There is nothing wrong (and a whole lot right) with getting married in your hometown but if your heart’s set on a destination wedding, we’ve got some ideas. First, some intriguing ceremony sites (plus wedding planning links) along with a few common sense tips to aid in planning.
LISTEN: Travel expert Rick Seaney is also an expert on destination weddings thanks to personal experience.
Six Destinations Ideas
Click the city or country for the best flight deals to these destinations from your town.
Florida: Lots of great destinations in Florida for beachside vows or even a theme-park extravaganza. Note: It will be hot in summer, and don’t forget hurricane season, but why fares can be reasonable. See more about Florida weddings here.
New England: Country inns and white clapboard churches can be beautiful settings (and outdoor locations are pretty great, too). We’ve seen deals to Vermont but the best fares usually involve flights to Boston but this can be driving distance for much of the region. See more about New England weddings here.
Santa Fe: This historic New Mexico town nestled amidst breathtaking mountains is a wonderful combination of old and new and a popular wedding venue. The city’s small airport is served by American and United but nearby Albuquerque (60 miles away) is probably the cheaper option with flights on JetBlue, Southwest and other carriers. See more about Santa Fe weddings here.
Caribbean: Both JetBlue and Southwest offer a lot of flights to a wide array of islands including good value venues like Bermuda, Nassau and San Juan, Puerto Rico. We’ve noticed more deals to Grand Cayman and Trinidad & Tobago as well. See more about Caribbean wedding here.
Denmark, Norway and Sweden: If you’re of Scandinavian heritage or simply intrigued by this charming region, airfare prices have dropped a bit to vibrant cities like Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm (though ‘cheapest in Europe’ honors still go to Dublin). See more about Scandinavian weddings here.
Australia and New Zealand: Exotic yet familiar, and perfect for anyone who enjoys spectacular scenery and sophisticated cities. Beaches, mountains, deserts, hobbits, between these two countries you’ll find it all (well, maybe). Learn more about New Zealand weddings here and Australian weddings here.
And for the truly adventurous: Get married on the helipad of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel (the one that looks like a tall ship sail). Three possible drawbacks:1.) It’s roughly the equivalent of standing on the roof of a 70 story building. 2.) It’s going to be windy up there and keeping a bridal veil in place may require Super Glue. 3.) This venue will set Mom and Dad back about $55,000.
Don’t Forget – Wedding To-Do List
Some of these suggestions may save you from forgetting something vital.
Factor in total costs: Before you ding your credit card, look at all costs. While airfare to certain Caribbean destinations has dropped, some island products and services (including food and drink) are notoriously high. Factor these prices in, along with hotel costs, as your draw up a preliminary budget.
Who will travel: Think about family and friends’ finances when creating your invitation list. If your nearest and dearest can’t afford the airfare and hotels (and everything else), you may wind up with a mailbox filled with regrets. Be sure everyone in the wedding party is totally onboard but if not, consider an alternative destination that’s more accessible and less pricy.
Group travel: Few airlines offer special discounting these days, but it won’t hurt to ask. Many do offer group travel options which will at least let you and your guests sit together. Call the airline for more information.
When it’s time to shop: You can often save by flying midweek (or Saturday). It that’s not possible for the entire trip, see if you can manage one flight on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday and you’ll reap half the savings.
Passports, other documents: Don’t pay extra for the last-minute, speedy passport service. If you don’t have a passport (or it will soon expire) get it now at Travel.State.Gov. And if you use a driver’s license for security check to see that this ID is up-to-date as well.