Fancy a barefoot bash over a buttoned-up affair? You’re not alone. The 2013 Mintel U.S. weddings report found that 58 percent of brides want their wedding to be remembered as a fun and casual party, rather than a formal event. No wonder so many couples are hitting the road for their nuptials. After all, when was the last time you saw stilettos on the beach or tuxes in a barn? “Destination weddings are especially accommodating for couples steering away from the traditional black-tie wedding,” says Susie Papadin of Alison Events. “The majority take place in leisure locations, which are far more conducive to a casual feel.”
Dreaming of an overwater bungalow in Tahiti or a dude ranch in Wyoming? Set your party there. Whether it’s a rooftop in New York or a castle in Ireland, the locale should fit your personalities. Carolyn Chen of The Special Day says one of her recent adventure-loving couples wed in a rainforest in Costa Rica, where howler monkeys were among the witnesses. Think outside the chapel, says Chen. “It can be in the mountains, the African savannah — glamping has become a very popular choice.”
The scenery around your local banquet hall can be pretty limiting. But open the options to, say, the Italian countryside, and you’ve got the makings of some epic shots. Steal this idea: “While on your scouting trip, do engagement photos to use for save-the-dates,” says Irene Alvarez, director of catering and events at La Concha Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico.