06 Sep Destination Wedding Packages-What’s Included, What’s not!
This week in our “Ask the Experts” series, we’re untangling the mystery of all-inclusive resort wedding packages.
If you are considering a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort, you have likely found a staggering number of options. But how do you know what’s included? Are the free wedding packages really free? What kind of things carries an extra charge? Here’s what you need to know!
Free wedding packages: Most all-inclusive resorts offer a complimentary wedding package. But there is usually some criteria you have to meet to get it. Typically the bride and groom will need to stay in an upgraded room category for an average of 7 nights. You may also be required to fill 5 to 10 additional rooms with your guests for anywhere from 3 to 5 nights. Please bear in mind that free wedding packages are very basic and do not include photography or a reception. Free wedding packages never include the marriage license fees. This will be an additional charge of $250.00 to $500.00, dependent upon the destination.
What should we expect to pay for a wedding package? There are a lot of great promos available for weddings. If you’ve got 50 people on your guest list, you can expect to spend anywhere from $3500.00 to $20,000.00 on your wedding, dependent upon a number of factors. The Ultimate Memorable Moments package from Karisma Hotels is one of our favorites, as you get everything you need for 40 people for $10,000.00! Some hotels have great offers if you hold your wedding on a Tuesday rather than a Saturday.
Can we have a private reception at an all-inclusive resort? We get this question a lot! Some all-inclusive resorts will allow your wedding party to make reservations at one of their restaurants following your wedding. However, many all-inclusive resorts don’t allow this, as they either don’t have space, or it interferes with the experience of the resort’s other guests. If you’re on a budget, and have less than 20 guests, finding a resort that will allow your wedding party to dine together at one of the restaurants following your wedding could save you thousands of dollars. We can help you sort out which ones allow for this, and which are a better fit if you want a completely private event.
Can I bring my own photographer? Yes, you can, but there’s a fee for it. Most all-inclusive resorts have everything you need for your wedding. If you bring your own wedding vendors, you’re taking away from the local economy. Most resorts do charge an outside vendor fee of $300.00 to $1000.00, dependent upon the resort, and the vendor you want to bring. Some hotels we work with will waive the fee if certain conditions are met.
Can my guests stay somewhere else and just come to the resort for my wedding? Most resorts do sell day passes. Day passes usually run about $100.00 per person. Hotels sell a limited number of passes per day on a first come, first serve basis. They cannot be purchased in advance. Most hotels won’t sell day passes if the occupancy rate is higher than 80%. The pass will allow your guest to enjoy the resort for a few hours on your wedding day. In short, there’s no guarantee that your guest will be able to get a day pass, and could miss your wedding. We always recommend that your guests stay at the hotel instead.
Do I need a travel agent, wedding coordinator, or both? Planning a wedding ceremony and managing travel are two completely different skill sets. The resort’s wedding coordinator is the best person to guide you through your ceremony and reception. There’s no need to also hire a local wedding planner. A wedding travel agent will manage the travel for you and your guests, saving you hours of work and frustration. You can download our free destination wedding guide here!
If you’re planning a destination wedding and could use a little assistance, contact the pros at Bliss Honeymoons today!