Where better to get married than on the beautiful island of Mallorca? Here at Affordable Mallorca we have the best advice on how to achieve the perfect day without breaking the bank!
“When you realise that you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”- When Harry Met Sally
I have been dreaming of my wedding day since I was a little girl, designing dresses, planning flower arrangements and trying to narrow down a list of bridesmaids. Luckily, since moving to the beautiful island of Mallorca, I may well have found someone mad enough to allow me to embark on my wedding plans - but all of these things come at a cost. This is the part we rarely factor in when dreaming, and with this realization comes the doubt whether we can make it all come true … but of course we can!
Here in Mallorca it’s possible to have everything you dreamed of (and more) at a price you can afford.
The Venue #
Selecting the perfect venue for your ceremony and reception, is arguably one of the most crucial parts of the planning process; and on this little island you are spoilt for choice with beautiful locations and properties to host your special day.
A Beach Front Wedding?
You can’t just simply head down to the beach and perform a wedding ceremony there although this would most certainly be the most affordable of all options, would not say it's impossible to do, but you have to go to your local town hall first and apply for permission, filing a solicitud de permiso. And then see what they say.
Failing this, there are a number of churches, fincas and hotels to choose from.
Average Cost of a Hotel
Hotels vary in price, and many offer wedding packages and planners which may be a little more expensive than you’d like, although this is a less stressful way of planning. Just like when you book a holiday, consider that the time of year impacts the cost of the wedding massively. Typically, the most popular months to marry on the island are June and September- sunny and warm, without being scorching! In fact, these months aren’t the most expensive ones to visit the island, and you should expect to pay around 1,500- 2,000€ for a wedding package at a hotel (based on a 4* hotel with wedding package inclusive of blessing ceremony and venue- excluding food and drinks). If you want to go for this option, but need to save up first, keep checking the prices regularly to avoid unpleasant surprises. Friends inquired about costs, but by the time they were ready and had the money, they realized the price had gone 20 per cent up.
Affordable Mallorca Tip: Make absolutely sure that the venue has a license for events. If you want to use the garden for outdoor activities, obtain a copy of the license issued by the government. The license is issued in Spanish so make sure you understand what is allowable. Not all properties can host an event and if they can, gardens may not be included in license due to neighbors, sound ordinances and other issues.
Average Cost of a Finca
For a rustic wedding, it simply isn’t possible to top a traditional finca tucked away in the hillside. This might seem totally unaffordable during high season when many places require a minimum stay of three (some even of seven) days, and most charge an extra "event fee". However, in the shoulder seasons it might be a different affair altogether. Many privately owned fincas then offer the option to hire the property for the day, and you can perform both a blessing and host a reception there. There are some famous fincas, renowned for their location and suitability for a picturesque wedding- yet these are the ones that cost the earth! In fact, there are many hidden gems, but to find them will require a bit of groundwork. Asking your local friends and neighbours for recommendations is probably your best bet. If you don't live on Mallorca, you definitely need to come over (or spend the money on a wedding planner). Make sure the finca or villa you choose is licenced for such services. A finca may cost around 500€ to hire(possibly less depending on location), the large benefit being that you can host the entire day there, saving you money in the long run.
Affordable Mallorca Tip: If you don't need any accommodation for your guests, renting a villa, finca or hotel might not be your best option. Consider booking a bodega with an events space instead. Some don't even charge you for the space itself, you'll just have to pay for the food.
Average Cost of a Church
Most churches will charge around 500-700€ for all the documentation and the priest to perform your ceremony (price will differ slightly depending on location). There are some restrictions regarding who can get married in the Church, anyone with a faith other than Catholic must partake in a civil ceremony and not a religious one (costs are almost identical for this service).
It must also be noted, that as non-residents, your civil ceremony must be performed in your home country, and you may then have a blessing here on the island. If one, or both, the bride or groom are Catholic a religious ceremony may be performed. Residency status does not affect your ability to get married in a Catholic church on the island, as long as you, or your partner, can provide proof of your religion.
The Food #
For me, the food will be one of the biggest parts of my day, but it does also worry me that it may be one of the costliest! However, these days there are far more trendy options that just a sit-down meal and you can certainly save money by preparing your own or hiring one of the many catering companies here on the island.
Hog Roast and BBQ
Hog roasts have become increasingly popular, due to the fact that guests can eat on the go (and soak up the alcohol!) as well as being a relatively cost-effective option. Although not screaming ‘Mediterranean wedding’ it's tasty, hearty food, that almost everyone (but vegetarians and vegans) will enjoy, at an affordable price!
Exactly what I would be choosing to eat on my big day! What is better than sharing a hearty paella with your loved ones? Incredibly cost effective to make, traditional and so very tasty, whether you choose traditional or veggie or a combination of the two, paella is a perfect dish for your wedding lunch! For step-to-step instructions, read this article>>
One of the benefits of hiring a finca is that you can prepare your own food. Why not try a big BBQ, a buffet made up of some tasty local meats, cheeses and bread or preparing a cuisine of your choice? There’s no denying this would be the most affordable option for your big day… (Don't forget to have a crew of volunteers ready to do the washing up!)
Restaurants and Hotels
It’s impossible to even roughly quote the price for a restaurant or hotel menu as everywhere will differ depending on what they offer and what you request. On average, menus start at 35€pp and reach well into the 100’s, it really depends on the number of guests and the type of cuisine you choose. As for affordability, probably not your first bet.
The Dress #
Wedding dresses come in all shapes and sizes, and with very different price tags! It must be said, that Mallorca only has a handful of dress shops, meaning that prices may be higher than you were expecting or hoping to pay…
However, the internet is a haven of fantastic dresses, charity shops offer a phenomenal selection of second hand gowns and for anywhere between 150-600€ you could have the dress of your dreams. If you don't live on Mallorca, it’s also worth looking in your home country, and travelling with the dress as opposed to purchasing on the island, as half the fun is taking your bridal pose and selecting the dream dress!
The Suit #
Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the glamour of the dress, and forget about the importance of a good suit. Whether you choose formal and traditional or casual and relaxed, finding a suit for the big day is certainly a challenge.
Many years ago, it seemed the tailor was the only option, but now with the big chains offering a selection of suits for this very occasion, you can bag yourselves a bargain for around 100€ in a variety of colours and styles to suit all grooms and the rest of their party - and for around 80€ extra you can add in a pair of shoes and shirt and tie to top off the look; pretty affordable if you ask me!
The Entertainment #
Entertainment is one of the highlights of the event, but finding something to suit everyone within your budget can seem like a challenge. Personally, I don’t think you can beat a live band, and with Facebook page ‘Musicians in Mallorca’ teaming with local performers it’s a great place to begin your search. As a singer myself, I am an avid member of this group and have taken some work directly from this page. From soloists, to 5-piece bands most anyone and everyone who performs on the island of Mallorca is on this site! Simply ask the question and be amazed at the number of responses you receive. You are certain to find what you’re looking for and in budget, too.
Although bands are great, there is no denying that a good old DJ is sure to fill the floor. Scarlett Entertainment is a global talent agency, putting you in touch with the best DJ’s from across the island! Prices vary depending on the equipment and length of time that you hire the DJ for.
Affordable Mallorca Tip: To give your wedding a special island feel, get in touch with your local folk-dance group. Most of the dancers love to present their Bal de Bot at such festive occasions, and they often do it for a relatively small fee.
The Flowers #
Flowers! The finishing touch to complete your colour theme, beautify the bridesmaid's hair and decorate your venue, yes, they really do play a pivotal role in your big day! Make your wedding a truly Mallorcan one by using local businesses. La Rambla in Palma is the street of the florists – speak to the people there, or head to your local town or village florist. You'll be surprised by the creativity and good taste of the islanders when it comes to weddings! Alternatively, Mallorca has some exquisite wild flowers, so creating your own bouquets could be a beautiful and unique way to save some money, and incorporate a little bit more of Mallorca in to your day!
Affordable Mallorca Tip: Some of the wildflowers – especially the beautiful little orchids you might feel tempted to pick – are on the brink of extinction and protected by conservation laws. So, please, leave them alone!
The Cake #
There are cake makers a plenty here on the island, and cost really depends on the style you’re going for. Of course, the simplest way to make the cake factor more affordable is to bake your own, although this dream can only become a reality if hosting a beach or finca-style wedding, or booking a bodega – they normally let you bring your own cake. My recommendation would be to research the area in which you are getting married, and find a local bakery; this way you are likely to find the most cost-effective cake with the very best taste. Plus, you support local business.
The Photographer #
Wedding photos capture memories that will last a lifetime, and even in the day and age of social media and smartphones, photos of your big day will be treasured like no other! It’s no secret that photographers can come at a pretty price, so it’s worth doing your research, as many charge between 100-250€ per hour. With this knowledge you are able to make decisions over how many hours you would require the photographer’s assistance, and it’s vital that you find out what this price includes (copies of the photos, video footage, proofs etc.).
Alternatively, are there any family members who are secretly skilled photographers, and able to capture your special day without impacting your budget? Surely, it’s worth asking the question!
The Big Question #
After reading this guide, I am sure you are still wondering - is it possible? Well the answer is: yes! Mallorca can offer an idyllic wedding at affordable prices. With a little bit of research and the love of family and friends you can bring your dream wedding to life. So here at Affordable Mallorca we are wishing you all the happiness in the world, as you look to celebrate your special day! Good luck!
By Zoé Holmes
22 November, 2019