Now that you and your fiancé are officially engaged, it’s time to decide on a location and date for your big day! If you love to travel, you might want to consider having a destination wedding. The good news is, a destination wedding doesn’t have to include an expensive flight halfway across the world, and it certainly doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.
There are lots of cities right here in the US that would make a memorable wedding setting, from historic mansions to grand ballrooms to sunny beaches. Here are 10 cities that all offer budget-friendly accommodations, they’re easy to get to, and they abound with affordable entertainment options and venues.
1. Las Vegas, NV
Yes, getting married in Vegas may sound a bit cliché at first. But the truth is, you can do an incredible wedding in Vegas without breaking the bank! Of course, the city has numerous drive-through wedding chapels, but those certainly aren’t your only options. Vegas is loaded with affordable hotels and elegant ballrooms, as long as your timing is right. Set your date far away from holidays and major sporting events to get the best deals. Just to give you an idea of what you can expect, the Hampton Inn Tropicana has reception packages that start at just $28 per person. How’s that for affordable?
2. Newport, RI
Newport, Rhode Island probably wasn’t one of the cities on your radar when you started thinking about a destination wedding, but it’s certainly worth considering. Although the city was once home to the country’s wealthiest industry tycoons, it now offers plenty of budget-friendly wedding venues. Again, timing is everything! Summer season is super busy in Newport, so avoid it if you want to keep your budget low. Check out some of the city’s luxurious mansions, such as Ocean Cliff, for a venue that provides stunning photo opportunities. According to the experts at The Knot, you should check out The Landing Restaurant for a budget-friendly, yet unforgettable venue option.
3. Key West, FL
If you’re thinking somewhere a bit more tropical, Key West might be just the destination for your dream wedding. Avoid crowded, expensive destinations in the Caribbean and go for the laid-back atmosphere of Key West. The island is famous for its pastel-colored, conch style houses, fun nightlife, easy walkability. There are plenty of options for an unforgettable, bargain wedding, too. You should consider the Sheraton Suites in Key West, with reception packages starting at $679.
4. Atlantic City, NJ
For another East Coast option, consider Atlantic City. This is another city loaded with cheap hotels, grand ballrooms, and lots of fun and affordable entertainment. If you want live music that will keep your guests on the dance floor all night, check out Around Town Entertainment’s New Jersey weddings. And, don’t forget about the beach and boardwalk for ceremony options! What more could you ask for?
5. Portland, OR
Take a quick look around the web, and you’ll see Portland on several lists of wallet-friendly destinations. Even better, there’s no sales tax here, so that alone can save you a chunk of cash. For affordable, unique venues in Portland, check out the West End Ballroom or the Hotel Lucia.
6. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is the place for celebrations, and it’s another highly recommended budget-friendly travel local. You would have a tough time finding a city with more affordable eateries, cheap live entertainment options, and wallet-friendly hotels. According to Food & Wine magazine, the Hotel Modern regularly offers great deals on accommodations. For an unforgettable reception venue that sits a short walk from the French Quarter, check out the Federal Ballroom.
7. Nashville, TN
For music lovers, Nashville just might be their dream wedding destination. In fact, Nashville has even more going for it than incredible live music. According to folks in the know at Travel & Leisure magazine, Nashville is a dream come true for foodies as well, including microbreweries that shouldn’t be missed. Travel & Leisure even ranks Nashville at number two on its list of the most affordable cities. If you’re interested in a wedding venue that’s budget-friendly and rustic, check out Loveless Barn.
8. Charleston, SC
If you and your fiancé want to get hitched under moss-draped oak trees at a historic plantation, Charleston might be the destination for you. Elegant mansions abound in this charming Southern city with beautiful weather most of the year. To get the best rates, avoid summer time when this area is popular with tourists. For fantastic views of boats passing by on the Ashley River, consider the Charleston Yacht Club Flag Room for an affordable venue with a nautical flair.
9. San Antonio, TX
Long recognized as an excellent option for travelers on a budget, San Antonio offers a large variety of free things to do. To keep costs down, avoid venues and hotels in the middle of the city. Alamo Heights and the King William neighborhoods are good places to investigate, instead. The Historic Sunset Station is a one of a kind wedding venue that’s wallet-friendly and allows you to tie the knot in an authentic train station. Or, consider a wedding at Kendall Plantation for an elegant option just to the north of the city.
10. Pittsburgh, PA
With its picturesque neighborhoods and fashionable downtown district, it’s pretty surprising how cheap a wedding in Pittsburgh can be. To keep your guests entertained, there’s the Duquesne Incline for a trip that will take them up Mount Washington in an antique cable car. Or, they can spend an afternoon in the Strip district sampling ethnic food and shopping in unique little boutiques. If a wedding in Pittsburgh’s fashionable South Side appeals to you, consider the Terrace at Hyatt House for an affordable venue with stunning Monongahela River views.
As you can see, the US abounds with unforgettable places to host a destination wedding on a budget. Remember to start your planning early and avoid peak tourist seasons to get the best deals!