Very often, couples ask for my advice or recommendations on the best resorts to get married in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic. So today we thought we could offer up some details to consider when pondering the question.
To All-Inclusive or not to All-Inclusive?
The chances are that you have already started researching destination wedding packages from all the hottest destination wedding spots. Destination weddings are BIG business down here in the Dominican Republic, and I would say in all the Caribbean area! The Knot revealed in their last wedding statistics that 23% of all engaged American couples are choosing the destination wedding option. And although in Punta Cana every time there are more and more wonderful Off-site resorts wedding venues, It seems that in the Dominican Republic, the most popular destination wedding choice remains the famed All-Inclusive Resorts.
Here just a few details to consider when deciding if and All-inclusive resort is the right option for your wedding.
Pros #1: They make it extremely easy!
Some resorts in Punta Cana had perfectionated and automated the destination wedding thing to the point that you only need to show up. For the busy bride with limited time to surf the web, or live on Pinterest, collecting inspiring and unique ideas, truth is the All-Inclusive resort is a wonderful option. You might discover that your wedding package comes with a wedding photographer, coordinator, florist, DJ, and officiant and that all you need to do is find the perfect beach wedding dress!
Pros #2: It can be Affordable!
The average destination wedding will run you about $17,000 for 100 people (sometimes even less) versus $25,000 for the same number of people at home. Most All-Inclusive wedding resorts in the Punta Cana area will offer deals or discounts on the couple’s trip if a certain amount of guests book, making your wedding even less expensive. With an all-inclusive resort wedding, once you have paid for the vacation, there are no meals to buy or bar tabs from worrying about, let’s not mention the expense of food and liquor at a wedding back home, so this can be considerable savings in your wedding budget.
On top of it, once your guests and family go back home, you can stay and enjoy your honeymoon, saving the cost of a whole new trip!
Pros #3: t’s a Party!
You are on holiday in the Dominican Republic with your nearest and dearest, generally speaking for a full week. Everybody is in vacation mode + the food and drinks are ‘free.’ It’s a tremendous big-time PARTY! Instead of bringing all your beloved ones together for just a few -hours celebration in your honor, you get and give a week-long experience, and everyone returns home with happy memories of your wedding.
Cons #1: The Add-ons Can Add Up!
Make sure you ask relevant questions before choosing your wedding venue and/or wedding resort. Many will entice you with what appears to be inexpensive destination wedding packages, just to be given ‘The Book’ of upgrades to consider as soon you arrive. Once they see that the base destination wedding package doesn’t include, many beach Brides will watch their budgets take a nosedive. ‘Oh, you want the pretty flowers?’ ($$$!) ‘Oh, you want prettier chairs for your guests?’ ($$$!) ‘Oh, you would like your wedding reception on the beach?’ ($$$!). Make sure you have all the details clear before you sign a contract and pay a deposit!
Cons #2: That dreaded Conveyor Belt sensation!
A destination beach bride is often one looking for something out of the ordinary, something non-traditional, a unique experience., if not why to fly so many kilometers far from home. You may feel disappointed once you realize that you are only one of the six weddings going on at your resort that day, sometimes even at the same time. We have seen very confused guests running from one wedding to another unware of the multiple wedding situation. Yes, the All-Inclusives have the destination wedding thing perfectioned down to an art, but often at the expense of feeling like you are just a number. Also, consider that there are only a certain number of Bridal or Honeymoon suites, so if you are counting on that potential upgrade, just in case be ready for disappointment!
Cons #3: Forget Privacy!
If you are a bride who values an intimate experience for her wedding, then we warn you an All-Inclusive resort is NOT for you! Depending on the hotel, be prepared to feel completely on display to the entire hotel, and any nosey taking a stroll down the beach.
Cons #4: You will have little to no control over the details!
Type A personalities are warned! If you have a clear vision of how you want your destination wedding to go, and it does not really match up with the All-Inclusive Resort’s packages, then be ready to adjust your expectations or pay the price! In the Dominican Republic, the All-Inclusive Resorts will provide you with a wedding coordinator, a wedding photographer, a florist, and a minister, but the quality is not likely to meet the standards of most North American brides. If you desire to hire a specific vendor, you can do so, but they will make it hard on you to the tune of Big fees.
We must clear though that not all the all inclusive resorts weddings are nightmares, there are plenty of wonderful hotels in our beautiful half island, that why we wanted to use a beautiful, All-inclusive resort wedding to illustrate this point. The Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe was the All-inclusive resort chosen by Natash and Anas to celebrate a complete week with a handful of their closest and deares. Natasha was able to make her own hair and make up at her room, and she and Anas were able to book a night for us at their resort to avoid the vendor fee, while having a very special friend to perform their ceremony to avoid an impersonal and lack of personality ceremony!
Do you still need help weighing the pros and cons?
Whatever the side of the fence you land on, All-Inclusive or not All-Inclusive, we at NCH STUDIO are happy to help you with our recommendations.
***AND OF COURSE!!! If you are looking for the best ream of Photographers and videographers to document your destination wedding in Punta Cana, or Casa de Campo, or Samaná or any other corner across the Dominican Republic, then contact us today! We are NCH STUDIO, best wedding photographers in the Dominican Republic and Caribbean area.
So tell us…have you decided if you will go All-Inclusive or not? If not but really leaning towards it, stay tuned for the list of our favorite all inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.
And whatever your answer, yes or no, we want to read why in the comments at the bottom! But now I will stop the bla, bla, bla and let you enjoy Anas and Natacha beautiful Destination wedding at the multi-faceted Barcelo Bavaro Deluxe. Enjoy!!