Many Americans Think Destination Weddings Are Selfish

Many Americans are planning and budgeting to attend a lineup of weddings this summer. Some may be factoring in the additional costs of flights and hotels to attend a destination wedding. Almost half of people surveyed define this as any wedding that requires a plane ride from home. These costs can really add up.

Many Americans Think Destination Weddings Are Selfish, Allianz Travel Insurance, Allianz Travel, Allianz Global Assistance

Not everyone is pleased with the popularity of destination weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties. In fact, 37.2 percent of Americans think it’s selfish to expect guests to spend their money and vacation days to attend celebratory events in far-flung destinations.

Leading travel insurance and assistance company, Allianz Global Assistance, examined sentiment around destination weddings in a recent survey. They found that cost is the main reason that the majority of people (53.6 percent) would not attend a destination wedding. Other reasons not to attend include: not knowing the couple well enough to justify cost (17.8 percent), not knowing the couple well enough to justify taking the time off from work (11.8 percent), not being able to take the time off (9.7 percent) and not being interested in the destination (7.1 percent).

Nearly half of Americans (42.4 percent) say that the cost of travel may lead them to skip out on a destination wedding. More than a quarter (28.7 percent) also say cost of travel affects their decision to attend, but they are willing to spend more on the weddings of friends and family, while 19.5 percent say cost does not impact their decision and 9.4 percent would limit their spending on the trip in order to attend.

Others limit their incurred costs by not buying gifts for destination weddings, with 66 percent saying the couple should not expect a gift if hosting a destination wedding.

When asked how they feel about destination weddings or bachelor and bachelorette parties, 35.5 percent do view the events as a chance to take a vacation and see new places. More than a quarter (27.5 percent) find the celebrations costlier to participate in than they would like, but understand the desire to have one.

Despite strong feelings on the matter, 73.2 percent of Americans have never attended a destination wedding, and 76 percent have never attended a destination bachelor/bachelorette party.

While destination weddings may be more expensive to attend, they are often cheaper to host, with the average destination wedding costing $28,000, compared to the non-destination affair averaging $35,329[1]. Despite that, half (51.2 percent) of Americans say they would not have a destination wedding. For those who might, the primary reasons include: to honeymoon in the same place (14.1 percent), to check the destination off their bucket list (10.7 percent), to limit the amount of attendees (8.4 percent), to cut costs (6.6 percent), for more desirable weather (4.9 percent) or as a nod to their heritage and family roots (4.1 percent).

“Weddings can be expensive occasions, for both the guests and the couple. Our survey indicates that Americans are hesitant about attending these destination affairs, though willing to spend more to celebrate their close friends and family,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at AllianzGlobal Assistance USA. “Traveling for a wedding, bachelor or bachelorette party can be stressful, so it’s a great idea to protect your investment with a travel insurance policy in case of the unexpected, like delayed or lost baggage, flight delays or cancellations, illness and other covered events.”

I agree with my Dan in that travel to a destination wedding, bachelor party or another event id costly and the investment should be protected. I am a huge proponent of travel insurance and have an annual travel insurance policy from Allianz Travel Insurance.

*Methodology: The 2019 10-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from April 25, 2019 through April 28, 2019, receiving 1,502 responses. The methodology is explained here and a snapshot of survey findings are listed below:

  1. How would you define a destination wedding?
  • 24% – It is 100+ miles from the couple’s home
  • 13.8% – It is 200+ miles from the couple’s home
  • 45.6% – Requires a plane ride from couple’s home
  • 16.5% – In a foreign country (from the couple’s home)
  1. Have you ever attended a destination wedding?
  • 15.1% – Yes, one and I did not mind doing so
  • 3.7% – Yes, one and I did mind doing so
  • 5.8% – Yes, multiple and I did not mind doing so
  • 2.2% – Yes, multiple and I did mind doing so
  • 73.2% – I have never attended a destination wedding
  1. How likely are you to attend a wedding located in another country?
  • 8.9% – Very likely
  • 13.9% – Somewhat likely
  • 50% – Not very likely
  • 27.2% – Depends on my relationship with the couple
  1. What would be the main reason you would not attend a destination wedding?
  • 53.6% – The cost outweighs my desire to attend
  • 7.1% – I’m not interested enough in the destination
  • 9.7% – I’m not able to take the time off work
  • 17.8% – Don’t know couple enough to justify cost
  • 11.8% – Don’t know couple enough to justify time off
  1. Does the cost of travel affect your decision to attend a destination wedding?
  • 28.7% – Yes, but willing to spend for friends/family
  • 9.4% – Yes, but I would limit spending on trip
  • 42.4% – Yes, I may choose not to attend
  • 19.5% – No, it does not affect my decision
  1. If you’re interested in having a destination wedding, what would be the primary reason?
  • 14.1% – To honeymoon in the same place
  • 8.4% – To limit the amount of attendees
  • 10.7% – To check off a destination on your bucket list
  • 6.6% – To cut costs
  • 4.9% – The weather
  • 4.1% – Your heritage/family roots
  • 51.2% – I wouldn’t have a destination wedding
  1. Should the bride and groom expect a gift if hosting a destination wedding?
  • 37% – Yes, it is still customary to give a gift
  • 66% – No, the cost of attendance is high enough
  1. How much would you expect to spend to attend a destination wedding?
  • 39.7% – $500 – $1500K
  • 26.3% – $1500k- $3K
  • 18.3% – $3K- $5k
  • 15.7% – Over $5KF
  1. Have you ever attended a destination bachelor/bachelorette party, and did you mind doing so?
  • 5.7% – I’ve attended three or more, did not mind
  • 3.2% – I’ve attended three or more, did mind
  • 6.2% – I’ve attended one or two, did not mind
  • 3.7% – I’ve attended one or two, and did mind
  • 3.4% – I’ve only attended one, and did not mind
  • 1.9% – I’ve only attended one, and did mind
  • 76% – I have never attended one
  1. How do you feel about destination weddings or destination bachelor/bachelorette parties?
  • 27.5% – More cost than preferred but understandable
  • 37.2% – It’s selfish to expect that cost/time away
  • 35.3% – It’s a way to take a vacation/see new places


Disclaimer: I work as an ambassador for Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and receive financial compensation.

Comments

  1. I don’t think I’d call it selfish but the couple needs to accept that some will come and many won’t including people they may really want to be there. You can’t expect or force people to spend thousands of dollars and days of their year for your wedding.

  2. I’ve been to a couple and loved them. It helped that the couple gave us some time to save up and arrange everything, without having that panic attack when searching for flights.

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