How much is a Destination Wedding?

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 04/03/24
How much is a Destination Wedding?

How much is a Destination Wedding?

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 04/03/24

Part of the Wedding

How much is a Destination Wedding?

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 04/03/24
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Slowly the big traditional weddings are falling out of style and instead being replaced by micro or destination weddings, and we’re not complaining! In light of this, we decided to dive in and do a complete destination wedding cost breakdown to give you budget-friendly tips to keep you on track when planning your international destination wedding.

Couple debating wedding gifts

How Much Does a Destination Wedding Cost?

The cost of a destination wedding depends on the destination wedding location, the number of days, the U.S. dollar to local currency exchange rate, the time of year, and the number of guests. However, if you want an average estimated baseline, the cost of a destination wedding stands at about $35,000 U.S. dollars. Though, remember that destination weddings<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> can be much more or less–it simply depends on what we mentioned above.

Do Guests Pay Their Way For a Destination Wedding?

Travel and accommodations are typically the guests’ responsibility. Besides the wedding, guests must pay for things like a place to stay, airfare, local transportation, and food and drinks. They’ll also likely have to take a few days off work and arrange all their accommodations, which can result in fewer guests since (depending on location) not everyone you invite can accomplish such requests. 

Considering these expenses for your guests who did say yes, you may want to host extra meals and events like a welcome dinner, cocktail hour, or even a farewell brunch to help with costs since they’re traveling all that way just for you and your spouse. You are not required to rent a hotel or car for anyone, but coordinating group transportation to and from the various events is a great option that your guest will definitely appreciate, especially if there is alcohol involved. You can also have welcome baskets, a personal note, an itinerary, and other smaller items and drinks delivered to the hotel and to the rooms upon wedding party check-in as a thank you. 

What Are Some Costs to Consider in Your Destination Wedding Budget?

With the average cost of a hometown wedding being $30,000 and the average cost of a destination wedding being $35,000, there’s been some obvious debate on the best option. 
Destination wedding costs
With destination weddings, it’s just that… another destination, so travel expenses such as airfare and accommodations can rack up the costs. However, one upside to destination weddings is you can often find cheaper, all-inclusive resorts where the room, meals, bar, and group activities are 

usually included in their wedding packages. Some packages may include an onsite wedding coordinator, the wedding cake and flowers, transportation, and perks for the wedding couple, like spa treatments or excursions. This also means less wedding planning on your part and instead leaves more time for you to relax and enjoy your special day

Destination Wedding Budget Tips

With the average cost of destination weddings in mind, your desired wedding location picked out, and the estimated wedding party size, now it’s time to learn some helpful destination wedding planning tips to ensure you stay within budget

Delete some of your guests from your guest list.

The number of guests will 100% influence your decisions and fluctuate the price of your wedding. If you want more of a remote location or a site with limited space, you’ll have to revisit your guest list and see if your second cousin you’ve met once really makes the cut. If you can’t shorten your guest list, consider a destination closer to your home city to help cut costs instead. 

Pick your wedding date wisely.

If you want to have your wedding at a popular destination, to help with costs, avoid the high-season crowds, and set your wedding date during a quieter time. Spring or Fall tends to have the best prices for you and your guest’s airfare and rooms, and you’ll likely get a better deal at your venue. 

Set up a wedding website ASAP.

Info to put on a wedding website
Create your wedding website as soon as your venue and dates are confirmed. 

Essential information to add to your wedding website is,

  • Your contact information
  • Wedding event details
  • Wedding dress code
  • Lodging options and various price ranges
  • Local transportation options
  • Local weather
  • Sightseeing spots and restaurants
  • Necessities to bring

A wedding website will save you from answering many questions, but it’s also a great option to have everything in one place for smoother travel. If you’re unsure about writing it yourself, hire a friend or a professional copywriter who is a wordsmith. 

Extensive save-the-dates.

Mail your save-the-dates with all the wedding details you can and your website information about 9 to 12 months in advance to give your guests time to determine whether they can get off work and afford it. It’s helpful to include start and end dates for your entire weekend so people know how much time to take off or set aside (this helps when budgeting for flights and hotel). Look into flight packages or search for flights and hotels on money saving sites, such as skyscanner.

Consider requesting no gifts.

Since your guests must pay for their travel expenses, mentioning that gifts are not mandatory on your website and invitations can be an excellent option. This can help cut guest costs and prevent your suitcase from overflowing on the way home after the wedding. If you still want to set up an optional gift, add your Venmo account to your website for people to send money to something like your honeymoon or a new home. 

Wedding Destination FAQ:

Are you legally married at a destination wedding

Your guests won’t tell the difference if you got legally married at your destination wedding or got it back in your home state at the courthouse, so it comes down to personal preference. 

How many days do you need for a destination wedding

Instead of a one-day event like most traditional weddings, a destination wedding typically lasts about 3 to 5 days (not including travel time). Usually, the first day is for getting settled, and wedding events commence before the last day, usually the official ceremony day. 

What are the disadvantages of a destination wedding?

The most significant disadvantage is that it’s not always cheaper, and many of your guests might be unable to make it since traveling can be so expensive. And if you opt for an all-inclusive package, it can start to feel impersonal and very cookie-cutter. It can also be extra stressful if you’re not used to traveling. 

Why are destination weddings so expensive? 

Travel and lodging are what really rack up the bill regarding destination weddings. If you have family or friends, you can stay with, this can help cut costs. Otherwise, searching for online booking deals and traveling during off-seasons can also help tremendously. 

With that said, make your online destination The Groom Club for more advice and tips on everything you need to know to keep your dream wedding in-budget and as relaxing as possible. If you’re searching for destination weddings, we recommend reading Planning The Ultimate Destination Wedding Elopement and Elopements: Why, How, & Ideas!


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