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The 3 Hottest LGBTQ Destination Wedding Trends

lgbtq destination wedding

Photo by Karina Rivera Photography

By Megan Velez

What a wonderful year 2016 has been for LGBTQ couples! Since gay marriage became legal in the United States just over a year ago, couples have been taking full advantage and are jetting off to tie the knot abroad. With the increase in popularity, we’ve got a fresh batch of new trends that are taking hold in the destination wedding market that we are thrilled to share with you.

Emerging Locations

Traditional destination beach weddings aren’t going anywhere, so it’s no surprise that Mexico, The Bahamas and Jamaica continue to be the locales of choice for many brides and grooms. So what emerging locations are giving them a run for their money? Look no further than Ireland, Spain and South Africa, which are all on the rise. After all, who wouldn’t want to get married with the romantic Montserrat Mountains in Spain as their backdrop, or in a beautiful Irish castle? In addition to some unforgettable memories, these countryside locales are perfect for gorgeous scenic photo ops.

The Devil’s in the Details

Some would argue that it’s the details that make an event, and destination couples are no exception! 2016 said goodbye to shabby chic and hello to rustic glam, featuring bold table patterns mixed with metallic details. Additionally, Chiavaris are taking a back seat (literally!) to ghost chairs and we also love the emphasis on romantic lighting. 

When it comes to fashion, we are seeing dramatic backs and embellished sleeves, (a trend we hope never goes away!) as well as colorful shoes and bold ties paired with neutral suits to offset the patterns for grooms and their buddies.

lgbtq destination wedding naked cake

Photo by Ali Rosa Photography 

The Food

One of the biggest parts of any wedding is, of course, the food! Couples are embracing the regional cuisine, which simultaneously shows off the area while also serving as a cost-effective strategy. When it comes to the sweet course, naked cakes (which are great for hot weather events!) and butter cream have risen as the top choice for couples. 

Destination weddings continue to evolve every year with more diverse options for couples around the world. With the affordability and flexibility a destination wedding can offer, you will be sure to give you and your guests and experience they will never forget!

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, and, has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings around the world. For more information, visit

Budget and Style

Having an A-List Wedding on a Budget

We see them all over the news. They live it up and blow out every event like there is no tomorrow. High profile celebrity weddings such as Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are examples of those who spared no expense getting married with a lavish destination wedding at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. How can someone like you with million dollar dreams create a similar stylish wedding experience on a shoestring wedding budget? We are going to break down several different aspects of the wedding budget and show how to best create a memorable yet wallet easy experience that will have yours guests raving for years to come.

Hire a Wedding Planner

wedding planning

The wedding planner is a crucial way to pinch pennies and make every dollar count. While the Gay Wedding Ideas wedding planning guide  is a great resource that will cover almost all the potential situations you will encounter and how to deal with them, a wedding planner can help with specific problems, handle vendor transactions, make recommendations, and  make sure you stay on budget. Make sure to find the right wedding planner that will allow you to select the wedding vendors you want and don’t charge a fee for not using their vendor clients.

Another item to is consider attending bridal shows. If you shop around, you might be able to get $500 off your catering or several hundreds offer your floral arrangements all for a few hours of your time. Those vendor discounts here or a much cheaper vendor recommendation from your wedding planner, and you have paid for the wedding planners services as well as put some money back into your wedding budget.

Saving the Dollar and the Date

wedding budget

Given the amount of postage, coming up with a great save the date idea, and having to pick out all the cards and materials, it can be a burden on your wedding budget. A great alternative? Postcards from the city or venue the ceremony is taking place! Save on postage, they already are designed, are cheap to acquire, and can be shipped from anywhere and be available in under a week.

Double Up the Wedding and Honeymoon Site

destination wedding budget

Celebrity weddings are well known to have destination weddings. While you don’t have to have a destination wedding, having it at your honeymoon site makes is savvy wedding budget move. You get to experience all the benefits of the honeymoon site for several extra days  but you don’t have to pay for extra travel fees, could get a lower rate for a longer stay, and it will help cut down on the guest list. You could even setup your wedding registry to help offset the additional cost by asking for a donation rather than the extra toaster, blender, and other less desirable gifts.

Say Yes to the Imitation Dress

wedding budget dress

There are some things in life where there is no substitute, but a wedding dress is not one of them. They are hundreds of designs, thousands of styles, and millions of dresses out there today. Why not find out the details of your favorite celebrity wedding dresses , find the special aspects that made them unique, and then have a designer make or tailor your inexpensive dress into a knockout knockoff? Given that wedding dresses run from several hundred to many thousands of dollars, this little tip could go a long way in your wedding budget planning.

         Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

Wedding budget cake

When it comes to fancy cake displays that is. Celebrities have guest lists in that can exceed 500 people. Many of them have personalized individual cakes for each person or several cakes for each table. You probably will have less than 500 people at your wedding, and this means it will be far cheaper than a celebrities cake of the same quality given that wedding cakes are priced by slice. You can have a large wedding cake that serves 50 people and then have the rest of the guest served by sheet cake with the same design brought out the kitchen in the back to cut costs but still have a cake that creates a buzz in the room.

Family Ties


Your family, friends, and relatives can assist in a variety of different aspects of your wedding budget. Things like designing homemade wedding decor, loaning family heirlooms to be worn as wedding accessories on your big day, providing their insights from when they were wedding planning and the issue they encountered along the process.

The Power in Numbers

wedding budget flowers

Premium flowers like lilies, tulips, or peonies especially ones out of season, can rack up big numbers on a wedding budget. If you want to put on a dream wedding like a celebrity, the key here is the sheer number of fresh flowers, not the specific quality of each flower. Depending on your wedding theme, coordinate your floral selections and find the flowers that cost pennies on the dollar to the premium ones. This will let the beauty and color flow throughout the wedding instead of just in several small spaces.

A Receptive Touch

wedding budget donuts

Make a list of a cheap items that you and your bride or groom enjoy that guests might as well such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts and pick one to hand out to guests as Adam Sandler did at his wedding. That was a great example of a nice personal touch that costs less than a $1 a guest, and is an insignificant amount of your wedding budget. However, it is a gesture that will be remembered your guests.

These Heels Aren’t Made for Walking

wedding budget shoes

If you are a bride and are wearing a traditional wedding dress that cover your legs completely, think about wear a nice comfortable pair of flats instead. No one will see your 5 inch heels underneath your gorgeous wedding dress, and why have to sweat the pain and agony of wearing them all day? Wedding flats typically are a cheaper alternative to heels too. Win-Win.

Cut the Wedding Favors

wedding budget favor

If you did a nice job with the previous eight suggestions for your wedding budget, the guests won’t notice the lack of wedding favors. Think about it: You went the extra mile with your personal gestures. You get your family and relatives involved. You had an interesting wedding theme and are walking around in a stunning knockoff outfit that guests want to know more about. The wedding favors are great, but if anything should go first on your wedding checklist, it’s the wedding favors.


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