Destination weddings seem like a dream come true for many couples. They love the privacy the idea offers while enjoying the exotic vibes of their far-off location. But planning a destination wedding requires more attention to detail than planning a traditional wedding in your hometown. You will have to book a few local vendors, decide on a place, fly there once or twice to finalize the details, and plan comfortable accommodation. Nonetheless, if you’re worried about the cost of a destination wedding, it isn’t necessary that it will be more than a typical wedding. Still, it’s best to know some handy budget-saving destination wedding tips to help you save money! Find 15 of them below:
Also See: What Is A Destination Wedding? Plus, How To Plan One
#1 Hire A Trusted Planner
The first thing to do after you’ve zeroed in on the idea of a destination wedding is to find a planner who specializes in them! This is our number one of the destination wedding planning tips because this alone can make your planning journey a lot easier and can also help you save money as these destination wedding planners have personal relationships with many of the local accommodations that offer them a lower rate than you’d have received when you book them separately. An experienced destination wedding planner also has knowledge about the nitty-gritty like getting a wedding registered, local laws, local cuisines, etc. to further give you ease of mind and make the planning process hassle-free. Because of their local connections, they’d also be able to handle any D-Day hiccups seamlessly.
However, there are a few things to consider when hiring a planner for a destination wedding. One important factor is the planner’s experience and expertise in planning destination weddings. Look for a planner who has a good understanding of the local area and has connections with local vendors and service providers. It can also be helpful to find a planner who is familiar with the local culture and customs, as this can help ensure that your wedding is respectful and authentic.
Another factor to consider is the planner’s communication skills and availability. It is important to find a planner who is responsive and communicative, as this can be especially important when planning a wedding from a distance. Finally, be sure to discuss the planner’s fees and services upfront to ensure that you are both on the same page and that you are getting the support you need.
#2 Pick Local Vendors
When you hire a wedding planner who has experience planning weddings in your chosen destination, there are chances he’d know vendors like photographers, makeup artists, and florists in the same destination so you can go local and save travel and stay costs for these key wedding vendors. Or, you can search for these local vendors yourself and schedule a meeting with them when you go to navigate the destination yourself. Meeting a vendor that’s not in your area is one of the most important destination wedding tips to follow as in-person meetings give you more idea of their perspective, skills, and whether the two of you are a good match for each other.
Hiring local vendors is also a much-advised destination wedding tip because local vendors often have a good understanding of the area and can help you plan a successful event that takes advantage of the local culture and resources. They may also have connections and relationships with other local businesses and service providers that can help make your wedding run smoothly. Additionally, hiring local vendors can help support the local economy and be more cost-effective than hiring vendors from out of town. However, it is essential to do your research and carefully consider the quality and reliability of the vendors you are considering hiring. If you already have someone you trust in your area and want to fly them to your destination wedding location, we do recommend booking them rather than taking a risk. You can save money through other factors in this case.
#3 Ship The Items You Need Well In Advance
Ship anything you might need at the venue well ahead of time but also not more than 1 month before. The sweet spot is anywhere between 3 weeks to 4 weeks before the wedding so you don’t pay ridiculous amounts of shipping costs but also get everything you need right on time. Before shipping items, there are a few things to keep in mind like whether it will be less expensive to ship the items or to just pay for extra luggage on the plane. You should also consider customs, especially if you’re shipping internationally. Research these ahead of time and factor them into your cost estimates. It is also a good idea to purchase insurance for your shipped items in case anything gets lost or damaged during shipping.
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re shipping items is to ship them to a specific individual and not to a hotel. It can be your planner or a trusted vendor or someone at the hotel who you know will take care of those things. Some couples prefer to carry their most precious items with them rather than ship them like their wedding day clothes or a specific memento they want in their wedding decor. You can always choose to carry these valuable or sentimental items with you while shipping the less valuable ones ahead of time. You can also ask your wedding party or other family members to accommodate some items on your behalf if you’re totally against shipping anything!
#4 Book A Hotel Block
Hotel blocks are yet another budget-saving destination wedding tips to consider! A hotel block for a wedding is a group of rooms that are reserved at a hotel for the use of the wedding party and guests. Destination weddings can be logistically complex, and having a block of rooms reserved at a nearby hotel can make it easier for guests to plan their trip and make travel arrangements. A hotel block can also help guests save money on accommodations, as the couple or their wedding planner may be able to negotiate discounted rates for the rooms. To create a hotel block, the couple or their wedding planner will typically contact a hotel and request a certain number of rooms be set aside for their wedding guests. The hotel may require a deposit or guarantee to hold the rooms, and the couple or their guests will typically be responsible for paying for their own rooms. It is a good idea to book the hotel block as early as possible to ensure enough rooms are available for all of your guests.
In addition to helping guests with their accommodations, a hotel block can also be a useful tool for the couple planning the wedding. By having a block of rooms reserved, you can have a better idea of how many guests will be attending and can plan accordingly. This can be especially helpful if you are hosting a large destination wedding and need to make arrangements for transportation, meals, and other logistics. It’s a good idea to inform the guests of the hotel block when you’re telling them about the destination wedding itself so they’re not as worried about accommodation bookings, and already have an economical option on-hand.
#5 Choose An Accommodation That Offers Destination Wedding Packages
Having an accommodation that offers destination wedding packages can be a convenient and cost-effective option for couples planning a destination wedding. These packages typically include a range of services and amenities that are designed to make planning a destination wedding easier. By choosing an accommodation that offers a destination wedding package, couples can often save time and money and can take advantage of the expertise and resources of the accommodation staff. It is a good idea to carefully review the package details and make sure that it includes everything you need before making a decision. Some of the common services included in these packages are:
- On-Site Wedding Coordinator: Many destination wedding packages include the services of an on-site wedding coordinator who can help you plan and execute your wedding
- Venue & Event Spaces: The package may include the use of a venue or event spaces for the wedding ceremony and reception.
- Accommodations: The package may include a block of rooms for the wedding party and guests, as well as other amenities such as a discounted rate for the rooms.
- Catering & Beverage Services: The package may include catering and beverage services for the wedding ceremony and reception.
- Transportation: The package may include transportation for the wedding party and guests between the accommodation and the wedding venue.
#6 Consider Conversion Rates
Another one of the destination wedding tips is to check for conversion rates especially if you are working with vendors and service providers in a different country. Conversion rates are the rates at which one currency can be exchanged for another, and they can fluctuate based on a number of factors such as economic conditions and market demand. the conversion rate is favorable, you may be able to get more value for your money. On the other hand, if the conversion rate is unfavorable, you may need to adjust your budget or find ways to save money in other areas.
How to work around these conversion rates and use them to your advantage is by paying your vendors when the conversion rate is in your favor. For example, if you’re getting married in Europe, conversion rates will be higher during the summer months when tourism is at the peak but lower in winter, so you save money when you pay any advance or remaining amount during the off-season. To stay on top of conversion rates, you can use an online currency converter or check with your bank or a financial institution for current rates. It can also be helpful to discuss conversion rates with your vendors and service providers and ensure that you have a clear understanding of any applicable fees or charges.
#7 Check The VAT Rates
Another one of the important destination wedding planning tips and tricks is to consider the VAT rates. Value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on the consumption of goods and services that is applied in many countries around the world. When considering destination wedding locations, it is important to be aware of the VAT rates that may apply to your wedding expenses. It’s also important to remember that VAT rates can vary widely depending on the country and location, and they can have a significant impact on your wedding budget. For example, the popular destination wedding location in Europe – Italy – has a VAT rate of 22%, which can be over & above what you pay for many services like accommodation, catering, vendors, and more.
So, if you are planning a destination wedding in a country with a high VAT rate, you may need to budget more for expenses such as catering, floral arrangements, and other services. On the other hand, if you are planning a destination wedding in a country with a lower VAT rate, you may be able to save money on these expenses. It is a good idea to research the VAT rates that apply to the destination wedding location you are considering and factor them into your budget. You may also want to discuss the VAT with your vendors and service providers to ensure that you understand how it will affect the cost of their services
#8 Include Local Dishes
One of the classic destination wedding tips is to go local! Anything local, from dishes to flowers, will cost less and will also be available easily. They also reduce costs in travel and preservation and guarantee freshness. So, if you’re hosting a beach destination wedding, it’s a good idea to include local seafood on the menu. You can also research local dishes in the area and ask the caterer to include them in the menu. It’s important to know that not all local dishes guarantee money-saving and it is a good idea to discuss your menu and budget with your caterer or event planner to get a better understanding of the costs and potential savings of using local ingredients and dishes. They may be able to suggest options that can help you save money while still offering a delicious and authentic menu for your guests.
Nonetheless, including local dishes in your destination wedding menu can be a great way to add a touch of authenticity and flavor to your wedding. Local dishes can help give your guests a taste of the culture and cuisine of the destination wedding location, and they can also be great conversation starters. One important factor to consider when including local dishes in the menu is the preferences and dietary restrictions of your guests. Be sure to consider any allergies or dietary needs that your guests may have and ensure that there are options available that accommodate these. You may also want to consider the level of familiarity that your guests have with the local dishes, as some may be more adventurous eaters than others.
#9 Ask For Discounts
A good one of the budget-saving destination wedding tips is to just ask for discounts! You can ask for a lower price when booking accommodation. It’s a good idea to negotiate on the per-room cost rather than on the bulk amount, as the per-room cost will add up more on a bulk basis. You can also ask some of your vendors who’d be flying to the location if they can pay for the flight tickets themselves. Many vendors understand how expensive it is to pay for flight tickets and will be more than happy to oblige! But if they have already given you a good discount on their services, then it’s a fair deal that you pay for their flight tickets as a good gesture.
It’s always important to approach the topic of negotiations in a respectful and considerate way. Before asking for a discount, it is a good idea to research the prices of the services or products you are interested in and compare them to other options. When asking for a discount, be polite and respectful, and explain your situation and why you are seeking a discount. Be open to negotiation and be willing to compromise, as you may be able to negotiate a discount in exchange for booking a larger number of services or for paying upfront. By following these tips, you may be able to save money on your destination wedding expenses without compromising the quality or professionalism of the vendors and service providers you are working with.
#10 Honeymoon In The Same Hotel
Honeymooning in the same hotel can be another amazing budget-saving destination wedding tips. It’s also a convenient option as it can save you the hassle of making additional travel arrangements and can allow you to take advantage of any discounted rates or package deals that may be available. One important factor to consider when going down this route is to check the availability of rooms. If the hotel is fully booked or has limited availability, it may not be an option. It is a good idea to check with the hotel to ensure that they have availability for your honeymoon dates.
Another factor to consider is the type of experience you are looking for on your honeymoon. If you are looking for a change of scenery or a more remote or exotic location, honeymooning in the same hotel as your destination wedding may not be the best choice. In this case, it may be worth considering other options. Overall, honeymooning in the same hotel as your destination wedding location can be a convenient and cost-effective destination wedding planning tip, but it is important to carefully consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.
#11 Book In Advance
One of the best budget-saving destination wedding tips is to book everything well in advance. Booking in advance can allow you to take advantage of early bird discounts or other promotions that may be offered. It also helps you negotiate a better price as most vendors and accommodations would also want a secure deposit well ahead of time. This will help you save money on some of the major vendors that will take up a majority of your budget. Moreover, booking in advance also gives you more time to plan and prepare for your wedding. This can be especially important for destination weddings, as there may be more logistical complexities involved.
Booking in advance can also allow you to secure your preferred vendors and venues, as these may book up quickly, especially during peak wedding season. By booking early, you can ensure that you are able to work with the vendors and venues that you want, rather than settling for whatever is available at the last minute. Just be sure to carefully consider your budget and timeline when making your reservations.
#12 Avoid Weekends & Peak Tourist Season
Avoiding weekends and peak tourist season is one of the best tips for planning a destination wedding. It can help with reducing the cost of your entire budget dramatically. Weekends and peak tourist seasons are often the busiest and most expensive times to travel as many tourists travel during those times. This is especially true for popular travel locations like Mexico or Italy. By avoiding these times, you may be able to get better deals on venues, accommodations, and other wedding expenses. Avoiding these times can also help you avoid crowds and ensure that you have a more intimate and relaxing wedding experience. Destination weddings can be hectic and stressful, and having fewer people around can help make the experience more enjoyable.
However, there are a few things to consider when avoiding weekends and peak tourist season for your destination wedding. One important factor is the weather. Be sure to research the weather patterns at your destination and choose a time when the weather is likely to be pleasant. You may also want to consider the availability of vendors and venues, as some may be closed or have limited availability during certain times of the year
#13 Split The Bill
One of the tips for a destination wedding is to split the bill between different parties. The bride and groom can incur some expenses and the couple’s families can share the expenses too. It doesn’t have to be an equal split between all the parties, but it can also be a proportioned split where any one of the couples or their families can pay more depending on their financial resources. They can also have an itemized split where the couple and their families contribute to the costs of specific items or services rather than to the wedding costs as a whole. This can be a good option if there are certain items or services that are particularly important to one side of the family or if there are certain items or services that one side is unable or unwilling to contribute to.
Ultimately, the best approach to splitting the bill for wedding costs will depend on the specific circumstances and preferences of the couple and their families. It is a good idea to have open and honest communication about finances and to come to an agreement that works for everyone. It can be a difficult topic so approaching it with empathy and open communication becomes important.
#14 Keep It In The Same Country
Yes, a destination wedding can be in the same country as the couple and their families. Destination weddings are typically defined as weddings that take place in a location that is a significant distance from the couple’s home, and this can include locations within the same country. For example, a couple from the East Coast of the United States might consider a destination wedding in Hawaii or California to be a destination wedding, even though both of these locations are within the same country. Needless to say, a destination wedding in the same country as the couple and their families can potentially help with the budget, as it may be less expensive than a destination wedding in a different country. There are a number of factors that can impact the cost of a destination wedding, including travel expenses, accommodations, and local costs such as venues and vendors. By choosing a destination wedding location that is within the same country, you may be able to reduce or eliminate some of these costs.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the cost savings of having a destination wedding in the same country will depend on a number of factors, including the specific location you choose and your wedding budget. For example, a destination wedding in a major city or a popular tourist destination may be more expensive than a destination wedding in a smaller, less well-known location. It is a good idea to carefully research and compare the costs of different destination wedding locations to determine which one is the most cost-effective for you
#15 Stick To Your Budget
Sticking to your budget is an important one of the destination wedding tips. However, it can be a challenging task especially when you are faced with a wide range of tempting options and vendors who may be trying to upsell you. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your budget during your wedding.
- Set A Budget: The first step to sticking to your budget is to have a budget in place. Determine how much you can afford to spend on your wedding and allocate your funds accordingly.
- Prioritize: Decide which elements of your wedding are the most important to you and allocate your budget accordingly. For example, you may want to prioritize your venue, catering, or photographer over other expenses.
- Shop Around: Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare prices for different vendors and services. This can help you find the best deals and ensure that you are getting the most value for your money.
- Negotiate: If you find that a vendor’s prices are higher than you can afford, don’t be afraid to negotiate. You may be able to negotiate a better price or find a way to work with the vendor to meet your budget constraints.
- Avoid Overspending: It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of your wedding and overspend on items or services that are not essential. Be mindful of your budget and try to avoid unnecessary expenses.