DESTINATION WEDDING FAQ

DESTINATION WEDDING FAQ

Published April 4, 2018

TOP 50 DESTINATION WEDDING FAQ

1. WHO PERFORMS THE CEREMONIES ON A DESTINATION WEDDING?

It might vary by resort or country, by normally you can choose your type of officiant whether it be religious, symbolic or legal. Always check with your resort or ask your travel agent or professional. 

2. CAN WE HAVE THE CEREMONY ON THE BEACH?

Depending on the location and resort, destination weddings are allowed to be held on the beach.

3. CAN MY GUESTS ATTEND THE WEDDING IF THEY ARE NOT STAYING AT THE RESORT?

Depending on the resort, most of them offer wedding passes for guests who aren't staying at the resort. The wedding passes are for purchase on the ceremony day and are only valid at the time of the wedding event. Contact your resort or travel agent for more details on your specific resort. 

4. WHAT TIME OF DAY DO MOST WEDDINGS AT YOUR RESORT TAKE PLACE?

The ceremonies usually begin an hour to an hour and a half prior to sunset for the beautiful sky for wedding photos. This means, depending on the time of the year, it would start around late afternoon to evening. In the summer months, it is a good idea to choose a sunset ceremony to avoid the blistering heat during the day. Most hotels have wedding planners that are around to assist you with all your questions and needs. 

5. WHEN SHOULD WE INFORM OUR GUESTS?

Guests are expected to pay travel and accommodation costs, it is always best to give them as much notice as possible. We suggest no less than 6 to 8 months in advance as this gives your guests time to save as well as book off time and contact a travel agent to book the trip. 

6. CAN WE HAVE CHILDREN ATTEND OUR WEDDING?

Some hotels are an adult only resort. If you have children attending your wedding make sure that the resort is allowed to have children attend. Most adult only resorts will not accommodate to have children just for your wedding. 

7. HOW LONG IS THE AVERAGE WEDDING CEREMONY?

Most ceremonies last around 30 minutes. If you choose a traditional ceremony, they usually last a little longer. If you choose a shorter ceremony, they are usually scheduled right around sunset. 

8. HOW DO I SECURE A WEDDING RECEPTION DATE?

You can contact a travel agent that specializes in destination weddings, you can also contact the specific resort or hotel and they will be able to answer your questions. Most resorts have a wedding specialist on site to fill all of your needs. 

9. IS THERE A LIVE STEAM OPTION FOR GUESTS WHO WERENT ABLE TO ATTEND?

Depending on the resort, but most resorts offer live streaming for your loved ones at home to watch. There also is an option for your wedding to be updated on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

10. WHO WILL PLAN AND COORDINATE OUR DESTINATION WEDDING?

Some resorts offer a wedding coordinator as a thank you for the couple booking a wedding at their resort. If you choose, you can also hire a wedding planner to handle all the details. If you aren't sure if the hotel has wedding coordinator services, make sure to make an inquiry and they will have some recommendations. 

11. WHAT PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN ADVANCE?

Make sure to bring your passport, and maybe leave a photocopy with someone who is staying at home in case of theft or if it gets lost. Make sure you consult with your doctor or any necessary vaccinations. Keep up to date with your travel agent if any visas or permits are required before your travel date. 

12. DO I NEED A BLOOD TEST DONE FOR THE CEREMONY?

Some counties require blood tests for the ceremony. Do some research into what you need and consult with your travel agents or wedding coordinator in the destination. 

13. WHAT ARE THE MARRIAGE LICENSE REQUIREMENTS?

All countries have different wait times for acquiring marriage licenses. Make sure to consult with your travel agent or wedding planner to meet the marriage license requirements. 

14. IS THERE SPECIFIC ATTIRE AT A DESTINATION WEDDING?

A destination wedding no different than any other wedding. There are some that maintain a formal dress code, while others prefer a casual beach attire. Whatever you do choose, make sure you inform your guests as you want them to fit the occasion, and gives them an idea when packing for the trip. 

15. WHERE SHOULD WE GO FOR OUR WEDDING?

More than likely, destination weddings are in tropical or beach locations. However, a destination wedding simply means traveling away from home to get married. The up and coming destination wedding location are cruises. You get multiple places all wrapped in one!

16. IS IT POSSIBLE TO SHIP MY WEDDING DRESS AND EVERYTHING NEEDED FOR MY WEDDING TO THE RESORT?

Contact your resort or hotel to get all the information and shipping procedures. There will be additional charges such as customs taxes, shipping costs, and document requirements. 

17. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD THE COUPLE ARRIVE IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE CEREMONY?

Depending on the destination, the couple usually arrives 3 days before the wedding day. Each destination to legally get married is different, so make sure you contact your travel agent or resort for more details. 

18. ARE THE WEDDINGS PERFORMED VALID BACK IN MY HOME COUNTRY?

If you have the proper documentation for both your home country and the country you are getting married in you won't have problems. If you have questions about all the requirements, contact your travel agent or wedding planner or contact your country or state marriage license bureau. 

19. IF MY NAME IS DIFFERENT FROM MY PASSPORT AND BIRTH CERTIFICATE WILL THERE BE AN ISSUE?

YES! Make sure that both your passport and your birth certificate are exactly the same. If you require a visa for the country you are traveling to, you will also need to have both passport and birth certificate the same. 

20. IF THERE ARE MISSING DOCUMENTS A THE OFFICIANT STILL PERFORM THE CEREMONY?

NO! It is crucial that all documents need to be in order. There are no exceptions for anyone.

21. SHOULD WE MAIL OUT DOCUMENTS BEFORE WE ARRIVE?

YES! Depending on your location, documents usually need to be sent to the venue 30 days in advance of the wedding day and will need to be presented to the officiant before the ceremony. Keep in contact with your representative at your venue or your travel agent. 

22. ARE WITNESSES REQUIRED?

Typically for a legal ceremony, 4 witnesses must be present. Each witness must have a valid ID, whether it be a passport or a drivers license. Each destination is different so make sure that you ask how many needs to be present. 

23. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I PLAN MY DESTINATION WEDDING?

9-12 months is a good enough time to be planning your wedding. This gives enough time to check all the boxes, as well as or our guests to plan their own arrangments for your wedding. 

24. IS THERE A FEE FOR THE WEDDING COORDINATOR?

Depending on the resort here might or might not be an additional fee. Most resorts pride themselves on being all-inclusive, and if you are booking your wedding at their resort, they won't charge or a coordinator, while others will. 

25. WHAT SERVICES DOES A RESORT WEDDING COORDINATOR PROVIDE?

The wedding coordinators are at your disposal. Flowers, decor, entertainment, catering, photography and any other needs or inquiries from the couple. 

26. DO THE RESORTS OFFER A STEAMING OR PRESSING SERVICE FOR MY WEDDING DRESS?

Some resorts will have a streaming service, however, there are off property services that your wedding coordinator can arrange for you. 

27. CAN I CREATE MY OWN MENU?

Certain resorts will allow you to create your own menu, others will not. Contact your resort for further details on menus for your guests. 

28. DOES THE RESORT PROVIDE HAIR AND MAKEUP FOR THE BRIDE AND BRIDESMAIDS?

For some resorts, hai and makeup for the bride is included in the wedding packages. Bridesmaids will have an additional charge but will be accommodated to on the resort. Each resort is different, make sure to ask your wedding coordinator. 

29. WHERE WILL I GET MY WEDDING CAKE FROM? AND IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE?

Most resorts will provide a wedding cake with the wedding package, however, it is always good to ask your specific resort. Some resorts have an additional charge so that is another option if it is not included. 

30. IS THERE PHOTOGRAPHY AND/OR VIDEO SERVICES?

Most resorts will have video and photography services for you, but all resorts are different. Any special requests can be made if necessary. 

31. WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS PROVIDED?

Normally there are a various amount of options for the couple to choose from. Whether you are in Mexico and want a mariachi band or want your favorites with a professional DJ. Contact your wedding coordinator with any requests. 

32. IM PICKY WITH MY MUSIC, CAN I BRING MY OWN?

Most resorts have the same sound systems and are able to plug into an auxiliary cord. So feel free to bring your iPod, phone or CDs. Always check with your resort on their policies and systems with music.

33. DOES THE "ALL-INCLUSIVE" DEAL APPLY TO MY GUESTS AS WELL?

The only difference between you and your guests is that you may have purchased a wedding package. Your guests get to enjoy all of the same amenities that your resort has to offer at an all-inclusive price. This includes all food, all dirks, room service (if provided by resort), all activities in the resort any clubs for families. 

34. CAN YOU ARRANGE ACTIVITIES FOR OUR WEDDING GUESTS?

There are a ton of activities to choose from. There are concierges at each resort ready to accommodate to the activities you want your guests to enjoy.

35. IS THERE OPTIONS FOR SPECIAL GUEST ROOM RATES?

Most resorts provide special rates for wedding group depending on the minimum number of rooms booked. So for example, if you need 20 rooms and the minimum number of rooms is 15 to meet the group rate, you would be eligible for the reduced room rates due to the size of your party. 

36. CAN I HAVE MY WEDDING DINNER AT ONE OF THE RESTAURANTS?

Every resort is different, but you can only have your wedding dinner at one of the restaurants if to have a small number of people going. The normal maximum number to be reserved at a restaurant for a wedding dinner is 8, any more than 8, the resort will book a larger private space for your guests. 

37. CAN I DO A DESTINATION VOW RENEWAL CEREMONY?

YES! Most resorts have wedding packages and vow renewal ceremony packages to choose from. 

38. CAN I CUSTOMIZE MY WEDDING?

A lot of resorts allow for the packages to be customized to what the couple wants. Check with your travel agent or wedding coordinator. 

39. IS THERE A WEDDING PACKAGE FOR ELOPING?

YES! Most resorts offer packages just for the two lovebirds! Look into the resort you are looking into for more details. 

40. DO I HAVE TO PAY A DEPOSIT TO RESERVE MY DATE?

A deposit of 25% of the total is usually the norm to reserve your date. The deposit is non-refundable.

41. WHEN SHOULD I MAKE THE TOTAL PAYMENT?

The final payment is almost always due 60 days before the wedding day, however, you can pay when the services need to be paid. Kepp in contact with your wedding coordinator for all the details. 

42. WHEN SHOULD I SEND OUT MY SAVE THE DATES AND INVITATIONS FOR MY DESTINATION WEDDING?

Because you have t give time for your guests to save and book for the trip, you need to send the save the dates out 9-12 months in advance. Invitations should go out 3-4 months before to get the final numbers to send out to the resort. 

43. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO KEEP IN CONTACT WITH MY WEDDING COORDINATOR?

Email is the best channel to ask any questions and receive feedback from them. Skype is another way to mee almost face-to-face if that is what you prefer. 

44. WHAT IF I WANT SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE PROVIDED OFFICIANT TO UNITE US?

If you decide you want someone other than the provided to officiate your wedding, it is crucial that you meet all the requirements in that specific country. Make sure to check with your wedding coordinator or travel agent.

45. IS THERE ANY RESORTS OUT THERE THAT OFFER FREE DESTINATION WEDDINGS?

YES! There are some resorts that do offer free weddings based on the number of rooms booked. Just keep in mind that these packages are very basic and may not be what you want. 

46. HOW CAN I AVOID BAD WEATHER?

There is absolutely no way of predicting the weather. One way you can try is to not book during hurricane season for example in the Caribean. If you want to book in the Caribbean, avoid mid-July to mid-November. If it does happen to rain on your wedding day, the resorts are equipped with alternative options to make your day special. 

47. CAN I TAKE MY WEDDING DRESS OR TUXEDOS ON THE PLANE, JUST TO MAKE SURE IT GETS THRE ON TIME?

Most airlines allow you to carry your wedding or tuxedo on top of your carryon bags, however, keep in mind that they need to be folded and stowed away in the overhead compartments. A suggestion is to ship your wedding dress or tuxedos to the resort in advance to avoid the issue. 

48. WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE?

Each location has different time periods in which you will receive your marriage license. For example, Jamacia will take 6-8 weeks while Barbados will take 2-4 weeks. 

49. CAN I BRING MY OWN WEDDING DECOR AND FAVOURS?

Yes, it is permitted at most resorts, however, it is not recommended as it can be extremely pricey. You will be required to pay additional taxes and could be confiscated if they are deemed as commercial items. 

50. IS THERE AN EVENT FEE?

Some venues will charge an event fee depending on the size of the wedding. Consult with your wedding coordinator or travel agent for more details.