first dance at a beach wedding reception in mexico
Destination Wedding Information

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 Brides for her experience and here it is!

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

wedding couple during the ocean view ceremony

Pro tips to save money from a real destination wedding bride

M & B – Riviera Maya Wedding

What was your wedding inspiration or theme?

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

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

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.

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 their 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 HolaWeddings 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.

What is the one thing you would avoid spending on?

One thing we would avoid spending money on is definitely the 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, it cost $100 each. The decorative pieces cost a whole lot more.

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

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.

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

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, let us know!

Thinking of having a destination wedding but concerned about the cost? We can advise you based on your budget, your vision, and your group.


[email protected]

Lisa Wright

Soccer-mom, newlywed-wife, dog-lover, yoga-doer, tequila-drinker and master-wedding-specialist-extraordinaire! At your service…

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