10 Places for Budget-Friendly Destination Weddings
Planning a destination wedding on a budget can be quite a challenge. In addition to travel, there are many other expenses for couples and their guests to consider, including accommodations, ceremony and reception venues, dining options, and extra activities. For those willing to look beyond the beaten track, though, there are a number of locales both here and abroad for a destination wedding that won't break the bank.
Dreaming of a beach wedding but worried about the budget? Consider Florida, which offers the same warm climate and tropical setting as the Caribbean without the high price of international travel. A popular spot for destination weddings and celebrations of all kinds, the Keys provide a lot of options. Several local businesses offer wedding packages that take care of everything from guest accommodations to the ceremony and a reception with catering and photography. Best of all, the beach is free.
It may not be at the top of the list when brainstorming a destination wedding, but Wisconsin has some serious advantages, especially for budget-conscious couples. The most expensive aspect is travel, a low to moderate cost with advance notice. The many lakes and estates offer dozens of options for weddings of all sizes. Event halls and resort centers are plentiful, many offering all-inclusive wedding packages for a fraction of the cost on the coasts. Check out Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Geneva National Resort in Lake Geneva, Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, and Heartwood Conference Center and Retreat in Trego. Set your wedding on one of the lakefront resorts and enjoy water sports alongside indulgent spa treatments.
Another popular budget-friendly destination for beach weddings is Belize, which has some of the world's most beautiful waters and is a top destination for scuba diving, tubing, and beach bumming. It's less developed than other tourist hotspots and remarkably inexpensive for everything from flights to accommodations and food. Consider tacking on a honeymoon, with deals on all-inclusive packages starting as low as $150 a day for lodging, transportation, meals, and drinks.
With its mix of mountain, valley, and coastal cultures coming together, small and colorful Oaxaca, Mexico, is one of the most richly diverse cities in North America. World famous for its gastronomic culture and lavish street festivals, Oaxaca is always celebrating something. The large churches regularly house elaborate weddings featuring traditional clothes and marching bands. Nightly rates at the many hotels, bed and breakfasts, and private houses can be as low as $15. Food, transportation and activities are all inexpensive once you're there.
Dreaming of a classic resort wedding on a budget? Thanks to its popularity as a tropical getaway, Cancun usually sees good deals on flights. During the off-season (May to November) many beach resorts and private villas offer all-inclusive packages for about half the regular price. Once in Mexico, the wedding party and guests can enjoy the sun-soaked beaches and unlimited food and drinks.
Jamaica remains one of the most affordable Caribbean islands. Many of the resorts in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios can accommodate small groups as well as large parties and take care of everything from ceremony set-up to party breakdown. Book well in advance for the off-season (May to November) to receive the best discounts.