Tips for your destination wedding

Image of a couple in love in Cappadocia

A honeymoon and nuptials rolled into one, destination weddings are ideal for couples who seek adventure. But there’s a lot you need to be sure you have in order before packing your bags. Here’s where to get hitched, how to plan your destination wedding, and ways to save money for you and your guests.  

Destination weddings are often less expensive for hosts. The average Canadian wedding costs about $30,000, while destination weddings generally cost about $10,000*. However, destination weddings can be an expensive affair for guests considering airfare, accommodations and other expenses. Here are some destinations known to be as affordable as they are idyllically beautiful. 

The Bahamas

Enjoy sun, sand and plenty of activities on this collection of 700 islands. Two of the most visited islands are Nassau and Paradise Island. And because the Bahamas are a 35-minute trip from the U.S. mainland, getting there could be easier for your guests. Also, accommodations are versatile. You can rent your own private island, or host your wedding at a resort. 


This Central American nation offers lots of geographic diversity. Head to the ocean front to enjoy Caribbean waters or head west to trek through lush, interior jungles. Either way, you’ll have your choice of amazing locations to exchange vows. And the country is home to a variety of affordable resorts that often offer packages to wedding parties. 

Runners up: Mexico, Puerto Rico

Cost saving tip: Some resorts, including Sandals, offer free weddings with a minimum three-night stay.

Marriages that are legally performed abroad are usually valid in Canada and do not need to be registered in Canada. However, although same sex marriages are legal in Canada, they are not recognized in many countries. The nation’s embassy, high commission, and consulate can offer more guidance on the legality of same sex marriages. Check out guidance from the Government of Canada on travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.  

Buenos Aires 

The capital of the first Latin American country to establish marriage equality, Buenos Aires is a progressive city that boasts culture, great food and luxurious accommodations. And what is more romantic than learning to tango in the nation where the dance was born? 

Bora Bora 

This Tahitian paradise is part of French Polynesia, which means that LGBTQIA weddings have been legal there under French law since 2013. Imagine honey mooning in a bungalow suspended above blue waters after your nuptials.  

Runners up: Spain, Iceland, Cape Town 

Once you’ve picked a destination, be sure to have all your documents together and read up on the requirements for Canadians who plan to marry abroad.  Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of the country where the marriage will take place to find out what documents will be required and if they need to be authenticated.  

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident planning to marry abroad, local authorities may ask for documents such as a: 

A destination wedding can be surprisingly easy to plan and affordable for the hosts. To make things simple, choose a resort that offers customizable wedding packages and wedding planners. You may also want to consider working with a travel agent who specializes in booking destination weddings to further relieve your stress. 

Be sure to give your guests plenty of notice by sending your invites out early. It’s typical to send invitations to a destination wedding four months or so in advance. But save the dates can be sent out earlier, too.  

Also, keep an eye on the weather. August through October are known to be months during which hurricanes are frequent. And many parts of the world experience heavy rainy seasons.  

You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance before your departure.  You should know that your Government Health Insurance Plan may not cover all your medical needs if you are travelling outside of your home province. Travel insurance benefits by Allianz Global Assistance may help you fill these coverage gaps. Our comprehensive travel insurance plans include coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation and delay, and baggage loss or theft. And our 24/7 assistive services can make your trip smoother with services such as live translation, and coordinators that can connect with local service providers for a wide range of needs.  

Here’s an example where travel insurance may save you:

Imagine you’ve packed your dream wedding dress and you’re headed to the Dominican Republic for your destination wedding. On arrival, you discover your dress has been lost by the airline. You’re able to purchase an amazing backup gown but you’re worried about the cost of the first dress. If your baggage is lost or damaged, Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance benefits may reimburse the value of the item, based on the limits of your policy.  

Every year, millions of travellers trust Allianz Global Assistance to keep them safe with straightforward benefits, quick claims, and diligent service. Get a quote today to learn how we can protect you on your travels. 

Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
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