Let’s talk destination weddings! Close your eyes right now and imagine your dream wedding…what do you see? Are you on a beach or garden somewhere exotic, with a handful of family and friends, in the most intimate of ceremonies? Or are you sweating in a crowded hall, trying to pull off your best Tesumole, in the midst of faces you barely recognize?
Chances are that you pictured the first scenario, and that’s why we’ll be spending the next couple of weeks exploring everything about destination weddings. In this first post, we’ll talk a bit about whys and wherefores, and also debunk some common myths surrounding destination weddings. First off, what is a destination wedding? It’s basically a wedding where the couple and their guests travel to a different location (country) other than where the couple live. So technically speaking, if you live abroad and travel to Nigeria for, say your traditional wedding, congratulations you can count yourself among the destination wedding crew. Yup, you’re welcome.
Conventionally speaking though, destination weddings typically happen in exotic locations, usually at a resort, with a beautiful landscape that acts as a backdrop to set the wedding ceremony scene. Think exotic beaches in Mauritius, beautiful Parisian cityscapes, or a garden setting against the backdrop of Table Mountain; destination weddings are renowned for being picture-perfect.
Now, people decide on destination weddings for varying reasons. Some want intimate weddings, while others just want the experience of it. Still, some others do it for the status- so they can say they did a destination wedding. Whatever your reason is, it’s good to bear a few things in mind, which we highlight below.
One common misconception about destination weddings is that they’re a lot more expensive than normal weddings. We’re here to tell you that that’s not necessarily true. Many times, they actually cost less, because the couple only have to cater for a few guests. A typical Lagos wedding has anywhere between 500- 2000 people in attendance, whereas destination weddings are only attended by close friends and family, who love you enough to travel for you, so between 20- 100 people, on the average. Talk about a great way to cut out “Mogbo Moyas” that are a signature feature of Lagos weddings.
Like with every type of wedding, when it comes to destination weddings it’s best to start with a budget in mind and work your way from there. The expectation is that guests bear their own travel costs, including visa, flights and accommodation costs, but there are instances where the couple decide to cover accommodation costs, or even all attending costs. This usually happens when the bride, groom or both are from very wealthy families. While this is okay if you can afford it, it certainly isn’t the general expectation with destination weddings. So, in terms of cost, what we’ll say categorically, is that destination weddings are relatively cheaper. If your wedding budget is N5m for example, you’re more likely to get more value for your N5m with a destination wedding, because you’re catering for fewer people.
Another misconception is that it is a logistics nightmare to plan a destination wedding. Planning any event involving people can be stressful, and a wedding just might be the most stressful event of them given all the details involved. On top of all of that, you now add a new location with its own peculiarities. So yes, a lot of intricate planning is involved in pulling off a successful destination wedding.
The trick, however, like with regular weddings, is to outsource that stress to a competent wedding planner. For destination weddings specifically, lifestyle travel companies like NaijaTravelShop, have evolved beyond merely booking flight tickets. We plan total experiences for our clients, including destination weddings. From handling guests travel logistics, securing discounted rates for flights and accommodation, airport transfers, handling any other logistics details with our on-ground contacts, NaijaTravelShop makes sure every detail is covered, to give you and your guests a seamless, memorable experience. Depending on your budget and preference, we can even assign a logistics officer to go with you on the trip. Alternatively, we’ll have our liaison at the destination, waiting to receive you and your guests upon arrival.
Our subsequent articles in this series will include information about specific destinations, including top wedding destinations, things to consider when selecting locations, how to treat your guests at your destination wedding, etc. Are you considering a destination wedding for your upcoming big day? Send us a message here and let’s talk about your options!