Recent research presented at the first-ever Saint Lucia Wedding Symposium shows how hot destination weddings are. What’s more, large surveys conducted in both North America and the U.K. consistently turn up the same patterns and trends:
• Approximately 24 percent of North American weddings are destination weddings, and this figure is on the rise (source: The Knot’s annual survey, with more than 10,000 respondents).
• Why are destination weddings hot? These findings from The Knot may help explain it: The difference between what UK couples spent on hometown vs. destination weddings was $42,000 vs. $7,850.
• While wedding couples pay an average of $170 per guest at hometown weddings, each guest at a destination wedding costs them $598. (Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine readers survey). Although the cost may be higher per person with destination weddings, the newlyweds needn’t invite 300 distant relatives and workplace acquaintances, as they maybe would with a hometown wedding. With a smaller amount of guests at a destination wedding, they may end up spending significantly less money than at a hometown wedding.
• The Caribbean is the most popular international weddings destination for North Americans, with about 39 percent of the pie—and it’s growing (The Knot).
• Within the Caribbean, multiple surveys show Saint Lucia to be one of the three most popular wedding, honeymoon and renewal-of-vows destinations. No wonder the conference is held here.
• Anecdotal evidence that brides who pick destination weddings over hometown weddings are slightly older, more affluent, and better educated turns out to be true. (Brides who choose Saint Lucia are yet another notch older and more prosperous.)
• Preliminary findings from The Knot’s 2013 survey indicate that 41 percent of couples planning weddings use a travel agent.