Are you looking for the perfect place to say “I do”?
If you are, you’re no doubt trying to figure out exactly how you are going to pay for your dream wedding. And then somehow pay for an amazingly romantic honeymoon too.
With UK weddings costing an average of £20,500, more than a deposit on a house, this is a dilemma that faces many engaged couples.
There is a way to save a tonne of money on your wedding day, whilst still making sure that it’s a special celebration that you’ll never forget.
Choose an exotic wedding destination for your special day, rather than getting married in the UK.
Yes, you can actually put your wedding budget to much better use by choosing to get married on a beach in Hawaii. And you’ll have plenty to spare for the perfect honeymoon too.
Our latest research into average wedding costs in 21 destinations ranked the UK as one of the most expensive countries to get married in. On the other hand, the average wedding in Fiji costs as little as £600. Seychelles boasts average costs of £840, and Malaysia and Thailand both fall under the £2,000 mark too.
The average wedding in South Africa, Sri Lanka and Morocco costs under £4,000.
In fact, whilst the price may be rising here in the UK, choose your wedding destination wisely and you’ll see that the cost of getting married abroad is getting cheaper.
Long-term currency fluctuations mean that a wedding abroad this year can cost up to 145% less than it did three years ago. And the more exotic wedding destinations such as those in South America, Africa and South East Asia are triumphing in terms of value over those in Europe.
Popular overseas wedding destinations such as Jamaica, Mexico and Malaysia are also significantly cheaper this year – meaning you can get much more wedding for your money than you could in the UK.
Couples choosing to say their vows in Argentina this year will get 145% more for their money. In real terms, for every £10,000 exchanged, you get up to an extra 211,000 Argentine Pesos – or £6,300 – more. Down in South Africa, couples get 33% more for their money, giving you an additional 50,000 Rand – or £2,500 – for every £10,000 spent. Meanwhile a wedding in Mexico, is 27% better value, giving couples 53,000 Mexican Pesos – or £2,000 more – for every £10,000 exchanged. Weddings in Jamaica, Indonesia and Cape Verde this year also offer up to 17% better value.
Elizabeth and Lee Saxby saved nearly £13,000 by having the wedding of their dreams on a tiny Hawaiian island instead of staying in the UK.
After eschewing a traditional wedding at home in Cardiff, the couple opted for an intimate beach ceremony surrounded by close family on the beautiful Kauai island – costing only £2,500. And they’re not alone. With UK weddings costing an average of £20,500, more than a deposit on a house, it’s no surprise that getting married abroad is a more attractive option.
“We’d been to quite a few weddings and I was loathed to spend so much money on people having a chicken dinner,” said family solicitor Elizabeth, 33, who married web developer Lee, also 33. “If we had stayed at home, it would probably have been a registry office and reception and we would have spent around £15,000 for a simple wedding.
“The world was our oyster – and Hawaii won! We decided on a very private and relaxed affair on one of Hawaii’s quietest islands. We ended up spending £2,500 on the wedding, including my dress and the photography. It meant we could spend more money on our honeymoon and travelling across California. It was the holiday of a lifetime.”
Our top money tips for planning a wedding abroad:
- Don’t just look at the cost of your wedding package – look at destinations where your money will take you furthest and get the most value.
- If you’re making an international payment to pay for your wedding, set up a Rate Watch service with FairFX so you’ll be informed when the rate is in your favour.
- When it comes to your travel money, don’t leave it until the last minute. Exchange rates at airports can be over 10% more expensive meaning you could lose £100 of cash for every £1,000 you change – that’s a lot of Champagne you could be celebrating with!
- Using debit and credit cards to make international payments or while you’re abroad can lead to costly hidden charges – such as foreign exchange and transaction fees. You also don’t get a choice of exchange rate. Instead, use a FairFX Prepaid Currency Card for you and your family.