Q: How Much is a Destination Wedding Really Going to Cost Me?
A: Well, the answer is… it depends. But it will be a whole lot less than a wedding of the same caliber in the United States!
Now, this answer doesnt help much, does it?! Well, let us give you a better idea:
All of this money is spent on one single day, which if you break it down to the actual event time, on average it’s about 20 minutes in front of your guests for the ceremony, followed by a 4 hour reception, where about 1.5 of those hours are spent enjoying the meal.
That leaves you with about 2.5 hours (or exactly 1 minute per person for 150 guest event) to talk to everyone, thank them for coming, and try to enjoy the party with them. And don’t forget all the traditional wedding formalities you will need to fit in as well like first dance, cake cutting, etc. You may want to cut that down to about 15-30 seconds with each guest.
Many destination weddings have multiple events spread out over many days. A typical itinerary includes a welcome cocktail hour or dinner for all guests (not just the immediate family and wedding party like a normal “rehearsal dinner” would be back home). The wedding day events which often very much resemble the same pattern at weddings in the states; ceremony, followed by cocktail hour and reception. Then, the day after the wedding, many destination weddings choose to host a “recovery brunch” or do a group excursion on a catamaran just for their group.
Here’s how we see the comparisons from a destination wedding to the local wedding:
Our Client’s Destination Weddings:
Days of events
Thousand average cost for our clients
hours to have fun with your guests
Weddings in the United States:
Day of events
Thousand average cost
hours to have fun with your guests
But what about travel expenses?
A: Well, unless you are paying for your guests most travel expneses for two are minimal compared to the wedding costs and often the couples get their room for free anyway!
For groups, many resorts will issue an incentive based on the number of rooms you book in your group (if you book as part of a contracted room block – if you book on a travel website, you get nothing). Once this incentive is calculated, it typically means that the bride and groom, get a big fat check! Some of our clients have seen upwards of $14,000 – more than enough to pay for their room and their entire wedding!!
That’s right, with many resorts, they literally pay you to bring them a group! This directly off-sets the cost of your room (and sometimes other rooms as well), or your wedding.
Now, the incentives vary from resort to resort. and since it is based on how many guests travel, this amount won’t be finalized until everyone travels, so you will need to lay out that money for the wedding first. But knowing you are going to get a good amount back is certianly helpful!
Be sure to work with a travel agency who knows the resorts incentive programs, as some are very generous, and some give almost nothing! This is an important factor your agent should go over with you before you decide on a resort.
But we’ve found what helps the most is looking at actual client’s detailed break-down of their expenses so you can get a better idea of what your wedding might cost you.
JEssica & Ryan
Wedding Ceremony & Reception – 108 Guests – $20,324.00
Travel – Room & Air for 2 guests, 7 days – $3,970.24
Total Credits Received (Hotel & BAI Promotions) – $17,135.00
Actual Final Cost – $7,159.24
Ashley & Jamie
Wedding Ceremony & Reception -34 guests – 11,733.60
Travel – Room & Air for 2 adults, 1 child, 5 days – $3,332.38
Total Credits Received (Hotel & BAI Promotions) – $7,056.30
Actual Final Cost – 8009.68
Although it can be overwhelming, Be All Inclusive has been living and breathing weddings since 2005. We are here to be your guide every step of the way throughout the entire process.