How To Select a Hotel or Resort For a Destination Wedding

Sandals Ochos RiosSelecting a hotel for a destination wedding can be confusing.

Oftentimes, couples are unfamiliar with the location and don’t know which hotels offer destination wedding packages.

In addition, couples don’t know which hotels have availability for the wedding party, offer group rates, and offer special amenities for weddings (like free room for a bride and groom).

Having dealt with hundreds of brides, we have created the following steps to simplify the process of selecting a hotel for a destination wedding.

Step 1: Get Group Rates

The first step in selecting a hotel or resort for a destination wedding is to get group rates from hotels. The problem is that getting group rates takes lots of time if you try to do it by yourself. Instead, get started by using the two options below.

Online group hotel rates – Fill out one form and hotels in your desired city and budget will provide group rates faster than you can make one phone call.

Get a travel agent that specializes in destination weddings – Fill out one form and have travel agents that specialize in your destination call you with group rates.

Which option should you go with? If you are more of a do it yourselfer, then go with the online tool. If you are more the type of person who wants to talk to someone who can provide additional information about the area, then use the travel agent option.

Step 2: Compare Rates And Amenities

Once you have the group rates, then it’s time to start winnowing down the choices to two or three hotels.

How do you do that? Narrow your choices by


Think about where your wedding guests would like to stay. If you are getting planning a destination wedding in New York City, then a downtown location would be most suitable. If you are getting married on an island, then a location that is as close to the beach as possible would be the best choice. Read “How To Find The Perfect Location For A Destination Wedding”

Room rate offered

Remove hotels that are clearly out of your budget. Also remove hotels that are well below your budget. Remember the saying “You get what you pay for”.


Go to Tripadvisor and take a look at how each of your hotel selections ranks there. Read the comments other have left to get a sense of how friendly the staff is.


As you narrow your choices, start removing hotels that are too far from the airport, reception, and ceremony locations. Also consider removing hotels that are not close to the activities that wedding guests will be involved in.

Amenities offered

Does the hotel have the amenities that your group will want? Things like an Indoor/outdoor pool, a spa, golf course are common needs.


You can get quite a few perks from hotels and resorts when planning a destination wedding. If you are booking a wedding package at an all-inclusive resort, then you are sure to get a free wedding provided you honeymoon there. In addition, if wedding guests choose to join you at the resort, you may be entitled to additional room upgrades too. Read “Pros And Cons Of Reserving A Block Of Hotel Rooms At An All-Inclusive Resort”

Hotels offer many other perks depending on how many rooms are blocked for the wedding. Some will offer points for their loyalty program (Marriott is one chain that is famous for doing this) while others will offer any or all of the following:

  • Free shuttle to the wedding and reception
  • Upgraded room (Bridal suite?) with rose petals on the bed
  • VIP treatment
  • Discounted golf and spa (or skiing if you are having a winter wedding at the mountain)
  • Assistance with welcome bags
  • Free Wifi for wedding guests

Step 3: Finalize A Hotel For Your Destination Wedding

Once you have compared hotels based on the criteria above, you should be left with two to three hotels (or resorts) for your destination wedding.

Ask each hotel or resort for a contract to see what stipulations are included in them. Read each contract carefully. If there are things you don’t understand, feel free to ask the hotel salesperson for clarification. And if you have never dealt with a hotel wedding contract, then read the article “What to look for before signing a contract for a destination wedding” for some great tips that will save you lots of headaches in the future.

Furthermore, we would encourage you to visit the hotel or resort before making a final decision. Not only will you get a better sense of what the place looks like, you will also get to assess the staff, and the cleanliness of the hotel (Take a look at this hotel site inspection checklist for weddings).

After having considered the steps above, you should be able to decide on the hotel that is perfect for your destination wedding.

What Should You Do Next?

Get group hotel rates by filling out one form. It’s completely free and requires no credit card.

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