Whether it’s a last-minute intimate affair for next month or a long-planned extravaganza for next year, destination weddings can put a big strain on the wallet.
>Plan the event with financial savvy, though, and you can make the destination wedding a value-packed occasion. Kristin Koch, senior editor at The Knot, tells us how to save when planning long-distance nuptials.

1. Favor the resorts

“Most people who have a destination wedding choose to have it at a resort. It’s a very good way to save money because most of them offer package deals. So, if you have your wedding at a resort — and you encourage all your guests to stay there, and you booked rooms there — you may find good deals on your wedding or accommodations.”

2. Exotic is okay — inaccessible is not

“You want to pick a place that’s not very hard to get to — a place your guests can fly directly into. Traveling to a place like Cancun will be easier than, say, flying to Thailand.”

3. Research your options

“All these resorts are getting in on the destination wedding game and they’re all offering different things. So it’s very important to take your time and shop around. I would start by looking online — most resorts post their wedding packages.” [Also consider checking out the Wedding Resort Finder tool at TheKnot.com.]

4. Choose a venue that comes with a wedding planner

A lot of these resorts offer wedding programs and have a planner on staff whose services you can take advantage of for free — so you don’t have to source all the vendors yourself. A planner is almost essential for a destination wedding, because you need someone on the ground to do all the things you can’t be doing.”

5. Look for travel discounts

“Some airlines will offer you group tickets — often a wedding planner or travel agent can help you with this. Talk to the individual airlines or look on their sites to see the kind of group rates they offer. Basically, you can get a discount on tickets by booking a group rate, just like you would for a hotel.

Have you ever planned a destination wedding — or any group trip? How did you save on expenses?