Written By: Jacqueline Iliff
Destination weddings are increasingly popular. Since the mid-1990s, couples have chosen to travel for their wedding and include their family and closest friends. It is an opportunity for couples to share their wedding with those that mean the most to them and to do so in an exciting place. Whether the venue is a castle, vineyard, tropical beach or another exciting destination, such as Las Vegas, couples have the opportunity to enjoy their union and celebrate for more than just a day with those closest to them. Approximately one out of four weddings today is a destination wedding. The average cost of a destination wedding is $20,000.
Average Cost of a Destination Wedding
A destination wedding can cost between $200 and $90,000. Depending on the wishes of the marrying couple, the event can be simple or elaborate. Today, an estimated one out of four weddings is a destination wedding. Couples most often opt for a destination wedding because they want to share the experience with only their closest friends and family. Sometimes, couples feel that they can keep costs down by marrying away from home because they can plan on fewer guests. Some couples want to have more than just a few hours celebrating with those closest to them.
If a couple chooses a simple wedding away from home, it can cost as low as $1,000. Depending on the location as well as the resort, couples can keep the expenses low. The Platinum Florida Wedding Company offers a wedding package for $200 to $5,000. A $200 wedding offers an officient and a rose or sand ceremony. With few or no guests, a destination wedding can be kept simple and less costly.
If a couple chooses a more elaborate wedding away from home, the price will increase. The Florida Wedding Company offers a package for $2,995, which includes many amenities. It offers a bamboo arbor, potted palms and tiki torches, a rose-petal-strewn aisle, an audio system and more. A tropical resort wedding will require extra spending. Depending on the length of stay and the number of guests, such a wedding can cost between $8,000 and $40,000. This depends on the length of the bride, groom and guests’ stay; the amenities included in the package; and whether the venue is all-inclusive.
Read the fine print. This is the best advice for any couple planning a destination wedding. What is included in the wedding package is especially important. When planning an out-of-town wedding, it is always important to be sure that the wedding can be perfect without finding additional, hidden expenses.
Hidden expenses may include government and processing fees for international travel, a “free” wedding ceremony and “extra” wedding nuances. Processing fees for an international wedding should cost close to $200. Many resorts charge $250 and up for processing fees. A little detective work and perhaps a local wedding planner can help a couple greatly reduce this cost.
There are many other costs associated with a destination wedding. A couple must consider if traditional items are included. These include the marriage license, the officient, the flowers, the photographer, the cake, the champagne and the hors d’oeuvres. Marrying in a foreign country adds more needs. The couple should know if they need to arrive before the ceremony to register.
Often, there are hidden clauses in the wedding contract with a resort or hotel. This could include a requirement to book for a certain number of days, a requirement to use only the resort or hotel services or a number of other requirements. Couples should make sure they are prepared for any hidden costs.
Making the Most of Your Wedding
If you decide to marry away from home, there are many ways to ensure your wedding is special and affordable.
Remind yourself of the costs you would spend on a traditional wedding at home:
Remind yourself of the extra expenses for a destination wedding:
meals for your guests
extra activities for your guests
gift bags for guests
When planning a destination wedding, it is important to remember to make it special and unique. You may feel you are saving money, but if you truly want a lovely experience, you will have to spend a little extra money to make both you and your friends feel content. A destination wedding can cost as little as $200 or as much as $100,000. What matters is what you and your beloved want for this very special day in your life.