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Expedia American Altar Report

Understanding and facilitating America's fascination with destination weddings

Spring is a time of new beginnings. Temperatures rise. Days lengthen. Flowers bloom. The world awakens from its winter slumber and embraces life. Love is in the air.

And lovebirds like to travel. We at Expedia recently teamed up with Northstar to examine America’s attitude toward weddings. The results? Let’s just say it appears destination weddings are going to be huge in 2014 and beyond. Data from the first-annual Expedia American Altar Report indicated that beaches are the destination wedding hotspot of choice, with 43 percent of respondents citing it as their preference. Places such as Hawaii and the Caribbean topped this list.

Americans increasingly believe destination weddings are far more fun than traditional weddings: A whopping 84 percent of respondents said they feel this way, and 76 percent said they believe they are far less stressful than ceremonies near one of the spouse’s homes. A sizable number of respondents (42 percent) said they would choose a destination wedding a second time around if they could. An overwhelming 63 percent of respondents under the age of 35 said they’d embrace the same approach. Among those couples who already have had destination weddings, the top reasons for choosing this strategy include “easier to plan” (37 percent) and “less stressful: (48 percent).

But desiring a destination wedding and making it a reality are two different things. According to the research, 69 percent of people who are single, in a relationship, or engaged said they would consider a destination wedding. The top reason for skeptics to offer finger-nods: cost. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they believe planning and hosting a destination wedding costs more than hosting a traditional wedding. Another factor for destination wedding-haters: fear of low turnout. More than 40 percent of respondents indicated they’d be dissuaded from doing a destination wedding due to fears of people simply not showing up.

 

Here at Expedia, we love the idea of playing Travel Cupid. That’s why we’re introducing Expedia Weddings. This new service gives couples the resources to plan a low-stress, low-cost destination wedding in destinations that include Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos), and the Dominican Republic. The service also gives lovebirds the opportunity to browse top wedding hotels in each destination based on cost, amenities and other criteria such as facility types, kid-friendliness, and support of LGBT marriages. Using this service, couples have access to special rates and packages, and can work with personal wedding concierges who can help them plan their big event. Concierges also are on hand to help guests coordinate and book their travel, freeing the bride and groom to focus on vows and other important details.

In general, travelers who book their flight and hotel on Expedia can save an average of up to $525, while those heading to specific destinations such as Cancun and Maui can save up to $912 and $1,572 respectively. Our hope is that our new wedding service can help soon-to-be-newlyweds make their destination wedding dreams come true, and save their guests money along the way.

Download the full infographic

If you were planning a destination wedding, where would you go?

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Sarah Waffle Gavin

As head of PR and communications at Expedia, Sarah Gavin holds responsibility for influential programs for the Expedia brand and is the force behind the creation of the Expedia Viewfinder blog. Sarah has a strong background in technology communications and came to Expedia after six years of working on the Microsoft business for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. Part foodie, part tech geek, part mom, part traveler, when she's not strolling through the shops of Manhattan or sitting poolside in Mexico, she hangs her hat in the burbs of Seattle, Washington at the intersection of travel, technology, and motherhood.

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