Destination I Do

Budget Tips for Brides

Words by Jennifer Stein

Outside the Box, Inside Your Budget

Create A Memorable Destination Wedding - The Broke-Ass Bride Way

By: Dana LaRue (aka The Broke-Ass Bride)

Destination weddings are exciting by nature. After all, it is essentially a vacation for you and your guests, with a big ol’ love fest as the main attraction. Whether you’re at a beachy resort, or in the big city, your guests will be psyched to celebrate with you and get away from their lives for a spell. Sure, you want to create perfect wedding day memories for yourselves but asking folks to travel far and wide without considering their memories is, frankly, kinda whack.

Relying solely on the planner or coordinator at your location for every detail will only ensure that your wedding is more a reflection of them, than it is of you. But whether you’re planning every detail from afar, or supplementing an inclusive package at a resort, there are many things you can do to make your wedding memorable and personal without adding much (if anything) to your budget.

First impressions go a long way. Make sure your guests are welcomed warmly by providing some fun and helpful gift bags upon check-in. Get creative about it! Include a DVD with a cute video message to your guests, or a CD of location specific music. Hand-draw some funky water bottle labels and stick them on with simple glue dots. Make mad-lib style games or custom crossword puzzles (for free, online at with fun facts about yourselves. It will be a welcome diversion!

Your ceremony can say so much more than “I do.” Be sure to include some personal touches, and involve your guests when possible. Ring warming ceremonies and group blessings are simple ways to make them a part of the moment. If it’s an intimate affair, invite your guests to bring a small offering for your future – a poem, a trinket, anything they find meaningful, and ask them to share it during the ceremony. Write your own vows if possible, or tailor the whole ceremony. It’s a memorable way to share something special with not just your partner, but your audience as well.

Got game? This dinnertime romp a sure winner: Toss your guests’ names into a hat – couples together, singles apart, and whenever they clink their glasses to make you kiss, draw from the hat. The chosen two guests then do… something. Kissing, jumping jacks or whatever comes to mind! And you, the couple of the hour, have no choice but to copy them. It’s a hilarious and often hi-jinks-filled way to keep the energy high and promote mingling, even before dancing begins. Plus, you’re sure to have photos and stories that will be brimming with laughter and smiles.

Do your guests a real favor: Trade in the organza bag of Jordan almonds and give them something unique to the locale. Mini bottles of tequila will remind your guests of the margaritas in Mexico, or lobster crackers will get them telling stories of your Cape Cod affair long after the day has passed. DIY vials of sea salt blended with a locally grown herb can provide tasty sense-memories, and your guests will love savoring the flavor!

Honoring your guests with fun and thoughtful touches like these will make them remember your wedding not only for the beautiful union, but also for being an uniquely bad-ass vacation getaway. And with prices starting as low as $free.99 for such a priceless memory, there’s simply no reason to leave them out of all the fun! 

Follow the Broke Ass Bride on Twitter: @BrokeAssBride

Image courtesy of the Broke-Ass Bride

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