Destination Weddings

Average Cost of Destination Wedding in FL vs. Staying in NJ

I have a few fiance and I are thinking about having a destination wedding in the Florida Keys rather than staying in central NJ. Does anyone have any idea what the average cost of both would be for a wedding of a maximum of 50 people? Also, when you are asking people to travel to completely different state for your wedding what expenses should we cover for them? 

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

Re: Average Cost of Destination Wedding in FL vs. Staying in NJ

  • melpapsmelpaps New York member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    Any replies on this would be so very appreciated! I am stuck on a similar question - having it here in NJ would mean about 200 people. We are thinking destination Keys or DR wedding to lower the number and wed by the beach. Any advice/experience?
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Destination weddings tend to save money for a few reasons- smaller guest list, all inclusive resorts already have a lot included, so the per person costs tend to be less, and destination weddings tend to be scaled back in decor- less flowers (surroundings speak for themselves), most likely a less expensive gown (not as fancy because you're probably on a beach), and less decorations because you have to use what the resort offers.

    If you're trying to have the same exact type of wedding but in FL, then you probably won't save much. Key West does not have any AI resorts, so you'll be paying a per person rate similar to just using a normal venue. In fact, your guests will be out a lot more money because of the travel. However, if your idea is that your NJ wedding would be more traditional and grand and the FL more laid back and casual, then yes- most likely it will be less because you'll require less.


  • My girlfriend had a destination wedding in Key Largo  because it was less expensive than Key West and I believe her wedding cost around 20-25k so not much cheaper than it would have been had she gotten married here (I'm in Chicago, IL).

    However, she had a typcial, traditional wedding so her dress was a fancy lace dress (not something casual and beachy) and she had a traditional reception with all the bells and whistles. Because FL does not have an AI resort/hotel nothing came with her package as it would out of the country. Everything was seperate as it would have been here. Don't get me wrong we had a blast but we didn't have to pay for it either ;)

    I am getting married in Mexico and our budget is around 10k so much less expensive and this is for approx 50 guests. Hope this helps!

  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I think it depends on your vision and where you want to spend your money.  If you want to have an intimate ceremony/reception, of course it's going to save money.  With our DW (in Disney World), we opted to use the same budget as we would have if we got married in Ohio with a lot more people.

  • melpapsmelpaps New York member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    This has definitely been helpful, thank you all so much! What I have going for me is that we have several vendors in the family (such as florist, baker...) that will lower the cost no matter where we go. Mostly I've just always dreamed of the beach. I'm also struggling to even find a venue in the area to compare to the Keys or Dominican Republic, at a remotely reasonable price. The only thing I've found is the Montauk Yacht Club, on Long Island.

    Wishing you all wonderful weddings!! :)
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