5 Ways a Destination Wedding Could Save You Money

by Lyle Daly | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Aug. 16, 2019

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Want a wedding that’s both unforgettable and fits your budget? A destination wedding could be just what you need.Image source: Getty Images.

Want a wedding that’s both unforgettable and fits your budget? A destination wedding could be just what you need.

If you’ve been suffering from sticker shock while considering how you’ll pay for your wedding, then it may be time to consider a destination wedding.

A destination wedding is when you hold your wedding at a location that is far away from where you live. The destination itself doesn’t need to be some exotic international hot spot, although that’s a popular option for obvious reasons.

It may initially seem like you’re making your wedding more expensive this way because of the travel expenses involved, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As you’re about to find out, there are several ways that destination weddings can be less expensive than traditional weddings.

1. You’ll have fewer guests

The biggest difference a destination wedding makes is that, in most cases, it will reduce the number of guests you have.

A destination wedding requires more of a commitment, as guests will have to consider the costs of travel and paying for a place to stay. That naturally thins out the guest list, so you’ll have far fewer third cousins and acquaintances whom you never speak to showing up.

Wedding costs generally range from around $100 to more than $300 per guest, depending on the location. If a destination wedding cuts your confirmed guests from 80 people to 40, that could save you anywhere from $4,000 to over $12,000.

2. You can combine your wedding and your honeymoon

Although the wedding itself is usually the biggest expense for couples, the honeymoon isn’t exactly cheap, either. The Knot reports that the average cost of a honeymoon is $5,342.

With a destination wedding, you can go on your honeymoon at the same destination you chose for the wedding, just by extending your stay past the wedding date. If you want to spend some more time with your closest friends and family, you could also invite them to stick around a bit longer with you.

3. Resorts may offer package deals for groups

Destination weddings are big business for resorts. If you can guarantee that you’ll be bringing a certain number of people to a resort, then you may be able to score a package deal that includes most or all of the typical wedding expenses.

Deals vary depending on the resort, but some will even include food and alcohol in their packages. To get the best rates, consider timing your wedding during an area’s off-season, as long as there won’t be inclement weather. Resorts won’t be nearly as busy, so they’ll be more willing to make a deal for you.

4. You can choose a location based on your budget

Location is a huge factor in how much a wedding costs. In some states, the average wedding costs less than $20,000. In states with a high cost of living, such as California and New York, the average wedding costs more than $30,000.

One advantage of destination weddings is that you can choose a location where your budget will go further.

That could mean that if your hometown is on the expensive side, you can simply decide to hold your wedding in a different city or state. You could go with an international destination that has a favorable exchange rate and a much lower cost of living. Or, you could pick a location that you’re able to book with your travel rewards instead of cash.

5. You don’t need fancy decor

When you plan a wedding, you quickly learn that there are a lot of extra costs involved. Case in point: decor, which can often cost several thousand dollars.

This is another one of those costs that you can eliminate entirely if you pick the right destination. In many cases, the destination itself will be gorgeous enough for you to not need much, if any, decor for your wedding. If you set up your wedding at a resort, you can usually have the resort take care of making sure that the venue looks amazing.

The wedding of your dreams at a price you can afford

A destination wedding is an exciting choice, because it makes your wedding feel like both an event and a vacation. For those who enjoy traveling, this type of wedding allows you to combine the happiest day of your life with something that you love to do.If you think that a destination wedding sounds like a fun idea, it’s worth looking into what it would cost in areas that appeal to you. Don’t forget to see what areas you could book with credit card points, as well, to reduce the cost even more. You may just find that this option is more affordable than doing your wedding the traditional way.

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