Currency Conversion: Destination weddings that could actually help your budget

currency conversion destination weddings

Is a far-flung destination wedding or a coastal Caribbean ceremony your dream?

Nearly one in four US couples choose to get married abroad; the Insta-worthy photos, hotter climate, and lower costs mean that tying the knot overseas rather than back at home makes a lot of sense.

Savvy couples will have noticed that amid the mayhem of the global currency markets, the US Dollar has continued to perform comparatively well, which means doing your homework and choosing a destination based on the strength of the Dollar could save you thousands on the cost of your wedding or honeymoon!

Of course, if the Yucatan Peninsula is your dream location for your nuptials, then you’re going to choose it, regardless of currency ups and downs. However, couples who haven’t set their heart on a specific country and are looking to get the best for their budget can opt for countries where the Dollar is particularly strong. 

Being mindful of currency conversion will prove to be a truly savvy wedding budget hack!

What destinations give you the best rates?

According to leading wedding planners at The Knot, the Caribbean still dominates the top ten overseas wedding destinations for US couples, with The Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica at the top of the table – shortly followed by Mexico and destinations further afield like Italy. 

Whether it’s Tulum or Cabo, Mexico continues to be popular among those looking to walk barefoot down an aisle of sparkling sand, and the good news is those tying the knot in Mexico are getting almost 6% more out of the Mexican Peso – for the same amount of Dollars – than they were a year ago.

Another great option is Brazil; breath-taking waterfalls, untouched tropical islands and otherworldly cliff formations, Brazil provides the perfect setting for a vibrant wedding. The Brazilian Real has been struggling for a while now, meaning the US Dollar is nearly 14% stronger against the Real than it was a year ago. 

So how much extra are budget savvy brides getting? Well, those looking to host a reception at a hotel in San Francisco would typically pay $39,329.

In contrast, switching to a ceremony in Brazil can cost as little as $9,500. When you consider the costs, it really is a no brainer!

Where to go for the best long-haul rates?

For couples keen to go further afield, Asia is a big winner, especially Vietnam and Japan, where the US Dollar has been performing well. Vietnam also provides some great all-inclusive deals in the region, meaning you can find good value in the Vietnamese Dong regardless of whether you’re looking for luxury or are on a tight budget. 

Couples dreaming of a European wedding should head to Turkey, which offers the rugged beauty of the Greek islands but at an economical price. Since the value of the Turkish Lira crashed last year, you can receive almost double the amount of Lira against the Dollar. 

Are there seasonal currency changes that couples should watch out for when planning?

Regardless of your destination, exchange rates go up and down frequently – especially in the current political climate – meaning the associated costs of weddings and honeymoons are subject to unpredictable markets. The average engagement lasts 14 and-a-half months – that gives you plenty of time to make sure you don’t end up on both knees begging to your bank manager for a better rate.

Savvy couples getting married in Mexico will lock in a prevailing rate with a forward contract, which will allow them to receive the same exchange rate throughout the chosen time period regardless of changes in the wider market. It’s worth noting that this may require a deposit.

Who can help you find the best exchange rates?

Couples getting married overseas should consider the benefits of using a specialist international payments firm such as moneycorp. Doing so provides access to an account manager who can assist with one-off or regular international payments to get better value for your money.

Whether it’s a one-off or a regular international payment for your venue, caterer, or even flights, a currency specialist will save you time and should secure better value for your money. After all, the only exchange you should be worrying about ahead of your big day should be the wedding bands. 

Visit Moneycorp to get their free guide to getting married abroad.

Top tips to make sure you don’t get surprised by last-minute costs if you’re getting married abroad:

1. Luggage

Surprisingly this is something happy couples tend to forget about. While many airlines offer decent facilities, weddings often mean taking a lot more than an average holiday. Think about how you’ll be transporting your wedding dress, you might not want it to be crumpled up in the holdall so you could look into paying for an extra seat to store it on. It’s best to confirm costs ahead of traveling and book it advance so you won’t get a nasty surprise at check-in. 

2. Administration and Paperwork

Just because you’re all covered in the US, it doesn’t mean your wedding overseas has the same legal requirements. Research the country you are getting married in, otherwise, you may find your wedding won’t be able to go ahead. It’s important to note different legal requirements can also mean more administrative costs, so remember to budget for these.

3. Local Taxes

Getting married abroad means you might get to make the most of the local businesses, such as choosing a local florist, getting a nearby distillery to make your favors, and even just taking advantage of a restaurant in the area. It’s important to check when organizing with these suppliers how you’ll be paying and whether the price quoted includes local taxes. To help you budget efficiently; get your suppliers to break down costs so you can see how much taxes represent of the total quote.

4. Currency

Foreign exchange rates can go up and down due to market volatility, which can affect the savings you’ll make when getting married abroad instead of in the US. This means costs for your venue; flights and much more could vary, so it’s best to find a specialist provider who can guide you through paying for your overseas wedding. Using a currency provider, you can also set up regular payments if you’re paying the wedding off in installments. 

Budget Savvy Currency Conversion Examples:

Mexican Peso

April  2018
18 Mexican Peso per Dollar

April 2019
19.05 Mexican Peso per Dollar

6% stronger in the last year
Brazilian Real

April 2018
3.47 Real per Dollar

April 2019
3.94 Real per Dollar

14% stronger in the last year 

We hope this information has given you something to think about in regards to your wedding plans!


If you are getting married abroad and would like to discuss how to make the most of your money, please get in touch with enquiries@moneycorp.com

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