Destination weddings are a hot trend in the wedding industry. With social media documenting just about every aspect of our lives, couples are throwing more and more extravagant receptions and ceremonies and will spare no expense to make their big day as flashy as possible.
According to The Knot’s Real Weddings study, the most recent data available, 23 percent of weddings in 2018 were destination weddings. Bankrate’s 2019 wedding costs study found that 56 percent of respondents say it’s in poor taste for a couple to plan a ceremony where guests incurred all of the travel expenses to attend — which can make these getaway weddings even more expensive.
There are a great deal of luxurious wedding destinations all over the world, from a cozy private island in the Maldives to an Italian villa overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Bankrate took a deeper look into just how much these lavish wedding venues can cost — and some of the starting prices are fit for royalty.
Here are five of the most extravagant wedding destinations from around the world:
Coco Prive, a private island in the Maldives
What’s more intimate than renting out an entire island for a wedding? Not much.
That’s exactly what you can do at Coco Prive, a private island in the Maldives. The average venue rate is $45,000 per night, and includes a variety of inclusive services such as a private chef, unlimited drinks, unlimited diving and access to personal staff. According to Venue Report, the venue can only accommodate 12 people.
In total, initial costs for a wedding at Coco Prive can reach around $315,000 for a seven-night getaway wedding, based on the nightly rate provided by Venue Report.
Traveling to the Maldives isn’t cheap, either. Couples looking to be gracious hosts that are planning to pay for travel costs of their guests can expect to pay a large sum, too. A single ticket to the Maldives from New York City can cost around $1,247 on Emirates Airlines, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time this article was written. For a party of 12, that means covering everyone’s flights could cost around $15,000 alone.
Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte
Looking for a fairy tale wedding? Then look no further than the French castle Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Located just outside of Paris, the chateau was the inspiration for Versailles, one of the most famous establishments in the world. It’s also the largest private estate listed as a historical monument in France.
The Grand Salon and West Wing areas of the chateau will run around $47,500, including tax. Staff and coordination fees are $6,100 and chateau insurance is $1,100, both also including tax.
For an additional cost, you can rent the library and buffet room for $24,250. How about some fireworks? That will cost around an additional $11,000 — but that doesn’t include the cleaning costs afterward.
In total, renting the chateau and having fireworks will cost about $90,000. That cost will increase once catering, lighting and other considerations are arranged.
The New York Public Library
No, not just Carrie Bradshaw gets to have a wedding at the New York Public Library. Anyone can have their wedding here — it just comes at a hefty cost.
This massive library, first opened in 1911, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City. Renting the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building starts at $60,000 and requires hiring a professional wedding planner, which can cost between $5,000 – $10,000, according to Angie’s List.
On top of the overall rental fee, the library requires some additional — and unconventional — costs.
For example, the venue’s guidelines warn couples of the potential need of a supplemental dumpster, which is not included in the rental cost. The rental fee includes a five-hour rental time; celebrations lasting longer will be charged a per hour fee. If couples want photos on the front steps next to the legendary lions (which, by the way, are named Patience and Fortitude), it will also require an additional fee and insurance costs, since they are trademarked.
Food, decorations and beverage packages are not included in the rental fee.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
For those who think they’ve never heard of Umaid Bhawan Palace, think again: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas held their wedding ceremony and reception at the hotel in 2018. The palace, located in Jodhpur, India, is estimated to have cost the couple over $460,000 in rental fees alone for their three-day celebration, according to E! News.
According to Wedding.net, accommodations at the palace vary by how grand the wedding is intended to be. The indoor space can seat 250 people, while the outdoor space has capacity for up to 1,200 people. The cost per plate starts around $90, meaning even a modest wedding could easily serve up $20,000 or so in food costs alone, excluding tax or other add-on charges for items such as lighting, decorations, fireworks, alcohol and more.
Umaid Bhawan Palace hosts over 300 rooms and spans across 26 acres. The hotel located inside has a fine-dining restaurant, marble bathrooms and a spa. Pricing of rooms vary, but the royal bedroom suite, which sleeps up to three guests had a $1,300 nightly rate according to hotel booking information at the time of writing.
Flying to Jodhpur is costly, too; a single round-trip ticket from New York City can run around $1,500 and includes multiple layovers, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time of writing.
This 12th century Italian villa is located on the hill top of Ravello, a village on the Mediterranean Sea. With a town hall only 150 meters from the hotel, Palazzo Avino is the spot for the reception.
Dinner can host up to 120 people and the rental fee starts at $5,650, plus tax. Welcome cocktails start at $45 per person, hors d’oeuvres at $17 per person, and a set dinner menu at $203 per person (drinks not included). Couples wanting to rent the terrace overlooking the ocean will have to fork over an additional $565.
For a wedding reception including the maximum 120 people, this can put total costs around $38,000. Accommodations are booked separately and can cost as much as $400 per night. Assuming each room housed two guests, that could leave the bride and groom with $24,000 in accommodation costs alone.
Getting to the Amalfi Coast requires flying to Naples first, which can cost around $1,000 per ticket, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time of writing.