All Inclusive destination weddings are extremely popular, but like everything else, they’re not cut out for everyone. Are you on the fence about having an all inclusive destination wedding? In this post, I’m going to break down all the pros & cons of all inclusive destination weddings so that you can determine if it’s the best option for you. I’m also going to give you a list of questions to ask your venue before you sign the dotted line. And finally, I’ll share a list of some of the most popular and best all inclusive resorts for a destination wedding.
Advantages of All Inclusive Destination Weddings
An all-inclusive destination wedding is a great option if you’re looking for a fuss-free destination wedding where everything is handled for you. Most resorts have an on-site planner who will take care of every detail so that you can just relax and enjoy your big day.
All-Inclusive means that everything is included in your package–the room rate, food, drinks, tips, taxes, and a basic ceremony (sometimes a small reception dinner too). You can pretty much just pack away your wallet because you won’t have to shell out a dime during your stay.
Most all-inclusive resorts have pre-made destination wedding packages so you can just choose your favorite, add any extras you want and their planner will take care of the rest. Keep in mind that most all inclusive resorts will allow you to also customize your package if you don’t like what’s included in their premade packages so don’t be afraid to ask.
There are some resorts that even offer free all-inclusive destination wedding packages if you book a minimum number of nights in a premium room category, or guarantee a certain number of guests will book rooms. If you want the inside scoop on these free destination wedding packages, make sure you read this post: Are Free Destination Weddings Really Free?
So far, so great, right?
You might have read up until this point and thought to yourself, “this sounds perfect to me, say no more!” But keep in mind that depending on your budget, expectations, and personality, all inclusive destination weddings might not be the best fit for you.
Disadvantages of All Inclusive Destination Weddings
Less Personalized Attention
Since all inclusive destination weddings are so popular, there are usually other weddings booked on the same day and even at the same time as yours. This is a huge no-no for some couples, especially if you’re the type of person who wants personalized attention on your big day. With other weddings taking place on the same day, you could be treated like just another number instead of getting the personalized attention you rightfully deserve. You might not even have a totally private ceremony because they’re usually held in semi-public spaces where other resort guests can look on as you exchange vows, even if it’s from a relatively safe distance.
Less Control Over Vendors
All Inclusive destination weddings often include photography, flowers, cake and other items in their package. This could be fantastic if you don’t want to be bothered and want your planning to be as fuss-free as possible. But you might find that the resort’s vendors are not up to your standards or they don’t offer the level of services you’ve always dreamed. So let’s say, you want to bring an amazing outside photographer to shoot your wedding, some all-inclusive resorts either won’t allow you to or they will charge you what is commonly known as an “outside vendor” fee.
It’s Not Always the Most Cost Efficient Option
Most people have the belief that all-inclusive resorts are always the most cost-effective option but that’s not necessarily the case. Let’s say that you’re a foodie who loves to explore different local restaurants–an all-inclusive resort might not be a good fit for you. It doesn’t make sense to pay for an all-inclusive resort stay if you’re going to dine and drink at offsite restaurants every day.
Contrary to popular belief, there are instances where you might actually save money by staying at a non-all inclusive resort.
This brings me to my next point…
Some of your guests might get sticker shock when they see the rates and think that an all-inclusive is out of their budget. The truth is that in most cases, an all-inclusive resort is the best financial option if you’re going to take full advantage of everything that is included (i.e. food/drinks/amenities). But some of your guests might decide that the rate for an all-inclusive resort is too much cash to fork over at once and choose to stay elsewhere. The problem is that when couples book all inclusive destination weddings, the resort will often charge the couple a hefty guest pass fee for those guests who are not staying on site. And this can add up to big bucks.
Whether you choose to have a destination wedding at an all-inclusive or non-all-inclusive resort is a matter of personal preference. All inclusive destination weddings are awesome and the only option for many couples, so if you’ve decided this is how you want to tie the knot, your next question might be…
What are the best resorts for all inclusive destination weddings? There are many options but below is a list of the most popular all-inclusive resorts with properties all over the Caribbean and Mexico.
Popular Resorts for All Inclusive Destinations Weddings
Here’s a list of some of the most popular resorts with awesome beach wedding packages.
- Hard Rock
- Moon Palace
Check out our destination wedding vendor directory to find more awesome all-inclusive resorts.
If you want to plan a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, check out this post for a really great list of all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya and Cancun area.
Questions you should ask before you book an all-inclusive destination wedding package
- Do they have an on-site wedding planner/coordinator and do they assist with legalities, documents and other marriage requirements?
- What are the times and locations available for your ceremony and reception?
- Can they send you photos of the layout for each ceremony and reception venue?
- How many people can each ceremony/reception venue accommodate?
- Is the ceremony in a private area?
- Is a private reception included in the package?
- How many ceremonies do they book each day and how far apart are they (time & distance)?
- What types of packages do they offer? Are the packages pre-set or can you make substitutions or choose elements individually (food, decoration, drinks etc.)?
- Can you bring outside vendors and if so, is there a fee?
- Is there a fee for guests staying off-site?
- Do they have pictures of real weddings they’ve planned?
- How much deposit do they require and when is the balance due?
- Is it an adults-only or family-friendly property?
- What type of liquor is included in the package (house brands or premium)?
- How many rooms does the property have?
- Can you reserve a block of rooms at a group discount?
- What is the total room rate per night including taxes?
- What’s the cancellation policy?
- How far is the airport and do they offer transfers/transportation?
- Do they anticipate any construction or renovations during the dates you plan to stay there?
- If the resort has sister properties, will you have access to the restaurants, pools, and bars at the other properties?
All Inclusive destination weddings can be beautiful, fuss-free and memorable if planned right and you know what to expect.
Check out my post on different types of destination wedding venue options and the pros/cons of each.
Featured: All Inclusive Site Visits
Do you want to visit the best all-inclusive resorts and see for yourself what their destination wedding packages are all about? Find out how you can visit some of the top venues with the guidance of an expert destination wedding planner – before you book the date! Click here to read more…