The Indecisive Bride’s Guide to a Destination Wedding

Destination weddings can be a brilliant alternative to a traditional event close to home. It’s a trendy, adventurous option that gives credence to the actual ceremony, but also mixes in the adventure of travel and honeymooning. And in most cases, you’ll save a bit of cabbage by choosing destination!

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But before you commit to matching Hawaiian shirts, Teva sandals, and selfie sticks, be sure you’ve measured all the potential complexities of a destination wedding. Below is a comprehensive pro/con list that each globe-trotting couple might want to consider for their nuptials:

Pro: Easy and breezy; stress-free and simple

Most hotels, resorts and tourism companies offer fantastic wedding packages that tie everything you need into a tidy little bow. Many packages will include everything from a wedding coordinator and officiant to food and decorations. These companies can also entertain your guests, offering excursions and sightseeing so that creepy Uncle Bob has something to distract him from hitting on your bridesmaids all day.

Con: Little control and less opportunity for the creative bride

If you’re the type of bride with specific tastes, unique style or a rigid vision of their wedding day, the resort route may not float your boat. Packages tend to be more standard, and while they are generally well-organized, you might feel out of control having all the plans executed in another area code. But unless you plan on smuggling narcotics, there is no reason you can’t take certain decorative items with you across borders. Bring your style with you, or better yet, bring your own wedding coordinator!

Pro: The guest list

You can invite way more people, because the likelihood of them all RSVP’ing is low.

Con: The guest list

It’s a universal truth – people will be mad at you. Cousin Nellie might scoff at the cost, or perhaps baby Jake is just too little to travel. Older guests may not be healthy enough to attend. Before you commit to your destination situation, discuss it with your inner circle and keep in mind that it’s a big cash commitment on their end. Be prepared to deal with negative feedback and don’t take it personally if loved ones can’t make the journey; these are the cruel realities of a remote wedding that you must accept.

Pro: Two birds, one stone

Why not combine your wedding and honeymoon into one dreamy voyage? Instead of checking into some dusty Super 8 on the night of your wedding, you get to stay in your happy place, leaping right into your blissful honeymoon. Mimosas, anyone?

Con: Will your honeymoon be snafued with hundreds of friends and family around?

The answer is yes. Plan ahead and arrange an escape so that you are together alone, unaccompanied in marital solidarity. Respect the ‘moon. It is a heavenly period when a couple gets to absorb the details of their wedding and unwind after an incredibly intense few days.

When it comes to your wedding day, there are no right answers. You simply cannot pander to everyone’s preferences. Yes, you must deeply consider the needs of loved ones, but you also have to stay true to yourself, and your beloved fiancée. In these situations, I often recite the timeless and incredibly profound adage, “I just gotta shake it off. Shake it off.”