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-beat-pathpath destination for your special day. However, that might also mean uberexpensive 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  

Dos 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 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.

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 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.


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.

Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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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.

Questions for your Travel Agency

Is your preferred date available? No sense going any further until you’ve determined whether this place is available.

•What is the total occupancy of the site? If the site can’t accommodate your large family, you’ll have to move on.

•Does the facility also allow ceremonies to be performed on site? Most will.

•What kind of food does the site specialize in? You want to get an idea of whether the site can meet your specific desires here. If you’re looking for a vegetarian meal and the location you’re considering serves only spit-fired pig roasts, it might not be a good fit.

•Is there a dance floor? How large? Can your boogying friends and family all fit into the space?

What about the bar? How large is it, and how many bartenders will be on duty? You don’t want parched guests standing in line for thirty minutes waiting for their booze.

•Will you pay for coat checkers and valet parking attendants? In upscale places, the answer is usually yes.

•How much will you pay for the site per hour? What’s the fee for running overtime? Obviously, these fees vary from place to place.

•Does the site charge a cake-cutting or wine-corking fee? How much? Many places do charge for these services, so don’t be surprised to hear you’ll pay for someone to slice up your dessert.

•What other charges can you expect? Sales tax? Linen rental? Centerpieces?

•If the site doesn’t serve food, can the staff refer you to a caterer? We’ll get to this in a moment.

These questions will give you a good idea as to whether this place is right for your wedding. You’ll learn a lot about the accommodations, the service, and the price. If you like what you hear, ask the manager to send you some literature so that you can read everything in black and white.


How much or how little are you willing to plan? Some planners will only take on full events; others will do à la carte services (such as planning only the ceremony or reception).

•How do you charge? By the hour? Flat fee? Percentage?

•Can you provide me with referrals from past clients? If she’s eager to get you in touch with her past clients, and the clients give glowing reports, chances are you’ve found a keeper.

How many weddings do you book per year? One full wedding per weekend is plenty; any more than that, and some bride is going to get the short end of the stick.

•Do you have an assistant? If she says yes, ask who will attend your wedding — the planner or her partner?

Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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Read this book on Scribd.:


Excerpt from: “The Everything Destination Wedding Book: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding Away from Home” by Shelly Hagen. Scribd.
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5 Reasons To Have A Destination Wedding

Your wedding day: it’s one of the most amazing and important days of your life and you’ve probably dreamt about what it would look like for years. Each couple is different and each wedding won’t look the same, but if you’re looking for a way to take your wedding to the next level, a destination wedding is one way to do this. Here, we’ll talk about some of the main reasons why you should plan a destination wedding.

Reason #1: You’ll start your marriage with a unique adventure.
A destination wedding option opens up so many possibilities for adventure. How about a bachelorette party in a cave? Maybe your groomsmen could golf at sunrise overlooking the ocean? How about a rehearsal dinner on a catamaran? The options and venues are endless with a destination wedding. Adventures not only await you and your fiancé, but your bridal party and guests, too.

Reason #2: You’ll make memories with your closest friends and family.
You can count on your closest friends and family being there to spend plenty of time with you during your wedding. Traditional weddings with larger guest lists usually only allow for shaking hands and quick congratulatory wishes from your guests, but with a destination wedding and a smaller group of people there, you’ll have the time to chat with guests in your dream location and create special memories with them there.

Reason #3: Destination weddings are often less expensive.
If you’re looking to make your wedding budget go further, a destination wedding is a great way to do that. Favorable exchange rates in international wedding destinations is one way to reap financial rewards, but you’ll also find that many resorts will offer well-rounded packages that include everything. You’re not left with adding on additional things you won’t end up using and you won’t be forced to rent large, expensive venues.

Reason #4:  You’ll have a no stress wedding.
The on-site wedding coordinator will do the planning for you, so you don’t have to do much at all. Our team at Vincent Vacations are the middle people when it comes to helping plan for your guests and we also offer full wedding planning services with a fee. For example, we can arrange group room contracts for no cost, so the bride and groom can reap the benefits of bringing a group! Whether it’s free parties or complimentary room nights, we can figure out the details. Brides and grooms can do as little or as much as they want when it comes to the destination wedding and that translates to a lot less stress in the end!

Reason #5: You can use the wedding location for your honeymoon, too.
A destination wedding offers you the opportunity to have a two-for-one deal: a wedding and honeymoon in one trip!  If you love the location of your wedding and want to honeymoon there, great! Or, if you want us to help coordinate a hotel change or a flight to a different honeymoon spot, we can do that, too.

Whether it’s the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Tahiti, or somewhere else, planning a destination wedding will the best idea that you’ve had! Contact us today for more information on getting your exotic destination wedding planned!

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Having a Destination Wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and most brides and grooms want to do whatever they can to avoid any problems or disasters. Here are our top 5 mistakes to avoid when having a destination wedding.

Mistake #1: Not blocking enough hotel rooms for your group.
We’ve found that a lot of couples hesitate to block rooms, as they are not sure how many people will actually come to the wedding. This is likely because they don’t understand the benefits of booking as a group. Group amenities are typically only honored when it’s in writing and this is done with a group hotel contract. This contract will state whether the bride and groom are receiving free nights, a free wedding, a free reception, or all the above. It will also provide a date that rooms must be released, to avoid being liable. In most cases, there is no reason to not do a group contract, unless the couple is eloping, when this type of contract wouldn’t be applicable. We regularly work with resorts that will do a group contract starting at just 6 rooms, depending on the time of year.

Mistake #2: Not taking advantage of local things.
Part of the fun in having a destination wedding is experiencing the unique culture that you’re in. If you’re in the beautiful destination that you’ve selected, don’t expect it to be exactly like what you’re used to at home. Immerse yourself in the special products or surroundings that your destination has to offer and allow yourself to fall in love with the options from the local area. For example: orchids grow on the island, so they’re less than roses? Awesome! A Spanish mariachi band is less than a string quartet? So fun! The guests will feel like they’re not only part of your wedding, but part of the culture. Your wedding planner can help show you the various pricing differences, but remember, if they must fly in something special, it will be a lot more expensive than getting a local product that can be easily acquired. This can be a big cost savings.

Mistake #3: No backup plan.
Back up plans are always great to have, especially when it comes to one of the biggest events of your life! For example, couples getting married outside need to have a backup plan for a ballroom or terrace wedding if the weather decides to change and unload on their wedding day. Rainy season is June through November in Mexico and the Caribbean. One of the most popular times to get married in the United States is September with the beautiful leaves changing and mild temperatures, but this isn’t the same case for the Caribbean, as it’s usually the most humid with the highest chance of hurricanes.

Mistake #4: Not inviting everyone.
Time and time again, couples only send invitations to those they think will want to come to the wedding and this can be a mistake! If the bride and groom are open to everyone attending, then invite everyone! A lot of times, friends and relatives would not travel to an all-inclusive resort unless they’re going with a group. If everyone is truly invited, then send an official invitation or save-the-date card. There always seems to be someone that you swore would not miss it, be unable to attend and on the other hand, you might be surprised at who decides to make the trip. The surprise of who can celebrate with you could become a special memory as you begin your marriage journey.

Mistake #5: Not working with a travel agent.
Planning your wedding takes a lot of organization and detail management. Couples that don’t use a travel agent are stuck being the middle person. The destination wedding is meant to make life simpler! Do you want to take time to answer small, detailed questions like what size hotel beds are in the rooms? What if guests have problems while traveling to the wedding? Do the bride and groom have to take time to help re-accommodate or re-schedule transportation? These kinds of details or issues can be frustrating and very stressful for the bride and groom and if you work with an experienced agent, they can take care of all the little things that come up for you so you don’t have to.
At Vincent Destination Weddings, we’re all about planning everything for you so your big day goes as smoothly as possible. We don’t charge a group contract fee and we’re paid a commission by the hotel that the bride and groom choose. There is no additional charge for working with the wedding travel agent! If you’ve dreamt of a destination wedding and the thought of planning it sounds overwhelming, contact us today to handle all the details.

What A Texan Bride Expects from a Destination Wedding

Destination weddings are gaining more popularity every year! They are a great way to save money and to have a more intimate celebration. There are so many reasons a Texas bride would choose to have a destination wedding! Lets begin to explore some of the fun and unique perks that brides from Texas would love to have as a part of their festivities.

Doesn’t every bride fantasize of making a grand entrance to her wedding? Can you picture the gasps of delight and surprise when your guests see you arrive to the ceremony in style as you glide onto the beach in your hot air balloon? At Dreams LaRomana in the Dominican Republic your fantasy can become a reality! We all know Texans like things bigger and better. This is a sure way to make an impact and keep people talking for years to come!

Imagine that since your food and beverages are already included in the resort stay for yourselves and all of your guests, that you feel inspired to host your friends and family for a fun experience in lieu of a rehearsal dinner. How about taking a beautiful champagne sail as you all watch the sunset together and toast to new beginnings? When your wedding is on a beautiful beach, this is simple to arrange. Ask us how!

As you research and plan for your wedding, you may have noticed that rustic decor and farm to table decor is very popular in Texas right now. If this is something that you are interested in, you CAN have your cake and eat it too! You can have a beautiful, rustic set up with a white, sandy beach as your setting! Check out the amazing new UNICO 20.87 resort in Riviera Maya!

Texas has long had a reputation of appreciating and enjoying live music! Your guests will have a blast at your reception while you all dance to the rhythms of a Steel Pan Band and watch a performance from a Fire Dancer at one the incredible Sandals Resorts maybe in beautiful Jamaica, exotic Grenada or one of their other wonderful resorts sprinkled throughout the Caribbean.

You can appreciate the variety of option for a dramatic backdrop at your ceremony. The options are all scenic and will save you so much money on decor! You could have your wedding on a rooftop with a gorgeous 180 degree views of the blue Caribbean Sea! That is not something easily arranged in Texas, but its no trouble at all at Azul Sensatori, Riviera Maya. Plus, you can wear your heels because there is no need to walk in the sand and worry about how you will walk in your gorgeous wedding shoes!

Now we have confirmed that there are so many unique and fun reasons for brides from Texas (or anywhere!) to choose to have a beautiful destination wedding! We are here to help. Call and tell us about your perfect wedding so that we can get started on making your dreams come true!

Top 10 destination wedding invitation tips

Top 10 destination wedding invitation tips


If you and your fiancé are planning on tying the knot in a special destination wedding, it’s important to make the invitation stand out. With the destination being something special, there are lots of ways to make the wedding invitations, special too. Here are our top 10 destination wedding invitation tips. 


#1: Save the date.
When it comes to a destination wedding, these cards are very beneficial. They give guests additional notice to help plan for time off work, in addition to giving them time to look at flights and arrange other necessary trip details. It’s not uncommon to send these cards out nine months to a year in advance.

#2: Keep it unique.
If you love the traditional invitation look, great! However, many couples that are choosing a destination wedding want to make their invitations stand out in a special way. You could choose a themed invitation or something that is unique to you as a couple – get creative!

#3: Keep affordability in mind.
Invitations are important, but when thinking about your overall budget, consider spending the bulk of your money on the actual destination and ceremony. Unless people plan on saving the invitation as part as a memento or keepsake for many years to come, there isn’t a need to spend incredible amounts on the paper.

#4: Think about specific wedding details.
In addition to the standard wedding date, time and location, consider adding directions to the venue, or other accommodation information that is necessary. If you are going to a country that many people have not been to, it’s nice to include any information about transportation and currency exchange rates, too. 

#5: Include events.
In addition to the invitations, it is common for couples to order another card to include that has the wedding events on there. This could be a special bonfire, goodbye brunch, welcome lunch, group dinner nights, etc. If you plan on offering any special events like this, be clear on what and when those are.

#6: Plan ahead.
Plan on sending your invitations out at least three months ahead of time. This will allow for plenty of planning time for your guests.

#7: Be specific.
A destination wedding is usually a smaller, more intimate event, so keep this in mind when creating your guest and invitation list. Be specific in your invitation language on who is invited. For example, Mary and Bryan versus Mary and Bryan + family. Keep them clear, concise, and informative.

#8: Engage your guests.
Your destination wedding is going to be a memorable time and full of special adventures, so it’s fun to get your guests engaged in the event from the moment they open the invitation! Ask them what their favorite dance song is, what drink they like the most, or what they would like to see during their trip to your wedding.

#9: Reflect you as a couple.
Don’t get lost in all the bells and whistles, but instead keep your invitation original to you. Have fun with them and make sure they reflect who you are, not what everyone else is doing. 

#10: Consider a website.
If the details for your destination wedding are too many for an invitation, consider creating a free wedding website that includes all the details your guests might need such as weather information, local attractions, and more. 

Your destination wedding will be an exciting time and the invitations are just the beginning! Contact our team at Vincent Vacations to start planning your destination wedding today!  

Questions to ask when booking

Is the date we want for our wedding available? Does the price change based on the time of day or other variables?

How many weddings take place here in an average month? On a typical day?

Do you have on-site wedding coordinators? What does she do? Is there a fee for her services?

Can we count on assistance acquiring a marriage license?

How many different types of guest rooms do you have, and can we see one of each category?

What amenities does a bridal couple receive?

Can you accommodate all our guests on that date and the day(s) before and after? Is a group discount available?

If you don’t have enough rooms for our guests, where are the closest places they can stay?

What kind of wedding ceremony and reception packages are offered, what do they include, and how’re they priced?

Do you charge a facility-usage fee?

What are our options for ceremony and reception locations?

How far apart are the ceremony and reception spaces we prefer? If our ceremony and reception sites are beyond walking distance, what are the transportation options?

Can we use a caterer, florist, musicians, and officiant of our choice, or are we obligated to work with your vendors?

How are the spaces normally decorated? Are there particular themes available? What is the price range?

Do you have a curfew or volume restriction on music?

What types of activities can our guests participate in before and after the wedding?

Are children permitted at the resort? If so, what facilities exist for them?

Has the property been hit by bad weather recently and suffered any damages?

Are any renovations planned, and if so, will noise disturb the festivities?

Does the property carry liability insurance? Is it necessary for us to buy additional event insurance?

Who would be our primary contact person if we decide to book our wedding here? Can we meet with him before we go?

How much of a deposit is required, under what circumstances is it refundable, and when is the final payment due?

How soon should we plan on arriving before the wedding?

Getting direct answers that you’re comfortable with can confirm that you’ve come to the right place to hold your destination wedding.