Young couple and their guests sitting at table during wedding reception in garden
Credit: Caiaimage/Tom Merton/Getty Images

Planning a wedding is no easy feat, even if you’re trying to be as laid back as humanly possible about it. For many couples, this stress is one of the reasons to choose a destination wedding instead of a party back home. A destination wedding can get complicated, for sure. There’s travel prep to figure out, possibly passports involved, and a little more timing to coordinate. But it can also mean smaller guest lists, which makes everything else much simpler.

Destination weddings take work, but are totally worth it.

Not that your hometown isn’t lovely, but who doesn’t want to go some place exotic to say their vows? In addition to that, you can combine the whole ceremony, reception, and bring your friends and family along for the honeymoon. Having a destination wedding means that everyone involved will always remember your special day. And who doesn’t want a vacation?

Here are some compelling reasons to have a destination wedding.

1You can avoid fighting over families.

It’s likely that you and your partner are not from the same place. Instead of bickering over whose hometown is worthy of a wedding, or how to make one family travel instead of the other, a destination wedding solves that problem. This way, both sides of the family have to travel to a location of your choice. No one can complain about needing to buy plane tickets, since everyone has to get them.

2You have more control over the guest list.

Destination weddings can get very expensive, but this can be a good thing. Whether you’re going to be super generous and spring for everyone’s travel expenses, or you’re asking people to book their own packages, your wedding is going to be smaller than if you had stayed in town. When your wedding is close and affordable to attend, you might feel like you have to invite everyone. But if you want it to be just your BFFs and immediate families, you have the perfect excuse for leaving your third cousin and coworkers off the guest list.

3You get more party time.

To hell with the whole “wedding weekend!” A destination wedding likely means you’re going to have a few more days on either side of the big day to hang out and enjoy some sunshine, hang out with your loved ones, and prep for the big day. That’s a huge bonus. Instead of your wedding moments being rushed, you’re making a whole vacation out of it.

4And bonding time.

Inevitably, traveling with people means bonding with them. On your wedding day, it can be hard to make sure you see all the guests and hang out with them and enjoy the fact that they came to party with you. When you have a destination wedding, you’re getting some serious quality time with your people before the big day.

5The pictures.

Obviously, you are picking a meaningful and gorgeous place to get married. Maybe it’s some European destination you both want to cross off your bucket list, or a a tropical beach location where you can sip fruity, boozy drinks for a few days. Either way, it’s going to be gorgeous. Granted, your wedding pictures were going to be beautiful anyway, but location can make a world of difference. There’s no way your wedding pictures will be boring or cliché taken in your dream locale.

6You might end up doing less work.

When it comes to planning group vacations, you probably want to hire a pro or a travel agent. Even if you don’t, booking a block of rooms at some resort will mean that you’ll have hotel staff on hand to do things for you. Take advantage of this hospitality. There’ll only be so many options of what restaurants or villas serve for a large dinner or who the best hair and makeup artist on the island is. Fewer options means less stress in the long run — and being able to delegate things to the airline or hotel is a big plus.

No matter where you decide to tie the knot, it will be memorable. But a destination wedding just adds a little wanderlust magic.