The question has been popped, the answer has been given, and the exciting journey of planning a wedding has gotten underway. The dress, the date and most importantly, the venue has to be considered to pull together the perfect day, a day that will be in your memory forever.
Destination weddings have become one of the most popular ways that happy couples choose to exchange their vows. On average, a wedding day in the US sets couples back around $20,000 to $30,000. This is why many are choosing to rather spend this in some of the most scenic, and elegant places in the world. If packaging your wedding and honeymoon into one, the cost-effective trip is the way to go for you, we have broken down a list of top places to spend the happiest day of your life in. Enjoy!
Montego Bay, Jamaica
If an island wedding, surrounded by white sands, blue seas and the irresistible Carribean spirit appeal to you, Jamaica could be your answer. Jamaica can adapt to your particular style and taste and offers you the unique package of being a wedding venue, and honeymoon getaway, all wrapped into one.
Having a wedding is all about choice and making sure that your personal tastes are reflected in the ceremony and theme. According to Rose Hall, a venue should be able to offer you a variety of options as well as packages to suit your taste and budget. So if the beach backdrop isn’t for you, there are various other options to choose from. The island offers beautiful waterfalls, lush rainforests or vibrant venues with a heaving music scene to add a cultural twist to your big day. If you are a US citizen, you can legally get married in Jamaica, with no blood tests necessary. You do have to be in the country for over 24 hours before the ceremony for the wedding to be performed. Getting married in Jamaica is also a lot cheaper than in the US, with the average wedding costing under $5,000.
Cape Town, South Africa
On the southernmost tip of Africa lies this picturesque, tourist delight. This might come as a surprise pick to many who are not familiar with this South African gem, and associate the city with crime and violence. The truth is that Cape Town is described as the “African Europe” and you will see that as soon as you land. Among the top attractions is one of the seven natural wonders of the world – Table Mountain, the sheer cliffs of Chapmans Peak, the glistening white beaches, and the rolling hills of the Winelands.
You simply have to pick where to tie the knot, with some of the most scenic views in the world, right behind you. Whether you choose one of the estates in the Winelands, a hotel looking onto the Monaco-like views of Clifton, or want a simple beach wedding up the west coast, with Table Mountain backdropped behind you, the options are endless.
If this is not enough, it is exceptionally cost-effective. The Rand trades lower than most currencies making food, accommodation, and alcohol incredibly affordable for tourists. Added to that, the quality that you are paying for is unrivaled. The quality of the food is incredibly high; South Africa beef and meat are some of the top ones in the world, the wine quality rivals that of its French and Californian counterparts and the hotels and restaurants are rated as some of the tops in the world. You simply cannot go wrong.
Prague, Czech Republic
If a fairytale wedding has been what you have been dreaming about your whole life, Prague could just be your answer. The city is home to classic, European architecture and is steeped in culture, history and an elegant bohemian feel. The city has been listed as one of the most photogenic places in the world and makes for gorgeous wedding pictures that encapsulate romance. You can choose between hilltop fortresses, steepled churches or the romance of the river that runs through the city.
It is possible for foreigners to get married in the city, you will just need to get a few documents in order. It is, however, recommended that you seek the assistance of a wedding planner to help with the documents, especially if you cannot speak Czech. It is a very difficult language and you will be better off with someone who can converse. The one thing to keep in mind is that the cost of weddings in Prague can be incredibly high if you don’t keep track of the expenses, and naturally, if you choose one of the high-end venues to tie the knot.
The last venue on our list is Marrakesh in Morocco. If the beach, Winelands and fairytale options listed above has not yet appealed to you, this just might. Morocco holds unrivaled charm and character and is a plethora of cultures, ancient traditions, religions, and history. Morocco is aesthetically beautiful with its brightly colored tents, silks, and pottery, offsetting the sparkling desert and white sands of the shorelines.
There are a number of things to keep in mind if you do wed in Morocco. Firstly it is an Islamic state, and you will need to be respectful of their traditions and lifestyle. Alcohol is not illegal, however, you do need to be conscious of the fact that it needs to be consumed respectfully. Secondly, Morocco can be extremely expensive. The cost of a wedding can be a lot higher than in the US, especially with flights and accommodation. Lastly, getting the right documentation and processes can be quite tricky. Officials can change the processes when they feel like it, so make sure you have a local to assist you and be prepared for some surprises.
It is important to do a lot of research into your chosen destination before the wedding. Make sure you have a realistic budget for all of the costs involved. Understand the exact documentation that you need for the ceremony and what the local government requires of you. Lastly, try and make sure that you have a local assistant who can speak the language and who knows the requirements to try and relieve that stress off you for the period. But most of all, enjoy.