Report Shows Increasing Trend Of Destinations Weddings With 1 In 4 Couples Getting Married Abroad

According to a recently released wedding study published by the founder of two top wedding sites, WeddingChannel.com and The Knot.com, destination weddings continue rising in popularity as a popular alternative to more traditional weddings at home.

The results of the second edition of The Knot Market Intelligence Destination Wedding Study were recently published and its findings revealed that the trend for getting married abroad increased among engaged couples in 2012.

Considered to be the most definitive report on the industry of weddings abroad, this study tracked over 350,000 destination weddings by storing detailed information on wedding trends, events and locations of the weddings of around 3,000 US couples who got married abroad in 2011 or 2012.

The statistics of the 2012 Destination Weddings Study revealed a series of trends with the top key trends identified as follows:

• In 2011, nearly 1 in 4 (24%) couples had a destination wedding; this has grown from 20% in 2009.
• 66% of international destination wedding brides and 45% of domestic destination wedding brides opted for a destination wedding because they wanted a special, fun or exotic locale.
• The second most popular reason why international brides chose a destination wedding was to host a more intimate affair with fewer guests (65%), while domestic brides wanted a destination that was special to them as a couple (44%).

The findings of the study also showed that American couples have been opting for domestic destination weddings over international weddings in the last couple of years and when they did go for exotic international locations for their weddings some of the most popular locations included the Caribbean and Mexico, with 39 per cent of couples in the study going for Caribbean weddings and 24 per cent goings for weddings in Mexico, with Cancun weddings being the most popular.

The survey also showed that on average destination weddings lasted much longer than destination weddings with 60 per cent of those the study lasting three days or more. Of these international weddings abroad lasted the longest with many spanning several days and getting longer on average. According to the study almost 7 in 10 destination weddings abroad last 3 or more days and nearly half (47%) last four or more days, compared with just 38% in 2009.

“The idea of having a destination wedding is growing among our brides, and it goes hand in hand with the fact that most people no longer live where they grew up,” co-founder of XO Group Inc. Carley Roney said “When family is spread all over the country, a destination wedding is the perfect way to bring everyone together.”

Offshore Weddings

Who would have thought getting married in an exotic place could be cheaper and easier to organise than a wedding in your hometown? Bridget Cull looks into the growing trend of destination weddings.

“A destination wedding means you won’t have your parents’ neighbours’ dog-walking friends coming along.”

These are the thoughts of Sydney-based Caroline Kaulback, who is marrying Shane Hamilton in Costa Rica this September.

The couple chose a destination wedding for a number of reasons, including their love of travel and the fact that they could choose somewhere between Caroline’s home country of Canada and Shane’s Australia. Caroline says getting married offshore also makes a wedding more of an experience.

“I absolutely hate going to big weddings where you don’t get to even speak to the couple,” she says. “You get stuck at a table with people you’ve never met and don’t really get to know over just one meal. A destination wedding lets friends and family who love you really get to know each other.”

Money talks:

Caroline and Shane are one of many couples choosing to tie the knot overseas each year. Global Weddings travel agent Narelle Williams has been organising destination weddings for Australian couples for seven years, and has gone from dealing with three weddings a year in the beginning to about 40.

And she predicts the trend is only going to grow as more couples realise how cost-effective and convenient it is.

“Of course a lot of people won’t ever do it but for people who love travel, it’s definitely a great option,” she says.

While the average Australian wedding costs about $36,000, Narelle says the average cost of a destination wedding is between $8000 and $10,000, including the couple’s airfares and accommodation, and all wedding costs such as the venue, food, cake, flowers and photography.

Narelle says it’s cheaper because the average number of guests is between 20 and 30, and overseas resorts don’t charge more for weddings than other functions.

“You can have a five or six-star wedding with brilliant food and an amazing setting for less than half the price of what it would be here,” Narelle says.

Legally speaking:

Global Weddings organises weddings in Thailand, Bali, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Mauritius and Santorini, with the first three being the most popular destinations. Couples wanting different destinations are referred to other businesses, such as Italian wedding specialist, Marry Me Abroad. Although Narelle says the legal requirements of getting married in destinations other than the six she specialises in often put people off.

“You have to live in Paris for 30 days before you can get married there. It’s better to go to places like that for your honeymoon.”

Even some of the popular destinations have annoying legal requirements, such as Thailand where you have to get all your official documents translated into Thai and spend more than half a day organising everything. But using a travel agency helps, since they can arrange others to do a lot of the work for you.

Narelle says many people think destination weddings are not legally recognised in Australia. “But all the weddings we organise are (legally recognised). It’s just that they’re not registered in Australia – they can’t be.” The only affect this has is if the bride decides to change her name she has to do it by deed poll rather than through the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry, Narelle says.

Advice:

While many couples organise destination weddings themselves, Narelle cautions against this. “We only recommend a small number of resorts that I’ve been to and trust. They have great wedding co-ordinators and are well set-up for weddings. You don’t want to get somewhere and not be happy with it and if you’re trying to organise it yourself it can be really difficult – a lot of wedding co-ordinators just won’t get back to you.”

Caroline and Shane have organised their wedding on their own, but Caroline says they had some invaluable help along the way. “I did a lot of internet research. I even met a woman online who was asking questions about the property we were looking to rent as she was going there too. She offered to give me a ‘real’ run-down of the place and surroundings as you can’t always trust the official stuff posted on websites. I waited to book the house until I heard back from her – she sent a glowing recommendation.”

Caroline says anyone who wants to control all the little details of their wedding should not go for the offshore option. “There are a lot of things you have to leave up in the air until you get there, or up to chance. Trying to make arrangements in another country, in another time zone, in another language can sometimes be frustrating but I’ve managed so far without any dramas.”

Caroline advises others not to sweat the small stuff and to hire a local wedding planner if it gets too hard. She and Shane have adopted an ultra-casual approach, even leaving the date flexible. “We’ve chosen September 6 because we had to choose a date but the beauty of a casual destination wedding is that everyone will be there for the whole week, so if it rains on the day we can change it,” Caroline explains.

They’ve invited about 100 guests but expect up to 30 to make it to the boutique hotel/private residence they’ve hired on Playa Grande.

“We’re having a no-shoes theme. I’m not really worrying about colours and all that other stuff. We’ll be arriving the week before and we’ll sort out flowers, etc. then. We want to really work with the surroundings, so we’ll use local flowers and dishes.”

To help guests get information about the wedding and destination, Caroline set up a blog and sent an e-vite to guests so they can get in touch with each other and organise sharing accommodation and other activities.

So it seems as technology improves, the world is not only becoming a smaller place – it is becoming much more accessible to couples wanting to get married in a dream overseas destination.

The Proper Wedding Etiquette For Stepmoms

We have wedding etiquettes left and right tackling a number of issue related to weddings. But modifications have to be made because times have also changed.

Centuries or decades ago, husbands and wives are stuck to each other for life, in sickness and in health. But nowadays, everything has changed. Most of the parents now are divorced by the time the marriage reaches its tenth year.

That is why modern weddings are further complicated with the emergence of stepmothers. Yes, almost every bride or groom in town has a stepmother.

But the problem is, how are stepmothers dealt with during weddings. From this cue, let us focus on stepmothers.

Stepmothers are usually portrayed as wicked and evil, just in the case of Snow White and Cinderella. But in reality, stepmothers are also human. Most of them are really kind and good-hearted, and some are even better, when it comes to the personality department, than real mothers.

Being a Stepmother

If you are a stepmother, the simplest and most basic ethic you should adopt when your step daughter or step son gets married is to take the back seat.

The principal and most basic issue that hounds stepmothers during step daughter’s or step son’s weddings is the attire. Focus on that, and be amazed at how every issue and dispute is covered by the issue on attire.

Traditionally, during weddings, it is the bride’s mom that decides on everything. The first and basic concern for each wedding is the wedding gown. Biological mothers have all the right to intervene and decide on that.

Take not that in adherence to traditional and appropriate wedding etiquettes, the groom’s mom, the bridesmaids and the maid of honor will have to take the fashion cue from the bride’s mother.

In other words, the bride should stand out in the wedding. Her mom will have to stand out next to her. No one ever will have or be given the chance to steal their thunders.

It is in this part that the stepmother takes the backseat. To be nice and courteous, just adhere and agree to the bride’s mom’ fashion statement. If you are a stepmother, your attire during the wedding should never outdo that of the bride or that of the bride’s mother.

Doing otherwise will divert attention from the two stars of the moment to you. And that will lead to serious encounters and problems. Do not spoil your step daughter’s or step son’s wedding just so you can stick out and flash your unique and sensible fashion statement.

Your attire should only be complimentary, in style and in color, to those of the bride’s, the mom’s, the maid of honor’s and the bridesmaids.

Stepmothers during the wedding

The stepmother’s sacrifice in the attire department does not stop there. Most stepmothers should be canonized as saints especially if they patiently survive step son’s or step daughter’s wedding.

In throwing up receptions, stepmothers’ attires should still be underdog compared to the bride’s and the mom’s. Take note, adhere to this wedding etiquette even if you husband pays for the entire wedding. You will not want to arouse his ex-wife’s temper. For sure.

During the ceremony, the stepmother, with her dress-down attire, does not normally sit beside the bride’s or groom’s father. It is still the biological mother that has the right. Stepmothers are usually seated two to three rows back of the groom’s or bride’s parents.

In several cases, wedding organizers not only advise stepmothers to tone down their attire, they also advise stepmothers to seat where the original wife could not see them. This is to avoid two moms from throwing cake at each other.

If you are a stepmother and you are of the same age, or younger than, as the bride, do not, repeat, do not attend the wedding. You might attract scandals. If you have been the cause of the break up between the bride’s or groom’s mom and husband, the warnings should be utmost and more emphasized to you.

It is hard to be a stepmother, right? But understanding your position and living it out with utmost fashion and grace will help you outshine the occasion, even if you do not need it. You are not on the losing side. Besides, you have your loving husband with you-the proof and trophy for you being the winner!

The Proper Wedding Etiquette For The Grooms Parents

Weddings are wonderful experiences of two lovers who want to signify their commitment to bond, intentionally, for the rest of their lives. In Western countries, wedding ceremonies are symbolic and overwhelmingly romantic, making the event really expensive, as well.

Weddings are lifetime dreams of every woman. Some men also dream of being involved in one, though, the extent and magnitude is not that great compared to girls’ longing for it.

Because weddings are ceremonies that have evolved through the years to emerge as formal occasions, a lot of symbolic gestures and actions are required from the participants. From the bride to the groom, to the maid of honor and best man, Western culture has come up with universal wedding etiquette for every person in every wedding.

This article will inform and acquaint you to the minimal responsibilities given to the groom’s parents in every wedding. You will be surprised that the role of the groom’s parents are nothing much and intense compared to the role provided to other participants in the wedding.

Role of the Groom’s Parents

The groom’s parents are often fall at a loss when asked about the role they will be playing in the wedding of their beloved son. In movies and in real life, it is always assumed that parents of the bride get more emotional during weddings.

The assumption is true and is a well-accepted fact. However, the groom’s parents should not be seen as parents who should not be shedding tears during weddings. Of course, they should also. It is because they are also sending their beloved offspring or son away.

The groom’s parents will surely not be familiar of their role in their son’s wedding, especially if they had not participated previously in a wedding for a daughter, another son or other siblings. Here are some points and tips for the groom’s parents who wish to accomplish their role in the wedding well and with flying colors:

o The first wedding etiquette to be followed by the groom’s parents is to initiate contact and communication with the bride’s family. Introducing themselves to the bride’s parents is the groom’s parents’ first and utmost responsibility. It would be a really, really great gesture to start up good relations between the two families.

o It is a role of the groom’s parents, as written in wedding etiquettes, to host and pay for the wedding rehearsal dinner. The event should not necessarily be expensive. Simple salad potlucks or simple dinners can do. The groom’s parents should also not hold back if they want to impress the bride’s family by throwing out elaborate or exotic dinners in the finest restaurants.

o To get along with customary wedding etiquettes, the groom’s parents can also participate in the planning stage of the wedding. However, the role is almost always limited to just providing timely, appropriate and accurate guest list. The groom’s family and relatives should not be overlooked at this very important event.

Wedding etiquette for groom’s parents during the wedding

The father of the groom’s responsibilities during weddings are often overlooked. It is because they are just always tasked to escorting the mother of the groom, and that role is still conditional if they are in good relations—that is, they are not divorced.

The groom’s mother can be busier. Women are very particular to dresses and that is where the groom’s mom should first strike.

The groom’s mom should leave the role of dealing for the bride’s dress to the bride’s mom. She should also not mind the dresses for the maid of honor or bridesmaids. The groom’s mom should only compliment the gowns to be worn by the bride’s mom and bridesmaids, not overdo or outdo them.

The groom’s parents are expected to follow customs and traditions during wedding ceremonies. They will be led by ushers as where they should be seated in the wedding venue.

Other important roles for the groom’s parents

It can be funny, but in the Western or modern culture, the groom’s parents are mainly involved just in funding or shouldering wedding-related bills.

Among the other things the groom’s parents should pay for are the bride’s wedding ring, the clergy fees in the church, transportation expenses of groom’s men, gifts or tokens for groom’s men as well as lodging costs if necessary, gift for the bride and the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages.

Wedding ceremonies are just that—ceremonies. The marriage will not principally depend on the wedding, but a good one will make a good start for the couple. The groom’s parents should be as supportive as ever for their beloved son is embarking on a new life.