Having a destination wedding can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime. After all, this not only gives you an opportunity to travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go but additionally create a memory that will forever leave an indelible impression on you. And if having a destination wedding sounds like it would be an expensive endeavor, with the right planning, it can be much more affordable than you might imagine. Here’s how:
Know The Costs
Destination weddings generally have a connotation for being much more expensive than traditional domestic ones, which isn’t always the case. In fact, according to Trip Savvy, the average destination wedding costs around $35,329, which while that’s a pretty substantial price tag, isn’t too far from the average. However, with the right savings technique, bringing this number down even further can be a cinch.
To begin, make a list of all the expenses you’re going to incur for your destination wedding, no matter how big or small. This can include anything as minor as your floral arrangement to as significant as your venue. The more conservative of an estimate you’re able to build, the better off you’ll be in planning this thing out. And while these prices might sound discouraging, you can only start saving from here.
Map Out A Savings Plan
Once you’ve established the overall cost of your wedding, the next step is to start seeing both how much you can knock down as well as set aside. The savings portion is something that you should map out ASAP, as it gives you the most opportunity to pay for big-ticket items you find along the way ahead of time for a great price. And if you find yourself amongst the 69 percent of Americans that have less than $1,000 in their savings account, then this is something you should hop on now.
To begin, sit down with your significant other and ask yourselves how much you both can contribute every month to the wedding fund as a percentage of your income. Next, take a look at the different aspects you listed out above and see which ones are considered “must-haves” versus things that are flexible. Furthermore, try to find alternatives on the things that you’re more lenient about; for example, the wedding dress company Azazie does direct-to-consumer sales online, cutting out the intermediaries to save you money on the gorgeous gown of your dreams. Make a concerted effort to get on the ball money-wise with this, as it will be a tremendous saver long-term.
Be Conservative On The Guest List
Although it’s painful to say, being conservative on your guest list is generally a good way to cut cost. While most of us wish we could invite everyone under the sun to our ceremony, it’s also an incredibly expensive affair (especially if you’re going to be traveling). And as noted by XO Group, when the average wedding has approximately 136 guests, this can get costly real quick if you’re not careful.
Sit down with your significant other and start to decipher who the must-haves are for your wedding, such as close family and friends. From here, it’s smart to set a cap, which each of you is then distributed an equal amount of people to allocate. Although it might be tough, it’s also necessary, as it will take a significant weight off your shoulders in regards to what you have to pay back afterward. And while it might be harsh, no one wants to start their marriage off in a mountain of debt, which is why you need to hammer out that guest list before you dive into sending invitations.
Get Married When You Want Your Honeymoon
Finally, although it might sound silly, getting married where you also want your honeymoon to occur can be a great hack to saving on your wedding. As noted by Sound Vision, with the average honeymoon costing around $3,657, the majority of that comes from travel costs, which you can significantly cut down by having your honeymoon where you’re getting married.
If getting married when you’re also trying to honeymoon is an option for you, then I highly suggest sitting down with your significant other and listing out the places you’d like to have your destination wedding. Furthermore, try to compromise on a general location (i.e., the beach or mountains) and then honing in from there. Remember, this is supposed to be an event you both cherish forever, so make it worth the effort you put in planning to ensure it’s an exceptional time.
What are you most excited about in having a destination wedding? Comment with your answers below!