Incorporating Your Personal Style into Your Destination Wedding

Rania Marie Photography

By Megan Velez, GayDestinationWeddings.com

Destination weddings are a popular choice for couples that want a smaller, more intimate celebration, but they’re also a great option for those that are on a budget but still want to make the most of their wedding experience. Regardless of your reason for taking your wedding on the road, the good news is that the ability to customize your experience is nearly unlimited.

With that in mind, the question is: how can couples bring their own personal style to the table when planning a destination wedding? Read on for our top tips for a custom wedding away from home.


The destination, itself

The destination sets the foundation for your whole wedding, so it’s important to pick a location that speaks to you and your partner. Think about the places that you’ve traveled together in the past, as well as the spots that you’ve always dreamed about going together. You’ll also want to be cognizant of your guests- bearing in mind the ease in which they can travel.

And remember- while the sandy beaches of Mexico are a perennial favorite among destination couples, you have a wealth of options available to you these days.  In fact, we’re finding Italy, British Columbia, South Africa, and New Zealand emerging as some of the hot spots for 2017. So pull out a map over dinner one night and narrow down to the perfect destination!



Much of the décor generally depends on where you choose to get hitched, as you’ll most likely want to draw in elements from the region. However, there’s no reason not to marry your destination with your hometown! Look for ways to bring your roots, as well as shared memories to the wedding. Have a favorite treat from your childhood? Give them out as favors! Share a love for wine? Stock up on wine bottles from the local region!

Think about how you met or the first date you went on together – is there a way to incorporate the essence into your wedding? In addition to bringing a piece of home, this is also a great way to give your guests an insider’s look at your relationship.



Your food and beverage menu is a place where you can get also creative. We encourage couples to work with caterers that call the destination home, as they’ll be knowledgeable about what is available each season and will have access to local ingredients. Customize the menu with your resort’s chef to include your favorite foods with a local twist that speaks to your destination. For example, if mac ‘n’ cheese is your go-to comfort food and you’re tying the knot in Cancun, a macaroni dish with cotija and queso blanco would be a unique addition to your menu. Your caterer knows best!

As for drinks, signature cocktails are always an inventive way to personalize your wedding – creative names, themed colors and funky straws can all add to the appeal. Sourcing local beers, wines and spirits from your destination is another great way to infuse a unique flavor to the celebration.



One of the best aspects of a destination wedding is the opportunity to plan offsite excursions during your stay. Do some research and look at what makes your destination unique – ask yourself, what made you choose it for your wedding?

For example, if you and your partner are history buffs, plan a trip to the local museum and take in all the sights and sounds of the area. If fun in the sun is what you’re after, opt for experiences like a catamaran cruise, snorkeling, or horseback riding on the beach. For foodies and wine or beer enthusiasts, schedule a group tour to a local winery or brewery. Better yet, many resorts offer onsite tastings of local spirits. Destinations that are popular for a certain food or beverage may even have a specific museum, like the coffee museum in Costa Rica. Just be sure to book the excursion in advance to ensure that they can accommodate your whole group.



An exciting benefit with destination weddings is the chance to take in a new-to-you culture. What better way to do that than celebrate it through reception entertainment? We’ve seen all sorts of different things, from native dancers and fire blowers to mariachi bands and cigar rollers. Your guests will surely be talking about your wedding for years to come!

Keep in mind that there are many ways to personalize your destination wedding. These are just a few ideas, so take out your thinking hats and great creative with your design. Most importantly, have fun with it!


Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at Destination Wedding Travel Group, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. Destination Wedding Travel Group, which encompasses GayDestinationWeddings.com, DestinationWeddings.com and LuxuriousDestinationWeddings.com, has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings around the world. For more information, visit GayDestinationWeddings.com.