Destination weddings are an unforgettable way to tie the knot. But before you put together your itinerary, it’s important to crunch the numbers!
So, how much does a destination wedding actually cost? From travel to accommodation and group activities, there are a number of things to factor into your overall budget.
Read on as we unpack exactly how much you should expect to fork out for a destination wedding, including some of the key expenses you’ll need to consider.
The Average Cost of a Destination Wedding
When it comes to the cost of a destination wedding, the answer is… it depends! Your destination wedding budget will be influenced by a number of factors including your chosen location, guest numbers, and whether or not you’re chipping in for accommodation, activities, and other expenses.
With this being said, the average cost of a destination wedding is reported to be anywhere between $10,000 – $15,000 for an intimate wedding, and between $25,000 and $30,000 for up to 50 guests. Let’s talk about where this number comes from!
Travel and Accommodation
The first expense for a destination wedding will be travel and accommodation costs. This includes your airfares, lodging, and any other transport needed for the duration of your stay.
Costs for travel and accommodation will vary significantly depending on the distance, time of year and destination itself. If you’re planning your wedding during peak holiday season, you can expect these costs to be more expensive – so if you’re trying to save some extra dollars, consider choosing a date in the low season instead.
Accommodation will also be a significant expense for your guests, so try to choose a location with some budget-friendly options. Many hotels offer discounted rates for group bookings, and may even be able to negotiate added extras like a honeymoon suite or free breakfast. Read our guide on how to book a hotel room block for your wedding here!
Venue and Wedding Package
Most destination wedding venues will offer all-inclusive packages that cover the essentials needed to plan your wedding. This will typically be your biggest expense and usually includes the venue hire fee, ceremony, and reception decor, officiant, catering, and entertainment.
All-inclusive packages are a great way to manage your budget, and often work out cheaper than booking each service separately. Just be sure to carefully review what each package includes to find the best fit for your requirements.
Destination Wedding Planner
Hiring a destination wedding planner can be a lifesaver, especially if you’re planning your wedding from abroad! They’ll have the knowledge and connections to navigate the local wedding industry, handle the logistics, and ensure everything runs smoothly.
The average cost of a destination wedding planner hovers between $2000 and $4000 (or higher for luxury events). While this is an optional expense, it can definitely alleviate stress and allow you to enjoy your wedding without worrying about the finer details.
Marriage License and Legal Fees
Depending on your chosen destination, there may be certain legal fees associated with obtaining a marriage license – sometimes a few hundred dollars. These costs can vary greatly from country to country, so be sure to research the specific requirements of your location.
Destination weddings offer unique opportunities for group experiences, such as pre-wedding excursions, welcome dinners, or post-wedding activities. These extras can significantly enhance your guests’ experience, but will also need to be included in your budget!
Many local tours, activities, and restaurants will offer special rates for group bookings, so be sure to see what deals are available to get the best value for money.
Capturing the special moments of your destination wedding is a must! Hiring a professional photographer will ensure you have memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Costs for wedding photography can vary depending on the destination and the package you choose, but typically range between $3000 – $5000. You’ll be able to save money by hiring a local photographer, rather than paying additional travel costs to fly someone in.
Destination Wedding Planning 101
Once you’ve mapped out your destination wedding budget, it’s time to start planning the perfect itinerary for you and your guests. Read our top tips for planning a destination wedding, or explore our destination wedding etiquette guide here!