You love to travel, and you’re about to marry the love of your life. So why not celebrate your union with your love by doing one of the things that you love most? A destination wedding or elopement is a great way to have a unique wedding and even combine your wedding with your honeymoon. While your first thought might be that it’s expensive, it can be a good option if you want to keep your wedding small, which could save you money. Your destination wedding might be across the country or in another country altogether. Wherever you decide to go, you need to think about your budget and how you’re going to control your spending.
DESTINATION WEDDING VS ELOPEMENT
Before you start planning anything, you might want to consider the difference between a destination wedding and an elopement. These two things can overlap, but they’re not necessarily the same thing. An elopement used to be when you would run away and get married, perhaps without your family’s approval. The modern use of the word is more like an intimate wedding, which might have no more guests than the witnesses you need or your very closest family members. It could be a destination wedding too – many people elope to a scenic location – but it won’t have all of the bells and whistles of a larger wedding.
A destination wedding is a good idea if you want to combine your wedding with a memorable trip but invite a few more guests. You can still keep your wedding small, but you’re likely to invite more people compared to an elopement. On top of that, a destination wedding gives you the chance to have a few more frills. It doesn’t have to be as pared down as an elopement. You can have everything that you would have in a traditional wedding, but in a different location, and likely a little smaller.
BENEFIT FROM A SMALL GUEST LIST
One of the benefits of a destination wedding is that you can keep your guest list on the small side. In fact, it’s the perfect excuse not to invite people you don’t want to invite – or invite them out of politeness, knowing that they won’t be able to make it. A smaller guest list can help you to save money and keep your budget tight, even if you choose a destination wedding. You can stick to your closest friends and family without having to invite your great aunt or any of your colleagues.
WORK OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
Every wedding budget needs to start with a ballpark figure of what you can afford to spend. This means thinking about how you’re going to be paying for the wedding and what you’re willing to spend. Gone are the days when the parents of the happy couple pay for a significant amount or even the whole wedding. Your parents might help you out a little, but the majority of couples these days fund their own wedding.
A destination wedding doesn’t necessarily have to be very expensive. It depends where you’re going and how much you decide to help out your guests with the costs. In fact, if you’re planning to honeymoon in the same place, it might not cost you a whole lot more than a wedding at home. Of course, there’s the question of how you’re going to fund your wedding. You might have savings that you’re going to use, but many couples need to find other ways to pay for their wedding too. This could mean using the Wise Loan network of lenders to find an installment loan that will help to spread the cost. You might use credit cards to pay for some things. Or maybe you’ll look for wedding vendors that offer financing and payment plans so that you can make the cost of your wedding more manageable.
GET LOCAL HELP FOR WEDDING PLANNING
If you want to stick to your budget for a destination wedding, it can help to get local help with planning. When you hire a local wedding planner, they can assist with finding the right services and vendors within your budget. They know the local market, have local contacts and know what you can expect to pay for what you want. They can be your liaison so that you don’t have to keep making trips to meet with people. It can be good to have someone who can negotiate in person instead of having to communicate by phone or email all the time. A local wedding planner will help you find the best deals and make sure everything runs smoothly.
LOOK FOR GROUP DEALS TO SAVE FOR YOU AND YOUR GUESTS
If you want to help your guests save money (or save some yourself if you cover some of their costs), you can look for some group deals on transportation and accommodation. Booking hotel rooms might be something that you do when choosing a venue or wedding package. Many destination weddings take place in resorts or at hotels, so it’s easy to reserve the rooms you need. Booking flights or other accommodation as a group can help you to save money too, so it can be useful to coordinate your wedding party and guests traveling at the same time.
CONSIDER WHAT TO COVER FOR YOUR GUESTS
There are certain things you’re expected to pay for no matter what your wedding looks like, such as the food. When you’re planning a destination wedding, there might be a few more things that you pay for, whether you pay in full or just help out with the costs. While it’s not essential, it is a nice gesture, since you’re asking your guests to travel further and perhaps to stay a little longer too. You might help out with travel or accommodation, and maybe you could pay for other costs while your guests are with you. If they want to stay after the wedding, maybe you’ll be able to secure them a good deal too.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DATE
For any destination wedding, it’s important to know when the high season is for weddings. It can be different for different locations, depending on a range of factors. The season might not be the only thing to consider. Other things might make a difference too, such as important cultural events and festivals. If you choose a time when weddings are generally less in demand, you could save a lot of money. That could mean getting married in the fall or avoiding getting married too close to Christmas, for example.
BUDGET FOR PERMITS, LICENSES, AND PAPERWORK
Making sure your destination wedding is legal is one of the most important things that you will need to do. Of course, you could decide to have a symbolic ceremony and do the legal part on a different date, but you may not want to do that. Whether you’re going to a different state or a different country, you need to know the rules for legal marriage. What permits or licenses do you need to get? How long does it take to receive them and how much do they cost? Will you have to file paperwork to register your marriage when you get home? These things can add extra expenses to your destination wedding.
PROTECT YOUR WEDDING
Taking out wedding insurance is always important, but it can be even more so if you have a destination wedding. When you plan a destination wedding, you have to be prepared to give up some control, so it makes sense to be extra sure that you can protect your wedding. Your insurance could help you out if one of your vendors doesn’t turn up or if the venue suddenly isn’t available. It won’t necessarily save your wedding if something goes wrong, but it can help you to avoid losing a lot of money. It’s also smart to think about other insurance types, such as travel insurance, especially when traveling abroad.
WATCH OUT FOR EXCHANGE RATES
If you’re getting married in another country, that might mean paying people in another currency. Getting this wrong could mean paying a lot more than you need to, so it’s worth considering the different ways you can pay and transfer money. Using a tool like TransferWise can help you to get the best exchange rate by matching you up with people sending money in the other direction. It would be best if you looked at the exchange rate offered by your bank, credit card provider, or payment service before you decide on the best way to make payments.
When you’re budgeting for your destination wedding, there are a few extra factors you’ll need to consider. The things that you will need to take into account for your destination wedding could be harder to fix from a distance if anything goes wrong. Good preparation will help you to save money and still have your dream wedding.