Fabulous food and drinks with no bar tab; sounds like a dream, right? Well this dream continues and the location is almost paradise where the beach is like sugar and the water is crystal clear. Wait, you are not dreaming, you are at an all-inclusive in the Caribbean. The best part of planning a destination wedding at an all-inclusive, is that there are no large bar bills and you don’t have to worry if your cousin in college will be able to afford to pay for the breakfast. However, what some wedding couples may not realize is that since the swim up bar opens at 9am, some guests may not be used to consuming so much alcohol in the course of the day. If you have family members who tend to “act out” when alcohol is involved, all inclusives can pose a potential issue. This doesn’t mean you should opt out of the all-inclusive or not invite that particular guest, rather there are some steps to take to PREVENT rowdy behavior and avert a wedding party that is hung over!
My first suggestion is to plan activities in the morning, possible golf outings for the men, or a spa party for the ladies. One of my destination wedding couples held a brunch the day prior to the wedding for the ladies, while the men went on a fishing excursion. Secondly, make sure you pack Advil, Pepto Bismol, and make sure you have a “hang over” kit, just in case someone in your wedding party is in bad shape the day of your wedding. You also may want to alert some key family members to be on the lookout (on your behalf) for any guests that you know may have the reputation for “enjoying” themselves a little too much during the days preceding the wedding. I have heard many stories from my wedding couples about specific guests being too drunk by the time they got married in the afternoon. If you are worried about this, another idea is to schedule your actual wedding for earlier in the day, so you know you can prevent guests from consuming too much before 11am which could be harder if you had a 5pm time (after hours in the sun, even the guests that can control their alcohol tend to be tipsy by 5pm-just in time for you to walk down the aisle). If you are aware you are hosting a group of friends/family that certainly know how to “party”, many resorts have private areas you can rent or you can charter large boats, where you can have your reception, or rehearsal dinner away from the hotel guests.
I have actually lost count of the number of stories that I have heard from former destination wedding couples that had that one lone guest who took the “all inclusive” aspect a little too far. And I am sorry to say, that I too, had one guest totally embarrass herself by consuming way too much on the first day on the island. I think that if you are aware that all-inclusive resorts can bring out the fraternity boy in a middle aged man, you can certainly take steps to prevent a potential catastrophe. Plan morning activities, have guests keep a look out for classic offenders and make sure that you eat while you drink so you are not tripping down the aisle! Hopefully, you will be able to say a thank you toast to your family and friends for traveling to your destination rather than worrying about friends or family that are toasted!