Destination weddings are amazing. Being lost in each other’s eyes at an exquisite location. Who needs big weddings when the only two people that matter are you and your soulmate? Besides, after the Covid times, many people prefer small weddings. There are so many small wedding destinations all over the world, which makes it even more exciting.
When you dream about your wedding, what do you imagine? Instead of having a large crowd at a city wedding, why shouldn’t it be just the two of you at a heavenly magical location? There’s something special about visiting a beautiful destination where you can have an elopement.
And if you want to have a few close friends and family members with you, you can take them as well. The best part about this is that you don’t need a lot of planning for small wedding destinations. An intimate getaway celebration is easy to plan and it becomes easier when your resort or hotel helps you with it.
What is a Small Wedding
When it comes to the number of wedding guests, each couple has their own preference. While some might want over 200 guests in a lavish setting, some other couples might want just the two of them in an elopement setup.
Wedding sizes depend on many factors such as family types, friend groups, religions, cultures, etc. The general rule is that if your guests can fit an average house’s backyard, it’s considered a small wedding. It could be under 30 guests with about 5 tables or so.
Top Small Wedding Destinations
There are many small wedding destinations all over the world. If you want to host a party with under 50 guests, many locations will offer you beautiful venues and luxury accommodations along with scrumptious feasts.
Jamaica is known for its beautiful Caribbean beauty. Its beaches stretch for miles on end and showcase pristine waters and clean sandy beaches. This magical island holds a vibrant energy that resonates with the warm tranquility of the place.
If you’re looking for a getaway that provides all modern amenities, try Montego Bay, the tourist hub of Jamaica that offers an active nightlife with soft sandy beaches.
And if you seek a resort port, try Ocho Rios that’s rich in excursion activities from rainforest zip lining to waterfall climbing. For lovers of old-school farms, fishing towns, and battered limestone cliffs, Treasure Beach and Negril would be the perfect spots.
Jamaica is among the most popular small wedding destinations that offer preserved beaches, lush rainforests, and secluded caves for the perfect romantic retreat. Jamaica contains many pleasant surprises, even for a seasoned traveler.
If you’re like most other couples who prefer all-inclusive deals, you’ll love Sandals Jamaica. Sandals offers several resorts in this beautiful island country.
With an all-inclusive deal, you get most expenses covered. This includes accommodation, food, drinks, and events. There are seven Sandals resorts in Jamaica and they all have special wedding packages. You can discuss your needs with them and select the right resort accordingly.
Saint Lucia has a typical Caribbean charm that’s difficult to resist. You’ll be hypnotized by its beauty as soon as you set foot on its land. Enjoy the soothing sounds of soft waves and the ambiance of warm beaches as you revel in the local hospitality.
Whether you want your wedding to have an element of adventure or inspiration, St. Lucia will be the ideal destination for you. You’ll find influences of several cultures in this island country. For example, you’ll notice the reflection of African, English, and French cultures here.
If you want to explore multiple cultures while being pampered by luxury resorts, this is among the best small wedding destinations for you. There are several resorts and boutique hotels here to make your big day even more special.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive deal, you might want to check out Sandals resorts here. There are many other luxurious resorts on this island as well. However, when it comes to all-inclusive deals and wedding planning & coordination, nothing quite beats Sandals.
At St. Lucia, get ready for an exotic and romantic island getaway that blends with your wedding. Relax on a hammock on the beach and drink from a coconut. Find exotic birds and check out Pigeon Island. There is so much to do when you’re in St. Lucia.
Curacao is perfectly located right between Europe and the Americas. It’s not too far away and offers an unspoiled romantic getaway. It has ideal temperatures and an exclusive terrain that includes bright sunny days all year long.
The vibrant island carries a mark of various cultures that have blended into one unique mix like none other. This is visible in the kaleidoscopic colors of resorts, buildings, and towns of the place.
The historic town of Willemstad offers a distinct taste of the place’s heritage. And of course, when it comes to taste, make sure you don’t miss the Curacao liquor that’s made from local oranges.
Curacao comes to life in the nighttime and that’s when you can experience the Hispanic touch in the local culture. Whether you want to enjoy salsa, rumba, or meringue, you’ll fall in love here with the active nightlife. The place entertains music lovers of all types and no matter what kind of wedding you’re looking for, you’ll be able to have it here.
There are many resorts in Curacao. And if you’re specifically looking for a Sandals resort, you’ll find Sandals Royal Curacao here. For many young couples, a Caribbean wedding means a Sandals wedding. Since Sandals offers all-inclusive packages with several attractive deals and discounts for weddings, it’s not a surprise that Sandals is the favorite resort for couples waiting for their wedding.
Antigua and her twin island Barbuda offer miles of clean shoreline and beautiful reefs that make the area more colorful. You’ll find friendly and hospitable people here, and of course, an enjoyable Caribbean climate all year long.
If you want a beautiful fairytale wedding right in the heart of the Caribbean, keep Antigua on your list. Given its small size and resort-richness, it’s among the best small wedding destinations.
It’s full of amazing beaches, swaying palm trees, and stunning venues. Blue waters in the view and white powdery sand between your toes – if that’s not the most romantic way to read your vows, I don’t know what is!
And of course, the place is famous for its lush greenery, making it just the best place for nature lovers. If you’re looking for a slice of your private island where you can be intimate with the love of your life, Antigua is the place to be.
You’ll find Sandals Grande Antigua here which will offer you all-inclusive deals so you don’t have to worry about arranging the event for your wedding. Whether you want an elopement for just the two of you or a small wedding with under 20-30 guests, they can organize it for you. It’s an adults-only resort that has 6 pools and whirlpools and offers day and night live shows.
With thousands of miles of irresistible shoreline, the Bahamas offers a one-of-a-kind Caribbean experience that’s hard to match. If you’re looking for an idyllic setting for your wedding, this is where you should plan your nuptials. With clear waters and sunny skies, it’s among the best small wedding destinations in the world.
The Bahamas has award-winning beaches and deserted islands with private coves. It’s also home to the world-famous swimming pigs and has undisturbed wildlife. With the white and turquoise colors at the beaches and the bright colors of the city, you’ll experience a wild play of hues here.
Reaching the Bahamas is super easy as it is conveniently accessible by sea and air. And since it has 16 unique islands, there are limitless possibilities for selecting the right venue to tie the knot.
This place gives you the option of getting married on a secluded sandbar. Read your vows under a romantic arbor right in the middle of the ocean. That’s the magic of the Bahamas.
There are two Sandals resorts in the Bahamas – Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay. Both will offer all-inclusive deals with exotic offshore adventures. This adults-only resort has a coconut grove lounge and two sky-sized pools.
Discuss your wedding preferences with them and they’ll plan everything for you as you just visit and have a fun and relaxed wedding vacation.
How to Keep It Small
Weddings are big events but when it comes to destination weddings, most people want a small wedding. You might want less than 50 guests. Or you may want to cut it even shorter and have only 8-10 loved ones. This will make it easier for you to plan your wedding,
Set a budget and stick to it
Setting up a budget isn’t that easy. What’s your maximum spending limit? It’s best to take your monthly income and expenses into account. Create an Excel of how much you earn and how much you save each month. Accordingly, you’ll be able to decide your budget.
Sticking to the budget is important too. If you want to have live music at the wedding, you might have to cut it short on photography. The biggest chunk of the budget will go into accommodation and tickets so start budgeting from there.
Recce the venue
Visiting the venue before your wedding might not always be possible. Buying air tickets for small wedding destinations isn’t easy for a trial run. However, you can take a virtual tour of the place. Also, make sure you read reviews of the place to understand how happy their previous customers are. Or you can book a resort or a hotel with a good reputation. Some examples are Marriott and Sandals.
Get a wedding planning journal
When you book a good resort, they’ll assign a wedding planner to you who will manage everything. However, if you want to keep things under your control, you can get a wedding planning journal. It will help you take care of all the small things. An online journal will help you keep track of things from your phone, no matter where you are.
Create a wedding website
You can create a website on your own or ask the resort to create it for you. A website will help you keep track of things and share them with your friends and family. For example, you can include the travel map to the resort, the dates, weather predictions, airport details, and other things. If you think there’s something your guests should know, you can put it on the website.
Try to get bulk discounts
Many resorts will offer you bulk discounts. These discounts work even for small wedding destinations. For example, if you stay for a minimum of 3 days at a Sandals resort, you don’t have to pay for the wedding costs.
There are discounts on a minimum number of rooms as well. For example, if you have 15 guests and want to book 6 rooms, you can discuss this with the resort. At Sandals, you’ll get freebies and treats if you book a certain number of rooms.
Get minimal décor
Resorts will offer some décor in their wedding package. If you want to get more than that, you’ll need to pay extra. While it’s always fun to have Tiki torches, exotic flowers, and fancy fairy lights at your wedding, it will add to the wedding costs.
Stick to minimum décor to save money. If you’re planning to tie the knot on a beach, you won’t need extra décor anyway because the ocean will act like the perfect backdrop.
Switch to a ferry instead of a plane
If you’re traveling from a nearby island to your location, a ferry will be much cheaper than air tickets. A ferry might take longer but if you are finding it hard to accommodate everything in your budget, a ferry ride will be helpful. Also, when you’re going local sightseeing, a bus will be cheaper than a cab or a rental car.
Want to learn about the best Sandals resorts? Here is a comprehensive guide on which Sandals resort to choose and how to save money.