WHAT’S THE BIGGEST FACTOR IN A DESTINATION WEDDING COST?
Hands down, domestic destination weddings will cost more, this is because most US hotels do not do all-inclusive packages, and everything you purchase will be ala carte. The second most expensive option would be going to international destinations outside of the Caribbean.
This makes sense because flights are longer, it takes more coordination and preparation, it costs more for décor etc.…. With that said your cost will hands-down be affected by the location you choose.
Some couples use points for domestic and international travel using chains like Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt, however, think about this wisely as it may still cost you more in the long run. There is more to cover than the stay and flight — you will need to think about the ceremony and reception, and then welcome bags and activities for guests — which is why I always advocate for all-inclusive resorts. They are changing and becoming more versatile, and they are offering more than cookie cutter packages these days, but you will need to know where you are going before choosing a specific resort/hotel/venue.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION …
The location should be the first order of business when deciding if a destination wedding, and all the costs associated with it, is right for you. Are you thinking Paris or Jamaica? Are you thinking rooftop party in Chicago or tropical oasis in the Dominican Republic?
Note: Destination weddings don’t have to be on beaches — meaning you could plan a snowy dream in Aspen or Switzerland. It’s totally your call! Just know that you will probably always spend more on a domestic location, which costs more than $20,000, according to The Knot.
We suggest if the budget is tight, choosing the Dominican Republic, Jamaica or Mexico for the best bang for your buck. However, there are several Caribbean locations with FREE packages you can take advantage of. Just like a traditional wedding, the bulk of the costs come from the reception — meaning food + alcohol, fortunately, most all-inclusive resorts include alcohol so that is one less thing you have to think about.
But, the number of people attending also plays a role. Consider costs may actually be lower than you expect because it’s more than likely you will have fewer guests than at a traditional wedding, meaning the price will surely go down.
THINK ABOUT TRAVEL EXPENSES WHEN CONSIDERING THE COST OF A DESTINATION WEDDING
Make sure to consider travel expenses for not only yourselves but guests, too. When thinking about costs, make sure to remember they will need to plan ahead and save — $1000 is a lot easier to save than $5,000 in one year. Still, the average cost that guests spend on a destination wedding in the Caribbean is far lower than a guest flying in for a traditional wedding — especially if they are in the bridal party. What does that mean? HAPPY guests that are excited to share your special day!