Newly engaged? This particular post is for Catholic couples who have long dreamed of saying “I do” surrounded by family and friends in an exotic location: perhaps a sandy beach or beautiful old-world church across the sea.
You may have even consulted a wedding planner by now or no doubt surfed the internet to obtain information. As you’ve probably noticed there is a lot of information and, unfortunately, misinformation out there concerning Catholic destination weddings.
So what are the unique challenges in planning a destination wedding? Just to name a few:
- Because marriage is a Sacrament, Catholics don’t just get married anywhere or by just anyone. Click here to see what critical steps must be taken for a destination wedding.
- Some wedding planners may claim that a destination wedding can actually save you money overall by combining the wedding and honeymoon all in one package. In some circumstances this may be true, but not necessarily so. Rome, for example, will be far more expensive than a wedding back in your home parish. And if you are paying for the wedding party’s travel and lodging, that can easily add up to quite a bit! There goes that money you thought you were going to save.
- You will definitely need to find a reputable Wedding coordinator to help with the legal red tape and is familiar with the requirements for a Catholic wedding.
- A destination wedding can mean that some of the those people who are most precious in your life will not be there for that special day. Not everyone can afford to take time off from work, the cost of long distance travel, lodging, meals, and other expenses.
- Also, consider that older relatives or friends who would love to attend, may not be able to travel so far away from home.
- Last, but not least, the two of you won’t have as much time alone as you might think. Your guests will not always be off doing other things, or you may feel responsible for ensuring that they have a good time. This can take some of the joy and spontaneity out of your honeymoon.
These downsides may not even apply to you. And there are lots of exceptions, but our goal is just to help you through an exciting but stressful time. Certainly with careful planning and patience a destination wedding can be your dream come true.
So how about you? Ever been involved in a destination wedding? Any advice you would like to give?