Destination Wedding vs. Traditional Wedding

Brides and grooms know how tiring it can be to plan a wedding. This once-in-a-lifetime big day can take years of planning. The first thing you should consider is the location. So, what’s the difference between a destination wedding vs. a local traditional wedding?

Each wedding has its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, you’ll get to invite all your friends and family to a local wedding, but it’ll be more costly and stressful. On the other hand, a destination wedding can be relaxing with fewer guests, yet you’ll have to skip out on your favorite photographer or DJ.

In this article, we’ll tell you all the differences between destination and traditional weddings. So, keep reading to find out which type of wedding is more suitable for you.

Bride and Groom, Enjoying Amazing Sunset on a Beautiful Tropical Beach, Romantic Married Couple Kissing

Destination Wedding vs. Traditional Wedding

There are many distinctions between a destination wedding and a traditional wedding. It isn’t just about an exotic location vs a local spot. The entire experience and wedding planning process is different.

Guest List

Naturally, the guest list can vary greatly between destination weddings and traditional weddings.

Not only will destination weddings cost more per invite, but not everyone will be able to attend. Even if you pay for travel costs and accommodation for your guests, they’ll have to put aside all their plans to attend your wedding ceremony. So, your work acquaintances will mostly fail to attend.

Alternatively, the number of guests on the list for a more local traditional wedding can be huge. Everyone will want to share your happy day, especially since the wedding is practically down the street!

The wedding budget

Throwing a wedding party is by no means cheap. So, it’s better to set your budget beforehand. Though, it might surprise you to find out that destination weddings generally have lower costs than traditional weddings!

The reason for that is usually the much smaller guest list. Additionally, many destinations have wedding discounts as well as much cheaper vendors. They often have inclusive packages, especially for weddings.

Many couples can also save on their honeymoon by staying at their wedding destination.

Wedding Vendors

Traditional weddings allow you to book all your favorite wedding vendors for your wedding date. If you’ve been researching photographers, cakes, wedding DJs, and videographers, you can easily choose the ones you like best.

Sadly, that’s not the case when it comes to destination weddings. Most local vendors are reluctant to clear up their schedules for destination weddings. So you’ll have fewer choices.


The most crucial thing to consider is how much you enjoy your wedding. Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful regardless of the location. Yet, destination weddings allow you to relax more than traditional weddings. After all, you can’t get too stressed when you’re around beautiful scenery and good weather.

Additionally, destination wedding packages often include a wedding planner. Since the crew has organized tons of weddings, they’ll take care of your guests for you. This way, you’ll be free to enjoy your night.

Alternatively, traditional weddings can be stressful due to the huge guest list and the multiple vendors you have to deal with. If you decide to hire a wedding planner, it’ll cost a bit.

word love written in the sand of a beautiful beach

If you’re getting married in a foreign country, you will need to check the requirements for obtaining a  marriage license. This can be expensive and stressful. On the flip side, one of the options to avoid this is to get legally married in your home country first, and then have a symbolic ceremony at your chosen destination.

A symbolic wedding still gives you the entire experience with a ceremony and officiant but it’s not a legal ceremony. This way you can simply enjoy the day without any of the legal stresses.

Why You Should Choose a Destination Wedding

There are many advantages to having a destination wedding. Though it might seem like a hassle, it can actually be a lot less stressful than a traditional wedding.

First, your wedding will only include the people you care about. This option will be perfect if you don’t like big parties with a lot of people.

Additionally, a destination wedding can greatly reduce costs. You won’t need any fancy photography equipment since the destination’s scenery will be your backdrop. A beach wedding is beautiful! You’ll also save on food. Even the attire will be more casual, thus less expensive.

This can also be a travel opportunity for both you and your guests. You can arrive a couple of days earlier to enjoy the location. It’ll be an adventure worth remembering.

couple in frame on a beach.

Why You Should Choose a Traditional Wedding

Though a traditional wedding might seem old-fashioned in these modern times, there’s a reason many couples still choose to have their weddings locally until this day.

A traditional at-home wedding means you can have a bigger guest list and ensures all your close loved ones will attend. Some of your close friends or family members might have travel restrictions that keep them from traveling, such as illnesses, scheduling conflicts, or family obligations.

There’s also a sentimental value to traditional weddings. You can get married at a place that holds meaning for you and your spouse. Even if you’re holding a small reception at your childhood home, it’ll be a night to remember.

Even if a traditional wedding costs more, your guests are likely to bring you lots of gifts!

Lastly, a traditional wedding means you don’t have to miss out on your favorite photographer or cake vendor. You can truly have it all with a traditional wedding.

wedding ceremony of bride and groom and celebrant being live streamed.

To Conclude

A common issue many couples face when planning their wedding is choosing the location for their wedding venue. This is why you need to assess the differences between having a destination wedding vs. traditional wedding.

The main distinction is that destination weddings are more intimate with fewer people. Additionally, it can be much cheaper as well as a travel opportunity. Alternatively, traditional weddings allow you to throw the big wedding of your dreams. You’ll also be free to choose your favorite wedding vendors.

Simply put, each location has its pros and cons and it comes down to personal preference. The right one for you depends on you and your spouse’s priorities and how you envision your special day.

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