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kburton

Affording a destination wedding

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I need some help figuring things out. All I have ever wanted is a beach wedding with family and friends. I thought a destination wedding would be perfect and we would do Mexico because it would be cheapier to do all-inclusive. Well, I'm devistated because I've LITERALLY looked at every resort in Mexico (including the Dominican Republic) but for my guests it is so expensive. For my brother and his family (a total of 4-two children ages 4 and 7) it will cost around $5000 for a 5 day stay. Between the price of air fare and the resort (which charge for kids-usually around $500-some less but room rates are more) it is unreasonable for them to come (coming from AZ). It's just hard because I see sooo many brides doing these destination weddings with many guests (some with 40-80)...am I missing something? My Fiance and I talked about what is most important: beach wedding or having family at our wedding? I definitely turn to family but why can't I get both? We hardly have money for the actual wedding let alone to help pay their way. How in the world can I make this work?

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Does it really matter where the beach is? Could you have one in the States somewhere that wouldn't cost as much for your family to come to?

 

I know it's not quite the same, but you might get the best of both worlds!

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awww! i feel you pain, perhaps you can plan your wedding after income tax time , and have a payment plan for everyone through your travel agent, if people start now it should work out for you , or have people open an vacation club with there bank. my travel agent helped me plan my destination wedding , she kept looking for airfare sells and then call me and leave a deposit, then she scouts around for resort specials. when i went to jamaica in august for my wedding for six days and five nights all inclusive was 1100.00 per person which was an excellant deal, just about everyone jumped on it. the only person who didnt make it to my wedding was my sister thats a whole another story with her,,, if you need a travel agent to help you out let me know... also you can do a flyer with payment break down for each month up till the last month before your wedding ,, in my opinion if family really want to be there they will find a way to make it. me and my husband said people who dont come miss out its about what you want , when we were planning it was costing more to plan in the states, i mean it was getting up there in price, a wedding , honeymoon and vacation wrap up in one ..

good luck i hope you come to a solution. remember your happiness comes first.

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I'm sorry. sad.gif It is frustrating.

 

When we first started planning, we were really worried about who would/wouldn't be able to make it but the further we got in the planning, the more we got to the point where as long as our very closest family members (mom, dad, sister, brother) could make it, we'd be happy with it.

 

And I know you've done your research but here are a few threads where people posted the costs their guests incurred and some are pretty reasonable. Maybe you might be able to find something new-

 

http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t26340

 

http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t26706

 

I've also found some really good package deals on cheapcaribbean.com-- and they offer a deposit plan. If you're booking air & hotel, your deposit has to cover the air, but if you're booking hotel-only, they let you put down a 30% deposit and pay the rest 21 days before your trip. That might help some of the guests who may not have the money to pay for their trips in full up-front.

 

Good luck!

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I feel your pain. We are paying for everything including my mom's airfare and stay. I can't tell you how many times we have had to change our plans. All we wanted was a beach wedding and to get away (I say run away). Something simple and easy.

 

We had to make alot of major decisions on what we wanted and what we could do without. If you want a beach wedding then go for it. Instead of Mexico try Hawaii, California or the east coast. Instead of a resort try a hotel or timeshare.

 

Good Luck

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Have you decided on a date yet? If not, you may want to check out when low season is and plan it then. That's what we did. In the Riviera Maya, I believe low season is May, Sept, and Oct (but not 100% sure so don't quote me on that). If you go during winter, it's going to cost you way more.

 

Have you checked out the Real Resorts chain? In Playa del Carmen, they have 3 sister resorts, the Real (4 star), Gran Porto Real (5 star), and the Royal (5 star luxury). You and your guests can stay at the Real and have the ceremony and dinner at one of the other two resorts (since they are nicer). The Real is very affordable. I just checked for a family rate for 2 adults and 2 kids, it costs $177 per night, all inclusive! That's only $885 for 5 nights. I don't know how much flights are, but if you book both flight and hotel through their website, you get a discount.

 

If you do decide to do a DW, just remember that only a small percentage of guests you invite will actually make it, so try not to plan things too much around what your guests would like. I've read plenty of posts here of brides who planned their wedding on specific dates or chose specific resorts (ie. kid-friendly), only to have those guests cancelling out last minute, so they went through all that stress/planning for nothing. Not to be harsh, but you most likely will be disapointed with some of your close friends/family who you thought would for sure be there. We've all been there - sadly, it's part of a DW. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!

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kburton, I hear you! The situation is so different for every guest (families, grad students, young professionals...). I panicked a bit after talking with a few family members who were concerned w/ the cost of going to Mexico and the resort. I had chosen an all-inclusive I loved and thought it would be convenient for guests to have an AI package. But, I wrestled with the convenience vs. choice situation. Perhaps I should have had my wedding in a hotel so guests can stay wherever they like and wouldn't have to pay a guest pass for the resort? In the end, I really love Paradisus and knew the guests who were coming would also. Those family members who were concerned are coming, but they were just shocked at the general costs of travel these days. So am I! sad.gif

 

Perhaps you can find a hotel (not AI) you like for the wedding? Then everyone can determine their own budget for hotel stay and food. You know how it goes: some people prefer five star hotels/resorts while others will be happy at a mid-range. You find a beautiful beach to get married and everyone can chose a hotel that makes them happy. Easier said than done --so, let me know if I can help w/ you anything!

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