Wedding Date: October 25, 2023 ~ Resort: Generations Riviera Maya ~ Photographer: Megan Goggins Photography ~ Videographer: Bridal Moments Mexico ~ Bridal Gown: Something Blue Bridal ~ Tux Salon: Azazie
Why did you choose Romance Travel Group?
We had googled travel agencies that specialized in weddings and out of 5 we reviewed online, we knew we wanted to reach out to Romance Travel Group first. Between couple testimonies and their welcoming website, we made Shelli Nornes our first call. And after the first call with Shelli, there was not doubt in our minds that we were going to go with Romance Travel Group for our wedding. I am SO happy that we went with our gut because Shelli and Heather made the entire process seamless and exciting. We felt nothing but unwavering support from the Romance Travel Group team and our guests felt incredibly comfortable with their booking processes.
What led you to choose a destination wedding?
We wanted to plan something different from what our families would expect from us. It is not really in either one of our personalities to do something super out of the box so choosing a destination was something fun for us to do together and we learned a lot about one another in the process. It also helped us to keep our guest list smaller and be able to splurge on some of the more exciting decor such as big light up letters, and LED dance floor, and pyro lights for our entrance. Lastly, given our opposite work schedules, planning a destination wedding also gave us the opportunity to travel with each other and a large group of loved ones - which is something we don’t get to do.
How did you select the resort? What were the deciding factors?
Generations Riviera Maya is a family-friendly property with fair pricing. We chose this resort based on the fact that we knew some family members would want to bring their young children. I (Ashley) also have an 8 year old brother so there was no way we would have our wedding without him. What made Generations stand out is that it is attached to the El Dorado, an adult-only property, that we had access to. This allowed some of the guests to spend time away from kids. It truly was the best of both worlds!
How did you come to decide on your wedding date? Is there meaning behind it?
We always knew we would get married on the 25th of a month. 25 is both our our favorite/lucky number (Fun fact: we both have the number 25 tattooed on us that we got separately). We went back and forth between October or March but given where we were at in life and the timeline we wanted, October made the most sense. We also heard from family members that the weather in Mexico was PERFECT in October so that helped us make our decision - and they were right! The weather was awesome!
Describe what it was like working with the wedding coordinator at the resort? What went well? Any challenges?
Working with the resort was an interesting process (in a good way!) Once we booked the resort officially with the help of Heather and Shelli, we were put in contact with the wedding coordinator through Lomas Weddings. She is the one that helped us choose everything we wanted for our special day including but not limited to: video, decor, florals, arrangements, food options, and extras. Once we got to the resort, we then were connected with Paulina, the onsite coordinator and she was absolutely amazing. It was easy to see right off the bat that she has a passion for what she does and she made sure everything about our day was absolutely perfect! Oh my goodness, and the Lomas Travel group were the BEST! They shuttled us to and from the airport and assisted in planning any and all excursions we could hope for.
Describe the booking process for your guests. Did they find that to be easy to navigate?
Our guests had nothing but amazing things to say about the booking process. We had a two and a half-year long engagement and decided to book the resort and start sharing information with our guests within ~6 months of becoming engaged. Doing it this way allowed our guests to put a deposit on their rooms (which was fairly cheap) right away and have almost 2 years to pay off their stays. A lot of guests chose to do a payment plan and shared that this took away any financial burden they thought they might have when we first told them we were doing a destination wedding. The pay-off and booking dates were clearly listed on the website and any questions our guests had were quickly and clearly answered.
Tell us about how you chose your bridal party and asked them to stand up with you.
We chose our bridal parties early on. We both have 4 siblings and their spouses that we wanted to include so deciding our wedding party was the easy part. We asked them the Christmas of the year we were engaged to also allow them extra time to decide if they would be able to travel for us. Something that I love that we did was: we paid for our bridesmaids dresses and groomsman outfits in place of their “day of gifts”. This helped us a ton because we didn’t have to travel with extra items for gifts and this helped with some of the financial burden that can come with standing up in a wedding. Choosing affordable options from Azazie (super amazing and efficient) and Amazon, helped keep the cost down as well.
Were your guests wowed by the resort and the all-inclusive concept? What was their reaction upon arrival?
I think every single guest we had (75 in total) was in shock at how well thought out and planned the wedding was. It was stunning down to the smallest detail and when I shared that I owed all of the credit to the resort and planning team, some guests were even upset they didn’t chose to do a destination wedding! Our guests loved the all-inclusive and were so happy with the entire trip. I truly did not hear any negative comments about the resort, everything was positive and uplifting! I also think some of our early-20-something guests really appreciated that they had the opportunity to travel between then family-friendly and adult-only properties.
How easy/difficult was it to travel with your wedding attire? Did you carry-it on, where did you store it? Did you get a lot of comments at the airport?
We carried on our wedding garments. We all flew with Southwest Airlines which allows a carry-on and 2 checked bags for free. This made it really easy to travel and feel confident in flying, especially with my wedding dress. I bought this beautiful garment bag off Amazon and I don’t think anyone even realized there was a wedding dress inside.
Tell us about your wedding – did you have a traditional wedding with a cocktail hour, dinner reception and dance? What was different about a destination wedding compared to a wedding at home?
We followed a more traditional timeline for our wedding day. The salon didn’t start our hair and makeup until 12:30pm which was weird to me because every other wedding I’ve been in, typically hair and makeup starts early in the morning. Our ceremony was at 4:30pm and our brother-in-law was our officiant. Our cocktail party started right away and then the reception started at 6:30pm. Dinner was served immediately following the bridal party entrances, then speeches were during dinner and dancing quickly followed. Our guests were on the dance floor all night long! The only difference with a destination wedding was that we didn’t get to see the “venue” or space beforehand. Because of this, it was hard to picture what our wedding would look like, if guests would like it, and what the exact timeline would be. However, the onsite team made us feel confident and excited to trust the process. Everything went off without a hitch! I cannot emphasize enough that I would recommend a destination wedding a million times over!
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
In my opinion, the best part of having a destination wedding is that the stress is almost completely taken away from you. There are so many people and teams in place to make your vision come true that all you have to worry about is getting there.
What is your most favorite memory of your wedding experience?
Something unique that our Matron of Honor and Best Man planned for us was a catamaran experience. Most of our guests traveled Sunday-Saturday, so our Matron of Honor and Best Man planned a “booze cruise” on a catamaran (with the help of Lomas Travel) as a kick-off to the week and a way for guests who didn’t know each other to share an experience with one another. I think having done that created so many fun opportunities for everyone for the rest of the week. My favorite part of the entire week was seeing people who didn’t know each other before Mexico, go to dinners together and hangout in the pools. My favorite memory has to be that it was a shared experience for everyone! My friends now joke that life either existed pre-Mexico or post-Mexico because Mexico itself was such a dream!
Would you recommend Romance Travel Group to other couples who are considering a destination wedding? I cannot recommend Romance Travel Group enough! I want to get married a million more times just so I could get the opportunity to work with Shelli, Heather, and their team again! They truly made us feel like family from the moment we had our first phone call (2 years before the wedding!) For 2 whole years, Romance Travel Group worked hard to make sure us and our guests felt confident in their bookings and really made the whole process easy. I LOVED how often Heather and Shelli would check-in on us and my favorite part of working with them was the call I got from Shelli when we landed in Mexico…talk about a hype-woman! She set the tone for the week and made me feel like an actual superstar!
Is there anything Romance Travel Group could have done to make the experience even better?
There is nothing Romance Travel Group could’ve done differently to make our experience better. We cannot rave enough about this team of wonderful individuals who initiated the process in making our dream wedding come true! I just wish the team could’ve been there with us in Mexico to see their hard work come to fruition. :-)
We are so happy to have been a part of your lives! Wishing you years of love and happiness!!
As you embark on the exciting journey of wedding planning, you’re no doubt considering a unique, breathtaking setting for your special day. Destination weddings at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean offer just that. At Romance Travel Group, we specialize in crafting unforgettable destination weddings, and we're here to introduce you to some of the most exquisite over-the-water venues that are just as easy on the eyes as they are on the pocketbook.
Generations Riviera Maya
Hard Rock Riviera Maya, Mexico
Sanctuary Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Jamaica
Dreams Vista, Mexico
Choosing the perfect venue is a significant part of your wedding journey. Romance Travel Group is committed to making your destination wedding dreams come true. Whether it's the serene beaches of Mexico or the enchanting coasts of the Caribbean, we have the expertise to make your over-the-water wedding a memorable and hassle-free experience. Contact us today to start planning your dream destination wedding!
Have you been invited to celebrate the union of two lovebirds at a stunning destination wedding? It’s an honor to be part of such a special occasion! As the industry expert in destination weddings at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, Romance Travel Group knows a thing or two about what makes these events smooth and memorable. Before you jet off to paradise, here are 5 essential tips for guests of a destination weddings.
Think of the wedding invitation as your guidebook for this adventure. As you can imagine, the couple has put immense thought into their wedding plans, aiming to make this experience unforgettable for everyone. It might be tempting to explore options on your own, but adhering to their wishes shows respect for their vision. Plus, it often ensures you get to take advantage of group inclusions, activities and special moments they’ve arranged.
Destination weddings are a perfect blend of celebration and vacation. On average, guests spend around $1200-1500 for a 3-4 night stay, which includes the joy of the event and a mini getaway for themselves. If you're itching for more relaxation time, resorts are typically happy to extend group rates for additional nights. Why not make the most of it?
From room reservations to payment schedules to providing flight details, deadlines are your friends. They’re not just for the couple's benefit but for the whole group, ensuring everyone’s plans lock into place seamlessly. Keep these dates in mind and let the process flow.
Sure, a destination wedding is a dreamy idea, but it's okay if that dream doesn’t fit into everyone’s reality. If you’re unable to attend, don’t fret. The couple understands, and there will be numerous other chances to celebrate their love with them. Your well-wishes from afar are just as meaningful.
5. Have Fun
At the heart of these events is love—not just the love of the couple, but the love among family and friends gathering to celebrate. Embrace the experience, the setting, and all the little moments. Even if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned, your positivity and joy contribute to a vibrant atmosphere. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy every moment.
Now that you’re equipped with these insights, get ready to dive into the excitement and elegance of a destination wedding! At Romance Travel Group, we are committed to ensuring that your attendance is as smooth as the tropical breezes you’ll soon be enjoying. And remember, if you need assistance planning your own destination wedding or simply want to ensure your travel plans are flawless, our experts are just a message away. Say 'I do' to a seamless travel experience and let’s start planning together!
Meet The Authors
We are passionate about destination weddings and love helping couples make their wedding dreams a reality. We are the destination wedding experts.