Weddings are tough work. One magical night goes by in a blur of ceremony, reception and dancing. Along with most of your savings.
The traditional wedding runs from 20-30 thousand dollars. And on average, It includes one night of celebration, many guests and wonderful memories. It also includes teeth grinding and a few well-placed expletives.
The planning phase for a 6 hour affair takes months. Most couples start a year in advance, sending out “save the dates” to all of their friends and family. From there, it’s an onslaught of food tasting, color matching, flower shopping and outright insanity. Brides aren’t the only ones to don the “bridezilla” namesake. It’s a war zone in the bridal field, and the weak are trampled.
Photo by Funky Town
Some thrive on the details, managing each part of the wedding. Binders are created, categorizing each section. It’s a fantastic orchestra of servers, vendors, guests and locations. It’s also monster headache.
| Cue Destination weddings |
Land on manicured property with trained servers, greeted by a symphony of monkeys and fresh fruit cocktails. Ushers carry your belongings to your room and you settle in with a dip in the nearby chlorine-free pool.
And your wedding isn’t for just 3 days.
Photo by Leah Wyman
Over the next couple of afternoons, all of your guests start arriving. You and your boo landed a day early—time to settle in and take care of some logistics. A few samples of food to craft an ideal menu. Walking through the grounds to understand the layout for your reception. Enjoying yourselves.
| Imagine |
Imagine sending out save the date cards to only 30 people. 30 of your closest friends and family, the active members of your life. 30 people that you’ll remember, by name, without a detailed seating chart and mnemonic devices. Just 30 people you actually like.
Photo by Jonathan Hokklo
With just a few discussions on preferred food, colors and style, the wedding team at your resort will craft a sweet, special and personalized wedding. Who needs elaborate arrangements when the location is a wild Jungle, teeming with life and vibrant colors?
Photo by Funky Town
Picture the reception close the beach, with lapping waves filling out soft instrumentals. Torches line the perimeter and a sweet mid-day breeze rolls off the gulf. The staff is bustling all around, arranging all of the small details that make a wedding so magical:
colorful custom cards adorn folded napkins:
Photo by Daniel Moore Photography
or whimsical enchantment with a simple setup. When your wedding is in a gorgeous place, less is more.
Photo by A Britt & A Blonde
This is your day.
You are in charge.
| Honeymoon |
The cost of a traditional wedding doesn’t end with last call at the bar. For those adventurous types, or anyone that’s spent most of a season planning a one-night affair, the honeymoon symbolizes freedom. You did it! And you got married.
Sadly, you just need to fork over a few thousand dollars extra, or settle in for a short trip to a local bed and breakfast.
With a destination wedding, your honeymoon can be as simple as extending your stay or picking a new spot around the corner to explore. If you are in the tropics, be sure to find a sweet secluded beach, take a kayaking trip or invest in some massage treatments!
Photo by Leah Wyman
| Cost |
A full week at an all-inclusive resort averages $30,000. A traditional wedding is usually 3 TIMES THAT AMOUNT.
But here’s the fine print: that’s for all the food, guests and housing. Everything for the whole week.
- 5 Star Farm-to-table Cuisine
- Airport Shuttle
- Accommodations for up to 30 guests
- Open Bar for the Entire Week
- DJ Service for the night of the wedding
- Wedding Ceremony & Cocktail Reception
- Rehearsal Dinner for up to 50 Guests
- Wedding Dinner for up to 50 Guests
- Post Wedding Brunch for up to 50 Guests
- Free Wifi
And that’s if you pay for all of your guest’s inclusive stays! Soon-to-be happily ever after couples can list price plans and coordinate with the retreat so guests can pay a portion of their accommodation costs, further reducing the price of the wedding for the couple.
A big selling point is the “go on vacation” with all of your friends, and while there, your close friends will get married and have an awesome party. Combining a much-needed vacation with an awesome reason to celebrate? That sounds like a great vacation to me.
About the Author
Christopher Grohs is currently volunteering at Blue Osa, a yoga retreat in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. He has a strong desire to roll on the floor like a playful kitten and share in the weirdness of human movement potential, often floating around on his hands. He loves bodywork, swimming with contact dancers and crafting morning routines. In 2014, Christopher rekindled his love of yoga with training in the “BowSpring” template of alignment with their tagline: less mechanical, more animal. Meow.
He has an on-and-off affair with the East Coast, attending Northeastern University in Boston and spending most of his twenties in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the end of 2014, he ran away from his home—he free-listed his belongings and ventured into the wandering yogi lifestyle.