Weddings are romantic, but destination weddings are borderline fairytales. You’re transformed outside the world of the ordinary into a place filled with love and mutual respect. Suddenly, you’re not just getting married, you’re joining hearts with the one you love in a place beautiful beyond your wildest dreams. Every couple planning a destination wedding will tell you that this costs a lot of money, though. If you want to have the perfect wedding abroad, you’ll need to save some dough. Learning these secrets will guarantee you have an affordable yet breathtaking ceremony in a storybook surrounding.

1. Write everything down

Whether you plan on a big wedding or not, you’re going to need to write everything down. From the details to all the large things you need to take care of, everything should be on some sort of wedding list. It all adds up, and before you know it, you’ve overstepped your budget by a landslide. By writing things down, you’ll be right on track the whole time.

Whether you choose to write it all down the old fashioned way by creating a to-do list, or if you create a digital one is up to you. Another interesting idea is to have a wedding binder where you can put all your information. This way, you’ll have pictures and ideas along with the names for the things you need to do.

Aside from being the most practical way to stay within your budget, writing everything down is also good for the mental organization. You’re acutely aware of how much you’re spending and how much more you have to spend. It’s not so abstract and far away anymore, which just helps you stick to your budget and makes you look at your wedding realistically. This is especially important in this case when you’re planning a dreamy destination wedding.

2. Keep it simple

You’re already going all out by choosing a destination wedding, so there’s no need to do anything lavish. The simple fact you’re getting married in a stunning location will be luxurious enough. In other words, when it comes to destination weddings, less is more. The environment, venue, food, culture, language, and everything in between will already be overwhelming enough. There’s no need to overflood the senses and give yourself a headache.

Elegance and simplicity will settle much better with you and your guests, as the wedding will be a cherry on top of the cake of the foreign land. If you decide to decorate extensively and do things the way you would at home, you’re just going to overdo it and stress yourself out. This whole experience is about enjoying foreign soil and finding beauty in something new. It’s more about the destination than the typical wedding decoration.

This is good news for your wallet, too. The simpler and more elegant you go, the less you need to spend. The theme of your wedding no longer has to cost absurd amounts of money because you’ve invested most of your budget in the perfect location. It’s much easier to find simple yet elegant decorative pieces and incorporate them into your theme, anyway. Choose neutral and base colours like white and beige as they’ll be easiest to match with your centrepieces and venue, but also cheapest to come by.

3. Go local

The biggest issue with throwing a destination wedding is where you’re supposed to get the decor. The best thing to do is to go local as much as you can. This is another aspect of less being more and fitting your wedding into the destination you chose. So, going elegant and simple is key to fine decor but that doesn’t mean the flowers, food, decoration, and everything in between still doesn’t cost a lot.

Thus, it’s important to add a slight modification to your theme. It should be elegant, simple, and local. What this means is that you’ll be getting all your materials from local stores. It’s cheapest if you opt for the most common colours, local flowers, and local cuisine. As nothing needs to be imported, it doesn’t need to cost as much as regular decoration usually does. Employing local caterers might also be a good idea.

As amazing this is for your budget, it’s also excellent for the experience you’re trying to provide. Everyone’s already been to a typical wedding in your country, but this is your chance to give them something entirely new. When is the next time any of you will have the opportunity to go to a wedding in Brazil, Bali, Morocco, Jamaica, or anywhere other in the world?

Immerse yourself in the culture entirely and you might even be surprised by how much you like it. Being a local for a few days, especially on your wedding, is the highlight of having a destination wedding. Become closer to the world around you just by accepting all the wonderful differences it carries within.

4. Get some help

No matter how much you tighten your belt, you may still need some help. Instead of borrowing off parents and relatives, you should choose something more stable and convenient. Your family may be glad to help, but in the long run, this can just create issues and make you feel indebted to them. In some cases, the family even starts to control what the couple spends their money on. To avoid this unnecessary stress, you can apply for cheap wedding loans.

This way, you’ll have the funds you need to travel to your dream destination and decorate accordingly. You won’t have to put yourself in a world of debt and money problems, either. The financial support will be there without feeling like a burden. With loans like these, you can come to an agreement with the company you’re taking a loan from and pay them back the way it suits you.

5. Choose the right place

Let’s face it, some destinations are cheaper than others. If you’re trying to save money but still want to travel, you may have to settle for something less than your dream destination. Of course, this doesn’t mean the new location won’t be just as beautiful and dreamy. All you have to do is do your research on places with lower wedding costs.

Those looking for a tropical paradise should consider holding their wedding in Martinique. This place is famous for its white and sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and untouched nature. You can easily start your honeymoon early if you decide to travel here, thus maybe even saving more money in the process. To really keep the costs down but get the full experience, you should get married in May. It’ll be out of the season, and thus cheaper, but the weather will still be nice.

If you’re out for a slice of culture next to all the beauty a destination can offer, definitely plan a trip to Jamaica. Out of all the Caribbean countries, it’s by far the most culturally diverse. This will give you something more than just the sun to enjoy, thus also opening up even more unique wedding opportunities. The lively atmosphere and friendly locals will only contribute to your special day and make you want to celebrate more.

You could also look into Curacao. Aside from having tropical nature to enjoy, you’ll also get to participate in many interesting activities. If you and your significant other have a thirst for adrenaline, you should definitely go scuba diving while you’re here. In fact, some even choose to get married underwater. The weather is nice and warm all year round, so the best time to have your wedding would be between May and November. It’s cheapest between these months, yet you’re not missing out on anything.

Finally, you could find yourself in Hawaii. Even though this may seem like an expensive location, there are some cheaper resorts where the focus is all on the scenery. Nobody can charge you for the untouched nature outside which provides all the romantic atmosphere that you need. Since Hawaii is a popular wedding destination, there are also plenty of wedding packages you can choose from. This way, you’ll be saving even more money. Choosing to get married outside won’t be a gamble with the weather, as we all know how sunny and warm Hawaii is. In other words, you’ll get to put that scenery to good use and get the fairytale backdrop we all want on our wedding pictures.

Whatever place you decide to go to, make sure to research the accommodation prices in advance. This could be key to sticking to your budget, as it’s usually the hotels which exhaust the last penny. Sacrificing hotel location and going at the right time of year will help you immensely.

Conclusion

With the wave of the wand, you and your guests will enjoy a truly magical day. Though there may be a lot of work behind that wave, you’ll only see the amazing wedding it resulted in. With these secrets, you’ll manage to have something affordable yet unique and very pretty. Giving yourself a cherished memory doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

About our guest author

Stella is an art historian, traveler, conscious consumer and  a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book. She’s also deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable living and sustainable travel will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on.

Photos via Unsplash

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