Considering a Destination Wedding?
By Amanda Roberts, Owner of The Vacation Chic
So, you’re thinking about saying “I do” at a gorgeous destination? Maybe you’ve always pictured marrying the love of your life on white-sand beaches with crystal blue water. While there are many benefits to having a destination wedding, it’s important to consider some KEY things before making the final decision.
A destination wedding is typically defined as any wedding that is 200 miles or more away from your home. If you live in the United States and are considering a beach or tropical wedding, the best value for your group will be an all-inclusive resort. These properties, usually located in the Caribbean and Mexico, are extravagant and a viable option for you and your guests.
There are three types of all-inclusive properties. First, there are adults-only resorts. Adults-only resorts are precisely what the name entails as these properties do not allow children. So, if you are not planning on having children at your wedding, this is probably the best option. The food, entertainment, and nightlife tend to be more upscale and cater to adults. There are events like DJ pool parties, cocktail fusion mixology classes, and cigar rolling just to name a few!
Second, are family-friendly resorts. These resorts allow children and tend to have facilities catered towards kids. From the menus to the entertainment, families of all sizes and ages can enjoy their all-inclusive vacation.
The third type of all-inclusive resorts offers the best of both worlds. A family-friendly resort with an adults-only section or connected resort. Here you can invite all of your guests to stay in paradise, children included.
So, how much will it cost? Not unlike traditional weddings, destination weddings will have a wide budget range depending on how simple or extravagant you picture your big day. Keep in mind, just like local weddings, the more guests you have, the larger the budget will need to be. On average, expect to pay between $5,000 – $15,000 for a destination wedding of approximately 30 guests. The accommodations pricing for your guests will also vary greatly depending on the time of year and the destination you choose. Peak travel season is the end of December through Easter. Mid-season runs through summer. Low season is September through early December. If you’re looking to keep your costs down, a wedding during the low season would definitely help.
Just as the actual ceremony will vary, so will the cost of the stay for your guests. On average you can expect guests to pay between $1,200 – $1,800 per person for a 4-night package. As you can imagine, this will somewhat limit the actual number of guests that will attend your wedding. As a rule of thumb, you could estimate 60% of the invited guests to attend, but again, this will vary.
The best way to find out if a destination wedding is right for you is to contact a travel agent that specializes in them. They can provide information that will help you paint a realistic picture of how everything will work logistically. The agent will handle all of the travel details for you and your guests, including transportation to and from the resort, as well as excursions and group activities. They will also be available to you and your entire group during travel should any unexpected circumstances arise. This will free up your time, allowing you to concentrate on the actual wedding planning, or just enjoying your time together as a newly engaged couple.
Destination weddings are a great way to allow you to spend extra time with your guests. Plus, take out some of the stress! Everything will be taken care of by the resort, your wedding planner, and your travel agent. By having a team of people handling everything for you all you’ll need to do is relax, marry your true love, and have a drink (or two) by the pool!