Is a Destination Wedding Less Expensive?

Does a Destination Wedding save you money? I’m asked this question all the time and my answer is YES! 

As a Caribbean Travel Specialist, I’ve been helping couples plan their Destination Weddings for 12 years. My comparisons are not based on an actual study, but rather my opinions formed from all of the wonderfully detailed feedback my clients have provided.

Here’s a breakdown of the average costs of a real wedding. Results were gathered in a 2011 study conducted by TheKnot:

Comparing this study, to the average wedding in the Caribbean or Mexico, I found that the only additional expense my Destination Wedding clients pay for is airfare. This varies from $300 to $700/per person, on average, depending on location.

When you take into consideration that many hotels & resorts offer a free basic wedding package, as long as you meet the minimum stay requirements, there are many areas where I see a savings:

Reception Venue + Ceremony Site Fees: Savings of up to $13,715
{Most Destination Wedding packages provided by hotels include the Ceremony Site Fee in their basic wedding package. Fees for a private reception space are on average $1500. If your wedding is small enough, you may opt not to have a private reception and simply make reservations at one of the hotel’s restaurants.}

Reception Band + Ceremony Musicians + Reception DJ: Savings of  up to $4587
{Musicians charge less in the Caribbean & Mexico}

Wedding Gown: Savings of up to $1121
{Many of my brides comment that they spent less on their wedding gown knowing they would be traveling with it, wearing it on the beach, etc.}

Wedding Planner: Savings of up to $1753
{Every hotel in the Caribbean & Mexico has a wedding planner already on staff. Their service is complimentary to you. The only occasions where my clients have paid for a wedding planner is when they’ve wanted the extra pampering and added service of their own local planner. Clients marrying at a private villa also hire a wedding planner.}

Transportation: Savings of up to $669
{If you host a Destination Wedding on hotel grounds, there is no transportation needed as you & your guests will walk to the ceremony & reception locations.}

Catering: Savings of up to $61/per person
{If you host a Destination Wedding at an all-inclusive resort all meals are already pre-paid in the nightly rate at the hotel. Therefore, you may dine at an existing restaurant at no added cost. Again, I only advise this if you have a very small wedding group. All-inclusive properties take the fact that guests have pre-paid for meals & drinks into consideration when pricing private events making the average cost for a private menu less than at a non-inclusive property. We find the average cost for a private menu at an all-inclusive resort is $35/per person.}

Photographer: Savings of up to $2299
{A basic photography package is included with any wedding package if you want to use the services of the resort’s photographer. You can build from this, but will likely not get close to a $2K price point unless you opt to use an outside photographer.}

Many of the other items, such as a videographer and cake, are less expensive in the Caribbean & Mexico too. So even if you build up considerably from the hotel’s basic wedding package, a Destination Wedding appears to be a considerable savings. If you’d like a quote on your own Destination Wedding plans, please contact me


2 Responses to “Is a Destination Wedding Less Expensive?”

  1. Anonymous

    This post was very helpful! I also recently found out that in the Turks & caicos the Alexandra Resort is offering a wedding package. I am posting the link incase this can help someone else like it helped me

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