Domestic locations are on the rise, as couples look for special spots to tie the knot.
The number of destination weddings is growing, according to the second annual destinations weddings study from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com. The web sites polled more than 3,000 U.S. couples who had a destination wedding in 2011 or 2012.
The main reason was to marry in a special, fun or exotic locale, as noted by two-thirds of international-destination brides and nearly half of domestic-destination brides. International-destination brides also sought a more intimate affair with fewer guests (65 percent), while domestic-destination brides wanted a location that was special to them (44 percent).
Domestic destination weddings are on the rise, according to the study, with a 70/30, domestic/international split in 2011, up from a 60/40 split in 2009. The top U.S. destinations are Florida (18 percent), California (13 percent), Nevada (9 percent), North Carolina (5 percent) and South Carolina (4 percent).
More than half (51 percent) of destination-wedding couples use a wedding planner, and 69 percent of destination weddings are held outdoors.
The number of destination-wedding guests also is growing. In 2009, there was an average of 77 guests per destination wedding, which rose to 86 in 2011.
Couples also are spending more on their guests. The median destination-wedding cost per guest is $404 internationally, and $225 domestically the national average is $137 per guest.
The overall destination-wedding event is longer than the average wedding, with most lasting three or more days (60 percent). And the traveling does not stop there: 86 percent of couples still plan to take a honeymoon after their destination wedding.
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