I'm doing a destination vow renewal as part of our honeymoon in Hawaii.
As far as it being cheaper... it really depends on how big of a wedding you would have here vs where you travel to for a destination. Amount of guests makes a big difference too.
We are having a small, simple wedding at a restaurant here first and then in the fall going to Hawaii. Even with how expensive Hawaii is just for travel, when all is said and done, the wedding here will still have cost more.
You definitely can find cheap options for destination weddings.. you should reach out to an agent. I used https://www.destinationweddings.com/ for our vow renewal. They have been great and offer you many options.
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Is it cheaper? Yes and no. Right now, in my budget, we're paying $6500 for travel, but that includes an extra week for a honeymoon, about $7500 for the wedding itself on the resort, including excursions. But I opted for a buffet dinner instead of free one in one of the restaurants, so that's adding about $3k. Then I've got another $6k - $8k for everything else (dress, decor I'm bringing, favors, etc.).
ETA: the $6500 for travel is less the two gratuities we're getting, so total travel costs would have been closer to $9k.
Depending on the hotel, a lot of them have free wedding packages if you have a certain amount of people. That might be something to consider. My main advice: Don't be afraid to ask for extras! A lot of hotels will give you extra perks but only if you ask for them!
Ours will end up being much cheaper compared to having it local, in the long run, and gives everyone a well deserved vacation that they may not have take without an event to attend to!
I will definetly look into a travel agent .. we are sort of weighing the pros and cons of a destination wedding compared to having it in toronto ...so I was under the pretence that its cheaper but I'm learning not really.
We have 30 people coming in total, including the bridal party.
I would say the first step is to find a travel agent. They have great advice on locations and the overall planning process. We are using Red Tag Vacations and my girl has been AMAZING. She has for sure gone above and beyond with the whole process.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at the Majestic Colonial. The very first thing I did after getting engaged (and telling close family) was to start searching for a destination planner/ travel agent. Found a great one here in Ottawa. She's the one who contacts the airlines and the resort, got group rates, is the go-to for the resort, speaks Spanish (which is a major advantage) so will do all the translation of our documents. I'm still over a year out, but so far she's been amazingly helpful.