For a while, it seemed like the trendy thing for couples to do after purchasing an engagement ring was to get married in an exotic location, far away from home. And why not? Getting married in the Bahamas or Mexico could logistically kill two birds with one stone – have a wedding and honeymoon in one trip!
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is nudging up, to about $26,720 in 2016 and about.3% over 2015 costs, part of a steady rise since 2013. So, it would seem practical that one cost-cutting measure is to keep the nuptials closer to home. In fact, nowadays 80% of couples are traveling less than 50 miles from home to get married.
This doesn’t mean you can’t make your hometown wedding feel like a destination wedding, for your enjoyment and that of your guests. In fact, traveling to your city may be kind of an exotic adventure for some friends and family! Consider special touches such as
- Providing your wedding guests with “travel packets” ahead of time, including brochures about popular attractions or local landmarks, insider tips about various accommodations and local customs. Make a couple of fun itineraries for travelers coming in early or staying on an extra day.
- Using locally made keepsakes or food items as wedding favors, mimicking souvenirs travelers might take home from their own vacations.
- Finding an unusual location nearby to make the event even more memorable. Trendsetters and tastemakers are sitting on both sides of the metaphorical fence regarding barn weddings, but you might get inspired by places that are rustic, vintage, whimsical, high drama or pure romance.
- Having a destination theme, decorations and entertainment for your reception, to transport everyone’s imagination. Throwing a Hawaiian luau in Wisconsin in February can really liven up the joint!
Whether you go far away or stay close to home, there are many elements to planning a wedding, each with cost considerations to factor in to ensure your day is memorable, special, and yet affordable.