Destination Wedding Challenges

Everyone knows that there are pros and cons with hosting a destination wedding.  Here are mine!


via Ruby Press {source}

Top Pros

1.) Amazing Location

2.) You have an excuse to have that intimate wedding you’ve always dreamed off

3.) You have the opportunity to focus on more of the special details since you have a smaller guest list

Top Cons

1.) Added costs for your guests that may have to travel a great distance

2.) Many of the people you hold dear to you will not be able to come

3.) It will be difficult coordinating your vendors since most likely you will not be able to meet with them in person prior to booking them

Our wedding will truly be a destination wedding for most everyone.  My family is mainly from the Pittsburgh area, New York and Ohio while Ger’s family is scattered all over Europe.  Luckily his immediate family is from Ireland!

We are anticipating around 30-40 people with the majority of the guest list being from Ger’s side.


via Ruby Press {source}

My mom suggested that I host a second reception back in my hometown for those people who were not able to attend the wedding.  At first I decided against this idea.  I didn’t want feel like I was “reenacting” my wedding.  After thinking about it, I decided that I didn’t want a full reception but maybe just a casual get together at my parents house.

Then reality hit me, with all the traveling for the wedding and honeymoon, I doubt I would be able to take more time off work for my “second reception.”

My next thought was, “why don’t we have an anniversary party?”  This way, we can have plenty of time to recover from tending to all of the wedding details and have an opportunity to really celebrate our anniversary with people we care about.

So What do you think? Does anyone have any suggestions as to different ways we can include family that isn’t able to attend our wedding?



Filed under Life, Photography, Planning

7 responses to “Destination Wedding Challenges

  1. Chelsea

    My wedding wasn’t destination as in an ocean, but my husband’s family was in a different part of the US, so my mother-in-law threw a reception a month later for all of her family and friends. The nice part was I didn’t have to plan it, and it was over a holiday so we had the time off already. It was kind of cheesy in that it was a wedding reception, but i refused to wear my dress again, because that seemed too much. However, it was great seeing some of my friends who couldn’t travel all the way to my home and to it apeased my mother-in-law. Personally, I think an anniversary party is a little late; I would want to celebrate closer to the event. Good Luck.

  2. Norah

    This is a tough one! Our Boston wedding is a destination wedding for just about everyone invited. Combined with our tiny budget and a desire to have a small, intimate wedding, there are quite a few near and dear ones who won’t be present. This doesn’t sit well with my mother who suggested we have a second reception in my hometown. We haven’t come to a final decision yet and I’m really torn. The people who would be present at this second reception will not have been invited to the actual wedding – will this look like I’m just trying to get more gifts? I hate the thought of offending anyone or making them feel like they were on the “B List.”

    I think a second reception makes more sense in your case since your wedding will be taking place in another country. Try not to worry about the timing and embrace the celebration!

  3. First of all, thanks for using photos from our blog! So happy you liked!! 😉 Secondly, we actually did just that (had a second reception in VA, after our honeymoon, when we got married in CA). My mother wanted to have a second reception where she and my dad live (and their friends and most of my relatives live on the east coast), so we did, although I felt the same way you did. It felt a little weird and anti-climactic, but we did it anyway. In retrospect, even my mom agreed that we shouldn’t have done it. Lots of relatives opted for the “wedding” that was closer (and cheaper to get to) when they really could have come to the California wedding. And of course the California wedding (being the ‘real’ wedding and the one I created/planned) was MUCH more special (it was actually featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, which was a thrill, needless to say!). We ended up having about 85 at our CA wedding/reception and 100 at the VA reception, and I think if we didn’t have both we would have had 100+ in California. (We invited everyone to come to the CA wedding/reception or the VA reception, so they had a choice, which was really the main problem.) Just my two cents, but it’s something I would certainly do differently if I knew what I know now. 😉

    Have FUN!!!

  4. @Chelsea: I bet it made a world of difference that you didn’t have to plan it! What a great way to celebrate. I’m glad it worked out for you!

    @Norah: That is a really tough one! My suggestion is to just be honest with everyone and explain that you really dreamed of a small, intimate wedding (I’m with you on this!) Maybe this way, people won’t be offended and will understand where you are coming from. Just remember, no matter what you do, there will be people who just won’t “get it” The hardest part is overcoming that.

    @Melissa Davis: I LOVE YOUR BLOG! What you said about people who could come to the wedding normally, won’t because of the other option is part of my fear. I honestly don’t think a second reception is right for me. Perhaps everyone who can’t come should get together and celebrate with us via Skype!

  5. kris h

    i think the anniversary party sounds like an awesome idea! i just found your blog through the wedding channel top blog list. your blog looks great. looks like another addition to my bookmark list!

  6. Lucia

    I think you mom’s idea of having a reception for you and Ger is great. My mom got married in the US and hardly anybody from my dad’s family could make it all the way from Nicaragua. I think your parents are just so happy for you and would like to celebrate it with their side of the family too. So having a little intimate celebration with your side of the family and friends can only be a plus. When my mom and dad settled in Nicaragua they had a reception and it turned out to be great. You might even get more presents too!!!

  7. Pingback: Life is What Happens When You are Busy Making (Wedding) Plans «

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