How to Create a Destination Wedding Budget


Congratulations, you’ve decided to skip the traditional wedding and plan a destination wedding!  Since most of us don’t have unlimited funds, you’re likely wondering, “How much will it cost”?

Planning a wedding can be a big financial challenge, and a destination wedding is no different. Creating a wedding budget will allow you to have the wedding of your dreams, without going into long term debt.

Here’s my top tips on How to Create a Destination Wedding Budget

Consult a registered Destination Wedding Specialist.
Most specialists will provide a free consultation and will be able to provide you with a good estimate based on your dates & location, to help avoid sticker shock.

Available Funds.
Determine how much you have in savings, and how much you can save in the months leading up to the wedding. Will anyone be helping? Parents?

Set Two Budgets.
Be sure to set a budget for your wedding celebration, as well as for the travel arrangements. If you’re intent on celebrating with many friends and family, keep in mind your location may be determined by what your guests can afford.

Consider the size of your guest list.
Many resort wedding packages are priced based on a  set number of guests. Of course the more the merrier, but know that these extra guests above the set number will incur extra fees, ranging anywhere between $15-100 each.

Reception Details.
Are you OK with having a semi-private dinner after the ceremony? Or did you prefer a private function with dinner and dancing? Private functions can add $2500+ to the cost of your ceremony services, depending on location and total number of guests.

Photography and Video.
On site photography packages can begin at $600-700 for one hour of services with limited images, up to $5000 for a full day service.  Most economical wedding plans do not include any photography, whereas some resorts offer upgraded options including a small package of photos, an album, and possibly video of the ceremony. If photography is an important item for you, be sure to find out exactly what options are available based on your destination. Your destination wedding specialist can also help with some cost-saving tricks in this area.

Documentation Costs.
Are you thinking a legal or symbolic wedding? Keep in mind if you are wanting a legal wedding in some destinations like Mexico or the Dominican Republic, this can easily add $300-600 to your costs for translations, legalizations and blood work. Some packages include the cost of your officiant, and the return of your wedding certificate, but some do not. Be sure you know all the costs that will be associated.


Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to create a budget for the destination wedding that is right for you.  A destination wedding budget is important as it will allow you to prioritize where you can splurge, and where you can save.

Want more tips about creating a budget for your Destination Wedding? Shoot me an email at, or contact me here.

Happy Planning!

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