How Much Should a Destination Wedding Cost?

Whether you’re a proud new bride or groom, someone who’s hoping to get there one day, or have long been happily married, everyone knows that a wedding is extremely expensive. Having shot weddings abroad a lot and having spoken with other destination wedding photographers, having a wedding abroad is an incredible experience. I even got married overseas myself in Cyprus. HoweverHow Much Should a Destination Wedding Cost?

How Much Should a Destination Wedding Cost

Everything costs money – from the invitations to the attire to the venue, cake, and more. Even the most reasonable, intimate celebrations aren’t particularly cheap. But when you decide to have a destination wedding? Well, that’s when you start to really get into the big bucks hey? Just how much should a wedding destination cost, though? It’s all entirely dependent on the destination you have in mind, the size of the event, and the specifics. There are so many pros and cons of destination weddings. Here’s how much you can generally expect to pay, some steps that can jumpstart the planning process, and a few of the most amazing locations that should be on your radar. 

Foxtail Barns Wedding Ceremony

The Average Price of Destination Weddings

One of the mistakes that people make is automatically assuming a destination wedding costs more than the typical hometown or home-country one. It’s easy to see where the assumption lies – after all, you should be looking at some pretty good fees just for the flights and other travel costs alone. The reality, however, is that most destination weddings are actually more affordable than their more-traditional locally oo. According to the knot, a popular site for all things wedding-related, the average wedding price in 2019 was just under £30,000.

But for destination weddings? That number sharply falls with an average of a little over 8 grand. That’s good news for those who are looking for an amazing deal. But when money is no object that figure means you can really enjoy a little luxury and some of the best locations money can buy. So, whether you’re wanting to go big or well, just not go home, a special wedding location can be just the thing to make your important day all the better.

Tips For Destination Wedding Planning

All wedding events have a seemingly endless to-do list that needs to get done before you can say “I do,” but there are a few things specific to planning a destination wedding that you’ll need to consider during the planning process. Here are a couple of essential tips that might help you out and ensure things go off without a hitch – wherever your big day is. Maybe you’re planning a wedding in Italy or looking for a location on another continent. Either way, I hope these tips help. 

Beautiful Cheshire Wedding

Go Over Your Guest List Early

Regardless of how many people you’re inviting to the party, your wedding guest list will (and should) help influence everything from the venue to the menu. If you don’t want it to throw a serious spanner in all your loosely-formed plans, you’ll want to get everything straightened out early. No one wants to get close to the big day and find out that Grandma can’t travel to Taormina in September. Plan ahead and you can probably avoid this disaster of a situation. 

Careful managing and planning far in advance can also help you make big decisions more objectively. Have your heart set on a remote island or corner of Spain? That means you’ll need to whittle your guest list down to a more conservative number. Do you absolutely need your 50 cousins there when you tie the knot? That’ll narrow your focus to places more appropriate and maybe even end your waffling should no specific locale jump out at you. A win-win all around, really. This may not be what you’re looking for but once as an Italian wedding photographer I shot a wedding on Lake Como and the bride and groom had not invited any friends. They just had their immediate family and there a huge party when they got home.

Amalfi Coast Wedding Venues

Consider The Date

Some wedding spots are more sought after than others. Should you find yourself itching to legally declare your love in one of the more popular spots, you’ll want to keep the date firmly in the forefront of your mind as you iron out venue details, travel plans, etcetera. High-season crowds could easily make it to where a place is all booked up for months (and maybe even a couple of years!) on end, or depending on location, can at least make the prep work more like wading through quicksand. Odds are, you’ll want to avoid that. Either book way in advance or get set for an off-season event. Generally, spring and Autumn will be safest but always do some research to verify. I recently made an article on the best time of year for an Italian wedding. Here the later summer months are the best times.

Best wedding Venues In Italy

Hire The Professionals

Buying the expertise that comes with destination wedding planners is almost always a good investment. Like we said – there is no end to the nuances and details when you’re planning such a massive, pivotal day. But this becomes all the more helpful when you decide to walk across the aisle (either figuratively or literally) in a whole other country. You’ve got even more to consider: travel difficulties, guest schedules, administrative differences, international laws, and more. Getting married abroad legally in Italy is different from getting married in France. It’s enough to make even the most organized soon-to-be spouse dizzy. Hand all the coordination over to someone who’s trained for it and revel in how many fewer frustrating phone calls you’ll have to make. 

George Clooneys Villa Lake Como

Top Destination Locations

How much should a destination wedding cost? The location will come into it for sure. The majority of people planning to leave home for their wedding already have a spot in mind, one that usually has a lot of special, personal meaning behind it. Not everyone, though. Some people just want somewhere exotic, exciting, and memorable. Still can’t decide on destination weddings in Europe? Here are some locations that might wind up perfect for you. Just don’t pore over them exclusively. You still have tons of details to work out like destination wedding photographers, wedding packages, and music options just to name a few.

  • Italy –

    From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the picturesque views of Lake Como in Lombardy, you couldn’t find a more scenic, dramatic wedding backdrop if you wanted to. The great Italian wedding locations are endless. Everything about it is absolutely breathtaking, but all the local wine and exploration opportunities just elevate the experience even further. There are some incredible villa wedding venues in Italy all over. You can opt for a warm cozy wedding in the Tuscan region or head north to the lakes such as Lake Garda. One of my favorite places to shoot in Italy though is on the Amalfi Coast. It’s such a dreamy location. You only have to google image search this place and you’ll be blown away. Amalfi Coast Wedding Photographers love shooting here as it’s incredibly picturesque.

    lake como wedding cost

  • France –

    What’s the first thing you think of when you consider a romantic wedding getaway? France probably comes to mind thanks to its city of love. However, there’s more than just Paris. Full of castles and countryside, the entire country is ideal for celebrating your amour. With experience as a Southern France Wedding Photographer, I can tell you it’s incredible. The last wedding I shot there was near Nice. It was around an hour away actually. The French countryside really is breathtaking and the cuisine and wine are enough alone for the most amazing wedding celebrations!

    Bride and groom Domaine de Bruguieres wedding

  • Cyprus –

    While it’s not quite as popular for destination weddings as some other places we’ve mentioned, as a Cyrpus Wedding Photographer I can tell you it deserves recognition. It’s a stunning locale. Located in the Eastern Mediterranean north of Egypt and Israel, it’s full of a place with stunning views, incredible history, and fabulous resorts. 

    couple celebrate wedding in Cyprus

  • Spain –

    Want to truly make your wedding an event? Hosting it in Spain is an absolutely excellent start. The weather is warm, the celebrations are big, and both the food (particularly the seafood) and drinks are liberal and delicious. What more could you possibly ask for? If the answer is beautiful natural beaches or fun sightseeing, Spain’s got you covered there, too. They have some incredible islands and beautiful beaches on the mainland. Though my favorite place is in Barcelona. As a Barcelona wedding photographer, I got to shoot a two-day wedding in the city here in Spain and it was incredible!

    Beautiful Wedding Barcelona


Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article on How much should a destination wedding cost. I have plenty of other content on my website that could help you with planning a wedding abroad. If you like my portfolio below and you have had a read of the client reviews on my website. Then I’d love to hear from you if you are looking for someone to take your photos at your wedding. 

A Taste Of My Portfolio

How Much Should A Destination Wedding Cost?
How Much Should A Destination Wedding Cost?