By default many assume that doing a destination wedding must be cheaper than a larger at home ceremony due to the smaller guest list and the many packages offered by so many great resorts. This isn’t always the case though as many brides find out when they begin piecing together all the components and travel requirements.
Of course, the best way to save money is to choose your wedding site carefully. Some destinations are notoriously pricey, while others, like the following ten affordable destination weddings, will help you get the most bang for your wedding bucks:
- Dominican Republic. This beautiful island country is dotted with stunning all-inclusive resorts, many of which offer excellent wedding packages. One resort in Punta Cana, for example, has a package that includes but is not limited to a symbolic ceremony, a wedding coordinator, wedding cake, sparkling wine, hors d’oeuvres and a dinner reception for 20 people for approximately $2,800. You can save even more money by booking your wedding during the summer — the off-season for this island. Just be aware that hurricanes can be a threat, especially during the latter part of the summer.
- Emerald Coast, Florida. Summer is also the off-season for Florida. So if you’re on a relatively tight budget, but have had your heart set on getting married on a white sugar beach, consider getting hitched on Florida’s breathtaking Emerald Coast. You’ll find that lodging prices are typically much lower in this area during the steamy summer months.
- Cancun, Mexico. Although recent reports of violence have hurt Mexico’s tourism industry, the Cancun area is still considered to be safe for visitors. This popular tourist destination also boasts many gorgeous resorts that would make the perfect backdrop for a wedding ceremony. In addition, you can also expect to get more for your money as the peso has been very weak against the U.S. dollar.
- Aspen, Colorado. Resort rates drop dramatically in the Aspen area during the spring months, which makes this season the perfect time of the year to have your destination wedding. In addition, wedding vendors and restaurants are more likely to offer you discounted rates during this typically slower period of time.
- Catalina, California. Are you a West Coast resident searching for a quick and relatively inexpensive island getaway for your wedding? Then you’ll want to look into Catalina Island, which is located just 22 miles — approximately 15 minutes by helicopter or an hour by boat — from the Los Angeles area. There are numerous venues on this quiet island that are perfect for a romantic destination wedding.
- Belize. Whether you prefer a beautiful beach or a jungle wedding, Belize has the perfect setting for your ceremony. Many of the resorts here offer money-saving wedding packages. For example, for approximately $1,800, one resort will provide you with everything you need for a beach ceremony – including local drummers, a cake and champagne — and will even do all of the legwork for your marriage license.
- Sedona, Arizona. The spectacular red rocks of Sedona make for a picture-perfect backdrop for a wedding. For the best lodging rates, consider having your wedding in June, August or the winter, Sedona’s off-seasons. Fortunately, the weather is actually not as bad as you might think. Sedona sits at 4,500 feet, so its summers are cooler than they are in Phoenix. As for the winter, it’s not unusual for Sedona to enjoy pleasant, mid-50 and 60-degree days during this season.
- Whistler, Canada. The Canadian dollar is very weak right now in comparison to the U.S. dollar, so you’re likely to get more for your money by going north of the border. Whistler, a ski resort, offers a number of spectacular locations that are perfect for your destination wedding. For the best bargains on lodging, consider having your wedding in the fall, the off-season for Whistler.
- Hawaii. While Hawaii is not typically thought of as being a cheap place to visit, the competition for your destination wedding ceremony is pretty fierce here. This means that many of the hotels and resorts in Hawaii offer exceptional wedding packages in order to attract you and your guests.
- Jamaica. You’ll also find excellent destination wedding packages and competitive rates available at the resorts in this beautiful island nation especially at the all-inclusive. So make sure to shop around. Some resorts even offer a free wedding package for the couple if a minimum number of rooms are booked for a designated number of nights.
You can also expect to save on decorations and even the wedding itself. For example, if you choose to have an outdoor wedding on a beach or at a rustic ranch, you won’t need to splurge on expensive flowers. T
he natural beauty of your surroundings will usually be decoration enough. It’s also not unusual for resorts in popular destination wedding locations to offer extraordinary package deals. This is especially true of all-inclusives. Some of these deals even include a free ceremony and reception for a limited number of guests if the bride and groom commit to staying in the resort for at least three to seven nights.
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