Destination weddings can be tons of fun if done right. However, they also imply a bit more stress for the bride and groom and maybe deeper pockets and time availability for the invitees. After all, flying to Hawaii and back for a wedding is not as easy as going to a restaurant in town, right?
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your dream destination wedding. It just means you may have to reconsider a few things. Also, it will involve a lot more planning and spending, especially if you have a big party. According to wedding statistics, the average cost of a wedding in 2022 is $27,000.
But there are ways to make things less expensive and more fun for everyone involved.
Here are a few tips:
1. Get Married Before Reaching the Destination
It may sound a bit counterintuitive, but it’s a great way to save money and make sure there are no last-minute hiccups that have the potential to ruin the entire experience. By getting married locally, you save on various legal fees and spend less time dealing with papers and office clerks.
Plus, if there are people who can’t accompany you to the big party, they can still feel included and share in your joy.
2. Find a Way to Include Everyone
First, don’t expect that all of your invitees will be able to attend the big event in person. This happens even for local weddings, but the number of people who will say “thank you, but I’ll have to pass” will be higher for a destination wedding.
Still, it does pay to make everyone feel included in your happiness (especially if we’re talking about family members, friends, and other people you’re close with). So, to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, you should look for ways to celebrate together.
Luckily, nowadays, you can do a hybrid wedding with on-site and virtual guests. Talk with your photographer and videographer and ask them to set up the equipment so the wedding (or parts of it) can be streamed online.
Also, you can offer a personalized photo signature book as a gift for those who couldn’t attend but were generous enough to send you something.
3. Choose a Low-Cost Destination
Some of the most amazing destinations for a wedding are Hawaii or The Caribbean, but there are other options that are equally charming and don’t cost as much. Overall, countries where the cost of living is low compared to your home city, but have a good touristic industry, are a good idea.
To find these amazing countries, follow The Big Mac Index, which is a funny and accurate way to compare prices between two locations. All you have to do is find out the cost of a Big Mac in the location you want for your wedding and then compare it with the cost at home. If the ratio is good, start looking for astonishing wedding locations in that country.
4. Don’t Go Too Far
Another way to save money and have a great destination wedding is to choose a location that’s easy to reach, using different forms of transportation. Luckily, most Americans are about a flight away from a paradise-like location, so you have lots of locations to choose from.
Sure, it may be a bit crowded since these are also touristy locations, but you’ll be at your resort far away from the craziness.
5. Go Off-Season
If your dream destination wedding is in a French Chateau, it may be a bit futile to think about budget-saving ideas. Even so, you can still lower the costs significantly by setting the date off-season.
For instance, a trip to Paris in the fall or winter can be several hundred dollars less expensive than if you were to go in the summer. Plus, the landscape is just as beautiful regardless of the season.
Destination weddings require more planning and spending than a regular wedding, but with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking and research, you can make anything happen!