BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In 2021, just over 28,000 weddings were held in Louisiana and the average cost of these events amounted to $18,337.

Now that a number of COVID-related restrictions have lifted in certain countries, many couples may be considering destination weddings.

After dealing with more than two years of a deadly pandemic, a simple wedding on a picturesque beach in a laidback atmosphere is likely very tempting.

That said, even a seemingly simple destination wedding can be a bit of a burden on the wallet.

According to Brides.com, “The average estimated baseline cost of a destination wedding hovers around $35,000.”

As this is the case, couples who are on a budget may want to carefully plan such an event in a way that keeps expenses reasonable while ensuring a beautiful ceremony and honeymoon.

The five suggestions below may help in this regard.

Invest in an experienced wedding planner

To avoid spending hours on the phone with multiple vendors who may not understand you due to a language barrier, and to ensure that someone arrives at your destination ahead of you to make sure everything’s perfect- hire a professional wedding planner.

Brides also suggests, “If a planner isn’t in your budget, look for a resort with a strong on-site coordinator.”

Budget for conversion rates and international taxes

This tip from Destination Weddings advises, “When planning your destination wedding, think about timing. For instance, if you’re planning a summer wedding in Europe, you may want to put more money down with your vendors in the winter months, when the Euro is typically weaker rather than paying everything off in the summer when the Euro is strongest due to tourism.”

The article adds, “Also, keep in mind each country has it’s own tax rate and some may be higher than you expect. Spain, for instance, had a VAT tax of 21% so when budgeting, be sure to include the VAT in your overall budget as it likely won’t be included in the estimates your vendors send.”

As long as we’re on the subject of vendor fees, it may be helpful to keep in mind that some overseas businesses may not accept certain forms of payment that those of us in the U.S. typically utilize.

So, it’s key that your wedding planner consult with each vendor for a clear understanding of how and when they expect to be paid.

Give invited guests (and yourselves) enough time to save for the trip

Considering the amount of cash couples will shell out for flights, flowers, food, music, and more, it’s a good idea to give yourselves enough time to save up for the wedding.

The same consideration can be applied to guests.

One couple said, “We gave our friends and family a year and a half to save up for the trip, knowing that most of our friends are mid-20’s and don’t have a few extra thousand to throw around at any given time. We also let our wedding party choose when they wanted to do the bachelorette/bachelor trips and ended up holding them a full 12 months before the destination wedding.”

Adjust your mindset

This may seem like a rather insignificant piece of advice, but experts say it makes a huge difference.

Brides advises, “Make sure that you’re okay with going with the flow, even up to the wedding day.”

Due to high-pressure jobs and the daily juggling act of balancing these careers with family responsibilities and social obligations, our society often encourages a Type A approach to projects. This perspective often includes a tendency to over-plan and assert an overabundance of control.

But when it comes to planning a destination wedding, experts suggest shifting to a more relaxed mindset and expecting that certain factors of the event will simply be out of your control.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, but consider necessary details

While it’s extremely helpful to approach planning with a patient and relaxed mindset, there are a few details that experienced wedding planners say couples should keep in mind.

For one, before setting a date, consider the season and the weather that’s typical in this region during that season.

Secondly, have a plan when it comes to the bride’s dress. If you’re traveling by plane, you might want to plan to pack the dress with your carry on luggage to ensure there’s no chance of it getting lost thanks to an airline’s mishap.


The five suggestions listed above come from more extensive articles on the subject that can be read at Brides, The Knot, and Destination Wedding Details.