Let’s face it, weddings are expensive. You’ve been dreaming about this day for as long as you can remember, and you want it to be absolutely perfect. But your budget doesn’t quite match up with all the plans floating in your head… You want to save money on your destination wedding, but that’s easier said than done.
The good news is, you’ll already be saving money by having a destination wedding! The bad news is, you’re still looking at a pretty hefty price tag. Most couples spend between $20,000-$30,000 for their wedding in Punta Cana.
And as you start planning, you’ll realize how quickly that budget disappears. Between the venue, decor, food, and alcohol, then adding on flights and accommodations, and everything else that goes into your wedding week, you’ll feel like you’re in over your head.
I know what you’re going through. I’m right there with you! My fiance and I have been planning our own wedding, and we are on a tight budget. We’re trying to cut costs wherever possible. But it’s tough! There are so many beautiful things and I want it all… Thankfully, my fiance is the voice of reason. And we’ve been able to plan our dream wedding while still staying within our budget. And if we can do it, so can you!
Here are 6 ways to save money on your destination wedding!
Tip #1: Keep the Guest List Small
It’s simple. The more people you have at your wedding, the more expensive it will be.
So cutting down your guest list is the quickest way to lower costs… But it’s not the easiest thing to do. Especially if you have a big family or lots of friends. And it doesn’t help if you’re worried about offending anyone.
The good news (when it comes to your budget) is that about 60% of your invited guests won’t be able to attend anyway. So you don’t have to feel guilty if they can’t come.
To cut back even more, consider inviting only your immediate family members or your closest friends.
Another option: Leave all your guests at home, and elope! You can still have a wedding ceremony, a romantic dinner, and beautiful photos, but you’ll cut your costs in half. Or more! Not to mention, you’ll be saving yourself from the stress that comes from planning a big wedding. Think about it 😉
Tip #2: Nature is the Best Decor
Your wedding venue is beautiful all on its own! That’s why you chose it, right? So whether you’re getting married on the beach or in the garden at your resort, you’ll already have a gorgeous backdrop. Let nature do the talking! Keep it simple, and you can save hundreds on your wedding decor!
Tip #3: Forget the Flowers
Speaking about wedding decor, let’s talk about the flowers. To be honest, I love flowers! I think they’re so beautiful! But they can also be a waste when it comes to your wedding budget. They don’t do well in the Caribbean heat. You can’t take them home. And no one’s really going to remember them anyway… Use tons of greenery instead! It’s beautiful and takes up more space so your tables will look full at a fraction of the cost.
To save money, use real flowers for your own bouquet and fake flowers everywhere else. If you want a realistic look, you can use silk flowers. Your guests won’t be able to tell the difference. And even if they can, does it really matter?
Your wedding party definitely doesn’t need real flowers. Honestly, I’m skipping the bouquets and boutonnieres altogether. It’s easier for the bridesmaids to help out when they can use both hands. And their bouquets are just going to end up sitting on the table after the ceremony anyway.
Tip #4: Ditch the Wedding Cake
I had no idea how expensive a wedding cake could be until I started planning my own wedding. I was shocked when I saw the prices. Like jaw hit the floor, blown away!
I’m talking between $600-$1000. For. A. Cake. That most of your guests won’t even eat…
I opted for a dessert table instead and it saved us hundreds of dollars! Cupcakes or a donut bar are other great alternatives!
If you and your fiance want to cut the cake, order a mini cake just for the two of you. You can slice it together during the reception, and even smash it in each other’s faces if that’s your style.
Tip #5: Go Paperless
We’re living in a digital age. And for some reason, we’re still sending Save the Dates, RSVP Cards, and Formal Invitations on paper. It’s not good for the planet, and it’s not good for your budget. Thankfully if you followed tip #1, you won’t have to send out too many invites. But either way, you can save money by going paperless.
Make everything as digital as possible.
Sites like Paperless Post and Punchbowl make it easy to send Save the Dates and Invitations, and even receive back your RSVPs digitally.
The Knot and Minted also have great wedding websites that allow you to post all the details about your wedding, travel info, accommodations, extra events, etc., so you don’t need to send all those details in the mail. You can have everything in one spot!
Or you can mix and match like I did. I’m sending formal invites to my grandparents and our older guests. (Because you know, they’re into that sort of thing.) And the rest of my guests will be getting their invites digitally. It’s saving us tons of time and money!!
Tip #6: Skip the Things That Aren’t Important to You
Often times as brides, we get lost in the tradition of wedding culture. There are so many things that you’re “supposed” to have at your wedding. But when you actually think about it, those things aren’t important to you.
I’m talking about all of the extras. The little things. The things that you may forget to include in your budget anyway, and when you start calculating, they really add up. Things like:
- Wedding Favors
- Wedding Programs
- A Guestbook
- The Bouquet & Garter Toss
- Something Old, New, & Blue
Any other extra that’s part of the “traditional” wedding. If you’re buying something for your wedding just because it’s tradition, but it doesn’t actually bring you joy, you might as well skip it. Your budget will thank you!
There you have it! Six quick and simple ways to save money on your destination wedding. I hope they help you stay within your budget!
If you have other ideas to cut costs for your wedding day, reach out and let me know. I’d love to hear!