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.