Destination Wedding Budgets: Money Saving Tips
1. The destination you choose will make or break your budget. The destination will also make or break your guests’ budget. The path you choose is up to you!
You might be dreaming of an exotic, off-the-beaten-path destination for your special day. However, that might also mean uber expensive flights and long, complicated travel days for your guests. If accommodating many guests is your goal, it may be wise to reconsider the uber-exotic location.
However, if you are trying to LIMIT the number of guests who attend, a far-flung place can be just the ticket. We promise we won’t tell! There are many locations that are unique and exotic, but for a variety of reasons are surprisingly easy and affordable to get to. A professional travel expert can be a great guide to finding these not so well known locations.
Please don’t forget to also pick a location you love! Regardless of your budget, this is your day and you want to have nothing but joy-filled memories of your wedding.
Choose a destination that you both love and that appeals to your aesthetic, way of life, and look and feel of your wedding. You want your guests to go home feeling like the entire event was completely your style!
2. Take Advantage of Wedding Credits & Perks!
As we mentioned earlier, hotels and resorts that cater to weddings will offer credits based on the number of rooms booked for your event. TAKE ADVANTAGE! At some destinations, it may be possible for your wedding to be completely free based on the size of your group.
Wedding credits can be applied towards your costs, such as your accommodations, special events, or extra perks like VIP check in for your group, resort credit, a bottle of champagne or a romantic catamaran trip around the island. Just like airline miles and credit cards perks, some perks are much better offers than others. A travel agent who specializes in Romance Travel can help you choose a property that will give you the most bang for your buck.
3. Be Open to a Mid-Week Wedding vs. a Saturday
Many venues offer lower rates for weekday weddings. You and your guests are already likely taking some time off for the wedding, so planning a destination wedding during the week is typically much easier than trying to schedule a traditional wedding during the week.
4. Choose flowers, food and favors that are easy to find locally
Shipping or traveling with your flowers, food or wedding favors is expensive and can be a real hassle. You might even run into restrictions when it comes to fresh flowers or foods depending on where you are traveling.
Forget the hassle and choose items that are unique to your destination. Choose flowers, food and favors that are easy to find locally, saving stress and money. Part of the beauty of a destination wedding is choosing items that match the theme of your destination. Looking for wedding favors? Local souvenirs make the perfect gift for wedding guests. Find a local, high-end gift shop that sells tasteful souvenirs or consider giving local delicacies – wines, coffees, nuts, candies… almost every location has some culinary treat that they are known for.
One pro tip: Make sure to check tourism or customs regulations for what is allowed to be transported back to the U.S. You don’t want to set your guests up for an airport search!
Another idea: Bypass the gift bag and favors all together and plan a group excursion for your guests. We rented a private catamaran for this very purpose and our guests are still talking about it!
A quick online search or conversation with your travel agent can help brainstorm a wonderful, memorable wedding favor your guests will love.
5. Talk to your Travel Agent about how to communicate your group terms to wedding guests…
…and make sure your guests understand how to book under your contract!
Your travel agent is an invaluable resource when it comes to negotiating group contracts with destination wedding venues.
Remember, a group contract means freebies and amenities for you and your guests!
However, these amenities are based on the number of rooms promised in your group contract. If your guests do not book through your group contract, this can all go awry!
There is nothing worse than negotiating an AMAZING deal with a resort and realize it was all for naught when half of your guests don’t book under your contract.
To maximize your perks, you MUST communicate with your guests and help them understand that booking with your travel agent benefits the entire group. Your bookings must go through the travel agent to count towards the guaranteed minimum number of guests for negotiated perks.
One item to note: there are some resorts that even charge the couple for guests that don’t book inside the negotiated group contract. Ouch!
As your agent and advocate, we can help you communicate this clearly to your guests. Our goal is to treat each and every guest to the exact same luxury experience that we will provide to you