Planning a Destination Wedding on a Tight Budget


Does the wedding of your dreams involve exchanging vows under the sunset on a beach? Maybe they’re about getting betrothed in a lush green scenery far away from your home? If this is the case, then a destination wedding outside your county is probably right up your alley.

Destination weddings are also viable solutions for LGBTQ couples living in a region that has not yet legalized same-sex marriages. A wedding is one of the most profound milestones of your life, and it is understandable how everyone wants it to be perfect.

Destination weddings can be pricey, but they are feasible on a budget with the right planning and strategies. To help you plan your ideal wedding on a limited budget, this article will discuss economic tips for destination weddings.

Assess Your Budget

For every wedding, the budget plays a key role. You and your partner’s finances will dictate every aspect of the wedding, so it is best to sit down and determine the estimated expenditure for the wedding before you make any plans.

To have a clearer view and be realistic, make a list of necessary activities and items that correspond to the lowest and highest prices. The list should cover all of the catering costs, transportation costs, rental fees, decor, entertainment, etc.

The traveling costs, hotel expenses, and costs that will be incurred by your guests might fluctuate. To get an idea of the costs and other useful wedding tips, read various online articles on sites like

There are certain items or activities that are not really necessary. For instance, if you are working within a tight budget, then you do not need luxurious limousines to take you from place to place.

It is important to know your limits and affordability. It can be very easy to go overboard and spend excessively when you do not have a firm idea of how much money you have for your wedding in your bank account. To save your costs, know where to draw the line.

You do not need a limited edition boutique wedding gown or designer shoes that will cost you a kidney. You will only get to wear such a fancy wedding gown only once in your life, so it is not that practical to splurge on an outfit that can’t be worn to other events. 

Choose Your Destination Carefully

Researching all of your options regarding the location and the timing of the big day is a crucial step. Location is very essential for homosexual or queer partners as they have to get married in a state that legally acknowledges gay marriages.

Timing is very important and plays a huge role in the pricing and budget as prices increase every year. Therefore, it is a good idea to book the destination one year or two years ahead.

It is best to schedule the wedding off-season. Prices increase dramatically during the peak season, so it is wise to avoid this time. The accommodation rates for hotels increase between 25% to 50%. Scheduling a wedding for the destination’s shoulder season is another viable option.

Shoulder season is the time between peak season and off-season. Some couples opt for this season over the off-peak seasons as the weather and climate are usually better, and the standards aren’t compromised.

The weather can be problematic during the off-peak seasons. For instance, hurricanes are prevalent in the Caribbean during the off-season (mid-April to mid-December).

Scour the internet and look up recommended destinations for favorable weather conditions during the off-season. Sites like Lonely Planet are incredibly insightful regarding various wedding destinations.  

A great location for destination weddings during the off-season is Cape Town in South Africa. The scenic views of the white sandy beaches and captivating green landscape make it the perfect destination.

The hustle and bustle of the tourists and the general crowding in the nightlife and beaches start to reduce by February. Most of the tourists start leaving the region, and consequently, the prices go down. You can enjoy a quiet beach with less wind. 

You can watch whales along the coastlines from July to September. Cape Town also has a temperate climate throughout the year, so the weather conditions are favorable.

However, it is a bit dangerous in some outside areas, so it is best not to do anything extreme or very adventurous. Moreover, South Africa legalized gay marriages back in 2006. Cape Town is one of the most queer-friendly cities.

Short Guest List

Shorter guest lists mean fewer expenditures on food and accommodations. You and your fiancé should decide who you want at the wedding. Only include the ones you treasure and cannot imagine your big day without. Avoid including the plus one option if you are really in a pinch.

Inviting everyone is not an option when it comes to saving money. It is better to plan a small-scale and intimate ceremony from the beginning. There are many places on the coastlines around the globe that offer various packages.

Some of these can cover accommodations for thirty guests within a few thousand dollars, including food and the nuptials. Besides, you can get to spend better quality time and properly socialize with your close ones when you have a smaller number of guests.

Consider All-Inclusive Packages

Sometimes it gets very overwhelming by dealing with all the different aspects of the wedding like hiring the photographer, deciding on a caterer, finding the right decorator, etc. The long to-do list can make anyone feel frazzled.

Consider doing a destination wedding in a resort that offers all-inclusive packages. There are numerous resorts and hotels that provide incredible deals, covering all the services necessary for a successful wedding ceremony.

Usually, the all-inclusive wedding package covers the venue itself, the music, photography, flowers, decor, food, and more. This eliminates individual costs and makes the whole event budget-friendly.

Some deals include catering for all meals in the ceremony. This also cuts costs significantly, and you do not have to worry about each guest’s meal.

Go Local

After deciding your destination, it is best to opt for everything local. The local cuisine, beverages, decor, and other components will be more affordable. Besides, embracing the local scene will make the whole experience fun and exciting for everyone.

Ask for recommendations from the locals and do your research on which local foods and beverages you should incorporate into the wedding. The local breweries and wineries should have something that you and your guests will like.

If you are in a tropical place, fresh fruit juices and coconut water will be very cheap. Everybody loves refreshing drinks, and fruit is healthy, so it’s a win-win situation.

Try out various local foods and settle on the ones that both fall within your budget and taste good. The versatile flavors and change of palate will surely make the event memorable. 

You can also consider having local music for your reception and hire regional musicians or a band. The local flowers and the wedding decor will add an exotic flair or an elegant look depending on the location.

Incorporating the regional aspects will not only save on costs but will also make your wedding a great way to spend a vacation for everyone involved.

People will be looking forward to attending your wedding when the whole event is affordable and embraces the local features of the destination.

Surroundings as Natural Backdrop

Instead of splurging on artificial decorations, embrace nature and take beautiful pictures in the picturesque surroundings of a destination wedding. The breathtaking beauty of the natural environment speaks for itself. Capturing photos with the local surroundings as the backdrop highlights the true essence of destination weddings.

You can also skip the placement of centerpieces, expensive silverware, and bouquets. Everyone will be busy admiring the natural views, and they will not pay much heed to these unnecessary details.

Honeymoon in the Same Destination 

Most honeymoons are spent on beach getaways. How about having a beach destination wedding and honeymoon in the same place? Eliminate the costs for another vacation and honeymoon by extending your trip for your honeymoon.

Many resorts and hotels provide special perks to honeymoon packages when you have your wedding on their grounds. Some may even give you an option to go to one of their associated properties nearby. You might even get an upgraded room with better amenities for a change of scenery.

Final Words

You can have your dream wedding without spending a fortune. To carry out a beautiful yet cost-efficient ceremony, it is best to do your research and make strategies. Be realistic and do not go overboard. Set a limit and make plans accordingly. 

All soon-to-be-married couples should make informed decisions to avoid any losses. Destination weddings are amazing, and everyone can have fun when it is well-planned.