Overtourism and Your Destination Wedding: How To Make Your Wedding More Sustainable

We love destination weddings here (obviously). And we know you do too! Because you love to travel.

And it’s become easier for everyone to travel. Which is great because more people have a chance to experience the world and your destination wedding.

But, easy travel also has its drawback.

And overtourism has become a real problem.

There was the California super bloom last year and all the issues from the rush of people. Then there was the overcrowding and resulting deaths on Mount Everest.

And of course the locations that have already put into place tourist restrictions to protect themselves.

The ease of travel and sharing on social media has put a lot of places in real danger.

And it’s not just the physical locations and sites that are feeling the wear and tear.

It’s affecting the people. The locals who live and work there and the culture are also in real danger.

I was in France a few years ago and was visiting Mont St. Michel. I started talking to one of the little store owners and she asked me if I was from China with some hesitancy and a little bit of distaste.

When I said no, she brightened up immediately. Apparently, they have been getting bus load after bus load of Chinese tourists and it’s putting a strain on the very small town.

A view of the Mont St. Michel homes in France by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

But, it’s not just international locations at risk.

I was in Austin recently and talking to a local about how every day there are hundreds of people moving there. The city is changing and becoming, dare we say it… less weird.

Local stores are closing and nationwide chains are opening up all over the place. And housing prices are going way up.

So, what does this all mean for your destination wedding?

First it’s important to just be aware of the problem. To understand that overtourism is a real thing and has the power to affect not just a location, but the local people as well.

And then you need to understand that your destination wedding can add to that overtourism.

Does that mean you shouldn’t have a destination wedding? No, not at all.

What it does mean is that we all need to be good travelers and reduce our impact.

Which also means making conscious decisions to make your destination wedding more sustainable. And I’ve got two easy ways to help you combat overtourism.


Bride and groom enjoy a moment and kiss at their Hawaii beach wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

#1 – HAVE YOUR WEDDING IN THE OFF SEASON (or go off the beaten path)

If you’re choosing a popular destination, have your wedding in their off season. Choosing a less popular time will help with the overcrowding and support the community in the down season.

And choosing the off season comes with a bunch of additional bonuses!

Less crowds means you won’t have to fight for venues, vendors or hotels. And less people in a place just makes it much more intimate.

It also helps your wedding budget too! Less demand means prices will be lower for you for travel and also potentially for your wedding as well.

Now if you’re adventurous and open to considering a destination more off the beaten path, that will help as well. You’ll support a destination less traveled and the people there.


Another great way to help combat overtourism is by supporting the local community via local businesses. So, choose local hotels, travel and transportation companies to help support your guests and other events.

You’ll also want to choose local vendors to help you with your wedding when possible. Especially those who are equipment heavy like rentals, lighting and production (so there is less shipping and transport).

Now this isn’t always possible given the destination and vendor fit, but when you can use local vendors who are also sustainable, your money really supports that community .

Local cheese plate appetizer at a San Francisco wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Bustle and Twine)

And buy all your welcome gifts, favors and other items from local artisans and suppliers. This is always a great thing to do no matter what, but it also helps to support local businesses.

Using these 2 tips to make your destination wedding more sustainable is an easy step to combat overtourism. And it will help to protect the places and people we all love to visit.

Want to make sure your destination wedding is truly sustainable? There are a lot of things you can do and we can help! Contact us today and we’ll make sure the wedding you create supports your sustainable vision.

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