So often when working with clients planning a destination wedding I hear – “Wow! Are you kidding? We had no idea!” When they find out how easy and affordable a destination wedding can be, they get super excited. Not only do they get to throw the wedding of their dreams in a gorgeous locale – they save money, time, and headache potential while doing it. Here are the three things that shock every couple planning a destination wedding:
Destination weddings can be shockingly affordable. I’ve even rounded up my favorite places to have a destination wedding for under $5000 – yes, less than a photographer costs at many “regular” weddings here in Canada! You can read my top 5 under $5000 here for a sneak peak at a few of my favorite wedding packages (some even INCLUDE photography). Throwing a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort allows you to save a ton of money while still having an unforgettable event. You can spend those extra dollars on an even nicer dress, or an upgraded room, or just put it in your savings account for your future together. I know there seems to be an ongoing joke about how weddings cost a down payment on a house so… Destination weddings can also be really affordable for your guests. Booking with a travel agent that can offer payment plans can make a huge difference. Guests can pay a small amount each month towards their trip which is huge.
One of my favorite things about Destination Weddings is that you are encouraging travel. Guests who may have never traveled before or may not think travel is possible for them can find encouragement with an easy payment plan of using your travel agent and realizing how simple travel planning can be. Around 30% of my own guests had never left the country before! And you know what? They are all eager to go again. If you have been to Mexico before, do you remember your first trip? Mine seemed almost unbelievable. I couldn’t wait to go back. Your guests will likely feel the same way and will be SO THANKFUL you introduced them to this new way of spending their yearly vacation time.
The Number of Guests who RSVP “Yes.”
Every hear of FOMO? Not judging because I had never heard about it until one of my last-minute guests said it to me! She thought she wouldn’t be able to come because of previous work obligations but she was able to book a trip last minute. She was talking about how happy she was that she was able to come and said “I was legit FOMOing so hard”. Umm what? FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out for those that would have to google a hip word like that (like me). Who wants to miss out on all the fun? Nobody.
A lot of couples think that because they’re traveling for their wedding, most guests will send back a “No” on their RSVP. It might surprise you, but usually a fair amount of guests end up saying yes! With the aforementioned payment plans, destination weddings are an affordable option for many guests. Also, if your friend or family member is getting married at a gorgeous location and you can make it – why wouldn’t you want to spend a few days partying and celebrating in the sunshine? Destination weddings can also serve as an unofficial family reunion, so many guests will make the effort to be there if they can work it into their schedule and budget.
I would never want to mislead you into thinking 100% of people will say yes but here is what I will say: Some people you would have never expected to say yes, will. The family who never has extra money? They might decide it’s the perfect excuse for “mom and dad” to get away for their well-deserved vacation. The guests who have never left Canada ( or mentioned any desire to)? They might not have even known something as perfect as an all-inclusive resort exists. That being said, some people that you would have never expected to RSVP no, will. Even if you ask them before you decide on a destination wedding (because you absolutely should ask anyone on your “must have” list before you commit. People have so many reasons why they might RSVP no, and to be honest, it usually isn’t about the money.
I did write a post on how to make it easier for guests to RSVP yes which lists more ways to make it easier to get more YES RSVP’s. You can also do the opposite if you want more NO’s. Giving your guests lots of notice, making sure it is easy for them to book (and get more information) and choosing an all inclusive resort (trust me, guests love knowing they will pay one price for everything) are my absolute “must have’s” for making it easy for your guests.
How Easy the Planning Process Is
Speaking of making it easy for guests to RSVP, what about making it easier for the wedding couple? Many resorts that host destination weddings strive to make it as easy as possible for engaged couples to plan their big day. If you think that language/culture barriers might make it difficult to plan your wedding in another country – think again! And if you work with a destination wedding planner (like me), your stress level will be reduced even less. I work hard to provide my couples with a fun, headache-free wedding planning experience.
Sometimes, when I talk about how easy it is, wedding couples assume that means it isn’t personalized. After all, some resorts pump out THREE WEDDINGS PER DAY! How can they possibly personalize your wedding? Honestly, I don’t even know how they do it but they do it every single day. I am constantly amazed by their work. Some resorts are better at customization than others, but that is why you use a travel agent to help find the right resort for you!
I wrote a pretty sweet 9 Step Guide for Planning a Destination Wedding but here is a quick and easy summary of how the planning process usually goes:
- You confirm your date with a deposit
- They send you a package with absolutely everything you need to know about their wedding packages, locations, decor options, and more.
- You may have questions throughout the next few months as you look through the info and dream about your day, expect a 3-4 week response time. I said the planning process was easy, not fast.
- Boom. Now you are 3-4 months from the wedding and the resort is finally giving you the attention you deserve. You start to plan out your options with your on-site coordinator and finalize all the details (or at least, most of them like your menu, colors, and location).
- Once you arrive, you will meet your on-site coordinator to finalize everything in person. You can drop off any decor you brought down with you. Then they set it up on your wedding day! You just relax.
- It’s your wedding day and you are amazed how every single detail is better than you imagined.
If you’ve been thinking of planning a destination wedding but have been hesitating – don’t! Planning an amazing wedding overseas can be affordable, fun, and virtually stress-free! I absolutely love helping coupes with this so if this is something you are considering, contact me! Better yet, you can literally schedule a phone consultation in under two minutes with my appointment tool here.