Destination Weddings On A Budget

If you are here today looking for tips on how to plan a destination wedding on a small budget, you have come to the right place. 

For all my beach lovers, I am assuming having a destination is your ideal dream and this is absolutely the route you want to go when it comes to your wedding! 

Destination weddings allow couples to double-up on the experience and enjoy both a wedding and vacation all in one, alongside their most beloved friends and family.

If you’re looking to have the destination wedding of your dreams, with blue skies and crystal clear waters but are on a small budget get ready for our tips. 

We are excited to share everything we know about how to plan a destination wedding on a budget.

Whether you are looking to get married in St Lucia somewhere, or you are planning an elegant wedding in Greece, you will need a working wedding budget. 

Lucky for you, we have plenty of budget-saving tips for planning a destination wedding on a small budget. 

And remember, just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a lavish and beautiful ceremony.

Couples everywhere truly appreciate hearing about my best tips on hosting cheap destination weddings that don’t break the bank.

After all, you could put that extra cash to good use such as a down payment for a house.

Savvy couples know that planning any low-cost destination wedding requires a functioning budget.  

A quick wedding budget checklist such as this one will help you determine if you can really afford a destination wedding but at the end of the day, I truly recommend our Ultimate Wedding Budget bundle.

Grab this wedding budget spreadsheet printable to help meet all your wedding planning needs. Here's how to make a wedding budget that's perfect for you, without skimping on the fun stuff. Check our printable Wedding Budget Templates!

It’s designed to meet all your wedding planning needs and ensure you cover all your wedding expenses leaving little to no surprises. 

Making a budget for your wedding can help you avoid spending more than you planned.

A budget can also help you make sure you have money left over for other financial goals.

You are here because you want to learn more about how to plan a destination wedding on a small budget!

With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips on how to make the most of your budget when planning your wedding from afar.

Can you really plan a destination wedding on a small budget?

Depending on the location, what your wedding style and theme are and what you are looking for, yes you can really plan a destination wedding on a small budget.

And I will go through everything you need to know about how to have an affordable destination wedding!

You might not get the feel of a traditional wedding at home, but an all-inclusive destination wedding is definitely smaller and gives off an intimate ambiance feel. 

Planning a destination wedding lowers the cost of a wedding because your numbers are usually smaller.

Not everyone can travel out so you might find yourself with a wedding guest list of about 25 to 30 people.

A lot of this will depend on where you wish to host your destination wedding. 

And even if you choose to go all out on your Wedding DJ, photographer, wedding decorations and wedding dress, it would still cost you less to have a destination wedding. 

Typically with a destination wedding, couples are usually asked to only cover their flight and hotel stay and possibly a small fee for booking a restaurant.

Other costs may include the ceremony location and the officiant. 

Your wedding guests are then given special rates which also cover their stay and food at a resort for the week.

Any wedding upgrades done are typically an extra cost to the couple!

But this is true for most resorts and other high-end resorts may have additional costs.

If you are in need of ways to plan the most affordable destination wedding, we have you covered. 

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Best tips to plan a destination wedding on a budget

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Tips for Planning Destination Weddings on a Budget

Today we will be going over a few great tips you can use to plan affordable destination weddings on a budget.

To avoid overspending and draining your bank accounts before you even say your “I dos”, it’s best you follow our simple tips. 

Making your money work in order to have the wedding of your dreams is our goal today. 

If you are recently engaged and you are trying to figure out how to plan a destination wedding on a small budget, keep reading. 

Like I tell all my other couples, in order to stay on budget in the first place, you need to create a wedding budget that works for you and your partner.

One budget unfortunately does not fit all. 

Once you have a realistic ballpark of what you are willing to spend, then go ahead and budget for your destination wedding with little stress. 

Check out our tips below to help you plan the best destination wedding on a budget without sacrificing quality. 

9 Tips For Planning The Most Affordable Destination Wedding

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1. Cheap wedding destinations abroad

Finding destination wedding locations on a budget does not need to be challenging or difficult. 

The best way to find affordable destination wedding locations is to search for locations that offer affordable wedding packages. 

Ideally, those that are all-inclusive. 

Look at where you want your wedding to be.

And remember destination can mean a few different things. 

When someone says destination wedding they automatically think abroad but it doesn’t have to be.

If you are just looking to have a change from the local scene think about maybe having your wedding in your own country.

Of course, if your heart is set on sun-drenched beaches there are budget options available as well.

Some places are willing to offer you free wedding packages if you manage to reserve 10 or more rooms at the resort. 

In order to see if a place is the right fit for your affordable destination wedding on a budget, you need to shop around. 

So where are the cheapest places to have a destination wedding?

  • Mexico
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Dominican Republic
  • Bahamas
  • Puerto Rico

You absolutely do not want your destination wedding to break the bank—for you or your wedding guests—so consider the bottom line before getting your heart set on a specific location.

I suggest circling back to your budget before committing. 

Here is another list of the best vacation spots for couples that could help when planning your destination wedding. 

2. Think all-Inclusive for bigger savings

You might think that planning a destination wedding might be easy.

But there are a lot of moving parts involved and it is even more difficult if you are not on location to oversee the details. 

Obviously, you want everything to be perfect. 

But if you trying to plan a destination wedding on a small budget it’s best to book an all-inclusive bundle to help cut costs. 

When looking for the perfect location for your wedding overseas, try to find something that covers everything such as the cost of:

  • Your flights
  • Hotel stay
  • Excursions
  • Wedding venue

This will totally help you save money on your wedding! 

As mentioned earlier, some resorts are willing to throw in a wedding package the more room bookings you can secure with them. 

So find ways to entice your family and friends to book at your actual location. 

How to Plan a Destination Wedding! Having a destination wedding costs less and is easier to plan then a traditional wedding at home. So how do we do it? Here are a few ways to cut costs and save money on your destination wedding.

Via: Style Me Pretty/ Photography: Gina Francesca

3. Timing is huge when looking for affordable destination weddings on a budget

Timing is everything when planning affordable destination weddings on a budget.

Regardless of whether you are having a home or destination wedding, the key to getting the best deals is timing.

Think low season or off-season! 

And if possible forget weekends if you’re looking to save every penny you can!

There is a huge difference between having a morning or evening ceremony, and this alone can have a huge contrast in pricing so look at all your options before choosing your wedding date & time of day.

If you decide to book your wedding at a resort or location that is in the middle of peak season, remember that many hotels and airlines might have higher prices.

This alone will eat into your wedding budget. 

Not only that, it can be difficult for guests to book rooms during peak times if places are constantly getting booked. 

This can also be a turn-off as guests may want to shop around to find cheap accommodation meaning not everyone will be under one roof for your beach wedding. 

I definitely encourage you to look into off-peak seasons to find the best prices for your guests’ airfare, stays, and lower rates at your preferred venues.

As we mentioned, having affordable destination weddings on a budget is all about your timing. 

4. Booking Your Flights & Accommodation for Your Budget Destination Wedding

If you have chosen to go abroad, then booking flights and accommodation is going to be a big priority.

Once you decide on your destination location, ask them for special rates and discounts. 

Usually, this can be accommodated if you meet their room booking policy. 

They may require you to guarantee a certain number of rooms in order to qualify for special perks such as free wedding packages, free stay for the couple or even free decorations. 

The resort may be able to offer you free packages because they will make their money from the room accommodations. 

And many other all-inclusive resorts offer free or complimentary wedding packages, simply for choosing their resort for your destination wedding.

There may still be taxes and fees involved with free packages, but they’re still one of the best ways to have a wonderful wedding while saving big. 

When you make the arrangements, the resorts will set you up with the desired number of rooms which will be blocked and set aside for your guests. 

Simply give your guests the special room booking code provided for them to book their stay. 

I highly suggest you encourage your guests to book at the wedding location to get you all the perks. 

{For those booking a resort, the flight and room are usually bundled up}.

If you are planning a beach wedding on a budget, you might also want to consider looking into special travel apps to help save some money. 

A great app for penny-conscious flyers is Hopper.

It calculates when the price of tickets is at its lowest and lets you know to book your tickets!

Here are a few more apps you can use when planning affordable destination weddings on a budget.

Sites like Skyscanner and even AirBnB are great too if you want to get some of the best deals when booking accommodations.

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5. Negotiate your destination wedding rates

Even if you think you’ve found a great deal make sure to get your haggling hat on.

You can negotiate anything if you simply just ask. 

For couples looking to host affordable destination weddings, I really suggest that you make the effort to negotiate as much as you can. 

Not everyone is that comfortable with haggling but it’s a must if you’re looking to get the best price you possibly can to make the wedding of your dreams come true.

So if you are not great at negotiations bring along a family member that lives to haggle to help you, even if it’s just so you can up your own haggling game by learning from a pro.

Wedding planners are good at negotiating and so are travel agents. 

I suggest looking up exactly what fees are mandatory at whatever location you are looking to host your nuptials.

And anything that seems negotiable, try to see if a discount may be offered.

I know one of my friends got her open bar fee for her ceremony waived at one of the best wedding resorts in st Lucia.

They were also able to get her makeup artist vendor fee reduced AND offered her an upgrade to a honeymoon suite.  

As you can see, it truly doesn’t hurt to ask and negotiate as this could save you a lot of money.

The larger your guest list the more likely they will accommodate your requests as they do not want to miss out on income.

Be sure to grab this wedding budget bundle to help save for your big day! 

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6. Bundle your honeymoon and destination wedding

Speaking of getting a free honeymoon, I suggest killing two birds with one stone. 

When couples ask me if it is cheaper to have a destination wedding, my answer is always yes. 

Make your dollars work for you by stealing deals that offer a lot more than just the basics. 

Finding the perfect cheap destination wedding location is not easy. 

So once you find it, why not have your honeymoon there too?

Once the reception wraps, scoot off to a secluded suite, second resort or an Airbnb to get some alone time with your new spouse.

If you want your honeymoon to feel a little different than your actual wedding, I suggest switching up rooms and even a different part of the hotel with another view to make it more special. 

Read this to learn how to honeymoon on a budget!

Honeymoon locations to look into. Where are the best honeymoon vacations in the world? / Where to travel for your honeymoon // Romantic Honeymoon Destinations / Affordable honeymoon destinations / Get ready to explore the most romantic destinations and spend some wonderful time. Choose your dream destination for your honeymoon or a romantic break to remember forever!. Beautiful romantic destinations.

Honeymoon in the Maldives

7. Skip the extras and go natural for your destination wedding on a budget

The great thing about destination weddings is that natural settings are generally amazingly beautiful.

We absolutely recommend skipping the unnecessary décor items and letting your locale speak for itself.

Take advantage of the backdrop and save some money by forgetting about the extra decorations or flower arrangements and just let your choice of venue be the focal point.

By highlighting the beauty around you as your wedding backdrop, you also cut out any extra shipping fees or baggage transportation issues you would possibly incur if travelling with extra decor items.

But what if you want your wedding to look a little more personal? 

Then you can absolutely find affordable wedding decorations on Amazon if you really wanted to tie in a few personal touches.

And for even more simple beautiful wedding decorations at affordable prices, check out the Dollar Tree wedding section. 

Another cool idea is to grab yourself some of these beach shades or beach tents to have your guests hang out in, while you do your family photos! 

But honestly, if you can skip the extras, be sure to do exactly that.

8. Keep an eye out for the exchange rates

One way you can get caught out and pay plenty of money is by the local exchange rates.

If you have found the perfect wedding venue but find that the exchange rates there don’t work in your favour then you may want to reconsider how you pay for things there.

It’s always best to research exchange rates before booking anything as well before you find your budget being eaten into by charges.

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9. Local laws & cultures at your destination location

Another thing to make sure your research fully is the local laws and culture in the country that you’ve chosen.

Make sure you have the relevant paperwork and any applications submitted in advance.

Also, keep an eye out for any extra fees that might occur with getting married in a different country as there are lots of different practices depending on where you choose.

Be sure to check out this post where we discuss hidden wedding costs for all couples planning a wedding to be aware of. 

There you have it, our best tips for how to plan a destination wedding on a small budget!

We hope you enjoyed it. 

Did we leave anything else out?

Be sure to Pin it to your wedding board. 

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Is a destination wedding cheaper?

With all these things in mind, it’s definitely possible to have destination weddings on a budget and still be able to save all your money.

Basically, a destination wedding is usually cheaper than most traditional weddings because you are dealing with much fewer guests.

The more people you invite for a wedding, the more expensive things get. 

Destination weddings are definitely growing in popularity because of the cheaper price tag associated with them.

Most wedding venues require that you have a minimum of 100 people which means you are spending more.

Go ahead and create a wedding budget and stick to it as much as possible. 

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How To Plan A Destination Wedding On A Small Budget