I envy those who have the guts to get married in some far flung dreamscape. Had I opted to tie the knot in, say, Italy or Australia, I probably would have been disowned. Besides the fact that my then step-mother does not fly — like, ever — there would have been no way my father could have afforded to shuttle all of my siblings out of the country and back. The passport fees alone might have broken him!
It was when planning pissed me off most that I dreamt of eating those non-refundable deposits and ditching the whole works, dragging The Beard off to some romantic spot, and garbling some foreign language vows. But alas, that’s one dream that would have come with scads of social penalties. If any relatives of mine are reading this, see what I do for you? Had I reeeaaaally wanted to, I could have hole up (and gotten married) somewhere like this:
Luckily, destination weddings aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Sure, there’s the ease of it all — find yourself an all-inclusive wedding package at some chic resort and you’re all set. And then there’s the evil joy of knowing that all the people you have to invite but don’t really want to invite will probably not attend. On top of everything else, you get to enjoy a mini-vacation or start your honeymoon right out of the gate! Is there even a downside?
Well, yes. There are indeed a few “cons” that balance out all of the “pros.”
- It’s all about trust. If you’re marrying at a resort, someone you’ve probably never met is going to be handling all the details, from the cake to the flowers. Sure, their online portfolio is beautiful, but consider how many snapshots didn’t make the cut. Get as many references as you can before contracting with someone, and try to angle for a liberal refund policy when you’re working out your contract.
- The dollar is in the toilet right now. Once upon a time, an American citizen could amble about, let’s say, Greece for pennies a day, but those days will probably never come again. When you’re thinking about how you can save money by walking down the aisle somewhere exotic, don’t forget to take the current rate of currency exchange into account.
- Planning from afar can be a real pain in the butt. For those not marrying at a resort, finding everything from a functional setting to an official officiant can take ages…particularly if you don’t speak the language of your destination country. If you want to make sure everything unfolds smoothly, hire a coordinator to take care of the details.
- Can you really see yourself saying your vows without grandma sitting in the front pew? Old Uncle Ernie might not last much longer…could you bear knowing he never saw you in your wedding day finery? A lot of people think that eloping will be all that only to regret later on. Then again, a lot of people who elope would happily elope again if they were shot back in time a la Peggy Sue Got Married.
- You’ve signed on the dotted line, but may not actually be married! Not all of the marriage ceremonies conducted in your destination country may be recognized as legal in your home country. Overcome this con by double checking the various legal issues BEFORE you embark upon your journey into forever.
- Relaxation may not be on the agenda. Even though you’re surrounded by the white sand beaches and azure seas you’ve seen in your honeymoon dreams, the pre-wedding duties will probably get in the way of your tanning time. And don’t expect respite once you say “I do” if your family is staying anywhere within a 100-mile radius. They will want…nay, demand your attention!*
With that said, let me present a little poll I created to help us get to the bottom of the destination weddings issue once and for all.
If there’s an option you would have liked to have seen in the poll but it’s just not there, let me know in the comments. I can’t change the poll, but I’d love to hear your opinion!
*This happened to me — don’t let it happen to you!