(Closed) Is your DW wedding costing you way more than you thought?

posted 9 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
25 posts
  • Wedding: August 2011

Oh My Gosh, YES!  My fiance and I were initially working with a wedding planner in our hometown city, and had a budget of $10K (average for our area) with an estimated guest list of 45.  We had a great drafted up contract for our venue and caterers, but after running into issues with our WP’s location “across the pond” as she worked remotely, we decided to scrap it and move our wedding to Las Vegas thinking it’d be cheaper.

Yeah…we were wrong.

Our wedding ceremony went from costing about $1500 to just under $2300.  We then had to foot the bill of our lodging for another $700.  The reception, which would have been covered in the cost of the ceremony venue was also worked out to be just under $5K after other details like guest transportation and photography.  In Las Vegas, we’re faced with a minimum expected cost of $3200 for just dinner & bar with custom music.  No dance floor, no DJ, no photographer, no prearranged transportation for guests.

Hometown budget:  $6.5K

Las Vegas cost to date: $6.2K

Estimated remaining expenses: $2-3K for a total of $8.2K

Post # 4
7294 posts
Busy Beekeeper

yes, but the way i saw it, i just had no idea how much a Destination Wedding would cost. i thoguht we could do it for $5K.  our entire wedding was $14K.  but the way i see it, that included 10 days in Jamaica for 2 people, so it wasn’t just ONE day!  although, more than half of it was….

Post # 5
2453 posts
Buzzing bee

We’re also going to Mexico for our Destination Wedding. When we first started planning our budget was $8-9,000. Since we were including our trip/honeymoon into that price we were a little naive. Also, we gave both sets of parents $2,000 towards their trip. Below is our breakdown:

Our trip/honeymoon (9 nights): $4,000

Parents’ trips: $4,000

All other wedding expenses: $4,000

Total: $12,000

Post # 6
3135 posts
Sugar bee

Somewhere around here I started a thread… How much did/is your Destination Wedding going to cost. It’s interesting.

I think gone are the years of basically getting an awesome wedding for free.

MOst resorts have the ‘free’ package you can get if you book enough rooms at the right level of poshness, etc.

But those packages seem to all be either…

No dinner

dinner in the buffet area

Ceremony times only available at 11-12-1 pm.. so in other words, at the hottest part of the day

etc etc. 

I hear you on costs but one thing to keep in mind… your honeymoon is attached to that price too.  Thats helps get the “gulp.. holy crap this is getting expensive” down lol

PS: not including dress, invitations, STDs, shoes, accessories, my Destination Wedding is up to 7 grand and I thought it would be 2500 then I bumped that up to 5000!

Post # 7
47 posts
  • Wedding: February 2012

We are having a Destination Wedding in Mexico and we will have about 80 people as well- unfortunately we are realizing the same thing!!! It is WAY more expensive, we have actually changed our resort 3 times, one reason was for cost- if you’re even the least bit amenable to changing the venue, check out Palace resorts. They do this unbelievable promotion that if you hit 75 room nights (so 25 people staying 3 nights, etc) then you get an UNLIMITED NUMBER OF PRIVATE EVENTS FOR FREE. No joke, you don’t pay for ANY of them- so every single event you have is free to you, no per head count, etc. We didn’t believe it but I spoke to several brides who did it and it’s true! 


Now we are just prayingggg we get the 75 room nights. Our wedding was looking like $30-35K before that and now it’s prob about $18K. 

Post # 8
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@maggierose:  Oh I feel you!  When we first decided on having a Destination Wedding in Mexico we threw out the number of $10k just as a starting point and I honestly thought that I would be able to get everything I wanted for that amount and that it was a realistic amount since it’s Mexico.


Once we actually started researching it, we quickly realized that to have the wedding we wanted to have, it would cost at least double that. And, like you, we want what we want and while we are willing to cut back on some things, most of the things we want are not really negotiable. We just kinda accepted it and readjusted our budgeting. 

Sometimes it totally freaks me out to think about how much money we are spending on just one day, but like I said, we want this wedding and no matter where you get married, weddings are expensive!

Post # 9
4 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m getting married on a Cruise Ship June 7, 11 and have already spent $7000.00 with more to go. That does include the cruise which is 7 days, so I guess it isn’t all that bad when you look at it that way. But I probably could’ve had the wedding at home which would have allowed me more control over the set up, flowers, cake, food, etc.


Post # 10
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010 - Al Cielo / La Laguna

@maggierose: Holy crap!! Is a lot of it because of the number of guests? We only 21 so we came in right around our budget but if we had 80 people, I could easily see the costs getting that high.

Post # 11
5517 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2019 - Paris, France

Yes! We are having a Destination Wedding wedding in Colorado and thought that because we would have limited guests there because of the travel expenses that would cut costs. We also live in LA and FL so prices are very inflated. I was thinking about 20K for the wedding, turns out its more than double. On the bright side, if it was in fl we would have way more money just for the extra guests and we prob would get much less than we are getting in CO.

Post # 12
44 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

Ours is costing way more than planned! We are having ours on Sanibel Island, FL…30-35 guests and originally our budget was $5,000. Now, after adding up all of the costs ours is turning out to be around 12k, which is more than 50% of what we originally thought! i never thought so many little things would add up so quickly, and we honestly do not have much we can cut back on. I think 12K is so high for only 35 guests, but this cost also includes our accomodations and airfare.

Post # 13
31 posts

I don’t know if we ended up spending WAY more, but definitely went over our initial budget. We budgeted about 5k for wedding and wedding dinner, it’s going to end up being about 6k. But we also spend another 5k on the honeymoon part, so yeah. A bit more than we hoped, but much better than the 30k we were looking at for a wedding here!

Post # 14
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Umm.. yes!  Right now it’s looking like it will be about 8k for a welcome dinner, the ceremony, and reception/dinner afterwards.  This is not including attire or travel expenses.  *sigh*

Post # 15
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

OMG Yes! We went the Destination Wedding route because we thought it would be cheaper than at home reception and boy…were we wrong!

We’re doing it in Honolulu, Hawaii b/c my family already lives out there (his family is flying in from NY & CA so it’s a destination for them). All in all it looks like it’s going to be around 10K for welcome dinner/ceremony/reception for 30 guests. On the upside, that figure also counts our accomodations and flights. But not our expenses for when we’re out in Hawaii (eating out, stuff to do).

My new mantra whenever I get nauseous over how much money we’re spending is: Beach. Tan. Barefoot wedding!

Post # 16
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Yeah, it adds up so fast.

The dress, the food, the flowers the planner…. I guess its all expensive no matter where you do it!

We are trying to look at it as a vacation of a life time that we will remember so fondly and that makes me feel a little better than spending it all on “one day”

There’s always little things, for example, I showed my mom a mock up that the planner gave us of flowers and my mom wants MORE/bigger/nicer flowers. Yep thats gonna cost extra.


ETA: Where in Mexico are you doing it? We are having ours on Isla Mujeres! We are going back this summer to pick out a bunch of stuff 😀

BEYOND excited.

The topic ‘Is your DW wedding costing you way more than you thought?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors