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Cold Feet: One-Third Of Americans Leave Destination Weddings At The Altar

May 15, 2019 Visit USA No Comments Email Email

Many Americans are in the midst of planning and budgeting to attend a lineup of nuptials this wedding season, and some may be factoring in the additional costs of flights and hotels to attend a destination wedding, which almost half of people surveyed define as any wedding that requires a plane ride from the couples’ home.

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

A leading travel insurance and assistance company, Allianz Global Assistance, examined sentiment around destination weddings in a recent survey* and 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 Allianz Global 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.”

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, and other travel suppliers, as well as directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit:

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