Many couples dream of having a destination wedding, but it’s no secret that they’re often expensive.
In fact, the total cost of a destination could set you back $35,000 at the minimum. But don’t get discouraged. You can still have your ideal wedding without breaking the bank.
How to Have the Best Destination Wedding for Less
Your incredible destination wedding is right around the corner; you just need to plan it using a strict budget. Here are 10 tips for the perfect destination wedding without spending a fortune.
1. Research Your Destination
Research your chosen location thoroughly, including travel costs and accommodations. Look into different times of the year to find off-season rates that can save you money.
Start reading travel-based lists that focus on inexpensive destinations in Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe.
Don’t forget to consider your guests in the equation. Unless you’re going to pay for their ticket and hotel, your guests will have to pay out of pocket to join you on your wedding day.
2. Prioritize Your Budget
Make a list of your must-haves and prioritize them according to cost when planning for food, decorations, entertainment, photography, and more. It is also important to calculate taxes and fees for each item before making any final decisions on what to include in your final budget.
3. Consider DIY Options
If possible, try incorporating some DIY elements into the wedding, like centerpieces and favors. These are definitely more affordable options than buying pre-made or personalized items, which can get expensive very quickly.
This is especially true if you order from an online catalog.
You can even use DIY to save on photo albums, photo books, or cloud storage. For example, a photo share app is a free way to exchange images for weddings and other social events.
4. Negotiate With Vendors When Possible
While researching vendors, talk directly with them about their pricing structures. Sometimes, just negotiating down a few percentage points here and there can make all the difference. If you’re uncomfortable negotiating for a better rate, hire a wedding planner to handle these interactions.
5. Shop Around For Deals & Packages
Contact local vendors in advance so that they can offer discounts or packages based on what services you need from them. Catering companies may offer special deals if they know exactly how many people they’ll be feeding and what types of dishes you want on the finished menu.
Remember that caterers, photographers, hair stylists, and other specialists will also place hefty discounts on their services based on the time of year, so keep your eyes peeled in the winter!
6. Choose A Small Venue
Consider having an intimate ceremony at a smaller venue with fewer guests than originally planned. This way, there won’t be an excessive amount of space rental fees involved. This could save some extra cash in addition to time spent setting up chairs and other decorations.
7. Leverage Local Connections
Ask family members or friends who live near your destination if they know any local vendors. Networking is truly one of the best ways to find deals, but what do you do if you don’t know anyone in the area? Make friends by looking through Facebook Groups or expat organizations.
Many retailers will provide discounts or negotiate prices down even further if you were referred by someone else. Look around for a kind person who’s willing to throw you an extra coupon!
8. Take Advantage Of Group Rates
If you’re traveling together with your friends and family, consider getting group discounts at hotels and airlines. These can help you shave off some expenses from individual fares.
But these types of rates require booking ahead of time with a travel agent, so plan accordingly.
9. Stay Flexible With Dates
Try not to set a strict wedding date before you start comparing prices. Don’t tell your friends an estimated time frame, either, as that could make it difficult for some people to attend. Make all of your wedding plans, then let your guests know about 6 to 9 months before the wedding date.
Keeping an open mind about dates may result in cheaper prices overall due to lower demand (and thus lower prices) during certain months compared to others throughout year-long cycles.
10. Offer Payment Plans To Guests
Offering payment plans (installment payments) may encourage more people to attend. Some of your wedding party won’t have enough cash upfront to pay for the entire trip right away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still invite them! Payment plans ensure they can join you on your day!
In conclusion, with a little bit of planning and creativity, you can have the perfect destination wedding without breaking the bank.
From choosing the right time of year to prioritizing what’s important, these 10 tips will help you have the wedding of your dreams without going into debt.