Below I will guide you through where to start with your destination wedding. I have broken down my weddings that I've booked from 2017, 2018 and 2019 so you can see how travel costs, wedding prices and promotions work. Here you can see proof of past, current and future weddings. I have included hotels in each destination so you know where to start looking.
Before you start looking up resorts all over Mexico and the Caribbean you need to narrow down 2 budgets. At the same time you need to consider your wedding date, does it fall over a holiday or peak time of year as you may have to increase the travel budget to accommodate or be flexible on the date/month.
1. You and your guests travel budget. 2. Your wedding budget.
Without having planned a wedding before you are asking the same questions... how to estimate travel budget? and wedding budget? without knowing where to start!?
I have calculated the nightly average price from 3 years of weddings that I have booked between Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica to give you an average cost that is accurate to present day.
The average nightly rate worked out to $185.50 per person per night x 2 adults in the room is = $371 per night. If you stayed for a week that is $1,298.50 per person for 7 nights.
Average wedding cost of $7,486 with an average of 42 guests for food, drinks, décor, DJ, dance floor with ceremony, 1 hour cocktail, 3 hour dinner reception.
Average free room or free guest promotion couple received $5,194.
How do free rooms work? One of best promotions that quite a few different brands of hotels are offering is every 6th room free (average is maximum of 3 free rooms). What that means is when final payment of your group is finished the hotel gives the wedding couple the monetary amount of the free room.
To keep it simple if the cost of the week is $2,597 and you have 12 rooms book that is $2,597 X 2 free rooms = $5,194. If you had 18 rooms that would be $7,791 that you would receive.
What most couples do is reduce their travel costs and then put the rest towards the wedding but you may do what you wish.
Total costs for hotel for 1 week =$2,597
Total wedding cost =$7,486
PROMO -$5,194 ($2,597 x 2 free rooms)
New Total = $4,889
What isn’t included is photography and flights to the destination.
Now that you know what an average wedding costs you can decide if you want go up or down in your travel budget and wedding budget.
Riviera Maya, Mexico – Dreams Riviera Cancun – April, May, October, November 2019
Riviera Maya, Mexico – Hard Rock Riviera Maya – September, October, November 2019
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – Now Onyx Punta Cana – May, June, October November 2019
Montego Bay, Jamaica – Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall- September, October 2019
Liberia, Costa Rica – Secrets Papagayo- September, October 2019
One of Wedding Butlers' wedding planners recently returned from Dominican Republic. She spent a few weeks away to sample some of the best beaches in Punta Cana, indulge in the resorts and scope out some great wedding venues and vendors. Here's what she thought!
Now Larimar in Punta Cana is a breathtaking resort from start to finish. From the inviting and bright lobby, all the way down to the white sparkling beach.
The general layout of the resort is fantastic and very easy to find your way around, however still large and open enough that if you need to escape for a moment of clarity your relaxation spots are endless.
Activities are abundant throughout the resort from babies to eighties. A wonderful kids club to entertain the wee ones with a rock climbing wall and tons of fun daily activities, and with complete supervision all day you can relax knowing the kids are entertained.
Other adult activities include, pool games, early morning exercises, scuba diving training as well as windsurfing and kayaking. If you're more into a relaxation session there are many spots along the beach and pool where you can relax and sip on your favorite cocktail.
I enjoyed the beach thoroughly as the sand is beautiful, the ocean is warm and the drinks abundant. It's a wonderful spot for a day in the sunshine. The pools were inviting (5 to choose from!) and the swim up bars are a fun filled way to spend the day either participating or (sometimes equally entertaining) watching the pool games. Even just finding a nice comfy lounge chair and curling up with a good book can be just as fun.
The rooms are gorgeous as well. I stayed in three different levels and let me tell you! Each one was better than the last! The decor is bright and inviting and the views were such a lovely thing to wake up to every morning.
Room service was an absolute dream each time and I definitely recommend the Margarita pizza. It was my absolute fave!
Having such a colorful comfortable room to come back to every evening (and sometimes for an afternoon nap of course) definitely made an impact on my relaxation levels; because, let be honest a comfy bed and air conditioning can really be the best to get you back on track after a day in the hot sun.
Every meal I had at NOW was amazing. The buffet has an abundance of choices for even the pickiest of eaters and is a bright and inviting place to enjoy any meal. Most of the restaurants are situated around the large open air courtyard so they are easily accessible if you are meeting a group.
If you do need to wait to get a table (I found the busiest and of course most delicious ones did have a bit of a wait) you were giving a buzzer and could sit on a comfortable outdoor patio set with table service drinks and candlelight ambiance until your table was ready.
Depending on the time in the evening as well you may be able to take in the nightly entertainment (magic shows, dancing lessons etc) while you wait.
My favorite restaurant by far was the French, "Mercure". The food and ambiance was absolutely incredible. Spice (Asian cuisine) was phenomenal as well but if you want teppanyaki, I strongly recommend getting there at opening as the table fill up quickly and the wait times can be long. If you don't end up at the teppanyaki table don't fret! The table service menu is fantastic as well! It was the best Pad Thai I have ever had!
All in all Now Larimar is perfect place for a group of family and friends to celebrate a destination wedding! There are so many options to keep all of your guests entertained throughout their stay, plus the wedding location options are incredibly beautiful! Just to name a few you can choose from: the beach, the gardens, the water fountain (with waterfall!), private ball room, gazebos, and more!
My favorite is the beach; it is a gorgeous place for a ceremony, then continue the celebration for cocktails poolside and the phenomenally landscaped gardens would make for breathtaking photos.
If you're looking for an intimate and impressive location the fountain is a unique setting perfect for those couples wishing to tie the knot in privacy.
The food is fantastic and every room I entered was colorful and inviting. I loved this resort, I felt at home with every step and every kind word I received from staff. Was a wonderful experience and you can bet I am already missing this place terribly.
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Blog by Tanya
Hi All! We are an award winning travel agency planning destination weddings in tropical locales throughout the Caribbean and Mexico!