Selecting a resort that’s all inclusive is usually one of the best suggestions that I can give to my wedding couples. Having to not worry about bar tabs and what guests should budget for after they have already invested so much to travel to your wedding, truly lessens the stress and helps couples budget for their big day. However, just because you are at an all-inclusive does not mean all or any of the wedding features are included. What often surprises destination wedding couples the most is that the food for a wedding reception is not included or they only offer a semi private reception. Photography, videography, flowers, décor and licensing fees are usually additional. Anytime a guest asks for a “private” event, resorts have to hire additional staff, and create a customized menu. They also assign a bartender, and use linens, tables, place settings which cost money and are in turn not usually included in the all-inclusive portion of the stay. What is included varies by the resort and their wedding packages. The “complimentary” wedding package is a very basic and bare package. I often caution my couples to not just select a resort on the budget of your guests but also on the “extras” the resort may charge for their wedding packages and wedding options. Couples should also look very carefully at the “vendor” policy from all-inclusive resorts. Many all-inclusive resorts have strict policies for couples bringing in their own DJ, photographer, and videographer. Some resorts also have trademarked their “wedding package” and limit any deviations from the color that is included in the package. It is always a good idea to detail out some key aspects that may be a priority for you before selecting a resort.
- Look at what you have to budget for in regards to the wedding options and extra’s.
- Determine if you will be bringing any wedding vendors
- Establish the importance of having flexibility with a wedding theme
- Examine the wedding packages to determine if a bigger package includes what you want, or if it is better to go with a more a la carte package.
Once I explain the reasons why the “private reception” is not included in the all-inclusive feature, my wedding couples completely understand! VIP always wants our couples to be aware of the features offered in wedding packages so that their expectations are set forth from the beginning. We will also thoroughly go over the wedding packages offered at many of our favorite resorts to match what you envision with your budget needs! Planning your destination wedding is not just about getting a price on a flight and hotel stay, at VIP, we try to make it an ALL INCLUSIVE experience.