Most couples have a general idea of how much a traditional wedding will cost, but don't have a clue how much a destination wedding will cost. For example, you might know a traditional wedding could cost you around $35,000-60,000 but you have no idea what a wedding away would cost. If you’re curious to know what to expect for a destination wedding, then read on, because I have broken it ALL down for you.
1. YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING LOCALE
An Instagram-worthy destination wedding starts with a great location! Maybe you choose locations that are closer to the continental U.S, such as Mexico & the Caribbean, or you may be looking for a more exotic destination wedding locale, such as Hawaii, Fiji, Bora Bora, or even Europe. Usually, the farther away & more exotic a destination is, the more expensive it can be.
NOTE: if you are still trying to decide on your destination wedding locale, check out the Top 5 Destinations for a Dream Destination Wedding.
Obviously, airfare can take up a chunk of your guest's budget but only a small portion of your overall destination wedding budget. And if you’re flying during “high season” (Dec-April), Flights are going to be more expensive than low Season, (May- Nov).
With that being said, here are some current averages based on May 2022 travel, per person, round trip depending on flight itinerary and destination.
2. DESTINATION WEDDING RESORT VENUE:
Every resort offers different wedding locations, amenities, room options, restaurants, activities, as well as food and beverage plans. All-inclusive resorts include all of your food and beverages with your package price. European Plan resorts offer an ala carte menu where you pay for each meal or beverage just as you would going out to dinner or bar stateside. In general, an All-Inclusive resort will usually offer you a better value for your wedding group,
You definitely need to take your time looking through all the available options so that you can make sure to book the best resort wedding venue for you and your unique wedding vision.
YOUR ROOM OR SUITE:
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives
The room or suite you choose will impact the overall cost for you & your guest's destination wedding stay. For example, you could love resort (A) with a base price of $1500 for 4 nights that includes a “standard room.” But if you choose a swim-up suite for your room option. The price for your resort stay at resort (A) will now be $2,000 for 4 nights because of the upgraded room option.
Below is an average cost you & your guests can expect to pay for different types of room stays for 4 nights based on current rates:
NOTE: Most destination wedding guests will stay 3 to 7 nights for a destination wedding, with the average being 4 days. It will really depend on how much each guest wants to spend on their stay.
Because I won’t send anyone to a resort that is average or below quality, you can assume that all of these prices are going to be 4 stars and higher in quality.
Luxury Resort: Adult Only AVERAGE RATES based on 4-night stay:
Deluxe Room: $1,500-$3,500
Highest Room Category:
Think over the water bungalows or 4 Seasons
type quality & experience: $16,000-$25,000
GOOD NEWS FOR YOU:
The good news is, that many resort wedding venues will offer you free nights and room upgrades depending on the size of your wedding group! In many cases, you can get either part or ALL of your stay and even possibly parts of your wedding comped because you’ve earned so many free nights and extras from your wedding group.
If you are looking for some destination wedding resort inspiration, check out the Top 5 Resorts For a Dreamy Destination Wedding now!
3. THE WEDDING PACKAGE AND DECOR YOU CHOOSE
Most high-quality destination wedding resorts will have stunning wedding packages that will include your ceremony location, music, lighting, cocktail party, decor, wedding cake, reception location, entertainment, food & cocktail menu, and an open bar.
NOTE: You have to make sure that your wedding group is going to be set up correctly in order to earn the wedding amenities and free nights. Booking directly with the resorts will not always get you this information, as most resorts don’t seem concerned with letting you know what you can earn. Booking with a destination wedding specialist will guarantee that your wedding group is set up properly to earn everything you qualify for.
Check out this post on - The Best Destination Wedding Packages For An AMAZING Destination Wedding..
4. ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS FOR YOUR GROUP:
A great way to connect with all of your wedding guests and to give them a memorable experience during your wedding week is to do a group activity. Depending on your location, you can do an ATV tour, visit a waterfall, bathe in hot mud baths, shopping in a local village, zip lining, golf, rum tasting, scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming with the dolphins, etc. You get the idea! Due to the size of a wedding group, I recommend you book your group activity in advance
NOTE: There are MANY tour companies out there. Usually the lower the price the more sketch the company. Only go with companies that are licensed and insured, and have great testimonies. One of the best names in the industry is
Island Routes. They have licensed and insured tours that you can trust. They aren’t the cheapest, but they are one of the best!
For a good quality tour, you can expect to pay around $120+ per person, depending on the type of tour, and activities that are included.
ULTIMATELY IT IS UP TO YOU!
Your destination wedding can be whatever you and your new spouse want it to be . If you plan ahead and are smart about where to splurge on your destination wedding here and there, You can have a WOW-type destination wedding without killing your budget.
If you’ve been struggling or frustrated trying to get your destination wedding all figured out, and you’re ready for a little help, schedule a free destination wedding consultation with me today HERE so that you can get unstuck and moving forward on with your destination wedding planning!
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