To deter bridezillas, get married on a beach, survey says

Americans think destination weddings are less stressful to plan and more fun than traditional ceremonies and that beaches are the ideal spots for boosting the romance factor.

Those are the findings of a survey released this week along with the announcement of a new Expedia online wedding-planning service featuring Hawaii, Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya and Los Cabos), Jamaica or the Dominican Republic.

Expedia and marketing firm Northstar surveyed 1,000 single or engaged people in what they're calling the American Altar Report. It found most would consider a destination wedding and that the stress level for wedding planning ranks up there with working on taxes or going on a job interview.

The most popular location for an away ceremony: beaches, specifically Hawaii and the Caribbean. Mountain lodges and vineyards or country settings follow.

Most in the survey said guests shouldn't be expected to fly for more than six hours and they should be given at least seven months' notice to attend a ceremony.

Just to kick the tires, I checked out the Expedia weddings page and found places on Maui such as the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua. Each entry lists number of guests that could be accommodated, whether the resort has indoor and outdoor facilities, when it's high season and other helpful details.

Users can register to receive more customized information too.

Although most survey respondents said they would prefer a destination wedding, 68% thought it would be pricier than a traditional one and 42% were afraid guests wouldn't come.

What didn't folks like about traditional weddings? Long church ceremonies (32%), "experiencing same rituals over and over" (25%) and lack of anything special or memorable (25%) were some of the complaints.
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