Destination Weddings

PLEASE HELP! DESTINATION WEDDING NIGHTMARE

Hello Everyone, I am at my wits end and I have nowhere else to turn. My fiancé and I are trying to plan a destination wedding on a very tight budget. I have spent endless hours researching all-inclusive resorts in multiple countries. We have about 15 people that would like to come along (they will paying their own way) and our budget is around $3,000.00. This includes hotel, flight and wedding costs. I have found many resorts that work for us and our friends and family in regards to our budget only to be slapped in the face by the fact that these resorts charge extra for a wedding ceremony. The cost is usually anywhere from $1500-2800 on top of the room and flight. I am just looking for a simple ceremony on the beach where our closest family and friends can watch and then we can all go to one of the restaurants for a nice dinner. There has got to be at least one all-inclusive resort out there that offers a complimentary wedding. We need to be at $3000.00 but the maximum amount of money we can spend is 4 Grand. If anyone has had a DW and can help guide me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it. I am at the point where I don’t even want to get married. I am maxed out and looking for a miracle. Thank you for any help you may offer!

Re: PLEASE HELP! DESTINATION WEDDING NIGHTMARE

  • malynamalyna member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    When are you trying to have the wedding? If you are doing it off season it is much cheaper. How many nights are you wanting to stay? Where are you flying from? These are all important factors.
  • I've never heard of a complimentary wedding and I don't know that you will find that anyhwere.  Perhaps you can just look for local officiant to come and marry you on the beach?  Then you only pay the officiant and for the marriage license.  Our officiant costs $300, and that's in Maui so I imagine that's on the high end.  
  • I have looked into Couples Resorts in Jamaica, they a have a few different locations, and they offer a complimentary wedding ceremony if you stay at least 6 nights. However, that's for a very simple ceremony and only for the bride and groom. The next cheapest ceremony the offer is $750, the package includes more and it allows up to 10 guests. 
    jenna8984Knottie37373131
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    With the limited budget, you may want to look into a cruise ship wedding. That is what we are doing. It's not really an all-inclusive beach resort, but it is all-inclusive, provides a fun relaxing vacation, and still takes you to tropical beaches. You could do a shorter 3-4 day cruise for very affordable cruise fare, especially if you are able to go off season (meaning, basically anytime except summer).  We are doing embarkation wedding on Carnival, so our wedding will be on the ship before it leaves port for the trip, which allows us to have some people come to wedding without having to go on the cruise. But, they do also offer packages for weddings at the various stops/ports, so you could still have a beach wedding at a tropical location. According to their website (http://www.carnival.com/wedding-cruises.aspx), their island wedding packages run about $2,000, but that includes everything for ceremony, officiant, flowers, cake, transportation to wedding location, etc., so if you keep it simple you really don't need to spend much more than that.  With ours, we opted for the larger wedding/reception package, which cost about $2000 total, and I think we've only paid a few hundred more above that, because we opted for upgraded cake, hired their DJ for a reception in the dance club, and lunch for all non-sailing guests.  But, you really just need to show up with a dress and they really cover all the other necessities. Other cruise lines offer wedding packages also, but Carnival would be most cost effective.  Plus, from all the research I've done, their wedding department is easier to work with than some of the others (my experience with them has been awesome and they've been great to work with).  It's kind of nice knowing that all the important things are handled and I don't need to stress over it.

    You should be able to easily do the cruise and wedding within your budget.  And it may be cheaper for all of your guests than paying for travel & hotel at all-inclusive resort.  Travel costs would also be reduced since you wouldn't need international flight.  Airfare within US is usually cheaper, or you may even be within driving distance of a port, which would save even more cost. About 1/2 our guests are driving to cruise port for my wedding (some even driving about 1,000 miles), rather than spending more money on airfare.

    The photo packages from their photographer can get pretty expensive (photographer's time is included in the package cost, but you have to purchase the photos separate), but you could just have your guests take photos to save money there.  I'd suggest to still let cruise photographer take photos also (since it won't cost anything), and then maybe purchase one or two good photos to frame.  Then use digital photos from guests for everything else.

     

    So, that may be an alternate idea for you to consider or look into.  When we started discussing wanting a small wedding, my mom mentioned that idea of cruise wedding, and we fell in love with the idea as soon as we started looking into it.  We are now only ONE WEEK away from our wedding (June 22) and I'm still happy with our choice and have been very satisfied with the process. And it's so exciting to think that in a week I'll be married and leaving for an amazing cruise vacation, all in the same day.

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    malynaSarahWinsjaprincess24
  • I replied to your post on the "familymoon" thread, but here it is again. Good luck!

    We are having our wedding at Dreams Resort in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. It's near Cancún, but less expensive. The resort offers a simple wedding package for free if you have 5 rooms booked with your group for 3 or more nights. It's only for 10 guests, so you'd have to pay extra for the other 5, but it should be well worth it. My fiancé and I were able to get our plane tickets for around $1000 total, and we got a group rate on the rooms that brought it to $117/person/night. Our wedding is in December, and so far everything has been fantastic as far as planning goes, no complaints! Hope this helps, good luck! Here is the website: http://www.dreamsresorts.com/puerto-aventuras/weddings
  • The Palace resorts have a credit that you can use towards a wedding package. I know they have one in Cancun, and they are also all inclusive.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • aprill121aprill121 member
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited June 2014

    Airfare and room for you and groom is to be included in your budget correct?

    I am getting married in Vieques Puerto Rico, flights are about 300 a person, and my wedding planner owns a villa that she offers at discounted rates for brides. I am working with Bodas Weddings, they have been fabulous ad very affordable. All inclusive resorts can be a bit pricey. hat was where I started looking. Then I found Weddings to go key west, but I wanted farther south than FL. But Weddings to go Key West has very affordable price, if you like FL as an option. Then I started looking into cruise ship weddings, I really liked the idea (I cruise every year). However, for me spending 2000 on a 2 hour reception was too much. Then I found Bodas Wedding planners (http://www.bodas-weddings.com/), and they have been able to meet all of my requests and come under my budget (bonus!). If you look at some villas many times it can double as a ceremony/reception venue. You can get beach front villas, or get a villa large enough to share and split the cost. Start looking outside the box of all inclusive, and you may find what you are looking for :)   Hope this helps!

  • Sandals provides complimentary weddings. I am getting married at a Sandals resort and am spending about $4000 for 7 nights. They have free wedding packages, and you can choose to add-on. I will be adding about $300 plus photography. They take care of all of your paperwork and make it really easy to get married at their destinations.
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    CJandRyanmalyna
  • BreMRBreMR member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    SarahWins said:
    I replied to your post on the "familymoon" thread, but here it is again. Good luck!

    We are having our wedding at Dreams Resort in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. It's near Cancún, but less expensive. The resort offers a simple wedding package for free if you have 5 rooms booked with your group for 3 or more nights. It's only for 10 guests, so you'd have to pay extra for the other 5, but it should be well worth it. My fiancé and I were able to get our plane tickets for around $1000 total, and we got a group rate on the rooms that brought it to $117/person/night. Our wedding is in December, and so far everything has been fantastic as far as planning goes, no complaints! Hope this helps, good luck! Here is the website: http://www.dreamsresorts.com/puerto-aventuras/weddings
    I came here to say this exact same thing.  We're getting married at Dreams Puerto Aventuras December 2015 and they have a complimentary wedding package and it includes a lot!!  (Cake, and champagne toast for 10 people, flowers for the bride, etc)  However, keep in mind that in Mexico if you are getting married legally you have to be there 4 business days prior to the wedding and you have to pay for a blood test ($200 a couple).  Dreams also charges a fee to transport the minister that marries you.  There are still a few hidden fees but if you click on the link that @Sarahwins posted they have everything broken down on their wedding brochure.  (PS  @Sarahwins I'd love to hear how your wedding goes!! ) 
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    SarahWins
  • KLee17KLee17 member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper

    We're doing a small DW at a Universal Resort in Orlando. They have an "intimate wedding" package that is just the ceremony price, and we paired it with a cake and champagne reception.


  • Find a resort near a location you like, get a close friend or family member to get an online permit to perform your wedding, and just go there and have an informal ceremony.  The location can be the decor, and the complimentary food at the resort can be the reception.  It may not be fancy, but it will suit your needs.

    A couple articles with ideas on saving money during these weddings:  www.destinationwedding.cc/destination-weddings-for-savvy-travelers-aid-15761
    www.destinationwedding.cc/ten-ways-to-make-your-destination-wedding-more-affordable-aid-13747
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