Not sure how to tie the knot (legally) in paradise? Then, read on to discover the ceremony requirements for your destination wedding!
Legal Ceremony vs. Symbolic Ceremony?
First thing’s first. What exactly is the difference between a legal wedding ceremony and a symbolic wedding ceremony? Well, a legal ceremony is when you receive a marriage certificate from the destination you’re married in, and is recognized legally back home. A legal ceremony typically requires more paperwork, has additional fees, and occasional blood tests.
A symbolic ceremony has no legal binding, and makes up approximately 90% of destination weddings. Typically, the bride and groom will go to their local clergy or courthouse and become legally married before they leave. The best part? A symbolic ceremony and wedding can be performed just as a legal one would – so your guests will never know the difference.
Destination Ceremony Requirements
Mexico – As one of our most popular wedding destinations, the bride and groom will receive no legal bearing in this symbolic marriage. In fact, the only civil ceremony that is legally recognized in Mexico, must be performed by a judge. A blood test is required for this.
Dominican Republic – If you decide to wed here, keep in mind the only legal ceremonies are the one’s performed by the judge or Catholic priest. Be sure your paperwork is notarized and translated into Spanish, which will typically add an additional $1000-1500 to your wedding costs. Any vow renewals will also serve no legal bearing, as that is performed by a non-denominational minister.
Jamaica – Both civil and religious ceremonies performed by a minister are legally recognized in Jamaica. Vow renewals also bear no legal meaning, and the couple must be previously married.
Our Ceremony Recommendation
Typically, we recommend the bride and groom go to their local clergy or courthouse and become legally married before their destination wedding. But not to worry, a symbolic ceremony can be performed just as a legal one would – so your guests will never know the difference!
Questions? Click the button below to get in touch with an expert!
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Curious how you can customize your destination wedding? Then, say no more! We've got all the details for you here...
Start with a Wedding Package
The best way to get ideas for your destination wedding is to start with a wedding package! This way, you'll have all the necessities in place and can add from there. But first - a little more about wedding packages. Here's a few questions brides often ask:
Do all resorts have wedding packages?
What is included in a typical wedding package?
In addition to your resort’s all-inclusive benefits, wedding packages can include everything from expert wedding designers and décor, to sound systems, the ceremony officiant, a wedding certificate, a semi-private dinner, a honeymoon package, and much more!
How much do wedding packages cost?
Most resorts have a complimentary wedding package included in your stay (say what?!). Yep, you heard that right. In fact, free wedding packages usually offer all the basics you need for your wedding day. Looking for something more custom or specific? Well then, say no more, because most resorts also offer premium wedding packages for an upcharge to match your specific preferences and personality!
Do wedding packages vary by resort?
Yes and no. While resorts present their wedding packages a little differently, at the end of the day, you’re getting the same goodies for around the same price.
How do I pick the right wedding package?
Since all wedding packages are pretty much the same, we recommend selecting your dream resort first. Once you decide on the perfect place, then you can customize the wedding package of your dreams.
Popular Destination Wedding Themes
Other ways to customize your wedding are by selecting a "theme." Here's some of our favorites!
Boho - The natural wood and textures like macramé and dried arrangements give you perfect blend of nature and paradise. We’re especially loving the uniqueness of the pointed arbor and wooden aisle.
Lavish - Golden chairs and a white petal runner will make you feel like you’re walking on cloud nine as you make your way to say “I do” to your handsome groom. A dramatic floral-draped altar, stunning decor, and elegant touches will be a daydream that feels too good to be true!
Tropical - From the lush greenery and palm leaves, to the exotic flora and sound of the ocean in the background –you really can’t go wrong with this classic tropical collection. Truly elegant. Truly simplistic. And truly amazing.
Modern - The ultimate blend of luxury and fun with whimsical decorations, callas-topped columns, and a dramatic circular floral arbor. Couples also adore the unique acrylic napoleon chairs and modern touches in this collection, as it’s quite the eye-catching display.
Destination Wedding Venues
Not only can you customize your wedding theme, but the venue options are endless! Check out what we mean, below!
Other Ways to Customize
And of course, we encourage you to get creative! Think of ways to incorporate both of your personalities into your big day. Popular details include: signature drinks, special activities, decor, pre-post parties, entertainment, and more!
Have any questions for us? Then, just ask! We can't wait to help you plan the perfect wedding in paradise!
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Curious how much to budget for your destination wedding? Well, here it is! A quick budget breakdown that might surprise you - plus, tips for keeping it under $10k!
Destination Wedding Cost Breakdown
For 7-nights at an all-inclusive resort, expect to spend approximately $3,000 for the both of you. Most resorts charge between $150-$250 per person, per night, but that includes your room, your meals, your drinks, taxes and tips. Of course, you’ll probably want to bring a little extra cash for spending and additional gratuities, at your discretion. Also keep in mind, prices may vary depending on the time of year you book, as well as the resort you select.
For 2 round-trip flights, you’re looking at a total cost of around $1,000. This will also be dependent upon the airline you’re using, the time of year, and of course, your destination of choice.
Wedding Package Costs
Most resort wedding packages can range between $0 and $5,000. You heard that! And although some properties offer some really great free wedding packages, most couples spend about $2,500 for additional customizations, upgrades, etc. Packages typically include the ceremony location, bride’s bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, officiant, cake, chairs, and semi-private dinner for around 40 guests.
Now, these costs can fluctuate depending on your taste and preferences, but the average destination wedding costs under $10,000. Now, that’s something to get onboard with! Looking for some other ways to cut wedding costs? Keep scrolling to see some of our top tips for keeping your destination wedding under $10k!
How to Save Money for Your Destination Wedding
Travel During Off-Season
The best rates are found during off-season in September and October. Besides the best room rates, you’ll find that resorts have lower occupancy levels during this time, leaving plenty of pool chairs open for everyone. November and December are also good options, as long as you avoid the holidays (when rates and occupancy goes way up)!
Find an All-Inclusive Option
For the best value, we highly recommend going all-inclusive. When all your meals, drinks, entertainment, airport shuttles and taxes are included, guests can better gauge their budgets and plan accordingly. This is especially true for wedding groups, as the cost you pay for private dinners and events is significantly reduced. Convenience is also huge reason couples opt for all-inclusive.
Choose a Simple Setting
A big draw to having a destination wedding is the natural and intimate setting it presents. Not only will it save you money on venue costs, but sometimes less really is more. After all, nothing says “I love you” like some swaying palm trees and an ocean view!
Bring in Your Own Vendors
Have a photographer friend or hair-stylist BFF? Perhaps a DJ’ing college roomie? Well then, you’re in luck! As long as these pros are staying at the resort with you for three nights, they are not typically considered outside vendors and you won’t have to pay extra to use them. Ask us how you can negotiate travel for these services.
Opt for a Honeymoon Split-Stay
Another great way to cut down on costs is to combine your destination wedding and honeymoon (aka, a split-stay). Most couples stay at the wedding resort for 5-6 nights while guests are there, then move to a new resort where you can honeymoon for 3-4 more nights. This will save you a lot in airfare!
Use a Destination Wedding Expert
Last but not least…use a wedding travel specialist (that’s us!). A good travel pro will make suggestions for you and knows the resorts that offer the most amenities based on what your needs are. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!
Destination Wedding Costs, Revealed!
So, there you have it. Your ultimate destination wedding cost and budget planner! Looking for a little push in the right direction? Then, click the button below to get the conversation started. We can' t wait to help you with your special day!
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Is a tropical beach-side wedding in your future? Then, keep scrolling for some expert tips for planning your destination wedding!
Initial Destination Wedding Planning Steps
Step 1: Choose a Destination
Choosing the right destination is the hardest, but most exciting part! Couples can spend months browsing through travel magazines and websites in search of the perfect destination. Budget often plays a major role as couples consider the cost and convenience of air travel to their destination options. Marriage laws and residency requirements for certain destinations also come into play. With so much to consider, couples often struggle with this initial decision. We understand this, and hope that you'll let our expertise be your guide.
Step 2: Select a Resort
This is another fun step! Often, couples will fall in love with a resort that they've read about and choose it, regardless of its location. There are many things to consider when selecting the resort: Do you want it to be for adults only, or family friendly? Do you want it to be all-inclusive (highly recommended!) or close to the airport? You can be confident in our resort recommendations, knowing that we will only offer resorts with proven track records. Remember, we’ve been to most of these resorts and destinations and you can rely on our experience.
Step 3: Confirm Your Date
Destination weddings take place every day of the week, so finding an available date is not usually a problem if you have some flexibility. The more set you are on a particular date, the earlier you should begin planning. As soon as you have the resort chosen, we will contact the wedding coordinator to secure your date.
Final Destination Wedding Planning Steps
Step 4: Reserve Your Room
Soon after we confirm your wedding date with the resort, we will need to book your room. This seals your plans, giving you the assurance that you in fact are going to have a destination wedding! You can take a deep breath and relax knowing that the major decision making is done.
Step 5: Send Save-The-Dates
Usually couples will send a Save-The-Date invitation as soon as their wedding date and location are confirmed. Since we expect to take on the task of travel planning for all of your guests, you'll want to include your personalized website address and our contact information on everything you send out so your guests know who to call to make their room reservations. We will customize each guests' travel arrangements to fit their specific needs.
Step 6: We'll Handle it From Here!
You will be working directly with the wedding coordinator at the resort to plan the details of your day. Don’t worry! We will introduce you to her. We will continue to oversee the entire planning process, as well as assisting guests with their travel plans. We are here for you every step of the way to ensure the most spectacular destination wedding.
Ready to Plan Your Destination Wedding?
Click the button below to get in touch with one of our experts!
P.S. Liked this post? Then, be sure to share the infographic below with a bride-to-be!
Not sure how to tie the knot (legally) in paradise? Read on for some tips!
But first, there are two types of destination wedding ceremonies:
A legal ceremony is when you receive a marriage certificate from the destination you’re married in, and is recognized legally back home. A legal ceremony typically requires more paperwork, a judge, additional fees, and occasional blood tests.
A symbolic ceremony has no legal binding, and makes up approximately 80% of all destination weddings.
Popular Destinations: Ceremony Requirements
As one of our most popular wedding destinations, the bride and groom will receive no legal bearing in this symbolic marriage. In fact, the only civil ceremony that is legally recognized in Mexico, must be performed by a judge. A blood test is required for this.
If you decide to wed here, keep in mind the only legal ceremonies are the ones performed by the judge or Catholic priest. Be sure your paperwork is notarized and translated into Spanish, which will typically add an additional $500-800 to your wedding costs.
Both civil and religious ceremonies performed by a minister are legally recognized in Jamaica. Jamaica is one of the easiest countries to have a legal destination wedding!
Costa Rica offers legal ceremonies if they are performed by a judge. Religious ceremonies or vow renewals will hold no legal bearing, as they are considered symbolic.
Typically, we recommend the bride and groom go to their local courthouse, obtain your license and file the paperwork to become legally married before their destination wedding. This takes a ton of stress off during the trip. Abd don't worry!... a symbolic destination wedding ceremony is performed just like a legal ceremony (just without the paperwork!) so your guests will never know the difference!
Travel agents who specialize in destination wedding travel have the tips and knowledge you can’t find anywhere else. Here are 5 reasons you’ll want to use one today!
We Live and Breathe Travel
As travel agents, we live and breathe travel all day long. We book several travel experiences for people every day. We give you our opinions and recommendations based on our first-hand travel experiences because we’ve been through it, we've been there. We help you save time, money and stress – sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
We’re Wedding Specialists
While travel agents are fully-qualified to plan all your travel-related matters, it’s always smart to work with someone who specializes in what you’re looking for. Planning a destination wedding takes an extensive amount of research and planning – something only a true wedding travel expert could help you with.
We’ll Do all The Heavy Lifting
Don’t want to research a resort? No problem, we’ll do it for you. Not sure how to coordinate all your guests? We’ll handle it. As for the ceremony and décor? We’ve got the hookup on speed dial. The point is, hiring a destination wedding specialist benefits you in more ways than one – including doing all the heavy lifting for you.
We Can Customize
One of the greatest things about a destination wedding is that no two weddings are the same! In fact, we’re able to customize pretty much anything your heart desires to align with your budget and preferences. So that rooftop wedding you’ve been dreaming about? Yeah, we can make it happen!
We’ll Work with You
From the initial resort recommendations, to your guest accommodations, transfer services, and wedding day – we’ll be there for you every step of the way. Remember, we’re not a call center – we’re real people that are just as excited to plan your wedding as you are!
Looking for a destination wedding specialist? Then, you’re in luck! Romance Travel Group helps thousands of couples plan the ultimate destination wedding each year. To get started, simply click here to connect with us today!
With destination weddings on the rise, what better way to tie the knot than at one of these gorgeous tropical wedding venues?! Keep scrolling for some inspiration!
Sky Terrace with an Ocean View
For an elevated destination wedding experience, you and your soon-to-be are sure to love a sky wedding! Here, you and your guests can enjoy the wedding festivities on your very own private sky terrace with jaw-dropping 360-degree views of the sand and sea!
Tropical and Intimate Chapel
For a more traditional ceremony with a tropical flare, look no further than a beach chapel wedding! Many beach chapels boast artful details and colorful stained-glass windows with the sound of ocean waves nearby!
Tranquil Ocean Pier
Solidify your love for one another on a tropical ocean pier surrounded by family, friends, and the big blue sea! With a pier wedding, you’ll tie the knot atop the waves and embrace the sound of the ocean as you strut your stuff down the aisle!
Romantic Secret Garden
With a secret garden venue, your ceremony will be a true reflection of the history and culture that surrounds you! Available in a variety of botanical setups and gazebos, ranging from natural wood and stone, to vibrant florals and greenery. How romantic!
White Sand Beach
A beach wedding is certainly a favorite among our destination wedding brides! Take in your surroundings and embrace the silky sand, tropical breezes, and breathtaking views at one of our many beach wedding resorts. The destinations for a beach wedding are endless!
Exotic Nature Cenote
A natural cenote wedding ceremony is most distinctive for being rich in culture and its natural surroundings, lush tropical plants, and intimate atmosphere. Embrace the Mayan culture with this unique venue option!
Do any of these unique destination wedding venues catch your eye? Great! Then, it’s time to get started! Simply click here to get in touch with a specialist, today.
Curious what wedding packages are available for your destination wedding? Then, keep reading for some insight!
Overall, All Wedding Packages Are Similar
All resorts have wedding packages. And frankly, they are all pretty much the same. What one hotel has to offer, other hotels can provide as well. Most of them include everything from expert wedding designers and basic décor, to sound systems, the ceremony officiant, a wedding certificate, a semi-private dinner, a honeymoon package, and more!
Similar Wedding Package Costs
Most resorts have a complimentary wedding package option, making them quite similar in terms of pricing. We typically recommend taking advantage of the free package, then add in the pops of customization where it matters most to you. Wedding packages are usually non-negotiable (they won’t allow you to swap spa treatments for a cocktail party) but resorts will have plenty of options for you to add to your liking.
Look for The Best Group Amenities
If you really want to dive deeper into wedding packages, consider comparing each resort’s group amenities. Some resorts offer a ton of great freebies and incentives for couples hosting their wedding with them, while other resorts will actually charge you extra for having too many guests. We’ll make it easy for you by including the best options on our list of recommendations.
Pick Your Dream Resort FIRST
Since wedding packages are so similar, we recommend selecting your dream resort first. Look at the resort’s amenities, rooms, dining options, beach, pool scene. Does the overall resort atmosphere match the vibe you are going for for your wedding? Can you picture your guests hanging out in the pool and enjoying their time? Once you decide on the perfect resort, then you can customize the wedding package of your dreams.
How to Select the Best Resort
This all depends on your preferences! What amenities are important to you? Are you a beach-lover? A foodie? Want something private and adult-only? These are the things you’ll want to add to your wish list when working with your destination wedding specialist.
Are you interested in learning more about destination weddings and which resort is right for you? Click below to get started!
Exhilarated with the idea of having a destination wedding, but concerned how your guests will take it? Why, it sounds like you’ve got a case of “guest guilt!” But not to worry – these expert tips should help!
We hear it all too often: “I want to have a destination wedding, but I’m concerned what my guests will think of it.” Ladies, guest guilt is a very normal feeling! It just means that you care about your loved ones. Here’s what guest guilt usually looks like and how we can help you overcome it so all you’re guilty for is having the best wedding ever!
“I don’t want to ask guests to spend money on a trip.”
If you know your guests are on a tight budget, we’ll tailor our resort recommendations to fit! Remember, the great thing about working with a destination wedding expert is that we’ll work with you one-on-one to meet your (and your guests’!) specific needs. Together we’ll find the resort that meets all our expectations.
“I don’t want guests to use all their vacation days to attend my wedding.”
Not to worry! We can book guests for different lengths of stay, so those who are tight on vacation days don’t have to miss out. In fact, it’s quite common for guests to come for a long weekend to celebrate with the bride and groom – so don’t stress about it too much! We’ll help each guest create the trip that works for them.
“I don’t want to ask guests to leave their kids at home.”
No biggie! If a lot of your guests have young kids, we’ll narrow down your options to family-friendly resorts, so they don’t have to leave them at home. Trust us, your guests (and their kiddos!) will love these properties!
You see!? There’s no need to succumb to guest guilt. In fact, our destination wedding specialists will help you work through all of your concerns. We’re here for you, and we’re here for your guests. So go ahead, bring ALL your guest concerns to your call with your planning specialist – we’ll tackle them with you one-by-one.
Curious how you can save on your destination wedding? Here are 4 expert tips that should help with your budget:
Travel During Off-Season
Did you know that you can save big on your destination wedding by simply traveling during off-season? That’s right! In fact, you can find some of the best rates during the months of September and October. Besides the best room rates, you’ll also find that resorts have lower occupancy levels, where you’ll have more of the property to yourself! November and December are also good options, as long as you avoid the holidays.
Use Major Airports
Major hubs like Cancun, Montego Bay and Punta Cana have a wide-range of flight options, as well as several price ranges to suit your budget. The advantage of choosing a destination with a major airport also means you may find more direct flights and less layovers.
Keep Décor Simple
Many couples love the fact that a destination wedding needs very little to be beautiful (think minimal décor). Not only will it save you money on venue costs, but the scenery will make your day truly magical. After all, nothing says “I love you” like the natural beauty of swaying palm trees and an ocean view!
Use a Travel Pro
We can’t stress this enough! If you use a wedding travel specialist (that’s us!), they’ll be able to make suggestions for you and will know which resorts fit your budget and preferences. Spending hours searching online for the best deals will only waste your time and give you a huge headache! Allow the experts to find you the best value destination wedding that is tailored to you. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!
So, there you have it! 4 ways to save money on your destination wedding. Pretty simple, right? For more info on destination weddings, feel free to contact us here!
Forget hunting down your guests, we’ve got an easier way to find out if they’re coming to your destination wedding! Keeping reading to see what we mean…
It’s a waste of money…
For a traditional wedding, it’s not unusual to send out formal invitations with a pretty little RSVP form attached. But for a destination wedding, it’s a bit more complex when you factor in travel arrangements, accommodations, and airfare. We recommend keeping track of your guests’ reservations online, as it’s much easier and saves you on the added postage.
…and a waste of time
Another reason RSVPs are unnecessary, is because we track them all for you! We’ll keep tabs on who is traveling with who and when, so you don’t have to be scrambling for final numbers the week before your wedding – eek!
The “false positives”
As we mentioned above, there’s a bit more your wedding guests will have to consider before they can give you a definite yes or no. For example, they’ll have to plan their budgets, take time off from work, make arrangements with their babysitters – all of which could present too many “false positives” if you required an RSVP.
Here’s what we’ll do instead…
Our process is much simpler than sending out RSVP cards! In fact, for a destination wedding, the guest’s room deposit serves as their RSVP. Once that deposit is paid, it’s pretty safe to assume that your guest is in fact, coming, and you can count them in for dinner! See… easy-peasy!
Interested in having a destination wedding of your own, but need some questions answered first? We’re here to help! Simply message us today and a destination wedding specialist will be in touch with you shortly.
Hesitant about a destination wedding? Not to worry! We’re here to give you some reassurance.
…but what about the cost?
One question we hear all too often is, “how much does a destination wedding cost?” The answer? It varies! While a traditional wedding can typically be around $35,000 or more, we can plan you the destination wedding of your dreams for nearly a quarter of the cost. But to give you a ballpark, between the resort, the flights, and the all-inclusive wedding package, you can celebrate your love in paradise for under $10,000!
…but will my guests even come?
Another thing we hear is “will my guests want to come to my destination wedding?” The long and short of it? Everyone who is important to you will be there – and those are the people who matter the most! The reality is, only about 30-40% of the guests you invite are likely attend. But don’t take it personally – some folks might not have the budget or vacation time available to them right now, which is completely understandable. Don’t let it hold you back from having your dream wedding!
…but how would I even plan it?
We’ve got that part covered! Our job as your destination wedding specialist is to make suggestions for you and provide you with the resorts that offer the most amenities based on what your needs are. In fact, we help you with everything from the booking process and travel arrangements, all the way to taking care of your guests and any issues that arise along the way. We also have dozens of connections across the world to ensure you receive the absolute best pricing, support, and perks you can’t find if you were to plan it yourself. Plus, we’ll hook you up with your very own onsite wedding coordinator to help you with the little details once you arrive!
Ah, that feels much better doesn’t it? To get started with one of our romance travel experts, message us today to start the planning process. Your destination wedding awaits…!
Couple: Kelly & Nick
Wedding Date: August 29, 2020
Resort: Unico Riviera Maya
Photographer: Jessica Gattone Photography
Travel Agency: Romance Travel Group
Why did you choose Romance Travel Group?
Romance Travel Group was referred to us from a friend who had a wonderful experience attending her brother's wedding in Mexico planned by RTG, then they utilized RTG for their own wedding which we were lucky enough to attend in the Dominican Republic. It was clear after hearing about their experience that RTG would be the right fit for us as we planned our wedding in Mexico!
What led you to choose a destination wedding?
We loved the intimate setting that the beach provides for weddings, limited decorations are needed when you have such a beautiful backdrop. We are both lovers of nature and the outdoors and couldn't think of a better place. We also have family that lives all over the U.S. so travel was going to be a part of our guest's plans regardless of where our wedding was held.
How did you select the resort? What were the deciding factors?
When looking at resorts we knew we wanted our ceremony on the beach so we searched for a beautiful beach, which is not hard to find in Mexico! Then we knew we wanted an adult-only resort with a unique feel. We looked at several chain style resorts but wanted something one of a kind with wonderful food and expansive pools, this led us to UNICO 20 87!
Describe what it was like working with the wedding coordinator at the resort? What went well? Any challenges?
Our on-site wedding coordinator Diana was absolutely amazing! She was kind, courteous, and compassionate. She offered suggestions to make our day perfect!
Tell us about your wedding dress – How did you find it? Who went shopping with you? How do you feel wearing your dress?
Searching for a wedding dress was harder than I expected. I am a very indecisive person and ended up going to 9 different bridal stores before finding my dress at Bridal Aisle Boutique in Osseo, Minnesota! My sister and maid of honor were with me! Once I put the dress on, I knew!
What were some of your biggest fears or things you worried about as your wedding date drew near? How did you get through this?
Planning a destination wedding is one thing, having COVID get in the way was a whole different playing field! Our guests were checking in all the time wondering if we were still able to travel to Mexico and wondering if our wedding was still on as planned. Thankfully everything worked out in the end and we did not have to change our date, location, or details but COVID definitely added some stress to the wedding process!
Describe the meeting you had with the onsite wedding team when you arrived at the resort.
We met with Diana the day after we arrived at the resort. She was organized and walked us through everything we needed to know. We still had some decisions to make about music and she was patient with us through the process. She went through all of our details to ensure her notes were accurate then she took us on a tour and showed us exactly where everything would take place.
How easy/difficult was it to travel with your wedding dress? Did you carry-it on, where did you store it? Did you get a lot of comments at the airport?
Traveling with my dress was a piece of cake. I ordered a trifold garment bag from Amazon that fit both my dress and my husband's suit and we carried it on the plane with us. Flying Delta airlines made it easy as they were only booking 60% capacity on their flights due to COVID so we were able to lay the bag flat in the overhead bin, but they did give me the option to hang it up in first-class too. We wore the stereotypical bride and groom shirts around the airport and heard a lot of congratulations as we walked through. The flight crew on Delta also congratulated us multiple times!
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
We loved that it gave our family and closest friends a chance to get to know one another while we spent our week in paradise. It was an overall perfect opportunity for the people we love and care about the most to talk, laugh, and relax together.
In what ways did Romance Travel Group make the planning less stressful for you?
We loved that our guests had the option to ask us questions or if they felt more comfortable they were able to reach out to RTG. It gave them away to ask questions and be reassured without having to "bug" us. Romance Travel Group also made us feel more comfortable about planning a wedding at a resort we had not been to since we did not tour UNICO prior to arriving for our wedding, it was new for us but spoken highly of by RTG which was reassuring.
Would you recommend Romance Travel Group to other couples who are considering a destination wedding?
Congratulations, Kelly & Nick!!!
Have a vendor from home you can’t say “I do” in paradise without? Then, keep reading for some additional insight!
How do destination wedding vendors work?
Typically, your destination wedding resort will provide you with all the vendors you’ll need. However, this isn’t set in stone! If you have a preferred wedding vendor back at home that you’d like to bring in for the big day, it’s totally doable!
Is there a vendor cost?
As long as the vendor you’re bringing in is staying at the resort for three nights, you will not have to pay extra to use them. However, if you hire a vendor that is local to the resort and they are not on the resort’s vendor list, be prepared to pay hefty “outside vendor fees” that can range anywhere from $500 to $2000 each!
What types of vendors do couples bring in?
While this can vary, most couples bring in a hair stylist, make-up artist, photographer, videographer, or DJ (minus all the equipment!)
How should I plan my outside vendor’s travel arrangements?
Typically, the bride and groom will cover all travel expenses for their outside vendors. But be sure to ask them if they will negotiate travel costs for their services. Consider asking "if we cover your travel expenses, will you take all the photos of our destination wedding?"
How will my vendors plan for the big day?
Not to worry! Your onsite wedding coordinator will make sure your outside vendors are connected with her team and appropriate staff, so they know exactly what to expect.
Have additional questions for us? Then, click here to get in touch with a destination wedding specialist, today!
Brides, we get it! Planning a wedding can be stressful! Especially when you’re not sure where to start. Well, fear not. We’re going to walk you through the most common wedding woes our brides experience, PLUS share how to overcome them.
Between the guest list, the dress, the menu, the decorations, the travel arrangements – there’s just so much that goes into planning a wedding! In fact, it’s quite common for brides to feel the pressure throughout the entire planning process because there’s just THAT much going on. Fortunately, when you work with a destination wedding specialist, everything... from the destination and resort selection to the travel insurance and airport shuttles... is taken care of. We’ll also hook you up with your resort’s onsite wedding coordinator to help you with all the little details, too!
Another concern we hear often about is the cost of the wedding itself. And we totally get it! Weddings can easily break the bank. However, what most brides don’t realize is that destination weddings actually cost about a quarter of what a traditional domestic wedding can cost. Yep, you heard that right! So, for less than $10,000, we can plan you the wedding of your dreams without sacrificing any of the frills or fun.
The Guest Experience
Finally, brides worry about how their guests will be taken care of during the planning process. Questions we hear often are, “do I need to collect RSVPs?” or, “do I need to book their rooms?” or, “will I have to coordinate group excursions?” etc., etc. The quick answer? No. Your destination wedding specialist coordinates your guest arrangements for you. You can now breathe and enjoy. Trust us, you’ll be in good hands.
Ready for us to take the weight of wedding planning off your shoulders? Then, click here to start your journey with us, today!
Planning your destination wedding, but not quite sure when to change your passport name? Well, we’ve gotcha covered! Keep reading for a few common questions we get from our brides!
When should I change my passport name? Before or after my destination wedding?
We know you’re excited to change your last name, but do be sure to wait until after the wedding! Since changing your name can be a bit of a process (and since you already have so much to do before the wedding), we recommend you book all travel in your maiden name and make sure your reservation names match the name in the passport.
What are the steps I need to take in order to change my passport name?
The first step you’ll need to take is to complete an application form, which can be done online. You’ll also need to ensure you have all the supporting documents needed to make the transition. These documents include items such as: your current passport, a passport photo, evidence of your name change, etc. Lastly, you’ll need to either mail or appear in person to submit your documents. Read more about this process, here.
How much will this cost?
In order to change your passport name, you will be expected to pay the associated fees if your current passport was acquired more than a year ago. The fees begin at $110 and cost more if you need it expedited. If you received your current passport less than a year ago, you would not owe any fees for the name change.
How long will it take to receive the new passport?
For routine service, 4-8 weeks is the standard time frame for mail. If you’d like your passport expedited, then it will take approximately 2-3 weeks with an added fee.
Have additional questions for us? We’re here to help! To get in touch with a destination wedding expert, simply click here.
Couples – we’re here to tell you like it is! Here are the do’s and don’ts for planning your destination wedding:
We recommend you reaching out to a destination wedding specialist and booking your resort between16 and 18 months in advance.
But don’t… invite guests too early
It’s best to extend the invites no more than14 months in advance – after your resort has been booked.
And don’t… require an RSVP
For a destination wedding, the guest’s room deposit serves as their RSVP. Easy-peasy! If you ask for a traditional RSVP, you will end up with a lot of “yes!” that can’t actually attend. Just let the room deposit be the RSVP.
But do… set a “book by” date
To encourage guests to book early, you can have a recommended “book by” date on your website. This allows your guests plenty of time to plan accordingly.
Definitely don’t…worry when your wedding coordinator takes a while
In the destination wedding industry, it’s not unusual for your wedding coordinator to take a week or more to get back to you. *Deep breaths* We promise, this is normal. They are busy making magic happen behind-the-scenes!
Oh, and do…trust your travel agent and wedding coordinator
Remember, your destination wedding specialist and wedding coordinator are your advocates and have your best interest at heart.
Also, don’t…stress out over the little details
They say, “hindsight is 20/20,” and this couldn’t ring truer. Everything always falls into place beautifully, and you’ll eventually realize that stressing out over your music playlist was pointless.
Lastly, please do …commit yourself to slowing down
While you can easily get caught up in the moment of wedding planning, it’s important to slow down and take things in stride. After all, you only get one wedding countdown – so it’s best to make it count!
Ready to plan the wedding of your dreams? Then, click here to connect with a destination wedding specialist , today. We look forward to working with you!
You know what they say, “planning a wedding takes a village!” Here are six Facebook groups for couples looking for advice, to make connections, or ask questions about their upcoming destination wedding. Be sure to join in on the fun!
We hope our fabulous destination wedding groups serve as a great resource for you to chat all things wedding! For any questions or for additional information, please don’t hesitate to connect with a romance travel expert.
Not only are destination weddings enjoyable for the couples, but the guests are loving it just as much! Here are some experiences we’re predicting your guests will love this year!
The Warm Welcome
The bride and groom recognize and appreciate their guests traveling all the way out to their wedding. That’s why welcome parties have become a growing trend, and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This gives everyone a chance to get settled into the hotel and spend some time with each other before the big day. Welcome bags are also a popular trend we’ve seen in destination weddings and provide guests with everything from snacks and sunscreen, to an itinerary and map so everyone will know what to expect when they’re there.
Couples are always looking for fun ways to take their destination wedding experience to the next level. Group excursions are extremely popular for destination wedding groups, as it provides everyone not only something to do, but an experience with the couple that will be cherished forever. Popular excursions include snorkeling, archeological tours, sunset catamarans, and more.
And don’t think the fun stops there! Couples work closely with their resort coordinators to ensure everyone has something fun do in their free time. We’ve seen a lot of wedding groups partake in everything from cigar rolling and hat making, to rum tastings, cooking classes, beach bon fires, and so much more!
And of course, there will be times where you and your wedding guests will want to just chill out and relax. With that said, it’s not uncommon for your resort to have daily live entertainment, whether it’s a musical performance or show, live artist drawings, fire dancing, fireworks, etc.
In addition to a welcome party, the bride and groom typically choose to spread the wedding festivities out during the time everyone’s there. So, women close to the bride might be invited to partake in a spa day or girls’ lunch, while the guys might spend the day fishing or golfing. You also might want to include a farewell brunch as a thank you for everyone making the trip out.
Ready to say “yes” to a destination wedding? Then, click here to connect with a romance travel expert. We look forward to helping you create the best possible wedding experience for you and your guests!
Thinking about a destination wedding? Be sure to ask yourself these questions before getting started:
What is my budget?
While a traditional wedding can typically be around $32,000, we can help you plan the destination wedding of your dreams for nearly a quarter of the cost. With that said, there are typically three factors that play into your costs: the resort, the airfare, and the wedding package. These things all fluctuate depending on the time of year you book and where you’re traveling. These are some things to keep in mind when determining your budget! Flexibility is key!
Where do I want to get married?
We recommend choosing a destination that is easy to get to, so your guests don’t spend an entire vacation day or two traveling. Places like Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are fairly easy to get to and only require a 4-5 hour flight. Locations that are more exotic require multiple connecting flights and transfers, making it an exhausting day for your guests to endure.
When do I want to get married?
Your wedding costs will rely heavily on the date you choose. Peak seasons are usually from mid-January through Easter and will reflect the highest rates. Your mid-season ranges from Easter through August, and even early January, and will have fairly reasonable rates. For a better bargain, try September through early November or early December.
How many guests should I invite?
Generally, we find that about 40% of those you invite will be able to attend your destination wedding. However, don’t let that discourage you! Not everyone can afford to take the time off or travel. We suggest having a reception back at home to celebrate with those who were unable to attend.
What kind of resort do I want?
Have you been dreaming of something small and intimate, or active and lively? Adult-only or family-friendly? We highly recommend all-inclusive resorts because they include meals and drinks, making it a lot easier on your guests and their budgets. Additionally, many all-inclusive resorts offer couples a semi-private reception, resort credits, upgrades, and more!
What kind of ceremony should I have?
Envisioning yourself tying the knot on the beach? Or perhaps, you’ve thought about saying “I do” under a beautifully decorated gazebo? Oftentimes, your resort will offer many options for you to choose from based on your preferences and guest count. You’ll even have a Plan B lined up in case it rains, so no need to worry about that!
Do I want a symbolic or legal ceremony?
A legal ceremony is when you receive a marriage certificate from the destination you’re married in, and is recognized legally back home. These ceremonies typically require more paperwork, has additional fees, and occasional blood tests. A symbolic ceremony has no legal binding, and makes up approximately 80% or more of all destination weddings. Typically, the bride and groom will go to their local clergy or courthouse and become legally married before they leave. It is just easier that way.
We hope these questions and answers are enough to get you started. Once you’re ready, be sure to connect with a destination wedding expert to start planning!