Category Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding Packages

If you are considering a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort, you have likely found a staggering number of options. But how do you know what’s included? Are the free wedding packages really free? What kind of things carries an extra charge? Here’s what you need to know!

Free wedding packages: Most all-inclusive resorts offer a complimentary wedding package. But there is usually some criteria you have to meet to get it. Typically the bride and groom will need to stay in an upgraded room category for an average of 7 nights. You may also be required to fill 5 to 10 additional rooms with your guests for anywhere from 3 to 5 nights. Please bear in mind that free wedding packages are very basic. Free wedding packages never include the marriage license fees. This will be an additional charge of $250.00 to $500.00, dependent upon the destination.

What should we expect to pay for a wedding package? There are a lot of great promos available for weddings. If you’ve got 50 people on your guest list, you can expect to spend anywhere from $3500.00 to $20,000.00 on your wedding, dependent upon a number of factors. The Ultimate Memorable Moments package from Karisma Hotels is one of our favorites, as you get everything you need for 40 people for $10,000.00! Some hotels have great offers if you hold your wedding on a Tuesday rather than a Saturday.

Can we have a private reception at an all-inclusive resort? We get this question a lot! Some all-inclusive resorts will allow your wedding party to make reservations at one of their restaurants following your wedding. However, many all-inclusive resorts don’t allow this, as they either don’t have space, or it interferes with the experience of the resort’s other guests. If you’re on a budget, and have less than 20 guests, finding a resort that will allow your wedding party to dine together at one of the restaurants following your wedding could save you thousands of dollars. We can help you sort out which ones allow for this, and which are a better fit if you want a completely private event.

Can I bring my own photographer? Yes, you can, but there’s a fee for it. Most all-inclusive resorts have everything you need for your wedding. If you bring your own wedding vendors, you’re taking away from the local economy. Most resorts do charge an outside vendor fee of $300.00 to $1000.00, dependent upon the resort, and the vendor you want to bring. Some hotels we work with will waive the fee if certain conditions are met.

Can my guests stay somewhere else and just come to the resort for my wedding? Most resorts do sell day passes. Day passes usually run about $100.00 per person. Hotels sell a limited number of passes per day on a first come, first serve basis. They cannot be purchased in advance. Most hotels won’t sell day passes if the occupancy rate is higher than 80%. The pass will allow your guest to enjoy the resort for a few hours on your wedding day. In short, there’s no guarantee that your guest will be able to get a day pass, and could miss your wedding. We always recommend that your guests stay at the hotel instead.

Do I need a travel agent, wedding coordinator, or both? Planning a wedding ceremony and managing travel are two completely different skill sets. The resort’s wedding coordinator is the best person to guide you through your ceremony and reception. There’s no need to also hire a local wedding planner. A wedding travel agent will manage the travel for you and your guests, saving you hours of work and frustration.

If you’re planning a destination wedding and could use a little assistance, contact the pros at Bliss Honeymoons today!

World’s most lavish destination wedding venues

Coco Prive, a private island in the Maldives

Coco Prive
Courtesy of Zapwater Communications

What’s more intimate than renting out an entire island for a wedding? Not much.

That’s exactly what you can do at Coco Prive, a private island in the Maldives. The average venue rate is $45,000 per night, and includes a variety of inclusive services such as a private chef, unlimited drinks, unlimited diving and access to personal staff. According to Venue Report, the venue can only accommodate 12 people.

In total, initial costs for a wedding at Coco Prive can reach around $315,000 for a seven-night getaway wedding, based on the nightly rate provided by Venue Report.

Traveling to the Maldives isn’t cheap, either. Couples looking to be gracious hosts that are planning to pay for travel costs of their guests can expect to pay a large sum, too. A single ticket to the Maldives from New York City can cost around $1,247 on Emirates Airlines, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time this article was written. For a party of 12, that means covering everyone’s flights could cost around $15,000 alone.

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte
Alexander Ipfelkofer/Getty Images

Looking for a fairy tale wedding? Then look no further than the French castle Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.

Located just outside of Paris, the chateau was the inspiration for Versailles, one of the most famous establishments in the world. It’s also the largest private estate listed as a historical monument in France.

The Grand Salon and West Wing areas of the chateau will run around $47,500, including tax. Staff and coordination fees are $6,100 and chateau insurance is $1,100, both also including tax.

For an additional cost, you can rent the library and buffet room for $24,250. How about some fireworks? That will cost around an additional $11,000 — but that doesn’t include the cleaning costs afterward.

In total, renting the chateau and having fireworks will cost about $90,000. That cost will increase once catering, lighting and other considerations are arranged.

The New York Public Library

New York Public Library
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

No, not just Carrie Bradshaw gets to have a wedding at the New York Public Library. Anyone can have their wedding here — it just comes at a hefty cost.

This massive library, first opened in 1911, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City. Renting the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building starts at $60,000 and requires hiring a professional wedding planner, which can cost between $5,000 – $10,000, according to Angie’s List.

On top of the overall rental fee, the library requires some additional — and unconventional — costs.

For example, the venue’s guidelines warn couples of the potential need of a supplemental dumpster, which is not included in the rental cost. The rental fee includes a five-hour rental time; celebrations lasting longer will be charged a per hour fee. If couples want photos on the front steps next to the legendary lions (which, by the way, are named Patience and Fortitude), it will also require an additional fee and insurance costs, since they are trademarked.

Food, decorations and beverage packages are not included in the rental fee.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Umaid Bhawan Palace
Leisa Tyler/Getty Images

For those who think they’ve never heard of Umaid Bhawan Palace, think again: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas held their wedding ceremony and reception at the hotel in 2018. The palace, located in Jodhpur, India, is estimated to have cost the couple over $460,000 in rental fees alone for their three-day celebration, according to E! News.

According to Wedding.net, accommodations at the palace vary by how grand the wedding is intended to be. The indoor space can seat 250 people, while the outdoor space has capacity for up to 1,200 people. The cost per plate starts around $90, meaning even a modest wedding could easily serve up $20,000 or so in food costs alone, excluding tax or other add-on charges for items such as lighting, decorations, fireworks, alcohol and more.

Umaid Bhawan Palace hosts over 300 rooms and spans across 26 acres. The hotel located inside has a fine-dining restaurant, marble bathrooms and a spa. Pricing of rooms vary, but the royal bedroom suite, which sleeps up to three guests had a $1,300 nightly rate according to hotel booking information at the time of writing.

Flying to Jodhpur is costly, too; a single round-trip ticket from New York City can run around $1,500 and includes multiple layovers, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time of writing.

Palazzo Avino

Palazzo Avino in Italy
Courtesy of Palazzo Avino
This 12th century Italian villa is located on the hill top of Ravello, a village on the Mediterranean Sea. With a town hall only 150 meters from the hotel, Palazzo Avino is the spot for the reception.

Dinner can host up to 120 people and the rental fee starts at $5,650, plus tax. Welcome cocktails start at $45 per person, hors d’oeuvres at $17 per person, and a set dinner menu at $203 per person (drinks not included). Couples wanting to rent the terrace overlooking the ocean will have to fork over an additional $565.

For a wedding reception including the maximum 120 people, this can put total costs around $38,000. Accommodations are booked separately and can cost as much as $400 per night. Assuming each room housed two guests, that could leave the bride and groom with $24,000 in accommodation costs alone.

Getting to the Amalfi Coast requires flying to Naples first, which can cost around $1,000 per ticket, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time of writing.

Tips for destination wedding planning

Destination wedding planning, that’s what this section is all about!  Knowledge is power,  especially when it comes to planning a destination wedding.  When you know what to expect and you have the right tools, you’ll save yourself a lot of money, time and stress!  Check out all the info on this page for invaluable tips and unique ideas that will make your journey to “I do” a lot smoother.

9 Tips for Successful Destination Wedding Planning

  1. Do a site visit!

    I start with this tip because it can not only eliminate 99% of your destination wedding planning concerns but also aid with the other 8 tips on this list! More about destination wedding site visits.

  2. Excite your guests

    You’re asking friends/family to make a significant commitment of their time and money. This is their vacation too, so you should excite them about the trip.  When I got married, 95% of the people we invited showed up. I chose a fun, affordable location that was a relatively short flight from home. But most importantly, I set the tone from the moment save-the-dates went out. By the time they got formal invitations in the mail, they knew this celebration was going to be unlike anything they’d ever witnessed and they were excited to be a part of it.

  3. Do it all from home

    After all the destination wedding planning, this should be a vacation for you too. Complete as many tasks as possible while you’re still home so that when you arrive at your location, you can relax instead of running errands.  Almost everything can be done from home via e-mail or phone. Make sure you have all the details finalized and in writing before you leave.

  4. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

    Destination wedding planning requires giving up a lot of control to someone in another country who might not even be fluent in your language.  You will not be able to micro-manage every single aspect the way you would if you were tying the knot in your hometown. Don’t get so caught up in tiny details that you don’t enjoy the experience.

  5. Plan Another Event

    pre destination wedding planningWhat I’m about to advise might sound contradictory, but stay with me. You shouldn’t over-plan for your guests.  You’ve probably chosen a really nice location and you should let your guests enjoy their vacation. Planning too many events won’t leave them any free time to explore and do their own thing.  That being said, you should arrange at least one event (welcome cocktails or rehearsal dinner) prior to the big day as a way to thank your guests for making the trip.  It’s also a great opportunity for them to get to know each other. You might even be able to negotiate this for free as part of your group reservation.

  6. Send Invitations Early

    Invitations need to be mailed much earlier than a traditional hometown marriage. You have to give your guests plenty of time to request time off from work, save money, snag the best airfares, arrange for babysitting, etc… Send them out at least 2-3 months ahead of time. More on when to mail your invitations.

  7. Thank Your Guests

    As your friends and family arrive, it’s important to show them how much you appreciate them traveling the distance to be a part of your big day. Plan a welcome party or dinner, greet them with a welcome bag full of goodies like flip flops, snacks, an area map and water bottles. Another easy and inexpensive idea is to include a heartfelt thank you note in your program.

  8. Dress Appropriately

    It’s your big day so by all means, if you’ve always dreamed of a velvet, Cinderella ball gown, go for it.  But if you want to be comfortable, keep in mind your location’s climate when choosing a dress. You can go as elegant or casual as you want, but choose lighter fabrics like chiffon, organza, crepe, silk georgette or tulle. More tips and pictures of beach wedding dresses.

  9. Remember The Honeymoon

    destination wedding planning and honeymoonAfter spending days with a group of people, I can almost guarantee that you and your new spouse will be craving some alone time. The beauty of destination wedding planning is that you can combine it with your honeymoon. Instead of spending time and money jetting off to a whole other country, consider having your honeymoon in the same place.

    How?

    After you tie the knot, ditch your guests and go to another resort or town where it’s just the two of you.  I got married in touristy Cancun where I spent a week with family and friends in a massive five star resort. For my honeymoon, I headed to the more quaint town of Playa del Carmen, an hour south of Cancun and stayed in an intimate boutique hotel. I was in the same country but it felt like worlds apart.

Destination wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming if you do it properly and keep these tips in mind.