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Are Destination Weddings Cheaper?

Destination weddings have become a popular trend amongst newly engaged couples planning their wedding. When people think destination weddings, they commonly think of a stressful and expensive ordeal. Surprisingly, destination weddings are growing in popularity because of the cheaper price tag.

After the excitement of getting engaged and the fun of your engagement party, it’s time to get to business. If you and your partner know you’d like to plan a destination wedding, it would be helpful to know where you want to go. Location is a big factor when planning your destination wedding.

Typically, you need around a year to plan everything out. Whether you want to go to a tropical island or the snowy mountains, lock down your location first. 

wedding couple at lake

The answer is yes, they can be. It all depends on the specific wedding – some destination weddings can be extremely expensive, but they don’t have to be. The same is true for weddings at home – you can have an affordable backyard wedding, or you can break the bank on a lavish affair.

Ultimately, it’s up to you what to spend on your wedding, whether you host it close to home or halfway across the globe. If you have your heart set on a destination wedding but you’re worried about the price, don’t panic! There are ways to make your dream destination wedding even cheaper than exchanging vows at home.

Average Cost of a Destination Wedding

How much does the average destination wedding cost? According to a study by The Knot, the average cost of a destination wedding is $32,000 – not including the cost of the engagement ring., however, argues that the average cost is much lower, around $8,273. The good news is that it’s possible to make your destination work at either of these price points.

Learn about destination wedding etiquette to figure out who pays for what and other tips about planning a destination wedding.

Are Destination Weddings Cheaper for Guests?

Since guests typically have to pay for airfare and hotel accommodations for a destination wedding, they are generally more expensive for your guests to attend. The good news is that destination weddings are usually smaller, so you can choose to invite only your closest family members and friends who won’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks to attend your big day.

How To Make Destination Weddings Affordable

If you want a destination wedding but you’re concerned it will be too expensive, there are ways to make it even cheaper than a normal wedding day! Look for these deals or consider these factors when planning your wedding away from home.

Location is Key

Some locations are more expensive than others. From the airfare to get to the location to the cost of venues, vendors, lodging, and more, costs can range significantly. Search for locations that are cheaper in general, or cheaper for you to travel to in order to plan an affordable destination wedding.

All Inclusive Destination Wedding Resorts  

Many destination wedding locations have a ton of resorts to choose from. Typically, in popular destination wedding spots like Mexico, Jamaica, or the Bahamas, they have a ton of resort options that may fit all of your wants and needs. The best thing about many of these resorts is that they may offer wedding packages that include airfare, lodging, food, and drinks.

If you want, you can also extend your stay at the resort into your honeymoon which would be incredibly cost-effective.

Group Discounts for Wedding Guests

Along with all-inclusive resort packages, many resorts and destination will also offer group discounts. You might be able to score special accommodations for a certain number of nights spent there, free upgrades, or a percentage off your stay if all guests stay in the same resort.

Fewer Wedding Guests

Having fewer guests at your wedding is the ultimate money saver. You don’t have to pay for as much food, drink, or optional wedding favors. Although you may want all of your friends and family to celebrate your wedding, many guests may not be able to make it due to financial hurdles. 

You and your partner are not responsible for anything your guests do, see, eat, or drink other than your wedding reception, so there is no worry of paying for their accommodations.

Wedding destinations are typically more intimate and special with only a few close friends and family. Also, with fewer guests, you and your partner are able to spend more time with the people that are truly special to you both. You will be more likely to enjoy your destination wedding when you’re not juggling your time between 150 guests. 

beach wedding guests

Choosing Local Wedding Vendors  

Since many resorts offer an all inclusive package, this may also include local vendors, too! Although it may be tempting to fly out the vendors you trust back at home, that get can fairly expensive. For people like photographers and videographers, there might be locals who are just as talented as the ones back home!

Fewer Wedding Decorations

Who needs to spend all kinds of money on wedding decorations when you could have a beautiful beach as your decoration. This step could really help when budgeting your destination wedding.  You can trim a few thousand off your original bill if you let your destination speak for itself.

Honeymoon Included

Another reason that a destination wedding may be more affordable is that you can bundle the trip with your honeymoon! Your honeymoon destination can be the same as your wedding – just sneak off after the big day so that you and your new spouse have some romantic time to yourself. If you want to change up your location for the honeymoon, you can still save money by choosing somewhere nearby so that you don’t have another long trip and added travel costs.

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