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Decoding Destination Wedding Packages

Far-flung wedding planning just got that much easier.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Patricia Lyons Photography

As wonderfully romantic and wanderlust-inducing as destination weddings can be, deciding to tie the knot far from home adds a whole new layer of complexity to the wedding planning process. On top of navigating uncharted territory, there's a foreign country involved, and planning a wedding from afar comes with a number of different challenges. Hence the appeal of destination wedding packages, which means the bulk of the organization will be left in the hands of local wedding professionals who know the ins and outs of the area's venues, vendors, culture, and customs. "The convenience of booking and the all-inclusive aspect makes wedding packages the most popular option for couples who don't want to spend months planning a destination wedding on their own," says Veronica Miranda, wedding manager at Barceló Gran Faro Los Cabos.

 

Plus, being local, the professionals who are curating these packages know what is and isn't doable. At weddings at NIYAMA Maldives, for example, roses and orchids are typically used as they're the most readily available flowers from local suppliers. "We're happy to check on the availability of any flowers, but for rare flowers that we have to source from outside of the Maldives, there may be additional charges," says Caroline Esteves, the venue's wedding specialist. While every resort or hotel does things a bit differently, here are a few points to understand about destination wedding packages.

 

Related: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Planning a Destination Wedding

 

Wedding Package Basics and Upgrades

"Wedding packages typically include a ceremony on the beach, a private cocktail, dinner on the beach, sparkling wine for the toast, the reception setup, open bar, wedding cake, the DJ, and lighting," says Jason Wright of Playa Del Carmen Weddings, which has organized hundreds of all-inclusive celebrations in the Riviera Maya area. Package prices are based on the number of guests attending and menu selection; optional upgrades include top-shelf spirits; dance floor lighting, or other décor upgrades like live band, post-wedding fireworks, pre-wedding spa treatments, or room upgrades.

 

There Are Perks to Visiting a Property Before Booking

"Because we know how important it is to see a venue before choosing, we offer couples a one-night complimentary stay to scout the resort as a potential venue," says Miranda. Typically during a hotel stay the couple will meet with the on-site wedding team for a comprehensive overview of wedding day packages and options, including discussion of wedding venues and local vendors to potentially book, including the officiant, photographer, videographer, cake, makeup artist, and hairdresser. The resorts themselves usually handle food and beverage offerings.

 

You Will Be Pampered During Your Wedding Weekend

From an expedited check-in to room category upgrades, a welcome amenity, even a complimentary spa treatment or breakfast in bed the morning after the wedding, as the bride and groom you will most certainly get the VIP treatment at any property where you book a destination wedding package—and that's in addition to attentive, hand's on service from the on-site wedding team, to ensure every detail comes together seamlessly.

 

"On the wedding day, I am very keen to attend to all of the details. I even do the flower arrangements myself to ensure that it's done according to the couple's request," says Esteves. "In short, I always do my wedding events as if it's my wedding. I simply want it to be the best!"