Destination Weddings: the Guilt-Free Getaway--Wedding Guests Are a Bright Spot for Beleaguered Travel Industry

New York, NY, February 20, 2009 --( While the bleak economy continues to take a bite out of the travel industry, the forecast for destination wedding travel is looking up. The most recent travel survey conducted by Bridal Guide magazine reported that almost 30% of readers are planning or considering a destination wedding (higher than the national average of 18%) and the median number of invited guests per wedding is 43, with 25% of respondents saying they estimate 75 or more guests will attend their destination wedding.

Wedding guests currently spend an annual average of $8 billion on travel and accommodations. The typical wedding guest stays at the destination for three nights, but Bridal Guide reports that 15% of guests plan to stay for up to six nights – bookings that represent millions of dollars in revenue for destinations and properties that pursue this audience.

According to Jeff Hendlin, Associate Publisher, “Attending the wedding of a close friend or family member is seen as an obligation, not an indulgence, so it offers wedding guests a guilt-free opportunity to take a vacation even though they may have decided to sacrifice other travel.” Adds Hendlin, “These guests are clearly a must-have market for the travel industry, and with Bridal Guide outselling the competition on the newsstand by 20% and continuing to garner outstanding pass-along readership, we’re one of the best ways for advertisers to reach not just the bride and groom but also their guests.”

Destination wedding spending grew more than 300% from 2001 to 2006 and is projected to grow at an annual average rate of 14%. With relatively smaller guest lists than at-home weddings, destination weddings may prove to be even more popular in the current economic environment, which means even more guests traveling and booking accommodations.

“No one wants to miss the wedding of a loved one,” Hendlin continues. “And since many people won’t take another vacation this year, wedding guests will be sure to make the most out of their one chance to get away from it all.”

About Bridal Guide
With the highest pass-along readership of any women’s magazine, Bridal Guide delivers unique editorial to over 4 million readers of each issue. The complete resource for engaged couples trying to plan the perfect wedding, build a lasting marriage and balance their busy personal and professional lives, Bridal Guide and its companion website,, focus on current trends in fashion, beauty, wedding planning, home design and travel. Learn more at

Sources: ABC 12/31/08; Bridal Guide InfoSource; Mintel; The Wedding Report

Bridal Guide Magazine
Jeff Hendlin