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You’ve found your perfect partner and now its time to plan your dream wedding. If you’re on a budget you’re probably looking for ways to save money. Can a destination wedding help? Maybe, depending on the decisions you make as part of the planning process. Research shows that destination weddings average just above $27,000 for a domestic location and just under $28,500 for an international location. Here’s a list of some of five key spending areas that most affect the cost of your event.

Guest list

As with a traditional wedding, the guest list for a destination wedding can have one of the biggest impacts on your budget. That’s because the bride and groom are still expected to host a reception or dinner at the resort or restaurant. However, often destination weddings are held with far fewer guests. Sometimes just a handful of loved ones or close friends can make the trip and this helps to cut down on reception costs. If you do think that a lot of people would be interested in traveling you may have to consider reducing the guest list to keep costs where you’d like them.

Travel expenses

Travel expenses are another area that can impact your costs. International locations and high end, luxury accommodations will inflate your budget more quickly than other options. There’s a lot you can do to lessen travel expenses including building up reward miles to offset costs and getting creative as you plan.

It pays to be flexible as you consider locations. If you’re interested in international travel, take time to consider what is drawing you there and if you can find that same element in a closer destination. If you know your destination but are focusing on your ceremony location, remember that some of the most unique and memorable locations don’t come with a premium price tag. Brainstorm every possibility you can. You might be surprised by the results.

Length of your stay

The length of your wedding and associated events impacts your budget too. A week-long resort event or a cruise ship wedding costs a lot more for you and your guests than a weekend or four-day affair. Don’t forget that you have a lot of flexibility in planning for timelines. One way is to schedule your ceremony so that your guests attend just part of the event. Alternatively, you can try to negotiate a better rate for a longer group stay.

Favors and guest perks

Many couples who want a destination wedding realize that travel expenses can add up. They try to go the extra mile to show their appreciation for their guests who are paying travel expenses, too. They may offer extravagant favors, provide perks including spa treatments, or help pay for the hotel, airfare, and transportation costs.

There are ways to help your guests while keeping costs in line. You may be able to negotiate a better price on a group rate for hotel rooms, travel expenses, or resort expenses. Resorts may also be open to offering additional package perks like upgrades to meals or drink tickets. Any of these will show your guests what their presence means to you.

Remember your negotiating skills

Similarly to a traditional wedding, bargaining for better rates can help you stay on budget. Keep your negotiating skills sharp during all aspects of planning your event. It is possible to find substantial savings on travel and lodging costs, reception costs, resort costs, food expenses, favors and more. If you do, you’ll have the wedding you want at a location that inspires you without going off of your budget. It’s a great way to start your life together.