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It’s no secret that a destination wedding is the holy grail of weddings, but it’s also no secret that it can be the most expensive. When you think of destination weddings, you probably think the likes of Hawaii and Paris. However, they are also among some of the more expensive destinations. That’s without even mentioning the time it takes to get to those places for many people. So today we’re featuring a few of the most affordable and accessible destination wedding locations on a budget.
The Dominican Republic often gets overlooked for the many other Caribbean islands. However, what it lacks in recognition, it makes up for inaccessibility and the number of resorts. Unlike many destination wedding locations, the Dominican Republic has a number of daily direct flights from major U.S. cities. Many of the resorts feature a variety of wedding packages and venues and quite a number of them are all-inclusive, doubling as a great honeymoon destination. Natura Cabana, Barcelo Bavaro Beach and BlueBay Villas Doradas are among just a handful of the many resorts that have wedding packages and venues.
Jamaica is an obvious choice for an affordable destination wedding but it’s for good reason. It’s accessible (with some of the most direct flights from the U.S. than any other Caribbean destination), it’s affordable, and English is the official language. Negril makes a great beach wedding destination thanks to Seven Mile Beach (measuring just under seven miles actually), since there’s so much beach real estate to work with. Rockhouse and The Caves are among a couple of notable venues. What’s unique about Rockhouse is that they limit the property to just 20 weddings per year (and no more than 1 per week), making it more of a customized wedding experience for couples. With both the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, however, just be aware of hurricane season August-November.
Yes, Central California has wine country, and it’s actually pretty good. Most people naturally associate Sonoma and Napa with California wine country, but a more offbeat and personalized wine destination can be found in Paso Robles. Paso Robles doesn’t have the luxury hotels, but what it does have is beautiful boutique wineries that can make for a beautiful, intimate countryside wedding at the affordability you can’t find in other wine country destinations. This includes venues like Hartley Farms, where you can wed under a 200-year old Live Oak or Thacher Winery, where you can wed on a 52-acre ranch. Bonus points that Paso Robles features nice weather year-round.
While there are so many destination wedding locations to choose from in Mexico, what you get with the Riviera Maya is accessibility and one of the highest concentrations of all-inclusive resorts. Riviera Maya resorts with wedding venues and packages range from resorts with several hundred rooms, such as Secrets’ numerous resorts, to smaller boutique hotels, like the 29-room Esencia. Be cognizant, however, of distances between your resort and airport for transportation for guests. While some of the resorts are in Cancun itself and a short ride, others, such as Tulum’s resorts, are an hour from the airport.
The Florida panhandle offers all of the sights and sounds of an exotic destination beach wedding, but without requiring a passport. For something more offbeat and personal, there’s Florida’s “Forgotten Coast,” which includes small Florida beach cities like Apalachicola and St. George Island, which gives that remote island feel. For a more mainstream wedding destination, there’s Destin, which is quieter than many Florida beach cities, like Miami, and more affordable. This is the part of the Panhandle where you’ll find some of the best hotels with wedding packages and venues, such as Emerald Grande.