A Real Bride’s Tips: How to Save Money on Your Destination Wedding

When planning a destination wedding one of the first concerns is cost. How much will a destination wedding cost? How can we make a destination wedding more affordable? Any tips or tricks as to how to save money? We asked one of our Hola Weddings Brides for her experience and here it is!

Although you may want to splurge a bit on key elements like a wedding planner, a videographer, or your hair and makeup to look marvelous, there are a few items you can limit to reduce your expenses on your wedding day.

Here are the questions that will be answered in this blog post interview:

All images are courtesy of their amazing photographer, Vincent, from Pixan Photography.

wedding couple during the ocean view ceremony
Congrats to the newlyweds!

Pro tips on how to save money on your destination wedding from a real bride

M & B – Riviera Maya Wedding

1. What was your wedding inspiration or theme?

Our wedding theme is sage green and a little bit of boho. 

2. How did you save money on your destination wedding while still making your vision a reality?

As a couple, we really prioritized what was important for us to splurge on. We knew from the start that having a wedding can get really expensive and what we think are small expenses, can really add up. So, for the small details of our wedding, we DIY’ed.

wedding couple holding hands at the hilton in playa del carmen

Being a Graphic Designer (the bride) also helped us out a lot! 🙂 I designed our own wedding invitations and also did all the production work. I learned how to do calligraphy and macramé from YouTube and made our name cards for the reception.

diy wedding decor at a beach destination wedding
Beautiful, creative and DIY!

We also saved a lot of money by buying our own flowers for the reception, bridesmaids, flower crowns for the flower girls, and boutonnieres for my brothers. I do have to be honest and say it was a little stressful, but it was all worth it in the end especially since we saved so much money. It was also very rewarding.

Not sure how much to tip, or which wedding vendors should receive a gratuity? Read the Top Destination Wedding Tipping Etiquette Guide. 

3. What is the one thing you advise brides to splurge on?

One thing we advise brides to splurge on is definitely a good photographer/videographer.

newlywed sunset photoshoot

The resort where we had our wedding had its own photographer, but we didn’t really like their style. If we wanted to use an outside vendor, we had to pay a $500 fee. We didn’t like the feeling of settling for a service that we weren’t happy with just because we didn’t want to pay the fee.

Finally, I asked our travel agent, Lisa, from Hola Weddings if she knew any photographers. She recommended Vincent to us from Pixan Photography.

As soon as we saw his work, we knew we had to hire him. Vincent and his team did such a great job. They were all very professional, patient, hardworking, and easy to work with. We’re glad we didn’t settle because we knew we would have regretted it so much.

4. What is the one thing you would avoid spending on?

One thing we would avoid spending money on is definitely flowers. (The bride’s bouquet and boutonnière are included in the wedding package we had).

wedding party with flowers and ocean view gazebo

We know it is one of the key things for every wedding, but when our wedding coordinator showed us the price list, we just couldn’t justify it. For the bridesmaids’ bouquets alone, they cost $100 each. The decorative pieces cost a whole lot more.

So, we decided to buy our own flowers and arrange them ourselves. We know this is a little tricky if you are having a destination wedding but prior to our trip, we did some research and found that there was a Walmart near the resort we stayed at.

We found a good selection of flowers and vases. It turned out really nice and our guests were very impressed. They couldn’t believe we didn’t hire a florist! 

Our wedding coordinator was also impressed that we actually pulled it off and she couldn’t believe it was all from Walmart. 

DIY centerpieces for a destination wedding: how to save money on your destination wedding, buy your own vases and flowers

After the wedding, all of the flowers were brought back to our room. We were sad to just throw it all away but we instead offered them to our room’s housekeeper. She was really surprised and shared it with the other housekeepers on our floor. You should have seen their smiling faces! We were glad the flowers have found a second home. No flowers were wasted so it was a win-win.


We hope this real bride’s tips on how to save money on your destination wedding were useful! If you have any other pointers, about cutting costs or service fees let us know!

Thinking of celebrating your marriage abroad but concerned about the cost? We can advise you based on your budget, your vision, and your group. Also, here’s our complete guide for destination weddings you MUST read before planning your big day. 

Get in touch today and let’s get started!


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