We do! 74% of Aussies say yes to destination weddings despite cost-of-living crisis

Wedding couple just married at the beach, Bali. Wedding ceremony

There comes a time in every person’s life where their bank balance and holiday leave falls victim to the nuptials of their friends and family.

Shelling out money for destination weddings can be stressful in the face of a cost-of-living crisis and still-high airfares.

However, new research from Insure&Go has shown that 74 per cent of Aussies would still pay to go to their friends and family’s weddings. Even more – at 80 per cent – would pay to go to a relative’s funeral.

Gen Z are looking for experience-orientated weddings

Wendy El-Khoury, founder of Wedded Wonderland and a global leader in destination weddings, told Travel Weekly that appetite for destination weddings is showing no sign of slowing down.

“Destination weddings at the moment are doubling year on year in terms of demand. The reason for this is that Gen Z are looking for more experienced-oriented weddings,” she said.

After Covid, couples who were planning on getting married locally started to reconsider their plans, she explained.

“Instead, they were asking, ‘Do we get married here?’ or ‘Do we have a destination wedding in Bali, the Hunter Valley, or even Tuscany’.”

Whilst having a destination wedding used to mean that you might be having a small wedding, this is no longer the case as guests are also getting the travel bug.

“Pre-Covid, only about 70 per cent of guests would attend a destination wedding but that has now grown to about 90 per cent within Australia,” she said.

Outside of Australia, Asia remains a top wedding destination for Aussies looking to wed.

“Bali is one of our top destinations and Fiji is the other. Thailand is up there. The Philippines is an emerging market that has amazing opportunities as does Vietnam.

Wendy El-Khoury, founder of Wedded Wonderland

“Europe is definitely the big ticket for those who are wanting to then piggyback off the European wedding to have a European honeymoon.”

Expats drive up destination weddings 

The large expat community in Australia is also a key driver of holidays abroad, El-Khoury said.

“We have somebody who used to work for us who had a wedding in Ireland because her grandfather was Irish and hadn’t been back there.”

The number of expats in the country is also leading to an increase in people coming here for weddings, El-Khoury said.

“There are people who moved to Australia on their own who have friends and family that come over from India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong or Singapore for their wedding”.

It is important for the Australian market to be able to accommodate all these requests, which can include a multi-day itinerary around the wedding.

“We’ve been working with people at The Crown Sydney, Sanctuary Cove, the Hayman Island and all of these amazing places and asking them to create a wedding experience”.

Wedded Wonderland is also working with the Australian Government to better understand the size of this market, she added.

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