Destination Weddings Discussions

Personalizing a Destination Wedding....Is it possible?

We are considering a Caribbean Destination wedding but I'm concerned. Is it possible to personalize a destination wedding? A lot of the All inclusive resorts have specific packages and some have no substitutions. I feel like I want the best of both worlds. I want a dreamy location but I still want to be able to pick out my flowers and wedding colors. I especially want to pick my photographer that's a non negotiable. I want all inclusive so my guests and relax but I still want to be involved in my wedding. Destination Brides and brides to be- Have you been able to personalize your wedding? If so, what venue?

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Re: Personalizing a Destination Wedding....Is it possible?

  • I got married in Australia, which is probably not much of a help to you if you are having guests. That would be asking a lot of them! However, my wedding was completely personalized. I purchased the resort's wedding package, which included the paperwork fees, flowers, certain decor, certain level of reception, and accommodations for my celebrant. I chose my flowers by sending them pictures. I chose decor that was already included, but had the option to add more for an extra cost. I chose the specifics of our reception, which was also included, as we did a private dinner rather than having a party. Basically, it all boils down to what you want to spend. The wedding packages are there to provide a certain level of inclusion, but for a price, you can add as much as you want and bring in any vendor you want, unless the resort specifically prohibits it. Most resorts are not quite that restrictive. The resorts just put together the packages because it used to be that a destination wedding was something done to make planning easier and cheaper. Word of caution, though- if you want to have a signifcant amount of control and oversight in your planning, a DW might not be right for you. I communicated only via e-mail with the wedding planner and never saw any of the progress made in my flowers, cake, decor, etc until I arrived. I had to hope they "got" what I wanted based on the pictures I sent. Thankfully, they did, and thankfully, I didn't really want to fuss over details in the first place.


  • Sandals do some of the customizing your own wedding options. You can choose your flowers, cake, add a sand ceremony, and other decorations if you would like. It's probably not as customizable as you would like, but they do offer some. As for the photographer, that is the one thing that seems to be impossible to get around. You have to pay the expensive price to use their photographer, and you do not get to choose who you have to take your photos.
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  • Thank you! I feel better knowing I should be able to personalize it. Yeah I'm having a though time. I can't decide how much out of the loop I want to be. Eeek!

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  • I forgot to mention about photography. I was given a list of local photographers to choose from and booked who best fit my needs. It had nothing to do with the resort.

    I can believe that Sandals makes you use their photographers. But, I'm pretty sure there is flexibility with places like Couples Resorts and Secrets/Dreams/Now. 


  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We did a package deal in Hawaii.  We got to choose between several options, which I liked, as I didn't have a lot of preferences for things (flowers - roses or tropical, etc.).  We did get to personalize some things though.  We choose our officiant (we just deleted the one they offered from the package) and we also did our cake since that wasn't included.  They also offered a photography package, but we deleted that too as we brought our own.  We also picked out menu from the hotel's restaurant menu, so we did have a lot of say in that.  Not sure if AI's will do things differently though.  

  • We are getting married at Secrets Maroma Beach in Playa del carmen and you can personalize your wedding for sure. We have a package that comes with everything but we can pick our colors, our cake, the flowers we want etc...

    and I know at Secrets you dont have to use their photographer, I can bring my own in with a vendor fee of I think $100 or something close to that.

  • We are getting married at Iberostar Grand Bavaro in the DR. The photographer was my biggest issue as well. I really wanted to be able to choose my own and unfortunately, the resort only works with one photographer, so i fell like we will pay more for photographer than if we could have chose our own, but as long as the pictures are up to the standard for the price, I will be happy. 
  • We've been able to customize everything for ours, no issue and no extra cost (except where we knew in advance and decided to spend the extra money). We are getting married at Dreams Puerto Aventuras, but I'm pretty sure the chain (which includes Now, Secrets, and a few other names) has several locations in the Carribbean as well.
  • We are getting married at the El Dorado Maroma next year and absolutely everything is customizable! It's been a great combination and their wedding supplier (included) has been awesome so far in helping us create our wedding vision :) Plenty of options at various price-points and it can be as pre-arranged or as custom as you like.
  • It is absolutely possible to personalize a destination wedding! It obviously takes a little more work and research but I think it's worth it. I'm getting married in June in St. Lucia and have been able to choose everything for my wedding. The hardest part is finding a good wedding planner to work with at your destination. Part of the reason I chose St. Lucia over other islands is because I found a wedding planner that had great reccomendations and I didn't have to go the resort route where you have to pick option A or B. If you haven't picked a destination yet you should take a look - my wedding planner is Michelle with Awesome Caribbean Weddings. Alot of people go the all-inclusive route because many of the resorts offer "free" weddings. This is definitely a good option if you aren't picky but it just wasn't right for me.
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