Post # 1
Hey fellow Canadian bees!
So my fiance and I just got engaged and we are wanting to plan our destination wedding. We want to give everyone plenty of notice and we haven’t decided on a location yet.
How far in advance can you book your destination wedding?
Where is the place to be?
Keep in mind we will be travelling with our 2 boys one is 6 and the other is 3
Post # 3
We did Punta Cana, DR.
We had a whole chart of destinations to choose from and decided that, given the price of the trip, price of wedding, beauty of destination, how efficient they were with weddings, weather, stuff to do for guests and on and on… This was the best place to go.
Basically you have two options: you can have what they call a symbolic ceremony, which is you have the wedding, however to make it legal you actually get married home where you sign the papers. If this is the case, it is usually free of charge and you can book it at the very last minute.
If like us, however, you want your wedding to be legalized right there, they will have the JOP come and marry you. Our travel agent was dealing with the wedding coordonator of the resort. They will book the JOP first, then you book the trip.
I can’t remember how far in advance we booked… but for the invitations, we did send them over 6 months in advance to give a chance to those who would want to come time to plan vacation and save money for the trip.
Apart from the costs of translation and the JOP, the whole wedding/ceremony was free of charge at our resort, since we had only 14 guests with us. It all depends on the package you take, we wanted the wedding very simple so there was no charge. It can vary from one resort to another though.
Post # 4
@1dutchie: my FI and our 7 year old son will bemarrying right around the same time as you! I’m working with an agent right now to get some idea of costs and dates. We will send out the stds after Christmas which will include a link to our wedding website with this potential mock info. If this is something they think thy can afford they will contact us.
To actually book our resort we will need a final number and roughly $250 from each guest(or 10 guests, I can’t remember) to secure the bank of rooms and prices. quotes last 7days. I also hope to have this done by the end of feb because it’s the low seasour for our destination.
We will alsoo be expeciting 30 family membersa including 12 kids. I’m marrying in Jamacia where I have family so the ceremony/reception will have about 50 in attendance.
The free wedding Packages usually cover between 10-20 guests and webothhave huge families so that just won’twork for us.
Hope thatgets you thinking!! (sorry about any spelling errors)
Post # 5
We booked a year in advance for our Mayan Riviera wedding (Barcelo Maya Beach resort)
We had a group rate secured for 3 months and any guest who wished to travel with the group had to put a deposit($150pp p,us insurance if they wanted) within the 3 months. The balance is due 60 days prior to travel. We needed10 people to secure our group rate.
Barcelo is an amazing resort, family friendly with a play area and things for kids to do but it’s also balances adult atmosphere, so you don’t feel like your vacation is all about kids.
Post # 6
@mommytobee: I have been looking at Punta Cana DR quite a bit! It looks beautiful and I think it will be affordable for us to go to. We have to boys to bring with us and I am really hoping to find a resort that is child friendly yet not child orientated.. So it can still be peaceful and enoyable for the adults.
May I ask you what resort you booked your wedding? Did you use a travel agent plan all of your guest trips? So they don’t expect the full payment right away? Or would they expect it from the bride and groom up front?
We are gonna have to plan for a symbolic wedding it sounds like. Because getting our papers done here would just make things easier. Given that I am actually a permanent resident here in Canada and I still have my Dutch citizenship I don’t know if that would cause any confussion so I don’t want to take my chances.
Post # 7
@Jaxxmom: Thanks for your help. Yes, that defintly get’s me thinking! We have got 2 boys to keep in mind and I have a feeling the costs are going to be pretty close to the costs for an all-inclusive adult price.
So you have already gone to see a travel agent? And he/she is able to give you dates and prices this early? I thought there was a certain time restriction where they would only be able to book so far in advance..
Yes, I really like the idea of sending out save the date card with a web address for guests to look at and keep track of any progress that has been made for the wedding plans. I think we will most likely use it to get replies from guests to let us know whether they will be attending also. I know that it is proper etiquette to have them send a card back but I think I might skip that part..
Oh Jamaica is beautiful!! It’s the only vacation we have been on. For my best friends wedding actually and I loved it! We would go back there but we want to see a different part of the world and a lot of our friends have gotten married in Jamaica over the last few years so that is part of the reason for wanting to get married elsewhere.
Oh.. I had no idea there would be restrictions depending on the number of people that would attend the wedding in order to get the wedding package included. It’s hard to say how many people will be there.. We just started doing up numbers so it’s looking like 50ish right now.
Post # 8
@SupermansSweetheart: Thanks for your reply! Oh great so you were able to book a year in advance! Perfect that sounds promising for our friends and family then. It’s just hard having people from all over Canada and some family in Europe having to make arrangements and taking time off to attend a destination wedding we want to ensure everyone can make it.
So you and your fiance didn’t have to pay the full amount up front? Everyone just need to pay a deposit within a certain time frame and pay the remaining amount 60 days prior? We have 2 boys so I hope that we can have some kind of payment schedule so it can be affordable for us to do it. Did you book with a travel agent? Did the travel agent also accomodate your wedding package or did you decide on that once you were there?
Post # 9
@1dutchie: Before the wedding I had looked into taking my son to Jamacia and the all inclusive was the way to go. Ive had other friends share their stories about getting married in places like Mexico and one friend even book on itravel200.com. But it was a much smaller affair.
I went to a wedding show a few weeks ago and met lots of agents who gave me tons of info but a few emailed me right away. The pricing for 2014 doesn’t come out until jan. I can’t imagine it’ll change be too much so she’s started asking resorts for info. And they have gotten prices! We tabout with her about what we wante. For our wedding and the challenges we faced and she’s doing all the legwork to figure out which resort will be best. Then we’re is the on site wedding planners:)
Were also looking at 50 ish. The 10 included basically covers our parents because both f us have divorced parents! You can always book those but each person will cost extra. Sandals has a custom wedding planndo on their website as well as 3 typical packages. I liked the custom thing because it helped me think about things that weren’t top of mind. (like table settings, meals, menus, backdrop, band… All the little details)
Start going into agencies and grabbing books too! They’ll give you this years version but the more you know the better right!
Post # 10
@1dutchie: We just had to put deposits down for us to secure the group rate, the full balance for everyone including us is due about 60days prior to travel. Which is awesome for budgeting! We did end up booking with a travel agent(it’s the only way to get a secure group rate). We gave guests the option to book on their own too, if the dates we had weren’t going to work for them etc.
We contacted the resorts we were interested in to look at the packages they offer. Barcelo gave us the best deal for the money for us. If you have a specific date in mind check with the resort you decided on to make sure it’s avail, they sould put it on hold for you. Barcelo held our date and ceremony ttime until we put our deposit down, then they secured it for us once I emailed the itinerary.
Ive heard some some travel agents offer their own packages, ours didn’t so we just used the resort(which I actually prefer)
Post # 11
@1dutchie: I will be getting married next April in Santa Maria Cuba. We have several friends bringing there children ranging from ages 2 to 12 so our resort we chose is also kid friendly. We booked our place about 9 months before the wedding and any guests who wish to come can book now with a $250 deposit and must pay the entire balance off 60days before the wedding.
We have a destination wedding planner we are using because we have over 50 people coming to our wedding so using a person is alot easier than everyone booking themselves. We get an amazing group rate and the comfort of knowing that she can move our whole group somewhere else if there was an issue before the wedding at that certain resort.
Post # 12
Yeah going for the symbolic ceremony will be simpler in your situation.
We went to the Melia Caribe Tropical, which was fantastic. The resort is absolutely beautiful and the food is to die for. Very kid friendly as well, there were activities for the kids as well as a nice park.
We got there on a Saturday, and on the Sunday we had a meeting with the wedding coordinator to plan the wedding. In one hour, we had food, music, ceremony, a carriage ride, hair and makeup… all of it was planned. The wedding was on the Wednesday and everything went as planned.
I highly recommend going for the garden gazebo, it’s more private than the beach, and less windy as well.
We booked with a travel agent and had that person deal with all of our guests. We were able to get a group discount. We had to pay a deposit up front, and then about 2 months prior, pay for the rest.
Don’t hesitate if you have other questions.. I’ll be glad to help if I can.
We absolutely loved it, DH (who is not a big romantic, and more of a way too practical guy) would go back there to do it again on a significant anniversary.
Post # 13
@mommytobee: Wow! Thanks for your help sounds amazing. Do you remember what the price was like? We want to stay within a certain price range because we are bringing our 2 boys. I just opened up the website so far it’s looking amazing!