So you are currently on cloud 9 after your best friend and love of your life proposes in the most special way. You dig out your scrapbook with all the photos you have collected since you were a teenager with all your favourite bridal gowns to get ideas on what you want your wedding dress to look like. You then start to plan your dream wedding in your head and everything you envisioned it to be. It then dawns on you: why not make your wedding even more special and memorable and have a destination wedding at a memorable location? The big question however is how do you even budget for a destination wedding. And how do you help your guests to budget for your destination wedding? Continue reading below on tips and things to look out for when budgeting for a destination wedding.
1. Smaller Guest List
Start off by thinking who are the people you treasure the most and you want to invite for your special day. Your guest list will most likely will be much smaller for your destination wedding as you don’t want to be working around complicated schedules of 100 guests while some may not attend due to travel costs. By having a guest list of 30-40 people, you can offer them more of a luxury wedding and still remain within your budget. A smaller guest list definitely decreases the cost and makes your wedding a lovely intimate event.
2. Be Considerate towards your Loved Ones
Send your Save the Dates early to your guests. This will be appreciated as guests can plan ahead, save money for the future, start looking at airfare, look for alternative and cheap accommodation options and take time off from work without breaking the bank.
3. Local Wedding Planner
Definitely hire a wedding planner that is local in the location you plan to have your destination wedding. Even though you will pay a fee for your wedding planner, you will save on time and the countless hours you will be on phone calls trying to overcome a language barrier. Let’s not forget all the decisions about flowers, food, venue and ceremony location from which you are miles away. Having a wedding planner will take care of this including the negotiating, logistics and the running around of a wedding.
4. Local Cuisine
Speaking of food, definitely have local cuisine on your menu as Greek food is not only delicious, but also the experience of eating the local cuisine will make your wedding stand out as well as decrease your food and beverage bill. Incorporate local wines and beers to add to your destination vibe instead of paying a premium on imported drinks.
5. Take Advantage of the Scenic Locations
Most destination weddings are an outdoor celebration because what would be the point to have a wedding abroad if you end up having it indoors. For example, for a wedding in Kefalonia, a couple can take advantage of scenic background of the bright blue Ionian waters and the bright light of the Greek sun. For those that don’t have a large budget, there is no need to splurge on extra ceremony details as guests will be in awe of the natural and breath-taking beauty of the Kefalonian landscape. In addition, you can use local and seasonal plants /flowers to decorate your venue and bring down the floral costs with olive branches or bougainvillea are stunning flower decorations.
6. Currency Conversion Rates
You will also need to consider the currency conversion rate in your destination country and how the fluctuation of the exchange rate may affect your payments. It might be worth noting that making more payments to suppliers in the winter months might be a better choice as the euro is weaker, while in the summer months the euro strengthens because it’s more in demand due to tourism.
7. Two For the Price of One
Have your wedding and honeymoon at the same destination location. It saves you from paying extra airfare to get to your honeymoon destination as well as offering you the opportunity to properly unwind.
8. On the day travel expenses
Don’t forget to include in your budget all expenses from the moment you leave your home to get to the airport and your return journey. Therefore, travel expenses such as airfare, taxi, airport parking, hotel, overnight hotel stays close to the airport/s, car rentals, should also be included in your budget to give you a more accurate picture of how much is going into your destination wedding.
9. Day of the week matters
By choosing a weekday for your destination wedding, airfare will most likely be cheaper as well as your hotel rooms, with more availability and options than on a weekend. Some venues offer substantial discounts for weddings that take place during the week instead of the weekend. Venue prices will vary based on high and low seasons. You may want to consider having your wedding in the shoulder season or on an off-season date given that the weather will most likely still be pleasant but with fewer crowds and favourable prices.
10. Know your Budget
Know the maximum amount you are willing to spend & stick to it.