Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Ceremony => Destination Weddings => Topic started by: Lady Snowdon on February 09, 2014, 05:34:15 PM

Title: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Lady Snowdon on February 09, 2014, 05:34:15 PM
How far away from you does a location have to be before you'd consider it a destination wedding?  Is it the actual location, rather than distance?  If it's a long distance from the bride/groom, but relatively close to you, is it still a destination wedding in your mind?  What factors would you use to decide if you wanted to attend a destination wedding?

When DH and I were married, the location was the college we'd both attended.  It was about a 14 hour drive for my family, and about an hour and a half drive for his family.  There was a fair amount of grumbling from his family regarding "all the driving" we were making them do, and a few people referred to it as a destination wedding.  I joked that it was only fair to make everyone travel, since one side would have to no matter what!
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 09, 2014, 05:43:01 PM
I guess I consider it a destination wedding if the location is vacation-like. 

If someone was no longer living at home with their family but chose to have the wedding in their hometown I wouldn't really call that a destination wedding.  Having it at Disneyworld? Yeah, that I might call a destination wedding.

Due to the amount of traveling we'd do when I was a kid for weddings due to the fact our family was spread up and down the East coast, I'd think it was a bit precious to whine about a drive of 1-3 hours for a wedding and call it a destination wedding because they had to travel.  Mainly cause for us 3 hours was typical for weddings as we were in MD and it was at least a 3 hour drive to either side of the family.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: HorseFreak on February 09, 2014, 05:53:34 PM
I only consider it a destination wedding when neither member of the couple has lived there in the past for a significant period of time or currently lives there. A friend of mine is planning on getting married in a Northern state where she is from and her family lives, while the groom lives in the South. Groom's brother is calling it a destination wedding and says he won't go. I don't really think you can win when the couple grew up 1500 miles apart.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: sammycat on February 09, 2014, 05:57:27 PM
I guess I'd consider a destination wedding one where both the HC and their guests (or majority of them) have to travel a fair distance. Or perhaps somewhere like Disney World, or maybe on a cruise or other holiday place.

I was originally going to say one that involved both the HC and their guests all needing a passport, but that really depends on where (general) you lives. For people in Europe, they might require a passport, but it could only involve a 30 minute minute drive across the border, whereas for me the shortest international route involves a minimum 3 1/2 flight, so that's not really a good barometer...

If the HC gets married in their current city but everyone else has to travel many hours to get there, I suppose that wouldn't technically be a destination wedding, even if it is a pain in the neck for everyone else to need to travel.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: lakey on February 09, 2014, 06:00:37 PM
This is just my personal opinion, and I am admittedly old fashioned. In my family weddings are a big event for relatives.
I feel that if you want your friends and relatives to attend you should make it as convenient as possible. If one family lives a great distance from the other, then one side is going to be inconvenienced and that is unavoidable. In my family a destination wedding would not go over well.

If you plan a destination wedding where attendance involves airline travel, multiple nights in a hotel, restaurant meals, and time off from work, in other words, significant costs to the attendees, then I think you should understand that many people won't be able to attend, or will choose not to.

I've known people who do this well by limiting the invitations to people who are very close. I've also known people who diplomatically talk to their friends and relatives to see how they feel about attending the destination wedding that they are thinking of.

Expecting 150 people to travel to the Caribbean to attend your wedding might be a bit much, but having your closest friends and relatives do this might seem to them like a fun time. I haven't known anyone who was unreasonable in having a destination wedding. Most trimmed their guest list. I did know one woman who had her third wedding in Las Vegas (from Michigan) and was upset because few of her friends and relatives went. However this woman was a knock down drag out alcoholic who went through husbands pretty quickly, so that may be why people didn't feel like flying across the country to celebrate her latest impulse.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: LemonZen on February 09, 2014, 06:04:56 PM
I'd consider it technically a destination wedding when it is:

1. In a location other than the couple's current area of residence or one of the couple's hometowns

 and

2. When everyone (or very nearly) has to travel and find overnight accommodations in order to attend.

Though I do agree with Piratelvr that there is a vacation-y connotation about the phrase destination wedding which makes me think of a touristy location.

Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 09, 2014, 06:09:07 PM
I consider it destination when everyone (couple, all family members and guests) has to travel by plane or drive more than 3 hours one way requiring overnight stays. If one side of the family lives in the area then I don't think it's a destination.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: VorFemme on February 09, 2014, 07:49:56 PM
#1 clue that it is a destination wedding would be that nobody lives there in either family, nor does the happy couple, or the place is a popular vacation destination - whether known for weddings, cruises, movie characters, gambling, or the production of some popular comestible (cheese, wine, peaches, oranges, apples, etc.).

So - Las Vegas, Disney (followed by any one of the locations), a cruise ship - no matter whether headed to the Bahamas or whale watching, a vineyard for a wine tasting afterward, or any other event like that would be a destination wedding (possibly even if some members of the extended family or friends lived or worked there - as long as the happy couple & their parents don't live there).

#2 sign it's a destination wedding would be that there is at least overnight stay in a hotel because it is too far to drive - airplane travel would also indicate that it is most likely a destination wedding.  If family members live there and have enough space in their homes for at least MOST of the bridal party, etc. to stay there...well, it can still be a destination wedding for the other side of the family and anyone who is having to take three days of vacation to attend might be excused for mentioning that it is a "destination wedding" as far as their budget is concerned.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 09, 2014, 07:51:16 PM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 09, 2014, 07:59:09 PM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.

I agree; although I would also consider it a destination wedding if the only people living in the area were the bride and groom and all the family and guests had to travel in.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Sharnita on February 09, 2014, 08:17:00 PM
I'd consider it technically a destination wedding when it is:

1. In a location other than the couple's current area of residence or one of the couple's hometowns

 and

2. When everyone (or very nearly) has to travel and find overnight accommodations in order to attend.

Though I do agree with Piratelvr that there is a vacation-y connotation about the phrase destination wedding which makes me think of a touristy location.

I tend to agree
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 09, 2014, 08:25:16 PM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.

I agree; although I would also consider it a destination wedding if the only people living in the area were the bride and groom and all the family and guests had to travel in.

I absolutely would not consider that a destination wedding. It's completely normal for a couple to marry in the community in which they live. In fact, it would be just a little weird for them to travel.
   That used to be one of the justifications for having a destination wedding--that so many people would have to travel, and so a vacation destination that's central is actually more considerate to the guests.

But the *destination* has to be unexpected and vacation-y. In other words, the destination is the whole point of the location, not "this is where I live; this is where my family is; this is where my church is."
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: kareng57 on February 09, 2014, 10:14:23 PM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.

I agree; although I would also consider it a destination wedding if the only people living in the area were the bride and groom and all the family and guests had to travel in.

I absolutely would not consider that a destination wedding. It's completely normal for a couple to marry in the community in which they live. In fact, it would be just a little weird for them to travel.
   That used to be one of the justifications for having a destination wedding--that so many people would have to travel, and so a vacation destination that's central is actually more considerate to the guests.

But the *destination* has to be unexpected and vacation-y. In other words, the destination is the whole point of the location, not "this is where I live; this is where my family is; this is where my church is."


I agree; there's nothing at all non-traditional about the HC wanting to marry in their current town.

However, if all of the guests are pretty far-flung and the HC don't have strong feelings about where they marry - then I wouldn't call a place like Las Vegas necessarily a "destination" wedding.  Usually fairly cheap flights are available there from many cities in NA and guests wouldn't have to spend more than one or two nights - as opposed to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort for example.  If most of her family is in Seattle and his is in Milwaukee, everyone would have to travel no matter what and Vegas might be a good "compromise".

My definition of a "destination" wedding is one where the HC could choose a location much more convenient for most of their guests, but instead choose a more far-flung location more "special" to them - naturally this would not mean their new home-town.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Promise on February 09, 2014, 10:29:10 PM
It's a destination if the vast majority have to spend the night in a hotel in order to attend and not near one's home.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: norrina on February 09, 2014, 10:59:14 PM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.

I agree; although I would also consider it a destination wedding if the only people living in the area were the bride and groom and all the family and guests had to travel in.

DH and I were married in the town we are currently living in, which also happens to be a beach town. Our [11] guests (immediate family only) had to travel 200-1200 miles to get here. We didn't consider it a "destination" wedding though. To have the wedding in the area I grew up still would have involved travel (of 500-1200 miles) for half of our guests, to an area with no convenient airports, hotels, and/or wedding venues. To have the wedding in the area my husband grew up would have involved cross country travel for absolutely everyone. We were paying for the wedding ourselves, and it made the most sense to have it where we were/are located.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: nuit93 on February 10, 2014, 01:10:32 AM
I think it's about perspective.  My mother would consider a wedding in the city (20-25 miles away from her suburban home) to be a 'destination' wedding because she HATES driving into the city and who would want to go anywhere where there isn't free parking?  I on the other hand didn't think it a 'destination' wedding when I drove three hours and stayed overnight for the wedding of a friend.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 10, 2014, 05:46:45 AM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.

I agree; although I would also consider it a destination wedding if the only people living in the area were the bride and groom and all the family and guests had to travel in.

DH and I were married in the town we are currently living in, which also happens to be a beach town. Our [11] guests (immediate family only) had to travel 200-1200 miles to get here. We didn't consider it a "destination" wedding though. To have the wedding in the area I grew up still would have involved travel (of 500-1200 miles) for half of our guests, to an area with no convenient airports, hotels, and/or wedding venues. To have the wedding in the area my husband grew up would have involved cross country travel for absolutely everyone. We were paying for the wedding ourselves, and it made the most sense to have it where we were/are located.

I wouldn't consider traveling to the couple's city or town to be a destination wedding. That's where the live.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: camlan on February 10, 2014, 06:14:29 AM
A destination wedding, to me, is a wedding where everyone has to travel to a place that the Happy Couple do not live, have never lived and have no real connection to (for that last, having had a nice vacation there once = has no real connection to). It's having a wedding in a particular place because the place seems like a good place to have a wedding, not because there is any connection to the Happy Couple there.

So, the wedding I attended that was in the HC's town, but everyone except two members of the wedding party who also lived there had to travel--not a destination wedding.

The wedding where I flew 2/3 of the way across the US because the bride was being married in her home town--not a destination wedding.

The wedding where I drove for three hours and the HC got married in the chapel of the college they attended--not a destination wedding. Even though the groom's family had to fly in from the opposite coast. The HC lived only an hour and a half from the college, and in my area, you will probably drive 45 minutes to an hour from the ceremony to the reception site, just because of traffic. But what makes it not a destination wedding to me is the ties that the couple had with their old college--this wasn't a random choice of "Oh, that would be a pretty place to have a wedding!" but more of a decision to get married where they met and spent several years together.

The wedding a friend had in Vegas--destination wedding. The HC hadn't lived there, all family members lived on the East Coast, and the reason they picked Vegas was, "Because it will be fun!"

There was a thread here a long time ago about someone from I think Philadelphia who had her wedding at a restaurant on the Jersey shore. The restaurant was owned by a relative, and she had spent all her summers as a child vacationing on the Jersey shore. It's probably about a 3 hour drive. Her family was giving her grief over her "destination" wedding, when really, the area was like a second home to her, and her family was accustomed to vacationing there. She did have a strong connection to the place, and that makes it not a destination wedding to me.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: shhh its me on February 10, 2014, 06:58:36 AM
When I worked at a wedding magazine, we had this debate.

Our decision came down to: If the location is one that isn't the B&G's current or former home, especially if it's in a vacation-y destination.

I agree; although I would also consider it a destination wedding if the only people living in the area were the bride and groom and all the family and guests had to travel in.

DH and I were married in the town we are currently living in, which also happens to be a beach town. Our [11] guests (immediate family only) had to travel 200-1200 miles to get here. We didn't consider it a "destination" wedding though. To have the wedding in the area I grew up still would have involved travel (of 500-1200 miles) for half of our guests, to an area with no convenient airports, hotels, and/or wedding venues. To have the wedding in the area my husband grew up would have involved cross country travel for absolutely everyone. We were paying for the wedding ourselves, and it made the most sense to have it where we were/are located.

I wouldn't consider traveling to the couple's city or town to be a destination wedding. That's where the live.
Maybe I'm splitting hairs but I would say this is an "out of town" wedding vs a "destination " wedding.  I would even call a wedding location that was picked because it was in the middle of everyone homes but required travel a "out of town wedding" ie 400 miles away for everyone not 800 miles away for one family and in the hometown of the other.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 10, 2014, 08:42:48 AM

However, if all of the guests are pretty far-flung and the HC don't have strong feelings about where they marry - then I wouldn't call a place like Las Vegas necessarily a "destination" wedding.  Usually fairly cheap flights are available there from many cities in NA and guests wouldn't have to spend more than one or two nights - as opposed to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort for example.  If most of her family is in Seattle and his is in Milwaukee, everyone would have to travel no matter what and Vegas might be a good "compromise".


I'd still call that a destination wedding; but it would be "a less-annoying destination wedding."
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: z_squared82 on February 10, 2014, 08:48:29 AM
I only consider it a destination wedding when neither member of the couple has lived there in the past for a significant period of time or currently lives there. A friend of mine is planning on getting married in a Northern state where she is from and her family lives, while the groom lives in the South. Groom's brother is calling it a destination wedding and says he won't go. I don't really think you can win when the couple grew up 1500 miles apart.

The bolded.

My cousin lives in Texas, married a woman from Texas, got married in Texas. Yes, I would have had to fly and get a hotel room, but it was not a destination wedding.

Friend married a man from Ghana. He has lived here for years. Yes, family had to come from Ghana, but as it was where both halves of the HC lived, it was not a destination wedding.

Couple from my hometown decides to get married in Mountain Town about 6 hours away? Destination wedding.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Thipu1 on February 10, 2014, 08:54:33 AM
One of our nephews was married at the home of his fiancee's parents in Minnesota.  Almost everyone involved had to book flights and get hotels but nobody considered it a 'Destination Wedding'. 

To me, a destination Wedding involves a resort or tourist attraction.  Getting married outside Minneapolis doesn't meet the criteria.  Getting married at Tulum or in sight ofDenali does. 
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Sophia on February 10, 2014, 08:56:57 AM
A Destination wedding is
I would even personally give a pass to central location that was cheap to fly into, like Vegas if the families lived far apart. 
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 10, 2014, 04:46:33 PM
A destination wedding occurs in a location where neither the bride nor groom nor their families live, or have significant and long-standing emotional history. 

A resort-type location doesn't define a destination wedding alone.  People grow up on Martha's Vineyard, live in Las Vegas, and have second homes on Jekyll Island.  This also includes ancestral and relatives' homes, if there is a personal history with one member of the HC.  Getting married on your Aunt's farm in the Green Hills of Vermont or on your DF's Grandfather's ranch in Texas Hill Country doesn't make it a destination wedding, as long as there are personal or family roots there..

OTOH, getting married in Mobay because it's your favorite vacation spot  and that's where you decided to get married still makes it a destination wedding. 
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Eeep! on February 10, 2014, 04:56:47 PM
A destination wedding, to me, is a wedding where everyone has to travel to a place that the Happy Couple do not live, have never lived and have no real connection to (for that last, having had a nice vacation there once = has no real connection to). It's having a wedding in a particular place because the place seems like a good place to have a wedding, not because there is any connection to the Happy Couple there.

So, the wedding I attended that was in the HC's town, but everyone except two members of the wedding party who also lived there had to travel--not a destination wedding.

The wedding where I flew 2/3 of the way across the US because the bride was being married in her home town--not a destination wedding.

The wedding where I drove for three hours and the HC got married in the chapel of the college they attended--not a destination wedding. Even though the groom's family had to fly in from the opposite coast. The HC lived only an hour and a half from the college, and in my area, you will probably drive 45 minutes to an hour from the ceremony to the reception site, just because of traffic. But what makes it not a destination wedding to me is the ties that the couple had with their old college--this wasn't a random choice of "Oh, that would be a pretty place to have a wedding!" but more of a decision to get married where they met and spent several years together.

The wedding a friend had in Vegas--destination wedding. The HC hadn't lived there, all family members lived on the East Coast, and the reason they picked Vegas was, "Because it will be fun!"

There was a thread here a long time ago about someone from I think Philadelphia who had her wedding at a restaurant on the Jersey shore. The restaurant was owned by a relative, and she had spent all her summers as a child vacationing on the Jersey shore. It's probably about a 3 hour drive. Her family was giving her grief over her "destination" wedding, when really, the area was like a second home to her, and her family was accustomed to vacationing there. She did have a strong connection to the place, and that makes it not a destination wedding to me.

This totally falls in line with my criteria too.

Also, I tend to think of Destination Weddings as one where you are expected to "vacation" there.  Even though many weddings might involve flights and overnight stays I wouldn't really call them Destination Weddings. But ones where there is the idea that you are also going to do other "fun" stuff while you are there, often organized with other wedding guests, really make it a Destination Wedding. (Note: I'm not including weddings where people, because they are flying there, decided to make it into a personal vacation.)
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 11, 2014, 10:51:30 AM
I have a question. Suppose you have a wedding location which, while technically near the majority of the guests, has barriers to entry that might cause a number of guests to decline based on the location alone (or to never be invited in the first place). Like getting married on a mountaintop after a hike, thus excluding mobility-challenged guests; or getting married at a resort that charges a large daypass fee for people not staying there. Or crossing a country border, which might be quite near, but of course generally requires advance planning and paperwork of some kind. Would that be considered a "destination" wedding?

In my mind, it kind of would, because the couple is giving the location of the wedding a disproportionately high priority in their planning. To my mind it's analogous to a couple insisting on getting married on a specific date, even if that date is inconvenient or strange for a lot of people. I don't mean to suggest the couple is rude either way--as long as they take the declines with good grace, or maybe they want to have a smaller wedding anyway so they only invited a limited number of people that they've cleared the date/location with.

To me a destination wedding is small--what is "small" can vary, but to me it means the couple is making the location the centerpiece, and consequently operating under the assumption that not nearly as many of their social circle will be able to attend, as would if they were having a wedding at a more usual (for their circle) location. As someone who, perhaps weirdly, does not like attending weddings, I feel like if someone says, "I'm having a destination wedding," that's a perfectly good reason for me not to attend (assuming I was even invited). I'm thinking, "Oh, that means they want it to be small, and considerable expense and travel will be required of me, and possibly a passport, and if I'm even invited it will just be a nominal thing and I can decline without causing hurt feelings." I would assume that anyone super-close to me, who felt it really important I attend the wedding, would have checked with me before planning the destination part; if I'm only hearing it after it's been set, I assume I'm in a lower tier of guests (which I am totally okay with, btw) and a decline based on that additional effort and expense is not a surprise.

Am I making sense here? Maybe I should just go back to work, LOL.  ;D
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: lowspark on February 11, 2014, 11:20:57 AM
To me, the keyword here is, well, "destination". That word is describing the wedding which means that the event, in addition to being a wedding, is all about the place where the wedding will be held.

So, for me, a destination wedding is one where the entire wedding party, family, guests, etc. will be traveling to a destination for the sake of being at that location for the wedding.

A coworker got married in Mexico, for example. He and his bride picked the location based entirely on the fact that they wanted to get married in an outdoor venue they picked out with a particular view, etc. It was all about the destination -- the amenities that the particular destination offered. They and everyone involved in the wedding flew down to Mexico for the express purpose of holding the wedding in this exact spot.

That, to me, is a destination wedding.

Aside from that type of event, no matter where the wedding is held, unless the bride & groom only invite people who happen to live in the same city they both live in and have the wedding in that city, somebody is going to have to travel if they want to attend.

Someone having to travel in order to attend does not make it a destination wedding.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 11, 2014, 01:10:57 PM
I have a question. Suppose you have a wedding location which, while technically near the majority of the guests, has barriers to entry that might cause a number of guests to decline based on the location alone (or to never be invited in the first place). Like getting married on a mountaintop after a hike, thus excluding mobility-challenged guests; or getting married at a resort that charges a large daypass fee for people not staying there. Or crossing a country border, which might be quite near, but of course generally requires advance planning and paperwork of some kind. Would that be considered a "destination" wedding?
snip

No, I wouldn't consider either to be a "destination" wedding but I would consider it to be putting location as a higher priority. But when planning any social event, the hosts are going to prioritize their desires over others. Whether it is a location, all vegan reception, or gaps between ceremony and reception are all decisions and couple can make and the guests can decide how they want to respond.

We have family in Brownsville, TX. Matamoros, Mexico is a 2 mile drive across a bridge. A cousin's fiance had always wanted to be married in a church in Matamoros that her grandparents had been married in. But after passport changes in 2009, she realized that a lot of guests might not have a passport even if they lived in Brownsville or the surrounding area and wouldn't be able to cross the border. But even if she had gone through with it, it wouldn't have been a "destination" wedding in my opinion. In this same family a few years earlier they had a wedding in South Padre at a beachside chapel. Brownsville to South Padre Island is about 30 to 45 min. Even though the wedding and reception were in a tourist location and having it at this location was very important to the couple, I still wouldn't classify it as a "destination" wedding.

Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: camlan on February 11, 2014, 01:26:14 PM
I have a question. Suppose you have a wedding location which, while technically near the majority of the guests, has barriers to entry that might cause a number of guests to decline based on the location alone (or to never be invited in the first place). Like getting married on a mountaintop after a hike, thus excluding mobility-challenged guests; or getting married at a resort that charges a large daypass fee for people not staying there. Or crossing a country border, which might be quite near, but of course generally requires advance planning and paperwork of some kind. Would that be considered a "destination" wedding?


I wouldn't call those destination weddings so much as inconsiderate.

There's similarities, in that the Happy Couple need to be prepared to have only a few guests attend. But if the mountain or resort are near where they live, it's not a destination wedding.

My cousin and his then-fiance wanted to get married near the top of a mountain where they had their first date. His mother had to sit him down and explain that if he wanted his grandparents to attend the wedding, there really couldn't be an hour long hike up a steep trail.

They compromised by getting married on the mountain, but in a state park that everyone could drive to.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: gellchom on February 11, 2014, 01:52:33 PM
I agree with the majority.  To me, it's a destination wedding if the place is chosen not because it is where the couple or their families or someone else close who is hosting live or have lived, but because they think it would be a beautiful or exciting place.  I agree, a ship or resort area or a place you have to go for a week almost always will be, but there are others, too.

The distance some or even most of the guests have to travel has nothing to do with it.  As others have noticed, at most weddings, there are some people who have to travel.  My future son-in-law's family will travel from Israel to Ohio.  Still not a destination wedding; it's the bride's hometown (and still our town, and we are the hosts).

As others have pointed out, there are weddings we wouldn't classify as "destination" that are still a little inconsiderate to guests (on the mountaintop at sunrise).  And by the same token, not all destination weddings are inconsiderate or inhospitable; indeed, for some weddings, like where the HC have already been married before in BWWs and feel funny about doing it again, or where there is terrible family dysfunction that make a large wedding a very bad idea, a destination wedding can be the perfect thing.

Having read many strings on this subject, it seems to me that the destination weddings that put people off are those that seem to be making the statement, "We care more about an exotic venue than we do about having you with us."  And then when people well-meaningly try to avoid pressuring people to spend a lot of money by saying, in effect, "No big deal if you can't come," that just hurts feelings even more.

So maybe -- not for etiquette classification purposes, but for individual decision-making -- the criteria for a "destination wedding" should include context.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: cattlekid on February 11, 2014, 02:27:44 PM
We chose our wedding location based on the fact that we had been living in the area for years. 

DH's family was all local to us except for a couple of folks who we invited who were out of country and would have had extensive travel regardless of US domestic location.  My family is flung all over the contiguous US.  There was no place that we could have the wedding that would not have involved travel for a large percentage of the invited guests. 

We chose our local area as our existing church that we had been attending was close to the local airport.  Our residence is located in a major metropolitan area that could have served as a vacation destination for anyone who chose to spend a couple of extra days.  Honestly, we looked at it this way as well:  those of my family members who could not have easily traveled are all local to our area as well.  Other members of my family that had to travel were in better position (health, finances, etc.) to do so.   

I concur with others in that I don't feel like I had a "destination" wedding.  I can't say I have ever been invited to a destination wedding either.  The only wedding we treated as a "destination" wedding was when my cousin got married in Carson City, Nevada (where she and her fiance were residing) and it was close enough to Lake Tahoe to tack on a couple of extra days as vacation before we went to the wedding.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 11, 2014, 03:08:33 PM
I've never actually been to one, or been invited to one, or NOT been invited to one because it was a destination wedding (as far as I know). So I really don't have any firsthand experience with them either. :) Both sides of my family (mom's and dad's) favor the "all extended family" BWW where the location is expected to serve the needs of the large number of guests, ranging from infants to elderly. In the hypothetical future I would like to have a very small, casual wedding instead, which I'm sure would shock people and hurt their feelings, unfortunately. I can't imagine the reaction if someone said they were going off to the Caribbean with just four people--I'm not sure if they would be shocked and hurt, or if somehow it would be so exotic as to make them shrug and go, "Well, I couldn't have traveled there anyway, so c'est la vie." Whereas in my hypothetical case, I would probably just be getting married in my hometown, and they would all be going, "But you're just a few minutes away! Why can't we come?"  :-\
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Two Ravens on February 11, 2014, 03:13:14 PM
It is strange.

Consider, we have Mark from LA and Sandy from Boston. They meet while at school at the University of Kansas. So, they could have their wedding in LA, Boston or Kansas, and not be considered to have a destination wedding. But if they decide to get married in Branson, MO, where they both have fond memories of vacations, then it would be a destination wedding.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: lowspark on February 11, 2014, 03:27:21 PM
It is strange.

Consider, we have Mark from LA and Sandy from Boston. They meet while at school at the University of Kansas. So, they could have their wedding in LA, Boston or Kansas, and not be considered to have a destination wedding. But if they decide to get married in Branson, MO, where they both have fond memories of vacations, then it would be a destination wedding.


Sure. But you know, having a destination wedding isn't necessarily a bad thing. Depending on the situation, it might be the very best thing for that couple and their invited guests. It isn't always a case of Grandma not being able to travel or people not wanting to spend the money.

I think that we are, as a group, sort of leaning toward "destination wedding" having a bad connotation and I think that's just not always true.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 11, 2014, 04:05:26 PM
Yeah, I know I don't think destination weddings are inherently rude. I usually think of a small group of close, happy people on a beach somewhere, with the blue ocean behind them. :) It just sounds weird when you say "everyone travels to a place we have no connection to." That makes it sound like there was a perfectly good alternative that didn't involve people traveling, that the HC is turning their noses up at because it's "boring" or something--no matter the extra effort and expense to their guests.

And often, that's just not the case. Maybe a lot of people were going to have to travel no matter what. And, at least if it's a tourist or vacation-friendly destination, there's probably an ample supply of hotel rooms and restaurants with an airport nearby. I think it would actually be less considerate to insist everyone travel to my hometown of 5000 people for my wedding--there's one Motel 6 and I think a bed & breakfast, and for food they can choose between Pizza Hut and Hardee's. And the nearest major airport is three hours away.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Sophia on February 11, 2014, 04:17:10 PM
It is strange.

Consider, we have Mark from LA and Sandy from Boston. They meet while at school at the University of Kansas. So, they could have their wedding in LA, Boston or Kansas, and not be considered to have a destination wedding. But if they decide to get married in Branson, MO, where they both have fond memories of vacations, then it would be a destination wedding.

Personally, I think this falls under the Vegas Exception.  Central location with families on opposite coasts.  But, if the fond memories were of Cozumel, then no, it is a Destination Wedding. 
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: VorFemme on February 11, 2014, 04:46:47 PM
It is strange.

Consider, we have Mark from LA and Sandy from Boston. They meet while at school at the University of Kansas. So, they could have their wedding in LA, Boston or Kansas, and not be considered to have a destination wedding. But if they decide to get married in Branson, MO, where they both have fond memories of vacations, then it would be a destination wedding.

Personally, I think this falls under the Vegas Exception.  Central location with families on opposite coasts.  But, if the fond memories were of Cozumel, then no, it is a Destination Wedding. 

I like this "Vegas Exception" - a more-or-less-central location with relatively easy access, LOTS of potential places to get rooms, lots to do as entertainment if various people want to make a long weekend (or even a week) out of their stay, and (if you are all living in the USA) no passport needed.  For those coming from out of the country - there are websites to help find a place to stay, places to eat, advice on what to wear for various times of the year, and options on how much to spend....and cars readily available to rent.  (We've been there.)

There might be a lot of other places that could be a non-destination wedding even though they are popular with tourists and have easy access by highway or airport - whether or not any of the family live there - but if you want to get married at a theme park which requires everyone to pay to get in - then it is a "Destination Wedding" - even if 90% of the family lives in that area.  Because if it weren't a destination wedding, then the ticket to get into the theme park would be optional for the day before or the day after...not required to attend the wedding and/or reception.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Sterling on February 26, 2014, 02:39:30 PM
For me it is a destination wedding if the location isn't where the bride and groom live or where one of their families live. 

My wedding i consider to be a destination wedding even though the town it was held in was only an hour from where we live.  We still had to stay in a hotel the night before so to me it counted.  It was definitely a destination for our family and a lot of the friends.  Other than my mother and sister none of my family lives in the same state and none of his.  Plus we have friends from all over the country that we invited.  Most people traveled at least 6 hours to be there.

However if we had married in the town we live in I wouldn't have considered it a destination.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Two Ravens on February 26, 2014, 03:13:31 PM
It is strange.

Consider, we have Mark from LA and Sandy from Boston. They meet while at school at the University of Kansas. So, they could have their wedding in LA, Boston or Kansas, and not be considered to have a destination wedding. But if they decide to get married in Branson, MO, where they both have fond memories of vacations, then it would be a destination wedding.

Personally, I think this falls under the Vegas Exception.  Central location with families on opposite coasts.  But, if the fond memories were of Cozumel, then no, it is a Destination Wedding.

Why would Cozumel no count as an exception? Because it's a popular vacation destination? So is Branson, MO, for a certain crowd. If it was Orlando, Fl, or San Padre Island, TX, would it also be a destination wedding?
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: VorFemme on February 26, 2014, 03:15:09 PM
Simplest way to define a "destination wedding" is "some place I would NOT be going to at all if it weren't for the happy couple having decided to get married there".

Doesn't matter if it is Hawaii, Disney-XXXXX, a castle in Scotland, a historic church in (anyplace, really), or the side of a mountain - if it is NOT where I would pick to go at that time - then it is a "destination wedding".

I might decide to go to Hawaii, Disney-XXXXX, or the other places on a vacation - but I would be in charge of when I went, what I did, and what I might wear while doing it.  It's doing it purely & simply as a wedding "guest/audience" that makes it a destination wedding.

Because while I'm at the wedding, reception, breakfast, shower, whatever else is going on - I am not "having my vacation", I am resting up for the next wedding event.  Or after the last wedding event before going home...,
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Two Ravens on February 26, 2014, 03:20:14 PM
Simplest way to define a "destination wedding" is "some place I would NOT be going to at all if it weren't for the happy couple having decided to get married there".

Doesn't matter if it is Hawaii, Disney-XXXXX, a castle in Scotland, a historic church in (anyplace, really), or the side of a mountain - if it is NOT where I would pick to go at that time - then it is a "destination wedding".

I might decide to go to Hawaii, Disney-XXXXX, or the other places on a vacation - but I would be in charge of when I went, what I did, and what I might wear while doing it.  It's doing it purely & simply as a wedding "guest/audience" that makes it a destination wedding.

Because while I'm at the wedding, reception, breakfast, shower, whatever else is going on - I am not "having my vacation", I am resting up for the next wedding event.  Or after the last wedding event before going home...,

But if your niece who lived in NY married a guy from Kansas and decided to get married there , would that not fall under your criteria for a destination wedding? Even if every man in his family had gotten married In the same church?

I don't think I ever would have gone to Marysville, KS, if my husbands cousin hadn't married a guy from there. But that doesn't make it a destination wedding.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: lowspark on February 26, 2014, 03:21:42 PM
Well, but, wouldn't any place you have to travel to fall under that category of "some place I would NOT be going to at all if it weren't for the happy couple having decided to get married there"?

For example, if the groom were a friend who was from the place where I live but the bride was from Columbus, Ohio and that's where they are having the wedding, well, Columbus isn't some place I'd be going to except that this is where they've decided to get married. But since the bride is from there, I don't see it as a destination wedding at all.

(or what Two Ravens posted as I was typing.  :D)
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: lowspark on February 26, 2014, 03:26:35 PM
It is strange.

Consider, we have Mark from LA and Sandy from Boston. They meet while at school at the University of Kansas. So, they could have their wedding in LA, Boston or Kansas, and not be considered to have a destination wedding. But if they decide to get married in Branson, MO, where they both have fond memories of vacations, then it would be a destination wedding.

Personally, I think this falls under the Vegas Exception.  Central location with families on opposite coasts.  But, if the fond memories were of Cozumel, then no, it is a Destination Wedding.

Why would Cozumel no count as an exception? Because it's a popular vacation destination? So is Branson, MO, for a certain crowd. If it was Orlando, Fl, or San Padre Island, TX, would it also be a destination wedding?

I'm not Sophia but what I read from her post is that it's an exception because it's centrally located between the two families on opposite coasts but that Cozumel isn't centrally located -- it's in a totally different direction.

I don't necessarily agree with that. As I said above, once it becomes as much about the location of the wedding as it is about the wedding itself, to me, that makes it a destination wedding. I don't see a wedding in one of the HC's home town or where they might be living now as being about the location.

But even picking a central location such as Branson would make it about the location if you're picking it specifically for the central location and the fond memories, and thus, it would be, in my eyes, a destination wedding.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: turnip on February 26, 2014, 03:50:45 PM
This is an area I have no interest in overthinking things - it's a destination wedding if the HC describes it as a destination wedding.  My friends who got married in Costa Rica had a destination wedding, they'd happily describe it that way to anyone who asked.   If the HC consider it just a wedding because they do or did or wish to live there or it has some other special significance to them, then I'm not going to override their description.
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: Mikayla on February 26, 2014, 04:05:43 PM
Well, but, wouldn't any place you have to travel to fall under that category of "some place I would NOT be going to at all if it weren't for the happy couple having decided to get married there"?

For example, if the groom were a friend who was from the place where I live but the bride was from Columbus, Ohio and that's where they are having the wedding, well, Columbus isn't some place I'd be going to except that this is where they've decided to get married. But since the bride is from there, I don't see it as a destination wedding at all.

(or what Two Ravens posted as I was typing.  :D)

I agree with both of you.  In the old days, when couples were from the same city, and the extended family was living in that metro area, it was easy to define destination.  Both clans live in Chicago but the wedding is in Miami Beach?  Ok, destination.  And there is/was a negative connotation attached.

Today, people are so scattered that it seems many destination weddings are unavoidable, yet the negative connotation still exists.   If most guests have to get on a plane to travel to a wedding, what difference does it make if it's 2 hours vs 3.5?   

The last 2 weddings I've been invited to the couple planned it in the their current city, which was nowhere near either family and many friends.  Nobody would call this a destination wedding, yet either hometown would have been less problematic for a good chunk of guests. 

 
Title: Re: What do you consider a "destination" wedding?
Post by: VorFemme on February 26, 2014, 08:20:56 PM
Simplest way to define a "destination wedding" is "some place I would NOT be going to at all if it weren't for the happy couple having decided to get married there".

Doesn't matter if it is Hawaii, Disney-XXXXX, a castle in Scotland, a historic church in (anyplace, really), or the side of a mountain - if it is NOT where I would pick to go at that time - then it is a "destination wedding".

I might decide to go to Hawaii, Disney-XXXXX, or the other places on a vacation - but I would be in charge of when I went, what I did, and what I might wear while doing it.  It's doing it purely & simply as a wedding "guest/audience" that makes it a destination wedding.

Because while I'm at the wedding, reception, breakfast, shower, whatever else is going on - I am not "having my vacation", I am resting up for the next wedding event.  Or after the last wedding event before going home...,

But if your niece who lived in NY married a guy from Kansas and decided to get married there , would that not fall under your criteria for a destination wedding? Even if every man in his family had gotten married In the same church?

I don't think I ever would have gone to Marysville, KS, if my husbands cousin hadn't married a guy from there. But that doesn't make it a destination wedding.

Nope - that's where one of the happy couple lives...

Maybe a slight adjustment to that "destination wedding" would be that NO ONE lives there, there is no history of the family living there in living memory (if you want to go back to "the auld country" from two generations back - that makes it a destination wedding - unless you have a surviving 118 year old great-grand-someone still living there who you want to have at the wedding, if at all possible - so they can see what their child's descendants are doing - taking a wedding to anyone over 90 or so is not quite a "destination" wedding, it is sharing the wedding with someone who would otherwise be unlikely to be able to attend - kind of a medical excuse, I suppose?).

So - no family living in the area, no close friends living in the area, no historical connection to the area (it's the auld country or the ancestral farm or something), and there is no pressure to do "wedding" the entire time you're there, so it can be a "vacation" except that there is a wedding to attend while you're there. Rather than being there JUST for the wedding...scenery, activities, relaxing, or whatever you'd do on vacation are not possible because there is no time or the visit is just too short to "have fun" AND attend the wedding.