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Budget Weddings

Are "wedding packages" a good way to go?

I'm from Toronto ontario and we're planning on a DW to Florida. 

I'm looking up hotels and resorts in Florida and i see that some offer packages for weddings.
would an all inclusive wedding package mean it's one fee for everything that's listed in the package?

I do feel like i don't think that's quite accurate.  i'm hoping to have a small wedding.  we're probably looking at about 50 people (i'd quite happily have it smaller than that if we could haha)

I've also seen things online like the Martha Stuart wedding packages.  has anyone used these?

Re: Are "wedding packages" a good way to go?

  • If there is a "package price" they are generally pretty clear what that entails. If you have any questions, the hotel or resort should be able to answer them. Don't be afraid to ask for references either.

    Pre-planned weddings are a great idea if you don't have a lot of specifics that you want. If you aren't too concerned with certain colors, flowers, or decorations then it's nice to have something you can see examples of and know what it will look like.

    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • Find out what is exactley involved in each package. I got kind of an inclusive package for my wedding & it was local. My reception venue provided my cake, linens, centerprices, food, bar, staff, coat check, and card box.

    My friend did a tropical desitination wedding but just her & FI and the resort that they went through the price included the person ordained, a bouquet of tropical flowers, a photographer and then a romantic dinner for two. I'm sure they had other packages available that is the one that fit them since it was just the two of them.

    Make a list of all the things you want and the compare that to the packages available and prices.

  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    As of right now i don't care too much about a lot of the details.  i'm trying to not think too much about the details cuz i don't WANT to care about the little details haha... the less i care about the less i stress about ;) 

    I care about my dress/how i look but obviously that's on me and not on any venue's to do list lol.

    I'll take a look around and maybe ask in the florida board if anyone has experience with packages in that area 


    Thanks guys :)
    MesmrEwe
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    Fosmoh said:
    I'm from Toronto ontario and we're planning on a DW to Florida. 

    I'm looking up hotels and resorts in Florida and i see that some offer packages for weddings.
    would an all inclusive wedding package mean it's one fee for everything that's listed in the package?

    I do feel like i don't think that's quite accurate.  i'm hoping to have a small wedding.  we're probably looking at about 50 people (i'd quite happily have it smaller than that if we could haha)

    I've also seen things online like the Martha Stuart wedding packages.  has anyone used these?
    Since you're on the budget board, I'll assume you're asking "is this a good way to go" from a budget perspective primarily.

    The answer is it depends.  It depends on what you want and what they are offering.  Places that offer packages are usually pretty upfront about what the package includes.  But, it's only a good deal if it's what you want.  And sometimes the "deal" isn't necessarily that it's cheaper (maybe you could get all of those things a la carte from a variety of vendors cheaper), but having one vendor and usually having a coordinator do a lot of the work for you is the appeal of packages, especially if planning from afar.

    However, if their package deal offers a two hour reception, only being able to use their exclusive baker, a basic photography package, and a champagne toast...and you want a three hour reception, need a gluten-free baker, also want a videographer, and couldn't care less about a champagne toast, then you're probably going to pay a premium price to negotiate those things above and beyond the package (if they even offer the option to do those things) and end up paying for things you don't care about. 

    It really isn't about good vs. bad or even deal vs. ripoff - it's about whether they offer the things that are important to you in a package that works for you and a price you're able to afford.  For some it works out, for others it doesn't.
    Fosmoh
  • We found a package deal that really worked for us, that definitely gave us a huge break on price as far as what it would have cost to do everything independently, so I'll echo @jacques27 in saying that it can be great, as long as what they offer is what you actually want.  If they don't offer what you want, I would keep digging until you find a good fit.

    For us, they offered an awesome deal with all the staples and some extras, and with the money we saved we were able to do some of the other extras that we wanted that weren't necessarily included. 

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  • It can be both ends of the spectrum.  Most of all, read the contracts from one end to the other, what it includes, what it doesn't include, when payments are due by, etc.  Also, where you go in Florida can really change the price for the same package of items (i.e. Disney vs. the Keys/Sarasota area vs. Miami) and what time of year.  It all comes down to doing your homework.  You can always piece it out without having to fully invest.  FTD, Sam's, Costco, etc. let you pick out full wedding flower packages from a distance and they're delivered...  Many reception venues can be all-inclusive and adjustable for size..  It's really in what you want and how much you want to spend on it for whether or not the budget makes sense!
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  • Please also remember to calculate the dollar when you are making your budget. The Canadian dollar is about $0.25 less than the American dollar NOW and could further drop depending on what happens in the next year with the possibility of a recession and a Federal Election in October. 

    I remember years ago going to New Orleans when the Canadian dollar was $0.50, that was painful. It made an otherwise cheap trip twice as expensive.
    MesmrEweFosmohdoeydoHedgehogMama2016
  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    Sometimes but not always.  For a DW it might be the way to go because it will be less hassle. 
  • My venue is an 8hr drive from where I live and it was somewhat of a package so I'll weigh in a little bit. If you are asking for ease of planning then yes, it makes it much easier. My venue outlines that the price per person and venue charge includes tables, chairs, all linens, china, two entree meal, votives and other small decorations, custom cake, set up and take down. For me this makes things more simple, just bringing in the limited decorations I'm doing and hired a DJ and photographer. Cost wise it totally depends, mine is not inexpensive but it is exactly what we want and we are OK paying for it. You could price things out separately and see if you can do it on a better budget without a package but from a distance it might be more stress than you want to deal with.

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  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    Thank you so much guys.  some great things to think about and consider.

    I am a bit concerned about the exchange rate right now.  going to talk to FI. 
    I really love the idea of going somewhere really nice and warm for the wedding but part of the appeal is an attempt to keep it cheaper (smaller guest list for example)

    Makes me wonder if we should maybe do something small and local.  blah wish wedding planning was a breeze and cheap lol
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I loved my package (DW wedding for me) deal.  I feel if I did this all separately it would be been more if not the same. It was funny because my FI and I were at his mother's retirement party and we bit into the cake and looked at each other.  Both of us had the same idea.  We wanted that cake for our wedding.  As it turns out, our venue uses them as their baker so we would have went there anyway.  It just worked out for us. Oh, we're still doing a testing though.

    Mine came with seating (you'd be surprised. Sometimes you have to rent table/chairs), linens, cake, cutting, wait staff with food, open bar (premium at a cost but worth it to us) and a champagne toast.  It was actually nice to see tax/gratuity into the whole cost too.

  • Fosmoh said:
    Thank you so much guys.  some great things to think about and consider.

    I am a bit concerned about the exchange rate right now.  going to talk to FI. 
    I really love the idea of going somewhere really nice and warm for the wedding but part of the appeal is an attempt to keep it cheaper (smaller guest list for example)

    Makes me wonder if we should maybe do something small and local.  blah wish wedding planning was a breeze and cheap lol
    I was thinking the same thing myself.  But maybe you just want to do a honeymoon at the expensive, warm, and sunny location.  And have a smaller guest list local wedding at the party room of a fun local restaurant.
  • Fosmoh said:
    Thank you so much guys.  some great things to think about and consider.

    I am a bit concerned about the exchange rate right now.  going to talk to FI. 
    I really love the idea of going somewhere really nice and warm for the wedding but part of the appeal is an attempt to keep it cheaper (smaller guest list for example)

    Makes me wonder if we should maybe do something small and local.  blah wish wedding planning was a breeze and cheap lol
    Toronto has some good wedding areas. Try the Breweries, Mill Street, Steam Whistle. Or head down Niagara way and there are some picturesque areas to have weddings. Collingwood and Barrie are also good places to consider for Summer and Fall.
  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I kind of feel that if we stay local, that we should invite more people.
    I dunno i feel like by doing it DW that people will understand a lot more if we keep the guest list relatively small, you know?

    Maybe it's because most of the weddings we've been to locally have been rather big, i can only think of two weddings that were smaller and one was a second wedding so they did previously do the "large wedding" before lol.

    I feel really torn about what to do.  we want to keep it cheap, i have a really hard time justifying a huge expense for a wedding.

    There's a winery not too far that we MAY be able to do it at but again i dunno, neither one of us pictured our wedding being that way, you know?  so it does feel odd trying to completely change our "vision" now, but i'm starting to wonder if it's really the better way to go.

    I wish it was very clear cut and "This is the absolute best way to do it" haha
  • Fosmoh said:
    I kind of feel that if we stay local, that we should invite more people.
    I dunno i feel like by doing it DW that people will understand a lot more if we keep the guest list relatively small, you know?

    Maybe it's because most of the weddings we've been to locally have been rather big, i can only think of two weddings that were smaller and one was a second wedding so they did previously do the "large wedding" before lol.

    I feel really torn about what to do.  we want to keep it cheap, i have a really hard time justifying a huge expense for a wedding.

    There's a winery not too far that we MAY be able to do it at but again i dunno, neither one of us pictured our wedding being that way, you know?  so it does feel odd trying to completely change our "vision" now, but i'm starting to wonder if it's really the better way to go.

    I wish it was very clear cut and "This is the absolute best way to do it" haha
    I've been to a couple of Niagara Winery weddings...they are awesome! The wineries have great packages and there are tons of hotels around. They work with your budget too. I also recommend checking out some of the craft breweries in the area.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 2015
    If budget is a concern, then I would advise you to have your wedding locally.  If you want a small wedding, then have one.  It would probably be much more convenient for your guests, and less expensive for them, too.
    It  is your wedding.  No one has the right to demand an invitation, or to even expect one.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    Fosmoh said:
    I kind of feel that if we stay local, that we should invite more people.
    I dunno i feel like by doing it DW that people will understand a lot more if we keep the guest list relatively small, you know?

    Maybe it's because most of the weddings we've been to locally have been rather big, i can only think of two weddings that were smaller and one was a second wedding so they did previously do the "large wedding" before lol.

    I feel really torn about what to do.  we want to keep it cheap, i have a really hard time justifying a huge expense for a wedding.

    There's a winery not too far that we MAY be able to do it at but again i dunno, neither one of us pictured our wedding being that way, you know?  so it does feel odd trying to completely change our "vision" now, but i'm starting to wonder if it's really the better way to go.

    I wish it was very clear cut and "This is the absolute best way to do it" haha
    Get over it.

    No, really.  Just get over that mentality.  You don't HAVE to invite everyone you know who is in a 30 mile radius of you just because they CAN make it.  If you don't want a big wedding, you don't have to.

    I'm going to say the following because I really get the sense that you're thinking DW because you feel more like kind of person who thinks you'll be disappointing people if they aren't invited to your wedding rather than because you just really really love a far away destination and it's what you've dreamed of.

    Having a DW so you have a built in excuse for not inviting everyone you know and not disappoint people is a REALLY BAD REASON to have a DW.  Yes, YOU might save money, but you're also foisting off the costs to the loved ones who you are inviting and want to see you married.  You are asking 50 people to take off work (probably, unless you time it exactly right), basically take a vacation to a destination they don't get to pick, spend most likely over $1000 on flights and lodging all for you to save money and not feel bad about not inviting people.  I, personally, would need to think LONG and HARD about whether I want to put my loved ones in that position.

    Now, granted, they can always decline if they don't want to - an invitation isn't a summons and sometimes the DW makes the most sense and works out great for all involved.  But I know a lot of my loved ones would do whatever they could to join me even if it is difficult for them and because I love them I would want to take my VIPs situations into consideration - for me personally the pros of it would need to heavily outweigh the negatives for me to ask people to spend that kind of money (assuming most VIPs were local anyway and wouldn't need to already travel).

    Seriously, weddings come in all shapes and sizes.  Just because no one you know had small weddings at home doesn't mean you have to have a big wedding at home.  Most people understand that most people don't have unlimited finances and the people plan the weddings that work for them and their budget.
    MesmrEwe
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2015
    Honestly, my wedding got BIGGER when I decided to do a destination one.  We went with FI hometown only because his family can't and won't travel.  My family does and they are excited to travel for this.  If I did it locally, I would do a family only event and it would be much smaller.

    My sister did close family members only.  No friends.  No extended relatives.  It was around 20 on each side, maybe less for her hubby.  Even the bartender commented on how this was one of the best wedding's he's seen (and he's seen A LOT) and probably the smallest.  We (for the most part) knew everyone there! It was casual and fun.

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