A Hawaii destination wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does require some financial planning, especially if you don’t want to be paying for it years down the road. Here are some tried and true tips on how to pay for Hawaii weddings without maxing out your credit cards.
1. Start Saving Early: Okay, saving money is always easier said then done. But if you’re considering getting married in Hawaii, or even just taking vacations to Hawaii, go on and start saving. Open a separate savings account for paying for your wedding, and contribute a portion of each paycheck to your Wedding in Hawaii Fund. Collect your change at the end of the day, put away any extra cash you get as gifts or that’s leftover from other activities. Shop less, save more, and you’ll find yourself already on the right track when it’s time to start your Hawaii wedding planning.
2. Know Your Budget: The first research you do should be the cost of weddings in Hawaii. In order to know how to pay for a Hawaii wedding, you need to know the amount you’ll have to pay. This includes your travel, accommodations, food, activities, and, of course, your wedding. Flights will be about $900 from the East Coast and $500 from the West Coast. A good higher-end estimate is $800 per day per couple after you get here. Combine this with the cost of your Hawaii wedding package plus reception plans, and you’ll have an idea of what your Hawaii wedding will cost you.
3. Keep Costs Down: There are endless opportunities to splurge or cut costs of Hawaii weddings. For example, choose a coordinator that offers high quality and affordable Hawaii wedding packages, such as Simple Maui Wedding. This coordinator will also have expertise on how not to spend too much. For example, a beach wedding in Hawaii will cost far less than a Hawaii venue wedding, and a full reception can more than double the budget for your entire trip. A simple Hawaii wedding on the beach with dinner at a restaurant afterwards will help keep your wedding affordable while still being elegant and beautiful.
When you choose a Hawaii beach wedding, you’re ultimately choosing a more casual wedding, meaning you can save on the wedding dress & attire, decorations, music, and guest count.
Also know what you’re expected to pay for at your destination wedding so you don’t spend more than necessary. For example, guests are to pay for their own accommodations & travel along with any non-wedding related activities. If you know what’s acceptable to ask of your guests, you’ll be able to trim your budget down.
4. Accept Donations: Your friends and family can help pay for the trip, especially if they aren’t joining you for your wedding. That’s right — the people you aren’t inviting to your destination wedding in Hawaii are the ones who might help fund it. If you do everything with formal etiquette and without the expectation of receiving anything, you might find you’ll receive congratulations and well-wishes in the form of money and gifts, which will help offset the cost of your destination wedding in Hawaii. Send invitations beforehand to those you would like to attend your wedding and send announcements afterwards to the masses. If you’re eloping to Hawaii, announcements might be the only way you get word out about your marriage. The Knot has a guide on how to announce your wedding. Don’t forget a prompt Thank You card to anyone sending gifts!
Use word-of-mouth (nothing in the announcements or invitations) that cash is preferred over gifts. Set up a registry or two for friends who prefer buying gifts. Have close friends or parents know your preference, so that when someone asks them what you’d like as a gift, they can share that money would be most helpful.
Hawaii Wedding image by Karma Hill Photography.
5. Find Hidden Money: Money might be hiding all over your house if you’re willing to have a yard sale. Plus it’s a great way to get rid of those old belongings, especially if you’re making room for two after the wedding. Make a (humorous) sign at your sale that all proceeds benefit your Hawaii destination wedding. People will be less likely to haggle you down if they know the money is going directly toward something (even a vacation), especially if it sparks conversation and they chat with you a bit about your wedding plans.
Another way to find money for your destination wedding is in old savings plans. Ask your parents if you have any savings bonds or accounts from your childhood. Really work to jog their memory on this one, as these things tend to get forgotten through the years. Just be careful not to dip into an emergency savings fund for times of unemployment or unexpected expenses.
Also look for frequent flier miles, hotel points, or other rewards that can help fund your trip. Close families and friends might be willing to gift their rewards to you also. That uncle that is always traveling for work or the cousin who is always making the most of her credit card points might be able to share their tips or even a bit of their loot.
6. Take a Second Job: Don’t be shy about working for money. Spread the word that you’re trying to save up for your dream Hawaii wedding package, so if anybody has odd jobs, you can work for some vacation cash. You didn’t think you’d be babysitting or weeding grandma’s garden after high school, but it’s easy money that can be put aside as you save for your destination wedding in Hawaii.
If you really want to get extra income, get an official second job. This is a step up from working odd jobs, because you’ll have to apply and get hired, and commit to working extra while planning a wedding. Many newlyweds are forced to get a second job after to help with paying for your wedding. If you’re ahead of the game, and get a second job pre-vows, you’ll miss heavy interest and post-wedding stress, and you’ll feel like you’re on an extra long honeymoon if you’re able to come home and work less after your destination wedding in Hawaii.
7. Wait to Wed: Wait to book your Hawaii wedding package until you’ve saved enough for the deposit. Then book your wedding far enough in advance that you can save up until it’s time to pay in full. If you book as soon as you save enough for the deposit, you’ll lock in the current price for the wedding package, which could save you a bit of money if you’re wedding in the far future. Beach weddings in Hawaii are far more enjoyable if you don’t have the stress of debt weighing on you — so be smart and have a fabulous and affordable Hawaii wedding!