Destination Weddings: what are the hidden costs?

As we come to the end of another busy month here on Wedding High, were we featured over 16 Destination Weddings, it got us thinking, how easy is it to plan a Destination Wedding and what are the pit falls? We had a chat with our very good friends, experts at Destination Weddings, to get the facts: 

Getting married abroad is easier than ever before and with so many amazing venues to choose from, it’s incredible food and sunny climate it is no wonder that Italy is in the top 5 for overseas wedding locations. British brides are fleeing for the airport, with new research showing almost one in five weddings (18%) now take place abroad. Apart from the weather, scenery and the other many attractions a destination wedding as, couples on a budget may find their pound goes further when they are further afield. A Mintel research found that in 2011, the average wedding abroad cost £6,585, around a third of the cost of a UK wedding. Whilst getting married abroad can be substantially more cost effective we always urge couples to consider these following areas to avoid coming up against charges they hadn’t planned for. 
  • For weddings abroad many ‘packaged’ weddings have all the ‘essential’ services but can forget the all-important transportation for guests! Ask your wedding planner for a breakdown of each item and how far the ceremony venue is from the wedding reception venue to understand if transport is required.
  • In Italy prices given by suppliers don’t always include VAT. VAT prices in Italy can vary depending on the services chosen between 10% and 20% so not having this included could put you into a false sense of security with your budgeting.
  • Make sure you understand what exactly you are charged for. If you buy a packaged wedding you must be able to identify clearly all the cost elements. It must be very clear how much you pay for each third party supplier and much you are paying your wedding organizers. Only in this way you can ensure that each service you book is going to live up to expectations. Make sure you know exactly the name and the details of all third party suppliers so that you can personally check references.
  • Sometimes couples try the DIY approach to a wedding abroad thinking that they will be able to avoid unnecessary costs, especially those related to the wedding planner. In many instances these are false economies for some very simple reasons. 1) If the wedding planner is a reputable company with a decent number of weddings a year performed they have good purchasing agreements with third party vendors therefore they are able to purchase services at a much lower rate compared to a single couple. Even though the planner puts a mark-up on services the overall cost paid by the couple remains almost the same as if they had purchased the services directly. The only difference is that liaising with all wedding suppliers is time consuming, requires local knowledge and often is a risky business. It is in fact extremely difficult to check the reliability of all suppliers from abroad, test them beforehand and make sure that the day of your wedding they will deliver as promised. 2) The stress factor has a huge cost that often is underestimated. Dealing with a reputable wedding planner allows the couple to have total piece of mind during the wedding day instead of running around chasing suppliers making sure that they do what there were supposed to.
  • Bureaucracy is often underestimated. Make sure you know extremely well what the legal requirements of a wedding abroad involves before making any other commitment. Couples might make commitments to wedding reception venues before knowing that in order to obtain the non impediment certificate they must go in person to their consulate or embassy of the country they want to marry in and without realizing that this must be done several days before the wedding or worse, the embassy or consulate is hundreds of miles away from where they had planned to have their ceremony and /or reception. A logistical nightmare and a large waste of money.
  • Do some homework before making important decisions. It is important to understand the geography and the logistical challenges of chosen wedding venue abroad. Couples need to understand distances, types of roads and local means of transport available, traffic conditions in the various months of the year, driving times from the various places, etc. It has happened that couples book hotels too far away from ceremony locations or reception locations and that they find themselves spending large amounts on transport. Or having underestimated completely the driving time in places such as the Amalfi coast where very narrow roads sometimes make it impossible to cover even small distances in a reasonable time. Having to take a ferry to reach a reception venue 10 minutes away across a lake can be a lovely experience if the weather is good but could turn into the worst nightmare if it rains and the lake is rough. Sometimes we have been asked for wedding ceremonies in a place such as Florence and a wedding reception with sea view. The problem id that, in order to get a sea view leaving from Florence you must drive for three hours. are experts at making overseas weddings personal and special. They specialise in Italian, Greek and Balearic Islands weddings and can plan dream days at a number of glamorous venues in Tuscany, Lake Garda, Sorrento, Santorini and Majorca to name a few. 
For further information on getting married in Italy and to see details on possible dream wedding locations in Italy please visit our website

Wondering if a Destination Wedding is for you? Check out some of’s past weddings and the venues they offer… we’re in an absolute swoon here at Wedding High HQ!!! 

Badia di Campoleone


Santorini Beach 

Ravello Luxury Villa 
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1 Comment

  1. by Wedding venues Chicago on July 25, 2012  12:05 pm Reply

    Wow The wedding venues photographs are really awesome. So beautifull nice location i have never seen this beautiful place before. Thanks for sharing the great photographs.

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