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What Is A Destination Wedding?


June 20, 2022

A perfect spot for a destination wedding in San Diego on the coast. The photo is on a cliff with lots of palm trees and waves crashing into the shore.

What Is A Destination Wedding?

When you hear the words “destination wedding”, your mind probably first goes to a remote, tropical island or a tiny, romantic European town. It’s true, both these settings would be fit for a pretty incredible ceremony! But dreamy as these destinations seem, they often can feel out of reach in terms of accessibility and finances. However, having a destination wedding doesn’t mean you don’t have to travel to some secluded or foreign location. The actual definition of a destination wedding is just one that takes place outside the happy couple’s hometown. So basically, it constitutes any wedding that requires the majority of the party to travel.

According to The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study, destination weddings today are way more common than they have ever been. Yet only 17% of couples said their destination wedding was tropical, and an even smaller percentage reported having their weddings in a foreign country. So that means the majority of destination weddings are domestic. 

Regardless of budget and capabilities, a destination wedding can be attainable, it just depends on what you’re looking to get out of it.

So, Why Have A Destination Wedding? 

Well, there are many answers to this question. For some, it’s the adventure. For others, they might be seeking an intimate, secluded experience or top-notch photos. If you want to have an outdoor wedding, traveling somewhere with reliable weather is probably a top priority. It also helps to have a really wide breadth of options when it comes to looking for the perfect location. Perhaps you want the ultimate fairytale forest? Then looking somewhere in Rural Washington or a gorgeous Northern California park may be fitting. Looking for a whimsical ranch? Try New Mexico or Arizona! Do you want a gorgeous, beachfront ceremony? Look no further than San Diego, California

Another reason couples may opt for a destination wedding is so they can host their guests in a location that holds significance to their relationship. Maybe they met on an excursion outside their home city. Or perhaps they bond over an activity like skiing in the mountains, hiking in a national park, boating in a lake, or surfing in the ocean. Whatever the reason, it can be super romantic to incorporate this special bond into your big day.

How Much Does A Destination Wedding Cost?

This may be the question that is on the forefront of your mind when first contemplating a destination wedding. According to, the average cost of a destination wedding is about $35,000. The cost can seem intimidating, and the logistics of getting all your guests on a plane and into overnight accommodations can prove difficult. But surprisingly, there are quite a few aspects of a destination wedding that can help you save some money! For example, you’ll probably want a smaller, more intimate guest list, which can even out the costs compared to a larger guest list somewhere close to home. Additionally, your destination wedding can also serve as the location for your honeymoon, so you don’t necessarily need to factor in that extra expense. Plus, you can save a bunch of decor and rely on the natural beauty of your location. 

How Do I Start Planning A Destination Wedding?

It may seem intimidating at first, but there is definitely an art to planning a destination wedding. The first thing you will want to do is pick a location. Once you’ve figured out where you want the big day to take place, it’s important to evaluate what time of year makes the most sense to host. Key factors to consider include weather, tourist fluctuations, and local activities. 

As soon as you’ve picked a date, notifying your guests with ample lead time is a necessity. Sending a Save-The-Date is always a good idea, make sure you’re giving guests at least eight months to prepare travel arrangements. When it comes to accommodations, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong, paying for your guests is completely up to you. The most important thing here is just to be clear with expectations and provide as much information as possible. 

From there, you need to start thinking about all the other classic wedding elements: food, decor, activities, etc. With so many factors at play when traveling to a destination, it can be a really good idea to hire a professional wedding planner for this elaborate undertaking. 

If you’re looking to plan your perfect destination wedding in gorgeous San Diego, then there is no need to look any further! Here at The Centre Escondido, we have a variety of amazing indoor and outdoor venue options and professional event planners who can help you on your journey. With such gorgeous nature, beautiful weather, and endless activities, San Diego is a destination worth seriously considering for your special day.