Our entire week-long cruise wedding came in at less than $5,000.
How, you ask?
Well, to start, our DCL wedding package was only $3,000. That included the venues, floral (bouquets and décor), live music, hair and makeup, event coordinators, cake, champagne, officiant, photos, food…everything. Of course, like any wedding, you can pay to upgrade elements (more tiers on the cake, additional musicians, exotic flowers), but we stuck with the basic package and I have 0 regrets. We used air-miles and hotel rewards so we didn’t spend a dime traveling to and from the port, and the cruise-fare was just over a thousand dollars because we were able to take advantage of Dave’s military benefits and Florida resident discounts, plus my platinum Disney Cruise status to keep it all cheap. Then all the extras like my bridal gown, bridesmaid dresses, guest favors, etc., came in at just a few hundred dollars – total.
Pro tips: skip the sample sales and budget bridal salons and just go to second-hand shops to find a gown. Use jewelry and accessories you already own and incorporate family heirlooms. Don’t be afraid to shop from clearance racks and thrift stores to find accessories.
A lot of people dismiss DCL weddings because they don’t want to ask their family and friends to pay for a cruise. But most of our guests combined four people to a room (the third and fourth person are drastically cheaper than the first two) and divided the cost evenly, so for those that booked in advance it was less than $500 per person — for the entire week-long all-inclusive cruise. Plus, everyone had 18 months notice to save, and the ability to do monthly payments of $25 leading up to the cruise.
I personally couldn’t justify spending thousands of dollars on a single day when it’s possible to pay the same amount (or even less) for an all-inclusive, week-long luxury wedding celebration that could be a once in a lifetime experience for everyone involved. Why ask my wedding guests to use their limited time off and hard-earned money for something that doesn’t really benefit them? It’s awesome that they love us and want to support our marriage – but I wanted it to be a good investment for them too. Basically what I am saying is…why pay more and work harder for everyone to get less out of it?
Because DCL weddings are so affordable, I didn’t have to cut corners or make compromises, and I got to invite everybody I wanted. We had the opportunity to spend quality time with our closest friends, reconnect with people we hadn’t seen in a long time, make brand new friends…and it was wonderful to see how many people cared about us. If we had only been able to send invitations to a handful of people, we would have missed out on being surrounded by so much love and joy.
PS: I know everyone has different reasons for spending what they do and getting married where they do. I am in no way judging or saying you are wrong. I am just saying there are alternatives out there, and a Disney Cruise wedding is a very affordable, amazing option.