Getting married abroad is one of the most exciting ways to celebrate your big day. For many couples it’s also the perfect choice, allowing you to have a glamourous celebration, good weather, and merge your honeymoon into one.

So, it’s no surprise that over 1.5 million couples choose to say ‘I do’ overseas every year.

11 Tips to save on your wedding costs

Crushing the myth that international weddings are costly, we’re here to share 11 savvy ways to have a destination wedding, without it costing a fortune.

1. Travel out of Season

Travelling abroad outside of season is the quickest way to slash wedding costs. This means avoiding the school holidays, which typically occur around Christmas, mid-February, late May and from the end of July through to early September.

Summer is also another expensive time of year to get married since its peak season. However, this doesn’t mean you have to forgo sunshine, you just have to get creative about where to go.

Destinations that are warm during the winter months, include; Mexico, The Canary Islands and The Caribbean. Along with cheaper flights, you’ll find that wedding venues and accommodation costs will be much more affordable too.

2. Book Flights Early

Which brings us to the next important point: when to book? When it comes to flights book as soon as possible, flight costs are usually at the their cheapest when first released.

Another good time to bag a deal is during Boxing Day and the January sales. This is a typically a quieter time of year for holiday bookings, so airlines will slash costs and hotels will give you advance booking rates.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t always get better bargains if you leave it late, and may run the risk of losing out entirely, so try and book as soon as you’re able to – a year in advance if you can.

Here’s a few other ways to bring down costs:

  • Cash in loyalty points for hotels/airlines
  • Some airlines (like British Airways) allow you to put a deposit down so you don’t have to pay the whole cost upfront
  • It’s less of a cost saving, however if you inform the airline/hotel that you’re getting married, they might just upgrade you!

3. Open a Honey Pot Fund

Not sure about having a gift list? Then, a honeypot is a smart way to get guests to contribute to your honeymoon, rather than buy unwanted gifts. If you’re getting married abroad, this might help to bring costs down, as friends and family can contribute towards your special day.

4. Make the Most of Local Suppliers

Where possible, use local suppliers. This way you won’t have to pay for flights/accommodation for their services – this extends to photographers, videographers, hair, beauty and make-up. Your wedding venue will have a great network of contacts to tap into, don’t be afraid to ask.

5. Be Flexible with Wedding Venue Location

If you can be flexible with your destination, you might find a similar style venue for half the cost. For instance, Italy is one of the most sought after destinations with its rolling hills and breathtaking vistas, which often comes at a premium, like this stunning Rosewood in Tuscany at £20,000. If this exceeds your budget, try the soothing views of Vasilias Nikoklis Inn in Cyprus starting from €2,750 – it’s a smart switch!

6. Get Married Mid-week

One of the advantages of getting married abroad is that it shouldn’t matter what day of the week you get married. This might also mean that you can bag a bargain by exchanging vows on say, a Tuesday versus a busy Saturday.

You might also find that accommodation rates are cheaper mid-week too. Typically speaking, weekend weddings tend to be the most expensive option, as well as the busiest with tourists.

7. Fewer Guests

Getting married abroad is the perfect excuse to keep numbers down. Less headcount also means less costs. If you don’t want to disappoint friends and family, you can always stream the service online so they can be with you virtually.

8. Use a Trusted Wedding Venue Company

Choosing to book your wedding venue through a trusted supplier can help streamline your options to the very best places. Not only does this save you time, but it can help make financial savings too. It allows you to compare venues by cost, and also has a wide-range of options to suit all tastes.

9. DIY decorations

Decorating a venue can be an expensive part of your big day. Instead, get creative and make your own wedding favours and print out your own menus and order of service pamphlets. Many wedding venues abroad have additional extras, such as; their own wineries, bee-keeping and herb gardens. Make the most of the local resources, be it for entertaining guests or as part of your food and drink offering.

10. Get a Wedding Planner

A local wedding planner is a great investment for couples getting married abroad. Along with a wealth of experience, they have great local contacts which often benefit from savings. What’s more, it will mean that you don’t have to fly back and forth to the venue for admin and organising, instead using your local resource down-route. It’s both a time saver and money saver.

11. Choose Cheaper Destinations

As a final thought, destinations like Central America and parts of Asia have a much lower cost of living. This means that you can host a five-star wedding at a fraction of the cost anywhere else. Thailand, India, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey are all proving highly popular destinations for marrying abroad without paying a premium for the privilege.