We’re entering Engagement Season, the period from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day when more couples get engaged than any other and this era of economic downturn isn’t going to stop wedding couples from planning their weddings of a lifetime. They’ve found a terrific way to ‘beat the system’ by planning destination weddings closer to home at some special bed & breakfast inns. Just months ago, destination weddings were the budget plan of choice – due to the traveling issue, they could invite fewer guests (just close friends and family, perhaps a group of 20 rather than 200), and hotels and resorts offered friendlier packages with plenty of perks for the bride and groom. The wedding couple was happy to take their show on the road, since it would cost them 1/3 the price of a traditional wedding, if not less!

Now, as the economy continues to prove worrisome to most, brides and grooms still want the budget benefits of a destination wedding, but they’re cutting out the pricey travel expenses. No airfare. No annoying extra fees for a second bag. No hassles of finding direct flights for themselves nor for their guests. No spending all day traveling there and back. Their big, brilliant solution? Planning a destination wedding just an hour or two away from their hometown, at a bed and breakfast in a quaint tourist town with plenty of activities and attractions. Instead of windsurfing, there’s winery tours…which pleases a greater percentage of wedding guests.

They just want to get away from it all, and bring their nearest and dearest for a getaway wedding filled with charm and adventure, romance and great shopping, gourmet cuisine and breakfast served to them out on the terrace. The perfect place may have a fascinating history, even spirits known to walk the hallways – a big selling point for getaway weddings.

How perfect to avoid the loud crowds at a behemoth resort, and ‘own’ the entire B&B for the weekend, mingling during downtime, enjoying high tea in the parlor (just as they do in Bermuda and in the Caribbean), biking into town or to the beach. The ceremony itself might be held in the gardens of a B&B, or on a sprawling front lawn. What most wedding couples say is that they love the freedom of working with a B&B proprietor who is likely to be far more accommodating to their wedding plans, as opposed to a chain resort that offers wedding elements from Column A, Column B and Column C, with little to no personal choice involved. B&B owners know everyone in town, so they present lists of the best caterers, florists, photographers, and cake bakers.

And having the entire wedding celebration, from ceremony to reception, rehearsal dinner to morning-after breakfasts, in the one place saves everyone a fortune on transportation costs! The budget benefits just keep coming, and even a modest wedding looks more extraordinary by virtue of being held in a unique location.

And brides and grooms say they love one extra, romantic perk: sticking closer to home with their bed and breakfast destination wedding means they can come back for a romantic anniversary stay again and again, whenever the mood hits. How many exotic island destination wedding couples can do that?

Sharon Naylor is the author of 1000 Best Wedding Bargains and the 3rd edition of 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding, among others, www.sharonnaylor.net

Have you recently gotten engaged at a B&B? Share your romantic stories and if your story is chosen for our upcoming newletter you’ll win a BnBFinder Gift Certificate to use for a romantic getaway.

One thought on “Weddings Not So Far Away

  1. Your article could not be more true! I am the hostess at The Inn at Hunt Phelan in Memphis, Tn. We are a quaint little Antebellum home,still standing strong after a hundred and eighty plus years. Not only is it still standing, but is survived the Civil War. Whereas every other mansion in the area was burned by soldiers, General Grant loved this one and slept in a tent on the front lawn to protect it. Our property is filled with such a rich history. At one time, it housed the first school for children of freed slaves. A part of the Underground Railroad is now where we store our liquor inventory. Hopefully the spirits are enjoying the spirits. Our guest absolutely love it here. Brides are just crazy about us and the fact that they and their guest can stay with us. We cater to their every request and make them feel our mansion is their home away from home. I look forward to the upcoming season, happy, beautiful brides everywhere!

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