Nearly one in four couples are now saying I do to destination weddings, a new survey has found.
According to the study, conducted by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, 350,000 destination weddings took place in 2011, reflecting 24 per cent of all marriage ceremonies and an increase of four per cent since 2009.
With 70 per cent of destination weddings occurring in the continental US, up from the 60 per cent who opted for Stateside nuptials in 2009, Florida (18% of all weddings) California (13%) and Nevada (9%) were found to be the most popular places to exchange vowels.
Outside of the continental US, the Caribbean (39%), Mexico (24%) and Hawaii (20%) were revealed as the top destination wedding spots.
Surveying 3,000 US couples who had a destination wedding in 2011 or 2012, The Knot Market Intelligence Destination Weddings Study found that destination weddings had an average 86 guests, which was up from 77 guests in 2009.
Unsurprisingly, destination-wedding couples were shown to spend considerably more on their guests, with bride and groom coughing up an average US$404 per guest internationally and $225 per guest domestically compared with the national wedding average of just $137 per guest.
Less predictably, 86 per cent of those tying the knot still planned to take a honeymoon after their union, with 70 per cent choosing to honeymoon in their wedding locale.
The idea of having a destination wedding is growing among our brides, and it goes hand in hand with the fact that most people no longer live where they grew up, said Carley Roney, co-founder of XO Group Inc, the parent company of TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com.
When family is spread all over the country, a destination wedding is the perfect way to bring everyone together.
When asked why they chose a destination wedding, 66 per cent of international brides and 45 per cent of domestic brides said they wanted a special, fun or exotic locale for their ceremony, while 65 per cent of globetrotting brides admitted to wanting a more intimate affair with fewer guests.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H