Sample Budgets For A Destination Wedding

Bali Wedding 1012Destination weddings are just like traditional at home weddings in that you can spend as much or as little as you want.

One of the biggest pros of having a destination wedding is that they are suitable for just about any kind of budget.

Whether you can spend $3,000 or $30,000, there is a destination and a resort that will suitable.

In this article, we are going to go over some sample destination wedding budgets under various price ranges so you can get an idea of what you can expect to spend on yours.

Destination Wedding Under 5K

Main Focus: DIY is the rule with this kind of budget

Yes, a destination wedding can be done for less than $5,000 including airfare and hotel. It may not be fancy, but it can be done provided that you are willing to DIY invitations, wedding favors, and gifts.

A bride recently wrote “We flew down to Sarasota, Florida with our minister, and got married at a local beach. We had a bunch of friends with us and rented a trio band. Instead of an expensive reception, we opted to take everyone out to dinner. The whole thing, including the airfare, hotel, dinner, and food cost us less than $2500”.

Destination Wedding Under 10K

Main Focus: Go with a free wedding package at an all inclusive resort to maximize your money

With a budget under $10,000, your best bet will be to work with one of the popular all inclusive resorts that offers a free wedding package.

As an example, take a look at the free wedding package at Sandals Resort. The Beautiful Beginnings package includes a boutonniere, table centerpiece, wedding cake, wedding planner, help with marriage documents, pre-recorded music, a wine & chilled hors d’oeuvres cocktail reception for bride, groom and up to six guests.

The above package is free so long as you stay 6 nights at the resort, which will cost you about $5,000. There are no photos included in this package but you can certainly opt to buy some. Alternately, you can have a friend take photos at the wedding.

Here is a sample budget for a wedding that includes up to 10 guests.

Sample destination wedding budget under $10,000 (10k) for 10 guests
Item Budget
Wedding Package with six night stay at resort

$5000

Small reception dinner for 10 wedding guests

$1500

Airfare and transportation

$1000

Bride and groom attire

$1000

Rings

$300

Marriage license fees

$300

Photos

$500

Wedding favors (DIY)

$100

Stationery (invites, stamps, envelopes)

$300

Total Destination Wedding Budget

$10,000

Destination Weddings Under 20K

Main Focus: Stick to the all inclusive resort, but choose a better package and go for the nicer extras

With a budget under $20,000, we would still recommend getting married at an all inclusive resort like the one mentioned above. Except, now you can afford to have more wedding guests, a dinner reception, and some great looking extras (ex. spa treatments, wedding decorations, and upgraded ceremony location).

Going with the same example of a Sandals Resort, you can now afford some of the other wedding packages that include upgraded flowers, wedding structure, place cards, and even hanging lanterns.

If an all inclusive resort is not your thing, then consider renting a villa for the week.

Jennifer Klein, a recent bride, says “I did not want my wedding at an all inclusive resort. I wanted more intimate surroundings and definitely more privacy. So we rented a large house with a private pool that was close to the beach in Jamaica. Our ceremony was a romantic sunset wedding at the beach that was only two blocks away. Plus, we hosted the reception at the house with a catered buffet”.

Here is her budget:

Sample destination wedding budget under $20,000 (20k) for 30 guests
Item Budget
House rental for the week

$7000

Airfare and transportation

$1500

Photographer

$2000

Wedding attire

$1500

Food, grocery and miscellaneous

$1000

Rings

$500

Catering

$3000

Decorations

$1000

Gifts

$1000

Marriage license fees

$300

Wedding favors

$300

Stationery (invites, stamps, envelopes)

$500

Total destination wedding budget

$19,700

Destination Weddings Under 30k

Main Focus: You can afford a wedding planner (kind of), so use them to help you find vendors.

If your budget is between 20-30K, then you have many options available to you.

At this price point, you should consider hiring a wedding planner for a couple of weeks to help you organize a great destination wedding.

Kathryn T., a recent bride said “With my $27k budget, I could not afford a full time wedding planner so I decided to hire one to help me find the vendors and negotiate the contracts. Any follow-up after that was my responsibility. The hardest part about planning a wedding abroad is that you don’t know who is good and who isn’t. By getting a wedding planner to help me resolve this, I was relieved and free to plan the rest of the wedding on my own”.

Here is her budget (she splurged on photography and the caterer)

Sample destination wedding budget under $30,000 (30k) for 50 guests
Item Budget
Invitations, Announcements and Thank You Notes

$400

Flowers

$800

Photographer

$3800

Music/Entertainment

$1200

Officiant and ceremony fees

$800

Limo

$350

Gifts for attendants

$600

Rings

$1000

Rehearsal dinner

$1500

Bride’s gown

$2000

Wedding veil

$300

Bridesmaids apparel

$1000

Mother of the Bride’s Apparel

$350

Groom’s tuxedo

$100

Groomsmen rental tuxedo

$500

Wedding reception

$12,000

Total Destination Wedding Budget

$28,800

Destination Weddings Above 30K

If your destination wedding budget is over 30k, then you should consider hiring a wedding planner to take away your planning hassles.

Make sure to interview a few before making a decision. The right wedding planner can make all the difference so make sure they have the experience and the vendors know how in the city where you are looking to wed.

Many people have the impression that a destination wedding is really expensive. While the average couple spends a little less than 25k, you can have a complete destination wedding for far less than that. And the more stuff you can DIY, the wider you can stretch your wedding dollars.

What To Do Next?

Check out some great destination wedding locations for any kind of budget

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