Many hold local party before jetting off to their exotic ceremony

You’re well on track towards finishing the logistics of your dream destination wedding, which will possibly be thousands of kilometres away. You’ve booked your flight, you’ve reserved your resort, you’ve acquainted yourself with the border laws of the country you’re heading to, and you’ve ironed out nearly every detail of the ceremony itself.


One not-so-small problem remains: Not everyone can attend your blissful nuptials.


But the problem is easily solved: Have a wedding party, or even a civil ceremony, at home for the people who can’t go before you leave. It’s quite common for couples to do so, says Toronto Wedding Chapel’s event planner Katherine Parris.


Parris says the trend is growing. She claims one of the biggest percentages of her business are young couples looking to have an intimate local marriage before jetting off for the big show, adding she had three couples in one week alone requesting such a service.


“A lot of couples tell me it’s because of the red tape when they go to different countries to get married, so coming here is nice for people who can’t afford to go on a trip and attend it with them,” Parris says. “It works out well.”

Of course, with an edited guest list for the ceremony abroad, there are bound to be some sour grapes and broken hearts, especially if the uninvited person is particularly close to the couple. But Parris says that’s part of the reason couples hold nuptials close to home.

“Some people are really sad about it, especially with the weather right now,” laughs Parris. “But most are fine with it, I find. They’re just happy to be a part of it.”

And after all the worries, family politics and red tape, what you’ve got left is the wedding plan you make. Parris says it’s gratifying to help couples make and carry through that plan for most important day of their lives.

“Sometimes they’ll send us pictures, or call us and say, ‘It made so much sense. It was the best thing we’ve ever done,’” she says. “It’s nice.”