Question: How much does a destination wedding cost?

Answer: Well, the answer varies. However, it will undoubtedly be significantly less expensive than a wedding of similar quality held in the United States.

The expense of a destination wedding can span a wide range, influenced by numerous factors you can opt to incorporate or exclude from your celebration.

Admittedly, this response might not offer much clarity. Allow us to provide you with a more insightful overview...

Average Wedding Costs2

After years of orchestrating 40-60 weddings and events annually in the Washington, DC and Baltimore areas, one thing has become abundantly clear: weddings and events in the US come with a hefty price tag! We've witnessed the gamut, from florist bills soaring to the $70,000 to shelling out $30,000 just to have flamingoes grace the occasion.

As per a study conducted by in 2023, the average expenditure for a wedding in the US stood at $35,900. And frankly, it's safe to assume that figure hasn't decreased since then!

Consider this: all this money is poured into a single day, which, when broken down, typically entails approximately 20 minutes for the ceremony in front of your guests, followed by a four-hour reception where roughly 1.5 hours are dedicated to savoring the meal.

That leaves you with a mere 2.5 hours (or precisely one minute per person for an event with 150 guests) to converse with everyone, express gratitude for their presence, and attempt to relish the celebration alongside them. And let's not overlook the traditional wedding formalities that must also be squeezed in, such as the first dance and cake cutting. You might find yourself allotting a mere 15-30 seconds per guest for these interactions.

Now, when comparing, most of our destination weddings tend to be more intimate affairs, typically hosting around 40-60 guests. However, due to the common requirement of a three-night minimum stay at most all-inclusive resorts, the wedding festivities are not confined to just one day or evening.

In fact, many destination weddings span multiple days with various events. A typical itinerary may include a welcome cocktail hour or dinner open to all guests (unlike the traditional "rehearsal dinner" limited to immediate family and the wedding party back home). On the wedding day itself, events often follow a similar pattern to stateside weddings: a ceremony, followed by a cocktail hour and reception. Then, the day after the wedding, many destination weddings opt for a "recovery brunch" or organize a group excursion, perhaps on a catamaran exclusively for their guests.

Here's how we see the comparisons between a destination wedding and local wedding:

Our Client's Destination Weddings:





Sure! The wedding itself may cost less, but what about the added expense of travelling? Hotel rooms and airfare can really add up.

Answer: Well, unless you're covering your guests' expenses, the travel costs for the couple are often minimal compared to the wedding expenses, and sometimes the couple even gets their room for free! Additionally, for group bookings, many resorts offer incentives based on the number of rooms reserved as part of a contracted room block (unlike bookings made through travel websites, which typically offer no incentives). Once these incentives are tallied, it often results in a substantial payout for the bride and groom. Some of our clients have received checks totaling upwards of $14,000 - more than enough to cover their room and the entire wedding costs!

Indeed, with many resorts, they essentially pay you to bring in a group! This directly offsets the cost of your room (and sometimes other rooms as well), or even your wedding expenses.

However, it's important to note that these incentives vary from one resort to another, and since they're based on the number of guests who actually travel, the final amount won't be determined until after everyone has traveled. Therefore, you'll need to initially cover the wedding expenses upfront. Nevertheless, having the assurance of receiving a substantial rebate is certainly reassuring!

It's crucial to collaborate with a knowledgeable travel agency familiar with the resort's incentive programs, as some are quite generous while others offer minimal rewards. This is a significant aspect your agent should thoroughly discuss with you before selecting a resort.

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Undoubtedly, when it comes to weddings, including destination weddings, the spending can vary greatly. We've had clients who spent anywhere from $950 to $30,000, and numerous factors influence the total expenditure of your wedding.

However, we've discovered that examining detailed breakdowns of our clients' expenses can provide the most helpful insights. This allows you to gain a better understanding of what your own wedding might cost you.


Jessica & Ryan

Resort | El Dorado Royale
Wedding Ceremony & Reception | 83 Guests - $20,136.00
Room & Air for 2 guests, 7 days | $5,010.50
Total Credits Received (Hotel Promotions) | $8,848.77
Actual Final Cost | $16,027.73

Missed Compensation Value | $2319.39

Due to guests booking accommodations outside of the designated wedding block.


Resort | Dreams Playa Mujeres
Wedding Ceremony & Reception | 34 guests - $11,733.60
Room & Air for 2 adults, 1 child, 5 days | $3,332.38
Total Credits Received (Hotel & BAI Promotions) | $7,056.30
Actual Final Cost | $8,009.68

Photo: Be All Inclusive - James Berglie


Resort | Hard Rock Punta Cana
Wedding Ceremony & Reception | 54 guests - $12,290.00
Room & Air for 2 adults, 7 days |  $4,459.78
Total Credits Received (Hotel & BAI Promotions) | $5,023.86
Actual Final Cost | $7,094.74


The true allure of a destination wedding lies in its ability to discard all the traditional "wedding rules" imposed by the wedding industry. You have the freedom to create an incredible wedding experience with minimal expenditure or go all out and host an unforgettable event. One thing is certain: to achieve a similar level of extravagance in the United States, it would come with a much higher price tag!

While the prospect of planning a destination wedding may seem daunting, Be All Inclusive has been immersed in the world of weddings since 2005. We are dedicated to serving as your trusted guide every step of the way throughout the entire process.