Thinking about a destination wedding? Be sure to ask yourself these questions before getting started:
What is my budget?
While a traditional wedding can typically be around $32,000, we can help you plan the destination wedding of your dreams for nearly a quarter of the cost. With that said, there are typically three factors that play into your costs: the resort, the airfare, and the wedding package. These things all fluctuate depending on the time of year you book and where you’re traveling. These are some things to keep in mind when determining your budget! Flexibility is key!
Where do I want to get married?
We recommend choosing a destination that is easy to get to, so your guests don’t spend an entire vacation day or two traveling. Places like Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are fairly easy to get to and only require a 4-5 hour flight. Locations that are more exotic require multiple connecting flights and transfers, making it an exhausting day for your guests to endure.
When do I want to get married?
Your wedding costs will rely heavily on the date you choose. Peak seasons are usually from mid-January through Easter and will reflect the highest rates. Your mid-season ranges from Easter through August, and even early January, and will have fairly reasonable rates. For a better bargain, try September through early November or early December.
How many guests should I invite?
Generally, we find that about 40% of those you invite will be able to attend your destination wedding. However, don’t let that discourage you! Not everyone can afford to take the time off or travel. We suggest having a reception back at home to celebrate with those who were unable to attend.
What kind of resort do I want?
Have you been dreaming of something small and intimate, or active and lively? Adult-only or family-friendly? We highly recommend all-inclusive resorts because they include meals and drinks, making it a lot easier on your guests and their budgets. Additionally, many all-inclusive resorts offer couples a semi-private reception, resort credits, upgrades, and more!
What kind of ceremony should I have?
Envisioning yourself tying the knot on the beach? Or perhaps, you’ve thought about saying “I do” under a beautifully decorated gazebo? Oftentimes, your resort will offer many options for you to choose from based on your preferences and guest count. You’ll even have a Plan B lined up in case it rains, so no need to worry about that!
Do I want a symbolic or legal ceremony?
A legal ceremony is when you receive a marriage certificate from the destination you’re married in, and is recognized legally back home. These ceremonies typically require more paperwork, has additional fees, and occasional blood tests. A symbolic ceremony has no legal binding, and makes up approximately 80% or more of all destination weddings. Typically, the bride and groom will go to their local clergy or courthouse and become legally married before they leave. It is just easier that way.
We hope these questions and answers are enough to get you started. Once you’re ready, be sure to connect with a destination wedding expert to start planning!
Meet The Authors
We are passionate about destination weddings and love helping couples make their wedding dreams a reality. We are the destination wedding experts.