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Destination Wedding Budget Tips

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A primary reason many couples choose a destination wedding is that it can be much more cost effective than hosting a traditional local wedding. The average cost of a local wedding in Chicago (where Destify headquarters is located) is over $50,000! Not only do destination weddings turn your wedding into a vacation, but many resorts feature built-in wedding departments and packages designed to streamline the process while offering huge savings. In today’s post, we’re going to cover several tips to save big for your destination wedding.


Create A Savings Account and Budget

A great tip is to get a savings account started as soon as you get engaged! This can be separate from an account where you pay day-to-day expenses so that it’s easier to focus on the money you’ve saved specifically for your wedding.

At this time it’s advisable to figure out your spending plan. Consider what you need to spend in regards to your monthly expenses, and how much you can put towards your destination wedding. Your savings account can also work as a “home base” where you can add up necessary purchases for your wedding, from cakes to floral arrangements, and you can add to it as you tack on further necessities like bridal attire and more.


Consider Resort and Travel Budgets

Thanks to having a dedicated agent as part of our process; travel and room accommodations are quoted upfront, and we guarantee the best prices as flights and room costs will fluctuate during your planning period. Generally speaking, the sooner you book the better, as flights and rooms are always cheapest with months in advance. At Destify, we can price match our competitors so you and your guests always get the fairest rates. You must consider what type of resort you want and how much it will cost for the duration of your stay.

There are plenty of budget-friendly resorts that offer cost-effective wedding packages, a full wedding department, and gorgeous ceremony venues at extremely affordable rates. At this stage, consider what your guests are willing to pay too. Many resorts offer tiered room categories, so you can get a Honeymoon Suite if you so desire, while guests can get entry-level suites that align with their specific budgets.

Determine the “cost per night” that you would imagine each guest is comfortable spending. This could range from $100 per night to $300 plus, but since we work mainly with all-inclusive resorts this means all food and drinks are included. Determine your resort’s location too. If you choose a resort in Cabo and your guests are mainly coming from the East Coast, they will have to purchase very expensive flights in order to attend. By considering where they are traveling from, it will be much easier to pare down your guest list.

Sunscape Bavaro offers beautiful ceremony venues across the budget-friendly property.

Guest Lists

If you’re going the traditional route of mailing out invitations, just know each invitation costs extra. Beyond that, if your wedding package is only valid for 20 guests, each guest who attends beyond that number will cost you an additional fee, which varies by resort. Figuring out how much you’ll pay per guest is key to a successful destination wedding plan.

Know that attendance for a destination wedding is much more voluntarily for those invited, as they are expected to pay for their travel and room accommodations. Many couples see this as a perk, as it cuts down on the number of people who would have attended locally. Many guests won’t be able to attend, and that’s okay. Take it from our Destify Couples’ interview with Janelle and Zach, who said, “We had 80 guests attend our wedding, if it would have been in Texas it would have been over 300”.

Janelle and Zach

Bargains and Group Discounts

There are numerous all-inclusive resorts that will make sure your destination wedding is a dream come true for both your memories and your bank account. Wedding packages are designed to give couples as little or as much as you would like, from simple ceremonies to dinner receptions included in the initial price tag. Many resorts offer free wedding packages, where your ceremony is free so long as you book a certain amount of nights in a specific room category.

If you’re hosting a larger wedding take advantage of group discounts. Resorts offer perks for wedding couples who book a certain amount of rooms at the resort, and these perks range from room upgrades and free nights, all the way up to an entirely free stay. Some wedding packages will even include extra “bells and whistles” based on your group size, like upgrades to private receptions and additional ceremony and decor, or DJ’s and photography add-ons based on your group size or minimum room-nights booked.

A sample of perks for booking your group at Sandals Resorts.

Further Tips and Suggestions

There are endless ways to save big for your destination wedding. Don’t let planning stress you out too much. With our process, you’ll get a dedicated agent, a confidant, who wants to help you have the wedding of your dreams no matter how big or small your budget is. If you’re looking for some other suggestions to save a little money, consider what time of year (and week) you would like to host your wedding. If you’re able to have it during the offseason (like in October) or have the ability to host your ceremony on a weekday you could save a ton of money.

Another great way to save money is by figuring out your floral arrangements and decor early. Many brides save money by making their own decorations and bringing them in checked luggage. This could even offer a more personal touch to your ceremony or reception. But perhaps the best advice of all is to just remember where you’re getting married, in paradise! Many couples find they don’t need a lot of extra decor as they’re already getting married at an unforgettable location, with the waves and beach as the witnesses.


Want to know how much a destination wedding truly costs? Use our handy wedding calculator, which gives realistic wedding costs instantly:



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