To Elope or be Local: Destination vs Traditional Weddings

Many people dream of their big day taking place inside the stained glass walls of their childhood church, while others imagine saying their vows under the sun on a tropical beach far away from their familiar surroundings. Every couple approaches their wedding day differently, longing for the perfect celebration that will suit them best, and creating something that will be remembered forever.

Plenty of people toy with the idea of a destination wedding, daring to dream of jetting off somewhere special to say I do in an exciting, exotic place on earth, but often the idea of planning a wedding far away from home can be daunting and full of imagined obstacles that can bring these dreams to an end. The idea of putting a wedding together locally may seem easier without all that distance between you and your wedding venue, but we are here to tell you exactly why a destination wedding may be the most stress-free, time efficient, and cost effective, fantasy affair you imagine.

Contrary to popular belief, getting married in the African bush, or on the white beaches of Mozambique can be a seamless, professional, beautiful, and complete wedding experience, plus, the bride and groom can take a back seat, shorten the list of to-dos, and let the magic happen. Here are some advantages to having a destination wedding in the scenic African savannah or on the temperate shores of the Indian Ocean; two destinations a Lujo wedding thrives on.

Chris & Wendy destination wedding

Chris & Wendy destination wedding

Minimal planning, minimal stress.

When the wedding venue is overseas, or in the opposite hemisphere, it is not likely you will be able to spend every weekend on site with measuring tape and colour swatches, changing your mind and pulling out your hair. So, let it go and put your trust in your wedding planner to interpret your thoughts, ideas, and visions into your dream day. After all, you’ve chosen your destination because you already love it enough to spend your special day there!

Often, there are limiting factors to getting married in the bush on safari or on a remote tropical beach, which should be seen as a blessing in disguise. There might be only a handful of florists available in the area, or only one or two cake bakers to choose from, so time spent testing and choosing will be minimal, giving you less to plan and worry about. Getting married at a bush or beach lodge takes an enormous amount off your shoulders, because these establishments come equipped with sublime accommodation for your guests, they have fantastic kitchens and staff that are skilled and trained in catering for guests and visitors, and they have magnificent dining areas that make the most of the scenic views either out on the beach, on the lantern-lit terrace, or under the glow of the stars on the wild African plains. By merely selecting a venue for your wedding, you’ve committed to a caterer, guest accommodation, dining and reception, and you’ve put your trust in professionals who host and take care of overseas visitors on a daily basis.

Chris & Wendy destination wedding

Chris & Wendy destination wedding

Less drama!

Not every bridal party has drama, but let’s face it, if your wedding is taking place in your home town, you are likely to receive the opinions you want, and some you don’t want! Parents, siblings, and bridesmaids might be there to support you through your wedding planning process, but it is likely that by inviting the opinions of both your mother and mother-in-law might be opening yourself up to family feuds over table decor or wine selection. By working closely with your experienced wedding planner on the ground, and making decisions based on a limited number of options, there are no avenues for arguments with loved ones! When the wedding day arrives, those who have flown out to join you will be so thrilled at being treated like guests in their seaside bungalow or safari tent that any decisions you made on flowers and food will come as a welcome surprise.

Mayra & Abilio destination wedding

Mayra & Abilio destination wedding

Mayra & Abilio destination wedding

Affordability and cost effectiveness.

A destination wedding might sound like it has a hefty price tag attached to it, but anyone who has been through the process of planning a wedding they truly desire can attest to the long list of costs involved with sewing the occasion together from scratch. The venue and the dress might be the most important elements to you on your wedding day – or perhaps it is the food and the music – but at the end of the day, the list of items that require spending is long. The venue, dress, food, and music are only the start of what continues on to the flowers, the cake, the bar, the officiator, the accommodation, etc. Hidden costs creep up at every turn when you plan your own wedding, but when you choose to put your trust in your planner’s hands at a faraway destination, you are likely to pay one price for a package deal, which includes all the elements carefully and reliably assembled with your personal taste and preferences at the helm.

Going hand in hand with a destination wedding is accommodation for your guests. If you’re at an African safari lodge, or at a beach resort, your guests are likely to be taking time off work and adopting your wedding as an opportunity to take a vacation and will be willing to pay for their own travel and accommodation, which lessens your expense.

Chris & Wendy destination wedding

Chris & Wendy destination wedding

See it as your dream holiday (both for you and your guests)!

Your decision to get married away from home opens up the opportunity to make a holiday out of your special day, whether it be a weekend away or a week-long affair. Both you, as the bridal couple, and your close guests will benefit from the relaxation that comes with a break from normal routine and the adventure of a getaway, which adds even more value to your special occasion. Bonding with loved ones over a unique experience in a new, beautiful place, and solidifying moments and memories forever is only increased by the special destination. Your wedding experience won’t only last one day, but be spread over a few days as your time spent at your destination of choice unfolds with many hours spent walking on the beach, sipping champagne in rock pools, or admiring wildlife around the local waterhole.

And an added bonus? You’ll be able to incorporate your honeymoon into your wedding celebration and wake up in a dreamy destination the morning after your wedding without having to rush to catch a flight the next day. Plus – you know where your first anniversary will be spent a year down the line!

Choosing to elope not only has incredible romantic value, but it means putting those stressful wedding woes in the hands of professionals, and inviting your guests to join you on a mini-break that will be special for them as well as for you. Trusting your wedding organiser to arrange everything from the cake to the photographer, and benefitting from the professionalism of your hosts means a stress-free and surprisingly low cost celebration in a destination of your choice.

Mayra & Abilio destination wedding

Mayra & Abilio destination wedding

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Tel: +27 (83) 500 3817 | Email: louise@lujo.co.za | Address: Hoedspruit, South Africa