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You Asked: We're Engaged But Where Should We Get Married?

You Asked: We're Engaged But Where Should We Get Married?

Dear Sugar,

I'm recently engaged (yay!), and my fiance and I are currently planning our wedding. We met in college and moved to a city where neither one of us has family. We've since made a ton of friends and feel that we have found our new home. Although we love where we live, we've both always dreamed about having a destination wedding. I know attending weddings is expensive, but since we don't have family where we live, most everyone will have to travel no matter where we get married since we don't want to do it in either one of our hometowns. I know this is our personal decision to make, but I wanted to see if you had any pointers. — Engaged Emily

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Engaged Emily,

Since you're the ones getting married, the location is ultimately up to you and your fiance; however, the farther you ask people to travel, the smaller the turnout will most probably be. Like you said, attending weddings is incredibly expensive, so if you want everyone on your list to attend, I advise you to pick a venue close to where most of your guests live. If you don't care how big your wedding is, by all means shoot for the stars!

I've been to my fair share of destination weddings and they've all been a blast, but I felt the financial hangover for months. If you do go that route, most hotels offer discounted rates if you block off a certain number of rooms. I would also recommend sending out your save the date notices, along with travel information (phone numbers, hotel options, rental car options, and flight options) as soon as you have the date set. The farther in advance your guests can reserve, the cheaper it will be.

Your wedding day is your special day to share with your loved ones, so even though you want to be accommodating to everyone, you need to do what you've always wanted. With that said, keep in mind that you will have some people decline your invitation, so keep a thick skin and realize that this may not necessarily be about you, but more about their pocketbooks.

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Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
You can still have a destination wedding in an area closer to your family. I'm not sure where your family is from and how far away you are but I'm sure you could find a nice location somewhere in the middle. It's still a destination wedding. I suggest if you do have a destination wedding that you make it a few day festivity with a bunch of smaller parties and get togethers before the big day. You need to keep your guests entertained when they can't just go back to their homes and relaxed. It could be a lot of fun and you'll still feel like you're having a destination wedding and your families will be able to attend.
jahaute jahaute 9 years
I was in a similar situtaon, my husband and i are from different countries and cultures, we met in and livied in NYC but when he proposed I felt a burden as I knew almost all our family and freinds would never be able to make it to our wedding no matter the location. We eloped! Had it inon a beach in Jamaica, best thing we ever did. Everyone understood, plus its what made us happy. One of my freinds wanted a destination wedding but it wasnt feasible for her either, so she did a destination engagement!! _Never heard of it before, but she went to Paris for a week with her fiance and had some pre-wedding portraits taken around the city. I think that was a marvelous idea!
kia kia 9 years
I had the same issue as you. My hubby and I met in a city we weren't from and had family and friends scattered all across the country. We took a "time out" from planning anything concrete to allow ourselves to figure out where we would be happiest with the wedding. You need to realize with destination weddings that people will not necessarily be on board because of the sacrifices they will have to make. In the end everyone you will want to be there may not show. My husband and I chose a site outside of the U. S. to make it neutral ground for our families. Our guests loved the experience we set for them. If we had to do it over we would have stuck with our location decision.
lizkiernan lizkiernan 9 years
I had the same problem, my family and friends are from Buffalo, NY. My husband's are from Albany, NY and we had our wedding in Boston, MA. Almost everyone we invited were able to come, mostly because the furthest it would be was an 8 hour drive--but still, after reading this post I feel an added gratitude to my friends and family for making it all that way!
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Destination weddings can be beautiful, but try to keep in mind that financially it might not be possible for others to afford it or get the time off.I know if i found myself in that situation I'd send our regrets ,hope the bride and groom will understand that it's just not possible for my husband and I to attend ,but instead be gracious, accept our heartfelt best wishes and a very nice wedding gift.Good Luck in whatever you guys decide to do!
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
My familys from MI, his is from IL, we both now live in IN, do we are having it in IN because its much easier to plan it where we live, halfway between both our families, and a driveable distance of 3-5 hrs for all. It would simply be unfair to have it in either of our hometowns because then the others family would have to make a much longer journey (8 hrs or more).
blingbling blingbling 9 years
My fam is in FL and my husband's in MA, we were living in Boston at the time but chose to get married in Newport, RI. I had a smaller contingent who would be traveling, so for us it made sense. But Newport is an example of an inexpensive place to travel to (thanks to Southwest), there is plenty of touristy stuff to do, and it has a great nightlife. Totally doable and fun for a weekend trip. We sent out Save The Date cards almost a year in advance, so people would have time to plan for it.
sugsug sugsug 9 years
We were in the exact same situation. We just ended up doing it back home and will travel for the wedding. A lot of our friends in our new "hometown" are more able to travel than grandparents, etc. and surprisingly many are traveling for us. The planning has actually been easier because we just have to make a decision and go with it.
missyd missyd 9 years
WOW I AM IN THE EXACT SAME SITUATION!!!!!!! I'm interested to read the responses.
mcreverie mcreverie 9 years
maybe have it on a cruise by the U.S. like a Disney wedding ... it actually might end up cheaper and less of a headache...they take care of food, the destination, and scheduling
Sydney-C Sydney-C 9 years
I am kind of in the same boat if me and the bf ever do get married...he is from Austin and I am from OK (but we both live in OK) not like a hemisphere apart or anything, but still asking the people from Austin to make an 8 hour drive to come to our wedding in OK (again, all hypothetical lol). We've talked about it and considered having it in Dallas, which is essentially the halfway mark. All I know is, although it is YOUR day, it is hard to not want to inconvenience anyone...
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I would also suggest off season you will get a better deal. My friends had a black tie wedding in the Hamptons right after the summer and got an amazing deal.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I love the idea of a destination wedding that is what I plan to do. I have a huge extended family that quite honestly I do not want all of them to attend if I should ever decide that is what I want for my life. I only want people there that truly want to be there anyway and would not expect someone to ever feel they had to go in debt for my day. To be honest I would probably only send invites to the people I actually want there and everyone else would just get an annoucement after the fact. I do not want a pile of gifts either. GO FOR IT!
petite42 petite42 9 years
Eh, I'd prefer to have the wedding and honeymoon in separate locations. Think about it... if you have your wedding in the carribean, aren't you going to want to stay there for your honeymoon? And won't all your friends and family figure since they traveled there, they might as well ALSO stay and have a nice vacation? That's not MY idea of a honeymoon... mom and dad and granma and grandpa and my next door neighbor all in the next cottage ...
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I can't believe someone would say that your wedding day Isn't about You. So who is it about? Really all a wedding NEEDS is you, your future husband and someone to marry you. Destination weddings don't HAVE to be crazy expensive. One of my best friends had a destination wedding, but the wedding itself was just for her very close family and friends (only like 10 people) then they came home and had a reception at home. That way the people that could've afford to travel still could enjoy the wedding. It was fun and neat and a good way to include everything you want.
vanprooyen vanprooyen 9 years
I think you should do your wedding where you want to have it. But you can have a nice destination wedding in the USA. We thought about having a destination wedding but then my 92-year old grandparents couldn't come, so we chose to have it somewhere that they could attend. We're having it in Napa Valley, where my family is from. A lot of guests do have to travel (many from Europe), but it's probably easier for them than if they had to travel to Costa Rica, where I was thinking of having it . . . . but Napa Valley is a destination wedding for many people. Maybe like Dear Sugar says pick a fun destination but one that's not in another hemisphere?
almost-famous almost-famous 9 years
Well honey, all I can say is invite members of the family that you know wouldn't mind traveling i.e. parents and grandparents. If you have siblings that you know will see you AND pay for their own plane ticket, then invite them. This is a serious dilemma however, later I know the both of you will come up with a decision. GOOD LUCK!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I admit I don't love the attitude we all have about weddings that it's YOUR DAY and you can do whatever you want. You don't want to make the wedding convenient to ANY of the guests so why not leave the country? The thing that sucks is so many people feel totally forced and obligated to go and they go into debt just trying to pay the costs to attend. I'm all for a destination wedding, if it's just for the two of you. Otherwise it's putting an unfair burden on your guests. The argument of "well, they're all traveling anyway" is sort of logically inconsistent. There is a huge difference, say, between traveling to Hawaii and traveling to California, if you are an east coaster. Financially and also in terms of time. Perhaps "destination" for you means somewhere in the contiguous 48 but most often it means international travel and lots of headaches.
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