Do I Need to Hire a Destination Wedding Planner for My All-Inclusive Resort Wedding?

Planning a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort offers convenience, but is it enough? While the resort provides a wedding coordinator, is it wise to hire a dedicated destination wedding planner? In this post, we’ll explore whether the added expertise justifies the extra cost.

Key Takeaways

  • Destination wedding planners are an add-on to all-inclusive resort wedding coordinators. 
  • It is not necessary to hire one for every couple.
  • Cost can vary from $1,500 to $10,000 and more.
Hola Weddings team with destination wedding planner
at Unico hotel Riviera Maya

Destination Wedding Planner vs. All-Inclusive Resort Wedding Coordinator

Destination wedding planners are not included in all-inclusive resort wedding packages. What is included is a resort wedding coordinator that is part of the wedding department at the resort.

Here are their main role and differences:

The wedding coordinator’s job is to help couples plan and coordinate the wedding day(s) events. Tasks might include helping select preferred resort vendors, managing the wedding timeline, overseeing the ceremony and reception setup, solving last-minute issues, and ensuring that the couple’s wishes are adhered to throughout the event. They are usually available to start planning a couple of months to a few weeks prior to the wedding date. 

Keep in mind that the resort wedding coordinators are dealing with hundreds of weddings per year. This means that they have the process down to an art, but it also means that they cannot be available 100% for couples.

A destination wedding planner comes at an extra cost but will be present from the start. They can help with a larger scope such as choosing the wedding date, selecting venues, managing the budget, coordinating with preferred or outside vendors, assisting with legal or religious requirements, and helping with the design and style of the event.

Destination wedding planners are involved for several months to over a year, and will be present for every step along the way.

Do I Need a Destination Wedding Planner?

Here are a few types of couples who might want to consider hiring a destination wedding planner to complement the work done by the wedding coordinator at the resorts:

  • Couples looking to have an off-resort wedding ceremony or reception.
  • Couples that want someone available during the whole planning process.
  • Couple planning multiple complicated events and extravagant decor and entertainment.
  • Couples that don’t have time to plan and want a professional vision.

A lot of brides and grooms getting married at an all-inclusive resort will be happy with the services of the wedding coordinator as long as they understand that the bulk of the planning will be done just a couple of months prior to the event. 

Destination wedding planner at work

Costs Associated With Hiring a Destination Wedding Planner

The cost of hiring a wedding planner can vary widely based on several factors, including the planner’s experience, the location of the wedding, the size and complexity of the event, and the specific services provided. Here’s a general overview of what you might expect to pay for different types of wedding planning services:

  1. Full-Service Planning:
    • Cost: Typically ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 or more.
    • Details: This includes comprehensive planning from start to finish, covering all details such as venue selection, vendor management, decor and theme design, budget tracking, and day-of coordination.
  2. Partial Planning:
    • Cost: Ranges from $1,500 to $5,000.
    • Details: Good for couples who have started planning but need help with certain elements. It might include vendor recommendations, contract negotiation, and event design.
  3. Month-Of or Day-Of Coordination:
    • Cost: Usually between $800 and $2,500.
    • Details: Focuses on ensuring the wedding day runs smoothly. The planner starts working with the couple a few weeks before the wedding to finalize last-minute details and manage the wedding day.
  4. Hourly Consultation:
    • Cost: Typically $50 to $150 per hour.
    • Details: Useful for couples who need limited advice or specific services, like venue selection or vendor recommendations.
  5. Destination Wedding Planning:
    • Cost: Can start at around $1,500 and go up significantly depending on the destination and logistics involved.
    • Details: Includes handling local vendors, in addition to the usual planning services. For the travel arrangements and accomodation we recommend the use of a Destination wedding travel agent.

Depending on the home location of the Destination wedding planner, you might have to add fees for travel and accommodations as well. Before hiring a wedding planner, it’s advisable to discuss your budget and expectations to find a service package that suits your needs.

Selecting the Right Destination Wedding Planner

For the perfect destination wedding experience, selecting the right destination wedding planner is essential. When choosing a planner, look for qualifications that match your needs.

Seek someone with expertise in your chosen Destination wedding location. Consider your budget carefully; find a planner who can work within your financial constraints while delivering quality service.

Look for someone with experience with your type of event. For example, if you are having a South Asian wedding with several events, you will want to choose a planner that has experience executing this. 

Communication skills are key – make sure your planner understands your vision and can articulate it effectively to vendors. Additionally, a planner with strong vendor connections can help secure the best deals and services for your special day.

Research online to find potential planners, read reviews, and check for certifications and experience. Interview multiple candidates to gauge their fit with your vision. Don’t hesitate to ask for referrals from trusted sources. Ultimately, the right planner won’t only possess the necessary skills and expertise but also align with your communication style and budget requirements.


Destination wedding planners can help aleviate some of the wedding planning stress and will provide more timely responses than the resorts employee.

They can be a good add-on to the wedding coordinator offered by the resort depending on your needs and budget. 

Are you ready to take the next step in your wedding planning process?

Get in touch, we love to help!

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