Despite a recession in 2009, destination weddings are hotter than ever.
"The world's largest financial crisis last year really fuelled the trend of destination weddings," says renowned wedding industry expert, Rebecca Grinnals of Engaging Concepts based in Celebration, Florida.
"While the industry was bracing for the worst, the opposite occurred. Brides began to reprioritize and rethink everything about their wedding. More brides opted for simplicity, choosing to wed away from home in a more casual setting."
Top destination wedding trends for 2010
If you're thinking of slipping away to say your "I Do's," Grinnals says the options to make your wedding unique are truly limitless.
Here are the top destination wedding trends she says to watch for in 2010:
1) Hot Spots - "The Caribbean continues to be a very popular region for destination weddings," says Grinnals. "One of my favourite getaways is the Cayman Islands because there is a wealth of high quality service providers and their weddings don't have that overdone, 'packaged' feel. Everything is tailored. They also have a wide variety of flexible accommodations like villas and condos to help control costs." Other hot spots on her radar? Florida, Napa, Las Vegas, and destinations with picturesque mountain vistas.
2) Marrying Passions - "Over 9,000 Chinese couples married on the opening day of the Beijing Olympics and I anticipate many will choose to do the same during the Vancouver Olympics," says Grinnals. "Couples who have a love of sports or the great outdoors are choosing to share their passion," she says. From diving out of an airplane to getting married underwater in dive gear, couples are pushing the boundaries of tradition.
3) Something Blue - Grinnals says brides are adding a splash of colour into their shoes and sashes. "Destination brides feel less limited by tradition, so we are seeing them throw all caution to the wind and wearing dresses in colours like fuchsia, tangerine and ocean blues."
4) Two Dress Brides - Speaking of dresses, brides are buying two. Faced with so many stylish options at great prices, Grinnals says brides are opting for a ceremony dress and a fun, party dress for later in the evening.
5) Embracing Culture - From using favours created by artisans to serving local delicacies, brides and grooms are infusing the culture of the destination into their wedding, says Grinnals. "They're also mixing in customs and design elements from their own culture for a truly unique guest experience."
6) Dramatic Getaways - When the big day comes to a close and the couple is ready to make their exit, they're doing it in style. From skiing down a mountain, riding off in a hot air balloon or speeding away on a yacht, the fun is all in the big finale.
7) DIY DJ - "Whether at home or abroad, couples are ditching the DJ in favour of creating their own playlists on an iPod," says Grinnals. "Plus they're downloading music from local artists to create a unique party mix."
8) Hitched in High-Tech - Brides are fully immersed in technology, using their mobile device to coordinate planning and vote on bridal party choices. "Social media is particularly popular for the destination wedding couple who are using sites like Twitter and Facebook to keep everyone up-to-date, especially those unable to attend," she says. "Some brides are even designating a 'tweet of honour' who's responsible for giving a blow-by-blow of the wedding, while others are using webcast services like www.ourcaymanwedding.com so those at home can still feel a part of the festivities."
9) Eco Everything - Because it's easier than ever to go green at your destination wedding, Grinnals says brides are embracing the trend. "From venues to vendors, they are making green choices in an effort to give back to the environment," she says.
10) Trashing the Dress - "Popular in Caribbean locales, the couple holds a photo shoot the next day and jumps into the ocean in their wedding outfits," says Grinnals. "It's a chance for the couple to really let their hair down after all the stress and pressure from the months leading up to the big day. It's one of my favourite trends and I don't see it losing steam anytime soon."
For more information on wedding trends, read Rebecca Grinnals' blog, Weddex, which offers tips, ideas and inspiration for the big day: www.theweddex.com.
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Davidson Wedding Photography.
Want to book a trip to the Caribbean or Cayman Islands? Check out the TripAtlas.com Trip Builder where you can request a quote local travel agents who are waiting to offer you custom prices on your trip.
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel.
Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlife