How to Plan a Destination Wedding on a Budget


Planning a fairy-tale wedding in some far-off romantic destination is quite trendy. There are some who dream of a ceremony on white-sandy beach, others would love a rustic green atmosphere surrounded by mountains, or a cliff overlooking the ocean. A destination wedding can be as lavish or simple as you wish. There are numerous possible ways to manage your budget for a dreamy destination wedding. But you must have an extensive knowledge about how to plan a destination wedding.

Steps and Advice for Planning a Destination Wedding


Destination of Desire

There are a lot of important interrelated factors like theme, time, travel and an overall budget, associated to a wedding destination. Choose your nuptial destination, keeping your individual style and budget in view. If you love that sound of water, look for a peaceful tropical paradise, a shopaholic couple might choose Paris or a foodie may opt for a place like Tuscany, Italy with so many restaurants. Or an adventurous couple might look for places like Costa Rica or Thailand.


Time to Travel

If you are planning to travel in popular vacation season, you may face lots of issues like tourist’s crowd, no bookings available in the hotels. Sometimes you get the reservations but the sky high prices at this peak time, may disturb your whole wedding budget. Destination wedding in shoulder season, may prove budget friendly and enjoyable for all. Choosing off-season for destination wedding is best in many ways like low prices, no crowd and no reservation issues.


Weather Update

It is very important to be aware of the weather conditions in that particular place especially during the days of wedding. For example, July to October are the months of severe hurricanes in Caribbean. So those planning a wedding there in these months, should take precautions to avoid any inconvenience. There are some ideal places that get uncomfortably hot, like Italy gets in July and August. So you must keep all these facts in mind.


See It Yourself

Don’t just sit back and leave the rest on the wedding planners in the far off destination. The best to do, as wedding experts suggest, is to visit the destined place earlier to check all the preparations regarding venue, florists, caterers, photographers, accommodation for guests. Bride and groom must visit the local beauty salon and must take a trial of the “big day” look. If you have planned some activities for your guests, monitoring them prior to the event is highly recommended.


Is Your Marriage Legal?

How to plan a destination wedding, without knowing its legal status? It’s impossible! A destination wedding is not just marrying in a picturesque environment. You have to follow the local marriage law of your selected destination, as each country has its own conditions, that must be fulfilled. Most countries demand documents like birth certificates, passport, medical tests and a specific time period spent in that place prior to marriage. France is the only country that demands 40 days long residence before marriage.


Know Your Vendor’s Worth

It’s important to know the worth of your vendors. It would be good to meet your vendors in person, before wedding and know their abilities. After all, you are going to hand over a lot to them. In case it’s not possible, then go for a video chat to discuss all the important factors before you sign the contract. Another option is to hire your hometown vendor to deal with the important tasks like photography, décor, makeup and to supervise other vendors at the wedding.


What Are You Paying for?

Before you sign the contract and make a down payment to the resort owners, know completely about the wedding package you are being offered. There are some resorts who charge only the location fee, and you have to pay more for all other arrangements like décor, catering etc. While some offer a wholesome wedding package including all other requirements. Choosing the best is up to you.


Inform Your Attendants

For a destination wedding, you must inform earlier to all your bridal party and attendants about the decided destination. There might be some who would not be able to join you because of tight budget or any other personal reason. And you must not feel bad for their absence. As you are already doing a lot of expenditures for guest’s convenience, addition of a few more can really mess up your whole budget.


Take Care of Your Guests

How to plan a destination wedding? Never forget your guests. As you are the one, responsible to arrange all the travel and accommodation tasks, picking and dropping the guests from airport also comes in your agenda. Try your best to serve them all in an organized way. Once you have reached the wedding destination, host your guests in a nicely arranged welcome dinner, rehearsals and brunch too.


Offer Welcome Items

Giving away welcome bags or welcome baskets would be a nice gesture. A welcome basket should have items like a bug spray, tanning lotion, water and anything that you want to add personally. Other than this, a traditional welcome note attached with itinerary details would please your guests for sure.


Entertain Your Guests

It’s one of the biggest responsibilities of a host to keep the guests entertained. Plan some fun activities for your guests. Guests might get bored of sitting all the time and doing nothing. Look for some local excursions or outdoor activities like trekking, hiking or shopping to keep your guests involved and entertained.


Dress for the Weather and Place

What to wear on your big day, should be decided carefully. Not only your dress, but the whole wedding party’s dresses should be chosen carefully. Select some light and cool fabrics for all if it’s going to be hot and humid days. A bride should prefer wearing shorter dresses or dress without tails, otherwise it may get stained in an outdoor wedding event. Wearing high heels in a grassy plot can make it hard for a bride to walk.


Be Prepared and Have Plan B

You just can’t rely on a weather app or other weather forecast sources. Weather is the most unpredictable thing. An unexpected shower or windstorm may ruin your big day, if it’s an outdoor event. Always be prepared and keep a plan B in mind. There must be some alternative place, arranged prior hand, for facing such situation. Or you must request the resort management to postpone or delay the ceremony for a specific time period.


Right Expenditures Record: Know Exchange Rate

Whosoever plans a destination wedding in the places like Europe, always convert your currency into dollars. This way, you would determine the right facts and figures about the money that you are spending there. Many times, people do not take this financial precaution and could not get the exact record of the expenses. You may misconceive a destination wedding to be cheaper and affordable than a wedding in your hometown.


Take a Break

Destination weddings are more tiring than a wedding in your hometown. Avoid over scheduling the day with other irrelevant activities. Do not plan too much in a day. The most ideal situation would be to plan only one event in a day. Give space to your guests, to relax a bit and let them schedule the rest of the day themselves.


Know Ways to Cut Down Your Budgets

Following these wedding budget tips may trim down a lot of expenses for you.

  • A lot can be saved just by choosing the off-season of the year for wedding. Tourism sites of wedding destinations guide you all about the annual festivities in that area.

  • Look for budget travel deals. A comprehensive research of travel packages would make it easy for you to choose. You can also go for special airline packages for destination weddings.

  • Choose the destination that has a direct flight facility. Otherwise you will have to pay more on transatlantic flight, that may disturb the whole budget.

  • A destination wedding is best enjoyed with close family and friends. Cut down the guests list. Invite only the close ones for a peaceful and budget friendly nuptial.

  • You can save a lot of bucks, if you know the art of negotiation. You should ask for various discount packages in accommodation, travel, food and all. Who knows you get one.

  • How to plan a destination wedding with so many shopping expenditures? You can save a great deal of money just by shopping for wedding in off-season. Shop for summer wedding in winter or vice versa.

  • You have to spend a lot on wedding invitations. Simply cut it down by opting for DIY method. Form cards and invitations yourself or with friends’ help, to lessen the burden.

  • Choosing a picturesque, natural destination can trim down the expenses. As it may also work as a backdrop. You would not have to spend extra on lavishing wedding backdrop.

  • Minus the flowers from your wedding décor list. Go for other options like, balloons, paper flowers, pinwheel, fruits, seashells etc. These are cost effective as compared to roses or other flowers.

Click here to know more things to bear in mind: