15 Best U.S. Cities for a Destination Wedding on a Budget
A destination wedding needn't cost a fortune or involve a flight halfway around the globe. Plenty of U.S. cities provide memorable, budget-friendly wedding settings, from beaches to historic mansions. To come up with 15 top choices, we scoured multiple lists of cheap cities to visit and cross-referenced them with destinations recommended by wedding publications. All these cities have key attributes such as affordable accommodations, easy accessibility, and abundant, inexpensive entertainment.
Vegas certainly has plenty of drive-through wedding chapels. But it also has many elegant ballrooms and inexpensive hotel rooms (if you time it right). Avoid holiday weekends and big sporting events to get the biggest bargains. For reception space, the blog Here Comes the Guide identifies the Hampton Inn Tropicana, just off the Strip, as one of the most affordable options. Reception packages start at $28 a person.
Looking for a cheaper, less-crowded version of the Caribbean for a dream wedding? Key West may be the answer. A colorful island with pastel conch-style houses, ample nightlife, and tremendous walkability, Key West certainly provides guests with plenty to do. U.S. News & World Report touts it as both a bargain wedding location and an inexpensive place to visit no matter what the occasion. Reception packages at the Sheraton Suites Key West start at $679.
Related: The Best of Florida on a Budget
New Orleans is practically built for celebrations and appears on multiple lists for cheap travel. The city has much to offer in terms of inexpensive food, cheap live music and entertainment, and affordable hotels. Food & Wine magazine recommends the Hotel Modern, which regularly runs specials. The Federal Ballroom, which was built in 1923 as a Federal Reserve bank, is one of The Knot's top reception venues. It is rated "affordable" and sits just one block from the French Quarter.
Albuquerque, recognized by Forbes as one of the most affordable cities in the U.S. for family travel, also provides a picturesque backdrop for a wedding. Old Town Albuquerque is filled with historic adobe buildings that date back to when the city was founded as a Spanish colony in 1706. A short drive from downtown, the Albuquerque Balloon Museum is a unique and affordable wedding venue with eye-catching architecture and sweeping views of the Sandia Mountains.