Why we decided to do a destination wedding and why you should too

February 25, 2016

Believe it not, I love spending all my savings and stressing out continuously for months to throw a party for a bunch of people – I told my cat. He smiled at me. He knew I was lying. Maybe that’s why he decided to bite my toe. Or maybe he’s just high on ‘nip. Anyway, we’re expected to do it. We spend so much time, effort, money, and sanity to host the dream wedding, not just for ourselves but also for our friends and family. I’ve been to many weddings and I truly appreciate the work that goes into planning such a stupendous event. And such an important day deserves perfection, but we’re not fans of the quest to create this perfect day, and so we’ve decided to forgo the traditional wedding and do a destination wedding instead. But maintaining our sanity is only one variable in this differential equation. Let’s look at all the reasons.

We wanted our wedding to reflect who we are

We are travelers and we wanted our wedding to reflect that. Originally we wanted (I wanted) to tie the knots in Antarctica. Is there any place more epic than that for a wedding? Surrounded by white fields of ice and snow, we would say our vows while the camera pans out and you see us in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated from the world. Then a white dragon would swoop down and carry us to our castle in the sky where we would wine and dine with the ancients. So this amazing idea was shot down, but we knew we wanted to travel for our wedding.

We wanted our wedding to be stress free

Or as close to it as we could be. We decided to outsource most of the planning and stressing to people who plan and stress professionally. Enter Carla from Unique Romance Travel. She’s our destination coordinator. She works in concert with resorts and wedding specialists all over world to help us make decisions. And that’s really all we have to do: decide which resort to stay at, what the wedding theme will be, where the wedding will take place (the beach gazebo or on the pier), so on and so forth. All guests will coordinate directly with Carla to book rooms and get help with airfare. I hope she’s stressing out because we’re not, and you know that SOMEONE has to be stressing out otherwise it’s not a real wedding. Our wedding and honeymoon will be one of those “show up and enjoy” type of thing. Sounds good to me! I’ll be writing more about this as we continue our journey to the altar.

image courtesy of El Dorado Seaside Suites

image courtesy of El Dorado Seaside Suites

We wanted to minimize cost and maximize fun

You heard that right. It’s a LOT cheaper to have a destination wedding than it is to throw a typical wedding nowadays (renting a venue, catering, bar services, and etc.). A destination wedding could get expensive as well but it really all depends on the extras you want. Most resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico will give you a basic wedding package for free when you stay in a higher room class for stays that are as short as 3 nights. On top of that, when your wedding party books a certain amount of rooms, your room gets better and cheaper. I’ll be providing a throughout financial spreadsheet so you can see the cost of this venture. The money we save on the actual wedding will go towards excursions and adventures while we’re there.

We wanted to spend less time on the details and more time on the experience

Once again, we’re outsourcing the details to the pros. We tell them the general wants and they make it happen. This works if you’re okay letting go. If you MUST have everything perfect the way you want, this isn’t for you. We remain faithful that the event they’ll provide for us will be amazing.

We wanted this wedding to be a gateway for our friends’ vacation

To me, destination weddings spread the burden to everyone coming to the wedding and alleviate the burden placed on us. To even things out, friends coming to our wedding will be going on vacation as well. So hopefully it’s a win-win for all parties involved. And with our friends with us for this joyous occasion, we’ll be able to share in the merriment for the duration of the trip, not just the day of. I can imagine it already… rolling out of bed and into the pool with our friends, floating around, hanging out together, and celebrating together.

image courtesy of El Dorado Seaside Suites

image courtesy of El Dorado Seaside Suites

We wanted to focus on our happiness

We didn’t want the wedding planning to come between us. It’s an exciting and anxious time – for anyone getting married; so we didn’t want to add stress to the emotional rollercoaster that we’ll be experiencing in this journey.

I’ll be writing more extensively about this whole process including financial details so you can decide for yourself if this is something you might be interested in. You may also contact Carla from Unique Romance Travel directly to ask her questions. The Wedding page will contain all posts related to this series so bookmark it if you’re interested.

Have you done a destination wedding or are you thinking about it? If so, what are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you.

Wherever the road might lead you, travel on my friends!

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  • Reply Tiffany February 25, 2016 at 10:25 am

    WOW Congrats! That’s a beautiful picture. Where did you get this done?

    • Reply Hung Thai February 25, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Thanks Tiffany 🙂 – the pictures were taken in Taiwan and I’ll be writing my experience on that too so come back and check that out.

  • Reply Carla Schipper
    February 25, 2016 at 11:24 am

    O.K. I am laughing out Loud!!! This is going to be so much fun, and thank you for allowing me to be part of the journey!

    • Reply Hung Thai February 25, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Thanks for dropping by Carla. Thanks for doing all the work haha 🙂 – let’s get you interviewed soon.

  • Reply Adrienne
    February 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I too had a destination wedding for a lot of the same reasons. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Best decision ever.

    • Reply Hung Thai February 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Oh wow, really? We’re actually thinking of going to Puerto Rico after this wedding in Cancun to celebrate more because of all the money we’ll be saving! Would love to get more thoughts from you on your experience in Puerto Rico.

      • Reply Adrienne
        March 4, 2016 at 5:59 am

        I love it there! Old San Juan is beautiful, the beaches are beautiful, the food is good. Rent a car and drive to El Yunque rainforest. We stayed at the Intercontinental, and had our wedding at el Convento in old san juan. I recommend!
        Adrienne recently posted this awesome article… New Hotels to Visit This SpringMy Profile

        • Reply Hung Thai March 4, 2016 at 9:35 am

          Thanks for the tips! I’ll definitely add them to the list. We have done zero research into Puerto Rico so this will be a great start.

  • Reply Aga
    February 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I love destination weddings and would have one myself if we weren’t already 10-years-married 😉 Back then, in Poland, it wasn’t even an option.

    • Reply Hung Thai February 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Ahh yes, well I guess we’ll consider ourselves lucky :). I was staring at the long sheet of what we needed to do to throw a wedding together and I got so stressed out, good thing we’re not doing that haha.

  • Reply Arlene February 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    So pretty picture, congrats and best wishes to both of you, and yes you made the right decision.

    • Reply Hung Thai February 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Arlene! I think we did too. So far this wedding planning has had minimal impact to our normal lives so we’re pretty happy with the decision so far.

  • Reply Jenna
    February 25, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I can totally see the benefits of doing a destination wedding. When we got married, we did it the easiest way possible–we went to the local courthouse! But doing it the way you described has many advantages, and you get to travel at the same time!

    • Reply Hung Thai February 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks! We are planning on doing a legal court thing this summer and the wedding in Cancun will be merely formality. Apparently if you wanted to get married legally in Mexico, blood tests are involved – no thanks 🙂

  • Reply Jesus
    February 26, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Loved this article. I have photographed several destination weddings and I have to say that they are the most fun. By it’s definition, those that care the most about you will make the effort to attend. They’re all having a great time because they truly love you AND are “on vacation”.


    • Reply Hung Thai February 26, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Thanks so much! We’ve made the acceptance in our minds that it’s okay for our friends to not make it as there are many reasons that might keep them from coming.

  • Reply Valen-This Way To Paradise
    February 26, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Congratulations! I am living in Mexico right now. I think you’ve picked a great place to have your wedding! Can’t wait for the photos!

    • Reply Hung Thai February 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks! I’m excited; thanks for reconfirming our decision and location. I know it’ll be great!

  • Reply Doreen Pendgracs
    February 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    How exciting! It is amazing how many couples are choosing destination weddings these days. I’ve noticed so many in Hawaii, the DR, and Cuba. Good luck with yours. I,too, am looking forward to the pics.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted this awesome article… winter getaways bring colour to your lifeMy Profile

    • Reply Hung Thai February 27, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Doreen 🙂 – If I may speak for my generation… I think we’re really capitalizing on the availability and ease of these “all-in-one” packages that make wedding planning/event simple. It’s a great way to go.

  • Reply Rachel Heller
    February 27, 2016 at 1:54 am

    You could say we had a destination wedding too, 25 years ago in Lake Tahoe. We only invited 8 people since our original plan was just to elope but my parents wanted to be there. We couldn’t afford a wedding and didn’t want my parents to have to pay. The problem was that 4 out of the 8 couldn’t come and in my in-laws’ case it was because they couldn’t afford it. You say it’s cheaper, but aren’t you shifting a lot of the expense to your guests?

    • Reply Hung Thai February 27, 2016 at 8:49 am

      You are correct Rachel. We are dispersing the expenses and burden to our guests. We’ve made it a point though, especially for our families who will not be present, that we’d visit them and have a special dinner to celebrate. I’ve seen so many wedding during the planning phase and it scared the pants off me. When you spend all that time planning everything to the tiniest details, anything that doesn’t fall into place seems to cause minute headaches and strain. We wanted to avoid that.

  • Reply Wooclip March 3, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Hung Thai March 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Daniela March 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Sounds like such a good idea! My family would go crazy, but again it`s my wedding, not theirs!
    Daniela recently posted this awesome article… The Underworld of ParisMy Profile

    • Reply Hung Thai March 4, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Exactly! Your wedding, your call!

  • Reply Pinay Flying High
    March 9, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Beautiful! 🙂
    As much as we’d love to have a stress-free destination wedding, it’s quite impossible for us. I’m Filipino, my husband is Greek – two nationalities with huge extended families who would want to be a part of the wedding. In the end, we kept it a secret and only had our first-degree family members as our guests.

    Our friends hated us but only for awhile, :p

    • Reply Hung Thai March 9, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      LOL!!! Yes! I totally understand the pressure. My fiance’s friends have been trying to poison her mind into having a traditional wedding. Luckily, I’m really good at rejecting their insidious advances!

  • Reply All-inclusive Honeymoon Destination May 3, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Great app. Something that could help wedding planners to plan the next perfect wedding with ease. Great job.

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