I don’t talk about my wedding a lot. The reason is two-fold, really. For starters, it just inherently sounds bragadocious, any way you cut it. Also, it’s often tough to explain to people why we chose to have a destination wedding. In my experience, you either get it or you don’t.
Fun little fact: Last week was our big 0-4 wedding anniversary! We’ve been together 10 years now, so no, it’s not all still new. He still leaves his dirty boxers right. next. to. the. hamper. Anyway, I’ve never really shared anything about our wedding or why we chose to have a destination wedding.
In England. At a castle.
(SEE! Those are the facts and they still induce the vomit hand motion for me, too.)
But, hell, if you’ve ever considered a destination wedding because of your love for travel or you’ve ever been the least bit interested in learning more about our nuptials, then you’re in the right place. Doing a destination wedding was bar none, the best decision we made for our wedding day(s). I wholeheartedly will fist pump **YES** to anyone who ever asks me if I think they should do a destination wedding. Do you, boo.
Maybe someday I’ll delve more into the deets of the day. But for now, let’s explore why we chose to do a destination wedding.
5 Reasons Why We Had A Destination Wedding
We love to travel.
Pretty self explanatory, really. We understand the value of traveling and the experiences that it provides. Funny enough, we also looked into doing our wedding on some neighboring islands in the Caribbean, but the only time we could get married with the hubster’s med school schedule, was in June. Hurricane Season. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So many people will tell you this during the wedding process, but it never hurts to say it again: This is your time, do it how you want. We got so much push back, especially from certain family members, telling us our destination wedding idea was absurd.
I believe the phrase used was, “This is too extravagant for this time in your life.” 1) If they only knew the final costs they’d realize how silly that sounds and 2) during this time in our lives? So I should wait to have another wedding… These are also the same people who went on and on after our wedding telling everyone how wonderful it was.
We wanted more than 4 hours with loved ones.
Certainly, there are rushed aspects to your wedding day. You have a schedule to abide by and, even as a guest, often times you feel it too. I didn’t want that. I wanted our wedding to be the cherry on top to the time spent exploring and experiencing.
I really wanted to avoid playing catch up with people as we thanked them for coming. I wanted genuine time together.
We yearned for something different and authentic.
The hubster and I have been to 28 weddings. I was in 7 wedding parties. **cue 27 Dresses jokes** We wanted something different. Each wedding we attended certainly had its own take and wonderful, personal feel. Especially with all that love is patient, love is kind stuff. JOKES!
After being in so many weddings myself, I chose not to have a wedding party — which again, set off the traditionalists who felt they could share a few choice words with us. But the point was, I didn’t want anyone to buy a dress or suit and everything else that is associated with being a part of a wedding party and also pay for flying across the pond. No wedding party? No biggie!
Since there were no designated VIPS, this meant we got to share more authentic moments with people. We had our siblings get up front and center during our wedding rehearsal and take their vows to us. “Do you promise not to call then soon-to-be Dr. Hubster in the middle of the night for prescriptions once he graduates med school?” “I do.”
We asked friends to read lyrics from some of our favorite songs, during our wedding — including the Spice Girls! Seating cards consisted of embarrassing photos of each of our wedding guests. Each step of the way, we wanted everyone to play a part in our wedding as a whole.
We wanted an experience, not an evening.
Hands down, the best part of having a wedding abroad was seeing everyone else get to experience the nuances of a different country I love so much. It was so cool watching everyone walk though and explore every room in North Cadbury Court.
Besides that, we moseyed around the town too, amongst the rolling hills of the English countryside, finding ourselves cozied up next to the locals at the town pub.
The day after our wedding, we also rented a bus for everyone and took them to the town of Bath, so our guests could further explore at their own pace. That was very slowly for me since we had a good night the prior evening at the reception. 😉
We wanted a smaller wedding.
The beauty of a destination wedding is your guest list is smaller than doing it “at home.” We had 40 people hop across the pond — which is actually quite large for a destination wedding! I honestly say that humbly; it was such a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by those who were there. On that note too, when it’s a destination, the people who come, want to be there.
Another major benefit of having a smaller wedding? We spent less than the average cost of an American wedding. Yes, for real. (Also, see below.) While the average costs may have increased in the course of 4 years, back then, we spent less. And, keeping it real because that’s how I roll: While the hubster and I did contribute quite a bit to our wedding budget, we couldn’t have done it without my dad and in-laws.
We weren’t caught up in the details.
This may sound shocking, but I was incredibly laid back when it came to the small things. My wedding planner probably wasn’t amused with my responses a lot of the time. “Sorry, I guess I like these colors…”
Because of that, we spent quite a bit less, too. North Cadbury Court and Old Wardour Castle we’re amazing on their own — they didn’t need many decorations. Their backdrops alone were breathtaking, just add in a bride and groom and you’ve got the recipe for great photos. No need to fluff up pictures with flowers and gems and chair covers and bows and floating candles and so many other things we feel pressured to get.
I think this stems from — sorry friends and family — not actually remembering details of other people’s weddings: the centerpieces, what type of paper the menu was printed on, the bride’s bouquet, the desserts, etc. You know what I do remember? How much fun I did or didn’t have. I just wanted good times, good people and good laughs.
There you have it. That’s why we chose to do a destination wedding and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made. Have you ever attended a destination wedding or have one of your own? What did you think?