Post # 1
So my fiancé and I would like to get married in Mexico in 2015. We’ve gone on all inclusive vacations before but have no idea how to organize a destination wedding including booking the resort and flights for ourselves and guests. Do we contact the resort directly and then see a travel agent for the group package or would that be through the resort as well? So lost here. Anybody who’s done it that can help out would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
@Crazycatlady28: I am also planning a destination wedding in april, 2015, in mexico!
I reached out to a travel agency, but they only book group rates, and help with guest travel, and I was told to contact the resort directly to book the wedding reservation. Most resorts have wedding packages, and you just have to pick one, pay a deposit upfront to secure the date of your choice.
I haven’t contacted any resort yet, been too busy with the holidays!!! But good luck!! I will also check back to see what other suggest! =)
Post # 4
You have a couple options. U could contact a resort and work with their on site coordinators, or u could find an independent planner local to that destination to help plan it. U will likely have less choices for personalization with a resort planner, but it may be cheaper. U could have more flexibility choosing vendors and with personalization if u went with an independent planner, tho it may cost more in the long run. u will just need to sort of decide how much control u want to have over the planning and details and then research the best option for ur budget.
Eta: we used a travel agent for travel and worked with the hotel we chose for accommodations.
Post # 5
Thanks for the replies! I’m keen on just picking a package and showing up for the day. Less stress in my opinion. I’m wondering though, do I pick a package through the resort and then contact a travel agency to arrange the flight and all inclusive or do I get the all inclusive and wedding package through the hotel and then book flights through a travel agency?
Post # 6
@Crazycatlady28: We got married in Mexico (Isla Mujeres) this past July- you guys are in for a treat! We did the full legal ceremony which didn’t have as many requirements as I thought- with the planner it was pretty easy to get all the documents we needed. What part of Mexico if I may ask?
We went straight through out resort’s wedding planner and customized a package to fit our needs as they were all for 20+ ppl and we only had 4ppl. Our resort did offer to book all our travel arrangements but I’m super ocd about that stuff so I did it all myself. I would have been pissed if we had payed them and then later found a better rate or flight times. We also had multiple destinations and dates that I was worried would get mixed up. Many resorts offer discounts if you book through them, like a group rate, we just didn’t have enough guests to qualify for it. We went with expedia for our flights & all-inclusve package, but only because they had the best rates at the time- we had also been watching priceline, all-inclusives.com, apple-vacations.com, and a few others. We were also booking the all-inclusive and flights for my brother & his gf as they didn’t have cards and just gave us cash for their expenses. I would say if you have somewhat of an exact or difficult schedule to work with to do it yourself, and you can always ask for the resort to give you a quote before booking and if you find a better price let them know & give them a few days to meet the price or else book elsewhere….
Post # 7
We found a travel agent who is a friend of my FI’s father. She is getting us a good deal for our Destination Wedding package at an all-inclusive in Cuba, so she coordinates with our guests on deposits and travel arrangements directly. If people choose to book themselves online or whatever, then it’s all good and they can do so.
It all depends if you want to be the one your guests are calling to ask silly travel q’s or if you want to put that on a travel agent…lol. We chose the latter.
Post # 8
@Crazycatlady28: We are using someone at Liberty Travel. My Fiance and I are doing a cruise wedding on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas January 2015. I met this travel through a bridal show I was putting on at my hotel and she is just wonderful. It doesn’t cost me anything to use her. She was able to set aside 10 rooms at the low rates until April 15, 2014. Mind you she did that in November and my guests have until April to put down the deposit with the remaining amount due. Another awesome plus is they have little cards made up that you can slide in with your invitations that show people that as a wedding gift they can put money on your wedding vacation if they don’t want to go.
Post # 9
Thanks for the great replies everybody! I’m thinking I should just stop by a travel agency and talk to them. That way I can sort out the best way to go about this. My main concern was ensuring an easy way for guests to figure out travel and accommodations. Sounds like talking to a travel agent for that is the best way to go.
Post # 10
I’m using Beach Bum Vacations as my travel agency. I am getting married at Beach Palace in Cancun in December 2014. I paid my deposit for the wedding directly to the resort, and the travel agency is handling the room reservations. People can choose to book airfare through them or on their own.
Post # 11
My engagement is coming literally anyday and my heart is set on a destination wedding as well! I’ve been wondering the same thing, how/where to start. Keep us posted on your planning!
Post # 12
My fiancée and I go every year to punta cana on vacation and are getting married there in February 2014. When we go on vacation we always just book our trip online (we typically use selloffvacations.com) so I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about setting up a group booking for our guests. I went into a travel agency and spoke with their ‘destination wedding specialist’ and I thought the quote she gave me was quite high
We ended up using the website that we always book with and are using one of their group co ordinators. She was able to get us the package $200 cheaper per person as well as some better perks. So it’s basically having your own travel agent but it’s just all through the phone and email.
Something to think about! I would be happy to help with any questions 🙂
Post # 13
Go to http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com
The forum is AMAZING! And the ladies are woooonderfu. You’ll figure out EVERYTHING you need to know. And there are entire giant threads dedicated to information for getting married at different resorts. That’s where I go whenever I start dreaming about destination weddings.
Post # 14
I chose to contact a planner independently. I kept contacting resorts, but all replies that I recived seemed so generic! I wanted to make sure that I was doing something unique and special. However, resorts are much more simple. They lay out your options for you, and do ALL the heavy work. A planner is a little more difficult… Getting your ideas across to them while you are 2k miles away is hard. I wouldn’t change my decision though, I know that I have a very personalized wedding coming up and it will done far away, just the way I want it. I vouch for searching these types of sites for recomended planners per the area you are going to.
Post # 15
We have just confirmed our date for January 2015 in Mexico. I tried contacting resorts directly but just grew frustrated with their generic, slow replies. Eventually we decided to go with Marlin Travel (I see you are located in Toronto as well — we have been working with Jim at the Yonge and Eglinton location).
I think we have got a pretty good deal. We set the price range and he came back to us with a number of resorts that fit our requirements. The terms are great too. We put down $150 each and our guests desposits of $150 each are due 3 months after ours. The balance of the packages are not due until 60 days before departure. Let me know if you have any specific questions I can help with 🙂
Post # 16
@Crazycatlady28: I’ve done it and I can help you figure it out! My Mexican Destination Wedding was last May and it was awesome! Just to add crazy into the mix, I planned the whole thing in less than 5 months and had 60+ people there. Yeah, crazy.
I would start by getting hooked up with a travel agent that specializes in DWs. They can recomend resorts, get you group pricing quotes, (I think that guest pricing is the #1 most important consideration, I didn’t even bother looking at pricing for the wedding, just guest package prices), and so on. Then, in the future when people are ready to book they’ll be able to book through the travel agent. You should not be handling people’s bookings besides giving them the information.
I suggest narrowing down the cities by choosign a reagion that easy to travel to for the majority of your guests.
It’s tough to choose a resort if you don’t have the option to go down and visit a few, but of course few people have this option. If you can visit, great! If you can’t, just narrow it down to the ones that make sense then just choose.
Good luck! I am sure you’ll have a wonderful experience.