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Morocco’s cheap destination wedding offer entices newly-weds

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A single venue rental in Italy would have cost 31-year-old Almaz Burgess more than double of what she paid during her entire destination wedding in Marrakech, where a booming market is emerging to tie the knot without breaking the bank.

Morocco was always at the back of Burgess’s mind as a wedding destination, but decades of aggressive marketing had Almaz Burgess, like many couples, initially set her sights on European locations, where prices have skyrocketed in recent years.

“I remember in Italy, the venue rental was like €10,000 just for the day,” she told Business Insider.

For a reception of only 28 guests, Burgess turned her compass down south and set sights on Morocco’s Marrakech, where she discovered traditional Riads.

Burgess turned to Airbnb and contacted various hosts to inquire about their ability to host a ceremony. Moroccan hospitality came through, and “the owner I was messaging on Airbnb,” Burgess said, “the one we chose, she was just really accommodating and enthusiastic,” and offered to help the couple organize the wedding.


This was incredibly helpful, especially since Burgess didn’t have a wedding planner and couldn’t speak the local languages. Housing 12 guests for a three-night stay, the Airbnb offered a budget-friendly solution at £2,000. Burgess’ husband’s family joining the stay further reduced their cost to a final venue fee of roughly £1,200.

The couple opted for a short, intimate ceremony officiated by a friend in the Airbnb’s picturesque courtyard, complete with a poolside backdrop.

Rooftop cocktails kicked off the celebration after the ceremony, with a surprise Moroccan band courtesy of the Airbnb host.

The couple and their guests then went to a hotel restaurant for a private reception dinner. Transforming the space costs just £400, while the delicious meal costs £1,500.

“It honestly felt like a venue that we had hired, and there was no one else there,” she said.


For the entire event, Burgess and her husband paid £4000. “I know people go into a lot of debt for weddings, and if that’s what they want to do, that’s totally fine,” she added. “But I think it’s really sad that people feel like they have to do that because they have to meet a certain standard or have this wedding they’ve seen on Pinterest.”

Pinterest itself placed Morocco in the top first wedding destination in 2021.

Burgess included Morocco has attracted 1,070 online searches for destination weddings in 2023, according to a study conducted by GoldTrust, a gold wedding band and engagement ring company, placing the country among Africa’s favored destinations.

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