How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Home  >  Articles   >   How to Plan a Destination Wedding

With around 400,000 Australians on Facebook with a relationship status of ‘Engaged,’ that’s potentially a hell of a lot of wedding planning that’s going on.

What Types of Weddings Are There?

One of the quirks and most exciting things about getting married in the 21st century is that you can do it almost anywhere. Short of being blasted off into space – though we’re sure it won’t be long until someone does this – there is no end to the options available when it comes to where you get married.

On top of this, couples can choose to have themed weddings, simple weddings, completely over the top weddings, and in some cases couples will have multiple weddings, which are common if couples come from different states or countries, or get married abroad before having a blessing or a second ceremony at home. Whatever type of wedding you want, wherever you want it, the choice if yours and the possibilities are endless.

One growing trend, and one which can drive up the number of multiple weddings across Australia, is the trend for destination weddings.

What’s a Destination Wedding?

While the term ‘destination wedding’ often makes people think of flying off to exotic destinations, the term can refer on a simpler level to a wedding that takes place outside of the town or city where the couple lives.

One notable statistic from Easy Weddings’ 2015 Australian Wedding Survey was that 89% of Australian couples get married in the bride’s home state. For brides living interstate this would represent a destination wedding.

In addition to this statistic, according to the Herald Sun in 2015:

  • Sovereign Weddings reported a 20% – 30% increase in destination weddings from 2009 – 2014.
  • Planning business Wedding Destinations opened in 2004, and by 2015 destination weddings accounted for 60% of its turnover, with an average of 10 destination weddings planned per month.

It’s clear that destination weddings are becoming more popular, and for a variety of reasons. We’ll now look at some of the different factors that come into play when considering a destination wedding.

What Factors May Influence Your Decision?

  • Cost of Wedding and Guests average figures from Easy Weddings’ 2015 Australian Wedding Survey for weddings in Australia. Overseas wedding costs example cited by the Herald Sun.

Why do People Opt for Destination Weddings? The Pros and Cons

As we can see from the table above, there’s some great reasons to opt for a destination wedding, particularly when it comes to the cost. If you choose to incorporate your honeymoon into the same trip, you could have an overseas destination wedding and your honeymoon for less than the average cost of a domestic Australian wedding!

The biggest factor you need to consider for destination weddings – more so when going abroad than staying domestically – is the financial capability of guests to attend. After this, you probably need to also consider the cost of having a second ceremony when you arrive home, especially if the average cost of $36,200 for a wedding in Australia will be added onto what you already paid!

Destination weddings both abroad and in Australia can be great for offering your guests an opportunity to get away from it all for a few days. Particularly domestically, getting married at a spa resort and booking out the location for a full weekend is growing in popularity.

We’ve summarized the pros and cons of destination weddings vs. ‘hometown’ domestic weddings below.

Popular Overseas Destination Wedding Locations

  1. Italy
  2. Mexico
  3. South Africa
  4. Sri Lanka
  5. Canada
  6. Saba
  7. Fiji
  8. United States
  9. New Zealand
  10. Iceland

Other popular destinations from other sources: Bali, Thailand, French Polynesia, Vanuatu, Paris, Santorini


Planning Your Destination Wedding: 5 Tips

If you opt for a destination wedding, consider these five things when you’re planning it.

Tell Potential Guests Early

People will want to attend your wedding. While some guests may opt out of a destination wedding for financial reasons, they’re likely to be more offended if you assume they won’t want or be able to go because of your choice of wedding.

Make sure you tell potential guests early so they can plan their finances if they’re going to attend.

Plan Your Honeymoon Around the Wedding

Whether you plan to stay in one location after your wedding or are planning to travel, ensure you save money by embarking on your honeymoon straight after the ceremony. This is something else you should notify your guests of, as you probably don’t want your whole wedding party spending the next two weeks at your hotel as you begin your honeymoon, though they may want to take a holiday themselves.

Get Preferred Rates from Your Hotel

Whether you choose to get married in South East Asia, Europe, or somewhere else, make sure you discuss how many guests you are likely to have and get discounted rates from the hotel you are planning to stay at. Many will give you a discount if you book in bulk – which may mean you paying upfront for all guests – while others will allow guests to book independently and apply a discount when they mention they’re coming to your wedding.

Once you have all the booking details, let your guests know the deal you can get them, but remember they may wish to choose their own accommodation!

Think About Your Wedding Essentials

You or your partner has seen an absolutely incredible wedding dress in your nearest bridal store. How is that going to look after a flight to the other side of the world?

When planning a destination wedding, speak to your dress provider about how you can transport the dress safely. If you don’t, the best case scenario is likely to be a creased dress, while worst case it could be completely ruined. As well as thinking about how you can get your dress to your destination in one piece, consider also how you will get it home. Can a guest take it for you? Can you send it as a parcel? Or will you need to take it on honeymoon with you?

Don’t forget the wedding essentials when planning a dream wedding abroad or a destination wedding in Australia!

Give Guests the Best Flight Options

If you plan to have a destination wedding and are inviting guests – as opposed to having a destination wedding so you can have minimal fuss and no-one there – make sure you give them the best flight options, including when you plan to travel, so everything is as easy as possible. While your invited guests will be able to discover all of this themselves, it’s a nice touch from you to show you much you’d like them to attend by giving them all the information they may need.

Paying for Your Destination Wedding

Even if you opt to save money by getting married overseas, meeting the cost of your wedding can still prove a challenge. Saving to pay for your wedding can take a long time, while using existing savings can be inconvenient as it means you lose your ‘emergency fund’ but also you may be keeping your savings to pay towards a mortgage deposit or something else.

Instead, consider covering the cost of your destination wedding with a NOW FINANCE wedding loan. By taking out a personal loan you can borrow up to $40,000 and repay over a period of up to seven years. You can also use the loan to cover the cost of your honeymoon if you wish to do so.

If you’re interested in seeing what you could repay with a NOW FINANCE personal loan while getting the wedding you want, get your interest rate here and then use our personal loan calculator to work out your repayments before applying.

Don’t let finances get in the way of the dream destination wedding of a lifetime!

Disclaimer:  This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.


Categories: Lifestyle, Weddings

Things you should know

Applications for finance are subject to NOW Finance’s lending and approval criteria. Terms and conditions may apply. No establishment, account keeping or early repayment fees will apply to all new personal loans. Charges such as default or enforcement costs may apply if you do not comply with the terms of your loan. Settlement times may vary depending on individual circumstances. Loan repayment terms range between 18 months to 7 years with interest rates ranging from 5.95% p.a. (5.95% p.a. comparison rate*) to 17.95% p.a. (17.95% p.a. comparison rate*).

*About Comparison Rates

The Comparison Rate is designed to help you understand the overall cost of the personal loan. It combines the amount of the loan, loan term, repayment frequency, interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the total true cost of the loan. The comparison rates for the NOW Finance loans are based on a loan of $30,000 over 5 years. WARNING: The comparison rates given are true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Due to the fact NOW Finance does not charge any establishment, account keeping or early repayment fees, the true cost of the loan or Comparison Rate will always equal the interest rate quoted.

NOW FINANCE is a trademark of Now Finance Group Pty Ltd ACN 158 703 612 Australian Credit Licence number 425142, as agent for NF Finco 2 Pty Ltd ACN 164 213 030