Congratulations!! You’re engaged and interested in choosing an all-inclusive destination wedding package!! You’re in the right place, and I’m so glad you’re here!
Planning a wedding can certainly be an overwhelming experience, and taking it ‘on the road’ – especially to an international destination – can really add to that chaos!
There are so many aspects of a wedding; styles and colors to choose from, cake flavors and style, wedding decor, reception music… a seemingly endless number of options. So where do you start?
Luckily for you, an all-inclusive destination wedding package tends to make this whole process a heck of a lot easier! All-inclusive resorts with wedding venues that offer destination wedding packages have gone through this very process hundreds of times, and most have it down to a science!
What’s included in an all-inclusive destination wedding package?
The answer is… it depends 😀 Truthfully, every resort or brand is different and offers their own unique packages and inclusions. However, most of them offer some version of these same wedding components and allow you to choose things like themes, colors, styles, and more. Never fear; there’s ALWAYS room for customization so you can make your dream wedding a reality!
Most destination wedding packages at all inclusive resorts will include the following wedding components:
This might be a cocktail party, maybe a true rehearsal dinner, or something similar. Heads up, the ‘included’ version of this rehearsal event is typically priced out for just a small group; maybe your bridal party and immediate family. But you can always add more guests if you want this event to be open to all of your guests.
Of course an all inclusive destination wedding package will include the wedding!
There are typically two routes you can take for your destination wedding ceremony: having a legal ceremony, or having a symbolic ceremony. You can read more about these two options here.**
Usually, your all-inclusive wedding package will include chairs for your guests, a backdrop/arch of some kind, and at least one bouquet and boutonniere for the bride and groom (or two of whichever you choose, of course!)
Most all-inclusive resorts have multiple wedding venues to choose from, some of which will be included ‘free’ in your wedding package, while the more premium spaces might require an additional fee or deposit.
After you’ve exchanged vows and said “I do” to your beloved, the party’s almost ready to begin! Next you two will probably take wedding photos while your guests head to the next wedding event.
A cocktail hour is typically included in an all-inclusive destination wedding package, too!
Depending on the resort we choose for your wedding, this could be a private or semi-private event, with hors d’oeuvre and champagne, cocktails, or really, whatever you want it to look like!
This is a great time for your guests to relax, grab a drink, maybe take a few photos of their own in your gorgeous destination while they’re all dressed up! .. and then comes the party!!
Just about every all-inclusive destination wedding package includes a reception (though there are certainly packages that don’t, if you’re looking for a more intimate and quiet experience). And why not? Your guests did pay to travel to your chosen destination, after all. You can definitely give them a great party they’ll be talking about for years to come!
Just like all the other aspects of your dream destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort, your destination wedding reception is totally customizable, from the music to the drinks, decor, food, and more!
Whether you want to boogie on the beach, dance the night away in a ballroom, or enjoy the moonlit rooftop reception venue, your perfect destination wedding after-party is waiting for you!
What isn’t included in an all-inclusive destination wedding package?
Now that I’ve covered most of the wedding components that are usually included at resorts, let’s talk about some of the ‘extras’ that are common for destination wedding couples to have, but may not be included in a resort’s official wedding packages.
These are the kinds of over-the-top awesome experiences that help you really leave an impression and provide an outstanding experience for your guests! Trust me, if you host any of these events at your destination wedding, your guests will never forget your big day!!
Welcome Party or Cocktail Party
Most destination wedding couples that throw a welcome party do so on the day that most of their guests arrive. It’s just a nice way to acknowledge the huge amount of effort (and money) that went into your guests’ arrival, to thank them for being there, and to get to actually see your guests all at once!! (Depending on the resort** you choose for your destination wedding, getting everyone together or ‘making the rounds’ to see them all can be a bit difficult)
Group Excursion or Experience
Catamaran tours, sunset sailings, tequila tasting (or rum tasting, wine tasting, food tasting – whatever you’re into) – the possibilities are endless for choosing a super fun activity to do with your guests!
There are SO many ways to do this:
I’ve had couples plan outings for their immediate families only – what better way to get to know your future in-laws than to be with them on a boat all afternoon!? Others who have bridal party only excursions – after all, they agreed to stand by your side on your big day.. In a foreign country! And others who have opened the floodgates and allowed all their friends and family join in on the fun!
Some couples pay for their guests’ experience, while some offer the option for their guests to book into their existing experience. Truthfully, there is no ‘etiquette’ here – no need to feel obligated one way or another.
Consider this your permission to do whatever is right for YOU!
Other options available to couples wishing to plan a unique experience for their guests at their destination weddings are private events, like a ‘farewell brunch’ on the day most people are leaving, or the day after the wedding (just leave time for hang overs!).. Or private mixology classes, or basically anything you can dream up!
Remember, one of the beautiful things about planning an all inclusive destination wedding is that you can provide your guests with an incredible value, a beautiful destination, a gorgeous wedding, and as many customizations as you can dream up!
When you’re ready to get started planning your dream destination wedding, I’ll be here!