More couples getting married are hosting their nuptials from away from their home cities, according to a report by wedding planning website TheKnot.com. In 2015, 49 percent of couples were married 200 miles or more from where they lived at the time they were married, up from 21 percent in 2014.
There are more than 350,000 destination weddings each year, 77 percent of which take place in the continental U.S. and 23 percent at international destinations such as the Caribbean (32 percent) and Mexico (19 percent). Air travel and weddings are increasingly going hand in hand as airlines offer more to this market. Here is a rundown of what the airlines have planned for weddings:
Under the group travel program, you must have at least 10 passengers traveling on the same itinerary in order to get discounted airfares and guaranteed blocked space on flights. And depending on how many people are in your travel party, you may be able to earn free economy class tickets.
The Seattle-based carrier offers wedding parties two options for group travel: one for groups traveling separately, and one for groups traveling on the same flights. For groups of 20 or more traveling from different cities to the wedding destination, the airline offers a discount off the lowest available fares at the time of booking, creating a discount code that the group can use. For groups of 10 or more traveling on the same flights on the same dates, wedding parties can get a set fare base, unlimited free name changes up to three days before departure, no ticketing fees, advance seat assignments and no minimum stay requirement. The group organizer can also earn credits that can be used toward airfare.
American Airlines has a Wedding Event Travel program. Highlights of the program include discounts of up to five percent off American's fares when ten or more passengers travel to a wedding celebration, after-wedding party, or commitment ceremony. Requests for the discount can be submitted online, or at 1-800-545-8193.
Delta Air Lines
Atlanta's hometown airline uses Delta Vacations to help couples plan their destination wedding. Not only does it offer destination suggestions, it also offers savings to friends and family, depending on the cost of the destination. And for each trip booked, the bride and groom will receive a rebate of between $25 and $100.
Wedding Wings is the travel program for the Honolulu-based carrier. After registering online, couples can get 10 percent off fares, while guests get 5 percent off. When at least 20 guests book air travel, the bridal couple is eligible for a one-way upgrade, based on availability.
United Groups is the carrier's group travel program. For groups of 10 or more, the airline offers a group coordinator to assist at the airport at selected locations, priority check-in and a guaranteed fare for the group.