Elopement vs Destination Wedding: which one is best for me?

May 23, 2019

If you’re here it means you are engaged (congrats!) and want something different from a traditional wedding. These two options definitely have some similarities and look interesting for more than one reason: you may want to stay away from home to avoid an extra long guest list, save money or just getting married in your favorite place in the world. So let’s see the differences and see what’s the best pick for you.

Destination Wedding


A destination wedding is a smaller traditional wedding that takes place in a setting away from your hometown, often at a resort where the following honeymoon is also spent. Locations like Hawaii, Caribbeans, Mexico are typical for the American couples, but also Amalfi coast, Lake Como, Tuscany and Liguria in Italy, Santorini in Greece, Dubrovnik in Croatia (hello GoT vibes!) and Ireland.


  1. Many locations to choose from;
  2. Some resorts offer complete packages – officiant, reception, decor, etc, which make the organization easier;
  3. You have the excuse to invite only your closest friends and family members;
  4. Since you have fewer guests, you’re gonna save some money on the reception;
  5. You can enjoy your honeymoon at the same place and time of your wedding.


  1. The non-invited could still feel hurt for not being considered inner-circle;
  2. Some of the guests may not be able to make it – for work or financial reasons;
  3. Your family and friends are going to spend part of your honeymoon there with you;
  4. You may need to hire a wedding planner since organizing a wedding from far away in all its details may be really difficult on your own.

If you really want your parents, sibling and best friends to share your joy at your wedding and you know that your small tribe doesn’t have any issue and can be free for a few days to come to your wedding (and you can afford a wedding planner), a destination wedding is probably your best option.



Traditionally, the term indicates a couple that gets married in secret without parental consent, but nowadays it’s way more than that. And even if you don’t know anybody who eloped, believe me, it’s not so uncommon. 


  1. You can choose absolutely any place in the world, you don’t need a hotel with a reception location and catering, you just need a cabin in the mountains or Airbnb on the beach for you and spouse. So. Many. Choices;
  2. The focus is totally on the couple and the love between the two of you, it’s less of a show for your guests (and therefore it’s way less stressful);
  3. You can plan the wedding of your dreams without trying to make everybody else happy: you can wear what you want without worrying about looking too revealing in front of grandma, enjoy a seafood-based dinner even if almost everybody from your in-law family is allergic to them, or wear Dr. Martens boots with your bridal gown even if mom would want you to wear classic heels, etc;
  4. Your schedule is way more fluid; if something happens or simply you find a spot that you like more than the one you previously picked, you can just change it last minute;
  5. Since you’re saving money in reception – think food, decorations, rentals, etc – you can invest it in making your day as beautiful as you like with amazing dress, fancy accessories, stunning bouquet, precious wedding bands (you’re gonna wear them forever!) but also think about things you could add to your day to make it even more spectacular, like a helicopter ride, a sunset cruise – I mean, those photos will be incredible! – or a dinner with a private chef. Make it special.


  1. You may miss your friends and family – but since you’re not inviting anyone, nobody is gonna really feel left out from your inner circle.

I can’t honestly think about any other disadvantage! I may be biased, but I believe that your wedding day should be about you, your spouse, and your love and should reflect your beliefs and personalities without having to please everybody else. You can absolutely organize your elopement in the way you like it. It can be getting married in front of a waterfall in Iceland, in Piazza San Marco in Venice at dawn, or on a rooftop in New York. There are no limits! And if you book an elopement photographer, like myself, they’ll be surely more than happy to help you to plan it in every detail.

Still, eloping may not be for everybody, so if you really want to have your besties to be at your side and getting ready with you, your parents crying during the ceremony and fun party after the reception, but still want something smaller and more exotic, you’ll be happier with a destination wedding!

Are you ready

to book your Destination Wedding or Elopement?

Get in touch and I’ll get back at you as soon as possible.