How to hold a cheap wedding at your favourite destination
Why pay the hefty price to get married at a fancy hotel or resort when you can save money and still have an amazing ceremony?
If you’ve been thinking of having your wedding in one of these dream destinations, be mindful about the costs involved. You may want to reconsider planning a traditional candle-lit ceremony if enough guests will be travelling long distances.
Some helpful tips to hold a cheap wedding at your favourite destination:
1) Consider an off-peak period for your wedding: Instead of having a ‘high season’ (such as Christmas or New Year) wedding, decide on two off-peak periods that you can choose from. High season is when hotels and resorts need to charge the highest rate in order to fill up their rooms. By choosing the off-peak period, you can enjoy a cheaper wedding.
2) Stay in budget hotels: Travelling long hours to get there? Choose a hotel near your place of celebration so that you don’t have to spend more time ferrying guests or having them stay elsewhere. In addition, you may like to consider reasonably priced hotels that provide free breakfast and parking.
3) Be mindful of your guests’ needs: If you want to make your wedding a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for your guests, factor in their travelling routes. Some people may come here for work or on business, so choose a destination where they can easily access their work. If they are not from the region, it may be best to plan one of the cheap destinations which is nearby in order to cut down on time spent travelling.
4) Consider holding the ceremony at sunset: This will ensure that light will be perfect for photographs before the guests leave and that there won’t be any harsh shadows after the sun sets.
5) Do your research: Research the local restaurants for your reception to ensure that the food is tasty and that you are getting the best deal. Plan your wedding date well in advance in order to secure good deals for your guests. Remember, many places will have their peak tourist season during this time.
6) Give away freebies: Some hotels and resorts may offer incentives, such as a free night stay or free use of the facilities for couples who are tying the knot during their off-peak season. Look at several options before deciding on one. Choose based on price, location and other factors such as availability of parking and proximity to local attractions.
7) Stick to a small reception: Instead of planning a large reception for many guests, consider a small and intimate gathering. You can have your guests either enjoy a meal at the hotel restaurant or bring them out to one of the local restaurants in the area. The more people you invite, the higher your expenses will be in planning the wedding. You can also save by having your wedding on a Sunday, as most ceremonies take place on Saturdays.
8) Set a budget: Don’t forget to allocate funds for your honeymoon after you’re done with planning this event. Ensure that you don’t spend too much on decorations and other things without considering your budget and saving some money for future trips together.
9) Have fun: Don’t forget this is a wedding. Show your happiness, and make it memorable by doing something frivolous. A funny video of you two toasting one another with a bottle of champagne is sure to make everyone laugh.
10) Remember the good times: Keep in mind that memories are what will last long after you’ve returned from your destination wedding. If you haven’t been able to hold the ceremony at sunset due to lack of time, remember that you can always adopt the idea for a future wedding or a honeymoon.
11) Consider using family photos as your theme design: Your guests will feel honoured if they know that they are really being part of your family photos.
In addition to these helpful tips, take into consideration the following items before choosing your destination:
- Weather conditions during your engagement photo shoot (even for destination weddings)
- How will you and your guests get there? (e.g. flight, car, bus)
- Local language(s) and alphabet used for signage and written announcements and place cards. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you can’t pronounce the names of your guests at the wedding reception. If you are trying to save costs on food or drinks, it would be good to figure out what language they speak as some cultures prefer not to consume meat or alcohol.
- The level of social awareness (e.g. if a person or group has been discriminated against)
- Customs and traditions you should be aware of in order to avoid offending anyone or breaking any local laws (e.g. wearing white at a wedding in Japan)
- How to handle a medical emergency out of the country and what the local hospitals may have on hand (like Travel Insurance).
- Anything that could impact your guests’ ability to attend e.g. terror alerts, health advisories, etc.
- If you are planning a destination wedding in a tropical country, be sure to check out some shore-based options for your wedding party. There are beautiful gardens that can accommodate up to 500 guests and special services for the bridal party. You can even have your reception in your own home!
What are your thoughts on how to have a cheap wedding? Please leave a comment and let us know!