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Budget Planning: Comparing the Cost U.S. and Destination Weddings

Updated: Mar 21


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Getting married in the USA can be a dream come true, but it often comes with a hefty price tag. In 2023, the average wedding cost in the U.S. increased by 3% to a staggering $30,119, according to data by Wedding Report. With an average guest list of 134 people, the expenses can quickly add up, leaving many couples wondering if there's a more affordable option.


Enter destination weddings, where the sun-kissed shores of Mexico beckon with promises of romance and adventure. In this blog, we'll explore the costs associated with tying the knot in the USA versus opting for a destination wedding, specifically comparing prices with one of our favorites, El Dorado Spa and Resorts. Let's delve into the numbers and discover why a destination wedding might just be the perfect choice for you.



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Complimentary Packages

At El Dorado Spa and Resorts, paradise awaits couples looking to exchange vows amidst stunning scenery. With a minimum booking of 5 rooms for 3 nights each, couples can unlock a complimentary package that includes a host of luxurious perks. From a semi-private dinner to a symbolic ceremony in a picturesque location, the offerings are designed to make your special day truly unforgettable. Picture yourself indulging in a private candlelight dinner on the beach, with the gentle lull of waves serenading your celebration. With thoughtful touches like a romantically decorated suite and a chilled bottle of champagne upon arrival, every moment is infused with romance and luxury.


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Of course, for those looking to elevate their experience, additional options are available at El Dorado Spa and Resorts. Opting for a private reception allows couples to customize their dining experience, with menu options starting as low as $36 per person for a sumptuous three-course plated dinner. From elegant chairs and centerpieces to exquisite table settings, every detail can be tailored to reflect your unique style and vision. With professional services such as DJ, photography, and videography also on offer, couples can rest assured that their big day will be captured in all its splendor.



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So .. How Much a Destination Wedding will cost?

Now, let's crunch the numbers. For a 100-person wedding ceremony and reception, including extras such as private dining and entertainment, the total cost at El Dorado Spa and Resorts comes to $10,836.00. Compare this to the average cost of food and drink alone for a wedding in the USA, which stands at $8,176, and the savings become evident. A destination wedding in Mexico not only offers significant cost savings but also provides an unparalleled experience for couples and their guests.


Common Wedding Expenses for a Destination Weddings

  1. All-Inclusive Packages: Many resorts and venues in popular destination wedding locations offer all-inclusive wedding packages. Packages bundle various services such as venue rental, catering, decorations, and sometimes even accommodations for the couple and guests. These packages can often be more cost-effective than organizing individual services for a wedding in the United States.

  2. Lower Guest Count: Destination weddings typically have a smaller guest count compared to weddings in the United States. Lower head counts can result in reduced costs for catering, venue space, and other services.

  3. Reduced Decor Needs: Destination wedding venues often have natural beauty and picturesque settings. This alone reduces the need for extensive decor and floral arrangements.

  4. Limited Guest List: A more intimate guest list can translate to lower overall expenses for the wedding.

  5. Off-Peak Season Discounts: Couples planning a destination wedding during the off-season. Many locations offer lower rates during less busy times of the year for venue rentals, accommodations and other services..

  6. Simplified Planning: Our destination wedding packages come with a wedding planner who knows the area and vendors well. This makes planning easier and helps couples avoid problems or expensive errors.

  7. Multiple Services Bundled: Some of our destination wedding packages may include additional services such as photography, videography, entertainment, and transportation.

  8. Opt for Digital Invitations: Save on printing and postage costs by sending digital invitations instead of traditional paper invitations. Use one of the many beautiful and custom digital invitation platforms available.

  9. Plan Activities Wisely: Consider hosting group activities or excursions for your guests. Work with our wedding coordinator to choose affordable options that fit within your budget.


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Tips for Booking Your Destination Wedding


  1. Book Early for Availability: Secure your wedding date and venue by booking early. This not only ensures availability at your chosen resort but also provides ample time for your guests to make travel arrangements and reservations.

  2. Take Advantage of Early Booking Discounts: Many resorts offer early booking discounts or promotions for weddings. By booking in advance, you can take advantage of these savings and potentially lock in lower rates for your wedding package.

  3. Plan for Guest Accommodations: Provide your guests with sufficient time to book their accommodations by sending out save-the-date cards or invitations well in advance. This allows them to take advantage of early booking discounts and ensures they can secure rooms within the resort's room block.

  4. Understand Wedding Contracts: Familiarize yourself with the wedding contract provided by the resort. Pay attention to important details such as cancellation policies, payment schedules, and any penalties for changes or cancellations.

  5. Allocate Rooms in Advance: Work with the resort to allocate a block of rooms for your wedding guests. Booking early ensures that you have enough rooms reserved to accommodate your guests and prevents any last-minute issues with room availability.

  6. Consider Room Allotment Requirements: Some resorts may have minimum room allotment requirements for wedding bookings. Booking early allows you to meet these requirements without entering into penalties or additional fees.

  7. Communicate with Guests: Keep your guests informed throughout the booking process. Provide them with clear instructions on how to book their accommodations, any deadlines they need to be aware of, and any group booking codes or discounts available.

  8. Stay Organized: Keep track of all wedding-related bookings, contracts, and correspondence in one centralized location. This ensures that you have easy access to important information and can quickly address any questions or concerns that may arise.

  9. Be Flexible with Dates: Consider being flexible with your wedding dates, especially if you're booking during peak season. This allows you to take advantage of availability and potentially secure better rates for your wedding package and accommodations.

  10. Work with a Trusted Travel Advisor: Partnering with a knowledgeable travel advisor, such as us at I Do, can alleviate the stress of planning both your wedding and travel arrangements. A trusted agent will handle all the details mentioned above, from securing wedding contracts and room allotments to coordinating guest accommodations and travel logistics. With their expertise and support, you can focus on enjoying your wedding planning process and anticipate a seamless and unforgettable destination wedding experience.


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In conclusion, a destination wedding can be a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding in the USA, with three times the fun and adventure thrown in. With I Do by 2 Getaway as your trusted travel agency specializing in groups and weddings, you can rest assured that your destination wedding will be a seamless and unforgettable experience. Say "I do" amidst the beauty of Mexico, and let your love story unfold in paradise.




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