Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Destination Weddings 2016 Trends

What’s in a trend?

With nearly a quarter of couples choosing to take their wedding on the road, it’s no surprise that destination weddings have developed unique trends of their own. With that in mind, Destination Weddings Travel Group has released its annual trend report, which covers what’s big in the destination market.

Our customer’s average destination wedding is a more intimate affair, with 28 guests on average in attendance for the festivities. Based on our current data, they also have the capacity to be more affordable than their at-home counterpart.

According to our data, our customer base’s price tag averages less than $10,000. So while opulent affairs are a possibility, destination weddings are equally accessible for those on a budget. Additionally, by only inviting those who will travel to the chosen locale, couples are able to ensure that their special day is filled with their closest loved ones for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Generally, destination celebrations also take less than a year to plan as there are plenty of packages that save both the stress and time of planning a traditional at home wedding, which can take an average of up to two years.

So, what are the popular trends right now?

Sandy shores and beyond

Mexico still tops the list of favorite wedding destinations, along with other beach paradises like the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Aruba. With that said, the rise of destination couples has also seen an influx of adventurous weddings that aren’t quite on the road well traveled. Spots like Canada and Iceland offer breathtaking natural scenery, whereas European cities such as Italy and Barcelona are great options for history buffs and foodies alike.

While same-sex couples also go for seaside vows, with the global expansion of LGBTQ rights, more destinations are emerging as hot spots for inclusive weddings. As one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage, Ireland is a historic destination for LGBTQ couples while Spain and South Africa are increasing in popularity as well. We look forward to seeing what other destinations pop up as acceptance continues to grow.

The devil is in the details

Who said destination weddings don’t involve gorgeous details? If anything, couples have a unique opportunity to incorporate unique aspects from the region! That means anything from sourcing local ingredients for meals (and even floral arrangements!) to creating welcome bags filled with local goodies and personalized travel swag.

In terms of overall themes, rustic glam is sticking around as couples seek a simple, yet romantic atmosphere for their wedding day. That goes for the lighting design too – soft candlelight and whimsical paper lanterns are replacing the bold hues of uplighting.

Going digital

Technology has been a key component in the growth of destination events as a whole, as it opens up the opportunities to plan from afar. Wedding apps are popular with couples in general, but they are especially helpful for those planning their wedding away from home. From Pinterest for destination inspiration to WhatsApp and Viber to communicate and collaborate while abroad, there are many apps to choose throughout the entire journey

In addition to the pre-wedding phase, couples are also opting to incorporate technology into their Big Day. WedPics is a popular app for instantly sharing photos on the Big Day, whereas Snapchat gives couples the chance to design their own geotag for their special celebration. 3D printing is also emerging as a wedding tool couples use to personalize cake toppers, wedding bands, and more.

These trends and many more can be found in our annual Destination Weddings Trend Report 2016 – give it a read if you frequently find yourself working on destination events or if you simply want to stay on-trend in the industry.


Rebecca Hochreiter is the Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement at, the world's leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. is one of the award-winning brands in the Celebration Travel Group collection.

Rebecca Hochreiter

Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement,

Rebecca Hochreiter is the Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement at, the world's leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream...