Destination wedding costs, like the costs associated with any wedding, can wildly vary. Depending on your location, size of wedding, and whether or not you're paying for your guests, the affair can be an affordable getaway or an intimidating financial burden.
Budget-conscious couples should consider the following when adding up their destination wedding cost:
Destination Wedding Cost: Travel
Many carriers offer group travel rates for groups of ten or more traveling to the same destination. Do a little research and notify your guests of what you've found. Even if everyone's paying their own way, you can all save by booking together. Some airlines can provide an insert for your save-the-dates that explains this discount. Ask the airline about peak travel seasons to that destination and consider choosing your wedding date accordingly; the off-season is usually considerably cheaper.
Keep in mind that the couple is responsible for providing transportation from the airport to the resort or hotel where guests will be staying.
Destination Wedding Cost: Accommodations
The "weddingmoon," a wedding and honeymoon in one is a popular option at all-inclusive resorts. Some resorts will include a free wedding package when you book a certain number of nights there. If you're not satisfied that that package, many places offer alternative wedding packages; resorts want your business and are used to catering to couples' wedding styles and needs. Boutique hotels also now offer wedding packages and resources for destination brides. More often than not, if the package suits your needs, it will be cheaper than hiring individual local planners and vendors, especially if you're hosting numerous events at that location; the more you require of the place, the greater negotiating power you'll have.
Villas or apartments nearby may be affordable options for guests, as they can share rental costs. Do some research and give your guests a few cost-effective options as they budget for your destination wedding.
Destination Wedding Cost: Vendor Details
There are countless small ways to cut costs at a destination wedding. See if you bring your own champagne to the event; remote locations often hike alcohol prices significantly. Choose to decorate with local, seasonal flowers. Create your own music playlist and use a sound system instead of a live band. Host a buffet instead of a sit-down meal. Take advantage of your gorgeous surroundings and streamline the details. On the other hand, if you want to import your vendors, flying in your photographer, florist and planner, be prepared for considerable added expense.
Destination Wedding Cost Helper: Receiving Money
Many guests will choose to gift you with money to help you pay for your destination wedding. Be prepared to secure any cash gifts. Recruit someone you trust to keep track of envelopes. If you're using a decorative box for cash gifts, be sure it has a lock and is watched throughout the event. At busy resorts and public beaches, the threat of theft is very real. And as with any gift, send an individual thank-you note to each money-giver, expressing your appreciation for their contribution to your unforgettable wedding.