Jet Wed Co. | How to Create a Destination Wedding Budget

From Paris to the Côte d'Azur, jump start your big day with our budgeting basics.

From Paris to the Côte d'Azur, jump start your big day with our budgeting basics.

Chances are you clicked on this blog because you are feeling a little (maybe more than a little) overwhelmed when it comes to budgeting for your big day abroad. 

After all, with the average US wedding cost of $33,391 in 2017, breaking it all down for a unique situation can seem daunting. But fear not! We're here to provide a complete overview of everything to consider: 

Wardrobe + Styling 

First things first, account for everything you & your partner will need to look and feel your best. It is important to set a styling budget early on as these will be some of the first things you will need to pay for. Below are the basics, but also make note of any regular beauty routine costs (like waxing) or special wants, like a spray tan. 

  • Dress

  • Tuxedo

  • Accessories (veil, earrings, etc.)

  • Shoes

  • Alterations

  • Wedding bands

  • Salon appointments


Selecting and budgeting for the right vendors plays a huge part in ensuring the perfect day. Therefore, this is one area I advise clients to dedicate a significant amount of their budget towards. I recommend hiring professionals for the services listed below when having a traditional wedding. If you are having an intimate elopement, you can mark off catering and entertainment.

  • Wedding Planner and/or Day-of Coordinator

  • Officiant/Celebrant

  • Photographer

  • Videographer

  • Hair & Makeup Artist

  • Florist

  • Caterer

  • Entertainment


The essence of a wedding or elopement abroad, is comprised of the opportunity to have some of the world's most beautiful scenery as the backdrop. Lush terraces, grandiose ballrooms and sandy beaches are all on the table. Need some inspiration? Head to our venue Pinterest board here.

  • Venue rental fee

  • Decor (if applicable)

  • Staffing fees (if applicable)

Travel + Accommodations

Whether you're saying your nuptials in Paris or Fiji, this is a very necessary budget line. The good news, is that it is the easiest area to find savings for. I personally use Hopper and Google Flights to save my clients' money on airfare. Additionally, I always recommend booking an additional room to serve as a "getting ready" suite on the day of. 

  • Airfare

  • Hotel accommodations

  • Passport application fee (if applicable)

  • Transportation from airport

  • Driver (if multiple locations)

License + Paperwork

The easiest way to get married abroad is to simply have a symbolic ceremony. With this, you will obtain your marriage license and be legally married in your home state either before or after your ceremony. I recommend doing this after your ceremony, so you won’t have to worry about changing any important documents before traveling.

  • Marriage License Fee

  • State specific paperwork fees (if applicable)

Additional Costs 

One last thing to consider is the currency conversion rate and additional taxes (VAT, in Italy for example) of the destination chosen. It is important to include both in the final budget to avoid any expensive oversights. 

Remember, wedding planning shouldn't be stressful! To have an experienced pro guide you through the process, check out Jet Wed's services here.