Now that we can all come up for air, you can start planning your destination wedding! When planning your perfect wedding, there are many considerations but two of the big priorities are the time of year and the number of guests you want to attend. Both will have an impact on where you choose. In this article, I’m going to give you five options for the perfect destination wedding. These will be broken out by the four seasons of the year with an additional package that is suitable no matter what time of year it is. But first, let’s talk about why a package destination wedding could help your budget.
What’s Usually Included in a Destination Wedding Package?
Instead of paying for certain items individually, package deals can include a number of services that could really save you money. Some of the most common costs included are:
- Ceremony venue
- Bridal suite with champagne
- Floral arrangements that may/may not include the bridal bouquet and boutonnieres
- Music for the ceremony
- Reception venue
- Champagne or sparkling wine for the toast
- Catering and bar service
This is not an exhaustive list. These packages will also include a wedding planner at the venue that helps with coordinating all the moving parts. The packages can be customized to your particular taste and budget.
What’s Usually Not Included in a Destination Wedding Package?
One of the biggest expenses will be flights and hotel accommodation. These are not included in destination wedding packages for obvious reasons. However, it is customary for the hotel or resorts to block out a set number of rooms and sell them at a discounted price.
Are Packages More Expensive Than Planning Yourself?
Since many of the services you need may be included, package deals are usually more affordable. Working with a wedding planner is usually a complimentary service. These venue wedding planners are very experienced and can help to ease the stress of some of the big details.
Knowing what is and isn’t included will also free up your time to focus on the things that are not included. It also helps with planning your wedding budget.
Most people have heard of Sandals Resorts. They have several Caribbean destinations to choose from and the focus is on all-inclusive packages. Sandals have 17 award-winning resorts and are my pick for the all-year-round wedding destination. There are also a number of Sandals resorts in Europe as well.
At Sandals, your wedding is free when you stay three nights or longer. This is for a very basic package that includes flowers, cake, officiant, and preparation of the marriage documents. There are extra charges for any upgrades. So if you are looking for a small intimate wedding, this may be worth checking out.
But, you should know that it’s an adult-only destination. No children are allowed. So if a big wedding with lots of family and children is part of your dream, skip Sandals.
Spring – Washington, DC
Nothing says springtime like cherry blossoms! And Washington, D.C. is famous for them! Union Station is a magnificent historic building that caters to special events including weddings. Package prices start at $350 per person and include catering and alcohol. The venue can hold up to 2,200 people. There are also smaller spaces available.
Summer – Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls is still a popular destination spot for weddings. At the Giacomo Hotel, your wedding coordinator will help you design your custom wedding. Packages start at $2,100 and include two nights of accommodation in their best room, officiant, photography, wedding cake, flowers for the bride and groom, and more. No information on how many people the venue can accommodate.
Fall – Maine
If you love the richness of fall colors, Maine is a great place for your destination wedding. It will certainly be a little cooler but the vibrant warm colors will warm up any wedding! My personal favorite place in Maine is Bar Harbor. Hiking around Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is a great way to spend some downtime.
A great place for a destination wedding is the Harborside Hotel. They have three different wedding packages to choose from. The venue can accommodate up to 300 people.
Winter – Colorado
Having a winter wedding brings its own unique set of challenges. I’m talking about the weather. Snowy weather. But let’s not let the weather dampen the event, shall we?
Winter weddings with a beautiful snowy mountain backdrop can make for some incredibly gorgeous pictures! Throw in a sunset to make it even more spectacular. Not to mention that there are plenty of winter activities to take advantage of such as snowboarding and skiing. There are certainly plenty of places to get married in Colorado but one that ticks a lot of boxes is at the Grand Hyatt in Vail. Here you’ll find honeymoon perks, cultural and kosher weddings, and more that cater to your every need with expert wedding planners.
Of course, all these recommendations can be considered no matter what time of year it is. For more information, contact the venues. Taking advantage of any free wedding planning services offered will take some of the pressure off planning your destination wedding.