I think the major deciding factor is, will you be at peace with your decision when an important person to you tells you that he/she can't come? I did make peace with that. But, I'm not going to lie, when one of my close friends told me that he wasn't coming, I teared up! However, I knew I wanted a destination wedding, and, now that it's done, I am thrilled with my decision!
Though the above is what I found to be a major factor, here are some pros and cons that I weighed when making my decision:
- Deciding who to invite to your wedding isn't an agonizing decision. We invited everyone! The total number of invitees (including +1s) was about 300; 47 actually attended.
- Fewer guests = less expensive.
- With fewer people at the wedding, you really get to spend quality time with everyone.
- Given that a DW is also a big, group vacation, it's more like having a wedding week, as opposed to just a wedding day.
- Because the guests will be spending days with each other instead of just hours, people from different parts of your life will become friends. The effect at the reception is like a huge party!
- The WC will take care of many of the details of your DW that would otherwise be your responsibility.
- Important people may not be able to attend (mentioned above).
- Less control over the various elements of the wedding. We didn't meet our priest, DJ, photographer, hair stylist, etc until we got to our destination. (We did take as trip to our destination to check out resorts, and got to meet our WC). We didn't get to see the linens in person. I didn't really like the way our wedding cake tasted (though everything else was good).
- Any wedding supplies that you supply yourself will have to be shipped or packed in checked luggage.
Obviously, I think that the pros outweigh the cons.
And, while I am being biased, I think you should consider Aruba for a destination wedding.
- The weather is VERY consistent: very little rain, 80-85 year-round, constant trade wind that has a cooling effect.
- It's a very easy destination for English-speakers, specifically Americans: everyone speaks English (as well as Spanish and other languages), they use USD as like it's their own currency (though they do have their own), the crime rate is very low and there are no dangerous areas. (Despite the bad press Aruba has gotten with Natalie Halloway and now this other girl, it really is very safe. After being there, I can't even imagine something bad happening to a tourist).
- The island is very developed and offers a wide array of activities: shopping, water sports (snorkeling/scuba, jet skis, wind surfing, sailing, kayaking), spas, casinos, golf, Vegas-style shows, ATV-ing, off-road jeep tours through the desert, eco-tourism (caves, national park, natural pool, natural bridges), horse-back riding...
- The food on the island is EXCELLENT. Because there's so much tourism, there is a lot of competition among restaurants and chefs to create high quality dishes. Of course the fish is all super fresh.
- It's a popular destination wedding location, so all of the vendors and service providers are very experienced. (I also considered Greece for a while, but it felt like every step was re-inventing the wheel!)
There's my plug! Feel free ask any other questions; I'll be more than happy to give my perspective!