Have you been dreaming about your perfect destination wedding? Have the place in mind? Well, you might want to consider some tips for saving a bit of cash.
You might already have a budget in mind. That’s a great start. Although there is no magic formula for figuring out how much your destination wedding will cost, you can start by determining how much you and your family are willing to spend.
Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you nuptials can ring up to $15,000, $50,000 or upwards of $1.5 million according to Carley Roney (The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings).
1. Avoid high season and Saturday night.
Consider going to your location during off season. Having your event on Friday night might save you money and allow more time with you guests.
2. Look for travel bargains.
Work with a travel agent to get a reduced group rate on airfare for yourselves, your family and your wedding party.
3. Go local.
Use vendors from the area. This will be more cost-effective. It’s also part of the fun and flavor of the area.
4. Cut back on décor.
Rely on the natural backdrop of your surroundings instead of fancy floral arrangements. Don’t rent your own chairs, china, and linens; live with the ones offered by your location.
5. Simplify the photo/video.
Hire a photographer and professional videographer for only part of the evening. Consider filming just the ceremony.
6. Keep food and drink casual.
Limit the amount of courses and have a beer-and-wine only bar, or limit your dessert offering to a delicious cake. As long as the food tastes great and the wine keeps flowing you should be fine!
7. Host all events “on location.”
Save the expenses of booking buses for your guests by having your rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and brunch all within walking distance.
8. Practice DIY
Add your own personal touch. Write the calligraphy for the envelopes and escort cards on your computer, make the favors or create your own aisle runner.
9. Use e-mail when possible.
Create your own wedding website. You can direct your guests there. They can access lodging options and save-the-date details. E-mail is also better because it allows you a record of your correspondences with vendors.
10. Simplify the invitations.
Use thermography or plain offset printing instead of engraving or letterpress and limit your use of extras (special ink colors, decorative envelope linings). For responses, use postcards or consider having RSVP’s online as part of your website.
11.Plan more casual activities.
Replace pricey guest outings like golf or sailing with more reasonable activities like ultimate Frisbee, volleyball or sand castle-building contests.
12. Stay put for your honeymoon.
Do not jet off to another location. After your wedding, stick around and enjoy the spot you are in. Maybe switch to another hotel or go to a neighboring town or island to get away from your ceremony.
If, after doing your research, you can’t pull of the wedding you envisioned with the budget you have, consider waiting until you have saved enough, borrowing money or scaling back on your guest list. You can also adjust your vision. For example, you can go more casual and pick a closer vacation.
Avoid stress by researching (10+ months). I cannot emphasize enough doing your research! Envision your wedding and jot down the elements that are most important to you. Think about your honeymoon too. Will you marry and honeymoon in the same spot?
If money is an issue, again, I would recommend having your honeymoon in the same place. Figure out your budget. Consider what size wedding you want. A smaller guest list might save you some money. Research wedding consultants who have preferred access to flights, accommodations, or activities. Start gown shopping. Look at photos online.
Keep in mind certain fabrics travel better than others. These are just some of the tricks. I would also recommend looking at Carley Roney’s The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings for more information. Good luck!
Jenny Houston is a professional blogger that writes for AllureBridals.com