What to Consider When Choosing a Destination Wedding Location

If you’re a traveler and thinking about having a destination wedding, one of the most exciting steps is figuring out where you want to get married.

Because the world is your oyster!

You can literally get married anywhere (or practically anywhere).

There are so many possibilities!

Which is exciting and maybe a little daunting too. Because there are A LOT of possibilities.

world globe and camera

But, once you start brainstorming locations, you’ll soon start to narrow the possibilities.

And as you start to think about different destination wedding locations, you’ll be thinking through what destination makes most sense for you.

You’ll think about what is a good fit for you personalities, for your travel style and of course where you’d love to be.

But, it’s important to know that there are other factors as well that will play a huge role in your wedding planning and most importantly, your budget.

And if you choose a destination wedding location without thinking through all the factors, it can really come back to bite you in the butt.

Trust me, I’ve seen it first hand.

So before you settle on a wedding location, make sure you think about these 5 important factors.

5 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Destination Wedding Location


Bride getting ready at her Mauna Kea resort wedding on the big island in Hawaii by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Emily Piraino)

The biggest part of what makes a destination wedding a destination wedding is the travel. But, travel unfortunately isn’t free.

So, when you choose a wedding location you need to take into account the cost of the travel. And not just for yourselves, but for your guests.

You need to do some research to see what it’s going to cost to get to the destination. And then once there, what it will cost to be there. That includes accommodations, transportation and food.

Every location is different and those costs will play into whether a wedding location makes sense or not.

Because if guests can’t afford it, they won’t come. And you may not like paying an arm and a leg to get there either.


Bride and groom in front of elegant green gates at their French Chateau wedding in Loire Valley France by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Julia Winkler)

If you’re having an international destination wedding, then exchange rates will be a huge factor.

Wedding locations where the exchange rate is more favorable to your home country’s currency, will benefit you. Your money will go farther. And you’ll either have more money to spend or you can spend less and get more.

But on the flip side, if the exchange rate does not favor you, you’ll be paying more. And you’ll either need a bigger budget to cover the exchange rate or you’ll have to compromise more.

Now if you aren’t having a destination wedding in another country, it’s still worth taking into account the location.

Even within the US, the costs of a destination wedding in New York will be different than one in Nevada.

While you don’t have to worry about an exchange rate, you’ll still need to think about the costs of being in that location.

Which leads me to…


The wedding location and how remote or not remote it is will play a huge factor in whether it’s a good fit.

Many couples are attracted to a place that is a little farther away. A little more off the beaten path. That could be a island like Anguilla, a mountain retreat like Yosemite or a little town in Tuscany.

They’re more private and more intimate. But, the more remote you go, you inevitably have less options.

This applies to both venues and vendors and even things like accommodations and food.

Which means prices can be high as there is low supply and/or everything needs to be shipped in. Or the options aren’t great, in which case you need to bring people in, which will cost you more.

So, keep in mind the remote-ness of your location as you’re considering options.


Similarly to remoteness, you also need to think about how tourist-centric your wedding location is. Because the more a location caters to tourists, the higher the prices will be.

And this also relates to travel costs as well.

For example, Cabo is a huge tourist-centric area in Mexico. So much so that most vendors charge in US dollars, not pesos. While somewhere like Kirkwood in California is a seasonal small town surrounded by small towns where prices are much less.

So any popular destination like Napa or Disneyland or Hawaii is going to naturally be tourist-centric. But, you’re going to want to pay attention to the locations you’re considering.

*Bonus tip* – If you’ve been to the location before, take a look at old receipts or think back to the costs of that trip. Think about the shopping, activities or food. Was the area expensive, cheap or something in-between?

#5 – TAXES

Tall flowering Hawthorne branch centerpieces and a beautiful tablescape for a Calistoga Ranch destination wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Emik Nikora)

One factor no one ever thinks about are taxes. No one likes taxes and so we tend to forget that everything gets taxed.

And that includes everything for your wedding!

And if you’re not aware and pick a wedding location that has high taxes, you could be in trouble. There is a big difference between 5% and 9% or 9% and 16%.

Taxes can play a big part in your costs and your wedding budget because it can make everything cost more (or less). So make sure you look into the taxes for the destination wedding location you’re considering before you choose it.

Choosing a wedding location is lots of fun. Just don’t forget to think through all the factors before you make a decision.

You don’t want to regret choose a destination once you’re halfway through the planning of your wedding.

Need help finding the right wedding destination for you? We can help! In fact, we’re like matchmakers for your location, venue and vendors.

Contact us today and we’ll help you find the perfect destination.

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