Destination Weddings On A Budget

Steps for Planning Destination Weddings on a Budget.

No matter what country you plan to get married in, you can still have your dream wedding abroad and achieve it on a budget.

Destination Weddings on a Budget - Italy Italian Weddings - Giuseppe Laiolo Photography -

Photo courtesy of Italy Italian Weddings via Giuseppe Laiolo Photography

While having your wedding abroad can be cheaper than having your wedding at home, often due to a favourable exchange rate and having fewer guests to cater for, there are a number of ways that you can save even more money and have your destination weddings on a budget.

I recently asked the Wedding Planners who feature on my site, if they had any practical suggestions about how to save money when planning a destination wedding.

Daniela from Italy Italian Weddings came back with some brilliant thoughts and insight.

Although some of the examples given below are specific to Italy, the advice given by Daniela can be applied to any destination. So no matter where you are getting married, I highly recommend you continue reading as this valuable advice is sure to give you some great tips for having your destination weddings on a budget.

How to Plan a Destination Wedding on a Budget

Daniela has outlined some practical and highly effective steps to help you plan your destination weddings on a budget.

Contact Local Wedding Planners

  • Try to use a Wedding Planner that specialises in the region where you plan to get married.
  • A local Wedding Planner should have a more intimate understanding of a particular area and will have built up a wider directory of excellent contacts.
  • Local Wedding Planners will usually have access to better quotations from service vendors (photographers, florists etc) and wedding reception venues.
  • Wedding Planners will have carefully selected vendors, negotiated prices and tested them before offering their services to couples.
  • In Italy, if you do select your own service vendors, you will be restricted to dealing with those who speak and write in English (not always common in Italy and many other popular destination wedding locations). As a result you may be missing the chance to contact vendors who offer better quality for cheaper prices but are not able to correspond in English.

Get Married in Off Peak Seasons

Getting married in off-peak seasons can save you a lot of money!

In peak wedding seasons, prices are definitely higher as companies know they can afford to charge a premium. However, in the off-peak season when business is slower, must companies are willing to drop their prices to attract clients.

In Italy for example, October, in most locations is not peak season yet a majority of the country is blessed with spectacular warm and sunny weather. Choosing to get married in October in Italy can save you a lot of money!

Choose an Undiscovered Location

Ask local Wedding Planners about undiscovered but beautiful locations.

Getting married in an area that is “off the tourist track” can save you a lot of money.

Save the more well known destinations for your honeymoon and choose a location nearby that is undiscovered by mass-tourism. More than likely these places will be the next top “tourist hot spots”.

You could save up to 15 – 20% just by doing this.

For example, in Italy, the art cities (Rome, Florence, Venice) and the more touristy towns and locations (such as Taormina in Sicily, Sorrento, Positano and Ravello on the Amalfi Coast, San Gimignano, Siena, Castellina in Chianti in Tuscany, and the Northern Lakes) tend to be more expensive.

However, close to all these locations you can find beautiful locations where weddings can be organised in a much more relaxed atmosphere and at much cheaper prices.

An Italian Example for
Planning Destination Weddings on a Budget

The Castelli Romani District

Twenty minutes by train or car from Rome and ten minutes from Ciampino airport, lies the magnificent Castelli Romani District full of ancient villas, palaces, lakes (Lake Albano also called Lake Castelgandolfo and Lake Nemi), magnificent hills, parks and forests, vineyards, museums, charming Churches and wonderful Civil Wedding Halls.

From the Castelli Romani District there are jaw-dropping views over the Eternal City and also over the Tyrrhenian Sea.

It is also home to one of the finest golf courses in the Latium region.

Here Reception Venues, accommodation and other additional services (transfers, flowers, etc.) are much cheaper than in Rome . but Rome can still be easily reached within twenty minutes.

Cost of a Basic Wedding Ceremony

The following is an example of what would be included in a package in the Town of Frascati or Monte Porzio Catone in the Castelli Romani District in 2015:

Total Wedding Package for a Civil or Catholic Wedding in the Castelli Romani District in 2015: Euro 900:

  • Civil ceremony performed in Frascati or Monte Pozio Catone Wedding Hall or a Catholic & Civil Wedding together in one of the beautiful churches in the Castelli Romani District
  • Booking of the wedding hall or church
  • Onsite Wedding Coordinator for assistance on the day of your Wedding until the end of your Event
  • Assistance in finding your ideal Reception Venue in the Castelli Romani District
  • Assistance in booking any other service needed (transportation, hair & make-up, vintage cars, etc.)
  • All legal and or religious paperwork consultation and assistance
  • Lodging all paperwork with local authorities
  • Unlimited email or phone correspondence to plan your event
  • Coordination fees, 20% Italian VAT tax included
  • Wedding program with schedule of the event and services and useful phone numbers before departure
  • Marriage Certificate issuing fees, plus international translated version following the wedding – 2 copies

Not included in the above:

  • Consular fees for the issue of your Nulla Osta
  • Donation to the church for a Catholic Wedding
  • Wedding Hall rental fees for a Civil Wedding


The cost for the same wedding package in Rome would nearly be double.

Cost of a Wedding Reception

A wedding reception in a typical and famous restaurant in the heart of Frascati on a terrace with views over Rome for 50/60 guests would cost. Euro 88 per person (including VAT)

Example Menu

Prosecco, fruit juices, light cocktails, Frascati white winesEntre with: crouton of homemade bread, salami delicatessen with typical mixed local cheeses, soft pizza with bacon and crouton of homemade bread with orange and pate of baby lamb, fried vegetables, and other seasonal entrees

Then sitting at the tables in the terrace with stunning views over Rome your guests would be served:

Pasta Courses
Homemade pasta with cabbage, nuts, cheese “fondue”
Fusilli “pasta” with porcini mushrooms

Main Courses
Baby pork with a sauce of grapes and crudit’s
Baked potatoes, grilled vegetables

Wedding Cake

Spumante, coffee and homemade biscuits with a selection of fresh season fruit.

Included in the menu: fresh bread, local white and red wines (selected according to menu choice): a half bottle for each Guest of local white and red wines (selected according to menu choice), prosecco and spumante (1 bottle of each for 5 guests) coffee, soft drinks and mineral water.

The same wedding menu in a restaurant in the heart of Rome with no panoramic views would be at least 20% more expensive.

The same wedding menu in a restaurant in the heart of Rome with no panoramic views would be at least 20% more expensive.

Additional Options

Alternatively, if you would like to have your Wedding Reception in a wonderful historic Villa in this area you are able to hire a Villa exclusively for your reception with no extra rental fee (wedding menus start from Euro 105 including beverage and VAT).

To hire a comparable historic Villa in the heart of Rome, the average rental price starts at between 5,000 to 6,000 Euros + VAT and wedding menus start at Euro 140 per person including beverages.

Cost of Accommodation

In the heart of Frascati there are many 4 star, 3 star, 2 star and budget hotels to choose from for accommodation arrangements.

Average price in peak season for a 3 star hotel: from Euro 90 to 110 per night for a double room including breakfast.

Planning your Destination Weddings on a Budget

The above example shows that fantastic destination weddings on a budget are a very real possibility. Whether you are thinking about getting married in Italy or in another destination but are trying to keep your costs down, if you follow the advice given by Daniela then you are sure to be able to have your dream destination wedding without breaking the bank.

If you would like to learn more about having a wedding in Italy, please use the form below as a quick and easy way to contact Daniela who will be more than happy to help you.

Find out More

If you would like to get married in Italy or simply ask a question Italian Destination Weddings on a Budget, please use the form below to contact Daniela from Italy Italian Weddings will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Italy Italian Weddings

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