Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

A Destination Wedding May Not Be as Expensive as You Think

Of course the thought of saying “I do” on a beach somewhere far, far away sounds dreamy, but isn’t it expensive? From flights to resorts, costs seem to accumulate left and right, but is a destination wedding really more expensive than a ceremony back home? Stop mourning your weeping wallet and find out why a destination wedding may actually be more frugal than you think.

An All-inclusive Wedding?

Many resorts with destination wedding offerings are all-inclusive, so what exactly does that mean? Those two sweet little words allow the bride, groom and their wedding party to enjoy all of the food, booze and on-site activities that their hearts desire at no extra cost. That’s right, what you pay to stay at the resort includes all the good stuff. That means no paying for a swanky rehearsal dinner the night before (dine together at an on-site restaurant), no draining bank accounts on cash bars (because it’ll be included in the wedding package) and no expensive post-reception after parties (also included in the wedding packager, or just party at the resort’s night club!).

And when it comes to the venue, it’s important to keep in mind that décor, flowers and music are often organized and provided by the resort making them one less thing for the happy couple to worry about and one less extra cost.

Less Guests, Less Mess

While it might seem brutal to axe your second cousin Karen from the guest list, inviting less people to the celebration of the decade will result in a lower price tag. Plus, destination wedding venues typically have a guest cap, which is nice for couples who are trying to keep their event intimate with just their closest friends and family in attendance. It’s also worth noting that according to The Knot, destination wedding couples can estimate a 50 percent attendance rate so be sure to send save-the-date cards plenty in advance to make sure that the guests you really do want there can make it. 

Group Discounts

Speaking of guests, did you know that destinations, resorts and even some airlines offer group discounts? While you could wing it and try to find the best deal on your own, this is really an area where travel agents shine so we recommend working with a destination wedding specialist to help find the best deals.

Keep it Casual(ish)

Given the relaxing setting, many couples choose to dress it down when it comes to destination weddings. This can mean a flowy white sundress, Bermuda shorts and heck, maybe even flip-flops. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go full glam with a traditional bridal look, but this is just one more way going all-inclusive can help your budget go further.

The Ultimate Combo

One of the best things about getting married in a tropical paradise is that the honeymoon can begin the second you say “I do.” Doubling down and taking advantage of the locale for your post-nuptials getaway will save money and valuable time that can spent be enjoying romantic sunsets and bottomless poolside margaritas. Also, resorts want couples to maximize their destination wedding experience by including a honeymoon and they’re willing to reward travelers for doing so. For example, some hotels offer complimentary honeymoon packages and even discounted stays to couples who get married onsite.

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Phyllis K | 10/09/19 - 12:09 PM

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