DESTINATION WEDDINGS

Is a Destination Wedding Too Expensive for my Guests?

January 21, 2021

We break down the expenses so you have a better understanding of the costs associated with attending a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort.

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If you’ve started researching having a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean, then you probably already know it can save you LOTS of money when compared to having a wedding in the United States.

But is it worth the savings to ask your friends and family incur the costs of travel to attend your destination wedding? Will they be able to afford it?

I’m breaking down the expenses so you have a better understanding of the costs associated with attending a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean.

Let’s begin!

First of all, even if you get married in your hometown, many people will still have to travel. So let’s compare costs associated with traveling to a wedding in the USA and traveling to a wedding at an all-inclusive resort.

Hotel vs All-Inclusive Resort

Your out-of-town guests will need a hotel room while they’re in town. Naturally, costs vary greatly depending on where you live and the quality of the hotel. But it’s not uncommon for a hotel to run about $200+/night once you add in all the taxes. If you’re in a bigger city, this can easily top $400/night.

All-Inclusive resorts also vary in quality, but a good ballpark figure for budgeting is $150-250 per person, per night.

Uber/Taxi/Rental Car vs Included Transfers

Your out-of-town guests are going to need transportation. Those Ubers can add up really quickly. Transportation between the airport & hotel. And then between the hotel and all wedding functions such as rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, brunch, etc. 

At KP Travel Group we always build transportation between the airport & resort into the package cost for your guests & it’s usually very minimal ($30-50). And that’s all that’s needed since everything they need is right there at the resort. Dining around-the-world, an incredible beach, all of your wedding events, etc.

Dining Out vs Dining at an All-Inclusive

Your guests gotta eat! While you’ll be providing meals at the rehearsal dinner and reception, they still have breakfasts, lunches and dinners on non-wedding event days. $$$

Compare to an all-inclusive resort where all the meals are included. Order anything you want and as much as you want! No need for your guests to stress about spending too much or splitting bills.

Drinks!

We all know how quickly you can run up a bar tab! Even if you have an open bar at your reception (cha-ching), your guests will likely be grabbing drinks with friends at other times throughout the weekend. 

Again, at an all-inclusive resort drinks are included, so no need to worry about running up a huge tab.

Flights

Flight costs vary greatly depending on where you live, where you’re going and the time of year. So it’s impossible to compare flight prices to your hometown vs Mexico or the Caribbean. Generally, a flight to one of the easier to reach destinations such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Punta Cana or Montego Bay is going to be $300-500. If you’re thinking about a smaller island such as St. Lucia or Barbados, flights could be upwards of $1000.

I know what you’re thinking….but a lot of my guests DO live in town & won’t have all these extra costs. This is true & it will be more expensive for them to attend a destination wedding than a hometown wedding. But don’t forget they’re also getting a vacation out of it. This is why it’s so important to give them ample time to plan for your wedding. Most people have a budget for vacations & attending the party of the year is a great way to allocate some of those vacation bucks!

Ways to Keep Costs Reasonable For Your Guests

Here are some tips to keep travel costs for your destination wedding affordable:

  1. Go all-inclusive. Your guests just pay one price upfront and it includes everything, so they can easily budget for their stay.
  2. Choose an affordable destination. With lots of daily flights and a large assortment of quality all-inclusive resorts, having your wedding in Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas), the Dominican Republic or Jamaica will keep travel costs down.
  3. Choose your date wisely. The most expensive times of year to travel are festive season, spring break and other holiday weekends. Rates are higher during the high tourist season (December-April). You’ll find the lowest rates in the Fall months.
  4. Give multiple accommodation options. Make it easy for your guests to find an option that works with their budget. At KP Travel Group we always list rates for anywhere from a 3-night stay to a 7-night stay. We also offer multiple room categories at different price points. It’s not uncommon for our lowest-priced option to be around $500/person.
  5. Give your guests lots of time to plan and save. I recommend sending invites 10-12 months before your wedding. KP Travel Group allows your guests to make interest-free payments towards their accommodations.
  6. Consider subsidizing costs. Many couples want to help pay for their guests’ travel. Note this is NOT expected, but it can be done. Talk to your travel agent about options.

So you see, a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort can be affordable for your guests. And they’re going to have the BEST TIME EVER!

Interested in delving further into costs and options? Book your free, no-obligation consultation with me today. This one-hour call is your chance to ask all your burning questions about having a destination wedding

BONUS CONTENT: Convinced a destination wedding is right for you? Start planning by downloading our free guidebook to finding your perfect wedding destination, resort and venue.

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I'm Kathryn, travel advisor & owner of KP Travel Group 

I’m your boots-on-the-ground, been-there-seen-that resort expert. In an age where the right angle and Instagram filter can turn a pigsty into a palace, I'll help you plan a vacation that really delivers on that picture-perfect promise.

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