Here's Where You Could Honeymoon if You Saved on an Engagement Ring

Sophie Miura

What does your dream wedding look like? When it comes to the big day, the latest statistics show the average American wedding can quickly add up. A study of 18,000 newlyweds revealed that couples spend an average of $32,641 on their wedding day alone, with Manhattan nuptials totaling a dizzying $82,299. If you're drafting a budget for your dream wedding and are exploring costs, we've matched five dream sparklers to the honeymoon equivalent to offer a little perspective. 

Don't stress: You don't have to forfeit your dream day, but taking a glimpse at the financial comparisons of these big-ticket items could help put a dollar sign next to your honeymoon Pinterest board. Considering more than 20% of Americans have their sights set on a luxury trip to the Maldives, this could help you make smarter decisions. Yes, if you saved on one, you could afford the other. Which would you choose: your dream engagement ring or the honeymoon of a lifetime?

The Ring: This Machine Age Ring from 1909 by Erica Weiner ($1500) is made from solid 14k white and yellow gold, with a total carat weight of 0.23. 

The Honeymoon: Planning an overseas honeymoon on a budget can be challenging, but Cuba is proving to be one of the most affordable and romantic destinations for American travelers who prefer quaint villas over five-star resorts. While the island nation was off-limits for years, JetBlue has announced commercial flights to Cuba for $99 each way, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starting August 31. As for accommodations, there are a ton of stunning traditional Cuban homes available via Airbnb, and the arrival of international jet-setters since Chanel's Cruise 16/17 show has been accompanied by a rise in charming boutique hotels. 

The Ring: The Hazeline Ceremonial Suite No. 02 by Anna Sheffield ($4650) has a 0.50-carat champagne diamond surrounded by a separate white-diamond tiara band. 

The Honeymoon: A 2016 Zola study found that a quarter of engaged and just-married millennials chose Hawaii as their ultimate honeymoon destination. And it's not hard to see why: The volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific boasts picturesque waterfalls, tropical hikes, and glistening white-sand beaches. While the price can vary greatly, Hawaii can be a relatively affordable honeymoon choice, with flights from Los Angeles starting at under $500. If you're looking to splash out on luxury accommodations, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, one of the top-rated honeymoon resorts and our personal pick, offers nightly rates from $995. 

The Ring: Anna Sheffield's White Diamond Hazeline Solitaire Ring ($10,000) has a European cut inspired by the jeweler's grandmother. The 1-carat diamond is surrounded by small black diamond accents set in 14k white and rose gold.

The Honeymoon: It's official: The top honeymoon destination of 2016 is Italy. Zola's study revealed that a third of couples would choose the European nation if they had the opportunity to go anywhere in the world. Considering the scope of romantic locations in Italy, it's not hard to understand why. Our top picks include Positano, Cinque Terre, or Venice, but be sure to factor the cost of international and internal flights into your budget. Flights often sit at the $1000 mark from New York City to Rome, with West Coast departure points costing much more. One of Cinque Terre's top-rated romantic villas, Hotel Pasquale, is priced at under $300 per night, while the jaw-dropping Aman Venice (George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding venue) starts at $1167. 

The Ring: This De Beers Three-Stone Diamond Platinum Ring ($16,500) has a 1.09-carat center stone, flanked by two 0.35-carat side stones. 

The Honeymoon: The iconic floating villas and turquoise water of the Maldives might be among the most in-demand honeymoon destinations, but do you know what your dream vacation really costs? The 18-hour-plus flight from America to the island nation off the coast of Sri Lanka totals over $1000 per person. And the Six Senses Laamu, a blogger favorite that continues to top the list of best honeymoon resorts, reaches a maximum of $2398 per night. Yes, paradise comes at a price. 

PHOTO:

Courtesy of Wolwedans

The Ring: Tiffany & Co.'s Tiffany Novo Ring ($24,800) has a 1.5-carat cushion-cut sparkler with a platinum setting. 

The Honeymoon: While Bora Bora is often thought of as a top-tier luxury escape, there's one honeymoon that dwarfs it: a safari. Flights to popular safari destinations like Botswana and Namibia are lengthy, and high-end providers often include luxury tent lodging, access to private reserves, chef-prepared meals, and guided tours to see the stunning wildlife. If you have your heart set on waking up to a zebra outside your open-air tent or seeing the sun set over the dusty planes, look to Wolwedans for private and group tours in Namibia, or Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge in Botswana for a safari experience with creature comforts. 

What's your dream honeymoon destination?

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