— Fiona Tapp, Sept. 27, 2016, Honeymoons.com
Destination weddings used to bring to mind a clandestine couple stealing away in the dark of night to elope and marry in secret. But nowadays, marrying away from home is big business and includes 24% of all American marriage ceremonies. Many of those happy couples who choose to exchange vows on a sandy beach or atop a picturesque cliff choose to do so based on the cost savings.
According to The Knot, the average wedding in the US currently sets couples back $31,213 whereas destination weddings usually run below $10,000 and that includes the cost of the honeymoon! It makes sense to redistribute your hard earned funds away from wedding costs to purchases such as a first home deposit or furniture. Spending colossal amounts of money on what is only one day in your life doesn’t make fiscal sense. However, scrimping on some of the luxuries normally expected at a wedding can lead brides-to-be to feel short changed and thoroughly underwhelmed.
Destination brides can keep a check on their finances whilst still feeling like a princess if they follow these ten tips. Budget nuptials will look anything but cheap, so long as you make sure to splurge on these must have big day essentials:
10. Engagement Ring
Sorry, guys, just because your bride-to-be is budget conscious doesn’t mean you can skimp on her sparkler!
Just because you are going away doesn’t mean you should forego official invitations. Especially as you can limit the number you send to those you think will seriously be able to make the trip. Invitations set the tone for the day and are a wonderful keepsake.
8. Wedding Planners
With legal requirements, customs officials and baggage issues, you’ll need an organizer even more than at home. Add in a possible language barrier, and you’ll be glad you splurged on a planner to do the worrying for you. Find the perfect planner for you at Luxe Destination Weddings. They will take care of all the details so you can focus on what’s important – enjoying your big day!
Wedding ceremonies sans flowers can look a little flat. Tropical blooms to match your destination really create a luxe setting, so don’t cut back on the florals.
There are a wide range of destination wedding dresses available including strapless or backless gowns, shorter dresses and many non-traditional options that suit a warmer climate. Many brides save money on their dress when marrying abroad, although there are some great deals to be had, and you can think a little outside of the box, still ensure that your dress is really something special, this is the one time in your life where you should be the most stunning woman in the room. Check out a specialist who understands the unique qualities a beach bridal gown should possess at BLDN for dresses that will still knock ‘em dead. But do keep in mind that all outfits will need to travel well.
5. Bridal Party Flights
With all the money you have saved it may be feasible to pay for all or some of your bridal party’s travel expenses. This can be a really nice gesture for your best pals that have made the trip to see you get hitched. If you can’t afford to pay for their flights, consider covering the cost of airport lounges or private transfers for a five-star experience.
4. Gifts & Favors
Attending a destination wedding could mean your guests and bridal party will not have another vacation that year. Reward their sacrifice and loyalty with a small gift of thanks or welcome bag placed in their hotel room. Gift baskets filled with vacation essentials are often appreciated.
Destination weddings feature the most stunning backdrops! Don’t even think about going without a professional photographer, you will want to remember this special day forever. Vacation photography services can capture the big day and the honeymoon for one package price. Check out Picvoyage, a specialist photography company based out of New York City who also operates in 8 beautiful international locations.
2. Hair and Makeup
A professional make-up artist and hair stylist at a resort will be considerably cheaper than at home, so enjoy the savings whilst still looking picture perfect.
Many couples planning a destination wedding forget about scheduling some alone time after the wedding. Try to stay an extra week or at least a few days after your guests leave. If it’s impossible to stay for extra time, make sure to steal away to a different part of the resort or a even a different hotel for a few nights- you need time together to relax and enjoy your time together as newlyweds.
There are, of course, plenty of areas to save a few pennies when you decide to marry abroad. Skip these totally unnecessary expenses altogether:
- Reception Hall – most destination wedding venues include the dining and dancing space in one low wedding cost.
- A Band – the hotel will no doubt provide musicians for free or a local DJ can be arranged for a small fee.
- Ceremony site – this is almost always included in your wedding fee, but be sure to see if you can decorate it with your own flowers and favors.
- Rehearsal dinner – take advantage of the all-inclusive options to dine with your wedding party and guests the night before the ceremony, just be sure not to overdo it with the margaritas – you’ll need a clear head the next day!
Destination weddings come with the added bonus that you are already away on your honeymoon as soon as you are married, with a little more money in your pocket than if you had said “I do” back at home. If you budget carefully and research the best options, you can still include many luxe items essential to the bride experience whilst saving enough money to afford a party when you get home for all your friends and family who couldn’t attend the big day.
Now that’s really luxe for less!