Affordable Destination Wedding Options and Locations

FT Contributor  | 

You know that you shouldn’t use your credit card to fund your wedding. If you’ve tried finding affordable wedding venues and are coming up short, you might be considering a change of pace.

Fortunately, destination weddings aren’t only for the wealthy and cheap destination weddings are possible on a relatively modest budget. This article will highlight some affordable destination wedding locations complete with tips on how to do a cheap wedding abroad.

Inexpensive Wedding Locations

The following are some great affordable destination wedding options.

Belize

Belize has the second-largest barrier reef in the world and it’s home to exotic Mayan temples, beautiful jungles, and top beach destinations. The island provides the perfect tropical paradise for affordable destination weddings.

Plane tickets generally cost $650 from May to October, but prices increase beyond $1,000 during the peak season, from November to April. Similarly, accommodation is cheaper during the low season. On average, accommodation costs $63 per day and you can expect to spend around $18 on meals and $4 on local transportation.

You can enjoy a Belizean wedding with all-inclusive packages that cost as little as $2,000. For instance, the Belizean Dreams Resort offers an all-inclusive wedding package which includes a one-of-a-kind best beach wedding location on a budget for just $1,875.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is well-known for its sunshine, magnificent architecture, and pristine beaches. It’s one of the best places to host inexpensive destination weddings thanks to secluded bays, tropical waterfalls, and beautiful colonial buildings.

Between May and November, flights go for as low as $255 and over $600 during peak season, which runs from December to April. According to BudgetYourTrip, the average accommodation cost is around $52 in a three-star hotel but you can find hotel rooms for as little as $21 during the low season in June.

The average daily cost for a person is $116 including meals and local transportation. For your wedding, you can take your pick of affordable destination wedding packages that go for as little as $2,000.

Jamaica

Jamaica has incredible landscapes, food, and unforgettable sunsets. It’s also home to some picture-perfect beaches, making it one of the best beach wedding locations on a budget.

According to Cheapflights, you can find flights for around $420 during the low season and BudgetYourTrip estimates the average cost of accommodation to be around $153. The peak travel season runs from December to April and although flights can cost around $218 in January, you have to keep in mind that during this season, room rates can spike to $700 per night.

The average daily cost for food is $22 and local transportation costs around $10. For your wedding, consider venues like the RIU Montego Bay, a large all-inclusive resort that offers free wedding packages and paid ones from as little as $1,199.

Martinique

Martinique, a unique Caribbean island, boasts of scenic volcanoes and beaches, great weather, and a mountainous landscape that all make for ideal wedding locations.

You can get air tickets for as little as $200 around January and discounted hotel rates from March through to May. However, during the peak season, from December to April, flight prices tend to increase.

The average daily cost per person is around $146 including about $54 for meals and $12 for local transportation. You can get affordable all-inclusive wedding ceremony packages for around $1,000 from resorts like Karibea Hotel and Residences.

St. Lucia

Characterized by beautiful sunshine, cocoa plantations, cliffs, and historical sites, St. Lucia is a lovely island paradise for lovers. A St. Lucia wedding is affordable and you can typically find the cheapest flights in March. High season runs from December to April and flight prices can increase to over $1,000.

Hotels typically cost around $211 but according to BudgetYourTrip, the average daily cost per person is around $169, including $42 for daily meals and $17 for local transport. You can lower your expenses by getting wedding packages from as little as $999.

Thailand

Thailand is famous for its temples, jungles, beaches, magnificent elephants, and great hospitality which all make the country an option for the most affordable destination weddings.

During the low season (July to October), you’ll often get half prices on flights and accommodation. In September, flights can go as low as under $400. You can expect to spend a daily average of $65 on accommodation, $12 on local transportation, and $15 on meals.

A typical 25-person ceremony and reception will cost under $5,000 and you can consider venues like the Banyan Tree Bangkok, which offers a wedding package for 30 guests for $3,300.

Trinidad and Tobago

Renowned for gorgeous beaches, sunsets, carnival festivity, and lush greenery, Trinidad and Tobago is a great destination for a romantic wedding. It’s also undoubtedly one of the least expensive Caribbean wedding destinations.

Flights can be as low as $230 during the off-peak season. The shoulder seasons running from October to mid-December and April to June mean less expensive accommodations and fewer crowds.

On average, you can expect to spend $116 to $240 per day for a nice hotel room, restaurant lunch and dinner, and short taxi rides. You can also enlist some resorts and hotels to plan your wedding for under $2,000.

How to Do a Cheap Wedding Abroad

The following are some ways to further save on your destination wedding.

Travel Outside of Peak Season

Take advantage of reduced prices and save on your travel during low or shoulder seasons. In most tropical locations, the high season is during the driest months and the low season is during rainy summer months. Shoulder season usually occurs during autumn and spring.

Keep the Wedding Small

Costs for a wedding with fewer people will typically be lower than the average wedding cost. A small wedding is also great because it’s easier to plan and coordinate and it can help you save for your honeymoon.

Book as Early as Possible

By booking things like flights, accommodations, venue, and activities early, you have the time to compare different prices and grab the best deals.

Some top travel planning tips include:

  • Having a rough estimate of how much you want to spend.
  • Checking for flight prices directly on an airline’s website. Airlines often have special rates.
  • Finding sites that help you score deals on hotels, activities, and food.

Consider an Airbnb

Airbnbs often offer total flexibility and a cozy atmosphere for a lower cost compared to traditional hotels. To secure Airbnb accommodations for your wedding, visit the Airbnb site and enter the location, dates, and number of guests you want to accommodate.

Once you find a property listing you love, contact the host directly and explain that you want wedding accommodations. Before booking, ask about the maximum number of people the property can accommodate and also enquire about any additional fees. 


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