Destination weddings are events which the couple and their guests travel to, as opposed to traditional weddings that take place in a couple’s country of residence. As wedding costs continue to escalate and as brides become increasingly more practical, the trend of destination weddings has maintained full momentum.
This is because there are the added bonuses of:
• Getting a ceremony and a honeymoon in one place
• Reducing the venue, food and beverage costs that a large guest list brings
Some brides say it helps control the guest list, since not everyone would have the flexibility or finances to travel. However, for guests who are able to attend, destination weddings allow couples to offer a unique venue and a vacation getaway. Destination weddings are also a good alternative for couples who prefer to have something unconventional, since they can be either big-budget affairs or suited for those who with smaller budgets. The popular islands for destination weddings have hotels that offer packages that may include some or all of the following: accommodation, legal documentation, ceremony planning, a personalised wedding co-ordinator and perhaps even airfare. If hotels do not suit your fancy, there’s always the option of a cosy bed and breakfast, a quaint guest house or even a cruise. If you’re planning a destination wedding, it’s imperative to find out about marriage laws well in advance.
For example, for Trinidadians who are returning to get married in their country of birth, both bride and groom-to-be must be resident in Trinidad and Tobago for a minimum of three days before the ceremony. It’s important to note that the day of arrival into Trinidad and Tobago is not counted in the three-day period. A Trinidad and Tobago marriage licence can be applied for from the fourth day and is valid for six months. Couples that prefer Las Vegas-style wedding may opt for islands like Barbados and the Dominican Republic which offer instant nuptials, with no required residency or waiting period. Other islands, like Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica, require a minimum 24-hour residency for foreigners. Finally, you might want to research the destination thoroughly so that you are aware of contacts for local wedding suppliers, event planners, tourist attractions and interesting sites to see.