It's fair to say that everyone loves destination weddings—for your guests, they are the perfectly acceptable excuse to take a few days off and unwind at a beautiful spot, and for you and your S.O. it's the thrill of starting your life together on a romantic beach far, far away from the hustle and bustle of your daily lives. Basically, destination weddings are a win-win.
The only problem? That picture-perfect weekend of festivities in St. Barts may end up setting you back quite a lot. According to The Knot, the average wedding cost for an international destination wedding in 2016 was $25,800. Couples spent on average $403 per guest and $1,427 in travel fare.
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Needless to say, if you are on a tight budget or are saving to buy your first home together, you'd probably think twice before making a venue deposit. But don't let statistics discourage you.
There is good news, too—affordable and beautiful destinations exist. You can still have the wedding of your dreams and not spend your house down payment on it.
Scroll down to see seven of the most budget-friendly locales to consider for your nuptials.
1. Puerto Rico
A lot of resorts in Puerto Rico offer all-inclusive wedding packages—for one flat fee, you can have your entire wedding planned for a fraction of what you will pay in the U.S. Travel website Caribya.com estimated that a wedding in Puerto Rico could cost you as little as $2,000.
2. Calabria, Italy
Ok, we know what you are thinking—there's no way that a wedding in Italy could be affordable. But destination wedding planner Diann Valentine begs to differ.
"It is definitely off the radar," she says of Calabria, but it "is gorgeous and offers so much." We can guarantee you Calabria's dramatic coastlines, small charming towns, and sun-drenched beaches will leave you speechless, and your bank account at peace.
3. Dominican Republic
Because Punta Cana is a popular tourist spot, the all-inclusive resorts in the area offer a lot of affordable wedding packages to couples. It's also relatively easy (and cheap) to get to—it's just a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Fort Lauderdale. Choose a spring or autumn date, and you could score an even lower rate on your accommodation and venue.
4. St. Lucia
St. Lucia is not as easy to get to, so it may not be the best choice for a big wedding party but if you're looking for a romantic spot to have an intimate wedding, this is it.
"The event industry is still very under developed in St. Lucia so you can get great pricing there," says Valentine.
The island is home to the beautiful volcanic beaches, colorful reefs, and charming fishing villages.
Distance makes Thailand a relatively unpopular wedding location among U.S. residents but you shouldn't ignore it. The truth is that your dollar is worth a lot more here than back home. The website destinationweddingdirectory.co estimated that a wedding in Thailand could cost you as low as $2,500. Plus, the country is so beautiful that you could combine your wedding and your honeymoon.
Valentine says that if you want to score a deal on your nuptials, you should look into Cancun and avoid Cabo San Lucas. The reason why Cancun and Riviera Maya are a lot cheaper than the resorts on Mexico's Pacific Coast is because there are more affordable all-inclusive options there catering to a lot of tourists.
7. Sea Island, Georgia
Sea Island is a magical place off the coast of Georgia so you will save some money on your domestic airfare and won't have to deal with legal marriage requirements in a foreign country. Valentine says that the island is still a bit undiscovered so there is great value to be found here.