How much will my destination wedding in Vietnam cost?
I want to celebrate my wedding in Vietnam - so how much will it cost to get married in Vietnam?
Before we get to the cost - let's talk about "bang for your buck". Simply put - your hard-earned cash goes a long way in Vietnam. Bang for buck value is 10/10.
On top of the "buck-bang" benefit - most couples who travel to Vietnam for their wedding party have around 40 die-hard friends and family who wouldn't be anywhere else!
Every celebration is different. Some are very small groups and some are larger.
As a guide, I'm going to assume 40 of your favourite humans come along for the ride.
Based on my experience - in Vietnam - a traditional wedding ceremony with 40 guests - followed by the reception soiree is on average USD$8,500 or USD$212 per guest.
I've been generous in my figures - but they can double or halve. It's up to you!
What does that include?
I haven't included travel, accommodation or wedding attire.
As an average, I've broken down the celebratory ingredients to include:
- USD$100-120 per person for the nibbles, drinkies (beer, wine, spirits) and reception feast - plus standard decoration - which like the food and drinkies - varies from venue to venue (and your taste buds).
- a wedding celebrant
-a wedding planner
- a DJ
- a photographer
- wedding bouquets and buttonholes
- hair and makeup artists
Everything in the list (including the food and drink) is a variable - so I have used the average I see couples generally budgeting for their overseas wedding-holiday.
I will caveat again - this is a guide only! A little bit like trying to put an average price on your dream house. It's all about the fittings, fixtures and decoration - just like a wedding! If you want crystal chandeliers - expect to pay for them!
I've had couples who have spent as little as USD$2,000 on their wedding and couples who have gone for the "all-out extravaganza" at a fancy resort and spent USD$100,000 on flowers alone! Yes. Flowers!
There are oodles of ways to keep a lid on your wedding costs. The venue you choose will be a key factor in how fat your wallet needs to be. Big fancy resorts charge big fancy resort prices. The big plus - usually they generally have experienced event planners who will co-ordinate everything for you.
Locations like Hoi An, Danang and Nha Trang have professional wedding specialists who can provide everything you need for your day. Choose a more remote location - and the prices will typically grow if you need the wedding pros to come to you.
Using specialists on the ground is something I strongly recommend. I can help with smaller weddings - but I strongly recommend engaging a wedding planner or other competent bod in Vietnam to put your wedding together. They know "who's who" and "what is what" and can get things for the best price.
Who needs the stress? Wouldn't you prefer to simply arrive and sip on your cocktail by the pool?
Compared to the price you pay at home for a wedding planner - it's peanuts - and worth their weight in gold.
What do I need to know about getting married in Vietnam?
The most memorable weddings I've celebrated enjoy one unique ingredient. They don't go over the top with all the trimmings you would typically see at home.
What they do is personalise the party for their guests. The wedding isn't necessarily in a fancy resort - but it is a party for the couple and the group of people who have traveled the oceans to spend the day with them. If you have people prepared to do that - no one is going to care about the expensive printed stationery or the fabulous baubles in the trees.
What your guests WILL gush about is the intimate and personal ceremony - the laid back party - often party style - with optional seating - the dragon dance or the bonfire on the beach. The celebration is about the couple and exactly as they want it to be.
I don't see elaborate table settings and arches decorated with thousands of dollars' worth of flowers. Most had one photographer to capture the "moments", a few strategically placed candles and jars, some tulle over an arch with bouquets from the local flower vendor to create the intimate setting. Call in a local caterer to prepare some nibbles, drinks and dinner and all the ingredients for a stress-free, debt-free and above all completely wonderful wedding and party. Fancy resorts don't like this idea - but options are plentiful here!
Don't know where to start with your wedding planning in Vietnam? Here are 10 insider tips you need to help you create your magic wedding adventure, without breaking the bank.
Folks in other countries like the United States are spending a lot more on their weddings at home!
Let's put some things into perspective.
The average cost of a wedding in 2019 in the United States was $33,900 AND our guest lists are getting smaller! Guest lists are around 131 people - or approximately USD$260 per guest. Couples are borrowing money - tapping into mum and dad for cash - to create their ultimate wedding.
What would you if you had that kind of money to splash on a wedding?
Keeping with the wedding ceremony theme, if you were to spend a fraction of that cost on a wedding (here comes the plug!) in Vietnam, with your nearest and dearest, your long Asian honeymoon begins the day you arrive.
Let's say you come to Vietnam with 50 people and have the full extravaganza and spend only half of the average wedding cost and keep 15,000 USD – here are some ideas on what you could do with it after your wedding to keep your relationship alive and thriving:
· 75 super plush date nights; or
· 15 indulgent long weekends; or
· 1-3 overseas trips; or
· Countless thoughtful gestures to surprise your partner; and
· For the responsible ones among us – pay off the wedding.
No one wants to start a new life with a debt. Debt is awful. It creates unnecessary stress and isn't much fun hanging over your head years after the big day is over.
There are no wrongs or rights when it comes to getting married, and I'm not judging anyone.
When I read the article it caused me to reflect on what the concept of a wedding/marriage is. It is a celebration of your love and your willingness to commit to each other - and your relationship for the rest of your lives.
If the average cost of a wedding is increasing, our guest lists reducing and people are sacrificing a honeymoon to pay for it all – seems like a no-brainer to me.
Grab some of your closest friends and family and head to Vietnam and get married on the beach!
PS: You can keep the change!
Hi. I'm Leanne, Australian born and now based in Hoi An, Vietnam. A former corporate lawyer bereft of a sense of humour, I found it again while travelling through Vietnam. I am now lucky enough to spend my time wordsmithing wedding ceremonies and officiating weddings for couples who've travelled from all over the world to celebrate their marriage in Vietnam.
You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a line on FB: @weddingcelebrantvietnam or Insta: @celebrant_weddings_vietnam