However how things have changed.
When we founded the Bridal Consultant in 2004 there were very few of us specialising in weddings abroad, however as markets grow and demand increases it’s inevitable that there will be more businesses to supply that demand.
Although you can still book with a travel agent, thanks to the rise of the internet people are often confident booking directly with a hotel or venue, a hotel employed wedding planner, or like us an independent planner/wedding specialist.
We’ve compared all of these options and how they are typically priced.
Who to book with and what are the differences?
Booking with a travel agent
Still the cheapest way of booking a wedding abroad, the wedding is seen as a ‘add on’ to the holiday, similar to car hire or an excursion. Now some travel agents are fantastic at planning weddings and work with independent planners in resorts, others not so. So it’s important to understand what you’re paying for. For example, ask how many weddings will take place a day, will your wedding be private? How and when will you arrange extras?
Booking with a venue directly
This is often used by couples that have competent planning skills and adequate time to plan their own wedding, the obvious cost saving here is NOT paying to hire a wedding planner.
You must be on the ball when it comes to reference checking and quality control. Also it’s important to know if you book your hotel years in advance that if the hotel changes management it’s not unheard of that your conditions of bookings may change along with the new ownership and if you’re unhappy then your only option maybe to cancel.
I’ve had clients come to me for this very reason before.
Booking with an in house wedding planner (employed by the venue)
You wouldn’t usually have to pay extra for this service so this is the cost saving. The wedding planner will first and foremost work for the venue, rather than for you, so it can be tricky to negotiate special arrangements or solve problems if they arise, and their experience may be limited to planning one style of wedding. This option is best for very organised and confident couples.
Booking with an independent wedding planner (like us)
Likely the more expensive option, however a good planner should save you lots of time, stress and you should end up with not only a completely error free day but also one that is the ‘stuff of dreams’ their experience comes from booking the best suppliers that suit your needs and desires, making suppliers complement one another and contributing ideas, problem solving and taking care of all the mundane tasks to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
The planner works first and foremost for you so they’ll be able to negotiate freely, speak assertively to your venue to solve concerns with your venue or suppliers. They should also have excellent existing relations with suppliers to get you the best possible service and wedding experience. Whilst a good wedding planner will NOT strangle suppliers to get the best price they will ensure you get value for money and advise you when they think you’re not receiving this.
Is a wedding abroad really cheaper than the UK.
It’s certainly easy to book a low cost wedding in one of the ways mentioned above, but it’s also easy to spend as much abroad as you would at home, especially in locations such as Italy that are known for being a more expensive destination.
A wedding in Italy can very easily come to 20,000euros for around 50 people. So the destination you marry in along with what type of wedding you want will determine the cost.
Remember that if something seems too good to be true it likely is, so ask as many questions as you can, and do a bit of detective work to find out exactly what’s included and what any extras are likely to cost.
A few easy ways to save money on a wedding abroad.
SEASON – Go out of season, if you’re able, then May and September can often be cheaper with discounts on hire fees and even some suppliers. Just be aware that if you go too far out of season that the weather may become an issues so make sure you have an indoor back up venue.
SMALLER – Go small, instead of having a large wedding like you would back home have a smaller wedding of just close friends and family! Immediate savings to be had here.
SIMPLE OR NO DECORATION – remember that weddings abroad are ALL about the setting so you can get away with minimum or no decoration!
DIY – if you’re a dab hand at decor and you’re naturally creative then DIY your decoration, just make sure you factor into the cost couriering or carrying the items abroad and hiring someone to set up the decoration for you.
COST IN DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS – for a quick rundown on some destinations we work in regularly for comparison see our list below.
N.B. These are rough averages and typically include venue hire/food drinks, cake some drinks, decoration, flowers and entertainment. Starting with cheapest to most expensive for 30 people
- Rhodes Greece | €5,000
- Zante Greece | €5,500
- Crete Greece | €6,000
- Amalfi Coast Italy | €6,900
- Santorini Greece | €9,900