Weddings are beautiful events where two people join their lives together for the sake of love. You’ve found the one person you want to share the rest of your life with and cannot wait for the wedding. You plan every little detail. The dress. The colors. The attendants. The guest list. However, weddings can be very stressful for everyone – the bride and groom, families and guests alike.
Very few people REALLY want to go to weddings. In fact, Jerry Seinfeld has a great stand up bit about wedding guests. As he says in his stand up routine “We are not as excited as you are. Most of us are getting these invitations going, ‘Oh, it’s on a Saturday!’…I don’t want you to think we’re not happy for you, because we are. We all think it’s great. But why is it necessary to ruin the day of 150 other people? [A wedding] is a bad party. It’s long, expensive, boring, uncomfortable. If you were going to plan a good party, would you invite the oldest people you know?”.
I have been to many weddings in my life. They range from large backyard affairs and traditional catholic ceremonies to intimate non-religious garden parties and exotic destinations like Guatemala. Some have been good and some have been bad. With so much money and hype involved these days, the last thing I want is to have a bad wedding.
So with all of this racing around in our heads, B & I decided to have a destination wedding. We will tie the knot on a private beach on Isla Mujeres Mexico. These are the 5 reasons we chose this type of wedding.
1. Beautiful location – Many people choose a destination wedding because they dream of the sun setting on a beautiful tropical backdrop as you pledge your love to one another and we were no different. We wanted to wed with our toes in the sand, but were the most concerned with “uninvited guests” watching from the beach in their bathing suits. That is why we chose a small hotel on Isla Mujeres; a quaint island off the coast of Cancun. It maintains a slice of old Mexico in juxtaposition to the modern, tourist-filled Cancun, but is still easy to get to. We reserved the entire hotel in order to maintain our privacy. The ocean will be lapping up against the rocks in the cove, our toes will be in the sand, and we will be surrounded with only our loved ones.
2. Quality time with guests – Destination weddings enable you to spend more time with your guests. We will have 3 distinct opportunities to mingle with ours – the welcome party, the wedding reception, and the day after brunch. Granted we have to pay for 3 parties, but that trade off is worth it. I have been to several weddings where I only chatted with the bride and groom for a few seconds in the receiving line. Bummer!
3. Less expense – Weddings in the US are BIG business. In fact, every time you mention weddings, the price seems to double. Mexico is cheaper and we can still tailor every detail. There are several items we can do our self to save money, but items like dinner, drinks and cake cost a lot less. This means we can afford the 3 parties I mentioned above.
4. Encouraging travel – Destination weddings give people an excuse to travel and plan a vacation. B & I love to travel and we want to share the experience with our closest friends and family. Half of our guests are traveling from the Midwest and a warm destination in the middle of winter sounds like a good idea to them. Also, we believe that everyone should have a passport, travel internationally and experience different cultures. I understand that Mexico is not that foreign, but we’re working in baby steps here.
5. Fewer guests – Destination weddings are usually smaller affairs. This helps keep the budget in check and helps you avoid the obligatory invitations your parents want you to make to their work contacts. It is well known wedding advice, that if you need to cut your budget, you need to cut your head count. Sadly, there will be some important people in our lives that will not be able or willing to join us at our foreign locale. That is a choice we had to make and get comfortable with.
With family members and friends all over the country and world, we knew the majority of our guests would be traveling so why not go some place fun? I encourage you to decide what kind of wedding you want and go for it. Everyone will have an opinion (even if you don’t ask for it) and it gets hard to say no if you do not decide what you want to say yes to early on. It is your day, but do not let the Big Wedding Industry take over your thinking. Listen to your heart. This is a special day for you and your groom, your families and your friends.