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Rebecca Hochreiter

2016 Destination Wedding Trends

Rebecca HochreiterDestination weddings continue to be a popular option among couples as they see the value (and adventure!) in taking their wedding on the road. With that, we excitedly welcome new trends as we release our annual trend report.

A destination wedding consumer profile
Our customer base shows that the typical destination wedding on average takes less than 12 months to plan, less than half the average time spent to plan an affair at home.

Along with the shorter timeline, destination weddings among our customers also boast a lower average price tag, coming in at $10,000 or less for more than a decade. Compared with their at-home counterparts--which cost an average of $32,000 in 2015, according to The Knot--it makes sense that today’s couples are choosing to say ‘I do’ abroad!

Another advantage of destination celebrations is the intimate guest list, with the typical wedding hosting 28 guests. Most of these fêtes include children, as attendees are often able to double the getaway as a family vacation. This is a persistently popular option as all-inclusive resorts are offering kid-friendly activities and babysitting services to ensure everyone is having a great stay.

Hot spots for destination weddings
Beach affairs will always hold their place in the market, with locales such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas topping the list of popular destinations. More couples, however, are looking to branch out and explore other countries such as Iceland, Canada, and Italy.

With the growing acceptance of same-sex weddings, LGBT-friendly countries such as Ireland, Spain and South Africa have grown in popularity with same-sex couples customizing their dream wedding getaway however they prefer.

Down to the details: Destination wedding trends
Just as with at-home affairs, neutral tones will be a perennial favorite in the wedding industry. However, we’re also seeing bold hues and metallic accents alongside natural and rustic decor--think raw wood, minerals and stones. This year’s Pantone colors are also coming into play with Rose Quartz and Serenity making their cameo in many celebrations this year--from decor accents and accessories to fashion and florals.

Down the aisle, brides are embracing elaborate looks with embellishments, gems and bold silhouettes. But the fun isn’t just for the ladies--the grooms are getting in on the style as well. Pops of color and striking white suits are making every handsome groom shine!

Local cuisine has been recognized as a cost-effective way to add an extra-special touch to the menu. Not only does sourcing locally save money, it brings regional flavor to the table, providing a cultural experience for guests as well. With that said, food isn’t just for eating--fruits and herbs are also making their debut in bouquets, centerpieces and other decor pieces.

Interested in more destination wedding trends or simply looking for inspiration? Read up on these trends and more in our Destination Weddings Trend Report 2016.

Rebecca Hochreiter is the vice president of marketing and 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. 

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