Why We're Having a Destination Wedding

Joe and I are getting married on Maui next year.

I never had plans or daydreams about a destination wedding (or any wedding, for that matter). My fantasies were always more about being a wife, a mom, and a homeowner. They were about building a life with my partner.

Cheesy, I know.

It wasn’t until I met Joe that I started thinking that all of these things were a real possibility. And once we started to regularly talk about forever, some hypothetical wedding planning began.

My older sisters both got married in Portland over the past few years. The weddings were beautiful. However, if I had a Portland wedding, the guest list would be pretty similar to theirs, so I figured we may as well try something different this time, you know?

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Plus, before we got engaged, my oldest sister, Alana, would joke that she wished Joe and I would just elope to Maui.

And….well, we are. Sort of.

We’re having a “small” wedding there, which will hopefully be around 50 guests, consisting of our closest friends and family. I’m not sure if you’d call that eloping, but it’s the best we could do considering the incredible size of Joe’s family, current millennial wedding culture, + other external pressure. Know what I mean?

I’ve only been to Hawaii once when my parents took us all for Christmas about 10 years ago. And Joe has never been on a tropical vacation! I. Can’t. Wait.

Destination weddings can save you money, be scary expensive, or fall somewhere in between.

Our total wedding cost is a little difficult to nail down. (And I swear I’m not being purposefully vague!) This is because the total amount of money we spend will include:

  • food, drinks, & other fuss on The Big Day
  • airfare
  • lodging
  • his suit + my dress
  • suits for Joe’s brothers
  • dresses for my sisters
  • workout classes
  • new makeup (I'm doing my own makeup, okay?)
  • kickoff dinner attire
  • welcome bags
  • spending money on our built-in honeymoon
  • etc

I’m not really sure what exactly other people include when they talk about the cost of their wedding, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that ours is complicated because it includes our 10-day stay on the island.

Okay, mayyyyybe I’m too scared to put an actual dollar amount on it. Whatever!

Anyway, I think our total cost is going to be about average (whatever that is). We definitely toyed with the idea of having a much larger wedding in Portland for the same price, but to be honest, I’d rather spend more per guest on a small Maui wedding than the same amount of money on a 200-person wedding close to home. The thought of hugging that many people on my wedding day makes me feel kinda anxious, but that’s just me.

Plus, with a small wedding, we can keep our wedding party hella trim by taking advantage of the fact that he has two brothers and I have two sisters and sticking to just siblings. Easy-peasy.

We are also paying for about 90% of the wedding ourselves and are aiming to not be completely wiped out financially when all is said and done. (We’re planning to buy a house about 6 months later. Yikes!)

We’ve been saving really rapidly, which feels awesome and powerful, but I don’t even remember what it’s like to have extra spending money, so there’s that too.

Well, I'm off to write some lengthy lists and browse Etsy for bridal separates! 

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