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  • Writer's picturedlunsford1992

Saving Big: Benefits of Planning a Scottish Wedding versus a US Wedding

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

One year ago, I made the best decision of my life and said "I do" to the love of my life in the most enchanting setting - an 11th-century castle in Peebles, Scotland. The memory of that day still brings a smile to my face and warms my heart. It was not only a beautiful experience but also about half the cost of a wedding in the United States. That's what I call a win-win!

I'm here to tell you why you should be considering a destination wedding and how it could benefit you and your fiancé.

5 Reasons Why a Destination Wedding Should Be Your Top Choice

Say Goodbye to Exorbitant Prices: How a Destination Wedding Can Save You Thousands

First of all, let's talk about money. Weddings in the United States can be exorbitantly expensive. According to a The Knot study from 2021, the average cost of a 105-person wedding in the United States was a whopping 56% higher than a wedding of the same size in the United Kingdom and took an average of 16 months to plan. Neither the hefty price tag nor long lead time sounded attractive to us when Nathan and I started planning our wedding, so we looked for alternatives and found the perfect solution - a destination wedding.

All-Inclusive Packages: The Stress-Free Solution to Wedding Planning

The best part of a destination wedding is that many venues offer all-inclusive packages that save couples a lot of money in the long run. These packages typically include the use of the venue, catering, flowers, decorations, and sometimes even the wedding planner.

Neidpath Castle Dining Hall Dressed for Reception Dinner
Neidpath Castle Dining Hall Dressed for Reception Dinner

This means couples don't have to spend time and money searching for and coordinating with various vendors, as everything is included in one package. When we were considering a local wedding in Iowa, we were quoted around $7,000 simply to reserve a venue. That didn't include food, drinks, or flowers.

When Neidpath Castle sent me information about its pseudo-all-inclusive package, I couldn't believe it. For less than what I was being quoted for the venue space in Iowa, we would have everything we needed for a beautiful historic venue.

Neidpath Castle in Peebles Scotland aerial view
Venue: Neidpath Castle in Peebles, UK

Additionally, venues offering all-inclusive packages remove the requirement for couples to have to coordinate with multiple vendors to ensure everything is in order.

Keep Your Guest List Intimate: How Destination Weddings Make it Easy to Cap Your Guest List

Another great advantage of a destination wedding is that they usually have a smaller guest list than traditional weddings, as not everyone can travel for the wedding. This can save you money on catering costs and other wedding expenses. Additionally, a smaller guest list means you can spend more quality time with your guests and make the celebration more intimate and meaningful. We were surprised to have an unexpected total of 42 people attend our destination wedding, which was a perfect size. It was cost-effective and allowed us to spend time with all our guests leading up to and during the event.

Plan your Dream Wedding from the Comfort of Your Home: The Perks of Destination Wedding Planning

Many venues have experienced wedding planners who can help you plan and execute a dream wedding without all the stress and hassle. I was able to plan my entire wedding from my smart phone or other devices from the comfort of my own home and often my couch! I would type up emails after work while watching Netflix and schedule Zoom calls to check in with my wedding coordinator.

I did choose to add a few additional services to my all-inclusive package such as a tiered cake from a local bakery and a large bouquet for myself. Each of these vendors were trusted and recommended from my wedding planner making the plans so easy to finalize.

Less is More: How Destination Weddings Help You Embrace Simplicity and Reduce Stress

Being unable to craft every idea I loved on TikTok or Pinterest educed my wedding-related stress tenfold. Sure, there were so many cool concepts I saw on these apps, but knowing I wasn't able to carry all of these items overseas with me deterred me from handcrafting every idea I was interested in. I allowed myself one checked bag full of decor and crafted items to decor the beautiful backdrop that was Neidpath Castle.

Honeymoon and Vacation in One: How a Destination Wedding Gives You the Best of Both Worlds

Last but not least, a destination wedding often includes a built-in honeymoon for the couple and a vacation for guests. You can spend time with your guests leading up to the event by site-seeing your destination city, then choose to stick around as newlyweds and explore alone or travel to a nearby, new location.

Nathan and I enjoyed spending time with our guests in nearby Edinburgh, Scotland, in the days leading up to the wedding. And then used our location in Scotland to easily jet set to a warmer location after our nuptials.

Professional photos are courtesy of Eve & Art Stories.

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