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Felice AKA Summer
Dedicated September 2018

How much does/did your destination wedding really cost you?

Felice AKA Summer, on May 4, 2017 at 1:57 PM Posted in Planning 0 53
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This is really a question for those who are already married or who are finalizing the details of their destination wedding. Is it really more cost effective? Which destination is more affordable - Mexico, Jamaica, or Hawaii? How much were your travel costs? How many guests did you have? I still have over 500 days until my big day and I thought I wanted a destination wedding in Jamaica with no more than 50 people but now I'm not fully sold on the idea. My fiancé and I opened up an account to start saving for the wedding. Our budget for the wedding is $5K. Between us both, we have 5 kids so it would cost us roughly $4K-$6K for travel costs alone. I'm hoping your feedback could help me decide if a DW is the way to go. Thanks!

53 Comments

Latest activity by Janovis, on January 29, 2020 at 1:58 PM
  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·
    • Flag

    I'm not having a DW, but I would guess that for $5k, you MAY be able host 50 guests locally (depending on where you're located), or you could take your children someplace exotic and get married with just your kids there.

    • Reply
  • Ashley
    Expert August 2017
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    We are having a DW in Puerto Rico in August. Looks like we will spend about $15K once all is said and done, not including a honeymoon, which we plan on taking in February since we will be taking 10 days off for the wedding.

    I reached out to hotels/venues for pricing information beforehand. We then printed all the information we received and went through it. We narrowed it down to 3 hotels we liked. We went out to Puerto Rico last April to visit all three venues/hotels and had narrowed it down to 2 by the time we came home. The way we picked was what was more cost effective to us and our guests and what place was closer to airport/area for our guests to be able to explore.

    Hope this is helpful & Happy Planning!

    • Reply
  • C
    Devoted May 2017
    Chanelle ·
    • Flag

    DW to Aruba is costing us $18,000 and that's because we're doing a lot of our own thing. Plus, that's not including airfare, rooms, food etc. Try looking at all inclusives, but $5,000 may not be enough for 50 people. We're having 70 and it's still getting expensive. Try Mexico, the islands would be more money regardless.

    • Reply
  • GymRat
    Master May 2017
    GymRat ·
    • Flag

    I agree with Bookcase. If traveling with your family is going to cost you the amount of your budget, it seems those are your only two options. You kinda already answered your own question.

    • Reply
  • Felice AKA Summer
    Dedicated September 2018
    Felice AKA Summer ·
    • Flag

    @Mrs. Fall Bride: Thanks for your input. Wow! 75K?! I'm sure your best friend's DW will be very extravagant.

    • Reply
  • DoggoMom
    VIP August 2016
    DoggoMom ·
    • Flag

    We did a DW for 45 guests and it was $30k.

    • Reply
  • Heather
    Super June 2018
    Heather ·
    • Flag

    I am having a DW for 30 people and I am spending 17k

    • Reply
  • CaboBride2018
    VIP May 2018
    CaboBride2018 ·
    • Flag

    My wedding package for 30 people at an all-inclusive resort in Cabo is $4K alone. And that doesn't include any travel expenses, rings, attire, etc.

    I think that your budget is unrealistic if you want $5K to include your family's travel. If you can budget for $5K in addition to travel, it may be more realistic. Or have a family vacation/elopement.

    • Reply
  • Felice AKA Summer
    Dedicated September 2018
    Felice AKA Summer ·
    • Flag

    @BookcaseHat: Unfortunately, I live in the Mission San Jose area of Fremont and my fiancé lives in Santa Cruz so I doubt we can host a local wedding for $5K. We're going to a wedding next Saturday near Santa Cruz where just the venue rental alone is between 9500 - 11K! I'm almost tempted to get married at the courthouse then just splurge on the honeymoon.

    • Reply
  • LikeBerry
    Expert April 2018
    LikeBerry ·
    • Flag

    We're still in the planning process, but we know most of our costs (except for airfare) at this point, and I think we're going to be looking at about $13k. We're doing an all-inclusive in Mexico. We could have done it for less, though, if we'd stuck to the 20 person guest list that's included in our fee, and if we stayed fewer nights in a more basic room.

    • Reply
  • Km42118
    VIP April 2018
    Km42118 ·
    • Flag

    I'm in the planning stage for DW in punta Cana. My estimated cost so far is 22k that's everything from attire to airfare and 100 person reception at an all inclusive. I'm hoping to stay under 28k!

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Devoted September 2017
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    DW in Maui- Right now were at about $17k so when all is said and done it will probably be $20k - 55 people. The most expensive has be been restaurant/food/booze and photographer. We're also not doing a package with a hotel. We rented a house on the beach, so we will be married there (no alter, chairs, very short ceremony) and then rented a restaurant for the reception. I will say when I think of the total amount being spent on our wedding (meaning guests flying in, hotel stays, etc) I kind of get a little sick. I didn't think so many people would be down for going but I've heard from most they just wanted to take a vacation and this is their excuse.

    • Reply
  • VegasWed!
    Super October 2017
    VegasWed! ·
    • Flag

    DW or not it all depends on number of guests. Our vegas wedding is costing close to $50k for 100 people after lodging and airfare. I dont have anything extravagant planned, but did decide to splurge on a high quality videographer. We definitely could have done this cheaper or for a similar price close to home. It's contrary to what we first thought, but we our wedding venue was our #1 choice so worth it in the end.

    • Reply
  • Taylor
    Super October 2018
    Taylor ·
    • Flag

    We are having a DW with 30-ish guests and spending a lot more than $5k.

    • Reply
  • Megan
    Dedicated October 2017
    Megan ·
    • Flag

    We are having a DW in Destin,FL. We rented a big house within walking distance to the beach. There will be 15 adults in the house and we split the cost by adults bringing it to 333$ for 4 nights and 5 days. We are getting married on the beach and will hold the reception at the house by the pool. For the ceremony, catering, dj, flowers, photography, rental tables and linens, and alcohol we are spending 5k. So that does not include our travel expenses, attire, honeymoon or extras.we will have around 45 people there. But I still feel like we did a good job keeping the budget at a decent price.

    • Reply
  • Ashley
    Dedicated August 2017
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    I'm having my wedding in Jamaica. With travel expenses and the actual wedding about 15000 for 30 people.

    • Reply
  • J. Clo
    Master May 2018
    J. Clo ·
    • Flag

    My brother did his destination wedding in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. For everything it came to $12,000 for 71 people not including travel or transportation. He did it at a private villa and had to bring in tables, chairs, etc. His original budget was $5,000.

    • Reply
  • J. Clo
    Master May 2018
    J. Clo ·
    • Flag

    Something else to consider is the reason for having a DW. It's not always cheaper once everything is factored in. While you personally may be spending less you are in essence shifting the cost to your guests. My wedding will be a DW in Florida. It's centrally located for both families and not too expensive for people to fly to buy we're providing an airport shuttle, welcome reception, morning after brunch, etc. As you suggest the courthouse followed by an extravagant honeymoon might be a be better route.

    • Reply
  • MS102017
    Devoted October 2017
    MS102017 ·
    • Flag

    We planned a DW from the start. We looked in the Caribbean and Mexico but didnt love the all-inclusive options but budget wise probably could habe done it for 10k with 50 people. We ended up having a domestic DW that will be in Charleston. Our budget is $20k for 50. We're on pace to be a little over that but we're doing what we can to reign the costs in. Part of the reason we're not registering anywhere is that we're well aware that our guests will be dropping atleast $500 for travel alone to be there.

    A friend of mine got married in Costa Rica last year and spent about $15k for 50ish people.

    • Reply
  • Erin Wood
    Master July 2017
    Erin Wood ·
    • Flag

    @Felice- You can get very reasonable flights to Hawaii in September. Cabo would also be an option and the flight is a little shorter. I think given your $5,000 budget you need to rethink your 50 person guest list regardless of where you decide to get married. I'm getting married in Aptos and you are right about prices in that area. I like your idea about going to the courthouse and splurging on the honeymoon. We are going to Thailand and Bali for two weeks on $5,000. In September you can get flights out of Oakland to Maui for $430 round trip.

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