By Taylor Lea Thomas
My question is about the average cost of a destination wedding in the Caribbean. How many people should be invited to a destination wedding?
Dear Miss Caribbean-Bound,
I wouldn’t generalize it by saying there’s an average cost for a destination wedding in the Caribbean because there isn’t. It really depends on your budget, their schedule and your desired location.
Avoid high peak seasons.
Cost varies based on your desired location and wedding date. Before falling in love with a venue, make sure that it can accommodate all of your guests and that it fits within your budget. If the location you have in mind is well known for a particular event, such as Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago in February, realize that just about everything would be at a higher rate. Hotel rates especially would be at a premium. This is, of course, if you’re even able to book a room. So when scouting for locations, be sure to also ask about any upcoming events that may conflict with your wedding date.
Popular mass market wedding packages vs. personalized and private venues.
As you know, the Caribbean is vast with a myriad of stunningly beautiful venues to choose from. There are popular wedding destinations such as Jamaica and the Bahamas, for instance, where you’d be offered several cookie-cutter wedding packages to choose from at very affordable rates. With those packages, however, your wedding would look like the one before, and the wedding before that one, and so on. Thus, while those packages are very affordable in an effort to generate a lot of sales to the venue, realize that you’d be thrown into the tourist/foreigner wedding category. On the other hand, there are other uber-exclusive and very private locations where you can truly personalized your wedding knowing that your wedding would reflect you as a couple.
Your guest count depends on your budget and their schedule.
The number of people you invite to a destination wedding depends on your budget. Some rates are calculated on a per person system. The reception is intended to entertain your guests with food, drinks and great music for dancing. In addition to taking into consideration your budget to determine size for entertainment purposes, another factor is the schedules of the people you plan on inviting since some of them may not be able to attend. Send out save-the-dates well in advance so your guests can make the proper arrangements.
Keep costs down for both you and your guests.
Negotiate special rates to help your guests keep their costs down. Encourage your guests to stay at the same hotel where the wedding will be taking place as opposed to a different hotel. Keep in mind, if you have a certain number of rooms booked and too many people stay offsite, you’d end up paying for the room anyway.Taylor Lea Thomas is an award-winning celebrity luxury wedding planner, and CEO of Elite Soirée, Inc. – the #1 luxury wedding planning company in the world devoted to the art of creating luxury weddings with an emphasis on style! For more information, visit elitesoiree.com. Follow Taylor on Twitter for more tips and advice as you navigate this wonderful milestone in your life of planning your wedding: @taylorleathomas
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