How To Select A Cheap Destination Wedding Location

Venetian PhotographyPlanning a destination wedding on a tight budget is not hard so long as you know where to look.

The problem most couples face is that there are literally thousands of locations to choose from. Sifting through all of them can be cumbersome if you don’t know how to quickly narrow your choices.

In this article, we will go over how professional destination wedding planners determine the right locations and how you can use that knowledge to select a location for yourself.

In addition, we will also go over some popular locations already known for working with couples on a tight budget.

So how do you narrow the locations if you are on a tight budget?

Simply follow the rules below to narrow your initial search down to a handful of locations. Once you have it narrowed down, look for the best deal/location combination and book.

If you are on a tight budget, you will have to go with any of the popular destination wedding locations. Out of the way places cost more to get to and are in general, more expensive places to wed. For example, flights to Jamaica are much cheaper from almost any location in the US than to a more exclusive location like Nevis.

How many flights go there? Are there a lot of flights going to this destination from the airport you expect to depart from? If there are, then the competition for your business is greater and will result in cheaper airfare.

Does the location offer all inclusive resorts? If you are on a tight budget, you should be looking at all inclusive wedding packages only. Anything other than that will blow through your budget. Many resorts will offer a free wedding package if you stay a certain number of nights, making the trip that much cheaper.

Go strictly domestic if your budget is less than $5k. Select a city in Florida (we prefer the west coast with it’s beautiful beaches) and say your vows on one the beach. There are many companies that will provide a location on the beach, complete with a minister and some decorations for less than $1000. After the ceremony, take your guests out to dinner at a local restaurant instead of spending at a reception.

Select a location that is less than a two hour flight from your hometown. Anything more will make travel expensive for you and your guests. Also, if you are flying out with guests as a group, make sure you get group airfare rates.

The tips above will serve as a guide when you are researching locations for your destination wedding.

In order to provide you a head start, here are some of the most popular locations for a destination wedding on a tight budget.


While there are certainly dozens of great locations in Mexico for a destination wedding, our favorite is Playa Del Carmen.

In addition to some great local restaurants, the area can also boast of some world class all-inclusive resorts (RIU is our favorite).

Playa Del Carmen also has some great scuba (Dive Mike is really good) diving locations along with attractions like The Jungle Place, and Rio Secreto.

Other locations to consider in Mexico are:

  • Cancun
  • Mazatlan
  • Los Cabos
  • Puerto Vallarta

Las Vegas

Whether you are looking for a romantic night at the Venetian or a quick wedding at a chapel, Las Vegas will fit the bill.

This haven for couples of all types is famous for weddings on a budget (Las Vegas has the most weddings in the US).

You can’t get more Vegas than saying I do in front of an Elvis impersonating minister. In addition to the chapel itself, they offer a complete wedding facility with flowers, photography, and a limo to take you home.

Other mainstream wedding locations in Las Vegas are:



Florida has all the advantages of a Caribbean wedding without the headache of long flights, getting visa’s, and having to comply with marriage license rules (which can be pretty archaic).

No matter what kind of wedding you are looking to have, Florida has a city to fit the bill. Want white sand beaches, try Tampa or any number of cities on the west cost of Florida.

Want a magical non beach wedding? Try a Disney wedding in Orlando. Of if you prefer water, then have your magical wedding on a Disney Cruise.

Florida is easy to get to by car, plane and train. And it’s not expensive either. Your can block hotel rooms for wedding guests with ease and get married at a beach with the help of a minister. With tons of beautiful beaches, and great wedding venues, this state makes for an ideal wedding location.

Some areas of Florida that are popular for weddings are:

Gulf Coast (Pristine white sand beaches, and great looking sunsets)

  • Honeymoon Island State Park
  • Sand Key Park
  • Sunset Beach on Treasure Island
  • Pass-a-Grille on St Pete Beach
  • Anna Maria Island
  • North Lido Beach
  • Captiva Island
  • Sanibel Island
  • Lover’s Key

South Florida

South Florida has Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton, all of which serve as great locations for a beach wedding.

Other popular beaches are Hollywood beach and Dania beach.


If you are working with a small budget, then Jamaica is probably one of the best places to have your wedding.

It has the largest number of all inclusive resorts that offer wedding packages for all kinds of budgets.

One of the most popular option for coupes of a tight budget is the free wedding. As long as you agree to stay a certain number of nights at the resort, your wedding ceremony will be free.

Most free packages include flowers, a cake, basic photography, a minister, marriage license, and a scenic location. As part of the deal, the wedding package also has a wedding coordinator that will help you plan everything.

Here are some of the more popular locations for a destination wedding in Jamaica:

  • Catcha Falling Star, Negril
  • Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, Rose Hall
  • Citronella, Negril
  • Tryall Club, Sandy Bay
  • The Caves, Negril
  • Nirvana on the Beach, Negril

Dominican Republic

Gorgeous white sandy beaches, colorful cocktails, and friendly people typify the spirit behind a wedding in the Dominican Republic.

Activities you can do with wedding guests include Zip Lining(Samana Zipline Tour), horseback riding(Rancho Lorilar), boating, a tour on an ATV(Indrinatours Quad), or taking surf lessons(Macao Surf Camp).

Locations that are popular for weddings are:

  • Villa Taina
  • Riu Palace Bavaro
  • Hotel Piratas del Caribe
  • Coco Plaza
  • Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
  • Catalonia Gran Dominicus
  • Be Live Canoa, Bayahibe
  • Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach


The Bahamas is another very popular location for destination weddings.

They have dozens of all inclusive resorts that offer scenic locations for weddings in all price ranges.

Whether you are looking for a simple beach wedding, or an elegant soiree, the Bahamas has the hotel/resort that will be perfect for you.

Wedding guests can spend time snorkeling, swimming with sea lions (Sea Lion Encounter at Blue Lagoon), or just wile away their time at the beach. If you have a particularly feisty bunch, send them to the Pirates of Nassau Museum (

Locations popular for destination weddings are:

  • Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas, Long Island
  • Grand Isle Resort & Spa, Great Exuma
  • Small Hope Bay Lodge, Andros
  • Fernandez Bay Village, Cat Island
  • Tiamo, Andros
  • Powell Pointe Resort at Cape Eleuthera
  • Stella Maris Resort Club, Long Island

As you can see from above, picking a destination wedding location when you are on a tight budget is not hard. By learning how to determine if a location is budget friendly, you will be able to narrow your choices down, no matter where you are flying out from.

What should you do next?

Take a look at our list of all inclusive resorts that offer destination wedding packages.

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