If you’ve checked your Pinterest board or Instagram feed lately, you know that beachside and mountaintop weddings are on trend. But if you don’t live near a majestic backdrop, and you’re set on traveling to a picture perfect ceremony site, it will likely be more expensive than tying the knot close to home.
So should you stay or should you go? If you’re dreaming of a destination wedding, these expert tips will make it unforgettable, while also keeping it affordable.
1. Drive instead of fly
Don’t limit yourself to tropical islands as you imagine a destination wedding.
“We would define a destination wedding essentially as anything that is not in your home territory — anywhere you have to travel several hours or more to get to or have your guests get to,” says Spencer Potter, executive director of the National Wedding Council, a wedding industry group.
If you’re itching to get out of your hometown but don’t want to pay for a plane ticket, a regional destination wedding might be a fit. So if you live in New York, think less Jamaica and more Cape Cod.
2. Pick a convenient location
Make sure you, your future spouse and your guests can reach your ceremony site fairly easily. The larger the burden to attend a wedding, the lower the turnout you can expect.
“See if your wedding can be close to a major transportation hub,” says Jennifer Spector, the newlywed-at-large and director of brand at Zola, a wedding planning and registry website. “If you have to take multiple flights or multiple modes of transportation, it’s going to add costs for your guests and it’s going to add costs for you.”
Additionally, because you might want to preview the venue in person, you may make multiple trips, which would quickly add up.
3. Honeymoon where you wed
Because you’ll already be traveling to the ceremony, avoid making an additional drive or flight for your honeymoon. Potter says some resorts will give you an incentive to stay extra nights after the wedding if you use their venue for the ceremony, so you can get married and honeymoon in the same place.
4. choose an Off-season date
Whether you’re getting married in the U.S. or abroad, you can expect better rates on everything if you avoid peak wedding season.