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Hello! Please help! I am torn! I've been planning a local wedding and recently became fond of the idea of a destination wedding! Which will I spend less money at? Local or destination?

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I have been planning to have my wedding at a local venue here in Houston. While I am still considering, I have recently been putting some serious thought into having a destination wedding and am looking into the Azul Sensatori.I have been told that I can save so much money this way! Would you all mind telling me about much you spent on your total wedding? I am estimating to spend between 15-20k at my local wedding. Our families are so big that my fiance and I are at 150ppl with just them, not including any friends. I figure a destination wedding is a way to narrow down our guest list, and save money all around. Can you all throw some numbers out?

How big were your parites? What did you spend? What all did it include?


I guess the big question is it worth it to have a destination wedding? If I can cut cost by doing so then it would be. But if I am going to spend just as much money as I would at my local wedding, then wouldn't it better just to have it in town and have everyone there to celebrate and not just the few who can afford the destination wedding?


Ugh! This is such a tough decision to make! Please help!

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I think that this a decision that most brides on here have had to contemplate at one point or another but it really depends on what you want and your particular situation.


For me, FI and I live in South Florida but his family lives in Puerto Rico and all of mine live in Virginia so they have to travel regardless and going abroad just seemed like the best option for us. We have a very limited budget and we'd rather have a week long vacation with both sides of the family rather than just one day. I mean how many times are you going to have both families in the same place again? Another thing was the fact that we were set on a beach wedding in a tropical setting from the very start and don't get me wrong, South Florida is perfect a beach wedding but the quality of service just wouldn't be worth the amount of money we'd be paying. It was also really important for us to give our guests an experience that is different from other weddings that they've been too and you don't really get much more different than a destination wedding. I'm not sure what type of venue you're looking for but all-inclusive resort weddings can be exceedingly cost effective and "stress-free" but contacting WCs can be very frustrating as they don't always respond back in a timely fashion and the flexibility of their packages is very limited. On the other hand, nontraditional offsite venues can be more expensive but you do have the ability to customize the things you want. 


My advice, sit down and talk with your family, see how they feel about your decision. Maybe your nearest and dearest may not be able to afford the trip or they may have other concerns but realize that no matter what you choose to do, some family members will protest. Ultimately, do what's best for you and your FI as this is your wedding and you shouldn't have to settle simply because of other people. Happy Planning!

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On another note: 


As I stated above, FI and I are on a limited budget but we're able to have absolutely everything we want including ceremony setup, cocktail hour, plated dinner reception, decor, flowers, entertainment, etc. for 60-80 people on a private island all to ourselves for a budget of 8K. Where are you gonna get that kind of deal here in the US?


Be smart, shop around, and remember that the more popular destinations like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, etc. aren't always the cheapest. We didn't think we'd be able to have the wedding of our dreams in a unique location but thankfully we found Roatan and an awesome WC who can make it all happen for us. 

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Hello Miskriss 26,


Do you like to have a destination wedding at the beach or do you prefer to do it at your town? I think this is the first question you have to ask yourself. I was on vacation in 2009 at Riviera Maya at Grand Palladium Resort. There I saw the weddings and I felt in love. Since that moment I knew that I would like to have a DW.


So at the end of August I started to ask information to my travel agency about the costs for travelling there (for my honeymoon and for the costs for the guests) as well as I wrote to the hotel to know the options for the wedding and costs.


We are spending 2500 usd for our stay of 3 weeks there (the first for the legal part and the other 2 weeks for the honeymoon). We got a good offer for our guests for 1080 euro. THis costs includes direct flight from Madrid (Spain) and return Cancun to Madrid; stay of 7 nights (guests), all inclusive and shuttle from/to the airport/hotel. 


About the costs, I do not know how is in other resorts, but for example in mine you have several options. It all depends of your budget and people that is attending. 


My wedding is in 3 months and until this moment 20 guests are attending. I do not think is going to increase. 

The resort gives the option to do a cheap dinner, this is with a dinner in one of the restaurants there. This has no cost at all. Or you can go with a private reception. We have choosen this last option. 


For giving you an idea:


-Cost for wedding package: 2400 usd

-Appetizers: 350 usd

- Dinner: 1250 usd

- Cocktails, party and music at the beach: 150 usd



Of course this depends on the amount of people you are having. For example in my resort you can have the free dinner if you have 40 people or less, if not, you have to make a private dinner. 


There are also cheaper ways, for example instead of making a legal wedding at Mexico, making a vow renewal package which cost the half (more or less).



Suming up, I think a DW is sth you really want to do because you would love to have a wedding at the beach, in a beautiful island or in a pretty garden/beach gazebo. 

We wanted to have that as well as an intimate wedding. We are sorry that some closer friends are not able to come. But of course, a very good point is all that people you just see once or twice per year but you have to invite as well for several commiments... So all this people is not coming.


My elder sister got married two years ago and she had to pay for 210 guests! A total ruin!! and only 40-50 people are closer friends and family. 



I hope I have been helpful!!

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Sorry, I forgot to tell you other extras we have ordered. 

For example we wanted to have more flower arragments so this is increasing all in 600usd, plus we are having also a musical band for 350 usd, as well as the wine (the one included at the dinner we do not like, it is a cheap one, you know) so we are going for an outside vendor for this for a 800 usd considering Spanish red wine bottles, white wine from French and Moet & Chandon.



The wedding dress, suit, shoes and photographer are costs that you have to pay in every part. My photographer has a cost of 1000 usd (4 hour for the wedding day and TTD the day after). 

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Kriss - yep, that is why we chose a destination wedding. Plus like TropicalBride, our friends & family are scattered across the country, so it would have been a destination no matter WHERE we chose to go. And we didn't want to get into the "you've got to invite my best friend so and so" thing, so the invites balloon out of control. We didn't have a wedding party because we didn't want to ask them to buy dresses or suits on top of the travel costs (we felt all of our guests were our wedding party). We had 36 guests


As far as costs go - you can plan as elaborate or as simple of a destination wedding as you want, and spend as little or as much as you want too. 


For us, the idea of a local wedding with $100 per head for the reception dinner (rough cost), venue rental, hiring an officiant, finding the local vendors, decorations, etc was more than we wanted to spend. If we include the cost of our stay at the resort, we spent around $12k total - that's wedding AND honeymoon. here's what that included:

-paper suite (invites, STDs, name cards, etc)

-wedding day attire (my dress, his suit, shoes, jewelry, etc)

-10 nights in a Casita swim up suite (yes, the cost included our honeymoon!)

-private reception with filet & lobster dinner (it was DELICIOUS)


-real touch bouquet/bouts/corsages for family

-photographer (we brought ours with us)


-centerpieces/table decorations (brought the pretties, rented a vase from Lomas)

-chair sashes/table runners (brought our own)

-small OOT bags for guests (1 per couple or 1 per single guest)


You really do have to decide if you're ok with a destination wedding, and if you can live with the possibility that some of your nearest and dearest friends and/or family may not want or be able to go. And if you will still want a DW even if they aren't there. I think all of us had to go through that stress point - some decided to cancel the DW and do something at home, some decide to do a DW anyway, and some do an at-home reception to include those who can't travel. 


Good luck with your decision making!! 





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