Destination weddings are a wonderfully unique way to spend the most special day of your life, against the backdrop of stunning scenery and exotic surroundings. And the people who love you enough to travel the distance and witness it all will be there with you.
An ever-growing trend in the 300 hundred billion dollar wedding industry, it’s not difficult to see why destination weddings have been in vogue and have become a thriving portion of the bridal market over the past decade.
But as with so many other things in pandemic times, we can’t help to question their future. As we worry about the spread of COVID-19, we might ask ourselves, is having a destination wedding worth it? Is there a bigger risk to taking my wedding party halfway across the world – and is it even possible anymore?!
As with almost everything from this crisis, answers are fluid, however there are plenty of reasons not to give up on your dream. In the post-COVID-19 world, destination weddings in Australia could still be on the horizon for you. Let’s see why wedding travel is so popular in the first place.
Why is wedding travel popular?
According to Brides.com, the wedding destination market accounts for US$16 billion (around AU$23 billion) in annual spending, which is a fairly significant slice of the pie. And there are plenty of reasons for it. Couples who love to travel, and have friends who do as well, get to enjoy the ultimate adventure together.
If you’re getting married overseas, costs of venue and catering can also be cheaper, and your guest list will most likely be more modest. That makes destination weddings more cost effective and more intimate – an added bonus.
Lastly, in many occasions, the destination has special significance — ancestry, relatives, family, or maybe the location is somewhere the bride or groom has dreamed of going to their whole lives.
Planning a destination wedding
The costs of holding a wedding overseas compared to at home might not differ that much if you live in Europe or the U.S. A generic wedding planning checklist will be roughly the same, except you can be in a romantic destination before you even get to the honeymoon.
In some cases, the logistical headache is taken care of through hotels and other companies who are experts in destination weddings and wedding travel. The advantage of these is the packages that give guests discounts and itineraries so they can make the most of their time abroad. Combined honeymoon deals for the couple in question are also a bonus, which may be available when you go to iconic destinations.
If you were planning any wedding travel post-COVID-19 in Australia or anywhere else over the last few months, chances are that it didn’t happen. Some people adapted by taking their wedding parties online, and these have been memorable in their own right. It’s laid forth the possibility of more virtual weddings in the future — a “new normal” and guaranteed social distancing version of your nuptial ceremony. But don’t resign yourself to that Zoom ceremony just yet.
Is wedding travel post-COVID-19 still possible in Australia?
A ban on travel and the suspension of international flights have certainly complicated plans to move across international borders to attend weddings or get married. However, the world is slowly opening up again. And as well as virtual weddings, Australian wedding companies are adapting their services to ensure safe social distancing rules.
Your destination wedding party is likely to be smaller, in any case, to help with safe social distancing, and there’ll be more contactless services available. Open-air venues are a sensible bet, and chances are these will be be more popular now with widely spread tables and minimum-contact buffet service. Overall, wedding travel will focus on exemplary hygiene standards and adaption to this post-pandemic way of life.
The wedding industry and all of those who work within it certainnly took a big hit during the crisis. While it will undoubtedly take time to rebuild, slowly couples and their potential wedding guests will feel safe enough to resume plans of holding their dream weddings. And if you need a photographer to capture the momentous day, there are those of us who are still committed to encapsulating it.
Photos are courtesy of perfect moment photography studio from Sydney.