Yay! You’re engaged and planning a destination wedding!!!
Diving in and researching destination wedding locations and contacting destination resorts…
Couples’ can quickly become overwhelmed….
Typically resort wedding departments’ do not respond very quickly and when they do respond, the information they send often leaves couples with even more questions.
Here are the first steps to planning a destination wedding.
1. The First step in planning a destination wedding is to decide on your budget.
This is ground zero and it is the first step in planning your wedding.
Who will be contributing to the budget?
If others will be helping to pay for the wedding, then the couple should have a discussion with each person to find out exactly how much they are willing to contribute. Never assume that the budget is unlimited. Couples come to me and said that their family said they will be paying for the wedding… only once has that meant ….No budget…Generally, there is a limit to what people are willing to contribute.
Your budget will dictate the following:
- the destination
- how many guests to invite
- the type of resort (all-inclusive vs. European Plan)
- the overall style of the wedding
- the activities you include
- the décor
2. Step two, pick the Destination.
With the budget set, it is time to decide on the Destination for your Destination Wedding. Will it be Mexico, the Bahamas, Amalfi Coast?
Beach destinations are definitely most popular for Destination Weddings.
There are many tropical destinations to choose from.
Your budget and your guests’ budgets dictate the best destination to choose.
Choosing a destination that offers ease of travel will save time and money for your guests.
Choosing a destination that has access to goods will mean lower costs of rental items and décor.
3. Choose the Host Resort.
Once you have settled on the Destination now you can select the perfect Host Resort for your destination wedding.
NOTE: All resorts will require that the majority (often 80% to 90%) of your guests stay at the host resort in order to have your event there. Also, the lingering effects of the pandemic mean that many resorts are not allowing guests who are staying elsewhere to come onto the property to attend events.
Your budget and the guest count will determine the type of resort you choose. All-inclusive or European Plan.
What is the difference between a European Plan resort and an All-Inclusive resort?
European Plan resorts have a PER ROOM rate. Often these resorts charge more for the room if more than 2 people will be staying in the room.
European Plan resorts do not typically include any food or beverages in the room cost. This means that your guests will need to budget for the cost of all food and beverages they consume when at the resort. Often resorts are not near towns where guests can go off-property to get something to eat. The cost of all beverages, bar drinks, and food can quickly add up for guests at a European Plan resort.
All-Inclusive resorts charge a PER PERSON rate vs the per room rate. At All-inclusive resorts, most or all food and beverages including alcoholic drinks are included in the room rate. All-inclusive resorts are good options for guests attending a destination wedding. In the months leading up to the wedding guests are typically able to make payments towards their room and then outside of tipping, spa services or excursions guests do not have any large expenses once in the destination.
Still feel lost?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the process, we are here to help!