• Picking Your Wedding Venue: Hometown vs. Destination

    Picking Your Wedding Venue: Hometown vs. Destination

    Select the wedding venue that’s right for you.

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Choosing a wedding venue requires careful consideration, making it one of the most challenging aspects of the wedding-planning process. Do you go with tradition and the comforts of home (whether that’s where you grew up or where you live now), or do you say yes to heading somewhere new and exotic to mark the start of your forever?

Here are a few things to bear in mind when pondering potential venues—especially when it comes to how your choice of “location, location, location” will impact your celebration, celebration, celebration.

Hometown Wedding

Pros:

  • If you’re leaning toward a larger guest list and greater attendance, a hometown wedding can be more accommodating to guests who hang their hats where you grew up or the place you currently call home. (Bonus points if you and your boo are from the same area.)
  • If there’s a special place back home that holds a lot of memories for you, a hometown wedding is best if you want to keep with tradition. Plus, you can tap into hometown favorites on the food, beverage and rehearsal dinner fronts.
  • You get full control over the goings-on of your special day, so the celebration will epitomize your spirit and love as a couple.
  • Plus, having connections back home can ensure planning runs smoothly and efficiently.

Cons:

  • Greater guest attendance could tighten up your budget in other areas—so be prepared to cinch the budget around other buys, such as your dress, décor and catering.
  • Want a hometown wedding, but you and your sweetheart are from opposite sides of the country? Having to decide between your place and theirs certainly complicates the hometown wedding tradition.
  • The days leading up to your wedding will start to feel like a family reunion, with wall-to-wall relatives. For some, this might not be a problem—but for others, this could mean unnecessary stress and uncalled-for opinions.
  • Speaking of opinions, a traditional hometown wedding may leave less room for elaborate attire, gifts and favors that could match the unconventionality of a destination experience.

Destination Wedding

Pros:

  • A destination wedding is perfect if you and your fiancé are thrill-seeking tradition breakers (or simply prefer an easier, more informal setup).
  • You have the option to have your wedding and honeymoon in the same place, which minimizes travel time and maximizes memory-making. Plus, it gives your guests the chance to turn your wedding into their own mini vacation.
  • Destination weddings let lovebirds lean into and make much of other cultures and traditions, giving their wedding a unique and memorable feel in a location with a distinctive sense of place.
  • A big-day getaway is also a solid choice if you want to keep your festivities small and intimate—something for just family and your closest friends.
  • Fewer guests lowers catering costs and then some, and the money you save can be used toward upgrading certain celebratory details, funding your honeymoon or putting a down payment on a house or a remodeling project.
  • If you want a destination wedding but cannot escape the practical voice inside your head, choosing a venue that’s stateside is one way to make travel easier and more budget-friendly for all.

Cons:

  • There’s a price to pay for weddings held far away, and not everyone can afford it. The farther you go, the more challenging it will be for folks to manage the costs and logistics—especially if wee ones are invited. In some cases, those who RSVP “no” to your big day may include beloved relatives and close friends.
  • If you’re big on details and Pinterest-inspired doo-dads, integrating your “makers gotta make” décor may be a challenge (depending on whether you’re traveling by car or by plane). Because most of the details are taken care of upon arrival at the resort, you have to work with what you are given, leaving little room to make the day all about you.
  • You’ll have to do a lot of homework, especially if you want to exchange vows in another country. Getting married overseas might have different requirements in order for you to get married—and for it to be legal when you return home.
  • For the guests who choose to turn your wedding into their own vacation (once the festivities are over, of course), you may have a hard time shaking them if you’re planning to enjoy your honeymoon in the same destination. Be sure to set boundaries so you and your beloved can enjoy some much-needed alone time after saying “I do.”

Still having trouble deciding? Maybe it’s a neither-nor and both-and, made possible by pairing a far-flung wedding and hometown reception. Wherever you choose to have your wedding, do what feels true to who you are as a couple—and with that, love will find a way.

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