Why we’re having a destination wedding
Hello again everyone! I finally feel like I’m able to pick up some blogging again after what has been a pretty busy couple of months for me offline. There are some big changes coming up for me (and inevitably my blog), so stay tuned for more on that later. In the meantime, I wanted to follow up on my engagement post with some more information on plans for mine and John’s wedding next year!
So what have I been up to on the planning front so far? Well, as I tend to be pretty organised, I’ve already confirmed our venues – exciting! To be honest, I was super paranoid about everything being booked up as some people book so early. But I guess now I’m one of those crazy early-bookers spoiling availability for everyone else… Anyway, back to the plan! It’s venues (plural) because we’re having a destination wedding in the Caribbean, followed by an at-home reception to celebrate with a larger group of friends and family. Today though, I wanted to elaborate a little more on what led us to make the decision to have a smaller overseas wedding rather than going down a more ‘traditional’ route. It’s proven to be a slightly controversial topic, but there are a few reasons why we want to tie the knot abroad:
1. We love to travel!
Is there any better reason to have a destination wedding? Travel has been a huge part of our relationship ever since we got together… although I’m not sure John would have chosen to do quite so many trips! In our first year together we travelled to Canada, Germany, Gibraltar and the Netherlands and I know that I’ve never looked back since. We’ve created so many beautiful, amazing and more often than not hilarious memories in other countries, so getting married abroad makes perfect sense for us. Our wedding island is Barbados, which I’ve actually only previously visited with work and John has never visited at all. But he assures me he has complete faith in my excellent judgement of travel destinations…
In terms of choosing Barbados, I completely fell in love with it when I first visited in 2016 and I’ve been desperate to visit with John since then. I’m incredibly excited to be able to spend a full week there exploring with him and enjoying the Bajan vibes (with no work to interfere this time!). A lot of weddings in the Caribbean take place in hotels, and although they looked nice, we wanted something a little more unique. So we’ve now confirmed a villa for the week we’ll spend in Barbados for ourselves and immediate family, which is also where we’ll be holding our wedding.
2. We wanted a small wedding
Now this may sound a bit harsh, but we didn’t really want to have hundreds of people at our actual wedding. Neither of us particularly enjoy being the focus of everyone’s attention at events, which is exactly what your wedding is for! As it stands, our guest list for the wedding totals 34, although we are aware that some of our invitees won’t be able to make it. I’ve read a lot about this and there’s a big division of opinion on whether or not the couple is being really selfish in choosing to get married overseas because it’s likely to be cost-prohibitive for some guests and is a big commitment for those who can afford to come. To be honest, this is exactly why we’ve decided to have an at-home reception a week or two after we return from our honeymoon, so we can still share our celebrations with anyone who isn’t able to attend the ceremony as well as our extended family and friends. As for the guests who will be able to make it, a lot of friends we’ve spoken to have already said that it’s a great excuse for them to book a holiday to the Caribbean, so hopefully it won’t be too much of an imposition!
3. We can spend more time with close family and friends
This seems to be one of the most commonly cited advantages to having a destination wedding – you get to spend so much more time with your close family and friends compared to the one day you see them at a traditional wedding. We haven’t discussed the fine details properly yet, but we’re hoping to do a group dinner and/or excursion with everyone who would like to join in at some point during the wedding week in Barbados.
4. We’ll be on our honeymoon immediately after the wedding
Ah yes, let’s not forget the all-important honeymoon. When you get to travel to a glorious far-flung destination to relax and unwind after the manic stress of planning and executing your dream wedding… so why not combine the two? This seems to make perfect sense to me from a totally unromantic efficiency point of view. Also, some might argue it’s ideal to not have to deal with the airport at the start of your honeymoon. Personally, very few airports stress me out but I can see other advantages, especially the one where jet lag doesn’t eat into your wonderful(ly) expensive once-in-a-lifetime holiday. In fact, there will be some flying involved during our honeymoon with the local Caribbean airlines as we’re also planning to spend time in Saint Lucia and Antigua. Flying isn’t John’s favourite mode of transport so there’ll probably be some degree of stress involved but at least they’re short flights, right?
5. We’re having a non-religious ceremony
This isn’t necessarily the most important reason, particularly as you can, of course, have a religious ceremony at your destination wedding! However, in the UK particularly, there is a tradition of getting married in the bride’s Church if you’re going to have a Christian ceremony. As John isn’t at all religious and we also don’t live anywhere near where I grew up, this kind of became irrelevant for our wedding. Once we decided we weren’t having a Church wedding, we realised we didn’t have any particularly strong feelings about getting married in a random hotel, so we weren’t going to be constrained by geographical boundaries. Having said that, we’re still incorporating a nod to tradition by holding our at-home reception at a venue near my childhood home.
I know that John and I are both 100% happy with our decision to get married abroad, despite having already received some resistance to our wedding plans. So I’m curious to know – have you had a destination wedding or are you planning one? And if so, did you have to bypass anyone who thought you should go down a more ‘traditional’ wedding route? Let me know if you have any tips for navigating the family politics!