Getting married is a big decision. Getting married with all the grandiose trimmings of a cathedral’s sacred vows, an elegant wine and dine reception and a guest list that could run anywhere from thirty to one hundred and fifty is even a bigger decision … especially if neither the bride nor the groom is keen on fulfilling that part of the wedding vow that says “ … till DEBT do us part.”
Because let’s face it- with the recent boom of the wedding industry, any reasonably satisfying wedding reception can cost you an arm and a leg if you’re not careful.
So, what’s a good alternative … something that doesn’t take anything away from the romance, reverence and the spine-tingling sense of anticipation for the honeymoon?
It’s an elopement in some idyllic tropical island or some exotic place you can, in a unique and personal way, call your very own.
What You'll Learn...
Photo Credit: Bridebox
It’s an exciting destination for your elopement, what with its dazzling vistas of sandy beaches, aquamarine ocean waters, and fascinating, colorful culture. There’s no hassle eloping and getting married in Mexico.
With just your passport and a tourist visa, you’ll simply have to fill up a few forms and shell out $30 for a marriage license fee. You would also most likely enjoy the music of the Mariachis, the local street food’s tacos and tamales and its pleasantly warm weather. Puerto Vallarta in Bay of Banderas in Mexico would be a perfect place to stay in.
Photo Credit: Pride of Maui
If you and your spouse love the sun, sand, and sea, you can elope and take your marriage vows in Oahu, The Big Island, Maui or Kawai in Hawaii. In any of these inexpensive places to elope, you can go through a customized Hawaiian style ceremony for $155 plus a pro photo deal for $195.
This total of $350 gets you a minister to perform the wedding rites, a conch shell that’ll be blowing yonder during the ceremony, ethnic Hawaiian prayers that are translated into English and a lot more. JUST MARRIED HAWAII is the widely sought after outfit that’ll help you get these things organized.
3) Niagara Falls, New York
Photo Credit; Wedding Wire
THE FALLS WEDDING CHAPEL offers services that’ll perform your wedding rites at any of the sites of your choice – from enchanting gardens near the falls to the quaint majestic cathedral to a helicopter flight above the falls. Depending on where you’d like to say your “I-dos”, their prices range from $195 to $895.
This will include a minister to do the Christian and civil ceremonies, a delightful, great-tasting wedding cake, fresh flowers, and photography services.
But the icing on the cake? A free night at the Quality Hotel and Suites where the Love Chapel is located.
4) South Africa
Photo Credit: pink-book.co
South Africa is another extremely popular inexpensive place to elope. Getting married in South Africa is an incredible experience because it offers a wide selection of venues for your wedding – from miles-long coastal beaches to mountain ranches to tropical-like forests to stunningly green vineyards and orchards, or, to an amazingly vibrant, pounding street location.
Not to mention those incredibly thrilling safaris, where you’ll experience close encounters with giraffes, other beautiful endangered species, and the Third Kind.
…You’ll get that one on the drive home.
The safari lodges offer clean, comfortable and luxurious accommodations for a very reasonable price. The exchange rate in Africa is such you’ll most likely find these luxury lodges well within your reach.
I’d get married in South Africa for the elephants alone. Just throwing that out there.
5) The Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: Destination Wedding
What could be drawing elopers to this old, quaintly Spanish-influenced coastal country is that their tourism’s off-season runs during the peak wedding season.
This, of course, means big savings on plane fares, hotel accommodations, city tours, and shopping. There are numerous wedding planners and coordinators who will help you work out your elopement and wedding plans for a ridiculously low fee.
Photo Credit: Chic and Stylish Weddings
How can afford not to consider Italy when working out your elopement plans? It’s where you’ll find picturesque old towns and cities. Beautiful artworks of the masters, Italian culinary delights and all kinds of wines at fair prices. It’s also the home of my people!
Venues to choose for your wedding ceremony? This goes from Italian villas to century-old churches to grape vineyards to stunning seashores.
Or, you may choose to take the road less traveled, leading to one of the many old towns – not generally popular tourist destination, but nevertheless, offer a traditional Italian feel. Since these are in a way hidden gems, you won’t pay tourist area prices. For this reason, Italy makes this list of inexpensive places to elope.
7) Lake Tahoe
Here you can get great accommodations for a song, or, for a little bit more, you can opt to stay in any of the log cabins with steamy saunas and home-like cozy fireplaces. Honesco Weddings are the people to talk to for non-denominational wedding packages in any of Lake Tahoe’s amazing sites ( Vista Point, Emerald Bay, Sand Harbor, etc.).
For a package range of $200 -$650, they’ll take care of your marriage license and help you organize all the trimmings you’d want to personalize your wedding celebration.
The key to ensuring you don’t fall into those rich tourist-priced elopement packages is to keep in mind that “inexpensive” is relative.
What may seem inexpensive to others may be expensive for you. So before you book, before you make your decision on where to elope, look closely into the values and costs of any elopement packages. Avoid the “ My-God-I-didn’t-know-that-item-wasn’t-included- in-the-package” scenario.
Bottom line: If there are to be any surprises, let them be the ones that are borne of the privacy from your honeymoon suite.
Ciao for now!