While some might think a destination wedding comes with a higher price tag than a wedding closer to home, there are also many locations that offer affordable wedding packages. Planning a destination wedding can even lower overall wedding costs because it often prompts a smaller guest list. It also allows you to add your honeymoon to the end of the wedding—meaning, you won’t have to pay for two getaways. To help you with the planning process, we’ve rounded up affordable destination wedding locations that are known for offering amazing scenery and wedding deals.
In the warm, blue waters of the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela, sits the stunning island of Aruba. This popular destination wedding location boasts an awe-inspiring National Park, European-influenced architecture, a collection of beautiful beaches, and an array of affordable resorts well-versed in hosting unforgettable weddings.
When exploring Aruba wedding locations that are within your wedding budget, you’ll have your choice of charming boutique hotels, world-class resorts, and other beachfront locations that allow sparkling water to be the backdrop of your nuptials. In addition to affordable venues, Aruba also has wedding vendors that offer top-notch services at reasonable rates.
Resting on Aruba’s Eagle Beach, this Dutch-colonial boutique resort has fun, laidback vibes. The buildings at Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort add to the lively ambiance, as they’re canary yellow with burnt-orange roofs. The pool chairs, throw pillows, and other details add additional pops of color throughout the resort. Most couples exchange vows on a pristine beach between two Fofoti trees, which are some of the most captivating displays of plant life, as they’ve been twisted by the island’s trade winds.
When it’s time to party, you’ll head to one of the resort’s two restaurants; the most popular is the seaside Passions on the Beach that offers romantic tiki torches, palapas, and a dance floor. If you want to kick the reception up a notch, the resort can organize a performance by a Caribbean band, steel pan player, saxophone player, or mariachi band. It can also provide floral services, arches and centerpieces, a wide array of decorations, and specialized spa packages.
Typical Cost: Ceremony rates start at $500; reception venue rental is $550
Bonus: The bridal party can enjoy the onsite support of a hairdresser and make-up artist.
2. St. Thomas
One of the other amazing Caribbean islands for your special day, St. Thomas is a dynamic nation that was founded by the Danish in the 1600s. It’s an ideal destination wedding location for couples that want to experience a large helping of adventure and cultural exploration, with a side of pampering. The island also offers numerous affordable wedding venues that range from all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels. As long as you enjoy tranquil seas, lush surroundings, and powder-soft sand, St. Thomas will be a hit with you and your guests.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort provides almost everything you need for an amazing destination wedding. This beachside resort offers the classic tropical setting, plush accommodations, a wedding planner, indoor and outdoor venues, and food and drink services all for a great price.
The three wedding packages include a free room upgrade, wedding coordination by Irie Matrimony Weddings + Events, the site fee for the beach, an officiant, a custom bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, wedding photos, hair and makeup services, flower petals for the aisle, a cake, and other perks depending on the selected package.
Many couples choose the Sunset Grille for the reception, as it provides stellar service and dishes made from same-day caught fish and fresh produce from local farmers. It also serves a wide variety of specialty cocktails and the option of a tropical-inspired, customized bar.
Typical Cost: $2,000 – $6,850
Bonus: You and your guests will have plenty to do between wedding events, as the resort provides water sport rentals, scuba diving, a freshwater swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, and massage services.
Mexico is an easy choice for an affordable destination wedding if you enjoy an environment with a rich culture, abundant natural beauty, and lively locals. This country also offers a range of climates, from expansive deserts to dense jungles. So whether you prefer the idea of a wedding on a beach backed by desert, saying “I do” beside Mayan ruins that disappear into the jungle, or exchanging vows on a bluff above the Pacific ocean, this budget-friendly country has you covered.
A popular beach resort, Costa Sur Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta provides an amazing ambiance without having a big price tag. This affordability extends to its wedding package, which is complimentary if you book at least 10 rooms for two or more nights at the all-inclusive rate. This package includes a banquet buffet, full table settings and decorations, four hours of an open bar, and a wedding planner. Most ceremonies are held on their idyllic beach that looks out on Bahia de Banderas, which stretches off of the Pacific Ocean.
When you’re not engaged in wedding festivities, you can enjoy a meal at one of the resort’s two restaurants, lounge by the private beach or pool, or indulge in one of the many treatments at the spa.
Typical Cost: Free when you book at least 10 rooms for two or more nights at the resort’s all-inclusive rate
Bonus: After your big day, you can unwind with a couple’s massage in a private cabin at the spa.
An acclaimed Caribbean island nation, Jamaica is a perfect place to host an affordable dream wedding that includes awe-inspiring landscapes, vibrant mountains, rainforests, and reef-lined beaches. Jamaica is also known for its all-inclusive resorts that often feature British-colonial architecture, free wedding packages (in exchange for a booking), and the good-vibes reggae music this area is famous for. And you’ll never be without activities between wedding events, as the island also provides a host of water sports, like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skis, and more.
If you want to say “I do” in one of the most unique and scenic wedding venues in Jamaica, look no further than The Caves Hotel. Set among caves nestled in limestone cliffs along the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, this natural preserve turned exotic getaway offers the best that Mother Nature has to offer. The venue provides a range of services with its basic wedding package, including a minister, wedding license and marriage certificate, bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, bottle of champagne, small wedding cake, and 30-print photography package.
Enhancing the overall experience are the plush accommodations, which include 12 bright and airy cliff-side cottages and a grand villa. The venue also boasts two dining gazebos, private caves, and the acclaimed Blackwell Rum Bar. Guests can also unwind at the spa, or in the jacuzzi, sauna, or saltwater swimming pool.
Typical Cost: Starts at $1,000
Bonus: The venue provides amazing service. Those staying in the grand villa will also receive the luxury of a private butler.
This state is known for its powder-soft sands, bright Art Deco architecture, eclectic vibes, world-class food, and warm weather, making it a wonderland for couples searching for an optimal destination wedding location. Florida not only provides a wide array of wedding venues, from beachfront oases and palm groves to whimsical botanical gardens and chic rooftop restaurants, but it does so at an often affordable rate. One of the added perks is that it’s typically easy to find flights from many of the major US cities to Florida.
These exotic gardens are located in Coral Gables and offer a classic location for a romantic garden wedding. Consisting of 83 acres, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden allows you to gather your loved ones for a wedding ceremony and reception among tranquil water features, a coral rock grotto, and staircases surrounding an enchanting lily pond.
Two of the most highly-coveted event spaces for the wedding day include the Amphitheater and Bailey Palm Glade. The Amphitheater boasts a land bridge leading to a coconut tree grove and limestone dais, while the Bailey Palm Glade wows with its gorgeous views of Glade Lake and Royal Palm Lake, in addition to limestone staircases leading past the lily pool.
Typical Cost: Minimum of $600/per event for site rental
Bonus: The rental fee helps the garden’s mission of promoting conservation, education, and enjoyment of exotic plants.
6. Dominican Republic
If beaches, rainforests, resorts, and golfing pique your interest, consider the Dominican Republic as the destination for your affordable wedding. This country is the second-largest and most diverse Caribbean nation and is conveniently located just two hours south of Miami. This is a place where you can sink into warm waters, a friendly culture, wilderness adventures, and so much more—at least when you’re not busy walking down the aisle.
Many of the best resorts for a destination wedding lie on the country’s 250 miles of world-class beaches and offer a variety of sports, live merengue music, and ecotourism adventures through national parks, mountain ranges, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches. And because it has eight international airports, travel to the Dominican Republic is fairly easy.
Overlooking the turquoise Caribbean, Iberostar Punta Cana offers an ideal setting for those wanting a beach wedding. The resort’s entry-level wedding package, Waves of Love in Blue, is perfect for those interested ina small, budget-friendly wedding, as it’s free and covers up to 10 guests.
The package includes the support of a wedding planner and a minister, priest, or judge, wedding ceremony setup and decorations, the bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, cake, flowers, champagne, and a semi-private dinner reception. You can add additional guests for $15/per person.
Typical Cost: $999 – $2899
Bonus: Couples receive welcome gifts of cava and a fruit basket with the basic wedding package.
Say “I do” beside turquoise waters, on a beach sprinkled with sand dollars, or on a groomed lawn that opens to the ocean by tying the knot in the Bahamas, a tropical location in the northwestern West Indies, off the southeast coast of Florida.
This spectacular destination not only offers exquisite surroundings but features destination wedding packages that will thrill even the most frugal couple. These packages are often offered by all-inclusive resorts that provide almost too-good-to-be-true services and accommodations.
A famous five-star resort, Sandals Emerald Bay is a perfect option for an easy wedding planning experience. The resort’s complimentary wedding package includes a wedding planning team, preparation of marriage documents, a garment bag, a storybook ceremony site, a bouquet and boutonniere, white cushioned Chiavari chairs, pre-recorded music, and a 5×7 wedding photo.
Couples also receive a reception with table settings of white china, sparkling crystal, crisp white linens, shining silverware, a decorative centerpiece for the head table, Chiavari chairs, a cocktail reception with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres, a signature cocktail, and a two-tiered white fondant wedding cake with fuchsia Dendrobium orchids. Essentially, the resort provides almost everything you’ll need for your wedding.
Typical Cost: Free if couples book a stay for three or more nights
Bonus: Couples receive a 15% discount on all spa services.
“The cost estimate of $10,000 to $25,000 for an average destination wedding for 30 to 50 guests is based on the bare essentials such as venue, caterer, florals and entertainment.What is the average number for a destination wedding? ›
On average, a destination wedding guest list size ranges from anywhere as low as 30 guests to as high as 150. For a destination wedding, the average and ideal wedding size is often 60 attendees.Where is the cheapest tropical place to get married? ›
- Riviera Maya.
- Cabo San Lucas.
- Puerto Vallarta.
- Playa Mujeres.
- Dominican Republic.
- Costa Rica.
The average couple spent nearly $30,000 on their wedding in 2022. That can be an intimidating number when you only have ⅓ of that in your wedding piggy bank — $10,000. Still, 10k isn't hay, and you can totally plan an amazing wedding with that kind of budget.Is $100 too cheap for wedding? ›
They suggest the following breakdown: coworkers or distant relatives should spend 50 to 75 dollars. Friends or relatives, 75 to 100 dollars. For close friends, family, or if you are in the wedding party, you should spend 100 to 150 dollars—or more.Is $30 000 enough for a wedding? ›
In a 2022 survey of 12,000 couples across the country, The Knot found the national average for a wedding is $30,000. However, the average in many individual states is much higher, with New York and Massachusetts topping out at $46,000 for the big day. “You can set a budget, but if it's completely unrealistic…Is $5 000 enough for a wedding? ›
If you've started to look at venues, you've probably already realized that $5K is a small wedding budget. You'll need to cut expenses and do some DIY, but if you're committed, you can definitely plan a great wedding under 5000.How to budget $15,000 wedding? ›
- Venue: $8,000 for a seven-bedroom villa for the week.
- Flights: $1,000.
- Food and beverages: $2,000 for a buffet meal and beverages.
- Rentals: $700 for tables, chairs, linens and lighting.
- Attire: $300 for a dress; $150 for a suit on sale.
For the most part, guests will be responsible for booking and paying for airfare, hotel rooms and any other additional expenses, like food or shopping. Bridesmaids, you'll be expected to pay for your hair and makeup and formalwear. Groomsmen, you'll have to shell out for your tuxes and grooming.
It's generally expected that guests will pay for their lodging costs, since it gives them more flexibility to control spending. In some cases, a resort or hotel could be all-inclusive (like Castello di Ristonchi) and this will dictate otherwise as a requirement for booking the destination wedding.
There's no magical formula to determine exactly how many invitees will RSVP "no" (trust us, if we could predict the future for you, we would), but it's safe to plan for roughly 15 percent of people to decline the invitation (and more like 20–30 percent for a destination wedding).What month is the cheapest to get married? ›
In the U.S., off-season wedding months can vary by region, but usually they are January, February, July, and November. These are usually also the cheapest months to get married in.What is the cheapest beach to get married on? ›
- #1: Narragansett, Rhode Island.
- #2: Destin, Florida.
- #3: San Clemente, California.
- #4: Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
- #5: Key Largo, Florida.
- #6: Mission Beach, California.
- #7: Holualoa, Hawaii.
Wedding costs in 2022
The average wedding held in 2022, including both the ceremony and reception, cost $30,000, according to The Knot. That's the most couples have spent since 2018 ($33,931), before COVID-19. It's also $2,000 more than the 2021 average, which totaled $28,000 for the ceremony and reception.
Zola, the online wedding registry and planner, surveyed thousands of engaged couples who planned to marry this year. It found that 27% of couples in 2022 budgeted between $10,000 and $20,000 for their big day, and 31% budgeted between $20,000 and $40,000.Is $15000 enough for a wedding? ›
If your budget is $15,000, you can still have an amazing wedding. With a $15,000 budget, the key is to keep the guest list to 50 people or fewer. Other ways to keep costs within your budget include sending invitations through email or choosing a venue's buffet package rather than a plated dinner.Is $500 an appropriate wedding gift? ›
A typical cash wedding gift could range from $50 to $500, depending on the same factors listed above. Even then, aiming for the $100 mark is generally sufficient and will be comparable to the average cost of a physical wedding gift.Is $300 a generous wedding gift? ›
That all depends on whether the gift is off the registry, an experience, or cash. Upon consulting the experts, a wedding gift should range from $75 to $750—but most agree that $300+ is the sweet spot.How much money should I give my daughter for her wedding gift? ›
She offers these guidelines to wedding-goers wherever they might be: A distant relative or co-worker should give $75-$100; a friend or relative, $100-$125; a closer relative, up to $150.
If you're not sure how much money to spend on your significant other's dream ring, the three month's salary rule can certainly be used as a general guideline—but it does not have to be taken quite as literally as it was in years past.
The average couple underbudgets what they will spend on their wedding by 45%. The 2021 Brides and Investopedia wedding survey reported that the average wedding budget is about $20,000. Cowles says getting your budget right begins with a discussion about what kind of wedding you want.Is 1k too much for a wedding gift? ›
“For a non-family member gift, if you are a couple invited to the wedding, you should spend about $75 total on a gift. For a family member, $100 to $200 might be more appropriate,” Kirsner said.Is $150 good for a wedding? ›
For closer friends and family, you may want to consider going to $200, or higher if you can afford it. For others, $100 to $150 is more than okay as a wedding gift amount.How do I afford my wedding? ›
- Set Up a Sinking Fund and Start Saving. If you've settled on how much you're willing to pay for your wedding, it's time to start saving. ...
- Cut Back on Expenses. ...
- Check Out 0% Intro APR Credit Cards. ...
- Ask Family to Help. ...
- Work a Temporary Side Hustle. ...
- Consider a Wedding Loan. ...
- Consider Downsizing.
Peak wedding season varies slightly from year to year, but typically, summer and early fall are the most popular times to get married. According to a study by theknot.com, 43% of 2022 weddings took place between September and November.What does the grooms family pay for? ›
As a guide, here's a list of the expenses traditionally covered by the parents of the groom: the wedding rings, officiant's fee, marriage license, the bride's bouquet, boutonnieres and corsages for the immediate family, music (band/DJ), liquor at the reception and the honeymoon.How to budget for a 20k wedding? ›
- Ceremony: $600.
- Reception, venue, catering, and rentals: $9000.
- Photography and/or videography: $2400.
- Reception music/entertainment: $2000.
- Wedding rings: $400.
- Wedding attire: $1800.
- Flowers & decor: $2000.
- Stationery: $600.
A 100 person wedding costs between $20,000 – $30,000.
This cost can be found by comparing it to the average cost of a wedding in the United States (which is slightly above $30,000 for 125 guests) and by using the Loud Bride Wedding Budget Calculator which estimates the cost to be $20,000 for the basics for 100 people.
The great news is that a destination wedding is more affordable than a traditional celebration. The average cost of a wedding in the US in 2021 was $22,500 while the average cost of a wedding in a 4.5★ all-inclusive resort in Mexico is $5,000 – $7,000. So, you're onto a winner already.Do you give less for a destination wedding? ›
It's perfectly acceptable to gift less than you normally would for an in-town wedding. As long as you show up with some sort of sentiment for the newlyweds, you're good to go.
Can You Give Money for a Destination Wedding? Absolutely. As with any wedding, monetary gifts for destination weddings are no longer taboo. In fact, many couples welcome having a spare bit of cash to spend on what they like.What does groom's parents pay for at destination wedding? ›
That includes food, drink, venue fees, entertainment, and transportation. Often the groom's family cherishes this responsibility. The event can take on a different feel to the wedding, and it is their chance to add their style and flair to the weekend.How long do guests stay at a destination wedding? ›
Most often, destination wedding guests will stay on-site for a few days so that they can take part in all of the wedding activities and the big day itself. Some may decide to either stay a few more days or head to a different nearby hotel to have their own mini vacation, so this works out perfectly for everyone!Who pays for welcome dinner for destination wedding? ›
Traditionally, the groom's family is responsible for the welcome party and/or rehearsal dinner before the wedding. But with weekend-long wedding celebrations becoming more popular, it's certainly not a faux pas to have both families split the cost and host all events together.Is it rude to skip a destination wedding? ›
Absolutely not! After all, your big day is all about you and your love. If a destination wedding is what you're dreaming of, do it!Is a 100 person wedding small? ›
How many guests are typically invited to each size wedding? These numbers may vary a little depending on who you're speaking with, but a small wedding typically includes 50 people or under, a medium wedding has a guest list of anywhere from 50-150 guests, and a large wedding has over 150 attendees.Is 200 people a big wedding? ›
There's no “one size fits all” scale when it comes to a wedding guest list—different amounts of attendees will feel right to different people based on family makeup, friend groups, culture, religion, etc. Mason considers 75 to 150 guests to be an “average” size wedding, and anything over 150 to be a “large” wedding.What is the most unpopular month to get married? ›
When Is Wedding Off-Season? In contrast, winter is considered the off-season for weddings. Only 11% of weddings took place between December and February last year, making it the least popular season to get married. February is the least popular month for weddings, accounting for just 3% of them in 2022.What is the least popular wedding date? ›
Christmas Day was by far the least popular day to get married according to ONS data, with an average of just five weddings per year on December 25. Cost-wise, however, a Christmas Day wedding is unlikely to pay off, since venues get booked out for seasonal celebrations.What is the most expensive day to have a wedding? ›
The most expensive day of the week to get married is unsurprisingly a Saturday, since not only is it on a weekend so more of your guests are likely to attend, but it means you don't have a Monday morning wedding hangover to deal with like you would with a Sunday wedding.
Not only does a destination wedding financially cost less than domestic nuptials, it can reduce emotional costs. While there's a certain element of planning involved, much of this can be tackled by your Wedding Specialist. Many resorts offer customizable packages, which take care of details you might otherwise forget.Where is the easiest place to get married? ›
The Bahamas: The legalities are straight-forward. You must be in the Bahamas at least one day before applying for a marriage licence, which can be issued on the same day. Most couples choose a beach wedding, organised by a planner or wedding service. Often, these companies can arrange some of the legalities for you.What state is the cheapest to get married in us? ›
States with the lowest average wedding costs. Couples who get married in Utah, Oklahoma and Kansas spend the least amount of money on average. These are the cheapest states to throw a wedding: Utah ($16,000)Are all inclusive destination weddings cheaper? ›
Typically, having everything offered in one package deal, including vendors, will be a cheaper option than contracting everything else separately. Since all of your wedding expenses will be rolled out into one bill, you'll also save on additional costs, including gratuities.What gets cheaper when you're married? ›
Married couples enjoy more Social Security benefits, tax breaks, retirement options, estate planning perks, and cheaper insurance (health and auto).What is the cheapest country to get married? ›
- Thailand. The cheapest wedding destination on the list is Thailand.
- Russia. In second place, be swept up in the magic of Russia. ...
- Turkey. ...
- Sweden. ...
- Mexico. ...
- Jamaica. ...
- Finland. ...
- Portugal. ...
It's generally expected that guests will pay for their lodging costs, since it gives them more flexibility to control spending. In some cases, a resort or hotel could be all-inclusive (like Castello di Ristonchi) and this will dictate otherwise as a requirement for booking the destination wedding.Is it more expensive to have a destination wedding? ›
A destination wedding takes place in a location away from a couple's hometown. Planning a destination wedding could be less expensive than planning a traditional wedding if it entails a smaller guest list or smaller reception. Using credit card points or miles can help to save money on destination wedding travel costs.Is 5000 too much for a wedding venue? ›
Needless to say, the wedding venue is also one of the biggest expenses you'll encounter throughout the planning process. It depends on what's included in the rental fee but most couples spend anywhere between $5,000-$11,000+ on a wedding venue, with the average budget sitting somewhere around $8,000.Do you save money with a destination wedding? ›
The great news is that a destination wedding is more affordable than a traditional celebration. The average cost of a wedding in the US in 2021 was $22,500 while the average cost of a wedding in a 4.5★ all-inclusive resort in Mexico is $5,000 – $7,000. So, you're onto a winner already.
That includes food, drink, venue fees, entertainment, and transportation. Often the groom's family cherishes this responsibility. The event can take on a different feel to the wedding, and it is their chance to add their style and flair to the weekend.What do parents of the groom pay for destination wedding? ›
This includes things like bridal attire, floral arrangements, and reception. It is a traditional etiquette rule for the groom's family to pay for marriage licenses, wedding rings, and honeymoon costs.What are the disadvantages of destination wedding? ›
- They're not always cheaper. The overall cost of a destination wedding is cheaper than what a local wedding would be in some states—but not all. ...
- You may have fewer guests. ...
- All-inclusive packages can feel impersonal. ...
- Legality can be an issue.
Typically, a guestlist of 75 to 150 people is considered an "average" wedding size. However, average guest counts fluctuate too. Did you know that about ten more guests are invited to weddings this year than last year? That brings the national average to just over 100 wedding guests.Is $30,000 a lot for a wedding? ›
In a 2022 survey of 12,000 couples across the country, The Knot found the national average for a wedding is $30,000. However, the average in many individual states is much higher, with New York and Massachusetts topping out at $46,000 for the big day. “You can set a budget, but if it's completely unrealistic…