1. A Beach “I Do”
When someone mentions a destination wedding, many people automatically think of a beach with white sand and clear blue water. While that can be your style, there are tons of other options out there for a beach wedding, too.
You’ll love a beach wedding if:
- You love the sunshine
- You are willing to go barefoot for your “I dos”
- You’re okay with it raining or having a backup plan for the outdoor portion of your ceremony
A beach wedding probably isn’t for you if:
- You burn easily in the sun
- You want long dresses or full tuxes for the bridal party
- You aren’t willing to have your hair be blown around by the surf breeze
Budget: How much your beach wedding costs will depend a lot on your location in comparison to the beach. Do you live in Michigan or on the California coastline? If you’d prefer to do a beach wedding abroad, it will affect your guest list – make sure all guests you definitely want there are on board with spending enough money to attend before you spend a ton of time planning.
Best Beach Locations: Riviera Maya, Mexico; St. George’s, Grenada; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Destin, Florida; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
2. A Cruise Ship Adventure
Set sail for a world adventure with your new husband or wife by planning a wedding ceremony on a cruise ship! Whether you’re interested in a Caribbean cruise or a sailing adventure through the Mediterranean, you’ll have to do your research to find the best fit for your style and budget.
You’ll love a cruise ship wedding if:
- You don’t mind planning farther ahead than other brides
- You want an unusual setting
- You are okay with having your guests on your honeymoon if the cruise is your honeymoon
A cruise ship wedding probably isn’t for you if:
- You get extremely motion or sea sick
- You’re not okay with legally being married beforehand (getting married at sea has its complications, so most couples officially are married a few days ahead of time on land)
- You don’t want tourists snapping photos of you and your new husband or wife
Budget: Cruises vary in terms of pricing based on the size ship you go on and where you’re cruising to. One thing to keep in mind is unless you live right around the corner from a cruise ship port, you and your guests will have to fly to the nearest port for the wedding. This wedding option might be best if you’re considering a more intimate wedding or even eloping. You’ll be able to save costs if the cruise is part of your honeymoon, though!
Best Cruise Ship Weddings: Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America and Disney Cruises
3. A Romantic Snowy Paradise
There is just something about snow falling from the sky that fills everyone with a warm and fuzzy feeling. A winter wedding is as romantic as they come, and depending on where you’re located, you could have one right in your own backyard.
You’ll love a winter wedding if:
- You absolutely despise the heat
- You want to wear a gown with long sleeves or a shawl
- You love snowy pictures
A snowy wedding probably isn’t for you if:
- You’re paranoid the weather might be too bad for guests to make it
- You don’t want to go outside for photos because it’s too cold
- You want more photos in daylight (usually in winter, the days are shorter, which might crunch your itinerary)
Budget: One of the best things about hosting a winter wedding in the States is the fact you can get some great deals on vendors. Usually the winter season is the slow time for vendors, so when they can book a wedding, they’re usually willing to give a little discount to the couple. Shy away from holidays, though, unless you want to pay a premium price. Also, if you want certain flowers, you’ll have to pay an expensive shipping fee. Peonies are super in-style, but they cost a fortune when they aren’t in season!
Best Winter Wedding Locations: Your own back yard (very budget friendly!); Finland; Iceland; Boulder, Colorado; Maine.
4. A Rustic Barn Extravaganza
Depending on where you live, there could be a wealth of farm and barn venues near you or they could be a rarity. If you love the look of a barn or a rustic setting for your wedding day, but don’t know of any near you, get to exploring! Some of the best rustic venues could be within a short drive of where you are.
You’ll love a rustic wedding if:
- You love DIYing your décor
- You want to take a picture with a horse or other farm animal the day of your wedding
- You want the freedom to have lawn games, a moon bounce or other fun activities outside
A rustic wedding probably isn’t for you if:
- You’re afraid your wedding will be too ‘on trend’
- You don’t want the smell of barn animals invading your wedding (yes, some barn venues are working farms)
- You don’t want to deal with the hassle of figuring out what the venue will allow you to do and not do (many barns have restrictions)
Budget: Rustic venues with barns or tents or other structures come at a wide array of price points. While some include catering, some are not exclusive with any caterers, meaning you can bring whomever you want in. This feature is great because if you don’t want traditional ‘wedding’ food, you can have BBQ or another type of food instead! Unless you’re okay with DIYing your decorations or not having many decorations, you should budget for a planner and stylist to come in the day of to do your décor so you don’t have to worry about it. Some farms don’t always have bathrooms either, so double check before you book anywhere! Renting a bathroom trailer is not cheap!
Best Rustic Venue Locations: Central Pennsylvania; Northern California; Washington State.
5. A SuSTAYnable Wedding
Sometimes with weddings, no matter how much you want something, the budget just won’t allow for it. Just because you can’t travel to Belize or Italy for your big day doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing wedding right in your hometown or the area surrounding it. By having your wedding close to where your guests are, chances are more of your family and friends will be able to make it! Here are some ideas for how you can have a travel-themed wedding right at home without hopping on a train or plane:
- Have your caterer make food from your favorite countries and set stations out so guests can try different cuisine
- Make decorations that reflect the cultures or places you love. Seashells for the beach, or paper cranes for some flair… the options are endless
- Pick a wedding dress that isn’t a traditional ‘Americanized’ dress; add splashes of color for a different feel and to represent your heritage or a culture you respect
- Create travel-themed save the dates and invitations to make your wedding feel like a wanderlust-filled event
- Ask your guests to sign a world globe, and whenever you two travel together, add a sticker to the locations you’ve been
When picking your wedding location, make sure you talk it over with your significant other and weigh the pros and cons of each place. Love is in the details, and compromising on this decision to achieve a perfect wedding will bring you two even closer!
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.
Photos via Pixabay