Planning a Destination Wedding: 3 Tips to Consider

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You’d Love To Have A Destination Wedding, But Can You Afford One? 

You’re ready to take the plunge:  The big question has been asked and answered, and you’re getting married. Next up: deciding whether your nuptials will be at a local venue or an exotic locale. Here are some things you should know before booking that destination wedding you’ve been mapping out in your head since the first day you met your soul mate 

1. Destined To Be More Expensive 

WeddingWire defines a destination wedding as “a location other than where you and your partner currently live and/or grew up.” According to a 2018 WeddingWire survey of newlyweds, the average cost of a destination wedding comes in around $32,000 for the ceremony and reception. On average, a local wedding ceremony and reception costs about $29,000. So saying “I do” in your dream destination will cost you about $3,000 more than a local venue; ask yourself if that’s doable within your wedding budget. 

2. Tie The Knot — And Tie Up Less Of Your Budget By Booking Internationally 

Affordable wedding destination options abound; in fact, wedding website The Knot concluded that international destination weddings can cost slightly less than domestic locations. The Knot’s Romance Travel Study, conducted in 2016, found that domestic destination weddings cost approximately $28,372 as compared to international destination weddings that racked up about $27,227 in expenses. The roughly $1,000 difference may be indicative of a lower guest count at international ceremonies. According to The Knot’s digital editor, Ivy Jacobson, “If you’re getting married in, say, Mexico or the Bahamas or Italy, 150 people may not come…that’s a far way to go for a lot of people.”  

3. Location, Location, Location — And Vacation 

Your destination wedding could cost more — or less — than the average figures provided by wedding experts. “It all comes down to a couple’s preferences and needs,” says  

Lauren Goodson, director of insights at WeddingWire. “There’s lots of…decision points along the way that can drive the overall total spend.” Trimming your guest list is a good place to start if you’re looking to keep costs down. You should also take into consideration whether you’ll be paying for your guests’ hotel accommodations and if you’ll be hiring a wedding planner to help with the wedding destination details. If you’re thinking of spending your honeymoon in your wedding destination, you’ll be saving on making additional travel arrangements and accommodations in another vacation location. It could be just the ticket to starting your journey in life together. 

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Sandra Murphy

Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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