Wedding Planning | Catholic Destination Weddings


A quick Pinterest search of “destination wedding” will offer countless images of beaches and mountaintops. For the bride and groom who desire to be married in the Catholic faith, a destination wedding will look a little different.

Simply, a destination wedding is when a wedding and reception is held in a city other than the bride or groom’s hometown or current city of residence. If the location of your wedding ceremony is still in question, benefits of and considerations for a Catholic destination wedding are listed below.

Benefits of Catholic Destination Weddings

The Universal Church

One beautiful aspect of the Catholic faith is the universality of the Church, liturgy, and sacraments. Regardless of your geographical location or language, the Order of the Mass is consistent worldwide. This is also true for couples receiving the sacrament of Matrimony. In a special way, a destination wedding celebrates the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic church by celebrating the significance of the sacrament despite location.

Meaningful Location

Several Wedding Features on Spoken Bride have highlighted international weddings which highlight both the location and the sacrament of matrimony. See this Buenos Aires wedding or this Vatican City Basilica Wedding for beautiful images and testimonies of weddings in meaningful, international locations. Other couples may choose a destination wedding to revisit a city with a significant history, such as where they first met. Bringing friends and family into the special location on a special day is a powerful way to share the intimacy of the day with your families, wedding party and guests. Finally, choosing a location for a specific church may also be an inspiration for you and your beloved.

Meaningful Date

Perhaps there is a date on the calendar which offers significant meaning for you and your fiancé to tie the knot. Whether it is a feast day, a favorite number, or a specific weekend on the calendar, options for churches and venues in your hometown may be limited for that date. If you and your fiancé are determined to join in covenant on a specific date, a destination wedding may offer an opportunity to bring that desire to fulfillment.

Collaboration with a Priest or Deacon

Some couples have a personal relationship with a priest (or priests) who touched their lives in some way. If you and your fiancé desire to join in the sacrament of matrimony with a specific priest who resides in a different location and is unable to travel to you, perhaps the best option is to bring the wedding to him. Collaborating with a priestly friend or mentor on your wedding day is a powerful and intentional way to begin the vocation to married life.

Convenience for Out-of-Town Wedding Guests

When the bride and groom are from different hometowns, went to school or currently live away from their hometown, or frequently moved throughout their childhood, hopeful wedding guests may be spread far and wide. Choosing a location central to the majority of your traveling guests may provide a means for a greater number of people to join you on your once-in-a-lifetime day. There will not likely be another day in your life when a communion of people who care deeply for you and your fiancé are all celebrating in one place together.


Special Considerations for Catholic Destination Weddings

Proactive Preparation for Pre-Cana

If you are considering a destination wedding, an extra level of planning and communication is required for acquiring appropriate Pre-Cana, or wedding preparation. Be sure to confirm the Pre-Cana requirements with your local diocese and the diocese where you will be married. The wedding coordinator at your church should be able to help you begin the appropriate process for completing and transferring paperwork.

Saying “I do” in a Church

”Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church.” Celebrating your sacrament within a church, rather than on a beachfront or mountainside, is an important visible expression of the triune unification between bride, groom, and God in the sacramental reality. Despite feedback from Pinterest, the significance of the our holy churches is a beautiful aspect of our Catholic faith. This testimony shares additional insight into why it matters for Catholics to be married in the church.

Planning for Travel, Accommodations and Food

When traveling to a destination city for a wedding weekend, It is vital to plan for accommodations and food for a crowd. AirBNB may provide creative options for families or bridal parties to stay together throughout the festivities, and hotels nationwide offer group discounts for weddings. In consideration of the wedding budget, be mindful of the costs of travel, accommodation and food for your destination wedding.

Did you and your beloved profess your vows in a destination location? What was your motive for choosing a city outside your hometown or city of residence? Share your experience with our community on Facebook or Instagram.