I think our reason for choosing a DW was part creativity, and part exhaustion!
We've been together for a long time, and through the years moved to various places across the country before settling in CA. This means friends are all spread out. Our family is also fairly spread out all along the east coast. Trying to deal with wedding+moving meant planning was always frustrating, and after a while we just didn't want to do it.
First we tried planning a CA wedding -- hoping for something small, and that some of our family would be able to make the trip out here. We did a bunch of venue shopping and though we found places we loved, the logistics were complicated... We found vineyards we loved, near an airport, but nowhere near a hotel. We found beachy hotels we loved, but they're no where near an airport. We ended up figuring how much it would cost for our close family, siblings to fly out here. and rent a car. and get a hotel. and get to the venue. and tried to figure out how we'd be able to accomodate travel. It just wasn't happening, and would have cost each person over $1k in flights+hotel just to come.... It would be a long flight for our older relatives, so our grandparents might not be able to come. Talked to my mom, who agreed that most people wouldn't come, so I need to choose between venue and family.
So, plan B. Let's get married back home in FL! Now the whole family can come! Okay, that means a lot more cost a logistics for us, because we have to plan remotely. Did some venue shopping along the beach, and met a huge sticker shock. Hotels with a MINIMUM of a $40k budget. Places "on the beach" but not offering any receptions anywhere near the sand. Everything was loud and busy, because it's south FL. Ended up not really loving any of the places we looked at (we ended up visiting 6-8 different venues), and coming back to CA frustrated. Ended up tossing all the venue info in a box and giving up. We talk to our friends who did a remote-planned wedding, it ended up having them fly cross county 5+ times to plan, and they ended up not being able to spend much time with a lot of the friends/family that flew in, because the wedding day was so busy.
People start bringing up the wedding more frequently, and eventually stop all together, because it becomes a sore subject. That becomes the bad sign, that the wedding has become the elephant in the room, and we decide we really need to reconsider what we want to do. I start joking with close friends and family "How would you feel about just the few of us eloping to someplace tropical. How does Bali sound? ;)"
Recently, it clicked. My thought process went something like this ---
What do we really want in our wedding. We want it to be the people we really care about. We want it to be easy for our FL family, especially our grandparents. We want to really spend time with people, especially since we don't see them very often living so far away. We'd love someplace fun, unique, and hopefully tropical. We want a vacation with friends. But flying everyone to Bali wouldn't be unrealistic. Future grandparents hate travelling but love cruises. A cruise, huh? If we went on a cruise, could we get married at one of the ports it stops at? Toes in the sand? Check. Easy for FL family? Check. Fun vacation for friends? Check. Small guest list? Check. Fun, unique, and creative? Triple check.
Then I found this forum, and after about 10 minutes decided OKAY THIS IS HAPPENING. I know it's going to be very different, and that a lot of people won't come, but the important thing is the people who we really want to come actually can, and we can have a several day long awesome vacation making memories with people we don't see very much but hold dearly in our hearts.
This forum is the best I'm finally excited about the wedding again.