What Is A Destination Wedding? Our Easy Guide
With travel back on the cards, there has never been a better time to host a destination wedding. But, due to evolving tastes, changing travel trends (owing to Covid), and the cost-of-living crisis, we’re started to redefine what a ‘destination wedding’ actually means.
Where once it was tradition to marry in your local parish, today religious ceremonies account for only one in five unions according to the ONS. This has given way to more meaningful and personalised services, from civil partnerships to humanist ceremonies and boutique beach weddings to Stately Homes.
What is a Destination Wedding in 2023?
By definition, a destination wedding in 2023 is not defined by its location, but the fact that it’s somewhere outside of the couple’s hometown residence. In other words, a destination wedding doesn’t have to be far-flung, or even abroad, just somewhere that’s not immediately home.
Let’s take a look at destination weddings in more depth.
Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been an uptick in local tourism and weddings. Keeping ceremonies within the UK shoreline was unavoidable during lockdown, but the trend continues to linger.
We have seen a surge of interest in venues closer to home over the past few years. From rustic chic barns to grand opulent spaces and countryside charm, there’s endless options for couples looking for something a bit different without having to hop on a plane.
Getting Married Abroad
International weddings are growing in demand and popularity year on year, the appeal of sunshine, different country and something unique and different abroad appealing most.
For couples thinking about a destination wedding abroad, here is some helpful insight:
1. High Costs, Low Availability
The bounce-back from lockdown has seen a backlog of couples looking to tie-the-knot in 2023. This increase in demand is responsible for driving the price and availability of venues up. Due to this, couples should book as early as possible to avoid disappointment – in many cases at least a year in advance.
3. Get Flexible
With less availability comes less flexibility on dates. If you’ve found your dream wedding destination but there’s no availability for your chosen date, look at hosting a week-day ceremony. By the same token, getting married out of peak season is a smart move, plus you can expect to enjoy sizeable savings thanks to off-peak rates.
When getting married abroad the months of May and September are the most popular.
3. Wedding Party Takeover
Which brings us to the latest wedding trend: a full-resort buyout.
This is where couples book up every room in a (often small) resort, to guarantee the space for their celebrations. Rooms are filled with friends and families, with an extended weekend of celebrations to make the most of it.
4. Expect High RSVP Rates
You might think that getting married abroad is an easy way of cutting back on numbers. Be prepared that in the new world order, the lure of a knees up is the perfect excuse friends and family have been looking for! “We’re noticing a high number of confirmed guests for destination weddings and a growing demand for larger international wedding venues,” said Mike.
5. Good Connections
Make it easy for guests to attend by choosing a destination with good transport links. Avoid far-out destinations that require several modes of transport to arrive, instead opting for well-connected villas, central city hotels and venues with good road access. It’s no surprise that demand for city venues has seen a spike in interest too.
6. Built-in Backdrops
It’s all about minimum input, maximum experience. To that end, couples are increasingly looking for venues that require minimal dressing and effort. If this is you, look for a venue that’s already set within a natural beauty spot with amazing views. Think mountain peaks and beach receptions, as well as tranquil forests set in paradise.
Trending Destinations 2023
Here’s where’s hot for wedding venues in the UK this year:
London Suburbs: London that doesn’t quite feel like London is bang on trend for 2023. This bodes well for easy access, without the nuisance of crowds. South West London has ample riverside venues that could easily be the Cotswolds, such as Gunnersbury Park.
The Highlands: Breathtaking beauty is on our doorstep, so why not soak up the charming landscape of The Highlands. Perfect for a rustic wedding, you can expect a warm welcome and first-class hospitality.
Italy, Greece and Thailand consistently skim the ‘top five’ list of overseas destinations, but here’s a few others giving them a run for their money:
With its endless golden beaches and famous hospitality, you simply can’t go wrong with Greece. A mere three hours by plane, and you’ll feel a world away, exchanging vows in olive groves, private beaches and world-class resorts.
Best of all, foodies can indulge in some of the finest homecooked cuisine anywhere in the world.
Mexico does affordable luxury like nowhere else. At the fraction of the cost of the UK, you can bask in the trappings of five-star luxe with the beach wedding you always dreamed of. For those concerned about their eco-footprint, Mexico also has a growing number of sustainable wedding venues leading the way in conscious coupling, so to speak!
In keeping with the trend for not-so-far international weddings, Northern France is the perfect choice for a destination wedding. In just an hour or two you can be on the coast lapping up top cuisine, with unrivalled views. This part of France is home to a number of impressive Chateaus to bring all your wedding day dreams to life.
Weddings in Italy have long been a favourite with the couples looking to marry in Europe. In 2023, this is set to get even bigger, as destination weddings in luxury surroundings are bang on trend.
From the rolling green hills of Tuscany, to the raucous buzz of Rome and soothing sound of the sea in the Amalfi Coast, there’s so many reasons to elope in Italy.
Splendid Spain, you can’t beat it. One of the UK’s favourite destinations for holidays, is also a top spot for getting married. Whether you opt for an intimate boutique hotel, or luxury villa estate, you’ll find all this and more in the sunny shores of Spain.