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Trend Alert: Destination Weddings

Destination weddings have seen a steady rise in popularity and, in 2019, we’re seeing it reach an all-time high. In the past, they’ve been a great choice for couples on a budget or those seeking intimate celebrations like elopements.

Recently, however, the advancement in technology and the overall boom of the wedding industry has opened up destination weddings to new markets and have expanded the opportunities available for couples everywhere.

Who is the modern destination couple?

The growth in destination weddings aligns with the overall shift in the industry, as the majority of engaged couples are falling into Generations Y and Z. Millennials coined the terms ‘wanderlust’ and ‘FOMO,’ and their love of traveling and appreciation of new experiences have carried over to their nuptials.

Sanya Percic, owner of Ellwed Magazine, shares, “The couples that choose a destination wedding practice different, free, and nomadic lifestyles, which interlaces with their ideology and overall style. Travel has become easy and accessible to anyone who wants it.”

Mike B Photography – www.mikebphotography.com

Where are they tying the knot?

Destination weddings are still wildly popular in traditional locales, but are branching out to include new and unique places as well.

“In Mexico, destination couples are moving away from the mainstream tourist towns and choose ‘just off the beaten path’ venues, like Todos Santos, Nayarit, and San Miguel where weddings have almost doubled in the last year,” shares Amy Abbott of Amy Abbott Events. “Clients want to feel the authenticity of the country and the history that is what makes Mexico so perfect for a destination.”

“South America is also a growing destination wedding hot spot—Antigua, Guatemala, Cartagena, Colombia, even islands in Panama like Sweet Bocas are fan favorites,” adds Harmony Walton, founder of The Bridal Bar.

Sandra Santoro, founder of Getting Married in Italy, shares the locations she’s seeing grow on the other side of the ocean: “Thailand, Indonesia, Ireland, London, Italy (traditional destinations, such as Rome, Florence, Venice, and the Italian Lakes; but also with a focus on new emerging destinations such as Sicily and Piedmont with its Langhe area), French Polynesia, Greece, and Maldives.”

When it comes down to it, today’s couples are seeing the world as their oyster—potential destinations are a grab bag of possibilities and they are ready to explore new frontiers.

Jess Leigh Photography - https://www.jessleighartist.com/

What is the modern destination wedding style?

The beauty of destination weddings is that every region offers itself to fresh and unique trends—spots like Costa Rica and Bali are perfect for tropical details whereas historic destinations like Greece or Spain lend themselves to heavily cultural décor. Still, there are a few trends that we expect to see across the board that complement all sorts of global themes.“I think we will continue to see different shades of green as it is such a simple color that can be mixed with all sorts of vibrant and bright pinks & oranges to more subtle pastel shades of pale blues & lavenders,” says May Abu Jaber, founder of The Wedding Haven.

Laura Perez, founder of Crystal Events, also expects to see “colorful oranges and yellows, but also minimalist, very neutral earth tones for eco-conscious couples.”

Santoro agrees, adding: “70s style colors, like orange, yellow, and purple are gaining ground. We will be seeing more violet, periwinkle, and peach, instead of champagne and blush neutral. Pale pastels will be infused with life in 2019 as brighter colors pop to the forefront of wedding trends.”

There you have it—destination weddings are here to stay, but we anticipate seeing these getaway celebrations develop their own trends and styles that couples will embrace in the name of wanderlust. The destination market continues to increase in demand, so the industry must be prepared to provide top-of-the-line services on a global level.

Learn more wedding trends at Catersource 2020. Registration opens mid-August. Click here for the latest information!

Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute

Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.