You’ve decided on a destination wedding and chosen a destination. Here are the questions you should be asking next.
1) How much help do I need to plan my wedding?
Destination weddings can be very simple and stress-free to plan—if you have the right resources on your side. You may consider finding a reputable travel agent in your area to help with travel arrangements for you and your guests. Weddings by Funjet offers destination wedding planning services with experienced Weddings Concierges who are experts on destinations, resorts, and all the ins-and-outs of planning destination weddings.
2) What exactly is included in the resort’s wedding packages?
As you narrow down the resort choices in your destination, you’ll want to find out what is included in wedding packages. Many resorts offer basic free wedding packages when you book a certain number of rooms.
3) What are the legal requirements for getting married in this destination?
If you’re looking to have a legally-binding ceremony, not just a symbolic one, be sure you understand the requirements in the country of your destination wedding. Some of these requirements are things like blood tests to translation of legal documents. Many brides opt for a symbolic wedding and take care of legal requirements in the U.S.
4) Does the hotel provide officiants for legally-recognized ceremonies? What about religious ceremonies?
You’ll need to know if you need to arrange for an officiant separately. An increasing number of resorts in predominately-Catholic countries like Mexico offer on-site Catholic chapels.
5) Where are your wedding ceremony and reception sites?
Ask for photos of actual weddings to show how the entire ceremony and reception might look. With Weddings by Funjet, couples can go on a “rehearsal” trip to see the locations and meet with vendors. Wedding Concierges have visited the hotel wedding sites and can provide context on what the locations are truly like.
6) How isolated are these locations from non-wedding hotel guests?
Make sure that picture-perfect gazebo isn’t right next to the pool bar (unless that’s what you’re looking for, of course).
7) How many weddings does your hotel perform each day?
Many larger resorts have enough staff and locations to easily handle several weddings per day; others focus the attention all on you by limiting it to only one wedding at a time, or even only one wedding a day.
8) Based on the wedding date, what is the best time of day to get married?
Will it be too hot for an outdoor afternoon ceremony? What time makes for a perfect sunset wedding? Try to aim for taking photos during “the golden hour,”—usually about an hour before the sun sets.
9) Are there any dress code requirements for the ceremony and/or reception venue?
It may be barefoot on the beach, but resorts often have stricter dress codes for their restaurants, such as long pants for men or no flip-flop sandals.
10) What wedding services can be provided through the hotel (and what is the cost for each)?
This includes the services of the wedding coordinator, photography, videography, music (at ceremony and reception), flowers, linens and decorations, salon services and dress/tux steaming.
11) What are some of the options for customizing the wedding and reception?
This is another time when a Wedding Concierge can add a lot of value. They know which resorts can have the bride arrive in a horse-and-carriage, which have fireworks capabilities and so on.
12) Can we bring in items (like flowers or a private photographer) or must we use what is provided by the hotel?
Resorts generally offer excellent services for weddings, but if you prefer to bring your own vendors, check with the hotel first to get the green light.
13) What are the food options for the reception?
If the reception is being held at restaurant, can guests order off the menu, or will the choices be determined in advance? Remember to keep in mind special dietary needs—vegetarian, gluten-free and food allergies can all be accommodated by resorts as long as they have advance notice.
14) How many guests does the wedding package accommodate, and what is the cost for additional guests?
Some wedding packages are meant for smaller groups, but most resorts can accommodate very large wedding parties as well.
15) Do my guests need to stay at the same resort hosting the wedding?
If your guests are bringing children, make sure to choose a resort that is family-friendly. You can also choose a resort that has a family section and an adults-only section to stay more separated and secluded, if you desire.
16) Does the resort have offer exchange privileges with other nearby resorts, or will my guests have to purchase a day pass?
If your guests are not staying at the same hotel as your wedding ceremony, find out how much a day pass will cost and be sure to secure these passes in advance.
17) Is it possible to get separate rooms for the bride and groom the night before the wedding without having to pay for both?
Some resorts offer this as an inclusion with the wedding package, so that the couple can maintain the tradition of staying apart until the day of the wedding.
18) What type of group inclusions does your hotel offer for weddings?
Larger wedding parties can get discounted or free stays for the bride and groom, anniversary stays, or other perks like complimentary welcome reception. A Weddings by Funjet Concierge is well-versed in these inclusions and extras.
Photos: Couples Resorts.