Skip to main content
Limited Time Offer: Up to $2,500 off your destination wedding
Guide How much does a DW cost Lopesan CARACOLES

How Much Does a Destination Wedding Cost?

A destination wedding is something that many couples daydream about - saying "I do" in a far-away destination, such as a tropical island abroad - and celebrating with their closest friends and family for days. Most often, however, the thought is immediately followed by questions like, "Can we afford it?" and "Is it realistic for our budget?"

Inherently, many assume that destination weddings come with a high price tag. After all, destination weddings often take place in beautiful, out-of-the-box locations (think, the Caribbean) and are held at luxurious, top-notch wedding resorts. They can require international travel, on top of several nights of accommodations for both the wedding and honeymoon stay. Yet despite all of this, the costs are considerably low. Today, the average cost of a destination wedding abroad is half the average cost of a traditional, at-home affair.

Guide Destination Wedding Cost

Let’s get to the specific budget breakdown:

  • Average cost of a domestic wedding: $30,000
  • Average cost of a destination wedding: $9,850*

Average costs can vary year-to-year and place-to-place, but generally speaking, destination weddings are more cost-effective for couples. Based on our customer data, couples who marry abroad spend less than $10,000, on average, for their entire wedding experience.Meanwhile, traditional, local weddings cost closer to $20,000-$30,000 per couple.

What Do Couples Pay for with a Destination Wedding?

Planning a wedding on a budget can seem difficult, but there are costs associated with a destination wedding that you can prepare for ahead of time. Many of these are in line with traditional wedding expenses, like the wedding attire and invitations, while others are unique to a destination wedding abroad. To take out the guesswork, we've outlined the average costs of an international destination wedding today
Average Cost of Airfare Abroad: $1,000 per couple

Unlike your traditional wedding close to home, travel costs play a big part in the overall destination wedding cost. If you will be jetting off overseas, plan to set aside approximately $1,000 for your plane tickets to paradise, or more if you're hoping to splurge on a first-class experience!

Average Cost of Accommodations: $2,400 per couple
Just like airfare, extended-stay accommodations are a cost unique to destination weddings (often called "weddingmoons"). Most couples will spend at least five nights in their destination of choice, and usually stay in a more romantic, upgraded room category.
Average Cost of Destination Wedding Venue & Package: $6,450 per couple
Traditionally, it is recommended that you reserve about 50 percent of your wedding budget for the venue itself. This is true for both at-home and far away weddings. The difference with a destination wedding, however, is that the cost of a wedding package often includes more than just the wedding venue itself, if you opt for an all-inclusive wedding resort.
Guide Destination Wedding Cost

In destinations such as Jamaica, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, most wedding resorts are all-inclusive. This means that the price to host a wedding there will also include things like décor and music for the ceremony, as well as catering and bar service at the reception, which you'd pay for separately at home. All-inclusive wedding packages may also include otherwise high-ticket items such as on-site entertainment (hey, DJ!), the wedding cake, floral arrangements, your ceremony officiant, and sometimes even a photographer. All-inclusive wedding resorts also include the entire honeymoon stay - an item that, for couples getting married at home, can really break the bank otherwise. If you are working with a budget, keep in mind that an all-inclusive experience can add up to thousands of dollars in savings (on top of much less planning stress, trying to coordinate all the details).

If you are planning a destination wedding on a budget, you can browse some affordable, all-inclusive resorts around the world here.

Guide Wedding Cost Hyatt Ziva Cancun

Do Couples Pay for Guests Attending a Destination Wedding?

A common misconception regarding destination weddings is that the couple must pay for guests' travel. While you may choose to cover airfare and/or hotel accommodations for a close loved one or two, (perhaps those who could not afford to make the trip otherwise), this is not the expectation. After all, couples having a traditional wedding don't typically cover travel costs for out-of-town guests.

alt text

Destination Wedding Cost Savings Tips

A destination wedding is a fraction of the price compared to a traditional, close-to-home celebration. In addition to all-inclusive offerings and shorter guest lists, part of that also has to do with the lack of add-on expenses. When you have a wedding in a beautiful location abroad, the destination speaks for itself. Whether you get married on a beach, surrounded by white sands and palm trees, or say "I do" atop a mountain at sunset, not much else is needed - no fancy decorations, no extravagant aisle runner or canopy. Most often, the scenery serves as the perfect backdrop, while the local floras (think palm leaves, Elders, and Dahlias) make for naturally beautiful décor, both significantly cutting costs.

Over 30,000 personalized celebrations planned.

Let us help plan yours!