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We all want the “big day” to be different, something special. For many, that means leaving town or even the country. The good news is, you can do just that without spending a fortune—if you pick your place wisely. Here are the best places for a fairytale destinations wedding that won’t break the bank.

RELATED: 6 places for a 4-day mini moon

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Sirata Beach Resort

1. St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Pete is known for its beaches, the Dali Museum, Fort De Soto Park and all that lovely sunshine that sparkles between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also ideal for a wedding. One top spot is the Sirata Beach Resort featuring 13 acres of abundant tropical landscape, white sand beaches and clear Gulf waters. Sirata has earned kudos from Wedding Wire and The Knot as a destination wedding favorite and it’s obvious why: You can choose a beachfront setting or if you prefer indoors, there’s a waterfront ballroom with 270-degree views of the ocean and Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, your guests can enjoy three beachfront pools, whirlpools and three on-site restaurants. Nearby, there’s Adventure Island, an outdoor water theme park, Busch Gardens, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Museum of Fine Arts. Wedding packages for 50 guests or more start at $5,950, including venue, average menu price, ceremony and cocktail hour.

 

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Sandos Playacar

2. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

It’s not hard to find good flight deals to Cancun, and nearby Playa del Carmen offers much for happy couples. The area is home to awesome beaches, Mayan ruins, all manner of watersports, plus ziplining, underwater caves and more. The exchange rate from dollars to pesos is very favorable, so expect your wedding dollars to stretch even further. Sandos Playacar, an all-inclusive resort for up to 30 guests, has a wedding package around $4,200 that includes beach set up with decorations, bouquet and boutonniere, private cocktail hour with canapes, private dinner, wedding cake and sparkling wine, DJ, light and sound during reception, basic décor for tables, a couples massage, make-up and hair for one member of the couple for the wedding day and complimentary honeymoon package. Guest rooms start at $105 nightly. Because Sandos is all inclusive, it’s way cool on the wallet.

ALSO: Say “I do” to sweet deals when you sign up for CheapCash!

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3. Taos, New Mexico

Taos, with its historic churches, quaint hotels and bed and breakfasts, has more than enough picture-perfect wedding locations. One popular option is Palacio de Marquesa. This Spanish-style adobe boutique hotel is just minutes from the central Taos Plaza. Every room is dedicated to the unique spirit and contributions of Taos icons like Georgia O’Keeffe, Millicent Rogers, Dorothy Brett, Agnes Martin, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Gene Kloss and Martha Reed. There is a wedding package which includes renting all eight boutique rooms for approximately $5,000. Before, or after the wedding, guests can enjoy hot air balloon rides, wineries and intimate spa days surrounded by breathtaking mountains, forest and desert. Thrill seekers can spend a day rafting the Class IV rapids of the Rio Grande.

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4. Finger Lakes Wine Country, New York

With rolling hills, lakes and vineyards, the Finger Lakes region makes for a lovely wedding locale. Waterfalls, wineries, wine trails, gorges and small towns only add to your time of celebration. Consider the Heron Hill Winery & Café in Hammondsport which is burrowed into a slate hillside overlooking scenic Keuka Lake. The facility fee on weekends runs $3,500–$4,500, plus $800 (including tax) for an on-site ceremony for up to 170 guests, which includes white folding chairs and a one-hour rehearsal the day before with the event coordinator. Buffet and served dinner options range between $15–$35 a person, and local activities are numerous, from fishing, boating, circumnavigating the lake by car and wine tasting (lots of it).

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5. Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

On the shore of Lake Atitlan sits a private home turned luxury boutique hotel offering magnificent lake and volcano views as a backdrop. A region built upon ancient Mayan culture and practices, Casa Palopó offers couples the opportunity to say “I do” with a ceremony officiated by a Mayan Shaman, followed by a personalized Mayan Shaman blessing. The ancient ritual is performed in front of a fire pit and is meant to offer well-wishes from spirits who give this gift, for a continuous happy relationship. Better still, this momentous occasion is outdoors on a lush green patch of grass, amidst magical views of the three volcanoes and indigenous villages across the shore (an even more magical vista during sunset). For the more traditional couple, an elegant chapel just on top of the hill near the hotel is also available. At Casa Palopó, an intimate, candlelit reception party awaits. Wedding packages start at under $3,000 for 25 guests and include accommodations, transportation to the hotel, food and beverage, ceremony, reception, event set-up, decor, music, flower arrangements, and a photographer. The nine-room hotel offers nightly accommodations starting at $184.

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Tagged: Cheap Tips, Destinations, Events, Mexico, Romance & honeymoon, Tips & advice, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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