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Help with All-inclusive wedding on a tight budget

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#1 LurkerDan

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  • 61 posts

    Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:21 AM

    Hello, my name is Dan, looks like my sex is in the minority here but here goes.  I searched a lot here but haven't found a lot of the info I need.

    My fiancee and I are planning a wedding in 2012, probably June.  We don't have a lot of extra cash, and we just had a baby girl (yeah, I know, we're doing this in the wrong order) so it feels like any spare cash should go to caring for our daughter.  So I had what I thought was the brilliant idea of having a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort. We have a lot of friends and family, and I expect a lot would travel to our wedding.  Open to location, but lots of us are in Colorado so the closer locations are better (for ex., Cancun and surrounding area is very easy to get to).

    But even though all of these resorts would be reaping the benefit of 80-100 people coming to the resort for our wedding and all of these people would all be paying a lot for included food and beverage, it seems the resorts want to charge us an arm and a leg to bring them all. Making it as expensive or more expensive than local weddings.

    We're not that picky about details, we just want a simple ceremony and a private dinner reception.  That's it.  But the few resorts I have seen that advertise "free weddings" only offer that for small numbers of guests, and want to charge $50-60/per person after that.  Which not only seems crazy, but we simply can't afford it.  I totally understand paying something for them to set up a separate area and serve us separately, but if I'm bringing tens of thousands in dollars of business to them, it seems like it should cost a little less.

    Are there resorts that I'm missing?  Places I should check out for a fairly budget all-inclusive wedding?  Any help would be appreciated, because this has me bummed out right now.


    #2 mochamakes3

    • Sr. Member
    • 1,917 posts

      Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:44 AM

      Welcome Dan!


      It's great that you are helping out your future wife by investigating your options.


      We are getting married at a Palace Resort. We selected the complimentary wedding, and are paying an additional $300 for the civil ceremony fee to legalize the wedding. Palace Resorts has group benefits when your guests book through a group wedding contract. The benefits are as follows:


      15 room nights = 1 free private cocktail hour

      30 room nights = 1 free private cocktail hour + 2 nights comp

      60 room nights = 1 free private function + 4 nights comp

      75 room nights = unlimited free private functions + 7 nights comp


      The comp nights are refunded to you a few weeks after the wedding.

      #3 KCB2011

      • Jr. Member
      • 308 posts

        Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:38 PM



        We had the same annoyance when we were searching for an "all-inclusive" for our wedding.  We ended up going with Dreams and they do offer the option to set you up in a separate area of an a la carte restaurant for no extra charge.  With a group as big as yours, you would probably end up with the whole restaurant by default but since you haven't actually REQUESTED the private reception, they may not charge you per person....probably just a set up fee.  One of the things I have found with Dreams resorts is that they really try and work things out with you because they want you to be happy.  It might be worth email the wedding coordinator at a few of the resorts


        Also, a good idea would be to contact the "group reservations" department at the resort directly to see what type of offers they can provide for a group your size.  Destination Weddings are not typically as big as your group might be so most of the information that you will find on the websites will be geared towards smaller groups (10-50 people).  I think a lot of resorts would be willing to work with you on a package that will take into account the number of guests you will be bringing with you!


        Check with a travel agent from this forum as I have heard AMAZING things about them and they will probably know a lot of the answers to your questions right off the bat!


        Good Luck!

        #4 aaronlori

        • Jr. Member
        • 159 posts

          Posted 09 April 2011 - 04:44 AM

          If you think you are going to have more than 15 rooms booked you might want to consider the Majestic Colonial. The basic wedding package would be free if you had this number of rooms. That would save your over $1000 there!

          #5 jamieirene

          • Member
          • 650 posts

            Posted 09 April 2011 - 07:32 AM

            Check out the riu caribe!

            #6 JayKay

            • Sr. Member
            • 3,472 posts
            • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
            • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
            • LocationSouthern Alberta

            Posted 09 April 2011 - 04:51 PM

            We had this problem too.  We wanted a resort that we could get a free wedding at but still would be budget friendly as we both are still in school.  We went to a travel agent and they were able to give us a list of resorts in our chosen price range.  From there we researched them all and got in contact with the wedding coordinators at the resorts to see what they could offer us.  That helped us make our decision.  Welcome to this forum and good luck!

            #7 Mel2010

            • Jr. Member
            • 219 posts

              Posted 09 April 2011 - 05:26 PM

              Hey Dan,


              Welcome to the forum! And congrats on your engagement! I think choosing to do a destination wedding is the first step to a budget friendly wedding. The next step would be to consider where you want to have your wedding and whether or not you are willing to sacrifice a few things like having a semi-private reception or non-private reception. After searching tons of resorts and price lists, my FI and I have chosen to plan our wedding off resort! We have chosen the beautiful JellyFish Restaurant in Punta Cana. The prices are much cheaper when it comes to price per plate or an open bar. These were options that were extremely important to us. If you are flexible with your wedding location, then I would highly suggest the JellyFish restaurant. Check them out at the following link:




              #8 X-Chan

              • Jr. Member
              • 166 posts

                Posted 09 April 2011 - 05:39 PM

                We're doing an off-resort wedding too and reception wise, we are saving a ton that way..($30 for a 3 tier cake? sign me up, lol) but it's way more stress and planning than if you were to do a resort wedding. If you're up for it, I'd look into that. I agree, although the resorts are all-inclusive, a wedding can start to get pretty pricey with every little added upgrade.

                #9 nairay

                • Jr. Member
                • 156 posts

                  Posted 10 April 2011 - 05:51 PM

                  Congrats and welcome! 


                  Definitely check with a travel agent or wedding coordinators to see what would fit in your budget.  With my group booking, we got a few nights free and some extra fringe benefits from the booking contract.  You should be able to reap some benefits with a group the size of yours. Also, if you opt not to do some of the advertised packages on a resort's website, their dinner  may be a little less per person, depending on the menu.


                  Good luck!

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