5 Reasons Why a Destination Wedding Can Be the Low Key Option


It's like taking a vacation from wedding planning

by Najva Sol, Brand Manager

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I realized the other day that I’ve basically always been the planner in my relationships: love, friendship, you name it. I book flights for my parents, mastermind surprises for friends, bottom line bachelorettes, and coordinate fashion photoshoots. There’s nothing quite as #boss feeling as pulling off something you’ve worked really hard for. But also, it’s exhausting, and it depletes you.

Which brings us to weddings: Planning. Is. Hard. Work. That’s why it’s legit a job. Not saying you can’t DIY your wedding (hi, that’s why we’re here!) but also, #realtalk, sometimes you want to hand someone a credit card and just show up. That’s why dinner out feels like such a luxury: you don’t buy the groceries, and you don’t do the dishes, so you can just focus on… dinner.

So when we had the opportunity to partner with Palace Resorts to talk about all-inclusive weddings in the Caribbean, I was psyched. Not just because I’m currently booking flights and hotels for a holiday getaway to the Riviera Maya for myself and a few friends. Or because I think the Caribbean is hands down one of the best places to travel for beauty and sanity. Or even because Palace Resort’s locations read like a rolodex of my favorite destinations—Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Isla Mujeres in Mexico and Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

But because planning a wedding isn’t everyone’s thing (or like me, maybe it’s always your thing). And despite what Pinterest wants us to believe, sometimes handing things off and actively not planning your wedding is the best thing you can do for yourself and your sanity. So if you’ve just started to realize that maybe wedding planning is not for you, then here are five reasons why it’s totally okay to ditch the DIY and opt instead for a #lazygirl approved all-inclusive destination wedding:

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Don’t worry, about a thing

Okay, first—and most importantly—going all inclusive means you get to relax. Actually relax. Why? Because all the things that one generally needs to stress about—transportation to the wedding, which catering place, how much alcohol to buy, what the guests will do before and after—it’s all a moot point. The drinks are endless. The food is plentiful. All the guests have to do to arrive at your ceremony is walk out of their rooms. Are they bored? Oh, well they can probably go swim in some turquoise waters, or check out the spa, or read, or get wasted. Whatever floats their boat, and it’s not your problem. Also, they often make it easy to support the local economy (just ask for recommendations), because they serve as a perfect hub to venture out for an adventure (or three)!

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Two Love birds, one destination

Because you’re not in charge of anyone else, you’re legit on vacation. Which is why lots of people opt to roll the destination wedding and honeymoon into one. If you’re anything like me, you can’t afford fancy digs for two separate trips (not to mention multiple tickets to exotic locales). Which is why combining means you get the best of both—a luxe room for your wedding night and your honeymoon. Pro-tip: You can usually score a free minimoon when you book a wedding at a hotel, and that translates into perks. Think couples massages, chilled champagne when you arrive, a room with a view… the works.

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They know what you want (what you really, really want)

You know what’s great about people who work in weddings? It’s their job. They’ve done it before. They know what you will need, and they’ll give you a list. They’ve got it covered, from centerpieces to chairs to sound systems. And here’s the other secret perk: destination weddings usually only have a handful of options to choose from on everything. Which might sound like a bummer at first. Except your chances of decision fatigue are next to zero. Just pick from options A, B, or C, and then go hang out at the swim up bar.

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Think of your people

Traveling for weddings is complicated. Sometimes a flight across the country costs half of what it takes to get to Oklahoma. So if a large portion of your wedding guests are already going to be coming in from out of town, then why not give them a destination that they can turn into a mini vacation? And yes, probably, your whole 150 person guest list (with your fourth cousin, twice removed) won’t fly to Jamaica for your wedding. But that’s half the magic of having your wedding on a tropical beach. Chances are it’s going to be smaller, and that means probably only your very best people will be there. Just the way you wanted, right? Bonus: Wedding vendors are always talking about how much they love to travel, and sometimes they even offer discounts for weddings in destinations where they’ve never shot before.

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EVERY MOMENT IS A POSTCARD

Okay, okay. I know this isn’t the point of the wedding. But when the wedding industry is pressuring you at every turn to make every single aspect of your wedding beautiful and meaningful, right down to the napkin rings, it’s nice to get married somewhere that’s effortlessly beautiful (well, effortless for you). Because who needs centerpieces when you have the beach?

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This post was sponsored by Palace Resorts and Apple Vacations. Let Apple Vacations’ Destination Wedding Department make your wedding fun and stress free by taking the work on for you. Apple Vacations will set up a reserved block of rooms for your group, and we will put you directly in touch with a wedding coordinator at your resort who will help you plan the wedding ceremony and reception. Plus, when you book with Apple Vacations, you and your guests receive resort credits to use towards upgrades and other hotel services. Click here to inquire about an all-inclusive Palace Resorts wedding today!apw palace

Najva Sol

Najva Sol is a queer Iranian-American writer, photographer, branding consultant, artist, and ex-poet.  She’s the token staff Slytherin and—while formally based in Brooklyn—tends to travel as much as possible. Storytelling is her life, but making chicken broth is a close second.
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  • anonymous

    Important to note though that any lgbt couples going this route need to do research on the legalities and may need to get a legal marriage back in the states before/after. #lesslazygaygirls

    • KM

      YES. I was just going to ask Navja about why/what she loves about Jamaica because I’ve read that it is very hostile to the gays so I’ve never considered going there. Not fun to worry about discrimination on a vacation.

      • Nell

        For REALS! I know that she’s just giving an example of a theoretical place to hold a destination wedding – but homophobia in Jamaica is no joke. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=204550149

      • Actually!!! You may be right, however when I went to Jamaica I was younger and with family and all my wandering out of the resort grounds was in a (ostensibly hetero looking) family unit so discrimination wasn’t something at the forefront of my mind.

        That being said, I found Mexico to be super gay friendly. In fact I’m on a ferry from playa del Carmen to Cozumel as I type!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Unrelated to LGBTQ marriages, but I actually think it’s wise to legalize everything in the states anyway. A lot of couples I know who did destination weddings, did it that way just for ease.

  • TeaforTwo

    I would also caution looking really closely into where the ceremony is going to be held. We went to a Caribbean all-inclusive for our honeymoon. Their “weddingmoon” photos were gorgeous online (although we got married at home), and then…every afternoon my husband and I sat at the self-serve all-you-can-eat nacho bar and watched people get married. We were so close (in our bathing suits, munching on nachos) that we could hear their vows. And there was no escaping it: we were at the only beachfront snack bar, and they were at the only wedding ceremony site.

    This might not matter to some people, but I would not have liked half-dressed strangers to be at my wedding ceremony. (I mean, I did cry at every single set of vows, because we were newlyweds and awwww.) But if you’re getting married at a place you’ve never laid eyes on…ask a lot of questions.

    • Amy March

      Man, if more weddings had self-serve nacho bars available for noshing it would be nearly as annoying when they started a half hour late! #hungry

  • Rhie

    One of my best friends got married on a cruise ship last year–they did a Mexico cruise for their honeymoon, and for the wedding, all the guests just got on the ship when it was docked in New Orleans. They got married and had a little reception, we all got off the ship and they sailed away! The photos were really nice and it just seemed like the easiest, least-stress wedding ever…

    • TeaforTwo

      The part where they all get off the ship afterward sounds like a genius idea. I have loved travelling for cousins’ weddings, because then my extended family gets a bit of a holiday together, which is hard now that all my cousins are in our thirties with families of our own. It’s a great way to extend the family reunion aspect of the wedding. I also liked imagining that it was happening after my wedding.

      What I would not have liked would be to spend either the week before my wedding, or – possibly even worse – the week after my wedding surrounded by friends and family. The week before I was a ball of nerves, and the week after, I couldn’t stand to be around anyone but my husband.

  • Anon

    I went to the Moon Palace resort near Cancun for a destination wedding. Well, originally it was supposed to be the main wedding – and was booked with some people having put their fees down, then the family of the couple needed a local wedding. There ended up being a large 150 person local wedding one weekend, and then 10 of us went for the Mexico trip and still had a small 2nd wedding ceremony, with the dress and photos and dinner etc. But the bride and groom were SOOOOO thankful that they had their actual wedding first because the amount of errors that occurred. Nice resort to stay at (although really far from town) but very loud, very much the kid resort (non of us had kids with us). I took some golf lessons. We went to visit the Isla Mujeres and thought that would have been better – or the one actually in Cancun – blanc resort or something like that. But not for a wedding – just for a vacation.

  • Maggie Dragon

    That “no desire to plan every detail” is why we went with a mostly all-inclusive venue in our area. Being able to go “cake, floral centerpieces, alcohol, food, ceremony, cocktail hour and reception location, tax and gratuity” in one decision was probably the best decision we’ve made so far.

  • Mel

    Lived through the planning of my roommate’s destination wedding. The wonderful occasion had 120 (!!) guests in Cancun. Tips:
    – Bride and groom should go a few days early to meet with the coordinator and hammer out details so they can leisurely hang once everyone else arrives.
    – Tea for Two is right. Randoms WILL watch..from their pool, from their room, on the beach..especially if it’s held on a beach. It’s weird But I think the B&G usually don’t care. (It’s the same as taking pictures outside in a city.)
    – Common rule: guests don’t need to provide gifts if attending destination.
    – while there are not as many decisions, some things are more expensive or not offered if going through the hotel/resort. Ex: candals, table number, vases, etc.
    – Know if the resort will charge guests who are not staying on site (they may have to pay to enter the premise).
    – Turn around on photog or video could be much slower (like 4 months slower).
    It was a beautiful day and right for them (400 guest list, major savings) and we all got a vacation – but it was def a bigger financial commitment than other friends to attend!

    • Eenie

      Guests don’t ever NEED to provide gifts.

      • Mel

        Absolutely. Love the APW post on that!

  • There are some people who think that because we hosted our reception at a reception center that we must be rolling in dough. No. I just know when it’s worth my peace of mind and reduced stress to hand over the credit card.

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