Chances are you’ve been dreaming about your wedding day for years or even decades. Perhaps you picture yourself getting married on a white-sand beach with the Caribbean waters crashing to the shore. This seems ideal, but a tad unrealistic, right? Absolutely not! Those who are choosing to get married at home and abandoning their dreams of adventurous nuptials in order to save money have got it all wrong! It turns out that affordable destination weddings are go-to’s for a beautiful wedding celebration that saves money!
According to The Knot Real Wedding Study 2019, couples are spending an average of $33,900 on weddings while our couples’ destination weddings are typically less than $10,000. By saving all of that money, you can splurge on something else, like your honeymoon!
These costs can vary depending on the preferences of the wedding couple. But a destination wedding can be both budget-friendly and breathtaking. There is no reason for you to sacrifice the most special day of your life because the price is too large.
Keep reading as we go over the six reasons why your destination wedding is more affordable than you think. We’ll give you the inside scoop on:
- Booking your accommodations
- Choosing the right airfare
- Wedding venues and packages
- All-inclusive perks
- What your guests can expect to pay
- Add-ons that may come up
Before we get started, we just want to remind couples that their destination wedding can be as elaborate and intricate as they desire. There is no “correct” budget for a wedding. Some couples have a few thousand to spend while others have endless money to play with. With varying budgets, we want to produce the same swoon-worthy destination wedding no matter how expensive or affordable.
The first expense that destination wedding couples will encounter that domestic couples won’t is accommodations. This cost can be looked at as more of a wedding/honeymoon combo. Destination wedding couples are usually entitled to room upgrades that come included with their wedding packages. This will allow for some amazing quality time with your spouse-to-be and make both of you feel extra special.
The average cost of accommodations for a destination wedding is $4,088. Couples can reserve a block of rooms in advance to help save money. Without pre-booking a block of rooms, costs may run higher. Fortunately, all-inclusive wedding packages often come with special amenities and spa/activity discounts in addition to meals and drinks. This helps offset some of those upfront costs!
Another cost of a destination wedding is airfare. On average couples will typically spend around $1,000 on the flights to and from their desired location. This price of course depends on your origin and destination, plus the time of year you’re wishing to travel.
Couples often find themselves concerned with the cost of travel for their guests. You may decide to chip in for a VIP guest or two, but it is generally accepted that guests attending a destination wedding will pay for their own airfare and accommodations. Also, you can consider forgoing a gift registry and let your guests know that their presence on your special day is the only gift that you need.
3. Wedding Venues and Packages
If you have already begun researching local wedding venues, you may be shocked to see the incredibly high price tags. With couples spending an average of $34,000 on their wedding, almost $15,000 of that goes right to the venue. Of course, costs can be significantly higher in places like New York City, but couples are typically surprised by the friendly price tag of all-inclusive resort wedding venues. Plus, a lot of these resorts offer a free ceremony when you book a certain amount of rooms and utilize the most basic wedding package.
On average, the happy couple can expect to pay around $3,100 for an all-inclusive destination wedding package. However, a lot of it depends on your particular needs and wishes, plus the venue and whichever package you choose.
All-inclusive resorts offer wedding packages that are ideal for a number of reasons. In addition to the venue, couples can expect these inclusions:
- Open bar
- And much more!
The right all-inclusive wedding package won’t just save you money, but it will also save time and alleviate the stress and time of planning. It’s also common for an on-site wedding planner/coordinator to be included as well as your honeymoon stay. All of this and more can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.
4. All-inclusive perks
The ease and facility provided by an all-inclusive wedding package have to be the greatest perks. Instead of contacting multiple venues, cake decorators, florists, entertainment companies, and caterers, destination wedding packages are a one-stop-shop. As exciting and wonderful as weddings may be, the stress and time involved in planning can be overwhelming.
This is a great reason why working closely with your Certified Destination Wedding Specialist will allow you to have a stress-free planning experience. They take the bulk of the work off of your hands and ensure that everything you want for your destination wedding is achieved down to the very last detail!
5. What Your Guests Can Expect to Pay
As expected with any wedding, guests should be prepared to cover their costs of stay and travel. However, booking a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort allows guests to indulge in perks that they would not expect for a domestic wedding. Resorts may also offer discounts on accommodations if the headcount is over a certain number. And while couples aren’t expected to pay for their guests’ expenses, skipping the registry is a kind and generous gesture that will be appreciated.
Destination wedding guests paid an average of $2,316 on their accommodations in 2019 (staying an average of 5 nights).
A destination wedding is a fun way to turn your wedding into a mini-vacation for you and your guests. They will probably be happy to spend the money as it is such a special occasion, plus they get a great experience out of it.
6. Add-On Costs
While planning a destination wedding you may encounter add-on costs. These depend on the image you have of your dream wedding. For instance, many all-inclusive wedding packages include a simple two-tier cake. But maybe your dream cake is a four-tier affair with a special theme. If so, you may have to pay a little more. In such cases, as with upgrades to flowers, menus, and decor, your costs may run higher than the average package. Additionally, spa treatments, massages, and off-resort activities might be an added expense that you should consider.
Despite the increasing costs of the modern-day wedding, you can have the wedding of your dreams without totally draining your bank account. We hope that you are feeling inspired and are fully convinced that a destination wedding is more affordable than you think!