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8 reasons you want a destination wedding!


Living in Asheville gives us a unique perspective on the concept of a destination wedding. Over the years it has developed into one of THE hottest locations to say I do in the southeast! Having worked with over 150 couples (and counting) since moving here, we would easily say more than half of our brides and grooms are from out of the area, in fact this year I can count on one hand how many awesome local couples we’ve had the pleasure of working with for their big day. So what is that? What is the allure? Why not just get married close to home? Why go out of area? Out of state? Out of country? From the connections we’ve made with our couples, we’re going to go over some of the most popular and re-occurring themes we see week in and week out on why you may want a destination wedding!

Smaller/More Intimate

This is by far one of the most popular reasons we’ve seen for having a destination wedding! Let me start off by saying there’s nothing wrong with a big hometown wedding with 300-400+ people! We have a few on our schedule and they can definitely be fun, but based on what we continue to see and hear, smaller more intimate experiences are in and the hustle and bustle of having to figure out how to accommodate, spend time with, and feed 400 people are moving out. What our couples are saying they love about the smaller more intimate wedding is they don’t have to stress and figure out the aforementioned, as well as it allows them quality time to spend with their close loved ones on their special day. Speaking from the personal experience of having had a big wedding in our home town, I met people on my wedding day that I had never met before in my life and saw people I hadn’t seen in years. It’s not that they weren’t awesome people or worthy of spending time with, it’s just those weren’t the people I wanted to share one of the most special days of my life with. Similarly, when we ask most of our couples why did you decide to go smaller, this is easily one of the biggest reasons! It maximizes the connections you have with those you have deep meaningful relationships with in your life and cuts down on the +1s. If you’re getting married down the street, everybody and their sister will wonder why they weren’t invited. But if you get married out of town, naturally, many of them aren’t going to be able to make it. So if you’re trying to keep your wedding on the smaller side, there’s always the option to just not invite people or tell your mom's friends they can't come (good luck with that), but a destination wedding will help.

Unique experience/Something Different

One of the things that are trending right now in the wedding world is experiences! Couples are wanting to have unique experiences and they want their guests to have a fun experience while at their wedding. During the wedding day this might look like popular trends where couples opt for doughnuts instead of a large traditional cake, interactive cocktail hours with corn hole and other yard games, or even renting a cute Air BnB vs a hotel. By going out of town you, your family, and close friends also get the opportunity to experience a new town, new restaurants, and new attractions on top of enjoying your wedding day in a unique or beautiful location. One of our most recent memories of this was our trip to Exuma Bahamas for Gina and Jamie’s wedding. We, like many of their guests traded our usual scenery for the warm sandy beaches and some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen! Some of the fun we all partook in required taking boats to get to smaller islands instead Uber, trying unique local foods, swimming with sea turtles, and soaking up the natural beauty of the tropics that most of us weren’t used to. These unique experiences made for memories that will last most of us a life time. When you look back on something like that, it wasn’t just a wedding you’ll remember, it was everything in between! Whether it’s traveling to the islands, or coming up from Florida to experience the fall season in Asheville, destination weddings allow you and your guests to break away from the norm and do something different!

Built in Vacation

By now, your brain has probably made this connection, destination weddings can give you a built in vacation, mini-moon, or honeymoon! One of the other trends we are seeing firsthand and reading about in the wedding industry are couples opting to postpone their honeymoon for later in the year, or having a small “mini-moon” as it’s been coined, and then going all in on their honeymoon later. By going the destination route, you have the built in option of getting there early, or staying later without the added hassle of having to pack up everything and travel again right after the wedding. If you play your cards right, you can have a destination wedding, mini-moon, and then honeymoon later….just let that sink in!

It can be more affordable

I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah right, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” but believe it or not, the option of a destination wedding can be a bit more friendly to the budget. If you simply consider some of the aforementioned reasons, let’s say you’ve cut down your guest list from 300 potential guests to 60 because you’ve decided to get married out of the state or out of the country. At $30-40 (conservatively speaking) per plate for catering, you just saved over $9k on food. Even if your venue and travel costs are a bit more expensive, odds are you’re still going to end up saving money. If you pick a destination that you love and want to have you mini-moon in as well, now you’ve cut down on additional travel costs after the wedding as well. One of the cool things about this option is, with a little research you can end up saving on certain things, and splurge on items where you may want to spend your money like location or photography ;) When we shot our now close friends Sally and Bryan’s wedding in Bermuda, we were shocked at how low the cost was for their wedding ceremony location. They were married in Jobson’s Cove with million dollar views, and the price was lower than almost all of the local options they had previously considered for their hometown. Since they both love to travel, it was a no brainer! So don’t scoff at the idea of getting married somewhere with a beautiful mountain view or a tropical paradise thinking it’s only for rich people, it’s likely much more affordable than you think, and when you do the math on other costs like enough food, drink, and rentals for guests, a destination wedding may end up saving you thousands off your budget!

Good Vibes

Let’s face it, with all of the reasons we just mentioned, how could you not be in a good mood?! You are currently about to get married in a beautiful location, with a built in vacation, while saving money, and you’ve cut down on a lot of the stress that would come with a regular wedding. From the firsthand experience of having been at many of these types of weddings, we can say that the bride and groom and their guests are usually always in a good mood! We honestly can’t say the same with all of the hometown weddings. Why is that? Let’s look at the next reason!

The further you are from home, the further away most of your typical stressors are!

The close proximity to home with your wedding location can lend itself to work issues popping up on your wedding day and if they know you’re right down the street, do you think they are more likely to call? Of course, and we’ve seen this. The closer you are to home the more you’re going to be thinking about the typical stuff that would stress you out on your wedding day. Like did I take out the trash? I wonder where my mom left her car in our neighborhood because our HOA sucks and will have her towed if she parked incorrectly. Crap did I scan that document or did I leave it on my desk? Maybe I can swing by and do it tomorrow. It sounds crazy, but the closer you are to home, and the closer you are to your normal routine, the more likely these normal things are going to occupy some space in your brain and stress you out, while you should be enjoying your day. The beauty of being so far away with an out of town wedding is as simple as out of site out of mind (especially with no phone signal!) When you can’t be home to worry about scanning that document or taking out the trash, you tend to brush it off, but when it’s only 15 minutes away, there’s a stronger pull to just ‘go ahead’ and do it. Getting out of town allows you to get out of the stress of your normal routine and that can be a great thing when it comes to your wedding!

Flexibility

Another cool thing we’ve noticed and it sort of hits on all of the points we’ve already brought up is the flexibility to have your ceremony out of town at a destination location, while doing a larger reception or party back home. This is one of the current trends we’ve seen for couples tying the knot even in our area. Many will want to have an intimate ceremony with 5-10 close family members on a mountain top somewhere and enjoy the company of all of their friends and family when they get back home! This option can be fun because it allows you the flexibility to go to places that might be hard to accommodate 50+ guests. It can also be more affordable based on the facilities and how you plan to accommodate everyone. Lastly, it can be less stressful because you’ve cut down on the things like seating charts, table assignments, and parking accommodations or hotel accommodations for out of town guests. Now it’s a small ceremony wherever your want with a party afterwards, simple enough!

No kids

I know I know, we’re going to catch some flack for this one, but we’re just being real with what we’ve seen and experienced with many of the couples we’ve worked with and what we continue to read about trends in our industry. Not all, but many couples are opting for a wedding day with no kids. Destination weddings depending on the time of the year can make it a bit more of a challenge to bring children due to school schedules, extracurricular activities, etc. It’s hard to tell your cousin she can’t bring her daughter to your wedding when she lives right down the street and her babysitter cancelled, but when she has to leave the state, or the country, your cousin has to have a plan solidified, with a back up plan. We realize this may sound somewhat harsh, but the truth is currently, a lot of brides and grooms are opting for wedding ceremonies and receptions with no children, even opting for no flower girl or ring bearer. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with having kiddos running around on your big day, but if having kids present at your wedding doesn’t fit the vision or the vibe you are going for because you want your friends and family to let loose and have fun for a night without having to worry every 2 minutes what their child is doing, then the option of a destination wedding is just another way to help prevent this. We love kids and they provide plenty of cute moments throughout the course of a wedding day, but we totally get where many couples are coming from. Now we’re not suggesting getting married out of the country simply to prevent kids from coming to your wedding, that would be a bit crazy. We’re just saying if you’ve considered a destination wedding, and you’ve considered no children on your big day, this is an easy way to make sure that happens and we’ve seen a lot of couples implement this.

Odds are if you’ve read through this entire blog, you’re already leaning towards doing a destination wedding or at least on the fence. We’re here to tell you it may be one of the best decisions you ever make with regards to your wedding day! So think about the vision for your wedding, crunch the numbers for your budget, and think about how you want to remember your big day. Doing it somewhere other than home may be just the thing you’re looking for!

Thanks as always for following along!

Joe & Jenny

#destinationwedding #asheville

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@2019 by JCM Photography.

All Photographs are property of JCM Photography.

Jennifer and Joe Mackey

828-367-7159

Asheville, NC 

info@yourjcmphotography.com