No wedding is simple to plan, and a destination wedding can be particularly tricky to get right. The rewards, and the memories, are worth the effort, though, so the only real question is how to get it done within your budget. It can be done, and you can do it. Here are a few tips to help you plan a destination wedding on a budget.
Make initial decisions early
Before you can start planning or contact an elopement planner to help you set up the destination wedding of your dreams, you have to be able to articulate what those dreams are. This starts with knowing what type of ceremony you want and who you most want (or don’t want) with you on your special day.
Do you want the actual ceremony itself to be traditional or would you prefer an adventure scenario of some kind? You need to consider things as simple as whether it will be a day or night wedding and if it will be held indoors or outdoors.
Then, think about how many people you want to invite, as this might influence your final choice of destination. If it’s important to you to have every person in your life there to share your day, bear in mind that schedules and budgets may make it difficult for everyone to come to some destinations, not to mention more expensive for you.
Plan well in advance
No matter what type of wedding you want to have, advanced planning is absolutely crucial. If you want to have your destination wedding and keep it within budget, early planning is even more crucial.
If you give your planner 18 months or more to arrange the event, they can be on the lookout for hotel deals, airline specials, and travel packages that will save you a lot of money. If you get these big-ticket items out of the way early, you’ll know better how much money you have left over to play with.
Planning in advance will also limit how many last-minute changes you end up making, and few things will kill a budget more quickly than adding or changing something at the last moment.
Wherever you want to go, whether it’s Iceland, the Isle of Skye, or Patagonia, you will have an easier time staying in your budget (and more fun on the whole trip) if you think about local issues before you go.
Consider the local customs and cultures. What is appropriate to say, wear, and do while you’re there? Should you tip, who should you tip, and how much should you give? Tips can ravage your budget it you’re not prepared for them, so plan accordingly.
The more you ask others to step outside their customs and comfort zone, the more it will cost. Wherever you can slide in with the local ways is where you’ll get the best deals. And don’t forget to figure in the exchange rate as you think about where you’re going.
Consider a destination package
When you contact a wedding planner and first get a quote on a package, it can be intimidating. It will be a single, large number. Yet once you add up all the smaller individual numbers involved in planning and executing the wedding by yourself, from the cake, the venue, to the liquor store visit for drinks, you will often find that you save money by getting a package deal.
Not only can a wedding planner package get you discounts by bundling services, but you also get to take advantage of the planner’s familiarity with your destination. A good destination wedding planner knows where to go for the best pictures, how to find a photographer willing to rappel down a cliff for that perfect shot, and where to get the best food for the best price.
A wedding planner will also be able to point you in the best direction for an amazing honeymoon. They can even help you bundle the perfect honeymoon package into your dream destination wedding at a price you can afford.
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