While many people still favor the traditional church wedding, many of today’s couples are choosing to incorporate different customs into their ceremony. Whether mixed cultural traditions or differing spiritual beliefs - or just the thrill of being wed in an exotic destination - are behind the decision, the destination wedding abroad is increasing in popularity. But before your pack and your bags and order your tickets, you may want to reconsider your destination plans. While the results are spectacular, in many ways, a wedding in a foreign country is simply not practical. Instead, you and your loved one might consider making your destination wedding destination a little closer to home – in the beautiful, tropical state known as Hawaii.
Consider a Hawaii wedding
There are many reasons why a Hawaii wedding is a better option than being wed outside of the country. With today’s travel restrictions, leaving the country can be difficult and expensive. Cost alone can be a big factor, especially if you want to have a larger guest list. Not only is a destination wedding Hawaii less expensive, but there are no language barriers to worry about when you travel to Hawaii. And since Hawaii is a popular destination spot, you can go right from your wedding into your honeymoon – and your guests can have the option of seeing the sights before returning home.
Comparing with Mexico
Our closest neighbor to the south, Mexico, is a popular destination for weddings and vacations. However, taking a trip to Mexico is not as easy as it sounds. Travel requirements now require a passport to go across the border. Many of the popular vacation destinations book up well in advance, and the popular beaches can be crowded. Plus, there is always the difficulty of dealing with currency exchanges, a new language, and different sanitation standards.
In contrast, Hawaii is only a slightly longer plane flight for most Americans. Since Hawaii is a U.S. state, you do not need to worry about your guests getting passports ahead of time. While Hawaii is a popular vacation destination, with much to see and do, there are also several secluded beaches, allowing you to have your own private wedding ceremony and reception. Hawaiians also speak English (though you could choose to have your ceremony performed in the Hawaiian language if you choose), and the currency is the same. In addition, you do not have to worry about drinking only bottled water, or being concerned with the ice cubes in your drinks being made from the local Mexican water, which generally does not sit well with American stomachs.
Evaluating the Caribbean
For those seeking a tropical destination for their wedding, the Caribbean is often one of the first places that come to mind. However, there are several downsides to this option as well. Once again, you have to worry about passports and currency exchanges. Since the travel is even further out of the country, it can become quite expensive for you and your guests to travel and stay. Plus, there is always the legal issue of your wedding. For most Americans, they have to choose between two options – have a justice of the peace wedding in their hometown and the ceremonial wedding on location, or manage the rules and requirements of getting a marriage license in your country of choice. To do this, you may have to deal with residency requirements, citizenship documentation, and much more.
On the other hand, Hawaii can offer you the same tropical feel that the Caribbean does with much less hassle. Whether it is the sound of waves lapping on the beach, swaying palm trees, brightly colored birds and flowers, or romantic sunsets that you are looking for, a Hawaii wedding has it all. In addition, you do not have to worry about obtaining a passport or exchanging your currency before you go. Plus, since Hawaii is one of the 50 states, marriage requirements are no different than getting married in your home town – saving you from a separate legal ceremony.
Contrasting with Tahiti
Another popular honeymoon destination is Tahiti. While this can be a great location to get away from American life, there are some downsides here as well. For starters, Americans cannot legally get married in Tahiti, and therefore, a separate legal ceremony would be required either before or after your trip to make the marriage legally binding. Then there is the cost, the need for passports, and adjusting your guest list to meet the needs of those who can actually make the trip physically and financially.
If you want a tropical beach wedding with a Polynesian feel, Hawaii can give you the ceremony without the headaches. Traditional Polynesian ceremonies are offered by many Hawaiian wedding planners, providing you with the same feel and ceremony you seek in a tropical beach wedding. Since you are still getting married in the United States, your wedding will be recognized legally, and no other ceremony will be required. Plus with a shorter travel distance and fewer inherent costs, a Hawaiian wedding is much more financially affordable for you and your guests.
Evaluating the Greek Isles
Perhaps you have been considering a wedding in the Greek Isles, either on a cruise or one of the islands themselves. As with other out of the country options, there is the issue of travel, cost, and documentation. Besides the standard marriage license and birth certificate, you will also have to have all of your documents translated into Greek by the Greek embassy at least 45 days before your wedding date. This can be a legal hassle for those who are seeking to get married quickly.
In Hawaii, your traditional documents will be sufficient – no translation necessary. If a cruise is more in your taste, there are several cruise lines offering Hawaiian cruises among the different islands that allow you to participate in activities both on the shore and off. And just like the other alternative, there is no issue with passports and currency exchanges when you venture to Hawaii.
A destination wedding is a beautiful option for many couples, but many become discouraged when they start looking at the planning, effort, and financing involved. A Hawaii wedding offers many of the same features of foreign locales, with a lot fewer of the difficulties – ensuring that all of your guests can attend the wedding, while you enjoy a beautiful tropic beach wedding hassle free.