Destination Wedding Cost

Destination weddings give a new definition to exchanging vows between a bride and groom. As compared to a traditional wedding, this kind of wedding is a lot more romantic, elegant, and memorable not only for the couple but as well as all the guests who will be in attendance. Just imagine exchanging vows with the love of your life with a romantic scene in the background such as the beaches of Hawaii, Fiji, Bahamas, or Jamaica. Plus, a destination wedding basically combines your wedding day and the much awaited honeymoon!

photo credits © LizSullivan

So now, what is keeping you from hosting a destination wedding? A lot of people are afraid of wedding destination cost because the cost of traveling alone can mean a lot of money. However, did you know that destination weddings can sometimes be cheaper than what you have thought of? This post will tell you how much a destination wedding cost these days.

The Cost of Destination Weddings

A lot of people will be surprised knowing that a destination wedding can oftentimes cost just the same or sometimes, cheaper than the traditional wedding at home.

The average cost of weddings in America is $26,542. On the other hand, the cost of a destination wedding starts from $8,000 to $40,000.

Quoted wedding destination costs include almost everything there is to a wedding. However the inclusions in the package usually vary from one destination to another. A usual majestic destination wedding package includes the following:

  • private dinner for the guests
  • travel expenses for the bride and groom
  • wedding attire
  • accommodation for the bride and groom
  • officiant or minister
  • on-site wedding coordinator
  • miscellaneous (favors, invitations, photographer, cake, wine and flowers)

What Affects the Cost of a Destination Wedding?

The cost of a destination wedding can basically be higher or lower depending on several factors. This includes the following:

  • Destination. Your choice of destination will greatly affect the cost of your destination wedding. For instance, if you choose a beach wedding in California, the cost is definitely lower as compared to how much you will spend on a beach wedding in the Caribbean or in Europe. Usually, the farther you are from your choice of destination, the higher the cost of the wedding will be.
  • Transportation. The cost of traveling to the location has a lot to say to the overall cost of your destination wedding. So the farther you are away from the location, the more you have to spend on transportation. Transportation costs also include the shuttle service of all guests from the airport to the hotel and the like. Usually, guests pay for their airfare when attending a destination wedding. However, it is your discretion to pay for the fare of your guests or some of them.
  • Number of guests. The more guests you will be bringing to the occasion, the higher the cost will be. Most destination wedding packages have limitations on the number of guests such as 10, 20, 30, 50, or 100. If the number of guest exceeds the limit on the package, you will be charged extra.
  • Accommodation. How long are you planning to stay and how many guests will you be covering for the accommodation? The longer your stay is, the more you have to pay. This is not only in terms of the cost of villas or hotel rooms but also the food and other expenses that may be related to a vacation stay. Most destination wedding packages, however, include the accommodation of the couple as well as free breakfasts.

Planning a Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding is almost very similar to planning a traditional wedding. However, there are certain things you have to give special attention to so as to make sure of the success of your wedding. Check out these tips:

Pick a good location for your wedding. Do you want to experience a tropical beach wedding or do you rather want the romantic ambiance of a European wedding? Most couples choose a location based on their budget but others choose based on where they want to spend their honeymoon. A lot of couples save on their wedding budget because the cost of the honeymoon is usually part of most destination wedding packages.

Set the date of your wedding. If you want to save money, schedule your wedding during off-seasons in the destination you are trying to hold your wedding at.

Once the date is set, confirm the number of guests and make reservations. You can directly contact the management of the hotel or resort you are eyeing for or you can contact local wedding planners who specialize in destination weddings. A lot of couples find it better to hire a wedding planner to do every detail for them, especially to those who have not been in the place before. Local wedding planners make sure that even the smallest details in the location can be smoothed out. For instance, onsite wedding planners know local vendors and can talk with them in the local language. Plus, with their experience and knowledge, they can easily tell you what you have to do.

Claim discounts on airfares and hotel accommodations for your guests. For instance, if you are bringing 80 guests to a location, your chances of getting discounts are high. Plus, you need to be kind enough to your guests because most of the time, they shoulder the expenses on travel and board and lodging so at least make an effort to get discounted rates for them.

If you really want to save on the airfares, book the air tickets long before the wedding. Last minute booking can mean more expensive fares. Once you know the date of your wedding, immediately call airlines to book for tickets.

Send save the date cards early on to your guests so they can set their schedule smoothly. Since destination weddings require serious schedule planning, make sure you let your guests know about your wedding details in advance.

Know the legal requirements of the country. Some countries have marriage fees as well as residency requirements. Double check the legalities in your country of choice and meet all these requirements to guarantee no problems during the day of the wedding.

Check out the details of every contract before you make any kind of deposit. If you are getting a destination wedding package from a resort or hotel, get a contract that will detail every inclusion in the package. Be aware of additional charges that the hotel may charge you such as fees for every additional guest. You can always request extras in the package as long as you are willing to pay for them.

In conclusion

A destination wedding can be cheap or expensive in the long run depending on the details you choose. Some couples rent out an entire island or resort and invite more than a hundred people and pay hundred thousands of dollars for the entire wedding. On the other hand, some couples can work on having an average destination wedding with a few invited guests and pay less than $30,000. Indeed, most couples can afford a very romantic destination wedding that everyone will remember for the rest of their lives.

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