Thursday, June 6, 2013

Should you or can you have a destination wedding?

Your dream destination wedding, at what price?

Destination wedding is an uprising trend. With travelling gets more common and affordable thanks to the proliferation of budget airlines and online travel deals, it doesn't take much longer before people figure out they can wed anywhere they like, be it for the stunning venue or meaningful exotic location.

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Personally I find that Singaporeans or Singapore residents are well-situated for destination wedding, reasons being:
  • Centrally located geography location and well-connected air traffic minimize travel time, hassle and cost
  • Strong Singapore dollars and being one of the most expensive cities in the world means that couples will get more bangs for their bucks by getting wed elsewhere
  • Being proximity to South East Asia allows Singaporean or Singapore residents to take advantage of the exotic culture and beautiful landscape offered by our surrounding neighbours.
However, even with such favourable economics and geographical condition, it is still not easy for Singaporean couples to marry overseas, as we also found out ourselves when discussing our (currently abandoned) plan of getting married in Bali.

Here's a list of considerations you might want to go through if marrying overseas sound tempting to you: (Of course, if you happened to be a Billionaire and can afford multiple celebrations, you can stop reading right here)

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1. How conservative/traditional are your parents from both side?

Eventually, getting married is not only your biggest day but also their biggest day too. In fact, it might be even more meaningful for them after all the hard work and hardship they endure for bringing you up. If your parents' idea of wedding is to have a proper sitting banquet with all the traditional custom in place, you can forget about destination wedding. It is not worth it to fight and argue to get your dream wedding when your own parents are unhappy. You love them too, right?

Of course if you have the moola, why not having a destination wedding and a reception at home later on. But the keywords is "If you have the moola", having one wedding is expensive enough. Having two... *cough* Having 2 separate events doesn't mean that total budget divided by two. Some of these expenses just can't be shared such as photography, makeup etc. They have to double.

Luckily for Mr and me, our parents are totally fine we us getting away from the whole traditional reception thing. We were also planning to have a smaller informal gathering later on with our friends and family who can't join us.

2. How geographically concentrated are your guests?/ How many guests do you absolutely needs to invite?

If half of your guests needs to travel to Singapore anyway to attend your wedding, perhaps having a destination wedding make sense. Singapore is expensive. Since so many of them needs to travel, why not move to somewhere cheaper, better, nicer? If you and your future spouse grew up in the same neighbourhood, attend local primary school, secondary school, university and you still keep in contact with more than half of your primary school class mates etc. Staying local is the way to go.

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3. How economically well-off are your friends and relatives?/ What are the expectation 

Think of who you want to invite, who absolutely must be there for your big day. Can they afford to travel? Do you want to burden your friends and family too much to travel to your wedding? If your social group are generally from upper middle income class family (or even higher), there is no problem at all for you. Cases are for mere mortal like us, we have to think of how to handle this sensitive issue of getting people closest to us to fork out a bomb (and trust me, it is going to cost them much more than an ang pow for a typical wedding reception) for your day. Perhaps you might even need to subsidy or pay for their airfares and accommodation. In fact, Mr's parents requested us to pay for accommodation for our guests when we were planning for our Bali wedding previously. That additional cost is significant.


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