Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

Are you getting married soon? Are you hoping to get married one day? This post is for BOTH of you!

I grew up dreaming of a local church wedding. I had this entire thing planned out in a beautiful church with hundreds of guests.

I think a few things helped change my mind: 1. My husband has been married before. 2. Our love for travel and 3. Our age. These aren’t reasons for everyone, they just were for us.

We wanted a very small, intimate destination wedding and we picked a place that we knew a lot of people would want to go to but wouldn’t have ever traveled there without a reason to.

pros and cons of a destination weddingwhy you should have a destination wedding on the miller affect The Miller Affect wearing a Berta gown for her wedding in Canmore, Canada

Photos by Adria Lea

Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

My mom always makes me do a pros and cons list when I can’t decide between the two. Hopefully this helps you choose too!

Pros

1.Backdrop. Your wedding photos will have a beautiful backdrop. When you are planning on where you have your wedding, you can basically pick any destination in the world. You will get to choose where you have your wedding and the beautiful backdrop that will surround you. You may have the beach, an Italian lake, vineyards, mountains, etc.

2.Activities. You can plan really fun activities for your guests! We had so much fun creating an itinerary and doing different activities during our wedding weekend. We had a welcoming party, a canoeing/hiking trip to one of the glacier lakes, a rodeo rehearsal dinner in the mountains, and so much more!

3.A wedding to remember. Our friends still can’t stop talking about Banff, Canmore, and our wedding! When you have a destination wedding the trip itself stays on their mind for a really long time. Everyone just had the best time and our wedding was just a small piece of that!

4.A place to call your own. We love that Canada now has such a special place in our hearts. We plan on making trips yearly until we have discovered everything that beautiful country has to offer. This June/July we plan on visiting Vancouver! Wherever you get married destination wise, you can consider it ‘your place’ and travel back frequently together- so romantic!

5.Easier Planning. A lot of destination weddings include resorts that have a package deal. You can just pick between a few different options for everything and be done. Everything is then set up for you! We got a wedding planner that was familiar with the venue and area and presented us with the best options.

Cons

the miller affect rehearsal dinner cross zee ranch canmore, canadaThe Miller Affect hiking at lake moraine canadapros and cons of a destination wedding

1.Not everyone can be there. You will have to be OK with some of your family/friends not being able to make it. Older relatives won’t make the drive/flight and some people won’t be able to afford it. So many people get married locally for this reason alone.

2.Lack of options. We didn’t have many options when it came to flowers, band, venues, etc. We also didn’t have many reviews to go off of. We just had to go with what we had in hopes they would be great!

3.Costs. Destination weddings can sometimes cost way more for you than local weddings. Not to mention the added costs to your guests. If you want to bring a local photographer, florist, and videographer like I did, you will have to pay for all of their travel as well. Most couples will choose to honeymoon where they have their weddings to help the costs.

4.Going in Blind. We got a wedding planner (a post on why to get a wedding planner will come later this month), but other than that we were going in blind. We had literally never been there. Even if we had visited once before the wedding we still wouldn’t know much it.

5.Legality. You may have trouble with marriage licenses in foreign countries. Make sure to do your research before deciding on where to have your wedding. Also, some countries have entry restrictions. In Canada, you can’t visit if you have a DWI. Apparently this is considered a felony in Canada. There are ways around it, but again make sure to research before you book! You will want to let all of your guests know of any restrictions immediately so that they can figure out what they need to do!

Getting Married in Banff/Canmore

The Miller Affect wearing a green dress in canmore canada

Troy and I went to a mountain wedding in Big Sky, Montana and completely fell in love. We wanted something VERY SIMILAR but in a different location!

A mountain wedding in the summer is so beautiful and there is so much to do. You can hike, horseback ride, fish, explore, and so much more. There is just something so magical about opening your balcony and feeling and smelling the mountain air with a warm cup of coffee in your hand! Ugh I want to be there again right now.

Banff is extraordinary because you can also do glacier hikes during the summer!

Troy’s company did a trip to Banff and he couldn’t go but he got to see allll of the pictures when everyone got back. That is how we got the idea. When I looked it up we realized it is a VERY POPULAR destination and on many people’s bucket list.

We put a list together of the people we HAD TO HAVE there, and then tried to limit it to 50 people. It ended up being around 60. After you get the list together you always remember someone or your family members have someone they would really like there.

We got a huge list together of event space and picked something that worked in our budget. Luckily we got a lot more out of our money with CAD vs USD!

The venue we picked ended up being in Canmore because it was around $10,000 less than Banff. Since we were having a small wedding we didn’t feel like we should spend that much on a big space! Half of our guests stayed in Banff and the other half in Canmore. We had events in both! They are about 15 min apart. I personally love Canmore more. Much less touristy!

Next week I will share things to do in Banff/Canmore so check back next Wednesday!

Oh, and do you guys have anything to add to this post? Please leave a comment below!

*Please note that destination vs local weddings are a personal preference. Ultimately it is your decision where you want to get married!

See more Wedding posts here:

Wedding Video

First Look Photos

Wedding Weekend

xox Amanda

10 Comments

  1. Angela
    June 7, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    Beautiful!! We are going there in August! Can’t wait to read your post on things to do!

  2. Elizabeth
    June 7, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    Oh my gosh, I can’t get enough of these pictures from your wedding!!! The water is unreal! My future hubby and I definitely need to visit Banff and Canmore! Thank you for sharing and giving me some travel inspiration 🙂

  3. Ktwearspearla
    June 7, 2018 / 3:47 am

    Destination weddings are the best! We had 60 of our family and friends join us for our wedding in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The trip was one none of us will ever forget! We did have a larger reception for 300 others which was just a huge party (and a second chance for me to wear my gown!) when we returned from our honeymoon in Tuscany!

  4. Rachel
    June 7, 2018 / 2:20 am

    Eek! This makes me so excited! My fiancé and I are getting married at moraine lake on June 24! I’ve been during the winter but have been DYING to go during the summer! Ours is very small with 15 people attending! I’m also bringing my own photographer (who happens to be my bff)! Did you have any issues bringing your photographer? She’s read about licensing issues in Banff National Park!

  5. Charlotte S
    June 6, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    My fiancé and I are currently planning our destination wedding in Capri, Italy. It’s the first place we really traveled to together and it’s been “our-place” ever since so it only felt fitting that we get married there. Getting SUPER nervous about breaking the news to everyone that they probably won’t be able to come. Hoping to do a big reception in our home town when we get back some everyone can still feel included.

    • June 6, 2018 / 10:52 pm

      That is such a great idea! Capri will be sooo beautiful I am jealous! Definitely planning a big Italy trip for after the baby comes.

      xox Amanda

    • June 6, 2018 / 11:59 pm

      We are getting married in Santorini this year so I totally understand your struggle! It’s so hard to feel like you aren’t offending your loved ones, but it helps to remind yourself what the celebration is meant to be for – the two of you and your love for one another! Once you remember that others just want to see the two of you being happy, things will start to fall into place.

      Funny enough, I actually shared a post on this very topic today! http://www.thepetitechronicles.com/Santorini-wedding I hope it’s helpful to you!!

  6. Tara
    June 6, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    We got married about an hour north of Napa at our family ranch. It’s about a three hour drive from where we live and an eight hour drive for my family. The closest airports are still a 2-3 hour drive away. We had a guest list of 200 family and friends. We were convinced due to the travel many people wouldn’t attend. Almost everyone did! We were blown away the distance our guest traveled to spend our day with us.

  7. Jessica
    June 6, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    We got married in Italy and consider it “our place” now. We’ve gone back every year since! I’m so glad you love Canada! You should check out Ottawa and Toronto sometime!

    • June 6, 2018 / 6:23 pm

      Where in Italy?! I bet that was so beautiful!!! I’ve only done Milan and Como but southern Italy is bucket list for sure!! Thanks for commenting love! Xox A

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