Destination Wedding Overwhelmed! – Advice please

posted 2 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Hi! I didn’t have a destination wedding but a few of my friends did. My first advice is to narrow down a country (or even better a region) to start looking at hotels you like that have weddings there – it should say on their website. Then call those hotels and talk to their wedding coordinator. Have them send you prices and packages. Punta Cana has a lot of nice options – my friend got married at the Excellence in Punta Cana and it was really nice. I also know Couples Swept Away in Jamaica comes highly recommended but it is adults only so you wouldn’t be able to have any kids (could be a problem for you or maybe not). Most of these hotels have a wedding planner on site and a ton of pictures/ideas of things they have done in the past for other weddings. I am sure you can fine something that fits what you want in your budget! I have also been to the Hard Rock Punta Cana and although it is a nice hotel, I would not reccomend it for a wedding because the hotel is HUGE and I didn’t think that the staff really had their stuff together. 

Post # 4
Member
539 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Scou:  we booked our destination wedding 1 year and 2 months in advance.  This worked well for us because we had an entire year to make payments.  She booked the ceremony time and wedding at the same time as the resort booking.  At about the 10 month mark, i had telephone appts with the WC at resort to book extras (makeup, hair, flowers, etc).  We orginally planned having people at our wedding but the cost was exorbitant for the resort we chose, so we decided to elope – but she had given us a handful of her business cards and for every person who booked, we would have gotten a small amount of money off our bill.  Also, for the amt of rooms booked at resort we would have gotten “freebies” toward our wedding.

Hope this helps.  I know that a lot of people book online, but i really didnt want to deal with anything….lol.  Also the tavel agent price was slightly lower than the cost online.

Post # 5
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think you should do a bit of airfare searching (try Kayak) for destinations airports with departure in the month you want to det married and from the airports your guests will fly from. I have been to 2 destination weddings, both in Jamaica as that was the place both couples were able to find reasonable flights for guests from various airports. One of the weddings was almost in Antigua but the flights were insanely expensive so it was great that they searched flights before booking a resort. I can only speak from the experience of a guest but both weddings were at different Sandals resorts and they went of smoothly. 

 

Post # 6
Member
1259 posts
Bumble bee

Fellow Canadian bee and destination wedding bee here! 

We really struggled with the budget thing too, we wanted to keep it under $1100 – 1200 per person. We decided to go with a resort in Cayo Coco, Cuba. Cuba and Mexico are the more budget friendly for destination weddings for Canadians. However the DR can totally fit into your budget as it’s a bit higher than ours was. Also you have to do blood tests to get legally married in Mexico, and we didn’t want to do a civil ceremony before we left Canada. 

We started out talking to a few travel agents, which confused me a bit, but we did some of our own research and ended up going through Flight Centre groups to book our wedding. (If you’re in the GTA and want any info on that PM me and I’ll pass along our agent’s info because she has been amazing thus far.)

We’re about 10 months out but our deposits have all been booked and she even set up with the actual resort our date and wedding package and sent all of our information off to them. You’ll find that a LOT of travel agents don’t actually provide this service. 

Start with researching the areas that you love, Punta Cana or Costa Rica. Check out bestdestinationweddings.com and trip advisor and the forums there for the areas you are looking for. There are lots of reviews and information to be found on there too. Start asking around for people who have travelled to the places you’re looking for. Do you know when/what month or months you want to to get married? 

One resort that I have stayed at personally in Punta Cana was the Gran Bahia Principe – it was absolutely amazing and the beach was to die for. I think most of the beach area in Punta Cana is gorgeous though. One of my old college friends was asking around a few months after I came back from that trip and ended up getting married there. She said is was the best decision they made. I’ve heard great things about the Jellyfish restaurant (not on resort) via WB and the Majestic as well. But just wanted to throw another great resort out there. 🙂

 EDIT: if you’re less than a year out you can try to do some searching for packages through expedia or kayak or sunwing/air transat etc online. But travel agents can get you pricing if you are over a year out, they just won’t be able to tell you flight times yet until the date is closer. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  jlc3.
Post # 7
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee

I am getting married at the Now Larimar in punta cana in October, 2015.  We are just now paying, and having our guests pay the deposits, but with my travel agent the preferred club pool view rooms were a little less than 800 per person, 7 nights all inclusive.  I looked at a couple of dreams resorts and they were about the same, hope this helps!

Post # 9
Member
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

 

Scou:  How much are flights from Canada to Punta Cana? We were initially going to have our wedding in PC (at the Majestic resorts!), and our guests could have stayed 3-4 nights for well under $1500…BUT we’d all be flying from the mid-west here in the US.

If you’d like, PM me and I’ll give you the contact info for my travel agent…she is WONDERFUL and works her butt off.

P.S…FI and i have been to the Majestic Colonial– LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! We stayed for 5 nights and our trip, including flights, was $1k/person. Good luck! 🙂

Post # 10
Member
1259 posts
Bumble bee

Scou:  Within about 2 – 3 days. I was emailing and speaking with her on the phone for about a week before that, but once we decided on a few resorts and which months, she sent in requests and got pricing back in a couple of days. We then requested to see pricing for a few different weeks just to compare the cost, so that took another 2 days.

She made some resort suggestions on top of the two we were thinking of based on what we were looking for in an all-inclusive and on places she had been before. We ended up going with one of her recommendations after scouring the reviews of it online. So we’re hoping it’ll be as beautiful once we arrive there! Lol.

The ‘groups’ department for weddings is in Mississauga at Heartland Town Centre, so I would maybe call and ask to speak to someone there in the groups department if you haven’t done that already. They ONLY handle groups not single travellers looking to book a flight, etc, so if you are looking to get a group rate it’s best to chat with them (based on what my TA said.) 

Post # 12
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee

It took 3-5 business days to get pricing to me, she is awesome, keeps in constant contact.  She is a member of the American society of travel agents, which is how I found her.  Her name is Lisa Sisk, if you google her you will find her!  

Post # 14
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

jlc3:  fellow canadian destination bride Here.Be warned, From canada the prices are high. We are going to the Dominican, dreams palm beach punta Cana and the rate is about 1800$ per person. It is steep…. I believe Mexico and Cuba are much more reasonable, but I fell in love with the resort. 

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