There are these destination wedding myths in the United States that traveling is super expensive.
I’ve done a lot of traveling, particularly to Ireland since my best friend lives there. A fellow professor (yes I’m a college teacher too) asked me how I liked it and said he and his wife would love to go, but they don’t have the ten thousand or so dollars that they’ve estimated it will cost.
I almost choked on my professorial coffee.
I have never spent more than that much money on ANY trip I’ve taken to Europe and some of them were months long.
A lot of people believe this myth that traveling is prohibitively expensive and I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely not true.
Myth 1: Having a destination wedding is expensive
TRUTH: Sure it’s going to cost you to have a destination wedding. It’s not free to travel and there’s things you’re just going to have to pay for, but the truth is this is one of those destination wedding myths that people have that having a destination wedding is enormously expensive is just not realistic. You don’t have to stay in a fancy hotel and have an uber expensive resort wedding.
There’s many alternatives if you want a wallet friendly destination wedding. First of all, pick an off beat location for your wedding site. Destinations don’t have to be at resorts, which are going to be pricey. Instead, choose a glacier in Iceland or a meadow with snow capped mountains in Switzerland. It might take a little more research and planning, but the cost is minimal. Read Why you should have a destination wedding even if you’re broke.
Plus, there’s all sorts of ways to cut costs when you travel and save more money for your wedding.
Myth 2: Never use a credit card to travel
TRUTH: Credit cards are what enabled me to start traveling. And no I didn’t put a ton of money onto it and get into debt. I just accrued frequent flyer miles with them.
How did I do this? Easy. I just purchased everything with it and then paid it off at the end of the month. Doing this, I didn’t pay a stitch of interest and instead accrued hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles.
If you plan ahead, you can easily accrue enough miles to get you to your destination wedding site or at least take a big dent out of the cost.
Myth 3: Overnight accommodations are the big cost
TRUTH: Ok yes this is absolutely true…if you’re super picky. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that you’re getting married. You’re having your beautiful moment of wedding bliss and the extra excitement of a destination wedding location. But staying at alternative accommodations can be an amazing –and low cost– adventure.
For some people being comfortable is a requirement; and trust me, no judgement, sometimes there’s reasons or just preferences where you have to be comfy and that’s just who you are. There’s a whole continuum though of what comfort is and this is something you have to determine for yourself.
What can you handle and still be happy, especially considering this is your wedding trip? Is one of the destination wedding myths for you too?
When I first started traveling, I stayed in hotels and BnBs which ate up a hefty portion of my cash. This was because I didn’t know what alternatives there were and I was a bit scared of them to be honest.
Couchsurfing where you stay at a stranger’s home was a super weird and scary idea to me and I was sure it would result in me being murdered. But I soon learned that it’s actually pretty awesome and you get to experience the real life and culture of the place you’re visiting.
Again, this is your wedding so you’d have to decide what you can handle. On the less expensive, more private side of accommodations is a private room in a hostel.
Myth 4: You will die if you hitchhike
The first time I ever picked up a hitchhiker was when my Irish boyfriend (yes, one very valid method of saving money while traveling) picked up a young man as we were driving through the Irish countryside.
I wanted to kill him. My boyfriend, not the hitchhiker.
Why? Because I was certain this clean cut, gentle looking young french man was a secret rapist/murderer/mutilator/kidnapper. Turns out he was just a very nice young man touring the Irish countryside like us.
Again, this is your wedding, but if you’ve gotten this far in the blog, you might actually be willing to do whatever it takes to have your destination wedding and hitchhiking is a super effective way to save money. Obviously you have to use your common sense and if you feel uncomfortable don’t get in the car. Having said that, not everyone you meet is a psycho killer.
Myth 5: Travel is dangerous
There is so much negative news on TV and social media that it’s no wonder people think of travel as something dangerous. Terrorism, plane crashes, kidnapped (thanks a lot Liam Neeson)… The truth is that you’re more likely to die in a car crash driving to Hobby Lobby for some wedding item than when you’re traveling.
In all of my travels, I have never been in any known danger and I am the queen of getting into sketchy situations. There’s a lot of things you can do to stay safe, what my dad calls ‘risk management.’ Obviously staying out of dangerous countries, dangerous neighborhoods and so on. Ask other travelers what the dangers are and they will fill you in on all the details.
But seriously, don’t let the news channels scare you out of a destination wedding. Yes things can go wrong, but the chance is tiny. And the chance of things going wonderfully well is huge.
Myth 6: Destination weddings, like travel, are only for the young
Wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong. And thank goodness since I’m reaching the end of my 30s. Travel is for any age. My grandmother went on a trip with her sister to Israel when they were both in their late 70s. A trip without anyone else and a trip where they road camels through the deserts of Jordan. She’s very proud of her Camel Jockey License.
You can travel at any age and honestly the older you are the more your fellow travelers will be in awe of you and will pitch in to help you with anything you need. There’s an amazing community among those traveling.
The age of people marrying is getting higher and higher, edging up towards 30 and many couples I photograph are even in their 40s and 50s. This does not mean that a destination wedding is out of the picture for you. This is for sure one of those destination wedding myths. Age is a mindset and while you may be more used to comfort and may have a family coming along that would require more planning, you absolutely can still do it.
Don’t let the myths of travel stop you from going on an amazing destination wedding. Yes it’s scary if you’ve never gone outside the country before. Yes it’s going to have obstacles and problems.
Yes it is absolutely 100% worth it.
If you want to take a seasoned traveler along to photograph your journey, give me a shout.