How to find a "Free" Destination Wedding!
Updated: Apr 5
As a destination wedding planner, I have had the pleasure of working with numerous couples looking to tie the knot in a stunning location. One question that comes up frequently is how to find options for free wedding packages. I've been planning destination weddings since having my own in 2010. I can tell you, a lot has changed in the past decade. The new statistic is that destination weddings are no longer cheaper than a domestic, traditional wedding. BUT - I can tell you there are still free destination wedding packages out there - it just comes with terms and conditions.
In this blog post, I will be highlighting some resorts that still offer free wedding packages and conditions that come along with the "free" part!
Just a quick note before I get started - if you are considering a destination wedding, don't delay. There is still a lot of demand from Covid cancellations and wedding dates are filling up more so than usual.
Here are our top recommended all-inclusive resorts that offer free destination wedding packages:
Sandals Resorts: Sandals Resorts is a well-known brand that offers luxurious all-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean. Their free destination wedding package includes a personal wedding planner, ceremony location, bridal bouquet, groom's boutonniere, and more. We love all of the online resources that come online with wedding planning at Sandals and have great experience with their coordinators.
Sandals Overwater Chapel - Available at Multiple locations
Dreams Resorts: Dreams Resorts is another popular all-inclusive resort brand that offers free destination wedding packages. Their packages include a wedding coordinator, ceremony location, bouquet and boutonniere, cake, and more. This is a great option if there will be any children guests. Dreams resorts have the destination wedding process down-pat! They are really good at getting you to upgrade to many of their upgrades, but their resort planners are some of the best.
Dreams Macao Wedding
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts: Iberostar is a Spanish hotel chain with all-inclusive resorts in locations such as Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Their free wedding package includes a wedding coordinator, ceremony location, basic floral arrangements, wedding cake, and more. Some Iberostar resorts are more budget-friendly making it easier on your guests wallets.
Iberostar Quetzel Riviera Maya
RIU Hotels & Resorts: RIU has properties in popular wedding destinations such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Their free wedding package includes a wedding planner, ceremony location, decoration, bridal bouquet, groom's boutonniere, and more. Riu's wedding planning team is mostly online, and depending on the resort, we've struggled sometimes with coordination with onsite wedding planners. However - Riu is a favorite among Midwest travelers and you can't beat the price of staying at one of these resorts. I mean- check out the arch in the backdrop of this beach wedding below. WOW. You just gotta love Cabo!!
Riu Palace Baja California Wedding Location
Secrets Resorts & Spas: Secrets is a luxury all-inclusive resort brand with properties in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Costa Rica (and even in Europe). Their free wedding package includes a wedding coordinator, ceremony location, bouquet and boutonniere, cake, sparkling wine toast, and more. I've always had a great experience working with Secrets' onsite wedding coordinators. They are on top of their game and all of the resorts offer a great adults-only experience. I definitely have my favorites of Secrets resorts, they are not all created equal. But we can talk through all of that when we start the site selection process!
Secrets Cap Cana
Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts: Grand Palladium has all-inclusive properties in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Their free wedding package includes a wedding planner, ceremony location, decoration, bridal bouquet, groom's boutonniere, and more. Palladium resorts are more budget friendly, but have amazing services and staff. Family-friendly options with lots of great kids' amenities makes this a great place if you have younger ones in tow.
Palladium Costa Mujeres
Karisma Hotels & Resorts: Karisma has a collection of luxury all-inclusive properties in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Their free wedding package includes a wedding coordinator, ceremony location, decoration, bridal bouquet, groom's boutonniere, cake, and more. Karisma is the company that encompasses resorts like Azul, El Dorado and Nickelodeon. They have the wedding intake process down and offer a lot of great packages.
Azul Beach Negril
Barcelo Hotels & Resorts: Barcelo has all-inclusive properties in destinations such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. Their free wedding package includes a wedding coordinator, ceremony location, decoration, bridal bouquet, groom's boutonniere, and more. Barcelo Riviera Maya complex would be the best Barcelo resort option for a wedding (or stay) IMHO opinion. Barcelo is budget friendly, but has a very long stretch of beach and great kids' amenities and close to Riviera Maya activities.
Barcelo Riviera Maya
It's important to note that while these resorts offer free wedding packages, there may be additional costs for upgrades or customization. It's always a good idea to speak with a wedding planner or representative at the resort to get a full understanding of what is included in the package and what additional costs may be involved.
Many all-inclusive resorts that offer free wedding packages do have requirements regarding the number of nights that the couple and their guests must stay in order to qualify for the free wedding package. This requirement can vary depending on the resort and the specific package being offered, but it is not uncommon for resorts to require a minimum stay of three to seven nights.
For example, Sandals Resorts requires a minimum stay of three nights to qualify for their free Beautiful Beginnings wedding package. Similarly, Dreams Resorts requires a minimum stay of seven nights in order to receive their complimentary wedding package.
It's important to read the terms and conditions of the wedding package carefully to ensure that you understand any requirements or restrictions that may apply. Additionally, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced destination wedding planner to get a full understanding of what is required and what options are available if you don't meet the minimum stay requirement.
Want to start planning your destination wedding, please reach out to our team to learn more about our destination wedding services and learn about all of your options!
From site selection, quotes, travel arrangements and overall guidance and prep - we can help make your entire wedding planning experience a more relaxing one.
Contact us at email@example.com or 515-422-7441.