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The question I seem to be asked continually by most perspective wedding couples is, “how much does the wedding cost and how much should I budget for?”
Many resorts offer “free weddings”. But the “free” usually means, a very basic bouquet, a small cake, a location (with no decorations), 1 photo, and an officiant. Oh, and the legal fees are often additional. Usually, that is not exactly what most destination wedding couples envision for their amazing wedding. So, how much should you budget for if you are choosing a destination wedding?
There are typically several wedding packages offered at most resorts. Some start at $750 while others can cost up to $5000.00. The packages can be totally comprehensive, including photography, full reception, entertainment, floral options, and a cocktail party. Some packages can include slightly more enhanced options, but then allow you to add additional items too. Before you choose your resort, you actually should consider the different wedding packages that are offered. There are resorts that list all items a la carte as well. The number one factor to the overall cost is going to be based on the number of guests you have attending and if you intend on having a reception at the resort following your vows. On average, most couples spend about $5000 on the wedding features based on approximately 20 guests. This would account for flowers, a cocktail party, a sit down reception, a decent photo package, and entertainment (DJ).
There are some destinations that are a little pricier than others. Hawaii tends to be much more expensive for adding options and Mexico seems to be on the low end for extra’s. For my wedding, photography was very important. We knew we wanted to get a really large photo package and so we budgeted for that. Some wedding couples want a dance floor placed on the beach, or a cigar roller, some want fireworks and some brides spend a great deal on hair/make up and spa features too.
The best thing to do when budgeting for your wedding extra’s is to list in order what you prioritize to be the most important. Then, estimate the head count and review the many packages that are offered at the resorts you are considering. VIP goes step by step through the packages with our clients. We realize that destination weddings are not just about pricing the airfare and the hotels. Once you have an idea of what you need to budget for, it makes planning your destination wedding a lot less stressful. Nothing is worse than opening up the bill for all the extra’s and it taking you by surprise. If you need to sort through all of the packages and really get an idea of a budget, give me a call and just ask me to help “show you the money”!