May 29, 2019

Cold Feet: One-Third of Americans Leave Destination Weddings at the Altar

Over 70 Percent Have Never Attended One, According to Allianz Global Assistance Survey

 

RICHMOND, VA, MAY 16, 2019 — 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: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com

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Citation 1. TripSavvy, Wedding Statistics and Honeymoon Facts & Figures by Susan Breslow Sardone

*Methodology: The 2019 10-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from April 25, 2019 through April 28, 2019, receiving 1,502 responses. The methodology is explained here and a snapshot of survey findings are listed below:

 

1. How would you define a destination wedding?

  • 24% - It is 100+ miles from the couple’s home
  • 13.8% - It is 200+ miles from the couple’s home
  • 45.6% - Requires a plane ride from couple’s home
  • 16.5% - In a foreign country (from the couple’s home)

2. Have you ever attended a destination wedding?

  • 15.1% - Yes, one and I did not mind doing so
  • 3.7% - Yes, one and I did mind doing so
  • 5.8% - Yes, multiple and I did not mind doing so
  • 2.2% - Yes, multiple and I did mind doing so
  • 73.2% - I have never attended a destination wedding

3. How likely are you to attend a wedding located in another country?

  • 8.9% - Very likely
  • 13.9% - Somewhat likely
  • 50% - Not very likely
  • 27.2% - Depends on my relationship with the couple

4. What would be the main reason you would not attend a destination wedding?

  • 53.6% - The cost outweighs my desire to attend
  • 7.1% - I’m not interested enough in the destination
  • 9.7% - I’m not able to take the time off work
  • 17.8% - Don't know couple enough to justify cost
  • 11.8% - Don't know couple enough to justify time off

5. Does the cost of travel affect your decision to attend a destination wedding?

  • 28.7% - Yes, but willing to spend for friends/family
  • 9.4% - Yes, but I would limit spending on trip
  • 42.4% - Yes, I may choose not to attend
  • 19.5% - No, it does not affect my decision

6. If you’re interested in having a destination wedding, what would be the primary reason?

  • 14.1% - To honeymoon in the same place
  • 8.4% - To limit the amount of attendees
  • 10.7% - To check off a destination on your bucket list
  • 6.6% - To cut costs
  • 4.9% - The weather
  • 4.1% - Your heritage/family roots
  • 51.2% - I wouldn’t have a destination wedding

7. Should the bride and groom expect a gift if hosting a destination wedding?

  • 37% - Yes, it is still customary to give a gift
  • 66% - No, the cost of attendance is high enough

8. How much would you expect to spend to attend a destination wedding?

  • 39.7% - $500 - $1500K
  • 26.3% - $1500k- $3K
  • 18.3% - $3K- $5K
  • 15.7% - Over $5K

9. Have you ever attended a destination bachelor/bachelorette party, and did you mind doing so?

  • 5.7% - I’ve attended three or more, did not mind
  • 3.2% - I’ve attended three or more, did mind
  • 6.2% - I've attended one or two, did not mind
  • 3.7% - I've attended one or two, and did mind
  • 3.4% - I've only attended one, and did not mind
  • 1.9% - I've only attended one, and did mind
  • 76% - I have never attended one

10. How do you feel about destination weddings or destination bachelor/bachelorette parties?

  • 27.5% - More cost than preferred but understandable
  • 37.2% - It’s selfish to expect that cost/time away
  • 35.3% - It's a way to take a vacation/see new places

 

Allianz Global Assistance USA  

Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 40 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.  

To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS. 

 

**Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A‐" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101‐C series or 101‐P series, depending on state of residence. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, a brand of AGA Service Company or its affiliates.  AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Noninsurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.