Whether you’ve been engrossed in the wedding-planning process for two weeks or two years, you’ve probably noticed blogs and articles suggesting that one of the best ways to keep your nuptial costs down is to have a destination wedding. Maybe a friend who just got married tied the knot in an exciting, exotic place echoed what you’ve read, too.
While it’s true destination weddings can be cheaper, that’s only the case if you’re strategic. They can easily cost much more than expected, but the tips below will help you stay at or under budget while planning an unforgettable celebration.
Consider an Off-Peak Date
The timing of your destination wedding could greatly affect its overall costs. Speaking generally, the winter is a cheaper season to get married than spring or summer, unless the wedding happens during December. Since the holiday season is fast approaching during that month, flight costs go up, and it’s often harder to secure venues. Facility owners may anticipate demand and inflate the rates, as well.
There are also regional fluctuations that determine costs. For example, because many people may not want to get married when it’s extremely hot and humid, the parts of the world that are prone to that kind of weather during certain seasons may be cheaper wedding destinations for brides willing to cope with the climate.
With these things in mind, think about the pros and cons of getting married in a particular season versus another. Are the cost differences enough to make you consider getting hitched during a different segment of the year than you’d initially planned?
Book Activities in Advance
One of the major reasons why people choose destination weddings instead of deciding to get married at home is because they can seal the deal in a place they’ve never been before and enjoy that same destination for the honeymoon. Also, it’s easier to keep guests entertained when you’re all staying at a resort where the concierge staff arranges activities for guests.
Although you may be tempted to have a spontaneous attitude about things to do and figure you’ll see what’s available on the day, it’s usually better for your budget to confirm participation in activities as early as possible. In many cases, excursion providers give customers ways to save by not procrastinating. You may find discounts for booking online or be able to spend less by purchasing activity tickets at least a month before your wedding.
Have a Travel-Themed Wedding
Depending on which one you pick, the theme could ramp up the costs of your wedding before you even realize it. One cool way to avoid out of control spending is to settle on a travel-themed wedding. Taking that approach could also allow you to have an event filled with international flair without going far from home.
You might go with a Paris theme that includes Eiffel Tower centerpieces and offers quiche and macarons at the reception. Or, maybe Hawaii has captivated your heart. In that case, you could serve plenty of sweet, fruity frozen cocktails and encourage guests to wear leis.
A travel-themed wedding is an excellent option if you can’t afford to go to far-away places but want to do the next best thing. You can decide to host the travel-themed event out of town, so you’ll still enjoy the novelty of being somewhere unfamiliar with your new spouse.
Ponder How to Dress for Less
In 2016, the average bride spent $1,564 on her wedding dress. The attire probably won’t represent the largest cost for your destination, but it’s still a sizeable chunk. Don’t forget, you may have to pay extra to safely transport your dress while flying to a destination wedding.
When trying to keep costs down, research whether there are companies in the place where you’re getting married that could give you a dress for rent. Also, start shopping for your outfit outside of the height of wedding season. By doing that, you could find lots of frocks that are ideal for the occasion but not marketed as dresses for people who are getting married.
You might also realize you’d prefer to get married in a less expensive outfit that doesn’t instantly make people think of a wedding but has significant personal meaning. In Scotland, men often wear kilts for special occasions. If your husband-to-be has Scottish heritage, you could find a kilt with a tartan pattern that represents his last name, then don a budget-friendly cocktail dress that features a complementing hue.
If your destination wedding is happening on a beach, it might be more practical to go with casual attire due to the natural setting. A lace shawl draped across your shoulders is an elegant accessory for a basic dress, especially as it billows gently around you during a breezy ceremony.
As you can see from these easy-to-follow tips, having a destination wedding doesn’t require draining your bank account. The ideas you’ve just read help you set the stage for an unforgettable occasion that’s as enjoyable for your guests as it is for you and your partner.
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.