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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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