Brides-to-be who love to travel are always asking me the same question: Can we REALLY afford a Destination Wedding?
It’s time to answer that question once and for all! So this weekend, I set out to prove the naysayers wrong.
It started with me creating a list, and I thought I would share it with you so we could look at it together and REALLY compare the costs.
For the sake of my sanity, let’s consider two separate brides:
We have Bride A (Ashley) - she chose to have a destination wedding.
And, we have Bride B (Beth) - she went with a traditional wedding.
Important Note: I am guesstimating here, and costs could vary based on the time of year, location and how personalized each of them get—this is just to give you a better idea.
What Costs Will I Have with a Destination Wedding vs. Traditional?
Note: I know you might say, “but Courtnie, I can get friends & family to help me with some of the above items!”
Yes, you’re right, while that may be true, have you factored in the TIME & stress that goes into making sure all of those items are taken care of? And the stress that goes into figuring out who is going to do what?
Most often, the resort staff at your destination will take care of everything, and packages often include all of the extras — so you don’t have any drama (which is really priceless, in my opinion).
If you know how each of the above costs plays out, not only in terms of money but in terms of your time, you will see destination weddings are substantially cheaper than traditional weddings—especially if you plan to pay for them yourself.
And the biggest reason for that is because many resorts really take care of everything. They have FREE packages that you can upgrade to, as well—giving you even more bang for your buck.
It is not uncommon for a bride and groom to get married in Cabo or Riviera Maya for less than $10,000 for a group of 40-50 people. A traditional wedding back home would cost you twice as much. The new average is up to $35,000 for a traditional wedding…. isn’t that the cost of some college tuition these days???
Quick Recap of Destination Wedding Benefits
Let’s quickly recap the benefits of destination weddings over traditional weddings:
They work as a combo: wedding & honeymoon spot
You only pay for yourself in this scenario and maybe a few VIP’s
They are all-inclusive, which is just what it sounds like
Usually, you don’t have as many guests so you can make your budget go further, enjoy a more intimate setting, and spend a lot of time with friends & family
Décor: You don’t even have to think about it…your location is the scenery, beach/mountains/Eiffel Tower—who needs all the extra fancy stuff?
Bonus: You’re on neutral ground—no family drama!!
That’s a lot of up side to consider for the bride and groom, isn’t it??
What’s that? You’re saying that sounds great for the bride and groom, but what about my guests?? I am so glad you asked!
How Will a Destination Wedding Impact Costs for Guests?
First things first, let’s just put this out there: Not all of your guests live in your hometown, do they? So, chances are they’re likely going to be traveling either way. Why not take them some place where everyone can have a great time?
But even so, I get it, it feels like destination weddings are going to end up costing the guests a ton of money when they’re already taking the time to be at your wedding—but that doesn’t have to be the case!
I want to break down those costs for you, as well.
My husband was in a wedding a couple of years ago, and here was the weekend went down, in terms of cost.
So I know after looking at the list, I was SHOCKED. I’m thinking you might be, as well.
There is legitimately so much less that we had to spend on as guests to the destination wedding—and we got to go to an amazing location?? I’ll sign up to go to that wedding any day of the week.
Bottom line: While your guests might seem at first turned off by the price they will pay up front, and the perceived commitment of going to a destination wedding, what they often do not factor in is how much they REALLY spend attending a traditional wedding—even one close by—for friends and family.
They don’t realize that once they get to the destination wedding location they do not have to pay another dime if they don't want to. And the biggest advantage? They get to experience a vacation of a lifetime with YOU! So, guests honestly end up saving on having to go on a separate vacation that year, which is a plus!
I know, I know. It all seems just a little too good to be true, and you might be thinking that I’m not considering the whole picture, or that maybe your situation is different and it won’t work out this well.
If you’re in doubt about how much less expensive a BEAUTIFUL and custom destination wedding might be, just go ahead and call me (561-507-0381)—we’ll talk it through together, crunch some real numbers and I’ll do my best to show you what I’m talking about.
There’s no risk for you, just a ton of reward (and maybe a few piña coladas)!
Eat, Drink and Be Married Away
Want to Know Something Crazy? The Most Expensive Place to Get Hitched in the US: New York, which comes in at an average of almost $71k, according to The Knot. That’s insane! New Yorkers, it might be time to seriously consider a destination wedding!