Destination Weddings - Who should come and who pays?

My fiance and I would like to have a destination wedding. Our families have quite different financial situations. Should we decide to do a destination wedding, what my thought process is is that we (and by we I mean us, and most likely MY parents) will cover the costs of immediate family- meaning my parents and sister, and his parents and brother. Now, my both my parents siblings and their families are quite well off, and I know will come to any destnation we decide on. His family is not. I was to keep it at whoever decides to come, can, and whoever does not, doesn't... but I'm afraid it may turn up very one sided. In this case should we decide against it altogether. How much do you think it will cost per person to somewhere like say... DR or Jamaica?

Answer
My thoughts would be to have your destination wedding and invite your close family on both sides, parents and siblings. This way other relatives do not feel upset if they can't afford it.

What most destination wedding couples do is have an evening reception back home where they can invite all the family and friends. You can have your wedding shown by video throughout the evening and then lots of people get to celebrate with you after the event. It's also nice having a party after you get back as it keeps the celebrations going longer!

As to cost, that is difficult to judge as unsure where you live and therefore how much the flights would be. You will need to think about how long you want all of your guests there and do you want to have a separate honeymoon?

Check all of the small print on the destination wedding packages to find any hidden taxes or any legal requirement ie you need to be in the country for so many days before the wedding. Jamaica doesn't have any waiting policy but each individual resort asks for either 24 hours or 48 hours before so they have time to check your details. Dominican Republic asks for at least one of the couple to be resident for 48 hours prior to the wedding.

Recent figures from the US wedding industry state the cost of a destination wedding can start at $2,500 for a three-day weekend, including airport transfers, accommodation, food, drink and the ceremony and reception. Guests pay an average of $900 for their accommodations, transfers and non-wedding food.

Good luck with your plans!

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