We had quite a few guests that told us they were coming, but not staying at our resort. We didnt feel that if they chose to stay at another resort that we should be responsible for their resort fee since it was their choice to stay at another resort; however, we did let our guests know that there would be additional costs that they needed to take into account should they choose to book elsewhere. After seeing the resort fees, they realized that the savings they would get staying at another resort would almost be eliminated if they had to purchase day passes to take part in the activities we had planned throughout the week. Rather than try to explain everything on an RSVP card, we sent an email to all of our guests. Below is an exerpt from our email. It may seem crass to some, but I think everyone was very understanding and had no idea that we would incur quite a bit of additional costs if they chose to stay elsewhere and they didnt want us to have to pay the extra money.
Dear family and friends,â€¨â€¨
We would like to thank those of you who have already put your deposit down and committed to joining us on our special day! We have had conversations about the excitement surrounding our destination wedding, as well as answered questions and concerns. It has been brought to our attention that some of our guests would love to join us for our special day, but are looking for other living accommodations to possibly save money. We understand the temptation to "bargain" search and try to make the trip as affordable as possible, but we want you to know that we have performed extensive research and looked for the best value for our guests. The idea behind our choosing to have a destination wedding is to share more than one busy night with our guests, and we hoped that over a couple of days, many of our closest friends and family from the Midwest and East Coast could get better acquainted. Having guests staying at various other locations prevents everyone from taking advantage of this opportunity.
Also, we wanted to share a couple of reasons we chose to host our wedding at the El Dorado Royaleâ€¦
· ALL-INCLUSIVE - Our resort provides premium alcohol and a variety of cuisine options at the 10 restaurants on the property. (No runny guacamole or watered down drinks here!) All-inclusive also includes 24-hour room service, beach and poolside service, unlimited premium alcoholic beverages, and as many meals as you can pack in. Because it is all-inclusive, any guest staying at another resort will incur fees associated with entering the host resort. A $72 fee per person is assessed for guests wishing to attend the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception dinner; and a fee of $95 per person, per day is assessed should you want to attend any other functions we have planned throughout the week on resort property.
· ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Another great thing about a destination wedding is that Nikki and I can plan fun activities and socialize throughout the trip with our closest friends and family. (We realize this trip will be a lot of guestsâ€™ vacations, so we donâ€™t want to take up too much time!) We are still working all of the festivities out, but here is an example of what we are planning thus far:
o Wednesday: Black and White Themed Cocktail Welcome Party
o Friday: Rehearsal Dinner (everyone is invited!)
o Saturday: obviously the big day! Ceremony is set to start at 5pm
o Various daily activities at resort: sand/pool volleyball, breakfast/lunch/happy hour/dinner gatherings, happy hour gatherings, poolside lounging, dancing, nightly band/shows, oh, and did I mention happy hour gatherings!
· DISCOUNTED ROOM RATE - We have reserved a block of rooms at a special discounted rate for our guests (20% off!) To lock in the discounted room rates, Nikki and I are currently holding a block of rooms, but unfortunately, if we do not get a majority of these rooms booked, Nikki and I will incur additional expenses.