Thinking of planning a destination wedding? The process can be a little overwhelming, From choosing the perfect destination to coordinating with friends and family, it’s a lot of details and decisions. Because there are so many moving parts to a destination wedding, many brides and grooms get lost on the budget timing of different costs. What deposits will you need when? Most importantly, what costs will need paid right away?
1. Wedding Date & Venue
For most destination weddings, you will need to reserve an available wedding date. This will involve a contract with the venue and a deposit to hold the date. Different resorts will have a different deposit amount. This deposit is usually non-refundable. Most Caribbean all-inclusives have a deposit range of $250-$1,000 to reserve a date. If you are getting married off-site of a resort or cruise ship, you will have a deposit done by the venue itself. These deposits vary widely depending on the venue. If you are reserving something internationally for your destination wedding, make sure you use a credit card that does not have foreign transaction fees. This deposit will be paid directly to the resort or venue.
2. Room Block & Guest Costs
If you will need 10 or more rooms (20 or more guests) at a resort, you will need to establish a room block. Room blocks allow your guests to reserve their room at a set rate for a window of time. Setting up a room block for 10+ rooms will involve a per room deposit and a contract. This deposit is only to hold the rooms. There will be a window of time for your guests to book their room. Once that window has passed, any unused rooms will be released back to the hotel. The deposit will then be either refunded or used for the cost of travel. Many brides and grooms use this deposit to pay for their personal travel reservation and honeymoon or the reservations of their close family. If the deposit was greater than the travel costs, the difference is refunded. So, while the deposit amount won’t really add to the total wedding costs, it does have to be spent up front to hold the rooms. If rooms or the entire group are cancelled, there can be penalties. For most all-inclusives, a room block will be $100-300 per room. If you are using a small resort and doing a buy out, the deposit can be significantly more to secure the resort for a time. A portion or total of this amount may be non-refundable.
If you are having a smaller wedding with less than 9 or less rooms needed for your guests, you will need to have the costs for your own room’s deposit (see point number 3) as well as any guests for which you might be paying.
3. Personal Reservation & Honeymoon
Some hotels will require that the bride and groom have their room reservation on file in order to secure a date. For a wedding with a room block, the bride and groom’s personal reservation will be made with the room block and may not require an additional deposit. For a smaller wedding without a room block, the bride and groom’s room reservation should be made when the wedding date is secured. This can be a cost of anywhere from $100-full payment of the reservation. We also recommend getting your honeymoon set up right away as well. If you are traveling to a different resort or area after your wedding, it is best to set that up as soon as possible to make sure there is availability. If this will be a separate reservation than the wedding location, there will be an additional deposit for the honeymoon. If a bride and groom is getting married over a busy season, we recommend securing your flights as well.
4. Trip Insurance
We always recommend trip insurance for international travel. Trip insurance should be purchased at the same time as the deposit for your room reservation. This cost is non-refundable and is usually around $100-$200 per person.
5. Save the Date or Invitations & Postage
Destination weddings normally require advance notice for your guests to plan and book their travel. While normal wedding invites or save the dates might go out only a few weeks or months in advance, destination wedding invites or save the dates usually go out a 1 year to 6 months in advance in order to allow guests to plan their vacation time.
What costs might you need up front for your destination wedding?
- Wedding Contract & Deposit with Venue
- Room Block deposit for Guests (10+ rooms)
- Bride & Groom room reservation (might be in room block) deposit
- Honeymoon room deposit
- Guest room deposits
- Trip Insurance
- Invitations or Save the Dates & Postage
Ready to plan your destination wedding? We can help guide you through the process to your perfect destination wedding while taking all the pain out of coordinating travel with your guests. Contact us today to start on your perfect day.
About The Traveling Compass:
The Traveling Compass is a full-service luxury travel agency. Our success is built on a foundation of unmatched expertise and outstanding customer service. Our travel agents specialize in international travel, corporate incentive trips, destination weddings & honeymoons, multigenerational travel, luxury leisure, and family travel. We are also Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with experience assisting families that have children with special needs or large families or groups with complicated dining reservations for over 20 guests. Our personalized travel itineraries are designed to help discerning, time-pressed travelers plan the most elaborate vacations, down to the smallest detail. As luxury travel agents, we are dedicated to creating and facilitating travel experiences that expand awareness and give each person a real sense of the country and culture they are visiting. It is our mission to make sure you have the travel experience of a lifetime, every time.