These wedding destinations are the perfect combination of beautiful and affordable.
When you’re planning your dream wedding, you might start fantasizing about all of the beautiful places around the world where you can imagine yourself saying your vows. And then, of course, the reality of your savings account (or lack thereof) sets in, and you may resign yourself to staying in your hometown.
A destination wedding can be a huge expense, but there are many ways to keep the cost down and still have the wedding you’ve been fantasizing about.
The best way to save money? Choose a location that will work with your budget.
1. Savannah, Georgia
The old-world charm of Savannah makes this city an enchanting choice for a wedding. From the cobblestone streets and buildings that are hundreds of years old to the relaxing beach at nearby Tybee Island, Savannah is a picture-perfect destination that still remains affordable.
Having your wedding in the U.S. will save everyone money when it comes to purchasing airline tickets, and in general, prices in the south are less expensive than most of America.
Savannah offers many beautiful outdoor locations for a ceremony if you don’t mind the humidity, or check out one of the many dazzling historic churches. For a completely original locale, you can even get married at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in nearby Pooler for less than $1,000.
2. Prague, Czech Republic
A trip to Europe may seem unattainable, but Prague happens to be one of the most affordable destinations when it comes to just about everything -- hotel, food, activities, and even venue prices.
Prague is a gorgeous city that looks like it might just have been plucked out of a storybook, with historic ornate buildings and featuring Prague Castle, the largest castle complex in the world.
Your guests are sure to find affordable accommodations in this city, especially if you plan your wedding during the off-season (which can save you on flight prices, too). Set up price alerts on Google Flights for your wedding dates and have everyone purchase flights when prices are at their lowest.
There are several venue options available that won’t cost you a fortune. Imagine saying your vows at the Old Town Hall -- a building completed in 1364 -- for around 850 euros, or in the Pachtuv Palace Garden, next to the palace where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart once lived, from 970 euros!
3. Lake Tahoe, California
If you’re looking for an outdoor ceremony with views that you will leave you and your guests speechless, a wedding in Lake Tahoe is a perfect choice. From the many beaches surrounding the lake to the snow-covered mountains and ski resorts, Lake Tahoe has it all.
Flying into Reno won’t be outrageously expensive from most major U.S. airports, and from there, your guests have the option to either rent a car or take a shuttle.
As a popular wedding destination, there are hundreds of resorts and venues to choose from. You can find a simple outdoor wedding package starting at around $350. Compare prices at the many available locations to find what works best for you and your budget.
4. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Located only a short ferry ride away from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is an enchanting island in the Caribbean Sea. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of an island wedding but were never sure you’d be able to afford one. Isla Mujeres may be your answer.
Most major cities offer inexpensive flights to Cancun, and you can often find sales to this popular destination. The current exchange rate between the U.S. and Mexico also means that your money will stretch even further -- food, lodging, and activities are often less expensive than they would be in the U.S. The money you save will allow you to plan your perfect beach wedding or choose one of the many resorts.
Check into venue options outside the resorts to save even more, such as restaurants and event centers like the Sunset Grill that offer wedding packages starting around $1,300 USD for 20 people.
5. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is known for its breathtaking views and its endless supply of activities, especially for outdoor lovers. As a popular destination in Canada, you can often find flight deals to this city, and airline tickets won’t cost you as much as longer trips overseas. Your guests can find budget accommodations by staying just outside of the city and using the SkyTrain to get around.
There are so many gorgeous spaces to get married, it’s almost impossible to choose. If you’d like a small outdoor ceremony, consider getting married in one of the city parks. If you’re looking for a historic venue, consider Heritage Hall, built in 1915 and located close to downtown. This perfect location can be as low as $450 CAD for your ceremony depending on your dates! Keep in mind that the exchange rate is currently in the U.S.’s favor, meaning you’ll get even more for your dollar.
Planning your dream destination wedding is absolutely possible, especially if you start planning and saving early. Consider opening an online savings account specifically for your upcoming wedding. These accounts are usually free, and you can set up automatic transfers into your savings just after payday. Plus, the higher interest rates are a nice perk.
If you have good credit, look into earning credit card points to pay for your flights or hotel. If you plan far enough in advance, you might even be able to use a few different travel credit cards to accumulate enough points to cover some travel expenses for your friends and family.
You might even want to combine your destination wedding with your ideal honeymoon location. That way, you’re only paying for one big trip. Above all else, remember not to put yourself into debt in order to pay for your wedding. Sticking to your budget will save you a lot of stress (and interest fees) further down the road.