Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Destination Wedding -- It's Not Eloping Anymore!

As the bridal couple, your goal is to make your wedding day a unique, memorable experience. You want to do this without all the bother and stress that a traditional wedding places on you, your families, and friends. You want to exchange your vows in a spectacular setting that fulfills your wildest dreams.

What you want is a destination wedding.

Destination weddings are a growing option for brides and grooms who desire something out of the ordinary and yet significantly their own. These weddings can be as simple as a sunset ceremony barefoot on a beach, with only a couple of attendants, or they can be elaborate as the Eva Longoria wedding in France.

Aside from those multi-million-dollar Hollywood shows, most destination weddings are cost-effective and less expensive than the full-blown affairs at home. And they can be a more relaxing and pleasant experience for all involved. You can even send wedding invitations or save-the-dates via email and save more time and money!

Planning a traditional wedding is time consuming and difficult, because there are multiple factions – parents, friends, caterers, wedding planners, casual acquaintances, florists, and a host of vendors – that have to be consulted, and often appeased. It is not only expensive as far as funds are concerned, but it also has an emotional toll on the couple as well. Some couples thrive on this activity while others find it more taxing than an IRS audit.

In the old days, the couple would often elope to avoid all the problems associated with planning a wedding. They would opt for eloping for a Las Vegas wedding, or running off to a Justice of the Peace if one were available.

My parents actually eloped to avoid all the hassle that their mothers were causing them in the constant arguments over every little detail of the wedding. My grandfather gave them money and his blessing to go to Cincinnati with my uncle as witness to “get it over with.” By the time they returned on Sunday, the mothers had already had their wind taken out of their sails and several months later the parents all threw a party for the couple. However, my grandmother never let my Mom off the hook about eloping.

The “stigma” of eloping in the middle of the night has now given way to families and friends actually encouraging a destination wedding. In many cases, the families and special guests are in different locations so they would have to travel anyway to the wedding venue, so why not have the wedding where a mini-vacation can be enjoyed by all?

In fact, many couples party with their families and friends for a few days at the destination wedding site prior to the actual ceremony and small reception that culminates either a long weekend or week. Then the guests go home and the couple honeymoon for a while longer before returning to their new life together.

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