How Much Will a Destination Wedding Cost?🤔

How Much Will a Destination Wedding Cost?🤔


How Much Will a Destination Wedding Cost?


Getting married in your dream destination is so exciting, and I know you're eager to start planning right away. But let’s be real for a moment — have you thought about how much it’s going to cost? It’s a big question, and it can feel pretty daunting to figure out on your own. Setting a realistic budget is the first step to ensuring your celebration stays stress-free. While I absolutely love the idea of indulging in luxury and pampering yourself, having a solid budget in place is crucial before we dive into the details of your big day.

So, let's tackle the burning question together: what's the real price tag attached to your dream wedding?

How much will your destination wedding actually cost?

Let’s break down the numbers and get a clear idea of what to expect:

According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, the average destination wedding cost in 2022 was $35,600. But keep in mind, this number can vary a lot based on where you choose to tie the knot, how many guests you invite, and all those special details you want to include.

Here's the deal: not every destination wedding is cheaper than a local one. Things have changed a lot since the COVID-19 pandemic, and now more people are eager to travel and celebrate in exciting, far-off places!

With more guests attending and couples wanting to add their own personalized touches, many end up spending even more than they would for a wedding at home.

To really understand what your destination wedding will cost, I’ve laid out all the costs you need to consider in your destination wedding budget.


Budgeting 101: The Basic Costs 

First things first, let’s talk money. Sit down with your partner and crunch the numbers: how much are you comfortable spending overall?

Do you have an already saved budget to dedicate to your wedding? Think about all the things you’re about to spend money on; your wedding itself, your guests, your honeymoon and post-wedding costs. 


Your Wedding Budget


Your wedding budget is the heart and soul of your financial plan. It really covers everything, from venue and catering to attire and decor. As you start to budget, consider each of the below as they all make a considerable difference in your overall cost: 

  1. Venue: Destination venues vary widely in price depending on the location, amenities, and time of year. Be sure to factor in rental fees, ceremony and reception costs, as well as any additional services provided by the venue.

  2. Catering: Feeding your guests is really important — but also a big expense. Destination wedding catering costs can vary based on the menu you choose, number of guests, and dining style (buffet, plated, etc.). Some venues offer catering packages, while others allow you to bring in outside caterers of your choice.

  3. Attire: Your wedding outfits include not only your own gown or suit, but also outfits for the days beyond your wedding ceremony. Destination weddings are also an escape away for you to shine at a location of your choice, so you might as well look good doing it.

  4. Decor: The decor you choose will set the vibe to your entire wedding. Consider things like floral arrangements, table settings, lighting, and any other elements you envision for your special day. Destination weddings may require additional decor to compliment the natural beauty of your chosen location.

  5. Photography + Videography: Your professional photographer and videographer are there to document every moment, so make sure you include them in your overall costs.

  6. Entertainment: How do you want to keep your guests entertained? Music, dancing or a cultural event? Whatever it is you decide to opt in for, entertainment costs for your live band, or DJ should be factored in your wedding budget. 

Your Guest Activity Budget


Here’s where things start to add up — travel costs, for you, and your guests. Whether you’re jetting off to a tropical paradise getting there isn’t free! Factor in flights, accommodations, and transportation for you and your VIP guests — those people that you can’t do without. Many of our couples choose to cover the expenses for any of these guests, from the bridal party, parents, siblings, best friend, whomever it may be, consider budgeting for your VIPs as well. 

And it doesn’t stop there — there are also activities to organize with your guests. One of the perks of a destination wedding is all the fun activities you and your guests can enjoy together. From snorkeling adventures to sunset cruises, the possibilities are really endless. Make a list of some outings you’re interested in and set aside a budget for these unforgettable memories — you won’t regret having fun with your loved ones and wow-ing your guests. 


Your Honeymoon Budget

After the wedding, comes the honeymoon, and we know you’re excited. It’s finally your chance to unwind and celebrate as newlyweds. Set aside funds for your honeymoon in advance — whether you’re dreaming of a romantic beach getaway or an adventurous trek through the mountains, make sure your honeymoon budget aligns with your vision for the perfect post-wedding escape. 


Your Post-Wedding Budget

Once the wedding celebration winds down, it’s time to consider your post-wedding budget. Among the essential expenses to keep in mind are thank you cards and gifts for your guests. Show your appreciation for their presence and support by factoring in those tokens of gratitude.  

There are also vendor tips: you’ll want to recognize the hard work of any of your vendors with gratuities.

Top 10 Money-Saving Tips for Your Destination Wedding

By following these tips, you can plan a stunning destination wedding that stays within budget and creates unforgettable memories.

1. Stay Local for Your Honeymoon: Extend your stay at the wedding destination for your honeymoon to save on additional travel expenses and enjoy a seamless, stress-free transition.

2. Digital Invitations: Send invites via email instead of traditional mail to save on printing and postage costs. Plus, it’s eco-friendly!

3. Consider All-Inclusive Resorts: These can be a great way to bundle everything into one price, simplifying planning and saving money.

4. One Location for All Events: Host all wedding events in one location to cut down on transportation and venue costs. Less movement means lower expenses.

5. Casual Food and Drinks: Keep your menu simple and opt for casual dining options to reduce costs without sacrificing enjoyment.

6. Simplify Photography and Videography:  Opt for fewer hours of coverage or a smaller package to save on photography and videography expenses.

7.Let the Destination Shine: Minimize decor and let the natural beauty of your venue speak for itself. Often, less is more!

8. Embrace Local Vendors: Use local vendors for flowers, decor, and other essentials to avoid hefty shipping costs and support the local economy.

9. Choose Accessible Locations: Pick a destination that's easy to reach from your hometown, like the Bahamas, to save on travel costs for you and your guests.

10. Avoid Peak Seasons and Weekends: Plan your wedding outside of busy travel seasons and avoid weekends to score better deals on flights and accommodations.


Planning a destination wedding comes with its own set of challenges, but with a little creativity, you can keep costs down without compromising on the magic. We’ve experienced it all — from the highs to the lows and the clever ways to save without sacrificing quality.


Schedule a FREE Consultation
Ready to get planning your destination wedding? Inquire today to find out how we can make your dream destination wedding come true and keep you on track with your budget.

Tonya Gabriel (she/her)

Destination Wedding Travel Planner
Creating Experiences through Travel


HiLevel Travel | @HiLevelTravel

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