a comprehensive guide for planning a wedding in Europe
how much destination weddings in EUROPE do cost and how to save your budget?
WRITTEN BY A SPAIN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER FOR COUPLES PLANNING A DESTINATION WEDDING IN EUROPE.
before you jump in
Are you also looking for a destination wedding photographer in Europe? If so, why not check my pricing and portfolio pages. With over 350+ weddings experience there is a reason why I am one of the best and most trusted photographer in Spain, Italy and Greece when it comes to weddings abroad.
average cost of wedding for 50 people including catering (suppliers not included)
average cost of wedding planner in Europe who speaks fluent English and the local language too
for a decent local wedding photographer who matches the UK & US high-end standards
average cost of accommodation per room per night in Europe at popular wedding destinations
for an English-speaking local hair & make-up specialist
for flowers if they are locally produced. Imported flowers can be 2x this.
A DJ or a Band from the speeches all the way till your legs give up
a wedding venue typical of the area with local vibes (caterer not included)
Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular, as couples look to celebrate their big day in a beautiful and exotic location.
But how much do they cost? In this article, I will take a look at the average price of destination weddings in some of the most popular wedding destinations around the Mediterranean. Whether you’re dreaming of an Italian villa or a Spanish beachfront ceremony, maybe a private infinity suite in Santorini, I’ve got you covered!
Disclaimer: I am a British-Hungarian destination wedding photographer based in Spain, however I photograph weddings from The Bahamas to Santorini all around the world.
So, how much does a destination wedding in Europe cost on average?
According to my couples and other wedding magazines, the average price of a destination wedding in Europe is €17,500 (or approximately $19,500) with 30-50 guests involved around Italy, Spain or Greece. Of course, this number can vary greatly depending on the specific location and type of venue you choose. For example, a destination wedding in Greece will likely cost less than one in Tuscany or South-France.Keep in mind that this is just an average, and there are ways to keep costs down if you’re willing to be flexible on your destination wedding location. With that in mind, let’s look at how can we save some money.
First, let’s look at the cost breakdowns in Spain for a destination wedding and compare it to other countries:
A 20-person villa with pool and enough room to have your ceremony held there for 2 nights comes in around £5000-5500 without catering included, BUT in Santorini for example you can get a villa for a week in Early September with 10 people.
– I always recommend to also let your guests to organise their own accommodation (other than the immediately family of course), and a 3*** nice hotel in Marbella costs around £100-130 per room per night, however this can be double for anything 4-5 stars.
– If you you decided to step-up your game and are looking at a 50 guests venue in the country side with everything included (party, fees, ceremony, food, drinks) it can easily come to £13500.
– Officiants come to £1000 per a day for symbolic ceremonies almost anywhere around Europe and another £1500 if you decide to do a legal ceremony.
In Italy, this can be around TWICE THIS MUCH, especially around Rome, Lake Como and Tuscany. But for example in Santorini, Mykonos, Cyprus, this can be a little bit less compared to Spain.
SO HOW CAN YOU SAVE AND DON’T BREAK THE BANK?
Choose a destination that is more affordable, but ticks all the boxes
Spain is a great destination for couples on a budget. You can find beautiful venues and vendors at a fraction of the cost of other Mediterranean destinations especially around Estepona.
In addition, Spain is a very affordable destination for guests, with airfare and accommodation rates much lower than in Italy or France. If you’re looking to save money on your destination wedding, Spain is a great option! Another more affordable option is getting married in Cyprus especially when you combine it with a family holiday.
Exchange your gifts for travelling expenses to support your guests
If you’re planning a destination wedding, you may be wondering how you can save your guests some money. After all, travel and accommodation costs can add up quickly! One way to help your guests out is to forego wedding gifts. That way, they can put that money towards their travel and accommodation expenses instead.
Of course, you don’t have to give up gifts altogether – you could always ask for donations to your favourite charity in lieu of gifts. Whatever you decide, just remember that your guests are sure to appreciate any effort you make to help them save money!
Research your suppliers carefully
As you start to plan your big day, it’s important to do your research when it comes to choosing your wedding suppliers. Just because someone has been recommended, it doesn’t mean they’re the best option – and you may be able to save money by finding alternatives.
Take your time, ask around, and make sure you’re getting the best value for your destination wedding. It is important do good research so not just asking in a Facebook group, but also searching by yourself on Google. Compare prices and read reviews before making any final decisions. After all, your wedding day should be everything you’ve dreamed of – and you don’t want any stressful surprises along the way!
Getting married in the off-season (November through March)
You can save a significant amount of money by getting married in the off-season. Many popular wedding destinations offer discounts during the winter months, when business is slow, but the weather is still warm enough more often around 15-20C which can match summertime temperatures in the UK. Although weather can be a bit unpredictable this time of year, there are plenty of ways to work around it.
For example, you could have an indoor ceremony with a beautiful view of the snow-covered landscape in Swiss Alps, or if you’re set on getting married outdoors, you could choose a destination that’s known for its mild winters like Marbella. Either way, you’ll be able to take advantage of lower prices and create the destination wedding of your dreams.
Don’t save on your photos, all you have left after the wedding is your wedding photos.
Reality is that £17K is still a lot of money and you will spend most of it on travel, accommodation, and other expenses. So it can be tempting to try and save money by booking a cheap venue photographer. However, you really do get what you pay for when it comes to wedding photography. Your goal should be to capture your destination wedding in its best light – and that takes a great photographer.
A good photographer will start at £2000, which includes flights and accommodation. So rather than compromising on your wedding photography, we suggest you save money on things like flowers and decorations. After all, and this is especially true for destination weddings, you’ll only remember your wedding day through the photos!
⬇️ bonus Tip ⬇️
Keeping the guest number low, but still include everyone close to you
Preparing your guest list is always a difficult task whether be it for a local or destination weddings, but this is a massive budget saver when it comes to the latter. You may be wondering how to keep your guest list from getting out of control. After all, who doesn’t love a good excuse for a holiday? The good news is that there are a few easy ways to keep your costs down by only inviting close friends and family. Only inviting close friends and family will also make the wedding more intimate and special. Let’s face it, do you really want your second cousin’s plus-one crashing your dream wedding? By only inviting those who are closest to you, you can ensure that your destination wedding is both memorable and affordable.
Secondly check who can actually afford their journey. Many couples think it is a given that they need to pay for their wedding guests’ travelling expenses but this is far from it! Your guests will effectively enjoy a free holiday, foods, drinks at your expenses, so it is a fair request from them to cover their own travelling. The trick is to make sure that you send the save-the-dates on time so it can be very affordable buying those early-bird flight tickets.
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