What to Factor Into Your Destination Wedding Budget
What is your destination wedding budget? When we ask our couples this question, they’re usually clueless! And that’s okay—there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about destination weddings and how much you can expect to spend on one.
As a luxury travel specialist and destination wedding planner, I’m here to tell you the good news: destination weddings are actually less expensive than at-home weddings! There’s truly no good reason not to hop on a flight with your loved ones and get hitched in the middle of paradise. But if you’re looking for specifics, we’ve got you! Here’s all you need to know about the average destination wedding budget and what to factor into yours.
Average Destination Wedding Budget
Taking all the weddings we’ve booked for our couples into account, the average cost falls between $15,000 and $20,000 for a 50-75 person affair. That includes a wedding package, travel, a photographer, and minimal decor upgrades.
Resorts generally offer a few wedding packages, ranging from minimal to all-inclusive, depending on how extensive your wedding celebration will be. Some even offer a free wedding package if you stay for a certain number of nights with a minimum amount of guests!
However, even all-inclusive packages tend to be more affordable than your typical at-home wedding. For example, the all-inclusive destination wedding package from AMR Resorts costs $11,999 for an 80-100 person wedding (and even less for 50-79 people), while the average at-home wedding clocks in at $28,000, per The Knot.
Of course, even an all-inclusive package usually doesn’t have everything on a couple’s must-have list. Many opt to upgrade the resort’s decor. In addition, while many include bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for the couple, those same items for the wedding party and parents of the marriers are left out, as are floral centerpieces. So, in most cases, you’ll still need to budget for a florist. Entertainment is also a consideration since most packages don’t include a DJ or live band.
Still, we find most of our couples don’t spend very much on decor or flowers because, well, they don’t need to! In drop-dead gorgeous locations like the Mexican Caribbean, the backdrop of the destination is all the “decor” you need. You can let the white sands and sparkling sea take center stage and give your wallet a rest!
Comps and Benefits
When you enter a room contract with your resort, you can help offset your wedding expenses by earning comps (a.k.a. FREE rooms)! That’s money that will make its way back to you after the wedding per the number of rooms you booked. It’s simple: the more you book, the more you save!
Let’s say you booked 30 rooms, and your resort offered every 6th room for free, at a maximum of three rooms. You could easily save $5K+! We even planned a wedding in Aruba for a couple who got back $10K (!!!) for all the rooms they booked. That is HUGE.
While we can’t offer an exact number here since there are many variables to consider (length of your stay, lowest room category booked, cost of the actual room, etc.), it’s always helpful to know about this perk ahead of time.
If you have questions about your destination wedding budget, we’d love to hear ‘em! With nearly eight years of industry experience, we walk couples through the planning and booking process so they can create memories to last a lifetime. Get in touch today!
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