Destination What?

By Erika Hoffman

“I’d like a destination wedding,” my daughter stated as I picked her up from the airport.

I didn’t look over at her but kept my eyes fixed on the road instead.

“Lots of my friends have them now.”

I remained mute. I turned on the signal as we approached our neighborhood.

“I’ve been to ones in LA, Florida, and Asheville.”

“Asheville–you know that is where your grandfather was raised,” I added.

“Some go to the Caribbean for their weddings and that saves money as they have their honeymoons there too, like those Sandals resorts.”


“Well, what do you think? Should I have a destination wedding, Mom?”

“Oh, by all means” I said, as I tried not to smile. “And I know the perfect destination.”

“Really?” she asked, a bit skeptical.

“We’re passing it now,” I added, as we drove by our club.

“You said, ‘a destination.’”

“That’s right. It’ll be a destination for all the guests out of state. But it’ll be right down the street for me and Dad.”

My daughter lapsed into silence.

Over the course of the weeks ahead, I explained to her that as parents of the bride, we wanted to invite a lot of our friends, who were local; for her friends at school with her in NYC, Chapel Hill would be a Southern destination wedding and for her groom’s parents coming from overseas, well, North Carolina certainly is a destination. And I did remind her that after all we – her parents – were the hosts with all that entails, and so…

I’m not against destination weddings. I love them. I enjoy it when I go to one that one of my friends is giving for her daughter. In fact, I was at an exquisite one this summer in Charleston at Lowndes Plantation. Perfect venue with sun setting over the river and the tent lit up with candles and the sounds of a wonderful band called Soul Fusion. Totally delightful. I leaned over to fellow dinner guests and commented on how the bride’s parents were the best sports in the world because it is hard to put on a wedding, even when it is in your own backyard, let alone a long distance away!

I just wasn’t as good a sport. So many snags can come up in planning a wedding that I wanted to be able to hop in the car and consult with the event planner in person rather than rely on e-missives and miscommunication.

My daughter came down for a weekend a couple of months ahead, and we drove to the bakery where the cake would be created and sampled it; we drove to the florist’s and picked out the flowers that would be used; we drove to the stationery shop and selected the invites. All of this would have been too stressful for me had I to do it long distance.

Consequently, I was pretty relaxed in the days leading up to the nuptials – until I learned that her wedding dress would arrive in a box two days before, and I was to get it steamed before the big day! Luckily, a good pal had a steamer!

My daughter’s outside wedding on the greens had to be moved inside, but the event planner was my bosom buddy by the time the day arrived, and she magically got everyone hustling and chairs and flowers and all the et cetera was repositioned inside the club. The belly dancer, the Zaffa group and the soul band showed up. The chef outdid himself. It was a day to remember, and my daughter later confided to me that it was a perfect destination wedding.

I’m not saying destination weddings in faraway places with strange sounding names aren’t wonderful, but if you are the mother of the bride and it’s up to you, and you get stressed out over a pot luck supper in your own backyard, take a page out of my book. It will turn out fabulous.


About this writer

  • Erika Hoffman

    Erika Hoffman

    Erika Hoffman is a wife to one, a best friend to about six or seven, a past teacher to hundreds, a mother to four, a mother-in-law to three, a grandma to four under four, and a writer to thousands – hopefully!

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8 Responses to “Destination What?”

  1. Theadis says:

    I agree! I am just the mother of the groom and we are having the wedding in New Orleans. A destination for us and our friends. It will be fun but difficult for the logistics. Great story!!

  2. Dallas Swan says:

    So fun, it is a most special day and you want to feel some kind of control, it sounds like a wonderful experience and a perfect destination. Fun Read!!!

  3. Good things to consider when wedding planning. As seniors on the fixed income end of things, when invited, we send a card and a gift and hope the bride’s vision is as anticipated.

  4. Trudy Walters says:

    Well done, E, and you did give your daughter the perfect “destination” wedding! When I read your pieces, I can hear you talking…..thanks for sharing.

  5. Jane W says:

    Fun piece to read! And as an attendee, reading was even funnier!! And it WAS perfect! Belly dancer and all!

  6. Rose Ann says:

    Wow–did this hit home. How many of us have that conversation with our daughters, lol!? Great read, Erika!

  7. Elaine Crigler says:

    Another fun read. I can’t imagine having a long distance wedding after marrying off three daughters with all the logistics it entails. Good for you for sticking to your guns!

  8. Eileen T Williams says:

    Love your style and the wedding was wonderful. I still have a beautiful hand painted parasol. Your sense of humor is a blessing for those of us who get to enjoy your writing!

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