The State of the Destination Wedding
By CTW Features | posted on October 07, 2012 at 5:00am
Domestic locations are on the rise, as couples look to special spots to tie the knot
Last year, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of couples had a destination, up from 20 percent in 2009, according to the second annual destinations weddings study from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, which polled more than 3,000 U.S. couples who had a destination wedding in 2011 or 2012.
The main reason was to marry in a special, fun or exotic locale – noted by two-thirds of international-destination brides and nearly half (45 percent) of domestic-destination brides. International-destination brides also sought as more intimate affair with fewer guests (65 percent), and domestic-destination brides wanted a location that was special to them (44 percent).
Domestic destination wedding are on the rise, according to the study, with a 70/30, domestic/international split in 2011, up from a 60/40 split in 2009. The top U.S. destination are Florida (18 percent), California (13 percent), Nevada (9 percent), North Carolina (5 percent) and South Carolina (4 percent).
More than half (51 percent) of destination-wedding couples use a wedding planner, and 69 percent of destination weddings are held outdoors.
The number of destination-wedding guests also is growing. In 2009, there was an average of 77 guest per destination wedding, which rose to 86 in 2011. Couples are spending more on their guests, too. The median destination-wedding cost per guest is $404, internationally, and $225, domestically; the national average is $137 per guest.
The overall destination-wedding event is longer than the average wedding, with most lasting three or more days (60 percent). And the traveling doesn’t stop there: 86 percent of couples still plan to take a honeymoon after their destination wedding.