{Marrying} Away... The Benefits...

Q. Aside from getting married in a beautiful place, what are the advantages of a destination wedding?
For starters, you can spend a lot of time with the people who mean the most to you. Planners agree this is the number one reason to go for an out-of-town event. "It's a three-or four-day experience — not merely six hours," says L.A. planner Marianne Weiman-Nelson, who orchestrated actress Marley Shelton's nuptials in Big Sur. "Couples want to be with their family and friends for more than a few hours, be able to enjoy them, and make it a true celebration," she says. Plus it's typical to invite fewer guests to a destination wedding, which makes the occasion more intimate, says Fort Worth, Texas, planner Jill Fortney. Many weddings in a bride or groom's hometown have 100 to 200 attendees, "but when you travel with 60 or 80 people, there is a communal feeling of making the journey," says L.A. event designer Jeffrey Best, who oversaw the Costa Careyes, Mexico, wedding of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. And you're on neutral ground, says San Francisco planner Alison Hotchkiss of Alison Events. "With a destination wedding it's no longer about 'her family' or 'his family.'"
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