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Beginner October 2020

Destination wedding? Cheaper option?

Courtney, on August 19, 2018 at 1:28 PM Posted in Planning 0 14
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Hello,

What do you think about a destination wedding? I’m finding a wedding at home is so expensive it makes me want to drop the entire wedding planning process and take a nice vacation instead! Planning a wedding at home is making me wonder what I could do with all that money instead of using it all for one day. I’m struggling to decide if I should stress myself out this year planning and paying for a budget wedding next year that will last a single day and not even be what I envisioned even after spending at least 10K or just planning a destination wedding with only the closest relatives and friends. Thoughts?

14 Comments

  • c
    Super May 2019
    c ·
    I think if you have a destination wedding, you should help accommodate your guests and help pay for some of their hotel, etc. that could add up. My FH just went to one and ended up spending $2,500 out of pocket to be there so I think that’s a heavy burden to put on your loved ones without helping them somewhat with costs.
  • Kelly
    Master October 2018
    Kelly ·
    I think a destination wedding is only cheaper because it passes along the cost to your guests. I also think it forces you to have a smaller guest list so that helps. The best way to have a budget wedding is cut your guest list.
  • C
    Beginner October 2020
    Courtney ·
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    I travel frequently and am very good at finding cheaper flight and hotel options. I figure I could choose a drivable destination (not out of the country) so people can choose to carpool or fly. I’d also look into booking a large air bnb to accommodate some guests if my budget allowed (at least for immediate family). Overall I do not believe it’s the responsibility of the groom and bride to cover costs of travel for a destination wedding if that is the case no one would be able to afford a destination wedding! I do think you’d expect little to no gifts in that case though since they are paying for travel. At the end of the day it’s up to the guest if they want to spend the money to go or not. That’s what makes destination wedding so much less expensive I think because many people would not be able to go and you wouldnt be obligated to invite a ton of people and risk hurting feelings like a hometown wedding.

    Im actually going to a friends destination cruise wedding and paid at least $1500 but I’m looking at it as an exciting vacation I most definitely don’t expect her to help cover my travel because it was my choice to go or not.... but I didn’t get much of a gift since I’m spending so much to be there!
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal Online ·

    Absolutely agree with pp's.... All a destination wedding does is shift a significant portion of your costs on to your guests. A family member planned her wedding 3000 miles from virtually all her family & friends -- often mentioning what a great deal it was compared to paying for a wedding "at home." The only thing she didn't seem to acknowledge is that traveling cross county to attend her dream (and "budget friendly") wedding minimally cost her OOT guests at least $75,000 in travel-related expenses. She (and the MOB) got publicly angry and resentful of guests who begged off due the cost and time-off from work issues, which caused a lot of hurt feelings on all sides. Also, if you search old DW posts, you'll find many from brides who found that in the long-run, it really wasn't much cheaper for the couple. If you want to elope, go for it! That will save you money over a big wedding and if you want you can travel. But, recognize that a true DW is going to cost much more than you expect for you and future spouse, and a LOT more for guests than a local wedding. As Kelly mentioned, either way, the best way to cut expenses is to cut the guest list. If a DW is appealing because fewer people will come, just invite fewer people to a local wedding. Either way, do a lot of research. Good luck!

  • C
    Beginner October 2020
    Courtney ·
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    That sounds like an extreme situation to me I’ve had many friends do destination weddings without drama or crazy expenses I think it’s all about location and researching prices I wouldn’t be doing anything too crazy like that and it can double as the honeymoon which also is a big cost saver. And it gives your family an excuse to take a mini vacation! Even if it’s the same amount of money I’d be in my hometown stressing over everything at an overpriced venue or I could be on the beach sipping a margarita which sounds a lot nicer for your money
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal Online ·
    View Quoted Comment

    Okay, then! Sounds like you already have your mind made up. Hope you have your loved ones have a great mini-vacation/wedding.

  • OrangeCrush
    Super October 2017
    OrangeCrush ·
    View Quoted Comment

    I agree it sounds like your mind is made up but please be prepared if some people do not want to take a mini vacation where your DW is located. I was invited to a Destination Celebration of a friend getting her doctorate, combined with her 40th birthday. Not the same as a wedding, I know but I am passing as going to the DR is not in my plans.

    It really does pass the cost onto your guests. I asked my hubby once: If your BF (who he thinks of like a brother) had DW wedding would you go? I was surprised he said no, not talking that much time off for a wedding in Jamaica or wherever.

    I do hope you have a great (and warm!) wedding!!

  • augbride
    Super August 2018
    augbride ·
    We considered a destination wedding briefly but the cost would’ve been way too much for FH family and all of our friends. To us it was more important to have all of our loved ones there.
    Id say if you want a DW then go for it. Just be understanding if many people won’t be able to make the trip. Also if you choose to go the DW route do not constantly talk about how it was cheaper than a wedding at home because that would likely tick off the guests that have to spend exponentially more to be there.
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    Why don’t you get some initial costs (flight, hotel) and run the idea/costs by those you would invite? We had a DW in the same state so people could drive or take a non-expensive flight. We found hotel costs from AirBNB/Best Western to a luxury hotel. With only 15 guests (mostly family) we asked if everyone would go—they said yes, we booked our venue/date.
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    I’ve been invited to at least 5 DWs and they cost a LOT for guests to attend. I went to 3 because BFFs & declined 2 due to cost.
  • G
    Devoted September 2019
    Gell ·

    Alternatively, you could plan a wedding at home with only your closest relatives and friends. There is no law that says you have to have a big wedding if you have it at home.

  • Nicole
    VIP November 2017
    Nicole ·
    We chose to have a destination wedding for a lot of the same reasons as you. We started planning for a wedding near home and I was so stressed just trying to find a venue that was in our budget. Having it at home made us feel like we had to invite a bunch of family, friend and aquantiences that we don't even regularly see or talk to. The big guest list was adding too much to the budget and stress. My husband wanted to have it in Mexico from the beginning and the more I thought about it, th more I loved the idea. The resort has a limited space which limited the number of people we could invite and they took care of everything's so we had minimal decisions to make in the planning process. That was the huge deciding factor for me!
    But, it did not save us money. We still spent the same amount that we were planning to spend on an at home wedding. It will not necessar4be cheaper to do a DW. It depends on the choices you make.
    And you do need to consider the cost for your guest. We worked hard to find a resort with reasonable prices. But also told people that if they found a better deal somewhere else that they should take advantage of it. Make sure you don't choose something that is going to be extremely expensive for your guests. And be understanding if people are not able to attend. It is a lot to ask for people to travel and pay for hotels, meals, time off work, etc.
    I do not see a destination wedding as passing the cost off to the guests. For us, 75% of the people we invited to the DW do not live in our hometown. They would have had to pay for travel, hotel, meals, etc even if we had the wedding near our home. We still made sure to provide everything that we would have provided for a wedding at home.
  • Allie
    Expert April 2019
    Allie ·
    Hi! We are HAVING a DW and we’ve also attended a DW as guests (fiancé as the best man). We are not helping to pay for the accommodations of our guests and our accommodations were not paid for when we were guests.

    We are spending $10k which is a fraction of the cost of the national average. Although cost wasn’t the deciding reason we chose to have a DW- we decided this was a more efficient way to cut down on our guest list (we are inviting 22 people. No bridal party) and also couldn’t see ourselves getting married locally based on our personalities and hobbies.

    We undersgand that financially some guests may not be able to make our day and that’s okay. We’ve also forgone a bridal shower and stag parties due to our DW.
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019

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