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All inclusive & wedding confusion

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#1 destinationbridegina

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    Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:28 PM

    I never understood the whole all inclusive deal.. Why is it.. that you pay thousands of dollars for the trip, meals & alcohol.. which is included... but you have to pay for your meals if you have your wedding at the same location. many people said.. it's not included, but if you're already staying there.. shouldn't the food already be included as well. no matter what kinda event you're having. even the rehearsal dinner.. i'm not really familiar with all this, so. LOL. i apologize. :)

    #2 JHarwood2Be

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      Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:35 PM

      I completely agree! There might be some chains of resorts that are more reasonable, but mine definitely isn't!
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      #3 Jennifer Davis

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        Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:38 PM

        The wedding package ($2,400 for the highest grade package offered at Excellence) includes a lot more than just food - it includes the wedding coordinator, music, flowers, decorations, minister, photography, video, haur and make up for bride, etc. The dinner included in the package is definitely an upgrade from what they serve in the restaurants, plus there are more courses, including a wedding cake and a cocktail hour with hors'doerves (sp?). I think the package deals offered at Excellence give you a lot for your money.

        #4 jjurick

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          Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:51 PM

          I have the same question! I don't understand how the reception dinner works if it is an all-inclusive package. If you could please offer some advice, I'd really appreciate it.

          #5 destinationbridegina

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            Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:00 PM

            I was looking at a lot of the wedding packages, but most wedding packages are designed for a maximum of 10-20 people, and after that, they charge you for every extra person. At least the hotels I've been researching in the Mayan. and I know every hotel offers something different though.

            #6 Jennifer Davis

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              Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:06 PM

              Originally Posted by jjurick
              I have the same question! I don't understand how the reception dinner works if it is an all-inclusive package. If you could please offer some advice, I'd really appreciate it.
              I can only answer this for the resort at which I have booked (Excellence Playa Mujeres).

              The food is a very small part of the wedding packages. The resorts knows how much (on average) it costs to feed each guest dinner. For the reception - you get a cocktail hour with hors doerves, 4 course meal, instead of 3, with an upgraded menu to what is offered in the restaurants, and a wedding cake. The resort calculates the cost of the upgraded dinner subtracts the average cost to feed each guest and arrives at a cost per person that they need to add into the wedding package for the reception dinner. For $2,400 this is a pretty good deal - you'd pay a lot more if you hired these services individually!

              Services of the Judge (legal) or Minister (non-legal)
              Wedding organization and personalization of our wedding coordinator
              Preferential location of the room in the category reserved
              Preparation and ironing of the wedding dress and grooms tuxedo/suit
              Complimentary suite for the groom the night before the wedding (based on availability)
              Use of the wedding gazebo or beach location
              Upgraded Bride’s bouquet
              4 boutonnieres/corsages for bride, groom and witnesses
              Wedding cake for 20 people
              One bottle of sparkling wine
              Special turn down service
              15% discount on all spa treatments (product purchases not included)
              Honeymoon Package
              Late checkout for bride and groom (based on availability)
              Special Gold Wedding Dinner for 20 people
              Natural floral centerpiece for dinner table
              One hour of upgraded cocktails with hors d’oeuvres for 20 people
              24 full color 6x8 photos (upgraded from 5x7)
              Bride’s hairstyling for ceremony
              Make-up application for the bride
              Additional decoration for the ceremony
              Natural floral table bouquet for ceremony
              Caribbean or Mariachi Music Trio (1 hour)
              Video of the ceremony (15 minutes, unedited)
              One Love Birds Spa Treatment for the couple

              Selling price: $2.400 USD ($120 per person)

              For additional people, they charge $45 each which is 40% of the per head cost of the package. I doubt the food costs that much - I think they just try and recoup some of their costs - they can't be making money off these packages.

              #7 SunBride

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                Posted 27 August 2008 - 10:42 PM

                The reason the resorts charge for the wedding meal is because it is a challenge for them to coordinate a meal for such a large group. So in that sense it's a service charge.

                Think of it this way : normally the guests come into the restaurants in groups of 2 or 4 or so and get seated and served. Now you are showing up like 30 people or more all at once, you want to be seated together, and it's your wedding so you want fabulous service. Obviously they have to chage for this as it is extra work for them.

                It may also in part be a charge to upgrade for fancier food than the regular menu.

                Finally, sometimes there is an extra charge to close down the entire restaurant to have a private event. Again this seems to make sense to me, as your "all inclusive" package doesn't allow you close down a restaurant whenever you want and have it all to yourselves. Doing this is an inconvenience to the resort as they will piss off their other guests who are disappointed to not be able to eat there that night.

                At first I agreed with you guys about not having to pay for a wedding dinner, but after thinking all this through I think it makes total sense.

                In my case, I was allowed to have my wedding dinner free as we were only 10 people and we ate off the regular restaurant menu (they still seated us all together at a special long table, and we had a waiter all to ourselves). At my resort it's free for 10 or less but as soon as you have more than 10 it's considered a group and you have to pay a fee (either 20$ per person just for the service charge, and you eat off the regular menu, or 55$/65$ for a special silver or gold menu). This policy applies to all groups, not just weddings. So even if a big group of friends or family goes on vacation together and expects to show up to a restaurant and be seated all together, they would have to pay the 20$ per person service fee. The only way around it is to split the group up.

                Usually, resorts offer group / weddings dinners for free if you do it at the buffet, seeing as this does not create as much extra work for the resort as doing it at an a-la-carte restaurant

                #8 scoutley

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                  Posted 27 August 2008 - 11:01 PM

                  This is part of the reason we went with the Bahia Principe Tulum. Their prices for the wedding packages are relatively low and there is no maximum of people. So we don't end up paying any extra per head cost, no matter how many people are coming. The only penalty (if you want to look at it like that - I sort of do!) is that if your group is bigger than 15, you have to choose a set menu for you dinner. If you don't want to do this, then you can start getting into their catered dinners which cost per head, on top of the wedding package cost. And even these aren't unreasonably priced. I think the cheapest one starts at around 20 per head.
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                  #9 Ryan's girl

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                    Posted 27 August 2008 - 11:58 PM

                    There was a recent thread that was similar to this...

                    Check out:


                    Hopefully this helps!
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                    #10 destinationbridegina

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                      Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:00 AM

                      Thanks everyone for responding, all the planning is really overwhelming, so you definitely start asking yourself questions about costs, but i really appreciate it. Thanks a lot! :)

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