, Destination or Traditional: Which Wedding is More Affordable?


The cost of a wedding can quickly get out of control. This is supposed to be one of the most important days of your life, so it needs to be special, but does it need to be super expensive? Before you sign any agreements or pay for decorations, why not compare the cost of having a local wedding vs. a wedding in another destination?

 Destination or Traditional: Which Wedding is More Affordable?

All Wedding Costs

No matter where you have your wedding, there are certain costs you are going to have to absorb. Account for these at the bare minimum.

  • Wedding dress
  • Bridal party outfits and dresses
  • Rings
  • Someone to officiate
  • Reception
  • Caterer
  • Photographer
  • Travel


You might be surprised to see that a few things you expected didn’t show up on that list. There are very good reasons for this.



If you have a destination wedding, you don’t have to worry about decorations because the area where the wedding is held is already naturally beautiful. You also don’t have the cost of a honeymoon because you are already on location. You might actually pay less for travel expenses because you don’t have to rent a limo and pay for honeymoon travel expenses. You may have to pay for a reception, but there won’t be as many people so it won’t be as expensive as it would be if you did it locally. In some cases, you might get a price break because a group is there because of your wedding. In other cases, you may not need a formal reception because your group is going to celebrate together whether it’s formal or not. You may even have reduced bridal party expenses because not everyone would be able to come and the ones that do will pay their own way. Add in a potential passport as part of the cost, but that may have been required if you had the wedding at home and went on a honeymoon later.



When you have your wedding locally you have to invite just about everyone you know. That means you need to rent a large venue and reception hall. You’ll also have to pay for the food and drinks. The bridal party will most likely be bigger than it would at a destination wedding, so even if they pay for their own outfits, you still need to provide gifts. You’ll need to buy or rent decorations as well. Once the wedding is paid for, you still have the honeymoon to consider.

Although at first glance it would seem that a destination wedding would be the most expensive option, it’s really the local wedding that is. Don’t forget about gifts either. Unless your guests bring something very small, cash may be the primary gift at a destination wedding. You might receive more gifts at a local wedding, but many of them will be keepsakes that you put up after a couple of years and others will be items around for around the house that you already had or didn’t want.

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