Destination Wedding Planning Questions

A couple of deciding factors to consider when choosing a destination for your wedding is the expense involved with certain destinations and the travel time for you and your guests. Are you looking for a great value or something more exotic? It’s important to be budget conscious for your guests and to consider whether they’re traveling for the weekend or can travel for a longer time.

Mexico is the top destination for Caribbean destination weddings because it has the most resorts at the best values. You can still find great value in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Locations like Costa Rica and the smaller Caribbean islands can have much steeper price points with less all-inclusive options on offer. To put it simply, it’s more likely your guests will attend in Mexico over Bermuda, which could be a pro for some couples and a con for others.

Planning a destination wedding is different for every couple, but typically a year is a common length for planning. The sooner you get your deposit in the sooner you can reserve your wedding date, as most resorts only host a few weddings per day. We recommend allowing your guests seven months or more to book, as the more time they have the lower the rates can be. You can learn more about the planning process by visiting our timeline tool here.

The legal requirements depend on the country and ceremony type. For symbolic ceremonies, there is much less work involved. Civil ceremonies require more document fees and can require a local judge or minister at an additional cost. To learn more about the difference between symbolic and civil ceremonies, and the legal requirements for a civil ceremony visit our detailed article here.

Destination weddings offer flexibility in the financial aspects of planning. It is common for the couple to pay for their wedding package and room. Guests typically pay for their own travel fare and rooms. If you would like to help cover costs associated with specific guests, Destify is able to assist in managing these payments towards other’s packages. By hosting a wedding at an all-inclusive resort, the food and drink costs are built into the room rate. You can learn more about the costs in comparison to a local wedding here.

An entry-level wedding package most commonly includes minimal ceremony decoration, a ceremony location, and a small guestlist capacity. They work well for small wedding parties, or as starting points to add customizations too. However, every package is set up to welcome additional guests at an additional cost should you exceed the capacity.

Yes, however, they often have stipulations that must be met such as a minimum number of rooms or nights booked. You can learn more about them here.

That’s up to you. Some couples choose a casual, beach-inspired dress code while others may choose formal attire. Your wedding venue will be a large factor in this decision as heels, long dresses, and full suit jackets typically do not work well for daytime beach venues. It may be important to note that some resort restaurants require a dress code at dinner, which often won’t allow for men to wear shorts or open-toed sandal, for after your ceremony.

We recommend always bringing your dress with you as a carry-on. Bridal boxes with handles are available and designed specifically for carrying wedding dresses. Garment bags are also available but may be more difficult to carry.

Ceremony Questions

Wedding packages can be very customizable. Resorts typically offer a number of themes and color options, from classically white to beach-inspired motifs. They are always up for your suggestions and can offer other vendors if you have a specific theme in mind.

As little or as much as you want! Many resorts welcome customizations to their already offered packages and will work with you to make sure you have the personalization you desire. Additional costs may be required.

Few resorts will permit this. Some reasons why they are not permitted include being in lush populated areas, or even because the resort features thatched roofs that are easily flammable. The resorts that do allow it will still require that the lanterns are biodegradable and base the launch on that day’s weather.

Yes, depending on your resort. It is very common for a resort to have an a la carte wedding menu should you choose that over a preset package. In comparison, couples typically save money by choosing a package as many things are bundled together at a lower rate.

Yes, many resorts can accommodate Indian weddings and offer packages specifically for this style of event. The biggest deciding factor will be if the resort can accommodate a larger sized guestlist if necessary. Some resorts even train their wedding department specifically on Indian weddings, so they are knowledgeable of the traditions, and prepared for each ceremony and event.

Yes, many resorts offer unique fireworks or sparkler packages at an additional charge.

Yes! Depending on the resort, it’s possible to book musicians, fire dancers, Mayan drummers, and many other performance artists for your wedding.

This differs by the resort you choose, along with the actual ceremony venue. Some resorts offer private gazebos or sections of the resort for your ceremony. It is not uncommon for some beach ceremonies to include spectators simply because beaches aren’t always private at every resort. If this is an important topic to you, it’s good to learn more about the resorts you are interested in and their ceremony locations.

Reception Questions

A semi-private dinner is more cost effective and included in most wedding packages. It is hosted in a sectioned area at one of the resort restaurants and is limited to a small number of guests. Some resorts may require a set menu for your guests depending on the size of your party. There will be no music, but this option works well if you plan to use the resort’s bars and entertainment after dinner.

A private reception is an additional cost, allowing for couples to include unique menus or themed buffets, typically at a per person rate. You will have your own secluded space and private wait staff to give attention to your group. There is also more freedom in the flexibility to do what you want with the space, from decor and table open bar, to DJ and dance floor.

For either a semi-private or private reception, gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. What is served is ultimately up to what you would like. A semi-private dinner menu will rely on the type of restaurant you have chosen while a private reception allows you to choose. Many resorts offer a traditional surf and turf option, or you can be more adventurous with their local cuisine menu.

For private receptions, the cost of the wait and bar staff are included in the cost. For semi-private events, typically waiters already working are assigned to the group.

This will be handled by your wedding coordinator. In some cases, it will be at a certain bar on-site or hosted in a private location.

Additional Guests and Services

This will vary by the resort chosen. Most wedding packages require that at least 80% of your wedding guests be staying on-site at your resort. A day pass for an off-site guest often costs about ½ the price of a one-night stay.

There is an additional fee for guests at a ceremony if the capacity exceeds the built-in number. This differs by resort. For a simple ceremony there may be an extra fee in place simply to pay for an additional chair. If your wedding includes a private reception or dinner there may be a higher additional charge in place per extra guest in order to pay for their food, drinks, and other accommodations.

The answer is almost always yes, depending on the event’s time slot. Additional charges will differ by the resort. Most outdoor events must end by 11pm, indoor events (such as ballrooms) offer more flexibility in how late they can run.

Some resorts will waive this fee if the vendor is staying a minimum of three nights at the resort. In most cases, an outside vendor fee applies with an average range of $150 – $500.

Yes, many resorts offer salons, and even bridal suites for you and your party to get ready. Some wedding packages will even include hair and makeup as a perk or at a discounted rate.

It is possible to have an ordained minister perform your symbolic ceremony. Many couples find their wedding more personal by having a loved one or close friend of the family perform this ceremony. For a civil ceremony, this varies by country but is typically not permitted as there are certain rules and restrictions that must be followed.

Yes, many resorts will happily help give out your gift bags. This may mean giving them out upon check-in, or placing them in their rooms as they arrive. Fees may apply.

Travel Agent Questions

Our job is to handle the entire “booking” half of your wedding, from travel to guest accommodations, so that you can focus on your big day. On top of handling all of the travel arrangements we also guarantee the best rates possible.

Booking with us ensures the most perks for both you and your guests. Each resort offers different perks based on the number of rooms booked, so by booking together, you could receive great extras at no additional costs. For your guest, we provide a free service, from the day they book until after they return from vacation. We guarantee the lowest booking rates, with low deposit and payment plan options in order to make it affordable for everyone. We can also price match other competitors.

Our services are completely free, along with the customized wedding website, dashboard, and mobile app available to you. We work off commission through the resort directly. It is similar to using a real estate agent, who doesn’t get paid unless you purchase the house. Therefore it is always in our best interest to give you the best service and find you and your guests the best rates available without having to charge you any additional fees.

The resorts we offer have a wedding coordinator built into your wedding package costs. They will handle all of your decor and requests, event booking at the resort, and will be on-site once you get to the resort. We are also on hand to offer assistance by working with your resort’s wedding department. We help you get in contact with them personally, while also having their contact information for you easily accessible in your wedding dashboard. The wedding dashboard is created for you and serves as an online portal to make coordinating your wedding easier.

Other than your common travel necessities, it is important to make sure your passport and license or identification card are valid for up to 6 months after your wedding, along with your guests’ passports. It’s important to check out the TSA’s list of prohibited items for traveling, which you can visit here.

You can also learn more about the easiest way to get through TSA here.

Many couples bring wedding gifts, welcome gifts, or even their own decor, which often requires items to be shipped to the resort. Each resort has their own shipping guidelines to make this easier, and your agent can assist you in learning more about a country’s shipping customs.

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