Q. What are some of the advantages to having a destination wedding?
A. Having a destination wedding can be much easier because the wedding planner and all of the options at the resort are already pre- selected. Aside from the ease that comes with knowing that all your wedding details will be ironed out for you at an affordable price, destination weddings are also ideal for couples that have friends and family scattered around the world. Trust me, they will thank you for giving them an excuse to take a few days off for vacation.
Q. Are destination weddings more expensive or is it possible to save some money?
A. Destination weddings can be more budget-friendly as the packages usually include all of the details you would otherwise need to plan separately. Look for a package that helps you with transportation, the marriage license, reception venue, has a bridal consultant and offers accommodations with discounts for large groups. Each of my Colin Cowie Wedding Collections, exclusive to the fabulous Palace Resorts, includes everything from the wedding ceremony location with set-up and chairs to the bouquet, cake, champagne and dinner reservations for up to 30 people. And couples can add a reception to their package for a minimal cost. The collections also include a Palace Resorts wedding planner and a honeymoon package—it’s amazing!
Q. There are so many beautiful places to wed. What should we look for in a location?
A. The location is an intimate decision that a couple must make based on taste and experiences. I suggest that couples first do their research on the documentation required according to the type of ceremony they want. Some places require blood tests, immunization certificates or doctor’s certificates in order for you to legally marry. It’s also important to research the weather in a destination. The beauty of Mexico and its gorgeous weather are two of the factors that motivated me to partner with Palace Resorts. I wanted to offer a unique product inspired by the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean with a variety of celebrity-style wedding options to choose from.
Q. What are the benefits of choosing an all-inclusive resort?
A. The best part of choosing an all-inclusive resort for your wedding is you’ll enjoy the freedom of unlimited food and beverage during your stay, without concern for cost, and your guests will thank you for being so thoughtful, too. At Palace Resorts, the all-inclusive features also include nightly entertainment, 24-hour room service, a liquor dispenser with premium spirits and mini bar in guest rooms, all taxes and gratuities and a wealth of other services and amenities.
Photo Credit: Palace Resorts
Q. How many days does a destination wedding usually last?
A. Typically, guests arrive on a Friday during the day and depart on Sunday around noon. It equates to 72 jam-packed hours of fabulous!
Q. Who pays for what? Are we responsible for our guests’ transportation and accommodations? What about paying for the wedding party’s travel and hotel rooms?
A. It all depends on the couple. Typically, the bride and groom pay for the wedding events, Friday night welcome dinner, Saturday ceremony and reception and Sunday brunch. Often family members will host the welcome dinner and the Sunday brunch or your hotel may offer some of these events complimentary. Guests and the wedding party pay for their own travel and accommodations. Sometimes, the bride and groom will pick up the tab for certain family members’ rooms.
Q. What other expenses are guests responsible for?
A. Usually, it’s travel and accommodations and any other incidentals or individual activities they may want to partake in such as an excursion.
Q. Is it possible to get group discounts on airfare and rooms for our guests?
A. Absolutely and you should always ask.
Q. Should we expect our guests to give us a wedding gift considering that they’re paying for their airfare and hotel rooms?
A. It’s best not to expect anything if you are asking guests to dedicate a weekend to you and pay for travel and accommodations. However, some guests and family members will undoubtedly want to give you a gift.
Q. Do most resorts/hotels have wedding planners?
A. When it comes to destination weddings, it is standard for on-site coordinators or wedding planners to be included in the package price. At Palace Resorts, for example, there are hotel wedding specialists whose job is specifically to make all bridal dreams come true when coordinating and overseeing every detail of a couple’s special day.
Photo Credit: Palace Resorts
Q. What can we expect the on-site planner to do for us?
A. Your coordinator will make sure that everything you have booked— from the welcome dinner to activities, ceremony and reception—all go off on time exceeding your expectations every time.
Q. What’s the best way to work with the on-site planner and local vendors?
A. Have everything in writing, follow up and reconfirm all the details prior to your departure...and it always goes a long way to bring a small gift for your planner.
Q. How do we handle the paperwork for our marriage license?
A. Your wedding coordinator can guide and assist you with requirements for the marriage license.
Q. Should we plan a pre-wedding trip to the resort and if so, when is the best time to go?
A. I have never liked surprises so I do like the idea of going in advance (6-9 months) and meeting the team, tasting the food and making sure you are all on board with the locations for your ceremony and reception and other details of your wedding weekend.
Q. What about the theme and décor of our wedding? Are there options available as far as the style and colors?
A. I suggest checking with the destination venue of your choice for the options available. The nine Colin Cowie Wedding Collections at Palace Resorts properties feature chic designs inspired by the beauty of Mexico. For example, Sultry Sunset reflects Mexico’s incredible sunsets with chair backs decorated in deep oranges and pinks and a coppery aisle runner that leads to a gorgeous altar bedecked with orange, yellow, green and pink flowers. For more understated elegance, the Pure White package is a subtle and completely captivating design, featuring gentle tones of pale white for a classic affair. We definitely offer something for everyone!
Photo Credit: Palace Resorts
Q. Can we personalize our ceremony and reception?
A. Each venue features different options for personalizing the ceremony and reception, but usually couples can upgrade or customize the ceremony, reception, music, floral arrangements and photography or video to their liking. At Palace Resorts, for example, they can choose from a variety of photography packages that cater to their taste as well as an option to web- cast the ceremony to guests who were not able to attend. Some of my collections even include a fireworks display after the ceremony!
Q. Should we honeymoon at the same resort where we will be getting married?
A. Couples who spend the first few days as a married couple at the resort that hosted their wedding tend to receive better rates on their honeymoon vacation so I usually suggest couples spend some time enjoying the destination after the big day. Palace Resorts features a Complimentary Honeymoon package that includes guest rooms filled with upscale amenities such as double Jacuzzis, premium bath products, 24-hour room service, etc. The morning after the big day, newlyweds are welcomed with breakfast in bed, a bottle of sparkling wine and a honeymoon cake. Couples are also treated to a private romantic dinner for two, special turndown service, access to the exclusive honeymoon concierge desk and late checkout. The Complimentary Honeymoon package at Palace Resorts is also available to couples who present proof of marriage within the past year.
Plus: Colin's top five tips for destination weddings: