Don’t destination vow renewals seem like a dream? Fantasies of jetting off and having someone else handle most of the planning aren’t uncommon, however turning the fantasy into reality requires meticulous budget planning. If you truly want a destination rather than local vow renewal ceremony, you have to keep the costs in mind.
However, you can still have your fun-in-the sun vow renewal and stay within budget, no matter how big or small the event. Check out a few budget-conscious tips for a destination vow renewal:
Getting There (It Usually Involves a Plane)
Do the research on rates and flight options–you’ll thank yourself later. Start by asking airlines about peak travel seasons to each destination you’re considering, and consider having your vow renewal date during the off season to save moo-lah. You can also save by booking the trip along with family and friends, as most airlines offer group travel rates for groups of 10 or more traveling to the same location. If you’re paying for everyone’s travel expenses, you’ll save money, and if everyone is paying for their own tickets, you’ll still save by booking as a group!
Great Tip: Some airlines provide an insert for save-the-dates that detail this discount.
Great Note: Good etiquette deems the couple responsible for providing transportation to and from the airport and resort where guests are staying. Talk to transportation vendors and see if group discounts are available.
Accommodations and Reception Hall
Combining vow renewal with a second honeymoon is a popular option at all-inclusive resorts. Some resorts even offer a free vow renewal package when you book a designated number of nights. However, this free package is designed for a limited number of guests with minimal features, so if you’re not impressed, ask about other packages and upgrades. Remember, the resort wants your business, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! Boutique hotels are another option that frequently offer vow renewal packages. Packages are usually cheaper than hiring individual local planners and vendors, so research options that suit your needs.
Great Tips: The more you require of the resort or hotel, the greater your negotiating power. For example, if hosting multiple events, have them at the same location. If guests are paying for their tickets, do the research and offer guests wallet-friendly options. Be sure to research nearby affordable villas or apartments for rent that would help guests cut rental costs.
Other Cost-Effective Advice
If money isn’t an issue, bring your photographer, florist, planner…you get the idea. However, if sticking to your budget is necessary, don’t freak out! Plenty of “small” options for cutting costs are available:
For remote locations, see about bringing your own champagne, as the more remote the location, the higher the price of alcohol.
Local, seasonal flowers and beautiful natural surroundings are your friends when it comes to decorations.
Create your own music playlist on CDs or your IPod and use a sound system rather than hiring a DJ or live band.
Host a buffet of local specialties and forget the sit-down-meal thing.
Remember, everyone has a different fantasy about their vow renewal, meaning budget variations can get extreme. Planning a destination vow renewal is a great option if you keep these tips in mind. Remember, you’re having the event to celebrate your union–don’t ever lose sight of this!