Are you dreaming of a vacation destination with balmy temps and swaying trees? Are you planning a wedding at the same time? Does the idea of a destination wedding sound almost too good to be true?
Destination weddings are private, low-stress, and tasteful. And if you’ve got a lot of family drama or are getting married for a second or third time, they’re a great way to avoid the big fat local event.
But how much does a destination wedding cost, and can you afford it?
Let’s take a look.
How Much Does a Destination Wedding Cost?
Destination wedding prices average around $32,000 for both the ceremony and reception. This is actually only around $3,000 more than a traditional wedding and reception.
Certain aspects of a destination wedding could end up saving you money. If, for example, you decide to fly out to Florida with a few close friends and family, you’ll be saving oodles on the per-plate cost of a traditional reception.
You may also benefit from the lower cost of a traditional wedding, including the DJ, photographer, and catering. If, for example, you live in the Northeast, you could end up paying a lot less for wedding services in a less costly part of the country.
If your destination is overseas, you may benefit from the exchange rate. Hotels and dining could end up costing you significantly less in other countries. This is especially true in more rural areas.
The value of your destination wedding will depend largely upon your unique situation. If, for example, you’re planning a big event that will include important older guests, a destination wedding may not be worth the cost or hassle.
If your event is smaller or more low-key, a destination wedding could be just the ticket! You’ll have to do a little budgeting, pricing, and evaluating before you decide if the option is right for your big day.
What Do My Guests Pay For?
It’s traditional for your guests to pay for their own travel and accommodations when they attend a destination wedding. They are, after all, getting a reason to take a fabulous vacation.
If your guests pay for some entertainment outside of the wedding itself or take a taxi to a local destination, they’ll likely be paying for it themselves.
Your job may involve setting aside rooms at local hotels for guests to make their reservations at. You may also wish to provide a welcome basket. The couple or their family is responsible for the costs of the wedding itself, as well as any other events related to it such as a rehearsal dinner or wedding morning brunch.
You may also wish to provide transportation to and from the event itself. This isn’t required, but it’s often included in the costs of the affair.
Keep in mind that there are lower gift expectations at a destination wedding and some might skip the gift altogether. Your guests will be splurging simply to travel to where you are when you tie the knot, so they’ll be less likely to write extravagant checks.
Types of Destination Weddings
One popular option for weddings is a destination resort. This often makes wedding planning easy since many of these resorts have wedding planners on the premises.
While you’ll consult with your resort about some basics such as menu choices or flowers, most of the work will be done for you. Your job is only to arrive with your suitcase and wedding clothes.
All-inclusive resorts are also an easy way for your guests to plan their stay. They won’t have to do anything but book their accommodations since activities and meals are all right on the premises.
Wine country weddings, like this option, are also quite popular. They offer beautiful scenery and delicious local wines.
With a wine country wedding, you can get a far-away country feeling without the hassle or expense of traveling abroad. And the farm-to-table cuisine can’t be beaten.
If you have family overseas or your heart set on an exotic destination, an out-of-country destination wedding may be exactly what you need. Just remember to research accommodations and restaurants to suggest to your guests ahead of time so they won’t feel overwhelmed with the change of pace.
Why You Should Have a Destination Wedding
There’s no reason why you can’t fit a destination wedding into your budget with a little careful planning and creativity.
Some couples want to be surrounded only with close friends and family who truly know and love them. Others simply love to travel and want to experience more of the world as part of their big celebration.
With a destination wedding, you can avoid stressful family situations because you’ll be keeping your guest list to a minimum. And don’t forget that some of your guests may turn down the invitation and send you a gift anyway!
A destination wedding means that you won’t have to travel for your honeymoon. You’ll get to experience your dream locale both during and after your big day.
Other destination wedding fans like being able to see friends and family on their honeymoon. They can meet for meals and enjoy both small and larger gatherings as part of the week-long celebration.
How much does a destination wedding cost? The real answer will have much to do with your vision for the day. If you’re over the big local wedding games, an intimate affair in a dreamy locale could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Don’t stop learning about new ways to celebrate now. For more great ideas, read our blog today.