Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Venue Types

Whether you envision your wedding held in a hotel ballroom, a trendy bistro or a sunny backyard, there are pros and cons to consider for each. Here, what you need to know before you book.


Getting married away from home is exciting, glamorous, and a bit unexpected. And no doubt many of your guests will be happy to go along for the ride.

Photo Credit: KT Merry


Change of scenery
“Destination weddings are always beautiful and a favorite of many brides,” says Sargent. “Each far-flung location has its own wonderful attributes.”

Fewer guests saves money
The upside to a smaller guest list is that your catering costs go down significantly. “We went on a three-week-long trip of a lifetime, stayed in the best places, ate wonderful food, and had the wedding of our dreams with only our nearest and dearest,” says New Yorker Beata Santora, of her recent wedding in Italy. “We didn’t skimp and still wound up spending less than most people in New York City pay for just the flowers or dresses.” Fewer guests also allows you to focus more attention on those who made the trip. Which leads to…

Quality time with guests
“What I love most about a destination wedding is that you get to take a smaller group of friends and family away and spend 72 or more quality hours with them in a remote and romantic setting rather than have a single bash in your hometown for 250 people that is all over in five hours,” says Cowie.

“Always check the typical weather for your potential date, so you don’t end up in the middle of a rainy season or heat wave.”—Allison Sargent


Guests’ expenses go up
Airfare alone can be a hefty cost for a wedding guest. Then there are accommodations, car rental fees, a wedding gift, and more.

You’re in tour-guide mode
Because you’re taking guests to unfamiliar territory, it’s essential that you make them feel at ease. “As guests respond that they will be attending, let them know that you cannot wait to celebrate with them,” suggests Pryor. “It is also considerate to plan weekend activities for your guests,” she says.

Local customs and resources
With a destination wedding, you will often have to put your trust in vendors located many miles away and with whom you may not be very familiar. “You have to rely on local resources or pay big dollars to ship it all in,” says Cowie. “Getting married in a different country is a challenge because each country has its own set of laws when it comes to marriage,” he says.

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