement or micro wedding.

how to plan the best elopement or micro wedding

Decide on your ideal length first

One of the most important decisions you can make before speaking with any vendors is to decide on the ideal elopement or micro wedding length. If you’re looking for a small, intimate wedding, then an elopement or micro wedding is the perfect option. That being said, smaller weddings usually call for shorter elopements. You don’t have to be a rule-breaker to celebrate a small wedding. In fact, you and any guests can still have a lot of fun and enjoy yourselves in a very charming way. A quick elopement or micro wedding typically lasts from a day to 5 days, but if you and your future spouse want to go the extra mile and celebrate your love longer, you can always book a second ceremony or reception when you get home to celebrate with family and friends who were unable to join you.

Decide on the number of guests you’ll have

Planning a wedding is always nerve-wracking. How will you and your guests be seated, what drinks will be served, what food, and the number of courses, etc. are all important to keep in mind. You don’t want to end up with too many guests or a small guest list and have to add to it later to meet venue requirements. If you’re having a micro wedding, you will want to keep the guest count to no more than 50 people. If that’s the case, consider a destination wedding. Destination weddings can be just as charming as a home-cooked meal. You can always add on another ceremony or reception/celebration after you return home to celebrate with loved ones who could not attend.

Decide on your venue

Venues can vary from extremely expensive to reasonably priced. It’s important to consider your budget when it comes to your wedding. You don’t want to end up with a wedding that feels like a steal because you spent less money. If you want to keep your budget under control, a great option is to choose a budget-friendly venue. If you’re on a tight budget, consider smaller hotels or venues, outdoor natural locations, or reduce the number of guests. If you choose a destination wedding, reduce the number of nights you will stay, or travel during the off-season for a better value.

For convenience and stress-free planning, choose a wedding planner & travel specialist to work with

A great option is to choose a wedding planner & travel specialist to work with. They’ll help you select the best vendors for your budget and schedule. Some of the things that a good wedding planner & travel specialist will do for you include: Getting you Registered with the appropriate authorities (if you’re having a legal ceremony outside of the United States), finding a local wedding photographer, a local florist, and a caterer (if one is needed). Your travel specialist will work with you to choose a resort location that offers you everything you will need for a magical wedding day, and help you make all of your travel arrangements.

Consider the location of your ceremony and reception

Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to your wedding destination. Look for a hotel with a charming garden or reception area. Ideally, your ceremony and reception will take place in the same location. When it comes to the date for your wedding, there are options based on availability. If you have a specific date in mind, start planning early to confirm your date.

Get your creative juices flowing!

Planning a wedding can be nerve-wracking and stressful. Thankfully, there are a number of options that will help make your special day as stress-free as possible. You can always use a little creative inspiration and assistance when planning your wedding. Reach out to me here to start planning your elopement or micro wedding, or if you have any questions.

Tips for Planning A Destination Wedding

If your dreams of a perfect wedding involve exchanging vows in a tropical rain forest, or during a beachfront ceremony, then a destination wedding is the perfect solution! Below are 4 tips for planning a destination wedding that will help you budget, and plan for your destination wedding.

tips for planning a destination wedding, destination wedding planning tips

1: Don’t be afraid to draw a line

Knowing how much you’re willing to spend ahead of time is an excellent way to keep you on budget. That means setting a firm dollar amount and drawing a line that you don’t cross. Determining the costs you’re willing to cover means deciding if you’re going to support your close family’s travel costs. Suppose you decide to do this; you have to figure out where you can save on other parts of the wedding.

2: The smaller, the better

It’s simple for couples to get carried away when they start writing a guest list. However, the key to staying on budget when planning a destination wedding is keeping guest lists short. Think about the people with whom you want to share the most important day of your life, and build your guest list from there. It’s a gamble to include everyone you know on your guest list, so choose your guests wisely. For example, if everyone you invite shows up, that can quickly inflate your budget.

3: Research when and where your destination should occur

Prices fluctuate throughout the season, so timing is everything when trying to stay on budget. Choose low-key destinations that are outside of their peak season. Look at the weather conditions during these seasons to determine which destination is ideal. For example, not everyone wants to travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season!

4: Look for cash-back and rewards opportunities

Overlooking the way you pay for your destination wedding could leave money on the table. Consider opening a rewards credit card that allows you to earn points for each of your purchases. If you’re concerned about credit card debt, look at a reward checking account where you can earn cash-back each time you use it to pay for your wedding’s expenses. It’s also easier to plan a budget for your destination wedding if you start in advance by saving up as much as possible for your big day.

As a destination wedding planning and travel specialist, I have helped couples just like you, plan their destination wedding. The above list is just a few of the many tips for planning a destination wedding that I have shared with my couples. If you are thinking about planning a destination wedding, I invite you to schedule a free consultation so we can chat about your ideas, and I can answer the questions that you have.