While this sounds like an ideal situation, there are some disadvantages to using all inclusive resorts for a wedding.
Listed below are the most common reasons to not book an all inclusive resort for a destination wedding.
Cookie cutter wedding
If you are the type of person that wants the wedding to be exactly as you imagined it, then an all inclusive resort may not be the best option for you. Most all inclusive resorts offer cookie cutter options that they can easily deliver time and again. So when you ask to have them make changes, many resorts will simply not allow them.
All inclusive resort weddings are for the budget minded couple that wants to get married in an exclusive location without the fifth avenue prices.
If you are looking to have a highly customized destination wedding, then you’d be better off going with a professional wedding planner and let them handle all the details of planning the event.
Guests may not want to pay their own way
Having a destination wedding will reduce the number of people attending your wedding as it is. Having your wedding at an all inclusive resort where guests will have to pay a lot more will reduce your attendance even more.
Since the room rate includes the food, drink, and activities, your guests are basically subsidizing the wedding so you have to make sure to do something extra to get them to attend. In order to encourage folks into attending, couples have done some of the following:
- Paid for off site excursions
- Paid for part or all of the room rate at the all inclusive resort
- Blocked rooms at a hotel near the resort and bought guest passes to the resort for guests
- Gave some seriously incredible wedding favors
Many Locations Are Isolated
Many all inclusive resorts are located in very isolated areas so you and your wedding guests won’t have anywhere to go other than the resort itself. So if you are into exploring reefs, mingling with the locals, or checking out the local cuisine, you may have to book a resort on a larger island.
Local culture is muted at resorts
Being at an all inclusive resort takes away your ability to really get to know the local culture and traditions. The people you meet at the resort are not always local and even if they are, they may not be allowed to speak as freely as they would otherwise.
Moreover, unless you’re the exploring type, you may not want to step out of the safe confines of the resort. Many islands are not safe so guests generally end up staying put at the resort itself.
Not being able to see the local culture, visit a museum, see an artisan, or even an impromptu street performer is what makes memories. And if you stay at an all inclusive resort, you may not be able to experience that for yourself.
Not everything is included
All inclusive does not always mean All inclusive. Lately, there have been many resorts that serve two tiers of meals and drinks. There is the all inclusive meal and then there is the upgraded means that you have to pay additional for. Many people have complained that the food quality is not that great in the all inclusive meals so they ended up spending on the food anyways.
Plus, remember that premium drinks, spa treatments, and a host of other items are not included in standard all inclusive packages either. Make sure you talk to the wedding coordinator about what is included in the all inclusive resort before booking your wedding there.
Entertainment is not top notch
Many complain that the entertainment is not even sub par at all inclusive resorts. If your wedding party consists of people looking for entertainment on a nightly basis, they may have to end up going outside the resort for it.
Your experiences are limited to what is available at the resort. You won’t be discovering any coffee shops or going off on your excursion into the rain forest just because you feel like it. Plus, there is the factor of guilt as well. Because you have already paid for activities as part of the room rate, you won’t want to wander about anywhere else.
Wedding? Stand in line
Your wedding at an all inclusive resort will not be the only one scheduled for that day. Chances are there will be several weddings going on at the same time so you will not get all the attention from resort staff that you may expect. If anything, some weddings at all inclusive resorts have a “station to station” feel to them where the staff simply takes you from the room to the ceremony to the reception based on a strict schedule so that another wedding can follow right behind you.
If after reading all the disadvantages of booking a wedding at an all inclusive resort has you down, then fear not because there are advantages as well. Read “Reasons to have your destination wedding at an all inclusive resort” to cheer yourself up.
Or if you are just looking to explore destination wedding ideas, we suggest you start by looking here.