All-Inclusive Destination Wedding Packages: What You Need to Know Before You Book

The idea of planning a wedding may sound fun to many people, but to others, it's overwhelming. Instead of stressing about the details, why not get married on a tropical island or in a different country where someone else makes it all come together? Destination wedding packages take the anxiety out of planning a wedding, since the entire day is usually curated for you.

However, as alluring as an all-inclusive wedding sounds, it's important to research both the benefits and the drawbacks before making any decisions.

Age Restrictions

Are you inviting any children to your wedding? Make sure they're allowed to step foot on the resort grounds. Some destination wedding packages happen at hotels where children aren't allowed. So, if there are any underage children on the guest list, you're going to want to choose a different resort.

Extra Costs

One of the reasons why you started researching destination wedding packages was because you wanted to know your big day would cost one set amount. However, the base price you're quoted is often just that: the beginning price. Any upgrades you request or things you add to the package can raise the price. Read and question every item in your contract and decide whether those extras are worth adding to the bill.

However, don't stop at the fees you're charged. Look into any fees your wedding guests might incur. For example, your guests might book their rooms at a different location than your venue. If they do that, they may need to purchase a day pass to enter the property for your wedding. Those passes can cost upwards of $200 per person. Do you really want them to be surprised by that bill after they've already flown halfway around the world to attend your special day? Ask your venues about fees like this before booking. If they have them, see if you can either negotiate them down or absorb the cost.

Privacy

When you imagined your wedding, did you expect it would be a private affair or a public function? If you're getting married on the beach of a resort, understand that all of the resort guests—or worse, anyone on the beach, if it's a public space—will be witnesses to your wedding. That means a loud, drunk couple might be sauntering by when you're saying your vows or your pictures might get photobombed. Or, none of those things might happen and you could have a picture-perfect day in paradise.

You also might not be the only bride getting married in the resort on your big day. This might mean sharing the spa with another bride when it's time to get ready and having to work around each other's schedules. If you're social, this might be a fun twist to your day, but if not, be sure to check how many weddings happen each day at your resort. Then, find out how scheduling is managed so each party has its own special time.

Vendors

You do want that wedding to be legal, right? In some countries, anyone who performs any wedding services needs a permit from the local government to provide services. Find out whether this applies where you are getting married and whether you or your hotel are responsible for obtaining the permit. If the hotel is in charge, make sure the contract covers the permit and any vendor insurance.

Destination wedding packages take much of the stress out of planning, as long as you know what you're getting into. Before you sign any contracts, take some time to read them carefully and question everything. Then, sit back, relax, and count down the days until your destination wedding!