The Ultimate Guide to Planning Destination Weddings

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aliceshootspeople via Instagram

A destination wedding is an intimate celebration held in a picturesque location far from home, where couples exchange vows amidst breathtaking landscapes. The allure lies in the fusion of love and adventure, making it a cherished trend among couples seeking unforgettable memories in captivating settings. For destination weddings in 2023, the average package price was $5,550.


From picking the right venues to assembling vendors abroad, shopping and planning a destination wedding is overwhelming. But not to worry, we’ve created a top wedding destination guide and FAQ for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are destination weddings more expensive?

They are cheaper because these places offer packages that cover everything. You needn’t worry about stocking more drinks, reworking the venue, or making last-minute changes at your expense.


Destination Wedding Packages

Destination wedding packages are carefully curated offerings that combine various elements to ensure a seamless and memorable celebration. Here are three examples of popular destination wedding packages:

  • Tropical Paradise Package: This package includes a beachfront ceremony, an intimate dinner under the stars, a spa session for the couple, and a guided local excursion for the guests. Pro Tip: When choosing a package, ensure it covers essentials like venue, catering, decor, photography, and accommodations.
  • Historical Elegance Package: Ideal for couples who appreciate history, this package features a ceremony in a charming historical venue, a gourmet reception, a personalized guided tour of the locale, and vintage-inspired decor.
  • Mountain Retreat Package: For nature enthusiasts, this package offers a mountaintop ceremony, a rustic-chic reception, adventurous activities like hiking or horseback riding, and cozy cabin accommodations.


Top 5 Destination Wedding Locations

Are you looking for the perfect wedding destination to tie the knot? See 5 top exotic and memorable spots.


Lake Como, Italy

Why I should choose this place?
Lake Como is one of the most popular wedding destinations in Europe. It’s famed for its mountainous surrounding, resort villages, vistas, villas, cuisines, waters, and romantic ambiance. However, the weather can be chilly ad overcast. The lake itself isn’t great for swimming, which can be a letdown. It’s also pricey with an average wedding cost of about $20000 to $80000.

When to wed: The best time to wed is between March to November.




Why I should choose this place?
Ireland is famous for its restaurants, pubs, captivating churches, historical sites, dreamy castles, pristine beaches, and clear waters. They offer stunning backdrops for wedding pictures. To marry here, couples must be above eighteen years old. The average cost to marry here is about $36000.

When to wed: Due to the geography and stable weather, most weddings take place in July and August.


Istanbul, Turkey

Why I should choose this place?
Istanbul is the place of contrasts where a cosmopolitan society meets old-world charm. Istanbul boasts over 2500 years of history, traditions, and culture, with amazing landmarks, and vibrant nightlife. Unfortunately, December till May doesn’t support outdoor weddings. It cost an average of about $3500 to $4600 for a wedding.

When to wed: The best time is from June to the end of November.



Marrakech, Morocco

Why I should choose this place?
Marrakech is the city of luxury, famous for palaces, world-class restaurants, spas and Hammams, and enchanting Riads. There’s also the exotic cuisine of Namaskar Palace, Mamounia and its charming gardens, and the ethereal Royal Mansour Hammam. The average cost of a wedding is about $20000.

When to wed: The best time to wed is around May, June, September, and October; due to its warm weather.



Why I should choose this place?
Mexico Destination Wedding: Say “I do” against the backdrop of Mexico’s pristine beaches, where turquoise waters and golden sands create a dreamy atmosphere of romance and relaxation. While costs vary based on choices, a destination wedding could span from $10,000 to $30,000.

When to wed: Opt for the dry spell between November and April to bask in flawless weather and elude hurricane concerns, capturing the essence of Mexico’s beauty.


Destination Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates

Elevate the anticipation of your destination wedding through invitations and save the dates that offer a tantalizing glimpse of the forthcoming celebration. Infuse the design with the spirit of your chosen locale, encapsulating its unique allure. Whether it’s the vibrant coastal charm, the rustic elegance of the countryside, or the tropical enchantment, let the essence of the location resonate through a harmonious blend of colors, motifs, and patterns.

Destination Wedding Photographer

A destination wedding’s beauty deserves to be captured artistically. A photographer is essential for:

Immersive Storytelling: They capture the spirit of the destination and the emotions of the day.
Stunning Souvenirs: Quality photos serve as timeless mementos of your unique journey.


Destination Wedding Attire

Destination Wedding Guest Dresses

Guests attending destination weddings require attire that balances style and comfort. Lightweight fabrics, breathable designs, and elegant silhouettes are key. Flowy maxi dresses suit beach venues, while floral patterns and sundresses enhance garden settings.

Destination Wedding Dresses

Selecting the perfect destination wedding dress involves practicality and allure. Consider:

  • Travel-Friendly Fabrics: Lightweight materials ease mobility while maintaining elegance.
  • Matching the Ambiance: Let the location inspire your dress style – be it a beach, garden, or historic venue.


Destination Wedding Ideas

  • Cultural Fusion: Infuse local traditions and customs into your ceremony for a unique experience.
  • Adventure-Infused Festivities: Integrate thrilling activities like hiking or watersports into your wedding itinerary.
  • Intimate Receptions: Capitalize on the smaller guest list for more personal and meaningful celebrations.

In conclusion, destination weddings provide a fusion of love and adventure in breathtaking settings. These weddings blend romance with exploration, creating cherished memories that endure. With meticulous planning, the right professionals, and a touch of creativity, your destination wedding can be an unparalleled celebration of love and life’s grand adventures.


Your Guide From Real Destination Wedding Planner

How much do guests pay for destination weddings?
Guests usually pay for their flights. It would be near enough impossible for the couple to pay for everyone’s flights unless they’d like to pay for specific family members such as parents. If there is no accommodation at the venue, guests will need to pay for their own accommodation too. I would highly recommend that this is put in the RSVP’s so that your guests are aware.

I see a destination weddings to your guests also as a holiday too!

Do you have to pay for guests at a destination wedding?
Rule of thumb, the couple will pay for the rehearsal dinner, wedding breakfast, drinks reception and evening food. Additional beverages or days out that are out of the wedding are for your guests to pay for.

What are the cheapest destination wedding locations?
Mauritius, Caribbean and Asia are cheapest destinations (bare in mind your flights) Europe is a lot more expensive but the locations and venues are absolutely breathtaking so weigh up all options!

Bring your exotic wedding destinations to life by following these planning tips and guides. We’ve outlined a step-by-step process below.

  • Choose a location
    Safety, sufficiency, and comfort are things to consider when choosing a location for a wedding. Ensure that the place is safe for the guests and has sufficient amenities. The political and health situations of the area should also inform your decision.
  • Choose local for your menu and decor
    Exporting food to your destination wedding spots puts you at a financial disadvantage. Hiring locals will save you cost because they’ll work with seasonal flowers, meals, and appropriate decor at a cheaper price.
  • Hire a planner
    Hire an on-site planner that understands the terrain to navigate the language barrier and bureaucracy. If your budget permits, you may also hire a planner with a specialty in destination weddings.
  • Visit your venue before the wedding
    It’s important to see what you pay for, months before your wedding. You also need to arrange for a local beautician to take care of your hair, make-up, and nails.
  • Meet vendors
    Browse the internet or ask local vendors for destination referrals. Meet with them in person or over zoom. However, if you’ll fly with your vendors, you’ll be footing their bills.
  • Plan events and entertainment
    Help guests get the most out of their wedding travel by preparing additional entertainment. To unwind, make them explore and enjoy the culture, locality, foods, and activities at your destination.
  • Research insurance options
    An insurance policy will help safeguard your wedding investments against bad news. Discuss your options and take out a policy with renowned insurance companies. Your location may even require it.
  • Make sure you have the full list of the legal documents
    Update yourself on the marriage legal requirements of your wedding destination and have them ready. From the marriage license to resident permits, health certificates, possible tax, proof of funds, etc.
  • Pack the emergency kit
    Jetting off somewhere foreign means that you’re almost on your own. Stay ready with an emergency kit. Include needles, pins, scissors, markers, gums, travel-size perfumes, plasters, wipes, and more.
  • Wedding attire
    If you don’t want to shop from your destination, tailor your wedding attire to fit. Study the weather, acceptable clothing, terrain, and time of the year. These will help you plan appropriately.