A wedding requires a lot of planning, specifically when it comes to the venue, and sometimes, there’s no perfect place at home. While many of us assume destination weddings come with a high price tag, this isn’t always the case. We’ve done the research for you and compiled this article on the best budget-friendly destinations for your wedding so you don’t have to overspend on the big day.
Reasons To Have a Destination Wedding
Destination weddings are a great way to plan a ceremony somewhere beautiful. Every couple has a different vision for their big day, which may require a bit of a journey. For example, a bride living in Chicago may dream of a wedding along white-sand beaches, which means she’ll have to travel.
One great way to plan a budget-friendly destination wedding is to make the venue your honeymoon location. You’ll get a breathtaking venue combined with a romantic getaway. Why spend money and hop on another plane when you’re already at the perfect spot?
Beautiful Destinations in the United States
Beautiful locations across the United States make for a perfect destination wedding and keep you on budget. Each of these cities has different sites to offer, but what remains consistent is that each looks breathtaking.
Lake Tahoe, California
The views here are incredible since Tahoe has beaches, mountains, and even forests. No matter which backdrop you like best, you’ll find it here! Some great places to tie the knot include:
- Tahoe Ridge Resort
- Big Water Grille
- Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe
Another reason Lake Tahoe is great is that it’s easy to find pet-friendly places, so you can include your furry friend as you exchange your vows! Not much tops a venue that everyone is welcome in.
Sedona is beautiful and has a charming rustic look to it. The red rocks are a top attraction in the US and make an unbeatable backdrop to your ceremony space. This area looks the best at sunset or sunrise since the orange and yellow light pairs perfectly with the red rocks. Some great wedding spots include:
- Cathedral Rock
- Sky Ranch Lodge
- Enchantment Resort
Enjoy the beautiful city with an outdoor wedding to soak in those one-of-a-kind sites. Plus, taking advantage of the natural beauty saves you money on décor.
The city of Waitsfield in Vermont is another excellent place for your wedding venue; you can tie the knot in a barn or along a river. This is the best place for your wedding if you love nature because the lush backdrops are awe worthy. If you need help narrowing down a spot, here are a few ideas:
- Lareau Farm Inn
- Bolton Valley
- The Old Lantern Inn and Barn
Remember to see how many guests each can hold as you decide on a spot since some venues will only allow 150 guests. Noting this for a destination wedding is even more crucial since you’re not the only one required to travel.
3 Incredible National Parks
Some locations can be a bit pricier than others, and adding up travel expenses plus regular wedding expenses can be a lot. One way to save money is to investigate how to get married in a national park. Here are our top picks for locations:
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
You should hold your wedding in the Rockies if you love the mountains! Rocky Mountain National Park looks the best in summer and fall. Some top places to say your vows include:
- Bear Lake
- Dream Lake Trail
- Lily Lake
This is a great place to get married if you love being outside since there are plenty of places to hike, paddleboard, bike, or do other outdoor sports. While you may not have time for all of this, you could list activities for guests who make a vacation out of traveling for your wedding.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Many love Olympic National Park because it’s so diverse: there are hot springs, rain forests, mountains, and beaches. Once you fly into Seattle, you’ll have to drive or take a ferry to the national park. Some of the top wedding locations in the park are:
- Madison Falls
- Salt Creek Beach
- Hurricane Ridge
If you want your wedding to look like a fairy tale, Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park is the perfect place to say, “I do.” All these places look breathtaking and give you some variety in scenery. Decide which type of backdrop you want as you decide where to hold your big day.
Haleakala National Park
Getting married in Hawaii is the dream for some couples. And if you get married in Haleakala National Park, it becomes more affordable. Here are some unbeatable places for your venue:
- Pa Ka’Oao
- Leleiwi Overlook
- Kuala Coastal Trail
When deciding on a location in the park, you should keep in mind that you cannot get married in the Wilderness Area. Additionally, this is a top location for many couples, so you’ll want to book it as soon as possible to ensure you say your vows in beautiful Hawaii.
Countries Outside the United States
Most of us assume going abroad is out of the question for a budget-friendly wedding, but that isn’t always the case. So we’ve scoured the web for you and detailed the best places outside of the US to hold your on-budget destination wedding.
Looking for a tropical paradise to say your vows in? Negril, Jamacia is gorgeous, and you’re sure to have the unique venue that guests rave about for years to come. It’s hard to beat these white-sand beaches and the deep blue of the Caribbean Sea. After your big day, you can go ziplining through the Jamaican rainforest or snorkeling in the ocean.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
It’s almost always sunny in Punta Cana, making it ideal for an outdoor wedding. And the fantastic views along the beach are perfect; it’s got some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! You won’t need to worry about wasting extra money on décor because Punta Cana looks perfect on its own. You can begin a honeymoon in this paradise once you say, “I do” and wrap up the wedding festivities.
Belize is the final place on our list of the best budget-friendly destinations for your wedding. This city has plenty of beaches. You can even say your vows near the second-largest barrier reef in the world—Ambergis Caye! There are also several small islands, jungles, and even Mayan Ruins that you can choose as a venue. It’s easy to have a luxury wedding without blowing the budget in this dreamy city.
Bridal Tip for Abroad Weddings
If you get married in another country, you should consider the rules surrounding weddings there and travel requirements. Some countries require you have specific vaccines before going there. Likewise, your marriage may be legal there but not in the US.
Tips for Deciding on a Location
You have a lot of incredible places to choose from, and narrowing it down to one isn’t easy. So you may need a few tips for deciding on a wedding destination to keep things easy. Begin by deciding on the type of venue you want. Would you prefer a beach wedding or one in the mountains? Also, consider whether you and your partner have a special place. Maybe your first vacation together was in Lake Tahoe, and you want to return there to tie the knot. Investigate key things, including:
- The guest list: How many people will you invite?
- The best season for the location: Do you have to worry about natural disasters?
- The budget: Which destination fits your definition of budget-friendly?
Answering these questions helps you weed out what you don’t want so you can keep your venue-scope narrow. For example, as you consider the guest list, you also need to decide whether this is a family event or for adults only.
Our final advice is to travel to the location before booking anything. A venue may look different in online photos, and you want to ensure it matches your vision. Check out the ceremony space and talk with the venue manager in person. From there, get ready for many video calls as you coordinate the perfect destination wedding. With a great team, you can plan a stress-free destination wedding that stays within your budget. Say “I do” in your favorite location!