The Modern Definition of a Destination Wedding

The Fashionable Definition of a Vacation spot Marriage ceremony

There has arguably by no means been a greater time to host a vacation spot wedding ceremony than proper now—everybody’s obtained the journey bug and is able to occasion. However what’s a vacation spot wedding ceremony? By commonplace definition, a vacation spot wedding ceremony is a ceremony and reception that is held someplace aside from the place the bride and groom dwell, however that does not essentially imply it is in some far-flung locale.

“I imagine COVID—and the next lack of availability with distributors—has helped {couples} notice that they’ll get married wherever and every time they need,” says wedding ceremony planner Kia Marie of Chicago-based Kia Marie Occasions. Roxanne Bellamy, a Washington, D.C.-based wedding ceremony planner, agrees: “Vacation spot wedding ceremony planning has positively surged this yr, and I count on that surge to proceed. A lot of our {couples} have not had the chance to see household and family members in a pair years because of the pandemic. In consequence, they’re planning heartfelt vacation spot weddings that not solely function a celebration of their union, but in addition as a reunion of kinds.”

The numbers show it, too. Based on EMBARK Past founder Jack Ezon, vacation spot weddings are up 250 % from 2019. Luxurious journey advisor Laura Value predicts the surge will solely proceed. “It goes with out saying that individuals have felt cooped up for the final two years, and so they both need vacation spot as a result of it’s unique and an excuse to journey, or as a result of they did small or native or yard weddings and need to ‘make up for it,'” she says. “‘Revenge journey’ is what I’ve been jokingly calling the surge in leisure bookings—and this most positively applies to occasions and weddings.”

Meet the Skilled

  • Kia Marie is the proprietor and artistic director at Kia Marie Occasions. She plans luxe weddings in her hometown Chicago and throughout the nation and globe.
  • Roxanne Bellamy is the artistic director of Roxanne Bellamy & Co., a Miami- and D.C.-based occasions agency that makes a speciality of vacation spot wedding ceremony planning. She was born in Jamaica, raised in Florida, and now resides in Washington, D.C.
  • Jack Ezon is the founding father of EMBARK Past, a journey advisory that creates thoughtfully designed experiences, together with for vacation spot weddings and group journey.
  • Renée Strauss is the CEO of Wedaways, a luxurious journey company that makes a speciality of property buyouts, room blocks, and honeymoons for the shoppers of wedding ceremony planners.

Even though everybody desires to get away, there’s nonetheless uncertainty in journey, and the ever-changing restrictions and guidelines related to it could actually make planning a getaway difficult. To accommodate, many {couples} are protecting their weddings stateside, however heading cross-country for that vacation spot really feel. 

We turned to some high wedding ceremony planners and journey specialists to get a way of what a vacation spot wedding ceremony appears to be like like at present, plus ideas for planning one (together with methods to make it simpler on the finances). And in the event you’re fascinated about internet hosting a vacation spot wedding ceremony—both home or worldwide—we’re sharing just a few newly common venues and locales.

What Is a Vacation spot Marriage ceremony?

Picture by Gianni Di Natale Photographers / Picture by Abby Jiu Pictures / Design by Tiana Crispino

Prior to now, a vacation spot wedding ceremony virtually completely meant a celebration that was going down on a sandy seaside or at an unique resort. That is not the case: The brand new definition is far broader, and numerous it has to do with security. “The world is in excessive demand, particularly the place there’s a sense of security in journey,” says Wedaways CEO Renée Strauss. “Everywhere in the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe—particularly Italy, France, Greece, Spain, and Switzerland, in that order.” Briefly, a vacation spot wedding ceremony can now encapsulate any occasion going down exterior a pair’s hometown.

And with that up to date definition in thoughts, there are just a few tendencies within the vacation spot wedding ceremony house {couples} ought to pay attention to. Right here, we share those to place in your radar.

Home Locations

“We have positively skilled an uptick in home locations, which we love simply as a lot as these overseas,” says Bellamy. “A lot of our shoppers are contemplating their households when making the choice to stay native; some have kinfolk with preexisting situations and so they do not need to compromise their well being by heading in another country, for instance.”

Metropolis Vibes

“Cities are in,” Ezon affirms. “Earlier than 2019, vacation spot resorts made up about 80 % of our vacation spot celebrations. This yr, virtually 40 % of the vacation spot occasions we’re doing are in cities like Paris, London, Milan, Rome, and New York.”

(Week)Day Events

Discovering an obtainable Saturday at your dream vacation spot within the subsequent couple years might really feel like discovering a needle in a haystack, however there’s excellent news: Increasingly {couples} are reserving weekday weddings, and vacation spot weddings are the right excuse to take a pair further days off work to have fun your nuptials.

Picture by Mike Larson / Design by Tiana Crispino

What to Know If You are Planning a Vacation spot Marriage ceremony 

In 2022 and 2023, wedding ceremony planning appears to be like a little bit completely different—particularly in relation to vacation spot occasions. Listed below are just a few need-to-know particulars. 

Prices Are Up, Flexibility Is Down

It is sensible: There’s tons of pent-up demand surrounding the return of weddings, and it is driving the worth and availability of distributors. Resorts and different vacation spot venues could also be much less versatile of their choices for the following yr or two, so be aware and affected person in relation to negotiating and asking for what you need. 

Plan Far in Advance

“{Couples} ought to make the most of as a lot time as doable in relation to planning a vacation spot wedding ceremony,” Bellamy says. “In my expertise, 12 to 18 months is an effective period of time. This manner, {couples} get to completely plan their celebration and permit their friends ample time to arrange.” She suggests choosing “pre-save-the-dates” to get an earlier and extra correct depend of anticipated visitor participation.

Count on Extra “Sure” RSVPs

Bellamy notes that her shoppers are seeing as much as 90 % of invited friends attend their vacation spot occasion. “That is typically surprising for {couples} as a result of they assume fewer friends will RSVP sure,” she explains. “Not the case! Everybody was cooped up for nearly two years, so everyone seems to be in search of an excuse to journey and have fun!” So, plan your visitor listing accordingly.

Since so many friends could also be turning your wedding ceremony right into a much-needed trip, it is good to barter wedding ceremony block charges at a number of resort choices within the space, and see if the inns are prepared to increase the speed for just a few further nights, quite than simply the marriage night time. “Allow them to know you’ll promote their property to all these wedding ceremony friends in trade for a greater fee or extra worth,” Ezon recommends. He provides that {couples} might also be capable to work out group flight choices to make sure friends don’t get caught with an enormous ticket price.

Think about a Buyout

It is the most recent pattern to ensure resorts have the house and availability on your wedding ceremony. “A full resort takeover ensures {couples} can do what they need, when they need, and the way in which they need it,” says Ezon, who provides greater than 80 % of the celebrations EMBARK Past works on are buyouts. “Purchasers actually search for locales primarily based on what’s sufficiently small—or sufficiently big—for a full takeover.” Many locales throughout Mexico and Central America are filled with small boutique inns good for a buyout. 

In the event you’re not doing a full buyout, you should definitely examine the resort’s availability on the times surrounding your wedding ceremony, not simply the marriage night time. Weddings are occurring day-after-day of the week, so make certain an occasion block from the day prior received’t forestall friends from making it in for the welcome occasion.

Picture by The Foxes Pictures / Design by Tiana Crispino

Ideas for Budgeting

Is that this beginning to sound a bit costly? We hear you. Listed below are just a few ideas to assist maintain prices down and keep inside your set finances.

Think about a Weekday 

Increasingly weddings are occurring on days different than Saturday, and—no less than in the interim—these days are each extra available and extra inexpensive. Whereas it will not be completely handy for a hometown wedding ceremony, weekday weddings make full sense for locations. Most friends might be taking time without work for journey anyway, and this offers everybody extra time collectively as they’ll lengthen their journey via the weekend. 

Guide Off-Season

Reserving low season will assist avoid wasting dough, however it has different benefits, too. Analysis the months hottest on your desired vacation spot and choose a distinct time of yr (simply keep away from wet season, if there’s one!). The climate could also be barely extra gentle, the situation will not be as crowded, and, most significantly, the venue might supply cheaper low season charges. 

Search for Constructed-In Backdrops

A ceremony set towards the mountains requires little or no floral for max influence; a reception on the seaside has its personal ocean soundtrack and wishes minimal décor. Concentrate on the vibe you are in search of, and choose a vacation spot that encapsulates that every one by itself.

Prime Locations for 2022 and 2023 

“The general make-up of vacation spot weddings has positively shifted domestically,” says Emily Forrest, director of communications at Zola. “And, the preferred vacation spot for worldwide weddings has shifted, too. In 2019 the highest wedding ceremony spots exterior of the USA had been the Caribbean and Mexico, however via a 2022 visitor survey we discovered that the highest location to journey in another country for a marriage this yr is Italy.”

Right here, just a few spots which have begun to achieve reputation for vacation spot weddings, each home and overseas. Look out for them to pattern within the subsequent yr.


There isn’t any doubt about it: Napa Valley is heating up as a vacation spot wedding ceremony location, and that is due to the truth that luxe new properties, like Auberge Stanly Ranch, Montage Healdsburg, and the 4 Seasons Napa Valley, have all made their debut. Scenic views and nice wine—what extra does a marriage want?


“Since I used to be raised in Florida, I’ll at all times advocate it as a home vacation spot,” says Bellamy. “Tropical climate, superb nightlife, distinctive meals, heat water. I imply, come on!” The additional south you enterprise, the extra tropical the vibe; Miami can also be having a serious second.

Western United States 

Utah’s Amangiri resort is an ultra-luxe choice (it is new Camp Sarika is right for intimate wedding ceremony buyouts), however there are numerous firms popping up out west focusing on bringing weddings to life nearly wherever. Cactus Collective Weddings makes vacation spot wedding ceremony goals come true in parks and canyons round San Diego, Las Vegas, and Black Hills. Material & Flame helps create weddings wherever you need them, erecting tents and bringing electrical energy to the center of the desert, for example.

The Midwest

Marie’s high choose, Greencrest Manor, evokes French Chateau vibes in Battle Creek, Michigan. Illinois’ new Camp Aramoni is glamping at its most interesting, with a historic brickyard reimagined into an occasion house. The Fields is a nostalgic venue set deep in nature. These and a number of others are good mini getaways for home weddings that really feel like trip. 


The highest worldwide vacation spot spot proper now, Italy has numerous beautiful locales with quite a lot of vibes. Lake Como is further scorching, says Ezon; he’s particularly excited concerning the brand-new Passalacqua.


Resulting from its proximity and ease of journey, Mexico will probably at all times maintain a excessive place on the listing of desired locations for North American vacationers. Newly scorching areas like Cabo San Lucas on the West coast and Tulum on the East coast are filled with small inns and venues good for reserving a buyout.

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