Destination Weddings

Sandals, Secrets, & other large chains... Advice!

nicole4793nicole4793 member
100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
edited June 2014 in Destination Weddings
Hi everyone! My fiance and I originally decided to do a traditional wedding because that's what he wanted, and I didn't want to be a bridezilla and insist on a DW. I'm completely fine with whatever type of wedding, but now 5 months later he is saying a DW would be awesome. We are getting married in October of 2015, so we do have a lot of time, but we already booked the church and reception venue (small amount put down on it). 

So for you, what was the deciding factor that made you want a DW? We are really torn because we love both ideas! It would probably be my parents, 2 siblings, and my brother's wife in attendance. He is fine and even happy that his parents would not attend. I'm interested in resorts like Sandals, Secrets, Palladium Hotel Group, etc.

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Re: Sandals, Secrets, & other large chains... Advice!

  • We decided to have a destination wedding after months of trying to figure out how to plan a wedding at home. I never dreamed of having a destination wedding and did not even consider it until being about five months into the engagement. I do not have any close girl friends whom I would feel comfortable having on my side, and he has one close friend that he would have had on his side. There is so much more work involved in planning a wedding at home. It became too stressful, and I would have done it all alone.

    When I started looking into destination weddings, I quickly fell in love with Sandal's resorts. The wedding is included free if you stay six nights, so we decided to stay seven nights. I would have to say the costliest part of a Sandals wedding is the photography. I feel as though even if you were to have guests, the cost will in the long run end up to be about the same as it would have been at home. We will not be having any guests with us and feel more comfortable this way. We will be having a video for family to watch if they would like when we arrive home.
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  • Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it.

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  • Hello! and welcome to the DW board! My FI and I have been dating for 7 years and we have talked about a wedding in Mexico for about 6 years, haha. We love Mexico, mexican food and everything about the country so it was an easy decision for us. Neither of us wanted a large wedding either. We have both been to a lot of weddings and stood up in a lot of weddings and they were all pretty much the same. We wanted something different! I think it also sealed the deal for us after attending our friends DW in the keys last year. Everyone had so much fun and just relaxed! It was a great time and we hope to have the same for ours. Our dream was Cabo San Lucas however flights are very expensive so we did choose Riveria Maya/Playa Del Carmen because flying into Cancun is much cheaper.

    We are having our wedding at the Secrets Maroma Beach in Riveria Maya and are very hapy with our choice! They have many options for weddings and most of the reviews are great as far as cleanliness, food and alcohol goes so we are hoping we have a great time along with our guests! Good luck deciding!

  • You can probably choose an even nicer resort too if you have less people going! (Not sure what your family can afford) We chose secrets even though its a little pricey but we do have 70 other people to think about, haha. We are expecting around 40-50 to actually attend...Just a thought

  • Ive been to both Secrets and Sandals and there is NO COMPARISON!!! Secrets is the way to go! I just got back from my wedding at Secrets Maroma Beach, Mexico... it was MORE THAN ANYTHING I COULD EVER DREAM OF! We have 26 of us and the service there was impeccable! It was clean and the food was fabulous. 
  • msuprincess04msuprincess04 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited July 2014

    The Palace Resorts have great wedding packages as well.

    We go to Cozumel, Mexico every year to go scuba diving. When we got engaged, I tried to plan a local wedding, but it was more stress than fun. My FI never liked the idea of getting married so close to "home" anyway. Eventully, I looked into a DW at our favorite location just to get an idea what that was like. After talking to a planner and looking at some of her past weddings, I knew that was the way to go. It was fun and exciting, and everyone had a blast.


    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • I've been waiting to find another SMB bride @kassieta ! Any advice would be awesome!! My two concerns are photography (if we should go with the package that's included or go with an outside photographer) AND the hair and make up situation. My good friend is supposed to come and do my hair and make up (she is a hair stylist/make up artist) but there is a chance her sister in law is also having a DW the same month so then she wouldnt be able to attend.

    I was concerned with having my hair and make up done at the resort.

    Any advice would be helpful!!

  • edited July 2014

    Hello. We are getting married at Sandals Grande St Lucian. We had originally planned on have a traditional wedding, beach wedding, back to traditional, to DW. I wanted to do the beach or a DW but he insisted on having family and his friends from college attend. Finally, having searching venues and all that good stuff and him seeing prices and deposits he started seeing things my way. I told him the extra money we would spend on a wedding here we could put towards a house.

    Anywho, so far the DW with Sandals has been great. I picked out my stuff online. I upgraded items with the free wedding with a cost of course. My bouquet, cake, table, and etc. Photography definitely is ridiculous and for it to be recorded cost too much but it is a resort and stuff is more expensive in general. I was going to go with an outside photographer but we wanted it recorded. We did a base pic package and video to keep in budget. Then we could buy any other pics we wanted there. I am hoping that all turns out well. With the credits and money they give you we paid our license fees and all that and still have money to spend at the resort on activities.

    The best part is that I can enjoy the wedding and our time together without stressing over all the planning and stuff. I am already very particular, anally organized and would have drove myself nuts. I assume any the resorts would be a good pick. All inclusive, top shelf drinks, and all the activities especially the free ones.

    Congrats ladies. Enjoy this special time in our lives! We are getting married at the beach and stuff it should all turn out excellent!!

    Oh. We did end up with a few friends coming and some family. The family rented a house off the resort but honestly if no one came I wouldn't have cared.

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  • I really appreciate everyone's feedback. Your opinions are extremely helpful!! FI and I are in his sister's wedding July 11, so I think that will help us decide what will suit us better. :)

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  • Definitely go with sandals if you have a group of ten or more rooms =) 

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