Top 5 destination wedding costs to consider when planning your big day!
The question we get the most by far is “How much does a Destination Wedding cost?” Oh, we wish it was that simple! Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to that tricky question, but there are many ways to get close to an answer that fits your own wedding.
There are a million concepts to factor in a wedding budget, but regardless of the destination they are celebrated at, and the number of guests attending it, the type of costs will be similar on most occasions.
Here, we present you a list of 5 of the most important destination wedding costs you must consider when planning a wedding at an all-inclusive resort, so make sure you include them in your budget!
1. ROOM RATES
All-inclusive resorts come in all shapes and sizes. Certain room and food standards, beach quality, and entertainment activities are only a few of the details people will look at before choosing the perfect location.
Room rates can go anywhere from $130/night per person to above $500/night per person depending on the season. Therefore, it is important to have an idea of what budget your most important guests are willing to spend to come to your wedding.
Knowing that will help narrow down the options and make sure that all the people you really want at your wedding are attending.
Here are a few resort categories with an average price example for the lead-in room type. Please note that these are just guidelines, the rates can be different based on the season and occupancy.
- Sandos Resorts: $130 – $160 per person per night
- Iberostar Resorts: $140 – $185 per person per night
- Ocean Resorts: $140 – $185 per person per night
- Palladium Resorts: $150 – $190 per person per night
- Royalton Resorts: $170 – $195 per person per night
- Dreams Resorts: $190 – $250 per person per night
- Hard Rock Resorts: $200 – $245 per person per night
- Excellence and Finest Resorts: $270 – $320 per person per night
- Secrets Resorts: $295 – $330 per person per night
- Hotel Xcaret: $325 – $380 per person per night
- Atelier Resorts: $450 – $490 per night
2. THE WEDDING PACKAGE
This is the starting point of all destination wedding costs. Every resort will have a few options. The price will vary based on the number of guests and the type of events included in it.
They can go from “Free” packages if you meet certain requirements, up to $15,000 USD in some cases where you don’t need to add anything else to have the wedding of your dreams.
As a general idea, they could be separated into three main categories. This being said, the following is a very wide guideline as to what to expect. There are many possible options. Contact us to know more!
Elopements or Small group wedding Packages (10-20 people or under)
The “free” wedding packages will have lots of limitations and typically include only the ceremony, a toast, personal flowers for the couple, and maybe a cake for 10 people or so.
They will be offered based on a minimum of room nights (the total of rooms reserved multiplied by the number of nights at the hotel) and some resorts will only allow the ceremony to be on certain days and times as well.
Here is an example of a “Free” Wedding Package at the Dreams Tulum. It is complimentary based on a 7-night stay in an upper room category, or with 15 room nights booked in total.
Wedding in Paradise Package
10 guests for $999
Services of the wedding coordinator plus:
Wedding day: Symbolic Ceremony / Preparation and ironing of the couple’s wedding day attire / Complimentary room for one member of the wedding couple the night before the wedding (based on availability and upon request) / Personal wedding flowers for wedding couple / Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast (for up to 10 guests)
Other inclusions: Special turn-down service the night of the wedding / 15% discount on all spa treatments (Boutique purchases not included) / Late check-out for the couple / Free Anniversary Nights
These packages are best for elopements or small wedding groups that are not looking to have a private reception or other events.
Mid-Size Wedding Group (20-40 guests)
The average wedding package will cost around the $3,800 mark and will include between 20-30 guests. You are not limited to that number of people, however, there is a cost per guest for each additional one.
These are more complete and will generally include the ceremony with the basic setup, a cocktail hour, and reception as well as personal flowers for the couple, and the cake. Here’s an example of a mid-size wedding package at Planet Hollywood Cancun.
Planet Hollywood Cancun
PH Love Wedding Package
30 guests for $4,199
Services of the wedding coordinator plus:
Wedding day: Symbolic Ceremony / Chairs included / Personal wedding flowers for wedding couple / Personal flowers for 2 members of the bridal party (bouquet or boutonniere) / Ceremony table with linen and tropical centerpiece / Personal wedding flowers for wedding couple / Sparkling wine to toast the newlyweds
Cocktail hour: 3 cocktail tables with white linen / 3 appetizers per person / 1hour of standard open bar service / 1-hour couple’s personalized piped music selection for cocktail hour
Private Reception: 3-hour private reception (select buffet or family-style options) / 3 hours of standard open bar / Round tables with white linens / 2-tier wedding cake, ready to be glammed up! / Personalized menu cards
Other inclusions: Celebrity VIP welcome for the wedding couple/ Wedding couple complimentary STAR Class ™status (based on availability, not guaranteed) / “Getting ready” refreshments & fruit platter for the wedding couple / 10% discount on spa services for entire wedding group (selected services) / Breakfast in bed for the morning after the wedding
These packages may have many inclusions, but they will always leave room for you to add details to personalize your event as you wish.
Large Wedding groups
Then you have the wedding packages for the larger wedding group. They always offer a private reception as the semi-private are not usually possible for this size group.
These are pretty complete with the ceremony, may or may not include a cocktail hour and a private reception. Some offer a rehearsal dinner and a few extras as well.
Party Lovers Deluxe Wedding Package
50 guests for $7,900
Services of the wedding coordinator plus:
Wedding day: Symbolic Ceremony / Decor according to selected wedding collection / Personal wedding flowers for wedding couple / White folding garden chairs or Tiffany chairs / Couture chair caps and/or chair scarves in your choice of colors from the collection / Two-tiered wedding cake with naked or buttercream icing and fresh flowers
Private Reception: 4-Hour private event: delicious food and open bar included (venue subject to availability and group size) / 5 centerpieces according to wedding theme / Cotton napkins in any color from the collection / White Bentley overlay for your tables / DJ to play during the event (4 hours)
3. PHOTO AND VIDEOGRAPHY
The wedding itself is great but the photos are what make the memories exceptional! Some wedding packages do include a few photos. However, the number of pictures included is limited and the time frame is usually only for the ceremony or 1-hour.
So when it comes to a photographer (outside of what is included in the wedding package), you have 3 main options:
- Use the resort’s preferred vendor,
- Hire a local professional photographer
- Bring your own photographer
All resorts have their preferred vendors for photography. On the Riviera Maya, there are 2 main ones that you can find and that have contracts with a lot of resorts. They are Adventure Photo and Romanza.
You are allowed to use a different company but they will charge outside vendor fees in order for them to come and work on the resort. Here is an idea of their destination wedding photo/video packages and the costs:
Local Professional Photographer
You can also hire a professional photographer locally, but all resorts will charge you an outside vendor fee for them to be able to work on their property.
This fee can vary between $200-$1,000 per service or per person, according to the hotel. However, this can ensure you are working with a photographer that is completely in sync with your vision.
Bring your own Photographer
Lastly, if you are absolutely in love with one particular photographer or videographer, you could include them as part of the wedding party, most properties will waive the outside vendor fee if they stay at least three nights within your room block.
That’s why some couples opt to bring their own from home as another option.
4. DECOR AND FLOWERS
Ok, so this is where the wedding couples can go wild! You can add as little as you wish for a minimalist wedding, or add lots of florals, candles, and even fireworks to make your day extraordinarily grand.
See a gallery of popular decor and the average rent pricing per item, courtesy of Canteiro Weddings.
Since most resorts will offer the basic setup, you may also need to upgrade if you wish a specific style of chairs, silverware, napkins, glasses, tablecloths, or anything outside the standard items included in the wedding package.
5. PARTY ACCENTS
If a great party is what you are looking for, here is where you really want to splurge! Since most weddings are celebrated in the evening, and most wedding venues have minimal lighting and decor, you may need to invest a little in this concept.
- 1 line with 10 paper lanterns: $174 USD
- 1 Tiki torch: $17.4 USD
- 45-minute soloist set: $500 USD
- 4-hour Dj service for up to 100 guests: $1,300 USD
- 6-element versatile band: $1,100 USD
- Votives with led candle: $4 USD
- Wooden dancefloor for up to 35 guests: $510 USD
- 1 line of 20 string light bulbs: $116 USD
- L.O.V.E light letters: $232 USD
- 45-minute mariachi trio: $600 USD
- Mayan show with live music: $1,530 USD
- Personalized signature welcome drink: $3 USD each
- One disco ball with led light: $350 USD
- Digital Led dancefloor for up to 35 guests: $900 USD
As you can see, there are many destination wedding costs to include in your budget when getting ready to walk down the aisle. We know, it looks like a true challenge, but once you have a clear idea of what your vision is, it will all come to place.
Already feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? Find out why you’ll love to work with a travel agent! If you need professional assistance from experienced wedding experts, you can find our info below.