Destination weddings are increasing in popularity with 25% of marriages being performed abroad and 350,000 of them taking place every year. However, destination weddings are becoming less popular for U.K. residents, according to Hitched, 30% of partners said that Brexit put them off having a wedding abroad. The most popular location for a destination wedding is Las Vegas as it is seen as ‘The Wedding Capital of the World’, with 80,000 weddings being performed there annually. This type of wedding is particularly common amongst those having a second wedding and is often considered to be a cheaper alternative to a traditional wedding because of the lower guest count.
Research also shows that 99% of couples who have a conventional wedding will take a honeymoon, with 1.4 million honeymoons being taken a year in the U.S. According to Honeymoon Dreams, the Maldives is the top honeymoon destination for 2020. Find out everything you need to know about destination weddings and honeymoon travel in our statistics roundup below!
Overall 2.4 million weddings are performed each year in the US.
$5,000 is the average cost of a honeymoon.
There are 350,000 destination weddings performed every year, this accounts for 25% of all weddings in the US.
8 days is the average length of a honeymoon.
$28,000 is the average spend of a wedding in a different location.
1.4 million honeymoons are taken every year in the U.S.
75% of honeymooners took their vacation in the U.S or Canada.
60% of these weddings are domestic.
Mexico and the Caribbean are two of the top locations for weddings outside of the U.S.
25% of couples in the UK choose to get married overseas.
Mauritius was the most booked place for weddings for 2017 and 2018.
Las Vegas is the top wedding destination in the world.
99% of couples who have a traditional wedding will take a honeymoon.
On average 2.4 million weddings are performed in the US each year.
With 44,230 weddings being held each weekend.
Weddings are a $50 billion industry annually.
A traditional American wedding costs on average $35,329, the cost per-guest is $268
$72 billion is spent on weddings in the US each year.
19% of couples’ parent’s pay for the wedding. Nearly a third pay for it themselves and 15% share the cost with both sets of parents.
The average age of brides is 29 years and for grooms 31 years.
September and October are the most popular months for weddings in the US.
The average number of guests attending is 136.
There are around 23 million bridesmaids and groomsmen a year.
Each guest spends on average $703 to attend a wedding.
Each guest to a bachelor party spends on average $738 & a bachelorette party spends $472.
$19 billion is spent on wedding gifts.
$70-$100 is the average spent on a gift per person.
88% of American’s marry at least once, and one-third of those getting married have had previous marriages.
43% of weddings are officiated by a friend or family member.
Only 33% of weddings took place in a religious institution last year.
Brides spend on average $1,564 on a wedding dress.
Couples spend on average $1575 on a wedding band.
48% launch a wedding website.
The most popular international honeymoon destinations overseas are: Mexico (15%), Hawaii (12%), Jamaica (7%), The Bahamas (5%), Italy (5%), St. Lucia (5%), France (3%) and the Virgin Islands (3%).
The most popular continental honeymoon destinations within the U.S. are: Florida (8%), California (5%) and Nevada (3%).
15% of the honeymoon market is from luxury honeymooners and are willing to spend over $7000.
The most popular places for luxury honeymooners are: Europe (28%), Caribbean (21%), Hawaii (18%) and the South Pacific (11%).
There has been an 80% increase in LGBT+ honeymoons booked through tourism companies. With the most popular places being New York, Las Vegas and Portugal.
10% of honeymooners choose to go on a cruise.
47% of partners said that climate was vital when planning their honeymoon.
The average length of a honeymoon is 8 days.
What do people look for in a honeymoon location? Couples are often looking for romance, tranquility, beauty and luxury when exploring honeymoon destinations.
The places to visit chosen by honeymooners are typically exotic and romantic, locations such as The Maldives. 12% of couples had their honeymoon in the Maldives making it the top place to visit for honeymooners in 2020. Italy, Greece and Spain were the top locations for European minimoons, and within the UK, the South West and Scotland came out on top. Did you know that you can travel to Jersey and even get married at Durrell Wildlife Park.
Brides and grooms that have destination weddings spend $8,200 on average on their honeymoon. 33% higher than conventional wedding couples.
$4,466 is the average cost of a honeymoon.
U.S. couples spend 3 times as much on their honeymoon than what they would typically spend on a regular holiday.
12 billion dollars a year is spent on the honeymoon industry.
62% of couples pay for their own honeymoon.
14% of the wedding budget goes on the honeymoon.
Honeymoons are a $12 billion-dollar industry and on average honeymoon couples spend $8,200 on their honeymoon as it is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime trip for loved ones to enjoy.
Honeymoons are commonly identified as a holiday to splurge and indulge because it is the first holiday together as newlyweds. Research shows that honeymooners are willing to spend 3 times as much on a honeymoon than a normal holiday they would take as a couple.
Leading Destination Weddings
U.S. Virgin Islands
Number of Weddings Performed Annually
New York is the most expensive wedding location. The average wedding costs $70,000.
Florida, California and Nevada are the top wedding destinations in the USA.
40% of destination weddings in the USA take place in international locations.
Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean are the top three wedding locations outside continental U.S.
90% of couples say that climate was the number one reason for choosing a destination.
35.5% of Americans see destination weddings as a chance to take a holiday.
70% of weddings take place in continental U.S.
Where is the best place to have a destination wedding? Las Vegas comes out on top as the most popular location in the world for couples to have their wedding reception. It is also recognised as The Marriage Capital of the World, it is very easy to acquire a marriage license in Las Vegas and it is also very inexpensive.
According to Kuoni, the top destination wedding locations are: the Maldives, Seychelles, Italy, Antigua, Las Vegas, Mexico, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, New York, Barbados and St Lucia.
These destination wedding statistics demonstrate that destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular and it is claimed that 25% of couples marry abroad. Weddings abroad are often an intimate and exciting alternative to a traditional wedding, with 40% of destination weddings in the U.S. taking place abroad.
$27,227 is the average spend on a destination wedding in the U.S.
£7,500 is the average spend on a destination wedding in the U.K. Whereas, the average spend on a traditional wedding is £27,161.
$28,000 is the average budget for a destination wedding.
$673 is the average amount guests spend to attend a destination wedding.
$16 billion in annual spending is on the destination wedding market.
How much does the average destination wedding cost? The average cost of a destination wedding is $27,227 in the U.S. Whereas, the average cost of a domestic wedding is $28,372. This is because the average guest size for a domestic wedding is typically larger and destination weddings are more intimate. A common misconception is that destination weddings are more expensive however, usually they are cheaper, depending on the size of the guest list.
The cost per person is a lot more for a destination wedding because the pair getting married needs to consider aspects such as airfare, accommodation, meals, transportation, and guest activities.
33% of all destination weddings are second marriages.
33 is the average age of a bride choosing a destination wedding.
70% of those who have a destination wedding graduated from University and have an average household income of $110,000.
Destination weddings are very popular amongst those who have already been married as 33% of all destination weddings are second marriages. The brides and grooms who are getting married for a second time tend to be older and in better financial shape. The average household income for those who have destination weddings is $110,000.
Intimacy is common for destination weddings as the number of guests is lower. Those who have been married before will want a more private and intimate experience the second time round which is why a destination wedding is ideal.
86 is the average number of guests at a destination wedding. Whereas, the average number of guests at a traditional wedding is 141.
3-4 days is the average length a guest will stay at a destination wedding.
88% of destination weddings include children in the guest count.
17.8% of guests do not attend destination weddings because they do not know the couple well enough to justify the cost.
11.8% do not attend destination weddings because they cannot justify taking the time off work.
9.7% of guests are not able to get the time off work.
7.1% are not interested in the destination.
40% of couples who have a destination wedding pay a portion of travel expenses for their guests. It is normal for the couple to pay for their family and immediate family members.
We have already established that fewer guests attend destination weddings because the cost per person is a lot higher and the expenses involved are more significant. The average number of guests at a destination wedding is 86 whereas a conventional wedding has an average guest list of 141.
Research shows that 50% of guests attend a destination wedding that they are invited to whereas 75-85% of guests attend a traditional wedding that they are invited to. The most common reason why guests may not attend a destination wedding is that guests feel as though they do not know the couple well enough to justify the cost of the travel and accommodation of a destination wedding.
90% of couples say that climate was the number one reason for choosing a destination.
14.1% said they chose a destination wedding, so they could honeymoon in the same place.
10.7% of those who chose a destination wedding wanted to check the location off their bucket list.
8.4% wanted to limit the number of attendees.
6.6% wanted to cut costs.
4.1% chose a destination wedding as a nod to their heritage.
Why do so many people travel for their wedding? A lot of couples often have a special connection to a specific location and therefore choose it as the perfect destination for their wedding. It is a great opportunity and excuse to travel, specifically for travel loving couples. It is also a fantastic way for their guests to experience something new and exciting as the guests can have a good time whilst celebrating in a beautiful location.
Data shows that climate is the top reason a couple would choose to have a destination wedding as 90% of couples pick their destination based on the weather. It is a great way to escape the bad weather and get married in a hot location.
There has been a 219% increase in safari honeymoon ideas on Pinterest in 2018.
Surfing honeymoons were also popular on Pinterest in 2018.
According to Pinterest, Switzerland was a popular choice for honeymooners who want to go skiing.
80% of couples used social media to choose their honeymoon destination over the last five years.
Las Vegas has the most honeymoon 'check-ins' on Facebook.
Social media platforms are leading the way for destination weddings as research shows that 80% of couples used it to choose their honeymoon destination. According to the Brides 2018 American Wedding Study, social media plays a role in practically every aspect of a couple's wedding, from the proposal news to honeymoon travel inspiration.
Wedding planning in the digital age can be intimidating especially because of the unrealistic expectations that these platforms display, 42% of couples felt under pressure to have a social-media ready wedding. However, these platforms can be ideal for gathering inspiration and research for possible travel destinations. Pinterest has been found to be very popular amongst brides as they are able to create multiple Pinterest boards with their perfect wedding ideas. Instagram is the ideal platform to find unique and interesting alternatives as the discover page allows couples to explore honeymoon and wedding destinations.