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  • Writer's pictureShannon McAfee

The Average Cost of a Destination Wedding

If you're newly engaged, or have been engaged for a while but still in the planning process, you might be wondering, "what is the cost of a destination wedding?" Well, there are a lot of factors that affect the overall cost, but there are three main considerations.

Average Cost of a Destination Wedding

Our agency has worked with numerous couples over the past 10+ years and we have found that the average cost for our destination wedding couples is anywhere from $8000-$12000 total, which includes their travel expenses, accommodations, wedding and event details and possibly an excursion or two after the wedding. However, this number can fluctuate dramatically, up or down, depending on the factors below:

1. Wedding Location

Most couples we work with are looking for an all inclusive wedding in a tropical destination. Regardless of which destination you choose for your wedding, whether it's on a Caribbean Island or in Mexico, the following details are the biggest contributors to the overall cost of your destination wedding:

  • Cost of air travel to your destination wedding location

  • Type of resort: are you choosing an all inclusive resort, is it a luxury or mid-range resort?

  • Number of nights you intend to stay (make sure you know how soon before your wedding that you need to arrive)

2. Size of your wedding group

How many friends and family will realistically travel with you? The number of guests in your wedding group can quickly increase your overall budget if you have a per person cost for details such as:

  • Number of chairs needed for the ceremony plus the decor

  • Number of tables and chairs needed for a reception

  • Catering for the wedding reception and/or cocktail hour

  • Size of the wedding cake needed to accommodate the number of guests

Many resorts offer wedding packages based on a set number of guests, and then you pay a per person fee for the extra number of people attending. But, there are also completely customizable options based on the number of people you expect to attend.

3. Wedding details and Add Ons

Do you want a simple, no frills wedding ceremony and reception or do you want something more extravagant? All of these details and more will quickly add to your overall wedding budget:

  • Wedding ceremony and reception decor

  • Night before private cocktail hour or dinner for guests

  • Bridal bouquet and boutonniere (some wedding packages include simple options that are complementary, but there are always upgraded options for an additional fee)

  • Additional floral arrangements for the wedding party, ceremony and reception

  • Ceremony music

  • Reception music and entertainment

  • Catering options - plated dinner vs. a buffet, 3-hour wedding reception with dinner vs. a simple cocktail hour following the ceremony

  • Photography packages

  • Group excursions - many of our couples have booked a private group catamaran cruise the day after the wedding for a fun-filled day with their entire wedding group

  • Spa day for the bride and her wedding party

These are just a few important things to consider when working out the overall cost for your dream destination wedding. If you are ready to start looking at your options to figure out if a destination wedding is right for you, contact me today to get started!


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