When it comes to weddings, people tend to be of two minds. There are the traditional, at-home sort and then there are the plane-hopping destination wedding couples. Whether it’s a Mexico destination wedding or a three-day event on the Italian Riviera, destination weddings are popular and looking to be even more so in 2022.
Why? Well, people have been cooped up for the past two years thanks to COVID-19. Countries are starting to allow tourists again, with proper vaccination documentation or negative tests, and the world as a whole desperately wants to travel.
This is naturally extended to the wedding industry. As couples try to decide if they want a traditional, at-home wedding or a destination celebration, one has to wonder where the trends are leaning. We’ve got some insight below!
Multi-day Weddings Abroad
When it comes to destination weddings, couples aren’t going to do just a one-and-done day. It’s more likely going to be a multi-day experience, and with that comes a new sort of planning. Three-day weddings are the most popular when it comes to extended celebrations.
Multi-day weddings allow guests to get situated, unwind, and also enjoy what the destination has to offer. After not traveling for so long due to COVID, expect weddings like this to be popular in 2022. People want to get out and explore, and that goes for the wedding party too.
Multi-day weddings, especially at hotels and resorts with wedding packages, are likely to include planned excursions and other cultural activities. This is a great thing to talk about with couples, especially if the destination is one that has a lot to offer.
Going Abroad to Elope
The best place for a destination wedding is wherever the loved ones are together. What with COVID, costs, and stress, however, some clients of yours may want to bypass the formalities altogether. That’s right, we’re talking about eloping.
While hiring a wedding planner for an elopement may seem like an oxymoron, it can be very beneficial from a logistical standpoint. So, don’t be surprised if you get a few of these in 2022. Knowing the local wedding laws is important and may be intimidating to someone who’s unfamiliar with them. After all, what’s the point in eloping if the marriage ends up not being legally binding?
Elopements can take place all over the world and just require the happy couple and a witness or two. It makes planning a lot simpler—but still very special. With people wanting to be cautious with their money after two hard fiscal years, eloping is probably going to be on the rise for a few years to come.
Mexico, Our Destination Wedding Goals
With easy accessibility and fewer travel restrictions than other destinations, Mexico is shaping up to be a top contender for destination weddings. With a lower cost overall and so many beautiful areas in which to say “I do,” it’s of little surprise.
According to The Knot, more than 5,600 destination weddings took place in 2019. Thirty-seven percent of those were somewhere in the continental United States, while 10 percent took place in international locations. Mexico was a top destination then, and its popularity has only grown since.
To get married in Mexico, a few things are required. Couples must have valid passports and their original birth certificates, as well as a copy that has been translated by an authorized translator and annotated. But that’s it! That’s the legal side of a Mexico destination wedding.
As for where to get married in Mexico, here are our top five choices:
With mountain and ocean views, Puerto Vallarta is a small resort town with luxury and plenty of authentic Mexican culture to spare. It’s nestled between a jungle and the Pacific Ocean, making it the perfect place for post-wedding excursions as well as honeymoon frivolity.
White sand and crystal blue waters: need we say more? Riviera Maya is one of the most popular destinations for vacations and weddings alike. Many of the resorts and hotels here specialize in wedding packages.
For clients looking for a more lively atmosphere, Cancun is where it’s at. The nightlife never stops here, nor do the drinks. If your couples are craving entertainment as well as luxury, this may be the perfect wedding destination for them.
An island off the coast of Cancun couldn’t be more different from its bustling mainland neighbor. Cozumel is quiet and takes a slower approach to life. Its charming downtown is perfect for sunset walks, and the weddings here are romantic and intimate.
Cabo San Lucas
Built to be a vacation town, Cabo San Lucas is no stranger to international weddings. It was practically made for it. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and home to very active marine life, this is the perfect destination for couples who love nature.
Secluded, intimate, and romantic, Riviera Nayarit is Mexico’s best kept secret. From surfing to quiet, romantic walks on the beach, this is one place where couples can have the romantic Mexican wedding they’ve always dreamed of.
Best Places for Destination Weddings
If a Mexico destination wedding isn’t your couple’s cup of tea, never fear; there are a ton of other options. According to Dress Anomalie, the top five trending international wedding destinations are:
Regularly more affordable than most of Europe, Greece is big on charm and sights for half the price. Plus, there are plenty of islands to choose from beyond Santorini.
Sweeping landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and home of Middle Earth, New Zealand is a popular destination for couples who love nature and are maybe adrenaline junkies as well.
Between the low cost, the rainforests, the beaches, and tons of national parks and forests, Costa Rica is for nature lovers who prefer the tropics.
Florence, Positano, Rome, Venice, and more: Italy is as picturesque in real life as it is in the movies and has always been a popular romantic wedding destination. The Amalfi Coast will never go out of style, but Tuscany offers the most beauty for the least amount of cash.
Whether it’s a knee-jerk decision or a carefully planned extravaganza at Caesar’s Palace, a Las Vegas wedding will always be a great time. There are endless possibilities here and a berth of entertainment to go along with the nuptials.
There are a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to destination weddings. One thing your clients must absolutely do is visit the place they want to get married. If they’ve been there before, great! If they have only seen photographs, highly encourage them to travel there before committing. Some places are great online but very different in person.
Small and Eco-friendly
Smaller weddings tend to come with the territory with destination weddings. However, this is a trend that will grow when it comes to 2022. People want to leave a lesser impact on the earth and don’t want to create a lot of waste when it comes to favors and decorations. Natural elements and outdoor weddings are COVID-19 trends that are sticking around.
For many, the best places for destination weddings will be those that are environmentally conscious and lean more toward quiet, intimate ceremonies. People have learned over the past two years how important their friends and family truly are. So smaller weddings, even microweddings, will be popular abroad.
Keep an Eye on COVID-19
While much of the world is in various stages of reopening, the newest Omicron variant has many countries starting to close their borders once again. This is likely to go back and forth as scientists and doctors figure out what threat this new variant has on our day-to-day life, not to mention our travel wishes.
One thing COVID has really taught the industry as a whole is how to be as flexible as possible and how to improvise. Granted, this is much harder when it comes to international weddings. However, this is when you, as a planner, need to pay attention.
Different countries will have different rules. When planning destination weddings in 2022, keep track of sudden entry changes. While there is some advance warning in these cases, it is usually only a few days. Not exactly enough time to reschedule a wedding. Entry regulations can include everything from mandatory quarantines like South Korea to full out banning any international visitors like Japan.
To save everyone some heartache, make sure all contracts with vendors, venues, and with the couple themselves have a COVID-19 clause. This way, money will be saved, even if the wedding must be postponed due to travel woes.
Working With Destination Wedding Vendors in 2022
One good thing COVID has done has made the world more accessible in terms of video calls. The ease of access has done wonders for everyone, and this includes wedding planners. When building relationships with international vendors, use tools like FaceTime and Zoom to your benefit.
Get a head start on what trends they’re seeing in their part of the world, as it may be different from home. Keep in regular communication and save yourself money by keeping conversations, meetings, and contracts online.
2022 is for a Mexico Destination Wedding (and Much more)
While at-home weddings will always be the most popular, there is little doubt that 2022 will have a boom of destination weddings. From Italy to Mexico and back to Las Vegas, there are so many places to help plan a couple’s happy day.
Keep an eye on COVID changes and stay in contact with international vendors, and you’ll be ready to tackle the 2022 destination wedding boom.