How to Save on Destination Weddings

Couple running on beach with suitcases

Getty Images / Colin Anderson Productions Pty Ltd

Destination weddings are a popular alternative to a traditional wedding and for many reasons. There are many benefits to planning a destination wedding, including offering you and your guests a unique experience as well as potentially saving you money. But just like any wedding in any location, it's possible to get carried away and overspend on things that aren't exactly necessary.

Plan Ahead

Since you're likely extending your stay for a dual wedding and honeymoon extravaganza, be sure to pack everything you'll need to enjoy the big day as well as fun in the sun. Skip the overpriced sunscreen and toiletries that you'll find at your resort and bring your own. Travel-sized products can be found at affordable prices at stores near home, so be sure to stock up before jetting off to get hitched.

Choose an Off-Day

Since it's likely that your guests will be traveling to be with you on your big day, couples should consider choosing a weekday for the wedding festivities. There are often savings to be had on non-peak days, and since your guests are already taking off time to celebrate with you, it makes sense to go for the option that yields the most savings.

Save on Extras

One of the most popular things for couples and their guests to do at resorts is to take advantage of optional off-site excursions, and there's a good reason for that. Whether it’s solely for the newlyweds to unwind or for the whole gang to go on an adventure, it’s a great way to reconnect and take advantage of your travels. These experiences are often offered at an additional price, and while they offer unique and exciting opportunities for you to try something new, they tend to come at a premium price. A good tip for destination wedding travelers is to book them in advance to save money. "Rather than wait until the last day and see what’s available, pre-booking excursions will lock in advanced pricing and provide you with time to plan with your guests and explore various options.

Choose a Local Option

Just like when working domestically, sourcing local food and florals is a great way to save money on your destination wedding. Seek out a local florist or opt for some regional flavor with your resort caterer. Sourcing locally for your wedding will save both transportation costs and the headache of coordinating out-of-town vendors.

Consider All-Inclusive

All-inclusive resorts may seem extravagant, but they’re actually a great way to save money and stick to a budget. When you choose an all-inclusive, you essentially get your whole wedding package for one flat rate and there are often concessions and promotions that can save hundreds -- even thousands -- of dollars when booking a group through a destination wedding service. All-inclusive resorts, like the El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya, Mexico are incredibly popular options for destination wedding couples for this reason. 

What to Nix

If you're looking for ways to cut costs on your destination wedding, skip the unnecessary favors and gifts. Not only are decorative knickknacks generally a waste of money (they typically end up in the trash) but you'll likely need to pay extra shipping fees or additional baggage fees if transporting them yourself. 

Hopefully, with the help of these tips, you'll be able to plan the destination wedding of your dreams on a budget you can afford.