Destination Wedding vs. Traditional Wedding Cost Comparison

Posted by on May 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm.

Destination wedding specialists toot the cost benefits of destination weddings but have you ever seen some real numbers? In today’s post, we’d like to share with you what a typical destination wedding package consists of and compare that with what you’d get for the same price for a wedding at home.

You’ll find most destination wedding packages come with almost everything you’ll need to have a dream wedding. Including a honeymoon! Here’s an example from a hotel we recently visited:

A Destination Wedding at the Majestic Colonial

(Note: Prices below are subject to change.)

The Majestic Colonial Wedding Package inclusions:

Just for you:

  • Room service included for the couple
  • Basket of fruits in your room
  • Bottle of champagne in your room (twice during your stay)

For the wedding:

  • Bouquet for the bride in tropical flowers
  • Boutonniere for the groom in tropical flowers
  • Location of your choice: White sand beach, Gazebo or Chapel
  • Table arrangement for the ceremony in tropical flowers
  • Services of a Civil Judge or Priest
  • Simultaneous translation of the ceremony if needed
  • Sound system for the ceremony
  • Champagne toast after the ceremony for the group
  • Beautiful wedding cake for the entire group

For the newlyweds (once you’re married):

  • Romantic breakfast in your room
  • Candle light romantic dinner for the couple with champagne
  • Complimentary massage for the couple and use of the humid area
  • Marriage certificate in Spanish and delivery by DHL (2-3 moths)

Total costs for a Dominican Republic destination wedding:

  1. Price for the Majestic Wedding Package: $1,750.00 US
  2. Private dinner for 30 guests ($55 US per person + 26% tax) = $2,070.00 US
  3. Travel Cost for Bride & Groom, 7 night stay = $3,200.00* CND
  4. Wedding Attire = $1,000 CND
  5. Miscellaneous costs (invitations, favours, photographer, additional flowers, etc.) = $1,000 CND

Total approx. cost: $7,000

*Junior Suite, All Inclusive Majestic Colonial Toronto to Punta Cana November 13, 2010

As you can see, you can safely budget between $7,000-$10,000 for a gorgeous destination wedding that will create lasting memories and wow your guests. And we’ve only covered the wedding day here – don’t forget you and your guests have an entire week at the resort!

Now that you have an idea of what you’ll get in a destination wedding package and the associated costs, let’s see what can you expect for the same amount for a wedding at home:

A Traditional Wedding at Home

(Note: The Wedding Planning Institute of Canada (WPIC) provides a breakdown of wedding costs as an average percentage of the total wedding budget spent on individual wedding services/accessories. To get the following numbers, we multiplied the budget for our destination wedding ($7,000) with the WPIC’s published percentages.)

  1. Reception (45%) = $3,150.00
  2. Photography/Video (10%) = $700.00
  3. Flowers (10%) = $700.00
  4. Ceremony (7%) = $490.00
  5. Entertainment (5%) = $350.00
  6. Attire (5%) = $350.00
  7. Cake (2%) = $140.00
  8. Transportation (2%) = $140.00
  9. Invitations (2%) = $140.00
  10. Miscellaneous (12%) = $840.00

Total approx. cost: $7,000

Wow. What a difference of value between what you get for a destination wedding vs. home wedding! If you’re thinking about a winter wedding (November is the new May!) this year and you want to cash in on these current prices, contact a Cyber Maid of Honour at Weddings By Oceans today.

What do you think of these wedding differences, Beachside Brides? If you’re making a case for a destination wedding with your hubby-to-be, send this post to him  – both of you (and your guests) will thank us later. ;)


  • Lindsay says:

    As a WPIC destination wedding planner, I strongly advise hiring a destination event specialist. There are many more costs associated with a destination wedding that many couples and their guests will forget about.

  • Thanks Lindsay for visiting our blog and commenting. It’s always great to hear from industry colleagues!

  • S says:

    You are forgetting that the destination wedding includes a honeymoon. Your domestic wedding budget doesn’t seem to include it.

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