Post # 1
This may be a long post, but here goes.
FI and I have our venue booked for November when we are getting married. The thing is, we just graduated school and are on a massive job hunt, I have student loans, the wedding costs (which my parents are paying for but I want to pay for as much as I can), and we were wanting a house to move into after we are married.
With all these new future payments, I have been entertaining the thought of a destination wedding with my other half. We’re going to talk about it more soon, in person, but I was wondering if anyone here had any experience. Is a DW cheaper and/or easier than a local wedding? I know it probably depends on where we’d go. We would invite all our guests we wanted to invite, though we would not expect many to come. At first I wanted everyone to be there, but after planning for so long and with other priorities popping up, I don’t think having every single person there is as important to me now. My immediate family would be enough, and anyone who would be willing to come to a DW.
Now if I had my way, I’d choose New Zealand, but that airfare is really expensive alone (I live in the U.S). I figure if we got married where we wanted our honeymoon, that would help too.
Post # 3
@Elrodien: A destination wedding is usually more convenient for the couple and extremely inconvenient for everyone else. Would you be expecting everyone to pay for airfare to get to New Zealand and lodging as well? If so, is your immediate family okay with that? If your immediate family is on board, for a wedding so far you can expect a much smaller attendance, which in some ways cuts down on your costs because you’re hosting fewer people.
A DW is easier if you’re going to a place that has handled a lot of destination couples. This is why many weddings in the Caribbean are quite easy to plan. As for NZ, I’ll leave it to the New Zealand bees here, but I don’t think there are as many options. If you’re going to do a DW in a place that doesn’t normally handle a destination client, then you will still have a lot of work cut out for you.
Hope this helps!
Post # 4
@melonseeds: Thank you!
As much as i’d love to have it in NZ< I don’t feel it’s too realistic due to airfare, so we’d either have to do it in the states or find a cheaper out-of-country location. We wouldn’t expect many guests, if any outside our immediate family, to make it. I figure we could just hold a reception at home at a later date when our finances are straightened out. I guess we didn’t realize how difficult it would be to graudate, find a job right away, try to pay off my loans before interest adds up, find a house and then be married all in one year. I told FI if this becomes too stressful, I’d be willing to move the wedding/even house hunting to a later date.
The only thing I’m a bit worried about is we paid the downpayment for our venue, and the contract says we can be refunded if they can find a similar party size to fill ours in on the same day (which is a Friday in November, yikes).
Post # 5
@Elrodien: We had a small 12 guest family-only DW on Maui and loved it! It was a perfect day, not cheap, but it was wonderful:) I would imagine most DW are cheaper (for the bride and groom) than local weddings as the guest list is scaled way down and a lot fo places offer all-inclusive options (like pp mentioned Caribbean).
Post # 6
@Elrodien: Yeah, I had an intimate family-only wedding and i’m throwing a friends’ party this year. Too many things happening at once – we both started new jobs, also have loans to repay, I had to move. As for your venue, I would do whatever you can to spread the word, maybe *fingers crossed* someone can take it over =)
Post # 7
IT can definitely be a lot cheaper. I’m from Colorado and the weddings here are around $15,000 and up. I was looking at a destination, inclusive resort wedding for under $10,000 in the carribean. I would say set up an appointment with a travel agent, many of them work with hotels and destination brides, they love destination weddings because of the guests that reserve through their services.
Post # 8
Thanks everyone 🙂 I appreciate all the input. I guess we will see what happens with our job hunt. I just applied for a job which I expect will pay more than enough to keep us financially happy and also give us plenty to pay for everything that is upcoming. Especially if/when FI gets a job as well. Crossing my fingers I can get some sort of job very soon!
Post # 9
@Elrodien: You can’t even expect your immediate family to come. You can’t expect anyone to come. Not even your parents. It’s great if your family can come, but you can’t expect anyone to come. DW cost a lot of time and money for guests. Not saying don’t do it, just keep that in mind. Congrats and good luck!
Post # 10
If you’re tryimg to save money and that’s the primary reason you’re considering a destination wedding, why not just keep in really simple and do a private ceremony and a restaurant reception locally with just your family?
Post # 11
I’m having a US destination wedding – about an 8 hour drive for half of our guests. The others will be traveling anywhere from 2-15 hours. I originally wanted an island wedding- but due to $$, we changed it to the outer banks, a special place to both of us. While we are definitely spending less than we would in NJ – we are VERY surprised by the amount of yeses we received.
Post # 12
I do not think destination weddings are cheaper, in fact we are spending the same amount for 50 people that we wold spend on 150 at home.
If you are looking for something super low key I know that Sandals and other similar resorts have minimalist weddings for free or very cheap if you stay a certain number of days. You are pretty much giving up a reception. if you do that, and some of your guests could resent you for that.
If I was only going to invite 5-10 people I would consider doing the free package and then taking everyone out to dinner and then somewhere to dance afterwards.