If you've been thinking about a destination wedding, you've probably done some initial research about how much destination weddings cost. You've most likely noticed that some couples have been told they're very expensive, and others have been told they're the absolute cheapest way to get married.
But how can they be both? What's the truth to how much destination weddings cost?
The truth is rarely simple, and it definitely isn't any simpler when it comes to the price of destination weddings.
The (Sort of) Quick Answer
The deceptively easy answer to "how much do destination weddings cost" is they can cost whatever you want them to.
That's part of their appeal; they're extremely flexible in terms of location, design, and pricing. But that also means that you have to pay attention to how all of that will add up in the end.
You could pick a relatively cheap venue or an expensive one halfway across the world. Or even if you end up with a cheap destination wedding location you might need to shell out a lot of extra money for amenities or food. And sometimes "all-inclusive" destination weddings really aren't such a good bargain even though you think you're getting a lot for your money.
You can see the quick answer about how much destination weddings cost isn't really quick at all. So let's get into a bit more detail about the varying financial tiers of destination weddings.
Cheap Destination Weddings
Though destination weddings cost whatever you want them to, if you're asking the question about overall pricing, that probably means you're hoping to save money rather than spend it.
If so, you're in luck. Like you may have heard, destination weddings can in fact be the cheapest option for your special day, even beating out at-home celebrations. We're talking around or under $10,000 here.
The reason destinations can be so cheap is because costs that would otherwise hold you down in a traditional setting might have no effect. For example, if you're getting married on the beach in Mexico, it's highly unlikely you'll need to worry about bringing in extra decorations (the setting should be enough to look at!). And if you travel during slow season, you're probably going to save on ticket and tourism costs, as well.
There's also less of a chance you'll have to pay for tons of guests' meals. This is especially true the more remote your destination wedding is, since many guests won't want to travel that far and will opt to stay home. Additionally, if you choose to get married somewhere where you'd also like to have your honeymoon, you
All of these reasons and more add up (metaphorically, of course) to help keep you on budget when you choose a destination wedding.
Medium-Cost Destination Weddings
A recent survey by The Knot revealed that the average cost of an American wedding is around $28,400 (those couples who spend more than $40k obviously bring up the average). Can you have a destination wedding for $15k to $28k?
The only reason many couples don't choose a destination wedding when they can afford a medium-cost wedding is because they also fall prey to the idea that destination weddings cost way more than they can afford.
This simply isn't true. If you can have a destination wedding for under $10k, you can easily have one for the average cost of a wedding today. For example, you just need to pick a location that's not so far away that it incurs extra expenses for you. You can also choose a destination wedding location that's cheaper than its alternative, like the Caribbean compared to French Polynesia.
Again, you just have to make sure that the choices you make when you pick a destination wedding don't add up to more than you can afford.
Expensive Destination Weddings
Yes, destination weddings can be very expensive.
That's usually how people think of them. Destination weddings look exotic, and people tend to equate exotic with high costs.
Many times, this can be true. For example, if you pick an estate wedding in South Africa, you'll have to deal with plane ticket prices that will be higher than if you were flying across the United States.
And destination weddings cost more if you really don't want the hassle of planning everything yourself. If you're not familiar with your location, this could be especially true. You'll want to leave some of the planning up to the local experts, which means you'll have to shell out more cash to ensure plans are made.
So if you have the money to spend, feel free to look into the most glamorous destination wedding you can!
Surprisingly, we've just seen that your budget is not as big of an issue when it comes to how much destination weddings cost. The bottom line is that the decisions you make will affect how much you spend, so choose wisely.
What are you hoping to spend on your destination wedding?