Budgeting for Bermuda

Don't let planning your Bermuda wedding become an overwhelming experience

Every couple wants their wedding to be an unforgettable affair, whether they share it with everyone they know, or keep it simple and sweet.  Hosting a destination wedding in Bermuda is certainly one way to ensure that your wedding is the event that everyone remembers, but you have to take planning a step further.

What is the biggest secret to achieving a great wedding in Bermuda? The key is to begin your planning process as quickly as possible.  A good system of time management should be developed because it allows you to save time when researching choices, making reservations, and coping with any complications that may arise. Beginning early also gives you time to take advantage of any possible deals that could become available.

Hired Help

Many couples who are planning a wedding in Bermuda find that the most significant obstacle is making the arrangements from afar.  This is why so many couples hire a wedding or event planner to do what they do best - make the planning of your wedding as stress free and simple as possible. You can hire someone local, someone in Bermuda, or choose to buy a resort wedding package.

If you choose to hire a wedding planner local to you, make sure he or she has previous experience planning a destination wedding and references available. Connections in the area and  knowledge of the local language and customs will help guarantee that your experience is exactly what you want and expect.  Remember, if you want your wedding planner to be on site the day of your wedding, be prepared to to pay for her airfare and hotel stay.

You may discover that choosing an event planner in Bermuda is a great option if you're looking for someone on the island to be your eyes and ears. This person will be able to handle every detail of your wedding, and most importantly analyze venues and vendors in person.

Wedding packages offered by local  resorts are most common and often the most reliable. Accommodations, venue, officiant, catering, adornments, and more are usually included in one flat rate. Read our guide to Bermuda Wedding Locations and Venues for more information on resort weddings.

How to Plan a Bermuda Wedding Yourself

Preparing a Bermuda wedding may seem stressful but many find it a fun challenge and have successfully achieved their dream event. Come prepared, make lists, and keep notes of every phone call and transaction you make.

Step One: Structure Your Budget

Developing a sensible budget is essential to any successful Bermuda wedding. On average, couples in the United States spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on their big day, while a destination wedding in Bermuda can cost you as little as $2,000.  Numerous major resorts and hotels have wedding planning services that can prepare your big event down to the very last detail, and charge a single set fee for the entire package. If you decide to arrange the entire wedding yourself, consider the expenses you may encounter.

Estimated Bermuda Wedding Costs Item Expected Cost Marriage License $220(USD) Officiant $50 to $250(USD) Photography $500 to $3000(USD) Flowers $300 to $1500(USD) Decorations $300 to $1500(USD) Venue $0 to $1000(USD) Food $25 to $50(USD) per person Lodging $100+(USD) per night

The chart above merely addresses wedding basics, and estimates are based upon average costs of the individual items. Consider other fundamentals such as the bride's gown, the groom's tuxedo, and the wedding rings. Overall, wedding costs will change drastically depending on which items you decide are the most important.  You need to stay within a reasonable budget that is based upon your financial situation.  List items commonly associated with a wedding from maximum value to lowest value and allocate a price estimate to each item.  Items ranked in order of importance will allow you to see exactly where you may be willing to trim back and where you aren't willing to compromise.

Step Two:  Select a Theme

By this point you will have determined what style of wedding you would love to host, and the type of venue you would like to have it in. These selections will quickly trim down your list of potential vendors. Keep in mind that there are numerous islands that make up Bermuda, and that you should determine upon which island you would like to get married early on.  Consult our guide to Bermuda Wedding Locations and Venues for for more information about the types of weddings available.

Step Three: Do Your Research

Every location, vendor, resort, decoration, and method of transportation should be evaluated. Contact companies for price estimates, inform them that you are arranging your nuptials from abroad, and that they should expect mainly long distance phone calls and e-mail communications.  When you contract with vendors sight unseen, ask for references from those who have previously used their services.

Also give consideration to the time of year in which you wish to get married, and the type of events that may occur during that time. If you want you and your guests to vacation in a party environment, getting married in Bermuda during Carnival, for example, may be just the ticket. However, if you would rather host an intimate, discreet event, you should make other arrangements. Additionally, the weather can have a significant impact on your wedding experience, especially if you are looking to host an outdoor celebration.

At this point you will want to read our guide to Bermuda Wedding Requirements and Traditions.  Bermuda requires that foreigners who wish to marry on the island petition for a marriage license, a process that can take at least three months.  Another reason to read this guide is for ideas on how to incorporate Bermuda traditions into your wedding.  Local fare at your reception is a great start, but you may also want to consider using blue eyed grass as part of your wedding bouquet.  Blue eyed grass is the unofficial national flower of Bermuda; tall, bright green blades of grass that flower dainty, delicate blue flowers.  Though these blooms are not large or striking enough to be the main flower of a bouquet, they make a great replacement for baby's breath when you want to find a simple way to honor Bermuda on your wedding day.

Step Four: Book Your Vendors

The vendors you select will essentially make or break your wedding event.  When you make your final decisions and book your vendors, explain precisely what you are looking for, and the dates you have chosen. Get all of your price quotes in writing (have them send you a quote through the post office, by e-mail, or by fax). Keep duplicates of everything including invoices of all items that are included in the price. Some businesses require a deposit. Do not send anyone payments until you have received a paper statement.  Protect yourself from any possible misunderstandings.

Step Five: Take Care of At Home Projects

Many couples wish to bring a bit of personal flair to their Bermuda wedding event. If you are creating or purchasing any of your wedding decorations at home, there is no better time than now to start working on these projects. This may also be the time to  purchase the wedding dress and/or make arrangements to rent a tuxedo. List everything you plan on taking care of at home, and the estimated  time it will take you to accomplish it.

Step Six: Follow Up

Although you may think your arrangements are finalized, it is still important to talk to your vendors periodically to review their progress, or to discuss any changes that need to be made. Don't worry about calling too often; they are working for you, and you are paying them to provide these services.

Listed below are a few additional tips that will assist you in planning your Bermuda wedding.

  • Consider the weather. If you are planning a wedding at an outdoor venue, make alternative arrangements in case of stormy conditions.  Typical weather conditions for that time of year should be considered when choosing your wedding attire. If you plan to marry on the beach in the middle of a hot afternoon, plan accordingly.
  • Send wedding supplies ahead of time. If you are bringing any wedding items with you from home, consider shipping them ahead to your resort or venue so that you can avoid airport hassles and restrictions.  Be sure to arrange for insurance on these items in case they are lost or damaged during shipment.

By making organization and planning your ally, you are ensuring that your Bermuda wedding will be a success without any complications. Preparing for a Caribbean wedding may seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the end as you walk down the aisle and create beautiful memories to last a lifetime.