How To Budget Your Destination Wedding
How To Budget Your Destination Wedding
Destination weddings are not just for celebrities. You can travel to a beautiful location and have the wedding of your dreams, even on a budget. The biggest tip is to give yourself a lot of time in advance to plan, research, and shop around online so you can find the best deals on everything to make your day complete. Here are some other tips for a more affordable destination wedding:
Become a Negotiator
Step out of your comfort zone if you have to and ask for free upgrades and reduced prices. You might be surprised how much you can get discounted from venues, vendors, group airline discounts, photography packages, and much more. Likewise, ask for substitutions. The venues and vendors have probably worked with several budgeted destination wedding parties and can offer you a less expensive alcohol, a particular flavorful salad instead of the most expensive, in-season flowers, etc.
Package Deals & Travel Deals
Take the time to price out both package deals and separately on hotels and airfare. One isn't always better than the other. It's worth the time invested if you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars. There may be special airline travel packages, and look to Kayak.com or vayama.com for international travel and Kayak's fare predictor that helps you determine of flights might increase or decrease in price.
Save Money on Paper
DIY your invitations, thank you cards, and more to save a lot of money on designing and printing. Or even better, go with something unique and unconventional whenever possible. Perhaps upload a fun or beautifully done personal video and email the link to everyone you want to invite, asking them to Save The Date. It's not your traditional paper invite, but they'll understand and you'll have a great video invitation to cherish forever.
Check out the off season for travel, venue booking, and clothing sales. Buy things you'll need the next year from seasonal clearance sales. Be flexible and book your venue for a wedding date that's outside of the busiest wedding months. And if your venue allows it, get married during the week instead of the weekend so you can take advantage of mid-week pricing for both the venue and the lodging.
Venues and Hotels
When researching where to have your wedding, keep in mind there are beautiful villas and more where you can have both your wedding and reception hosted, and sometimes even the guests. You might want to take the whole week for the getaway with friends and family so you can do your honeymoon in reverse (saving money too) and spend special time with everyone. A wedding planner can truly help you find just such a gorgeous, all-inclusive locale. Otherwise, try to plan your wedding and reception together in a place close to your rentals so there are fewer travel considerations, delays, and costs.
Try to get guests to stay in the same rental(s) so you can work out a deal for all, a shuttle service, shared cabs, etc. A buyout of a resort for several days may be easier on you if you're collecting money from your guests towards the fees. You may also get a partial buyout on a case by case basis, so use that wedding planner or those sharpened negotiation skills to see what you can get to give you privacy, but not make you carry the load of an entire resort buyout.
Also keep an eye out for local special events, holidays and festivals, spring break, peak tourism seasons, and more. Check with the venue and tourism sites for anything that might cost you a booking or increase your costs and always try to book early if you're planning on a peak season wedding. Being flexible in planning your wedding date can be key to getting what you want at the right price. There are sweet spots in booking when the inclement weather is over but the resort isn't in full swing yet, leaving you negotiation room and tons of privacy.
Dress For Less
You may wish to bargain shop for dresses and suits by shopping during the off-season, getting a wedding dress from a couple of seasons ago, shopping at a local (but cheaper) Quinceañera or prom shop for pretty gowns and bridesmaid dresses, going with a shorter dress for a more casual event, not looking at actual bridal gowns, etc.
Saved By The Vendors
Two things can really add to your costs: flying in your favorite vendors (like a wedding photographer) and the wedding decor. So it should be an easy solution to consider not flying vendors in at all and going with a local, well-reviewed or referred florist, band, and photographer instead. Supporting the local economy is a way to thank that special area for accommodating you as well as helping future brides like you will get the wedding of their dreams too.
When researching your wedding venue, find out what surrounds you that can be even better than buying more decor. Use the backdrop you are already paying for that's probably very beautiful. Flowers can be just plain expensive but also watch what wedding date you pick in regards to vendors as well because anything close to a flower-heavy holiday or local festival will increase your costs.
Consider only going with local, in season flowers and decor made from local trees (like olive branches from a Tuscan orchard, green is in!). And you might even be able to settle on a suitable substitution for fresh flower arrangements working with a local florist or wedding planner who can get you things in bulk like shells for a beach wedding, green and lush branches, ribbons and candles galore, colorful fruit centerpieces, and more.
Registry and Honeymoon
Instead of asking for a swanky blender, you'll create a registry where family and friends (especially those who can't make the trip) can help pay for meals, travel, accommodations, fun activities, etc. Since you may be there an entire week, it's essentially a honeymoon and wedding in one, so take advantage of all the area has to offer without breaking the bank.
Always Plan For Extras
You'll need to set aside some extra cash to cover things you overlooked or that come up suddenly. Don't forget there will be fees for passports and travel document fees, taxes and duties, visa fees for some countries, extra transportation, etc.
Like Christmas buying, if you do it throughout the year you tend to want to buy more as the time gets closer, even if you've already checked everything off your list. It's exciting getting married and you'll think of one more thing you HAVE to have... and then one more, and then one more... So try to stick to the budget and think of the payoff. Anything left can be put toward having fun while away or towards your home when you return.
Hire a Great Wedding Planner
And for our final tip, that we think is the most important, hire a great wedding planner! You might think this adds too much to your bottom line, but honestly, a great wedding planner will be able to offer you solutions that trim costs on venues and vendors. For our clients, we form a special relationship and give you as much or as little help as you need. Savvy has handpicked local vendors and venues and can bridge the language barrier too. And we will completely reduce your stress so you can enjoy your destination wedding in Italy or Miami, Florida.