Destination “I Do”
If you attended five weddings last year, there’s a good chance at least one of them was a destination wedding — a ceremony hosted away from the happy couple’s hometown, often at an international destination. These events are becoming increasingly popular as couples look for more ways to make their special day even more memorable.
In 2023, the global destination wedding market hit $28.3 billion, up roughly 33% from $21.3 billion in 2022. Experts predict it could reach almost $79 billion by 2027. While they can intensify the festivities, destination weddings can also add to the financial stress for brides, grooms, and guests.
According to wedding planning site The Knot, some of the most popular destinations for an international wedding last year included Mexico, Europe, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean.
As for why more and more happy couples are going off the beaten path, 55% of respondents chose foreign locations for their significance, while 59% simply picked their destinations because they were “interesting.”
Additionally, throwing an international wedding creates the opportunity to turn the wedding into a longer trip, stretching the “special day” to a “special weekend” or beyond.
Breaking Down the Costs
Throwing a destination wedding can be memorable — but at what cost? In the US, the average cost of throwing a domestic wedding is roughly $10,000. Meanwhile, international celebrations cost around $35,600 on average.
And it’s not just the couple (or their parents) carrying the costs. Destination weddings are also more expensive for guests, who typically must pony up between $600 and $1,300 to attend. That’s without factoring in bachelor or bachelorette parties, not to mention outfits — a must for the perfect destination Instagram (META) pic.
With all that in mind, next time you receive an invitation to a destination wedding, how would you RSVP — “joyfully accept” or “regretfully decline”?
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