Ultimate Destination Wedding Guide

All Inclusive Weddings offers you completely customizable weddings in resort locations from Barbados to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

From photo packages to fireworks, there are so many options and ways to make your destination wedding stand out. We’re here to make sure your wedding day is truly special!

We want you and your guests to say, IT WAS THE BEST WEDDING EVER!

So we’ve put together this wedding guide to get you better acquainted with some ideas and possibilities of an all-inclusive destination wedding.

You will find everything from salon and spa packages, to photography and videography options and beyond.

We hope to inspire you and show you what’s possible! View our past completely customized events browsing our dream board – You can browse inspirations, select décor, and decide on your favorite flowers. You can also send photos of your own inspirations, and we can work with local vendors to fulfill your request. Or if you want a completely pampered planning experience, we’ll do all the legwork for you. It’s our pleasure. And it’s all included!

We invite you to dream differently, but don’t want your budget to hold you back. Which is why many all-inclusive resorts offer a free wedding experience that includes all the essentials for you to exchange your “I Do’s,” no budget necessary.

Several all-inclusive resorts now include drone footage. This means capturing your wedding day from a whole new perspective with an exclusive aerial video (drone) add-on. Drone footage will add a completely new dimension to your day and showcase the amazing location of your wedding from angles and viewpoints that previously would only have been achievable with a helicopter.

• All drone footage is shot at a minimum of 1080p (HD) resolution.
• Drone videography for weddings is accommodated via contracted, licensed vendors who provide service to the all-inclusive resort location of your choosing.
• All drone operators are vetted and approved by the location.
• All drone operators are highly trained and experienced in the use of their equipment.
• Our drone operators use only professional grade drone equipment.

Photography possibilities


Captured in HD quality by our professional videographers, your video will be the perfect way to share and relive your wedding day for years to come.

Step 1: Pick your perfect package

Pick from four professional videography packages: Classic, signature, premium and ultimate. Each
captures your most meaningful moments and will be available in your choice of one of two unique editing styles. Enjoy highlights from your ceremony, cake cutting, first dance, and reception, plus exclusive add-on options based on your package selection.

Step 2: Choose a unique editing style

Give your wedding video a modern flair with our contemporary editing feature complete with a unique storytelling style with mini stories that candidly capture key moments of your day. Edited with only select background audio and any music of your choice from our music library, this package presents your wedding day in a style reminiscent of a beautiful music video.

Classic and chic, our traditional video package is edited in the sequence of events throughout your
wedding day—with full-length footage of your ceremony, vows, and more. This style is the perfect combination of a beautiful editing style with your selection of romantic background music, and traditional elements, including key audio from your vows, speeches, and more.

Step 3: Add finishing touches

Enhance any video package with special Add-On options, such as a Blu-Ray Disc, a 30 or 45 second
trailer to share on social media, 3 to 5 minutes highlight video to share a synopsis of your special day with friends, family and much more. Once edited, your video will be delivered to you as a digital file. You may also opt to purchase a traditional DVD or Blu-Ray disc of your production. Please note that DVDs do not have the space capacity for HD quality videos, therefore we recommend you order the Blu-Ray Disc or HD download file.

Photo and video combo package

CLASSIC CHIC 75 digital images, 20 5×7 prints, 8×8 photo book, classic video
LOVE N’ LUXE 100 digital images, 20 5×7 prints, 10×10 photo book, classic video


We offer add-on options, which allows you to select the video elements that best interpret your individual style – giving you the opportunity to turn your dream wedding into treasured memories.

• Drone coverage
• Reception entertainment coverage
• Additional hour of coverage
• Wedding dinner and speeches with parents first dance (1 hour)
• Rehearsal Dinner coverage (1 hour)
• Spa coverage
• USB/DVD Copy
• USB Presentation Box
• USB & presentation box combo
• Blu-Ray Disc
• 30 to 45 second social media video trailer
• 3 to 5 minute highlight video
• Honeymoon Experience package
• Raw footage
• Love story interview
• Parents/Best friends wishes (4 Persons Max)
• Rush fee (10 Day turn around time)



Spa options help you look your best throughout your stay! With hairstyling, makeup application, and spa services including massages and manicures, it’s perfect for bachelors & bachelorettes, wedding
showers, honeymoon gifts, and more! Experienced spa specialists will revitalize you and your party with botanical products and essential oils native to the Caribbean. Partnering with only the best in the beauty industry, including Pevonia, SpaRitual, Dazzle Dry, Moroccanoil and La Bella Donna Cosmetics, Red Lane® Spa lets you commemorate your wedding celebration with an array of body and beauty treatments that make you glow and put you at ease.


Once you’ve said “I Do” it’s your honeymoon—a very special occasion that calls for indulging in the ultimate calming experiences for two people in love. Lose yourselves in the exotic aromas of a ‘Scents of Love’ couples massage. Whether indulging in total relaxation in an over-the-water pavilion, beneath a beachfront gazebo, or within the privacy of your luxurious suite, your side-by-side Red Lane® Spa massage will relieve stress so all that’s left is enjoying each other’s company. Red Lane® Spas are sanctuaries of renewal and calm inspired by the passions, natural rhythms, scents, and spirit of the islands. Relish in the tropical ambiance of wild fruit-infused treatment rooms and surrender to a state of bliss as skilled professionals help restore you to wellbeing.


We provide stylish templates complimentary for brides and grooms to create personal wedding websites. With a selection of 10 beautiful designs, from modern and traditional, to contemporary or whimsical, you can use your personal website to share with friends and family details about your destination wedding. Features of the website include your wedding week itinerary, love notes from friends and family, your gift registry, photos, and more. Plus, each template will include the ability to generate your very own personal wedding hashtag and create a wedding countdown clock!



Our Wedding and Honeymoon Gift Registry allows you to create a wish list to make your all-inclusive destination wedding truly unforgettable. From a romantic couple’s massage infused with Caribbean flair, to an adventurous Island Routes Reggae Catamaran Cruise, or an upgrade to a luxurious Love Nest Suite®, you can register for an array of unique experiences.

Destination Wedding Cost – Packages Pricing Guide

We hope this is your all-in-one guide to destination wedding packages and destination wedding costs! Please feel free to use our contact form and let us know any tips or suggestions.

#1 – Many all-inclusive destinations will offer you a free / complimentary destination wedding package, with a minimum of a 3-nights stay as a couple at the resort location. Often, included in this is a complimentary honeymoon package – As they want to extend your stay at the resort.

#2 – Where a cost is typically involved includes all the extra add-ins and options such as the following. Keep in mind, these costs do not include your round-trip flights, or other various costs to get to / from the resort, the resort stay itself, any extra events.

  • Resort / wedding passes for any guests not staying on property. This is a cost typically covered by the bride/groom, and not paid by each individual guest. Events scheduled by the bride or groom with the intent of the guest attending, these events are typically paid for by the bride/groom. There are different prices for adult passes vs. child passes. 1 adult pass can cost an average of $145. While 1 child pass might be $70. Also, if you are encouraging children to attend your event, you need to make sure the wedding is not hosted at an adults-only resort.
  • Dance floors. $300 to $3,000, all depending on size, features (LED light-up), and location.
  • 1 Musician – 1 hour minimum. $300 to $900, depending on location and type (guitarist, saxophone, flutist, keyboard, violinist, etc.)
  • Band – string quartet, cover band, latin dance band, mento band, junkanoo band, etc. This can widely vary on type of band, location, and time playing, but expect anywhere from $500 to $6000 also based on the number of musicians.
  • DJ minimum 1 hour – $300 to $600.
  • Low end video packages – $795. Maximum of 2 to 3 hours coverage, including things like bride & groom getting ready, ceremony, Cocktail Reception & Cake Cutting, Bride & Groom First Dance.

Included Options in a Free Wedding

From resorts in Cancun all the way to Barbados, the free wedding can typically include the following options. Keep in mind, there is usually a 32 person maximum attendance, before a per guest cost is involved. And if any guests are not staying on property, they will need to pay the guest pass price as mentioned above. Also, with the free wedding option, some resorts will automatically assign you their most convenient on resort property wedding location for that date – which could be an indoor ballroom, the beach, a wedding gazebo, terrace, garden, chapel, or an ocean side venue, or any location of their choosing.

Free / Complimentary Wedding Package

  • White pergola arbor
  • White ceremony podium
  • 32 White Avant Garde chairs
  • One bridal bouquet of white roses and one white rose boutonniere OR two bouquets OR two boutonnieres – Two bouquets or two boutonnieres option available for same sex weddings.
  • Themed 1-tier wedding cake for up to 32 persons
  • Nondenominational Minister to perform symbolic or vow renewal ceremonies
  • Sparkling wine for 32 persons during the ceremony
  • Honeymoon Wishes Wedding Website and Bridal Registry
  • Audio system available for ceremony
  • Event Consultant and Onsite Wedding Coordinator
  • Witnesses if required
  • Complimentary Honeymoon Package

At select resorts – If you want to pick your wedding location at the resort, whether on the beach, in a picturesque gazebo setting, or otherwise, this is where you’re going to start encountering costs. Costs involved above and beyond the free options are found here.

Wedding Packages Above the Free / Complimentary Level – Ceremony Options

Upgraded chairs – ex: 32 acrylic napoleon chairs, triangular wooden arch with mixed greenery / tropical structure with greenery, roses and pampas, Wooden column and gold pedestal with mixed roses and greenery, decorative vases, aisle runners, themed bridal bouquet, Themed 2-tier wedding cake for up to 32 persons, Soloist for wedding ceremony (Violin, Saxophone, Guitar), Honeymoon Wishes Website and Bridal Registry, 6 aisle vases adorned with anthuriums, roses and oriental lilies over top mirrored, white and clear base, ground fireworks display after ceremony, and possible other options offered in the wedding package + add-ons.

These additions are offered as a package and based on requirements, the packages can range from $2,500 to $5,000.

Reception Costs

The reception can cost $500 per table, where 8 guests / table. This can include Centerpiece with seasonal flowers and, variety of greenery, gold votives with candles, white napkins, charger plates, glassware, flatware, table runners, and the like.

The above covers typical all-inclusive pricing for destination weddings in the following countries / locations.

  • Jamaica
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Exuma, Bahamas
  • Saint Lucia
  • Antigua
  • Grenada
  • Barbados
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Vallarta, Mexico
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Riviera Maya, Mexico
  • Los Cabos, Mexico

Venue / location package costs

Some all inclusive resort locations charge extra based on venue. For example, Sandals and Beaches Resorts typically have extra costs based on venue / location. This can include the following.

  • Over-the-water serenity wedding chapel – $750
  • Over-the-water weddng gazebo – $500
  • On location wedding chapel – $300
  • Semi-private Sky Terrace – $750

Bridal and Groom Spa Service Packages and Pricing

There are additional charges for bridal spa services like the following. Facials, wraps, glow treatments, nail services, hairstyling sessions, make-up sessions, spa attendant, massages etc.

There are additional charges for groom spa services like the following. Deep relief massage, facials, wraps, glow treatments, nail services, etc.

The pricing for the above spa services can range from $100 to $450 / person.

Photo and video packages pricing

Digital image packages that include 30 to more hi-resolution images ranges from $695 to $2500.

Photo and video combo packages can include 75 to 100 images and 20 to to 30 prints and 1 classic video, and a 8×8 standard photo book – package pricing can range from $2000 to $2500.

Larger package pricing can include a minimum of 300 digital photos from the event, one photographer for 5 hours, a second photographer for 2 hours of the event, 200 images for printed album, curved print on glass, 1 signature video – $3500 to $4500.

Live streaming video packages

These can include a full 3 hour video including wedding and reception, 1 hour and 30 minutes including ceremony and cocktail, 1 hour of ceremony, add-ons for 30 day turn around, and more. This price ranges from $300 to $2500.

Video packages

2 to 3 hours of coverage to 4 to 5 hours. Standard inclusions – bride & groom getting ready, cocktail reception, cake cutting, bride & groom first dance. Add-ons can include drone coverage, reception entertainment coverage, wedding dinner and speeches, spa coverage, blu-ray disc, video trailers for social media including 30 to 45 seconds of coverage, interview of family and friends, add-on honeymoon coverage including candlelight dinner, excursion coverage similar to catamaran or other sailing, land sports, etc. Pricing ranges from $795 for most basic package to $2500, not including add-ons. Individual add-ons can range from $100 (DVD copy) to $600 (including video of the honeymoon experience).

Please contact All Inclusive Weddings for more information!

Cozumel, Mexico

Elope in Luxury Package – FEATURES & COSTS

• Service of a dedicated on-site wedding coordinator
• Sparkling wine and fresh fruit in room or suite upon arrival
• Hairstyling and makeup application for one member of the wedding couple for day of ceremony
• Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for the wedding couple
• Preparation and ironing of couple’s wedding day attire
• Symbolic ceremony*
• 20 digital photos of the wedding ceremony
• Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast for two
• Romantic dining arrangements for two the night of the ceremony
• Special turndown service the night of the wedding
• 15% off spa treatments (spa boutique purchases not included)
• Complimentary hydrotherapy circuit treatment for the wedding couple
• Breakfast in bed with mimosas (reservation with concierge required)
• Late check-out for the couple (based on availability and upon request)
• Free anniversary nights (return over your first anniversary date and receive two complimentary nights with five plus paid nights or one complimentary night with four paid nights)

Estimated Cost: $1,500

Wedding in Paradise – FEATURES & COSTS

• Symbolic ceremony*
• Wedding organization and personal touch of on-site wedding coordinator
• Preparation and ironing of couple’s wedding day attire
• Complimentary room for one member of the wedding couple the night before the wedding (based on availability and upon request)
• Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for wedding couple
• Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast (for up to ten guests)
• Special turndown service the night of the wedding
• 15% off spa treatments (spa boutique purchases not included)
• Newlywed Package
• Welcome letter
• Fresh fruit
• Bottle of sparkling wine
• Breakfast in bed with mimosas (reservations must be made in advance with concierge)
• Late checkout for the couple (based on availability and upon request)
• Free anniversary nights (stay a minimum of five paid nights over first anniversary date and receive two additional nights free, or stay four paid nights over first anniversary date and receive one additional night free)

Estimated Cost: $1,200

Huatulco, Mexico Destination Wedding Packages & Costs

Complimentary Destination Wedding – Free
see more details ↓

Dreams of Love Wedding Package – $3,399 USD
see more details ↓

Why Consider a Destination Wedding?

The most popular reason for choosing a destination wedding – wanting to
stand out from the crowd! Most destination wedding couples choose an international wedding location because they want a special, fun, exotic locale and overall experience for themselves and their guests!

The next most popular reason for a destination wedding – to create a casual, more intimate and meaningful gathering with close friends and family. Where all your closest people can vacation together, party, and celebrate the new couple!

Like anything in life, a destination wedding can be as simple or as complex as
you desire. In addition to a wedding, you’re also planning a group vacation.
Those are two giant undertakings, rolled into one fun-filled event. We can’t wait
to celebrate with you!

Most people no longer live close to each other, or where they grew up / or where you met them. When family and friends are spread all over the country, a destination wedding is the perfect way to bring everyone together!If you hire a professional to cut your hair, do your nails, fix your car – why wouldn’t you trust the biggest day of your life to anyone but an experienced, reputable travel agency, with the reviews, certificates, team, and experience to make your day a success?A great travel agent is your guide, your advocate, your negotiator and sometimes… your therapist and guest wrangler! Did you know all your guests may not share the same “vision” as you with an all inclusive destination wedding, and your travel agent can help them see it!

We think it’s critical to find a travel agency who specializes in romance travel. What is romance travel? It is the niche of the tourism industry that focuses on honeymoons, destination weddings, vow renewals and more. Recent trends also add buddymoons, babymoons, and familymoons to this list! What’s a buddymoon? Ask your favorite romance travel specialist!

With today’s ever present technology, there is no need to limit your travel agent search to your surrounding area. A great and established travel agency, like All Inclusive Weddings, we have clients all over the country!

Sandals Resorts, Destination Weddings Overview & Videos

At Sandals Resorts, for your destination wedding you can choose from 16 resorts anywhere from Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, and Curaçao. Experience the beauty of the Caribbean! Every resort sits directly on a stunning beach on 7 of the most gorgeous islands in the Caribbean. Anything and everything is possible when you get married in paradise!

Luxury Included® Destination Weddings and Honeymoons
What do the world’s only 5-Star Luxury Included® weddings and honeymoons look and feel like? At Sandals all-inclusive resorts, your destination wedding is completely customizable. You can have all the romantic touches of a traditional wedding in the most spectacular settings in the Caribbean. Best of all, the honeymoon of your dreams begins the moment you say ‘I Do’. #SandalsResorts #AllInclusiveResorts #DestinationWeddings

Sandals Virtual Wedding Design Experience
Sandals Resorts makes it easy to plan your upcoming destination wedding with our exclusive Sandals Virtual Wedding Planning Experience. The Virtual Wedding Design Experience offers you everything you need to plan your dream destination wedding from the comfort of your home while having the opportunity to chat face-to-face with your wedding planner and explore our catalog of décor options, discuss important details, such as event location and times, and much more!

Sandals Weddings Platinum Protocol of Cleanliness
It’s the most important day of your life, and Sandals® is taking every step to ensure that it’s also the happiest day of your life. With our Platinum Protocol of Cleanliness, you can be assured that we’re taking every step to ensure the health and safety of you and your guests. After all, we’ve led the industry in health and safety protocols for nearly 40 years. Our resorts are even safer and more romantic than ever before, so you can enjoy a wedding free of worries and filled with love. For more information on how we’re protecting your wedding day or to book your wedding today, visit allinclusiveweddings.com #WorryFreeWeddings #SandalsWeddings #PlatinumProtocolOfCleanliness

Sandals Resorts: Get a Sneak Peek of Your Wedding & Honeymoon
A once-in-a-lifetime love calls for a once-in-a-lifetime wedding, and nobody throws weddings like Sandals® Resorts. The leader in destination weddings and honeymoons—what we call WeddingMoons®, even gives you a chance to look before you book. Tour the venues, taste the cuisine, and meet with the resort wedding team, all while experiencing the Sandals 5-star Luxury Included® difference for yourselves. Test Drive Your WeddingMoon® for up to three nights in paradise starting at just $250 per couple, per night, and get up to a $1050 credit when you book your wedding group of 5+ rooms. Call your travel advisor, visit allinclusiveweddings.com to book today. #sandalsresorts #destinationweddings #weddingplanning

Sandals Resorts – Customizable Destination Wedding Inspirations
Stunning wedding inspirations ignite your imagination to customize your own dream destination wedding. From storybook romance to breezy island chic to avant-garde or refined costal luxury, Sandals® lets you visualize every detail of your special day, while our planning team will help you every step of the way. Say “I DO” at Sandals and we’ll make your dream wedding a wonderful reality. #sandalsresorts #destinationweddings #weddinginspiration

Beaches Turks and Caicos – Real Wedding Danica & Anthony
From Aisles of white to Isles of Turquoise. From over-the-water ceremonies to over-the-top receptions, Beaches® Resorts offers your dream wedding in paradise that compares to no other; with the ability to choose from three 5-Star Luxury Included® Resorts and two mesmerizing Islands. At Beaches, we understand that your love story is unique and special… and your wedding should be, too. That’s why we’ve replaced wedding packages with wedding inspirations, making a very personal experience a personalized one for you and your family. We’ve added all the extras to make your special day even more extraordinary.

Sandals Resorts Weddings and Once Wed feature #AisletoIsle Weddings
From Aisles of white to Isles of Turquoise. From over-the-water ceremonies to over-the-top receptions, Sandals® Resorts offers your dream wedding in paradise that compares to no other; with the ability to choose from sixteen 5-Star Luxury Included® Resorts and seven mesmerizing Islands. Sandals let you visualize every detail of your special day and determine what inspires you, while our planning team will help the Bride & Groom to execute the wedding of their dreams, every step of the journey. Make your big day the ultimate celebration with custom welcome events, unique mani-pedi parties, rehearsal dinners and more. If you dream it, we can do it!

Sandals Resorts – Real Wedding Courtney & Matt at Sandals Emerald Bay
From Aisles of white to Isles of Turquoise. From over-the-water ceremonies to over-the-top receptions, Sandals® Resorts offers your dream wedding in paradise that compares to no other; with the ability to choose from sixteen 5-Star Luxury Included® Resorts and seven mesmerizing Islands. Sandals let you visualize every detail of your special day and determine what inspires you, while our planning team will help the Bride & Groom to execute the wedding of their dreams, every step of the journey. Make your big day the ultimate celebration with custom welcome events, unique mani-pedi parties, rehearsal dinners and more. If you dream it, we can do it!

Sandals Resorts Inspires With Its Destination Wedding Experience From Aisle to Isle
Sandals Resorts hosted 25 international journalists at Sandals South Coast Jamaica November 28th through December 1st for a special preview of the brand’s new Aisle to Isle destination Wedding program. The four-day event included a sneak peek at Sandals’ latest new wedding ceremony and reception venues, samplings of eight new décor inspirations and customizable dining and itinerary experiences for Brides and Grooms to plans their dream wedding in paradise. Follow @SandalsResortsWeddings for more images and videos from the event.

The Luxury Included Weddings and Honeymoons | Sandals Resorts
See what a luxury wedding looks like. Explore what a luxury honeymoon feels like. Aisle to isle, let us take care of everything. Come experience our five-star, all-inclusive Sandals Resorts. Plan your wedding at Sandals Resort: allinclusiveweddings.com

Wedding Video Style: Vintage
For brides and grooms whose style is nostalgic and reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour, we have the Vintage Video Package. The video is taken in chronological order, embracing that old world feel and rustic charm. Accompanied by traditional Caribbean and Jamaican music, blending the modern and romantic.

Wedding Video Style: Traditional
Something borrowed, something blue, if Traditional best describes you, our videographers will capture your special day as it unfolds; from beginning to end. Chronologically edited so that every time you view it you will relive that magical moment and be transported back to the Caribbean.

Wedding Video Style: Contemporary
Our Contemporary Package is for those of you whose style is a little more edgy; you grew up watching music videos or appreciate a more artistic approach to the traditional. Your video will have the feel of a movie trailer; vignettes that are edited to blend into the mood of the music you choose to accompany it. Capturing your casual, elegant and playful sides. This package is currently available at all our resorts in Jamaica and Sandals Emerald Bay

Customize Your Dream Destination Wedding with Sandals Resorts Destination Wedding Designer
Introducing Sandals Resorts’ Destination Wedding Designer, an interactive online tool created to help you personalize every aspect of your dream destination wedding. Watch to learn how you can plan the perfect all-inclusive wedding at Sandals Resorts, the most romantic place on Earth. Create your dream wedding along the Caribbean’s best beaches with all the personal touches to make your celebration as special and unique as your love. After all, it’s Your Wedding, Your Style.

Holly and Matthew’s Real WeddingMoons® Story
Take a closer look into the romantic WeddingMoon story of Military couple Matt and Holly. They began the journey to the start of a new life together on the soft sands of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa, when Matt proposed on a romantic anniversary trip in May of 2012. Two years later, the couple returned to the beach where it all began to celebrate their union with a sweet and touching, intimate ceremony under a flawless, sun-drenched sky. Watch Matt and Holly’s entire bespoke WeddingMoon experience from their barefoot “I Do’s” with a special delivery by the groom just before their photo session, to their romantic sunset dinner on the beach marking the start to a honeymoon that promised to be nothing but magical!

Best Honeymoon Destinations in the Caribbean | Sandals Resorts
The best honeymoon destinations in the world are surrounded by calm turquoise waters where romance is inspired by the exotic allure of swaying palm trees and majestic sunsets. Where the best beaches in the world stretch as far as the eye can see and extraordinary honeymoon travels are defined by the most beautiful tropical islands like Barbados, Antigua, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, and the Bahamas. Where the Caribbean’s best all-inclusive resorts and decadently romantic honeymoon suites make Sandals® the #1 honeymoon destination for two people in love. #BestHoneymoonDestinations #HoneymoonTravels #BestHoneymoonDestinationsInTheWorld

Hot Tips That Make Destination Planning a Breeze

Hot Tips Make Destination Planning a Breeze

Budget right—Develop an overall budget, keeping in mind added expenses you may incur – such as travel, hotel, meals, transfers. Buffer in any exchange rate for weddings that occur in Europe, Asia, or Mexico.

Block out airfare for guests with their preferred carrier—Keep in mind origination points and connections. Take a test run of the transfer time and transfer type required to get the guests from point A to point B.

Learn the marriage license requirements for the destination you are booking—For instance, in France, the couple must live in that country for 60 days to be eligible to get married there.

Watch the weather for the dates of the wedding—Don’t plan a Caribbean wedding during hurricane season.

Get a website and plan ahead—Available free through us, or The Knot, or consider www.weddingwindow.com. This is a great option as it allows all guests to know who to contact for travel arrangements. Allow six months mailing for destination wedding Save the Dates. Consider an online version.

Remember you’re traveling with the gown—When traveling with your gown, don’t check the gown as luggage – you may never see it again. This applies to all members of the bridal party. For brides, Wedding Gown Specialists offers a destination gown travel kit that fits in most air place overhead compartments (www.weddinggownspecialists.com).

Prepare for windy conditions—Make sure the veil is weighted for weddings
on a beach or it will whip around, obscuring the bride and hitting guests as the bride walks down the aisle. Weighted magnetic veil clips are available through www.savetheveil.com.

Passports—Remind guests that valid passports are required for any travel outside the United States.

Keep an emergency kit—Carry stain sticks with you at all times and a steamer, along with adaptors in case you cannot plug into the power strips at the hotel.

Have your couple buy insurance—Require clients to purchase wedding insurance through vendors like www.travelers.com or www.wedsafe.com along with travel insurance.

Travel has become safer, but one never knows what can or will disrupt a destination wedding—Weather conditions, illness, government issued warnings, etc.

Keep your rental contracts handy—Shipping items ahead may cause a problem if they get stuck at customs. If you take things with you, like linens, pack them separately and include your rental contract inside. Keep an extra copy with you. If you get stopped at customs, you can show that these are a rental and the items will come back with you and are not being sold.

Hire a translator—Mostly not necessary when booking with all-inclusives, but to help you become familiar with the location. Find a destination friendly locale—in Europe there are many hotels that do not welcome weddings.

Exotic Islands, Romantic Cities, Foreign Countries

Although destination weddings may involve exotic islands, romantic cities, or foreign countries, for the wedding planner, destination weddings can be a great deal of work. This is where we come in!

“As a travel agent, destination weddings are the part of my job that I love the most. The brides we get are confident that we do our utmost to make their day perfect, and that makes us all feel much more relaxed and get things going in a smoother way!”

– Lia Vincent

Getting married in another country means you and your guests can be immersed and experience the food, culture, sites, services, language and more that will make your wedding truly unique and an experience of a lifetime!

Destination weddings are weddings that take place in a location where the bride and groom do not reside. Often, these weddings are outside of one’s home country and passports are required. But, increasingly, destination weddings are being held a bit closer to home, which expands the destination wedding market. “Couples can be very creative. Whether they select an exotic resort in the South Seas, a castle in Europe, or a lodge in Northwestern Wisconsin. Making this happen, and a success, is our job.”

It’s so true that “Anything is possible!” Just look at the explosive changes in destination weddings over the past 10 years. What started as a small, niche idea has grown exponentially. Not only have the numbers increased, but the very definition of what constitutes a destination has been revised. Is a destination weddings right for you? We can help you navigate the challenges and make it a success! Explore the ancient ritual and charm of a Mayan destination wedding, as well as events in Italy and Ireland. The possibilities are truly endless! We can help you discover your unique wedding and use it to set yourself apart from the crowd!

Destination planners face other challenges unique to their specialty, like identifying the client. In the end, not only are the bride and groom the client, but the guests as well. Planners find themselves playing host by assisting guests with questions about the location. The guests see the planner as the point person in assisting them with travel plans and questions. There are also legal and procedural challenges planners encounter. “We often get in touch with couples thinking that they can arrange their legal wedding in one to three months.” “It can be hard to make them understand that some procedures, like asking for a marriage license, especially if we are speaking of a Catholic wedding, take time. The bureaucracy of Italy is terrible. It can be quite a clash of cultures.

Budget, too, can be an issue as couples often have an unrealistic expectation that holding a wedding in a foreign country is less expensive than their home country. “Sometimes it can be hard to make them understand that if you want to get married in famous places like Venice, Rome, Florence, or Amalfi, prices can be rather steep and accommodations, especially during peak season, are very expensive. It’s then our job to make them see the other possibilities and help them choose the solutions that fit their expectations, and which do not break the bank.

Research is often the key to getting the budget right—especially outside your home country. “When working on a budget or quoting costs to the client, be sure that you have researched on-island costs and have these in writing. For example, flowers can cost more than five times what they are in the U.S.

Logistical considerations and back up plans are also critical to address in destination planning. Rain and back up options are a must. Many hotels have small or limited event space to host an inside event, so the planner must consider renting tents to ensure the wedding occurs without a hitch. Find out if the location or venue offers tents before you suggest a location. If it cannot accommodate a rain plan, move on. Sometimes, this leads to disappointment for couples set on a certain locale. “Occasionally, their dreams are not reality-based and compromises are difficult to swallow. Breaking the news is often more difficult than solving the issue.

How destination wedding specialists make those weddings perfect is in the details—incorporating local traditions, customs, and flavors into the day. Perhaps it’s being entertained through dinner by a local Mariachi group, dining on regional fare, drinking local wines, or gifting guests with sweet treats from the area. “Each time, we offer something different, depending on the style and taste of the couple. I could never think of doing the same for everyone,” says Lia, who has arranged varied events for her destination weddings including wine tastings, spa treatments, and tours of the Italian countryside.

In the end, the memories that are created for couples are life-changing moments that lead to happy endings. “Up until now, among the biggest challenges we’ve had, are a symbolic destination wedding which was planned in just three weeks; a double, twin wedding; a Catholic-Protestant wedding that needed the authorization of the Bishop; super-small weddings and quite large weddings; relaxed country-style weddings and hyper-modern weddings; beach, lakeside, and vineyard weddings,” “Oh, yes, destination weddings can be anything like this, or not be like this at all. And we are always happy to help out!

Location is right

Knowing if a place is right for your destination wedding

The following questions are key to establishing whether a place is right for you and your group:

How many rooms does the hotel have, and how many are available for the days you want? The answer to this question tells you whether your hotel is intimate (under 100 rooms), medium size (under 250 rooms), or large — and consequently, what percentage of it your guests will fill.

What types of guest rooms are available? Usually hotels have a combination of single rooms and suites with a separate living room and bedroom. If families are traveling together, they may need these bigger rooms or adjoining ones. Some resorts have private villas with multiple bedrooms, which can be ideal for a small destination wedding party.

What facilities does the hotel or resort have for a wedding? Are there scenic areas, an outdoor terrace, an indoor ballroom, or special suites for smaller parties? Do they cater banquet meals?

Does the hotel or resort have a standard wedding package? Can it be customized? Do you have an on-site coordinator?

What recreational facilities are onsite? Is there a swimming pool? Golf course? Spa? What about tours of area attractions? Does the hotel arrange them? You may favor a resort that offers guests a variety of recreational activities during their stay.

What are the best rates available for a party of your size? Ask the hotel whether it offers a group discount or special accommodations for the bride and groom.

Does the hotel hold a reservation? Hotels will set aside a group of rooms for your guests to book by an established date. However, the hotel only holds those rooms for so long, so you need to find out the date by which guests must book to secure a room, when is a deposit required, and how much. What is the cancellation policy? What if some guests pull out? What if the event has to be postponed or cancelled? You need to know what costs you may incur if your plans change.

What is unique about your property? This question gives the hotel or resort rep an opportunity to bring out points that you may not have been aware of

Cruising on a Love Boat? Deciding whether a wedding at sea is right for you? We can assist in working out the details of your cruise wedding or hosting shipboard and portside weddings, obeying marriage laws where you sail, celebrating your honeymoon on the water.

Picture yourself and your honey exchanging rings on a cruise ship deck as your closest friends and family stand nearby. The breeze blows in your hair, and you smell the saltwater. What could be more romantic?

Getting married at sea is one of the simplest ways to have an affordable destination wedding. This fact alone may convince you to get on board: The average cost of a shipboard wedding with a two hour reception for 100 guests on a premium cruise line is $7,000. The average cost of a land-based hometown wedding for the same number of guests is close to $27,000.

In addition to being cost-effective, a shipboard wedding allows couples to combine their ceremony and reception with a cruise honeymoon. (In fact, a bridal couple must sail if they want a cruise-hosted wedding.) Are you tempted to board a cruise ship for your wedding? If so, this chapter reveals what you need to know.

Sailing into Matrimony: The Benefits of a Cruise Wedding

Cruise weddings range in size from intimate ceremonies with bride, groom, officiant, and witnesses to parties of, well, titanic proportions. In addition to the affordability of cruise ship weddings, this type of destination wedding also offers marrying couples the following:

Extensive amenities. On the newest ships, amenities are equal to those of fine resorts: spas that pamper, swimming pools, and even concierge and butler service. In ports of call, you can participate in land and water sports, tackle an extreme adventure, tour historical and cultural points of interest, and shop for duty-free goods.

Before you contact an agent and book a cruise wedding, ask yourselves these questions. Doing so can make it easier for the agent to tailor recommendations based on your needs.

Who is sailing with us? Do we expect family and friends to join us on the cruise? If so, the travel agent may be able to secure a group discount. You may even get a free cabin for yourselves if you meet the cruise line’s definition of a group.

What is our budget? Knowing what you can spend helps identify the most affordable cruise lines for you. Keep in mind that the cost of the cruise is separate from that of the wedding.

Where do we want to sail? Caribbean itineraries are popular with Easterners and Midwesterners. Cruises to Alaska, Mexico’s Pacific coast, and within Hawaii are most convenient for West Coast residents. But that needn’t affect your decision. If you’ve always dreamed of sailing to Tahiti or through the Panama Canal, go for it!

When do we want to sail? Although cruises leave from ports year-round, summer is prime sailing season, and you have the widest choice of ships and itineraries at that time of year.

How long a cruise should we take? Budget is a factor in the length of any cruise. The more you can spend, the longer you can sail. Itineraries range from overnight cruises “to nowhere” to 100-plus days at sea on a round-the-world cruise. Most voyages are in the five- to eleven-day range.

Working with the pros

Cruise weddings are as close to a turnkey affair as a couple can get, yet a lot of planning still goes into the simplest affairs. Having a wedding coordinator onboard can make you grateful to have someone to help guide you through the process.

Look to your coordinator to handle all the wedding details from booking to bon voyage. The responsibilities that fall to the wedding coordinator include

Answering your questions

Informing you of the legal requirements, helping you to get required documents, and making sure that your ceremony will be valid in the port you choose.

Is there enough going on around your preferred location to prevent you and your guests from becoming bored over the course”

Destination Wedding Budgets: Money Saving Tips

Destination Wedding Budgets: Money Saving Tips

1. The destination you choose will make or break your budget. The destination will also make or break your guests’ budget. The path you choose is up to you!

You might be dreaming of an exotic, off-the-beaten-path destination for your special day. However, that might also mean uber expensive flights and long, complicated travel days for your guests. If accommodating many guests is your goal, it may be wise to reconsider the uber-exotic location.

However, if you are trying to LIMIT the number of guests who attend, a far-flung place can be just the ticket. We promise we won’t tell! There are many locations that are unique and exotic, but for a variety of reasons are surprisingly easy and affordable to get to. A professional travel expert can be a great guide to finding these not so well known locations.

Please don’t forget to also pick a location you love! Regardless of your budget, this is your day and you want to have nothing but joy-filled memories of your wedding.

  Choose a destination that you both love and that appeals to your aesthetic, way of life, and look and feel of your wedding. You want your guests to go home feeling like the entire event was completely your style!

2. Take Advantage of Wedding Credits & Perks!

As we mentioned earlier, hotels and resorts that cater to weddings will offer credits based on the number of rooms booked for your event. TAKE ADVANTAGE! At some destinations, it may be possible for your wedding to be completely free based on the size of your group.

Wedding credits can be applied towards your costs, such as your accommodations, special events, or extra perks like VIP check in for your group, resort credit, a bottle of champagne or a romantic catamaran trip around the island. Just like airline miles and credit cards perks, some perks are much better offers than others. A travel agent who specializes in Romance Travel can help you choose a property that will give you the most bang for your buck.

3. Be Open to a Mid-Week Wedding vs. a Saturday

Many venues offer lower rates for weekday weddings. You and your guests are already likely taking some time off for the wedding, so planning a destination wedding during the week is typically much easier than trying to schedule a traditional wedding during the week.

4. Choose flowers, food and favors that are easy to find locally

Shipping or traveling with your flowers, food or wedding favors is expensive and can be a real hassle. You might even run into restrictions when it comes to fresh flowers or foods depending on where you are traveling.

Forget the hassle and choose items that are unique to your destination. Choose flowers, food and favors that are easy to find locally, saving stress and money. Part of the beauty of a destination wedding is choosing items that match the theme of your destination. Looking for wedding favors? Local souvenirs make the perfect gift for wedding guests. Find a local, high-end gift shop that sells tasteful souvenirs or consider giving local delicacies – wines, coffees, nuts, candies… almost every location has some culinary treat that they are known for.

One pro tip: Make sure to check tourism or customs regulations for what is allowed to be transported back to the U.S. You don’t want to set your guests up for an airport search!

Another idea: Bypass the gift bag and favors all together and plan a group excursion for your guests. We rented a private catamaran for this very purpose and our guests are still talking about it!

A quick online search or conversation with your travel agent can help brainstorm a wonderful, memorable wedding favor your guests will love.

5. Talk to your Travel Agent about how to communicate your group terms to wedding guests…

…and make sure your guests understand how to book under your contract!

Your travel agent is an invaluable resource when it comes to negotiating group contracts with destination wedding venues.

Remember, a group contract means freebies and amenities for you and your guests!

However, these amenities are based on the number of rooms promised in your group contract. If your guests do not book through your group contract, this can all go awry!

There is nothing worse than negotiating an AMAZING deal with a resort and realize it was all for naught when half of your guests don’t book under your contract.

To maximize your perks, you MUST communicate with your guests and help them understand that booking with your travel agent benefits the entire group. Your bookings must go through the travel agent to count towards the guaranteed minimum number of guests for negotiated perks.

One item to note: there are some resorts that even charge the couple for guests that don’t book inside the negotiated group contract. Ouch!

As your agent and advocate, we can help you communicate this clearly to your guests. Our goal is to treat each and every guest to the exact same luxury experience that we will provide to you  

Do’s and Don’ts for your Destination Wedding

Destination weddings are such a new phenomenon, it’s easy for a bride to get confused, carried away, or overwhelmed by the things she feels she should or shouldn’t do. Without traditional wedding etiquette and/or planning books to fall back on, what’s a bride to do? Just as important, what are the things a bride shouldn’t do? Here are some dos and don’ts to guide you to destination wedding success!


Do send out save-the-date cards about six months before the wedding, especially if it’s planned around a holiday weekend. Give everyone time to make their travel arrangements.

Do view your week away as a vacation, but don’t overlook the fact that you’re getting married! It’s not just another getaway, after all. Take some time to connect with your fiancé and appreciate the magnitude of the event after you’ve unpacked your bags.

Do plan on spending time with all of your guests. That’s why you invited them to this weeklong wedding party, after all.Do take the time to talk with your onsite wedding coordinator and/or wedding vendors before you book them. Ask all the questions you can think of, and get (and check!) referrals.Do let your attendants know upfront what they’ll be expected to pay for. Traditional wedding etiquette holds the bride and groom responsible for attendants’ lodging expenses, but in reality, many bridesmaids and groomsmen end up paying their own way.


Don’t announce your wedding and/or talk excessively about it to those who aren’t invited. The one exception is if you’re having a teeny, tiny wedding with immediate family members only.

Don’t get in way over your head financially. Yes, you only get to do this once, but honestly, lots of couples plan beautiful, relatively inexpensive weddings. It just takes time and research.

Don’t plan on paying for all of your guests’ expenses unless your last name happens to be Moneybags.

Don’t drink too much the night before the wedding. Sure, all you have to do is put on your dress and walk down to the beach in the morning, but you don’t want to look green, tired, or puffy-eyed in your wedding pictures.

Church Bells or Sea Shells

Church Bells or Sea Shells?

Before you can even think about making appointments at dress shops and trying on gowns, you have to know where you’re headed for the ceremony. Your destination is the number one factor in deciding which kind of dress you’ll wear.