Decorating your destination wedding on a budget

A few decorative touches can transform any location into an impromptu romantic reception

Decorating destination wedding on a budget


A destination wedding can offer stunning views and exotic climates worth travelling to. However splashing out on a celebration away from home may not leave much money left in the wedding fund pot. But a beautiful location is enough, right? Only if you want to go for a true minimalist approach! A few decorative touches can transform any location into an impromptu romantic reception to comfortably host guests.


It’s not just cost that needs to be considered when planning the venue theme. How are you planning to transport the decorations to your destination? Fitting in an entire wedding’s worth of decorations into a suitcase will be a challenge. No matter where you plan to tie the knot, these budget tips will help you have a beautiful ceremony that won’t pull on the purse strings.


Ask the venue to help out

Many resorts regularly host weddings will offer event packages. They will often be able to provide all the decorations you need so you can have a stress-free day. Paying a bit extra can be worth it! Especially as it will save the effort of setting up all your decorations the night before. For your reception afterwards, the majority of venues will provide cutlery and glasses as standard. Again, if you give a venue enough time they should be able to rustle up a package deal with some decorations.


Pay for an extra bag

A wedding dress can take up a lot of room on it’s own. Not to mention your honeymoon wardrobe! Some airlines offer an optional extra baggage charge. Upgrading should provide extra room for decorations to avoid crumpling your clothes. You could even ask friends and family to carry some of the decorations in their own suitcases. Bridesmaids and groomsmen should be more than happy to help as part of their duties.


Bunting and Fabrics

Bunting is a cheap and cheerful decoration for any celebration. It’s particularly great for destination weddings as it can be tied up pretty much anywhere. Tie it between trees for beach or forest weddings, for example. The cheapest way to make your own bunting is to do it yourself. It’s a fun bonding experience for you and your partner! Or maybe the bridesmaids if he isn’t keen on sewing. DIY bunting means you can choose fabrics and colours to reflect your wedding colour scheme. For outdoor weddings, use hessian burlap and other durable fabrics. Just make sure it’s long enough to make a statement! You can even wrap it around table legs and archways. But most importantly bunting is very easy to transport. It’s probably the most cost effective trick for brightening up your location.

Fabrics can be used as makeshift tablecloths or chair covers. They will provide more character than standard table settings.


Simple Table Decorations

Keep it simple with sophisticated. Pick wedding stationery that matches your colour scheme to pull the decorations together. Place cards and an order of service are essentials that are worth spending a little extra on. This way they can double up as decorations and cut down demand on your suitcase. You could even get the place cards laminated and get guests to use them as label tags. It will be easy to track them down on the luggage carousel!


Decorating destination wedding on a budget



Planning to get married outside? Whether you want to tie the knot on a ski slope or a tropical beach, an archway provides a great meeting point. Wedding resorts will often provide seating too, but you might need to decorate it yourself. Lightweight fabrics are easy to transport and can be wrapped around the archway for a beautiful effect. Use matching ribbons on the seats and scatter flower petals down the aisle.


Paper Accessories

Easy to store in your suitcase and hand luggage, paper accessories fold completely flat. Paper lanterns and blossom pom poms can provide a real statement. They are also quick and easy to set up anywhere. Avoid buying them in multiple colours. This can look a bit too “children’s party” as opposed to a luxury destination wedding. Stick to similar shades that match your colour theme for a grown up reception. If you look after them, properly you can take them back home to re-use too.


One Page Guestbook

A full sized guestbook isn’t practical for travel. A piece of A4 card can easily slip into the outer compartment of a suitcase. Write your names in the centre along with the location and date. Get everyone to sign the card with their name and a short message. You could then frame this as a keepsake when you get home or slip it into your wedding album.


Decorating destination wedding on a budget


Decorate your location with photographs

Your wedding is a celebration of your relationship. So why not share your favourite snapshots with guests? Find out the first photos you took together and mix them with more recent images. Using photographs of the two of you will make any destination feel more homely. Photo frames will be too bulky to transport, so use yarn and pegs to display your photo story wherever you choose. Another quick and easy decoration that will fit into hand luggage.


Faux Flowers

Freshly cut flowers are an expensive luxury. Artificial flowers can look just as good. They are much more robust for storing in your suitcase and will save you a lot of money which can be spent elsewhere. You could even try an alternative bouquet crafted with fabrics which you can hold onto after the ceremony. The groomsmen could wear matching fabric flower buttonholes too.


Don’t exchange gifts and favours

Request that any gifts are traded when everyone is back home again. It’s a great excuse for everyone to get together! Most wedding gifts from a directory are bound to be pretty heavy.

If you plan to give out wedding favours, you too can wait until you’re back on home turf. You could incorporate gifts from the destination in which you wed. Pick up a few small items on your honeymoon to give favour bags an interesting twist.


Feeling inspired? Have a read through these Holiday Hacks to get prepared for the practicalities of travelling to your destination wedding.


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