Destination Wedding on a Budget: A Guide

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Fiona Wozney


Fiona Wozney has been in the Global Tourism industry for over 30 years. Her dedication, commitment, and drive to be excellent in what she enjoys doing are evident in all the partners she has worked with, the staff she has mentored, and the clients she has brought a smile to. Beyond her enthusiasm for business, she has a great passion for traveling and embarking on unique, thrilling adventures. Fiona was born in Australia and currently lives in the United States with her husband and two lovely daughters.

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A bride in her destination wedding in the Kootenays

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Planning a wedding is an exciting time for any couple, and what could be more romantic than saying “I do” in a breathtaking destination? However, the thought of the expenses involved often leads to a reality check. But fear not, lovebirds, as we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll show you how to plan a destination wedding on a budget.

First things first, set your budget. Weddings, whether local or far-flung, can quickly drain your bank account if you’re not careful. Determine how much you’re willing to spend and, more importantly, what you prioritize for your special day. Having a clear budget will help you make smarter decisions as you move forward.

Why Choose a Destination Wedding on a Budget?

Opting for a destination wedding on a budget offers several advantages. For one, it allows you to have a more intimate celebration, as typically, only close family and friends can attend. A smaller guest list can lead to significant savings on food, drinks, and other reception expenses.

Additionally, a budget-conscious destination wedding gives you the option to have your wedding and honeymoon in the same place. You can use the money saved on the ceremony and reception to upgrade your accommodation or extend your stay, creating lasting memories in a beautiful location.

Key Benefits of a Destination Wedding on a Budget

Another benefit is the built-in fun and relaxation that comes with a destination wedding. You and your guests get to enjoy a memorable travel experience while celebrating your love. It’s like hitting two lovebirds with one stone – a wedding and a vacation!

Before you start packing your bags, it’s essential to be ready for possible challenges. These challenges, such as limited venue options and the need to coordinate with local vendors from a distance, can add some complexity to your planning process. However, with the right approach and a sprinkle of flexibility, these challenges can be easily overcome.

Steps in Planning a Destination Wedding on a Small Budget

1. Choose an affordable wedding destination

When you’re working with a limited budget, every penny counts. That’s why it’s crucial to pick a destination known for its affordability. Consider locations where your currency has a favorable exchange rate or places that offer budget-friendly wedding packages. Doing your homework and researching different options will help you find the perfect spot that fits both your vision and your wallet.

2. Select the best time for your wedding

In addition to an affordable destination, carefully choosing the date for your wedding can further stretch your budget. Avoid peak tourist seasons when prices for accommodation and flights are at their highest. Instead, opt for off-peak or shoulder seasons when you can snag some discounts and enjoy more favorable rates. Not only will this be easier on your wallet, but it will also give you and your guests a more intimate experience, as the destination is likely to be less crowded.

3. Keep your guest list intimate

What better way to embrace this than by keeping your guest list short and sweet? Every guest means an additional expense, so be selective and invite only your nearest and dearest. This is your special day, after all, and sharing it with those who truly matter will make it all the more memorable.

4. Research local vendors

Do not be afraid to rely on the help of some local magic to bring your vision to life. Take the time to research and communicate with potential vendors in the area. Look for those who align with your style and, more importantly, your budget. Some venues even offer all-inclusive packages that can save you a bundle, so be sure to explore all your options.

5. Leverage the destination’s natural beauty

One of the best things about a destination wedding is that nature often doubles as your wedding decorator, providing a stunning backdrop for your special day. So, take advantage of this and let the destination’s natural beauty shine. Minimal decorations are the way to go when you have such a picturesque setting. Mother Nature has got you covered, and the best part? It’s free!

6. Plan your ceremony and reception with care

When you have limited funds, it’s essential to be strategic with your ceremony and reception choices. Start with a checklist. Consider having both in the same location to minimize transportation costs. You can also explore non-traditional venue options like public parks or beaches, which often have lower fees compared to dedicated event spaces.

7. Get creative with the extras

Destination wedding extras, such as welcome bags and guest activities, can quickly eat up your budget. But fear not, as there are plenty of ways to add those special touches without breaking the bank. Get creative and DIY your welcome bags, incorporating local elements for an authentic touch. For guest activities, explore free or low-cost options in the area. Trust us, it’s the thought and effort that count, and your guests will appreciate the personalized experience.

8. Prioritize your must-haves

When you’re working with a small budget, it’s essential to identify your must-haves and splurge on those while cutting back on the less important elements. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of a designer wedding gown, consider saving on other aspects like the cake or the flowers. It’s all about making choices that align with your priorities and what will make your day truly special.

9. Consider a destination wedding package

Some destinations offer wedding packages specifically tailored for couples on a budget. These packages often include the basics, such as a ceremony venue, officiant, and sometimes, even a wedding coordinator. If these align with your vision, feel free to include them in your planning.

10. Communicate clearly with your guests

Last but certainly not least, effective communication is key when planning a destination wedding. Make sure to provide your guests with all the necessary details well in advance, including travel and accommodation options. It’s also a good idea to give them a heads-up on any unique local customs or requirements. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for your guests to plan and budget for the trip.


A destination wedding is still possible even on a budget. It can also lead to a uniquely memorable experience. By carefully considering your priorities, being resourceful, and taking advantage of cost-effective options, you can have the wedding you have always wanted without breaking the bank. Remember to plan, make informed decisions, and stay true to your vision. Happy wedding planning!

Explore Affordable Destination Wedding Ideas

Looking for Kootenay wedding venues? New Denver Lodge is one option you should not miss. We have affordable packages for every possible dream wedding. Talk to us about your vision today.

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