The Hamptons in New York is the most expensive place to host a destination wedding for an average of 100 guests, with an average cost of $45,987 at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is eroding people’s financial power globally, according to a report.
This is followed by Positano in Italy where it costs $43,090 to host a wedding for the same number of guests, while Fogo Town in Canada is ranked third at $39,012, according to the Wedding Price Index compiled by holiday rental search engine Holidu, in partnership with Magmatic Research.
The cheapest place to host a wedding is the Pakistani city of Lahore ($3,530), followed by India's Goa state ($3,858) and Nha Trang in Vietnam ($6,316), said the study, which analysed the cost of hosting and attending a destination wedding in more than 100 locations around the world.
The cost of goods and services has been shooting up in major global economies, with inflation in the US surging to a 40-year high of 8.6 per cent in May.
In the UK, inflation has also jumped to a four-decade high of 9 per cent due to rising energy and fuel bills amid the impact of the Ukraine war.
While the financial situation of many high-net-worth individuals has improved over the last year, the concurrent increase in the basket of goods and services is eroding the purchasing power of wealthy people, Swiss private bank Julius Baer said in its 2022 Global Wealth and Lifestyle report on Wednesday.
The world’s 500 richest people have seen a combined $1.4 trillion erased from their cumulative fortunes this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as global financial markets buckle under the weight of higher interest rates and inflation anxiety.
“With the pandemic being followed by high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, some couples may now be reassessing whether they can afford to splash out on a lavish wedding, or if a smaller celebration might be more appropriate,” said Sarah Siddle, public relations manager at Holidu.
“Many of the decisions couples make when planning their dream wedding revolve around cost and how to allocate the overall budget between different expenses.”
Holidu studied both the costs involved in hosting and attending a wedding.
Costs include the venue, decoration, photographer or videographer, food, cake and drinks. Costs for attending guests include accommodation and transport to and from the wedding location.
Seville in southern Spain and Florence in Italy round off the top five most expensive destinations to host a wedding for 100 guests, at $36,262 and $33,569, respectively, according to the study.
The most expensive wedding venue featured in the study is The Villa Casa Casuarina, the former home of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace that is located in the South Beach district of Miami, Florida.
A wedding at the venue costs about $120,000 for 100 guests, according to the Wedding Price Index.
“Destination weddings can be a significant financial expense for guests that wish to attend,” Ms Siddle said.
“With flight prices increasing notably in 2022, travelling abroad is becoming less affordable for many people, on top of the accommodation and living costs that are wrapped up in a trip away from home.”
She suggested renting homes on peer-to-peer platforms while they are away to minimise the financial impact of attending destination weddings.
About 1.5 billion additional people globally are expected to fly in 2022, compared with last year, according to the Mastercard Economics Institute's third annual travel report. Of these, Europe will record the biggest increase with about 550 million additional travellers while the Middle East is expected to have 115 million more this year.
Long-haul leisure travel, which recorded the steepest declines during the Covid-19 pandemic, is making a “roaring comeback”, tracking 7 per cent below pre-pandemic levels in April, a gain of about 70 percentage points from the start of the year, the report said.
Top 10 most expensive wedding destinations in the world
- The Hamptons, US: $45,987 (cost to organise a wedding for 100 guests)
- Positano, Italy: $43,090
- Fogo Town, Canada: $39,012
- Seville, Spain: $36,262
- Florence, Italy: $33,569
- Paris, France: $31,146
- Venice, Italy: $30,105
- New York, US: $30,012
- Saint Tropez, France: $27,716
- Cascais, Portugal: $27,614
Source: Wedding Price Index