The One-Stop Wedding
Every day’s a piece of cake when you marry at an all-inclusive resort.
Think you need to compromise quality for the convenience of an all-inclusive resort? Think again. Today’s all-inclusives often match— and sometimes beat—their à la carte rivals in everything from first-class food and service to lodgings. We share the potential perks and pitfalls of holding your wedding at an all-inclusive resort—along with the locations to love for a one-stop wedding.
5 Reasons to Go All-Inclusive
1. FREE WEDDING Lots of all-inclusives throw in a free basic wedding with a seven-night stay, or even just a three-night stay. Some sweeten the deal with gifts or free nights on your anniversary.
2. FREE WEDDING PRO Most all-inclusives employ at least one full-time bridal consultant—a dream maker and problem solver who knows the property inside and out.
3. NO STICKER SHOCK You know upfront what the whole trip will cost, as do your guests. With no tipping or nickel and diming to fret over, you can all focus on each other.
4. NO DRESS CODE You and your entourage will probably want to wear something special for the wedding. Other than that, you need little more than bathing suits.
5. BUILT-IN ENTERTAINMENT Most all-inclusives encourage guest interaction with free group activities galore.
5 Things to Watch For
1. AGE LIMITS Some all-inclusives cater to adults only. If you’re planning a multigenerational event, ask about age limits throughout the property, from rooms to restaurants to activities.
2. DAY PASSES Guests staying at another resort may need to purchase a day pass to attend your wedding and reception. If offsite guests forget to pay, you may be billed.
3. VEND OR RESTRICTIONS In some countries, anyone you bring in to provide a service at a wedding (your own hair stylist or photographer, for instance) needs an official work permit.
4. PRIVACY Unless your all-inclusive limits weddings to one a day, you may be sharing the spotlight with one or more couples. Some people like this; others, not so much.
5. EXTRA CHARGES Custom details can add serious money to a package. Read the fine print before agreeing to every addition. And, while most all-inclusives fold in taxes, be sure to ask before figuring your bottom line.
All-Inclusives to Love
Mexico’s Occidental Grand Cozumel is a 245-room, oceanfront resort on Cozumel’s southern coast that blends upscale amenities and as much—or little—action as couples and their wedding guests desire, from scuba diving and beach volleyball to poolside relaxation and massage for two in a seaside cabana. Most activities, the food and alcohol are included in the price (from $90 per person).
About an hour away by ferry, Golden Parnassus Resort & Spa in Cancún looks onto the Caribbean Sea and Nichupté Lagoon, and capitalizes on the gorgeous views when it comes to weddings, most of them arranged right on the beach. The resort is all-inclusive and for adults only, and even allows guests to enjoy activities and meals at the family-friendly Great Parnassus Resort & Spa, a sister property (from $240).
Also in Mexico, at the tip of Baja, the secluded Secrets Marquis Los Cabos is perfect for wedding couples who appreciate the freedom of an all-inclusive getaway and seek a high level of personal attention. The resort, tucked between the Sea of Cortez and two of Baja’s top golf courses, houses 235 luxury suites and hosts customized weddings for up to 500 guests, beach- and poolside or inside in an elegant ballroom (contact the resort for a quote).
In the Dominican Republic, Excellence Punta Cana is known for its laid-back elegance and stunning tropical surroundings. Brides and grooms at this adults-only retreat can wed right at water’s edge, with the Caribbean Sea as their backdrop. They can also sample endless activities—day and night—and nine restaurants as part of the price (from $480).
Another wedding-worthy, all-inclusive getaway in the Dominican Republic is Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa. The 751-room property is surrounded by nothing but the Caribbean Sea, palm-lined sands and lush tropical foliage. Couples will appreciate not just the island’s rare natural beauty, but the chance to discover its rich cultural heritage, too (contact the resort for a quote).