5 Tips to Save Money for Your Destination Wedding
Updated June 3, 2020
Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life and obviously you want everything to be perfect. You want to find the perfect backdrop, share the perfect kiss at the altar, dance your perfect first dance, and share your perfect day with all your favorite people. Most people (well particularly you ladies out there) can tell you exactly how they imagine their wedding would be if money were no object. What would you do? Go on a private cruise with just your closest friends and family? Or just you and your lover? Rent a spectacular villa perched high above the sea and relax for a month enjoying all the activities and amenities the property has to offer? For the really adventurous maybe you’d say “I do” on the moon, or better yet, Mars!
Okay, okay, well let’s come back down to planet Earth. For most of us, unfortunately, money is an object to one extent or another so here 5 Tips to Save Money for Your Destination Wedding so you can enjoy the tropical wedding of your dreams, a fantastic vacation with all your favorite people, and a romantic honeymoon trip–all for less than a typical wedding in the US.
One of the benefits of a destination wedding is that on some fronts you actually end up saving quite a bit of money. Let’s say you were planning to fly to Costa Rica anyways for your honeymoon so that’s not really an added cost. Of course, wedding venue prices vary widely and it greatly depends on which one you choose, but in general you can get a breathtakingly gorgeous location with views that only Costa Rica can offer for cheaper than that mediocre venue in your town you were looking at. Plus, many venues in Costa Rica have their own in-house wedding planners that will take care of all the little details for a set price that you know up front. That saves you lots of headaches, which is hugely valuable in itself. Oh and one of the best things about destination weddings is you don’t have to choose between inviting all your mother’s family from deep in the Ozarks that you’ve never even met before or risk offending someone–namely your mother. Having your wedding in a foreign country is the perfect excuse (and your mom will be having so much fun she won’t even care).
Okay so let’s get to it. Here is a list of ways to help make your wedding dollars stretch farther and have a wedding/vacation/honeymoon better than you ever imagined!
1. Be Flexible With Dates
Costa Rica has beautiful weather virtually year round. However it does have two seasons, the dry and the wet. The good news is that most people see that word wet and think that if they go during those months they will be sloshing through a tropical downpour for their entire vacation. Why is that good news? Because it creates an off season when less people want to go which in turn lowers prices for everything. Airfares drop dramatically and hotels and wedding venues often offer specials and deals to entice people to come.
Okay so how wet is wet? And do you want to take the chance? You can see more detailed information in our guide What the Weather’s Like in Costa Rica, but in general the wet season runs from May to November, with October being the rainiest month so maybe try to avoid that one or you will be sloshing through tropical downpours your whole vacation. The rest of the wet season, however, it generally only rains part of the day and usually in the afternoon. Note that there is no guaranteed sunset during the rainy season as that is often the time of day that it is raining, but if you get lucky the sunsets are absolutely spectacular at this time of year. So if you can live without the sunset shot and you want a beach ceremony you can plan it for early in the day and have your reception set up in a covered space so you can escape the rain if it does cloud up. Or alternatively, you can kick off your shoes and dance in the rain. You’re never going to wear that dress again anyways and think about the epic photos you could get out of that! Okay, sorry, shameless plug.
2. Choose the Appropriate Venue for Your Wedding
Okay we’ve already mentioned that venues are already somewhat less expensive in Costa Rica than in the States. A lot of hotels have spectacular wedding venues on site with wedding planners and the whole kit and kaboodle. You just reserve your rooms and your date and they take care of everything. Headache free and not too expensive, relatively speaking. But if you want to save even more, that’s not too difficult. With a huge array of beautiful beaches and other breathtaking wonders of nature you can find a spot to have your wedding that won’t cost you a dime and the backdrop will be unthinkably beautiful.
3. Use Local Vendors
Destination weddings are unique in that many of the details you won’t be able to see and touch in person beforehand. If you are a control freak this style of wedding might not be for you. But if you are willing to be laid back and enjoy fantastic surprises along with your guests then you will be in for a treat. So along those lines, don’t worry about flying in your favorite hairdresser or wedding planner etc. That will just add unnecessary dollars to your bill. Instead check out the great array of local vendors that are available here in Costa Rica. You’ll save a bundle and with all the information that is available online these days you can find someone who you can feel confident will do a fabulous job. Another plus is that they won’t be a fish out of water. For example, your favorite hometown hairdresser may never have created a hairstyle in the kind of heat and humidity that is found along the Pacific coast in Costa Rica whereas a local vendor will be an expert in getting your hair to do exactly what you want.
4. Use Natural Decorations for Your Details
Be creative with your decorations. Costa Rica is rich with natural beauty so finding a spot that will provide a great backdrop is almost too easy. You probably won’t even need much added decoration if any. Plus, if you’ve chosen your venue wisely it’s already going to be filled with tropical beauty and probably an amazing view. If you want to add a bit of your own pizzazz consider buying a few bouquets of local flowers and voila! you’re all set for an indescribably beautiful wedding at a fraction of the cost you would have paid to decorate somewhere in the States.
5. Consider a More Simple Wedding Dress
Speaking of wedding dresses, here’s another great money-saving tip. A destination wedding provides the perfect atmosphere for a less grandiose gown. You can buy a simpler, but still stunning wedding dress, designed to be easy to carry with you on a plane and looks absolutely gorgeous in a tropical setting for hundreds of dollars less than a standard wedding gown. Remember, you’re only going to be wearing it once anyway.
As you can see with just these 5 simple tips you can save yourself some money and enjoy a wedding experience unlike anything you could plan in your hometown. Your day will be all the more special for being surrounded by your most favorite people and the experience will be unforgettable. Plus you will have loads of epic photographs to show your kids how mommy and daddy got started on their big adventure together!
Thinking about eloping to Costa Rica? That would certainly be a money-saver! Check out my top picks of the best places to elope in Costa Rica.