Destination Weddings

DW 2018

Hi everyone! The fiancé and I are planning a destination wedding in July 2018. 

A little background; were both in our 20s and have been together for six years now. We had an engagement party two years ago and are ready to get hitched!

We are looking to invite around 120 people, however we are expecting many of them to not attend (extended family that he doesn't speak to, people he must invite out of courtesy, etc.) More realistically we think around 70-75 people will attend. 

We we're looking into Punta Cana or Jamaica, however we are open to suggestions!

We have a budget of $5,000 (although we do have wiggle room, we don't want to go over $10,000 or approach that much) we would like this to include air fare. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Re: DW 2018

  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Oh jeepers. Geebee is totally right. You can't do this unless you pass the costs off on your guests. They should have some choice on where to stay in order to give people a little flexibility on how much exactly they have to spend in order to attend your wedding.

    You can't have a super cool beach wedding for a lot of people and not pay for their food, which makes an island wedding very expensive for anywhere from 70-120 (and 120 is what you should budget for). People should be hosted when you invite them somewhere, not pay for their own dinner. The reception is a thank you to them for attending, which is why the cost of thanking them is your responsibility.

    Anniversary

    short+sassy
  • future2018bridefuture2018bride Buffalo, NY
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    I should have included more detail:

    We are planning on 120 all attending, however we are basing the number of attendees off of who attended the engagement party as well (for example, I had guests that are from my home country, that will not attend). In addition, we would like a space where multiple resorts are close by, allowing different price points for people. 

    In addition this is mine and fiance's budget. Our families have also offered to help for additional expenses. 

    We have looked at multiple options in terms of having the wedding near our hometown, near where we live, etc. and destination wedding is our best bet. We are looking to do the following:

    Have a white night before the wedding (which will be on us). We feel this would be a great way to have everyone together and would act as our rehearsal dinner!

    In addition, we are looking to also pay for the dinner at the reception as well. 

  • geebee908geebee908
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
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    I should have included more detail:

    We are planning on 120 all attending, however we are basing the number of attendees off of who attended the engagement party as well (for example, I had guests that are from my home country, that will not attend). In addition, we would like a space where multiple resorts are close by, allowing different price points for people. 

    In addition this is mine and fiance's budget. Our families have also offered to help for additional expenses. 

    We have looked at multiple options in terms of having the wedding near our hometown, near where we live, etc. and destination wedding is our best bet. We are looking to do the following:

    Have a white night before the wedding (which will be on us). We feel this would be a great way to have everyone together and would act as our rehearsal dinner!

    In addition, we are looking to also pay for the dinner at the reception as well. 



    Have your families given you a hard number for their offer, or are they offering to pay for specific items? Don't count on any money that's not in your bank account when you begin booking items. If it's not there, you can't plan on spending it. If they're offering to pay for specific items, you let them make the contacts, sign the contracts, and make the payments directly.
    SP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    I really don't understand how having a wedding at home is more expensive than flying to another country and having a reception as a resort. That logic just doesn't work out. 

    The PPs have offered great advice. If people are going to be staying at other resorts or hotels, you need to make sure they won't have to pay an entrance fee to where the wedding is. If there is a fee, you will need to cover this. 

    InLoveInQueensSP29ahoywedding
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
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    I should have included more detail:

    We are planning on 120 all attending, however we are basing the number of attendees off of who attended the engagement party as well (for example, I had guests that are from my home country, that will not attend). In addition, we would like a space where multiple resorts are close by, allowing different price points for people. 

    In addition this is mine and fiance's budget. Our families have also offered to help for additional expenses. 

    We have looked at multiple options in terms of having the wedding near our hometown, near where we live, etc. and destination wedding is our best bet. We are looking to do the following:

    Have a white night before the wedding (which will be on us). We feel this would be a great way to have everyone together and would act as our rehearsal dinner!

    In addition, we are looking to also pay for the dinner at the reception as well. 



    What is a white night?
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
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    Please research Punta Cana and Jamaica, or anyplace else in the running to be sure that you can meet the legal requirements to get married there before you book!
    SP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    kaos16 said:





    I should have included more detail:

    We are planning on 120 all attending, however we are basing the number of attendees off of who attended the engagement party as well (for example, I had guests that are from my home country, that will not attend). In addition, we would like a space where multiple resorts are close by, allowing different price points for people. 

    In addition this is mine and fiance's budget. Our families have also offered to help for additional expenses. 

    We have looked at multiple options in terms of having the wedding near our hometown, near where we live, etc. and destination wedding is our best bet. We are looking to do the following:

    Have a white night before the wedding (which will be on us). We feel this would be a great way to have everyone together and would act as our rehearsal dinner!

    In addition, we are looking to also pay for the dinner at the reception as well. 





    What is a white night?


    I'm guessing she means a white party the night before, where guests are asked to wear all white clothing. 

    lnixon8
  • future2018bridefuture2018bride Buffalo, NY
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    Hi everyone!

    Wow thank you for all the helpful replies!
    I will definitely take it all into consideration for our planning! 

    Yes you hit the nail on the head with the white night! That's exactly what we are planning for our guests. In addition to any admission fee they may have to pay we are also going to be covering that. 

    We are currently working with a travel agent as well to help us through everything, but wanted to see if anyone who recently had a DW had any other advice (which you all have, thank you!)

    Again, we are flexible with our budget we understand $5,000 may not be enough which is why it is a flexible number from us at this point!

    In terms of the DW being cheaper, that's not necessarily the reason we are having one. I don't want to go into it here but it is what we have decided. 

    Thanks for the feedback!
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
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    Hi everyone!

    Wow thank you for all the helpful replies!
    I will definitely take it all into consideration for our planning! 

    Yes you hit the nail on the head with the white night! That's exactly what we are planning for our guests. In addition to any admission fee they may have to pay we are also going to be covering that. 

    We are currently working with a travel agent as well to help us through everything, but wanted to see if anyone who recently had a DW had any other advice (which you all have, thank you!)

    Again, we are flexible with our budget we understand $5,000 may not be enough which is why it is a flexible number from us at this point!

    In terms of the DW being cheaper, that's not necessarily the reason we are having one. I don't want to go into it here but it is what we have decided. 

    Thanks for the feedback!


    I always love to hear why people choose destination weddings. . . . mind sharing?
    Jells2dot0
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    kaos16 said:





    Hi everyone!

    Wow thank you for all the helpful replies!
    I will definitely take it all into consideration for our planning! 

    Yes you hit the nail on the head with the white night! That's exactly what we are planning for our guests. In addition to any admission fee they may have to pay we are also going to be covering that. 

    We are currently working with a travel agent as well to help us through everything, but wanted to see if anyone who recently had a DW had any other advice (which you all have, thank you!)

    Again, we are flexible with our budget we understand $5,000 may not be enough which is why it is a flexible number from us at this point!

    In terms of the DW being cheaper, that's not necessarily the reason we are having one. I don't want to go into it here but it is what we have decided. 

    Thanks for the feedback!




    I always love to hear why people choose destination weddings. . . . mind sharing?


    I had a poll up asking this at one point. I'm always curious as well. Especially when someone says the bolded above. To me, that indicates there is some drama and that usually means a super small wedding or elopement. Not 120 guests. 

     







  • future2018bridefuture2018bride Buffalo, NY
    First Comment
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    To make a long story short,

    His family wants us to either:
    1. Elope. 
    2. Cut down their guest list on the # of people they have invited.  

    We are doing the destination wedding because it was the only way we could convince his family to not do either option. We feel that would be extremely rude after having an engagement party to either elope without anyone in attendance, or purposefully not invite guests to the wedding that were invited to the engagement party.
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
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    edited July 6




    To make a long story short,

    His family wants us to either:
    1. Elope. 
    2. Cut down their guest list on the # of people they have invited.  

    We are doing the destination wedding because it was the only way we could convince his family to not do either option. We feel that would be extremely rude after having an engagement party to either elope without anyone in attendance, or purposefully not invite guests to the wedding that were invited to the engagement party.





    So you chose a destination wedding because you want to invite everyone from engagement party but don't want that many to come?  Rather than uninvited you chose destination so they won't come?

    If they aren't paying they don't have a say in guest list.

    ahoywedding
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited July 6
    Destinations weddings work best for couples who want a very small wedding with immediate family only.  Often, the couple pays for the flights, though this is not required.  Reasons to have a destination wedding include:
     1. Families are thousands of miles apart and in different countries, so they would have to travel anyway. 
    2.  There is a special place the bride and groom want to be married in that has significance for them.

    Saving money is NOT a good reason to have a destination wedding!  They are EXPENSIVE, both for you and your guests!  You have little control over the arrangements unless you have enough money to fly there a few times to check.

    I am sorry, but your plans do not meet the criteria for a destination wedding.  You need to plan the wedding that you can afford.  If your relatives are paying, then they get a say in your plans, including your guest list.
    You need to sit down and figure out your budget and your guest list.  Once you have done this, then you can start thinking about where and when you will have your ceremony.  Fancy evening ceremonies are not required.  You can save a lot of money with a morning or afternoon ceremony followed by a luncheon reception, or even cake and punch in the mid-afternoon.

    I do not think it is practical for you to plan an wedding out of the country on your budget.  Remember, your guests will all have to get passports just to attend, as well as spending a lot on airfare.  (Passports are $135 per adult.)

    We will be happy to help you plan a budget friendly wedding, but I don't think you are being realistic about this.

    PS.  I have never heard of a "white night".  Is this something from your ethnic tradition?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • future2018bridefuture2018bride Buffalo, NY
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    Hi everyone,

    No offense taken! Like I've said, I am fine with taking everyone's points into consideration!

    However, I feel it would be poor etiquette to not invite everyone that was at the engagement party to the wedding (whether it was a destination wedding or wedding at home).  

    If anyone has suggestions on that matter, that would be greatly appreciated. 
  • geebee908geebee908
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
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    Hi everyone,

    No offense taken! Like I've said, I am fine with taking everyone's points into consideration!

    However, I feel it would be poor etiquette to not invite everyone that was at the engagement party to the wedding (whether it was a destination wedding or wedding at home).  

    If anyone has suggestions on that matter, that would be greatly appreciated. 


    You're right about needing to invite everyone who was invited to the engagement party to the wedding and good for you for sticking by that. If your FILs want to pare down their side of the the guest list now, 2 years later, it would be right for your FI (blood talks to blood) to point out how rude that would be and try to reason with them.

    If they're going to put conditions on it because they are paying a portion, then decline their money and adjust the budget to accommodate the kind of wedding and reception your new budget allows. CMGr is right that a local wedding for 120 people can be done economically if you choose a non-mealtime reception or a brunch/lunch type of reception. A destination wedding for even a very small group is going to be very expensive for everyone.
    InLoveInQueensadk19SP29short+sassy
  • Honestly, even if the engagement party was two years ago, I'd still be expecting to be invited to the wedding. E parties are held soon after engagements and often people have long engagements, I wouldn't think length of time between party and invite would change my expectation here. I think you need to invite everyone you originally invited to the engtagement party. 
    JediElizabethHeffalumpsouthernbelle0915
  • I'm confused if $5-10k is the budget for the WEDDING, or just how much the couple is able to contribute along with family contributions. What's the overall budget for the wedding? Clearly $5k is not going to work. But if your budget is $5-10k for your airfare and stay at the hotel/resort, it might. 
  • future2018bridefuture2018bride Buffalo, NY
    First Comment
    member
    Some updates:

    The 10k is how much we (couple) can contribute max. 
    From my family, my mother will be able to match us with another 10k. 

    We have not yet had a chance to sit down with his family to determine numbers. 
  • I'm having a destination wedding in October here in the Continental states. I have family all over and really anywhere we had our wedding was going to cost for our guests to fly/drive and hotel. Everything adds up fast, but there are ways to cut costs. Our ceremony and reception (food and open bar) is costing 8k for 60. Destination weddings are expensive for everyone involved. I'd definitely get in touch with venues for price quotes first. I was shocked that majority of places on the beach were close to double what we're paying! Ridiculous for 1 night
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited July 8




    Some updates:

    The 10k is how much we (couple) can contribute max. 
    From my family, my mother will be able to match us with another 10k. 

    We have not yet had a chance to sit down with his family to determine numbers. 




    I hope you didn't ASK your mother for money.  If she volunteered it, that is OK, but it is really tacky to ask relatives to pay for your wedding, even if it's your Mom.

    Don't make any plans until you have your budget and your guest list set!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • geebee908geebee908
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    I just came across a site that recommended budgeting $225/person for a domestic DW and $400/person for an international DW due to the extra entertaining that comes with a DW-- meals the night before and morning after and extras such as welcome bags and whatnot to thank your guests for taking the time and expense of coming to your wedding.

    http://grouptravel.org/destination-wedding/what-is-the-average-cost-of-a-destination-wedding/

    The article does mention the all-inclusives as a cheaper option, but that's only because your guests are absorbing the costs that the hosts should be covering, and no one should be "that host."
    InLoveInQueensNiceKindaSpice
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    Some updates:

    The 10k is how much we (couple) can contribute max. 
    From my family, my mother will be able to match us with another 10k. 

    We have not yet had a chance to sit down with his family to determine numbers. 


    If your mom volunteered the additional $10K and you have it in hand, then $20K is completely sufficient to have a really nice wedding at home (at home being where you would marry if you didn't have a DW- either where you live or your families live). You should be able to properly host all 120 guests without the guests having to shell out thousands of dollars to stay at a resort.

    Also, it sounds like you aren't expecting any financial contributions from his side. So, if that's the case, you can just invite everyone who attended the engagement party and don't engage his family in any conversations about it. It's a total etiquette win.

     







    JediElizabethSP29InLoveInQueenssparklepants41
  • If you're planning for summer of next year, I'm curious why you won't get married at, or near, your location. Your bio says you're from Buffalo, I am, too (and got married in they city). And July is warm, but usually beautiful weather. If you're looking to get married at a beach, there are TONS of lakefront or outdoor options (happy to share them with you if you need suggestions) that would be in your budget. 

    If you really want a DW that's your choice, but you do need to host people properly (having a hosted reception not just doing the AI) and invite all the people invited to any pre-wedding parties like the engagement party. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    lyndausvi said:


    Hey, I'm the first to say it's rude to invite people to an e-party and not a wedding.  That is why e-parties should be small and only with VIPs.  But that ship has sailed.

    So this is where I'm going against the standard etiquette rules.   Your e-party was 2 years ago.  Your wedding is not for another year.  Which make it over 3 years ago since the e-party.  

    Considering your budget and the amount of time between the 2 events I think the statue of limitations might be over.    

     I think there are worse things in the world than not getting invited to a wedding after being invited to an e-party 3 years ago.  Like picking a location that you know most people will not be able to attend in order to get declines just to save face because they were at the e-party.





    I disagree- mainly because she can easily invite 120 to a local wedding for 10K. I'm also a big believer in owning your consequences. She was not forced to have an E party and clearly understood the rules. 

    The options aren't: 
    1.) invite a selection to a local wedding
    2.) invite everyone to a DW and hope they don't come.

    Both are super rude, and both can be avoided easily.

    the solution is clearly:
    Invite 120 for a casual local wedding.

    OP, you cannot afford a DW for 120. You can't even afford a DW for 60. The only way you can is by pushing the cost onto your guests. 




    Here's the thing about e-parties.   The couple is not suppose to be throwing the party themselves.    Which means the host is doing all the inviting.  Which could mean the host could in theory invite people who might not have been invited otherwise, but now have to because of the pre-wedding party rule.

    My family doesn't do e-parties.  My MIL did have one for us in which I was able to meet family and friends.  I had ZERO control over the guest list.  I had no idea who these people were since I had not even met my MIL by the time I got engaged.    I'm not kidding when I say I met my MIL the night before the e-party she threw for us.    

    Now money and invites in general were not an issue for us, so of course they were all invited.  However, I can see how if having to invites these people because my MIL decided on an e-party list I had not control over could have been an issue for some couples.

    That is why I don't like e-parties that are huge.  That are 3 years out from the event.  Things happen, finances changes, relationships change.   Weddings plans change.  

    IDK, I give a little more leeway on certain things based on situations.   Had the e-party been last month and the wedding in Sept, I would be giving different advice.








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    JediElizabethInLoveInQueenssparklepants41short+sassy
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