Budgeting for a Wedding in the Turks and Caicos

Do what feels right to you when planning your Turks and Caicos wedding; whether you do it yourself or hire a wedding planner

When you begin to think about your ideal wedding, picking a destination for your big day might seem like a massive undertaking. However, the true planning commences as soon as you determine that Turks and Caicos is the best place for you. 

What is the biggest secret to achieving a great Turks and Caicos wedding? The key is to begin the 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 Turks and Caicos find that the most significant obstacle is making the arrangements from afar.  Many couples hire a wedding or event planner to do what they do best - make the planning of their wedding as stress free and simple as possible. You can hire someone local to you, someone in Turks and Caicos, or choose to buy a resort wedding package.

If you choose to hire a wedding planner, make sure he or she has previous experience planning a Caribbean wedding and has 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 his or her airfare and hotel stay.

Many couples find that choosing an event planner in Turks and Caicos is a great way to ensure that they have someone on the island to be their 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 Turks and Caicos Wedding Locations and Venues noted at the bottom of this page for more information on resort weddings.

How to Plan a Turks and Caicos Wedding Yourself

Preparing a Turks and Caicos wedding may seem stressful but many find it a fun challenge and have successfully achieved their dream event. Stay prepared, write 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 Turks and Caicos wedding. On average, couples in the United States spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on their big day, while a wedding in Turks and Caicos 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 Turks and Caicos Wedding Costs Wedding Costs
Item Expected Cost
Marriage License $50(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 Turks and Caicos, and that you should determine upon which island you would like to get married early on.  Consult our guide to Turks and Caicos Wedding Locations and Venues for more information about the types of weddings available in Turks and Caicos.

Step Three: Do Your Research

Every location, vendor, resort, decoration, and method of transportation should be evaluated. Contact companies for price estimates and inform them that you are arranging your nuptials from abroad, and that they should expect many long distance phone calls and e-mail communications.  When you contract 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 festivals and events that may occur during that time. If you want you and your guests to experience a party environment, getting married in Turks and Caicos during Carnival, for example, may be just the ticket. However, if you would rather have an intimate, discreet event, you should consider making other arrangements.

Take the time to learn a little about the islands on which you plan to marry - you may find it inspiring.  For example, the national flower of Turks and Caicos is Island Heather.  Though the species is endangered and should not be used in a bouquet, you might consider using English Heather, which has a similar look, or having your bridesmaids wear deep purple to honor the island's official bloom.

Now would also be a good time to learn about the steps you must take to legally tie the knot in Turks and Caicos.  Obtaining a marriage license on the islands is fairly simple.  All that is required of you is to be on the island for 72 hours before submitting such documents as your birth certificate and any divorce or death certificates you may have to the Registrar General.  To learn more about the process, read our guide to Turks and Caicos Wedding Requirements and Traditions.

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. Most 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 Turks and Caicos 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 this project. 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 Turks and Caicos 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.

The more prepared you are, the more relaxed you will be as the day of your wedding draws closer. Budgeting, planning and researching are key concepts behind ensuring that your Turks and Caicos wedding is the most memorable day of your life. With a little hard work and a lot of determination, you can create your dream nuptials.


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