3 Unexpected Costs of An International Destination Wedding

With any wedding, there are always surprises.  Because you just can’t know everything when you start.

Some of these surprises are good things and help make your wedding even better.  But, others are not so great.

These usually take the form of unexpected costs or hassles.

And while you can prevent or plan for many of these, you unfortunately can’t plan for all of them.

To make things harder, if you’re planning an international destination wedding, these surprises are even more difficult to predict.  Because let’s face it, international destination weddings are a whole different ball of wax.

You’re not only dealing with another country, but another culture, timezone and way of doing business.

And there’s one big surprise that couples planning an international destination wedding aren’t aware of and never plan for.

The unexpected costs of actually paying for things.

To be clear, I’m not talking about the actual physical items or services here.  Just merely the payment of them.

And if you aren’t aware or aren’t smart about it, it can really cost you a bunch of extra money.

And trust me, both you and your budget won’t like that.  So, here are 3 unexpected costs you can plan ahead for an international destination wedding.

3 unexpected costs to plan ahead for an international destination wedding

Unexpected Cost #1 – Exchange rate

Bride and groom happy at their Scotland wedding ceremony in church ruins on the Isle of Skye by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Danielle Coons Photography)

While the most obvious, the exchange rate will play a HUGE factor in your budget (and your payments) for your international destination wedding.  You can be spending way more or way less (or the same) just depending on where you’re getting married.

Make sure you understand what the exchange rate is and account for that when you’re creating your budget.  Trust me, it’s really not fun to realize after the fact that your flowers are going to cost 30% more.  Not because you’re getting more, but purely because of the exchange rate.

It’s also a great planning exercise. Because if you create your wedding budget and realize it’s more than you can or want to spend, you’re either going to want to pick another location or adjust your expectations.  Understanding this ahead of time just makes for an easier and much more realistic planning experience.

Unexpected Cost #2 – Payment Fees

Airplant centerpiece, vintage dishware and green chairs for a Scotland destination wedding on the Isle of Skye by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Danielle Coons Photography)

Outside of the exchange rate, the other big area you’ll want to plan for are the actual fees to make the payment.  Things just don’t always work the way they do in the US (or wherever you’re from). You can’t always send a check or a payment via paypal for your international destination wedding.

And credit cards?  Those can come with some hefty service fees.  Where once again, you’re paying more, not because you’re getting more, but because there are extra costs to make your payment.

So when you’re planning your budget, add in some extra buffer into your miscellaneous funds to help cover it.  And when you actually start making payments, make sure you understand the costs of paying by credit card, wire transfer, etc… And then choose your payment method wisely so you’re paying the least out of pocket.

Unexpected Cost #3 – Customs & Duties

Personal handwritten note escort cards for a fall French chateau wedding in Loire Valley France by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Julia Winkler)

Of the 3 unexpected costs for your international destination wedding, customs and duty fees are the sneakiest.  Because they can pop up in really unexpected places.

They may show up as a part of a quote from a wedding vendor.  Or you can think you’re being smart by DIYing something.  But, bringing something in or shipping something can cost you dearly.

Customs fees can be really high and really painful!  So, be careful.  And once again add some additional funds to your miscellaneous line item in your budget.  So, that way if you have to pay for customs or duty fees, you have the cushion there to help you.

Surprises can be fun.  But, not always!  So, while you can’t plan for all unexpected costs at an international destination wedding, you can plan for your payments.  So that you aren’t caught unawares and these 3 unexpected costs won’t hurt your wedding budget.

Don’t want to have to guess when it comes to planning your destination wedding?  Contact us today and take advantage of our experience and knowledge.  So planning your wedding is a breeze.

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