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There was a time when destination weddings themselves made the list as the new trend to watch – but their growth and popularity have secured their lasting ranking in the wedding industry. Destination weddings have arrived, and there is much to look forward to on the horizon, including our predictions for this year and beyond:
Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and Grenada top the list of the hottest emerging wedding destinations for the year. However, couples are also flocking to Europe seeking out newer destinations that are unique and event exotic. Croatia is actually one of the hottest up-and-coming countries! As a special note, the industry is carefully monitoring the political changes in Cuba, and insiders believe that it could quickly turn into one of the up-and-coming wedding destinations if the right circumstances arise.
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Many couples are putting their own stamp on their destination weddings. In the past, such weddings were generally simple, with little room for custom touches. Today’s couples want their destination nuptials to reflect their relationship and unique love story. Couples are bringing their own décor, favors, programs, and welcome bags with them when they travel, writing their own vows, and requesting ceremonies, menus, and other details that represent their childhoods, cultures, and shared experiences.
Destination wedding photography has also evolved with the industry. Stuffy shots are out, and fun photos are in, including brides riding horseback and “trashing the dress”, and sometimes the tux, underwater. Photographers are taking the time to create new and unique scenarios to shoot, usually with fun and funky results. Going off property with the couple is a new “to do” as well, as photographers seek to capture the essence of these rich and vibrant surroundings. Photographers are also no longer limiting themselves to simply documenting the day, as they venture out with the guest for group excursions. Anything goes when you’re abroad and in love!
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Marriage equality is catching on across the country, and so are same-sex weddings. Couples are seeking destinations where they can legally and symbolically formalize their loving relationships and many are finding that certain destinations make this easier than their own hometowns. Curacao, in fact, has been recognized this year as a hot spot on the rise with locales such as Capetown, Cancun, Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta quickly following behind. It is reasonable to predict that we will continue to see these weddings grow in the industry as same sex marriage receives increased social acceptance and recognition.
Of course, all that is true of fashion and festivity in the wedding industry at large can generally be said of destination weddings as well. Colors of the year, this latest design influences, and the impact of pop culture will all reflect in the choices that couples make as they plan to wed away. But, the journey to the altar, and the sacred time spent with friends and loved ones in a meaningful location chosen for its unique setting and features will set destination weddings apart.
Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. For more information, visit DestinationWeddings.com.
Photo Credits: atheneumcreative.com // charmingasiatours.com // cassieleahphoto.com // coppersmithphotography.com //