It may sound too good to be true however, Sandals all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean offer free wedding packages to guests that stay three nights or longer complete with a cake, document preparation, and photography. Couples looking for a bit more luxury can also purchase upgrade packages to receive even more perks. Best of all, destination weddings in Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Lucia, and all the Virgin Islands are recognized by the United States as 100% legal.
Just imagine standing inside a gazebo inches away from crystal clear turquoise waters while the sun sets in the background as you make your vows to one another. I have personally witnessed dozens of these Caribbean Beach Weddings and I have always been impressed. There simply is no more perfect place to capture that once in a lifetime ceremony with family and close friends. It’s hard to see how the wedding photos could possibly get any better.
You might already be thinking to yourself that there must be some kind of catch to all this and there is. The reason these all-inclusive resorts can give away these type of promotions is all based on volume. All hotels need occupancy and that is what you are paying for. All the other perks such as free food and drinks are the value-add amenities that make the deal attractive for prospective patrons. The higher the occupancy rate, the better the economy of scale for resorts that can offer even more incentives as a result. It is a sustainable combination that has worked for decades on almost every island in the Caribbean.
Another little known by product of all this volume is fair competition for these beautiful places. These destinations have been growing in popularity and many top resorts promote this market niche aggressively. I have even seen some resorts have multiple weddings on the same day queued up. It is important to become familiar with the wedding policy of the resort before you offer up your credit card number. There are also other guests at these hotels who may not be too eager to relinquish their premier spot on the beach so that organizers can set up the venue prior to sunset. One option to avoid the large crowds is to look for smaller, more intimate hotels at your target destination that cater to a more exclusive experience. Some even limit guests to 18 years or older.
Despite some of the challenges, booking a destination wedding in the Caribbean can still help you save thousands depending on the number guests in your party. The cost of meals and entertainment for a medium size reception alone can easily balance the cost of airfares to several popular Caribbean destinations. Most all-inclusive resorts even offer a group rate for as little as five or more rooms. As for the entertainment, let’s just say you probably never knew how talented your friends and family were until you see them on stage during one of the shows along with the resort staff.