Lonely Planet Writer

Travel agents see a boom in newlyweds wanting to say 'I do' on the beach

Modern brides and grooms believe that life’s a beach when you get married, according to research that shows that 73% of travel agents in the UK are seeing an increased demand for beach wedding locations. With the inclement weather that Britain suffers from, it is probably no surprise that the top five destinations for overseas weddings all offer a high chance of sunshine, with Cyprus taking the number one spot, followed by the Caribbean Islands, Greece, Italy and Mexico.

La Altagracia, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
La Altagracia, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Image by Valentin Valkov

While beach locations showed the biggest growth in popularity, 34% of the 115 travel agents surveyed also reported growth in demand for countryside locations, and 28% for city locations. There was also an increase in couples wishing to getting married near historical monuments, in mountain or jungle locations, or on cruise ships.

While weddings are often seen as the bride’s territory, 46% reported an increase in men getting more involved with the wedding organisation process, compared with three years ago. Killing two birds with one stone, 12% reported an increase in interest in holding the stag or hen party on same trip as the wedding itself. Makes sense, we guess, as you’d have all your guests with you.

Old town and harbour in Kyrenia, Cyprus.
Old town and harbour in Kyrenia, Cyprus. Image by Jessica Lee

There is confidence that the international weddings market is set to grow over the coming year, with 58% expecting budgets for overseas weddings to increase by an average of 12% compared with just 5% who think budgets will get smaller.

This research indicated a 70% increase in the average value of payments sent abroad for wedding-related expenses, and was conducted as part of the Post Office International Payments’ World Next Door project, which looks at the growing internationalisation of people’s lives. Among the services it offers, it can lock in an exchange rate for up to a year to give peace of mind to worried prospective newlyweds in case sterling weakens in that time.