Imagine the sun kissing your face with warm rays as you smile radiantly into the eyes of the person who you are pledging to share the rest of your life with. The sound of waves gently splashing the tide rings in the background as you slip wedding rings on each other’s newly tanned fingers.

A few close friends and treasured family members look on and smile as you and your new spouse are pronounced husband and wife. Immediately, a steel pan band starts playing celebratory wedding music as you walk down the sandy aisle hand in hand while the Caribbean sun shines down on you as you celebrate your new marriage.

Does this description sound to you like a heavenly way to get married? If so, you are not alone. Many North Americans and Europeans are choosing to have destination weddings; marital ceremonies performed abroad in sunny climates, usually Caribbean countries.

A so-called “traditional” wedding held where the engaged couple lives can quickly turn from a simply planned ceremony to an out of control financial and emotional circus. Some brides and grooms have large families and many friends. Large weddings are events that usually cost a lot of money and although some brides and grooms cannot afford to host a large wedding, they feel bad about having to exclude family members and friends because of the expense.

A destination wedding is a useful solution to engaged couples who want to get married without having the pressure of paying the costs of every guest to attend their wedding. It is generally understood that guests who attend out of town weddings must pay for their own travel expenses. With destination weddings, brides and grooms can focus on each other and their wedding instead of going out of their way to please their wedding guests.

Weddings can be stressful, especially if the guest list of people attending the wedding is more than one hundred people. Some engaged couples plan destination weddings because they don’t want to be pressured to invite people that their parents think should attend the wedding.

Some parents pressure their adult children to invite people who they do not even know well or spend time with because it “wouldn’t look right” if the parents didn’t extend a wedding invitation. Having a destination wedding is the perfect excuse for an engaged couple to avoid asking people who they are not comfortable with to attend the wedding. Whoever really wants to be at the wedding and can afford to attend is welcome to pay their own travel expenses, but there is no pressure to attend if they cannot afford to.

Couples who plan destination weddings should be realistic in their expectations about who can attend the wedding. Because not everyone can get time off of work to attend a destination wedding, engaged couples should lean towards having a small wedding party with just one best man and one maid of honor instead of having multiple groomsmen and bridesmaids.

Many hotels and vacation resorts offer all-inclusive discount priced package deals for hotel stays for engaged couples and their wedding guests. Another huge benefit to having a destination is that the honeymoon can take place in the some country as the wedding!

The wedding industry in the Western world uses several methods to pressure couples to have huge splashy weddings that very few people can truly afford. Having a destination wedding can help engaged couples get married in a fun, sunny and stress-free environment on their own terms.