With the average cost of a wedding in England estimated between 15K and 25K more people are fleeing these spiralling costs, opting for weddings abroad. It is no longer an elopement to Gretna Green as resort holiday packages are now big business, the more exotic the better. This article is a great companion when grovelling to the in-laws as it compares weddings abroad with the British wedding industry examining what you can get for your money.
In the tightening financial climate, many people are eager to hold onto their savings as opposed to splashing out on extravagant parties so 250 people can have a free lunch. In my expert opinion, the absolute minimum you can spend on a British church wedding with all the trimmings and that is being extremely prudent with your budget, it is a clear fact that money goes further with weddings abroad.
Based on this model the main costs of a British wedding are the reception, the honeymoon and the dress which account for around 4500GBP, just over 40 percent of the total cost. That is allowing 2000GBP for the reception, 1500GBP for the honeymoon and 1000GBP for the dress. As any woman who has flitted through wedding catalogues will tell you, none of those allowances go very far.
Other costs include rings, other wedding attire like bridesmaid's dresses, the church, reception venues, photographers and so on. All the 200 pounds here and there add up to a tidy sum and unless you want to cut serious corners with your special day, the absolute minimum cost I estimate is 11K. There other options that an increasing numbers of Brits are opting for, weddings in paradise.
Destinations that accommodate weddings abroad range in cost however, the island of Barbados is a good example of affordable luxury hotels and island paradise. Your timing is imperative in planning weddings abroad, as peak times can be very expensive however into the end of the UK wedding season you can pick up competitive deals on flights and hotel suites.
You may wish to invest the weddings abroad budget money in different places based on your and your guests' circumstances. With a return ticket costing around 620GBP in September the people who you really want there will have to be able to fund themselves or you will have to budget in their flights. This is applicable to accommodation as well, which drops dramatically in price off-season.
The general cost of weddings abroad is quite frustrating when comparing to Britain. For 990 US dollars, about 520GBP, you can enjoy the ceremony, a la carte breakfasts, lunch and dinner, basically everything you need on the day with all the luxury trimmings. Additional costs are the suite hire which depends on your preference however there is a broad price range and extremely competitive rates off-season.
Other weddings abroad packages include offers like hotel hire. For around 4000GBP you can hire an entire luxury hotel which sleeps about 70 including the ceremony. For just under 20,000GBP you can hire the hotel with all the accommodation for five nights and 25K buys you an entire week. Combine that with the 43, 400GBP cost of 70 return tickets allows you 70 guests in a luxury hotel in paradise for one week for a modest 70,000GBP.
Although this is out of most peoples budgets your 11,000GBP can go a long way in accommodation and airfares for essential guests. You have to ask yourself what is more important, having the number of guests or the memorable nature of the ceremony. Weddings abroad are increasingly popular because they are truly special events at an affordable cost.
Shaun Parker is an expert on organising memorable weddings abroad and has years of experience in the tourism industry.