The future of destination weddings may seem like a mystery. I’ve been planning destination weddings to the Caribbean and Mexico for over a decade now and while this “new normal” in the world of destination weddings may seem like it will crush the industry, the reality is that love will prevail and where there is a will there is a way! 💖

bride and groom in wedding reception
Photo by Jeremy Chou

Destination weddings were on the rise in popularity prior to the COVID pandemic and I don’t see that changing. In fact, I predict we will see an increase in them as countries open up for international travelers.

Why? Because micro-weddings will be sweeping the industry as they are a way for couples to easily keep their guest list small and only invite those who matter most to them. To help couples not to have guilt over a small guest list, a micro destination wedding will be just the solution!

I also believe we will also see an increase in elopements where couples will get married in the Caribbean or Mexico and then host a reception at a later date, possibly a first anniversary.

Photo by Joseph West

A destination wedding, whether it be a micro wedding or elopement, will be the new norm for a while because of all the options for unique outdoor wedding venues. Instead of battling availability at local venues, which we all know will be a challenge with all the rescheduled 2020 weddings, couples will have more options to make their dream a reality.

Here are some things I believe we will see as we roll out planning destination weddings in the Caribbean and Mexico:

• Venue capacities will be smaller

In order to comply with protocols, venues at the resorts will change their capacities to allow fewer guests. What used to host 80 guests, may now host 40 or 60.

• Plated dinners will be offered rather than buffets

For large groups, buffets will still be an option, but the resort will provide staff to serve each of the guests as they go through the buffet line.

• Contracts and cancel terms will be different

Contracts and cancel terms will be different and it is advised that couples work with a professional destination wedding planner to ensure the terms are reasonable and friendly should the need to cancel occur.

• Weddings per day

Resorts will likely do fewer weddings per day giving brides and grooms more attention.

• Dance floors will be larger

Dance floors will be larger, or they may have the option to have two separate dance floors to help with social distancing.

• Resort take overs

Resort take overs will become more popular allowing a group to be the only ones at the property. Side note: I recommend couples be careful in partnering with a boutique resort and ensure it is owned by a bigger, financially stable brand that can weather the economic storm.

• Highest hygiene protocols

Celebrating with a reputable resort brand will be critical as they will have the highest hygiene protocols in place to make the bride, groom and their guests feel comfortable every step of the way.

Azul Garden
Azul Garden. Photo by Ether & Smith & Joseph West

At the time of writing this (July 2020), Cancun/Riviera Maya, Mexico is positioned to receive international travelers and it doesn’t require a lot of pomp and circumstance for entry or while on resort.

Airlines are offering more flight options and rates are still reasonable.

Resort prices are extremely low and I believe they will remain low as the travel world opens back up.

In my opinion, now is the perfect time to plan and book a micro destination wedding or elopement for 2021.

Stay tuned for more details on protocols as I’ll be heading to Mexico the end of July and will be able to share more insight to help you be prepared for your next adventure! 😉

Are you a Destination Wedding Planner and you need to kick-start your destination wedding leads? Then I invite you to watch my free training! 👇

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