27 Jan

Wedding Trends: You May Want To Re-Think That Destination Wedding

It’s exciting to think about saying “I do” in a tropical paradise or other glamorous destination. I have always dreamed of getting married in Ireland, the roots of my family heritage; however, let’s see why getting married in your home state might be an overall better option.

To get down to it, destination weddings are expensive. It’s not just expensive for the engaged couple and their parents to plan the wedding from a distance, but expensive for the guests you want to invite. Let’s break it down.

1. Flights

As planes, trains, taxis, and buses become more expensive to maintain so does the passenger’s tickets and fare. An average price to travel from Indianapolis, Indiana to Hawaii costs $870.00 per passenger not including carry-on and checked luggage. Keep in mind, most travelers will want to stay more than one day in their destination, which leads to the next on our list.

2. Hotels

Guests who travel to a destination wedding do not want to stay just for the wedding ceremony and reception and then leave. They want to enjoy the celebration and then take some time to relish the atmosphere and see the sites. With that in mind, guests as well as the bridal party will spend at least 2 nights in a hotel. Average price of a nice hotel in Hawaii is $595.00 a night.

3. Transportation in Destination

Taxis, buses, or rental cars can add up as well. My research shows that the average taxi price from the closest airport to the hotel on the beach in Hawaii is $157.00. If you stay more than one day and travel to the shopping malls, out to eat, or out to the bars your average end of the three day trip is $823.00.

4. Food and Beverage

Most catering and food service providers have a service charge and state tax added to the overall bill. In Hawaii because a lot of the food and beverage is imported into the state, you can expect the higher than average cost of $90.00 per plate with a $15,000 food and beverage minimum. This price doesn’t include the venue costs.

5. Venue

We touched a little on cost for your menu; now let’s add in the venue costs. The typical venue for 100 guests for a destination wedding is $5130.00. This price is the average of all the top venues in New York, Hawaii, and California wineries. If you add another room or cocktail hallway that’s added average cost of $1125.00; for a total venue rental cost of $6255.00.

Your average cost to get married would be on the low end of $78,263; including dress, make-up, shoes, invitations, guest gifts/welcome packages at hotel, airfare, hotel, transportation, venue, food & beverage, décor, and flowers.

This price may seem a little overwhelming, so let’s take a look at perhaps a better option for creating your dream wedding: consider having everything you ever wanted at a venue close to home. One thing I love to remind our brides is to really consider what is most important to them. Is it the venue, the food, the dress, the décor or flowers? Is it everything? Choosing to celebrate the big day in your home state could save you enough money to incorporate what is really important to you and make your wedding celebration even more than you could have imagined! For example, we had a young career-driven bride come into one of our venues and sign right on the spot. When I asked her what made her decide so quickly, she replied “I can afford everything I want… and have fireworks!”


Kahn's Catering at the ISM for a dowtown Indianapolis wedding

Check out some Indiana Destination Weddings here on Pinterest.

If you have any questions, or want to tell us about your destination wedding feel free to leave me a comment below or follow me on Facebook.


*Photo credit to DanaJ Photography for our Featured Image. Check out more of their work!*

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