Groom takes selfie of the wedding party.

Perfect Destination Wedding on a Budget

How to Make Your Pinterest Dreams Come True

Visiting Pinterest for destination wedding ideas is like going to your first all-you-can-eat buffet after a three-day fast. Everything looks delicious—even the sushi blanketed with a layer of dust—so you pile your plate ten inches high thinking you can eat it all. But that’s not how your belly, or your wedding plans, works. 

As you scroll through Pinterest, you may start pinning everything from expensive five-tier cakes to rustic barn venues that don’t look anything like where you’re tying the knot. If you find yourself being sucked into a vortex of wedding ideas that are way out of your price range, step away from your wedding board and let us help you edit it down into a realistic and affordable vision.

You Pinned:

A floral altar made of hydrangeas and peonies

More Realistic Option:

Chances are you picked a particular destination for your wedding because of its natural beauty. Instead of scouring the web for an extravagant Kim and Kanye style floral backdrop, let the location’s natural beauty speak for itself. Get married overlooking the ocean or on a mountaintop with a beautiful cliff-side view—a travel agent can help you find the perfect backdrop since they’ve been to your destination many times. This way you don’t have to pay for an altar that will only distract from what your destination has to offer. If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect altar since you were little, consider one made of greenery instead. Hydrangeas and peonies force you to fork over mucho cashola, whereas greenery will cost less while being more on trend.

Floral arrangement on dinner table.
Go Local: Forget the over-the-top celebrity floral arrangements and go with simple, local floral arrangements.

You Pinned:

A seven-tier cake with a different flavor in each tier

More realistic option:

If your destination wedding is taking place in a warmer climate, your extravagant cake could have a major meltdown, pun intended. Consider a candy display or cake pops since they’ll better withstand the heat and won’t do as much damage to your bank account. If you’re set on having a cake because you’ve been dreaming of that cake-cutting moment, consider a simpler and more affordable one that serves a symbolic purpose instead of one that will actually feed all your guests.

Talk to your on-site wedding coordinator or travel agent about dessert options, or pick their brain for good ideas from other couples they’ve helped.

Bride and Groom cutting wedding cake.
Slow Your Roll: Instead of a seven-tier cake, go budget savvy with tasty cake pops. 

You pinned:

 A big ball gown with layers and layers of expensive fabric

More Realistic Option:

Opting for something more lightweight and flowy will not only save you money, but it will also save you from a sweat-covered face. Think chiffon for an airy and affordable dress fabric, especially if your ceremony is taking place on a beach. It may not be the princess gown you’ve always pictured, but when you’ve got some extra cash to spare and you’re not relying on the occasional breeze to stay cool, you’ll be a much happier bride. 

Woman in a wedding dress puts on diamond earrings.
Go Simple & Elegant: Think about a lightweight-flowy dress to save some money.

You Pinned:

Ghost chairs

More Realistic Option:

While those see-through, glass-looking chairs are super chic, they’re also super expensive to rent. As an inexpensive alternative, Chiavari chairs are elegant, affordable, and they have a classy feel. If you want your reception aesthetic to blend in with your surroundings, wooden folding chairs are an excellent option. They won’t break the bank, and they’ll add an organic element to the event.

Wedding ceremony on the beach.
 Wedding Chairs: Go with an affordable chairs that fit your wedding's aesthetic. 

You Pinned:

Personalized beer mugs for wedding favors

More Realistic Option:

While it’s a thoughtful favor to give out to your guests, customizing dozens of glass beer mugs is a fast way to empty your pockets. Instead, think about what’s unique to your location and how you can incorporate that into your favors. If your destination wedding is in Hawaii, why not give out Kona coffee beans? Do you and your significant other have a charity that’s near and dear to your heart? Make a donation in your guests name in lieu of a tangible gift. Thinking local and personal when it comes to favors will not only save you big bucks on shipping costs, but it will also fit right in with your wedding theme.

You Pinned:

Luxurious boxed invitations

More Realistic Option:

Sure, it would be an OMG-worthy moment for your guests to receive a glamorous boxed invitation with a dove flying out of, a la Bridesmaids, but that’s going to cost you plenty a pretty penny. We recommend ordering pre-designed invites in bulk at an online retailer so you can splurge in other areas. As soon as your guests see you’re getting hitched in a super-cool destination, they’ll be more pumped about that than how fancy your invitation looks. Plus, you can still have a sweet design that doesn’t cost a fortune. The internet has tons of options that are just a click away.

Save a Penny: Order pre-designed invites!

You Pinned:

A variety of dishes to serve as a four-course sit-down meal

More Realistic Option:

Consider offering a buffet so guests can pick and choose what they want to eat. A multi-course meal may result in a lot of uneaten food if guests don’t want a specific course, while a buffet gives guests the option to pick and choose. A sit-down dinner also requires more wait staff, which is going to cost you. Since a buffet is self-serve, you won’t need quite as many waiters per person. Aside from being a big cost-saver, a buffet dinner will finish up sooner, giving you more time to get jiggy with it on the dance floor. 

Table set for wedding reception with bride sitting next to her table card labeled 'bride.'
Four-Course Meal: Just say no! Go with a buffet-style meal to satiate the most finicky guests.

You Pinned:

A big smiling group of family and friends at your destination wedding

More Realistic Option:

This one is actually easily attainable, if you seek the advice of a travel agent. The art of travel involves many, many detailed brushstrokes, from seat assignments on the plane to airport transportation and preferred room types. So what you need is a travel artist to paint the perfect picture. Employing the assistance of a travel agent ensures that your family arrives in a happy, celebratory mood, thankful that a professional handled all of their details and made their journey seamless and easy. Plus you’ll have the advantage of an agent who has booked weddings at your destination before, so they’ll have keen insights on how to keep everyone smiling.

Guests throwing confetti as bride and groom walk down steps.
Happy Guests: Easily attainable with the help of a travel agent!

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