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A destination wedding is the best of both worlds—a time to celebrate your vows while also taking a much needed vacation. But there might be a few extra costs that you don’t anticipate in your wedding budget, so be sure to take these into consideration.
Not only will you and your guests need to pay for airfare, but you also need to factor in the cost of traveling to/from airport to the hotel and to/from hotel to all wedding events, which adds up quickly especially if you provide these expenses for guests, says Nathan Johnson, founder and lead designer for GRO Design "Normally if it's a U.S. city, guests sometimes pay for their own transportation, but if you host a destination wedding internationally, it's important to provide for guests so they stay safe and you don't have any issues that could ruin the guest experience."
Hiring a wedding planner.
When deciding to host a destination wedding, it's important to really think through whether or not to use the wedding planner that a location will provide vs. bringing in your own personal wedding planner, says Johnson. "On the other hand, by bringing in your own wedding planner, you might achieve economies of scale by having your planner look for local deals rather than just accept the prices from the destination."
Making decor changes.
Many times, destinations offer package deals that might include things such as floral, chairs, tableware, table cloths, etc. in a one-price- covers-all package. However, if a bride makes any customized changes such as different chairs, silverware, floral, those package deals grow in cost, says Johnson.
A hidden cost is sending home any gifts people give you at the wedding, says Mark Wilcox, editor at weddinginfo.com "At best, you will have to pay extra for luggage fees. Most likely you will have to pay to have it shipped, which can be very expensive if you are overseas."
Welcome bag delivery.
While booking your hotel ask about its policy on receiving and delivering welcome bags to guests rooms, says Jessica Janik of The Invisible Breidmaid There are hotels that will have a delivery charge for placing the bags into each guest’s room. “If it’s free great, but if it isn’t see if they can hand them out to guests when they check in or opt to give guests their bags at the rehearsal dinner."
Guests not staying at the property.
If you have guests who live in the area you are having your destination wedding and aren't going to stay on location, beware, says Janik. "Some resorts charge guests attending only for the event requiring them to purchase a day pass which can sometimes be over $100."