Budget-friendly Destination Wedding Spots

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Budget-friendly Destination Wedding Spots
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The average cost of a destination wedding is $23,800, according to a 2012 "Brides" magazine survey -- cheaper than having a wedding in your hometown, where the average cost is $26,989. Destination weddings tend to be cheaper because they often have fewer guests. Though they may be less expensive, destination weddings can still be elegant. Here are eight locales that, though luxurious, still might cost less than having a wedding in your hometown.

Dreams Punta Cana Resort, Dominican Republic
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Dreams Punta Cana Resort, Dominican Republic

Located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, the Punta Cana Resort is a luxurious retreat with breathtaking views of turquoise waters. For weddings, it offers services such as hair and makeup stylists for the bride, personal dressing assistants and a Caribbean music trio for the reception. The most expensive of the three levels is $2,999; the basic package, sold for $949, is free if the couple books five rooms for three nights.

Dreams Punta Cana Resort

Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida
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Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida

Some say the sunsets over Captiva Island, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Coast, are the most romantic in the world — what better place to have a beach wedding? One of the affordable resorts here is the Tween Waters Inn, an eclectic grouping of historic seaside cottages. Located right on the ocean, the inn has a number of venues for afternoon or evening ceremonies, the least expensive being the Sunset room, which costs $500 to rent for four hours and accommodates up to 50 people.

Tween Waters Inn

The Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
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The Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

The Atlantis in the Bahamas is well equipped for destination weddings. Packages start at $1,950 for a simple exchange of vows among an intimate group of family and friends. One of the budget-friendly options is the "Simply Love" package for $3,250, which includes a photographer and seating for 25 people.

The Atlantis Paradise Island

Chaa Creek, Belize
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Chaa Creek, Belize

The Chaa Creek resort in the heart of the Belize rain forest was voted one of the top 10 eco-retreats in the world by Trip Advisor. For $3,150 per person, couples and their loved ones can stay five days at the resort, where they'll be treated not only to an all-inclusive private ceremony and reception dinner on the day of the nuptials, but also amenities such as massages, horseback rides and sunset canoe trips. When you figure that you'll be combining your wedding with the ultimate vacation, the price starts to seem pretty good.

Chaa Creek

Lodges on Cresthaven, Lake George, New York
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Lodges on Cresthaven, Lake George, New York

Once a summer destination for the likes of the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt families, Lake George is one of the most gorgeous spots to get married in the Northeast. During the off-seasons — the spring and fall in New York — weddings at the luxurious Lodges on Cresthaven can cost as little as $70 a person for a Saturday reception.

Lodges on Cresthaven

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Savannah, Georgia
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Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Savannah, Georgia

Always wanted to feel like a Southern belle on your wedding day? You can be one at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Midway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, the hotel is laden with Spanish moss and right on the beach. An island wedding package, which includes a ceremony in a historic chapel and a full reception, costs as little as $6,500 for 30 people. Sounds like a deal!

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Hawaii
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Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Hawaii

For a romantic Hawaiian wedding, consider the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. A full ceremony on the beach, which includes a wedding cake, a solo musician and banquet attendance service runs $7,995. A special group discount is offered if the wedding couple books 10 rooms or more. Rooms run around $249 each a night, at the starting rate with no discount.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Barcelo Los Cabos Palace, Mexico
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Barcelo Los Cabos Palace, Mexico

Located on the azure shores of Mexico's Gold Coast, the Barcelo Los Cabos Palace is a dream spot for a wedding. In addition to a free beach ceremony with a prebooking of 25 rooms — which will cost roughly $8,000, depending on the season — the hotel offers a complimentary wedding planning service. More expensive ceremonies, which begin at $2,160 plus the price of rooms, include features such as an open-bar cocktail hour and a complimentary champagne breakfast for the bride and groom.

Barcelo Los Cabos Palace

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