Getting married soon?

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica beach wedding venue

What Is A Destination Wedding & Why You Should Have One!

Choosing the right venue for your wedding is a big deal!

And to make your special day truly unforgettable, a destination wedding could be just the thing for you.

I know what you’re thinking…”But why?”

Alright, buckle up and get ready for the scoop on destination weddings!

In this blog, we’ll dive into what exactly a destination wedding is and why they’ve become so popular among couples.

Read on!

grand velas los cabos wedding with bride groom and guests

Picture this: you and your partner jetting off to a dreamy location, where palm trees sway and ocean waves serenade you.

That’s right, a destination wedding is all about saying “I do” in a paradise-like location away from home sweet home.

It’s like combining your love for travel and your commitment to forever!

Or better yet, it’s like having a vacation with your nearest and dearest ones, plus a side of matrimonial bliss!

garden wedding setup

Destination weddings take you to dreamy locations away from home.

They offer all the romance of a traditional wedding but at the fraction of the cost and stress!

These weddings are usually an all-inclusive affair: your venue, décor, flowers, ceremony officiant, and food, all’s bundled into one package.

But that’s not all!

A champagne toast, your wedding cake, and even your honeymoon are often included.

Best of all, you don’t have to tackle the planning alone.

Enter the Destination Wedding Specialist, your FREE wedding superhero!

They’re experts in certain destinations and will help you choose the perfect resort with the best venue and wedding package.

Once you’ve secured these essentials, they’ll even coordinate travel plans for you and your guests.

Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos couple on the beach wedding vows

Destination weddings have a lot of advantages and benefits.

Here are a few:

1. They’re budget-friendly

All-inclusive wedding packages often work out cheaper, so you won’t have to deal with a budget crisis.

But are destination weddings actually affordable, you ask?


Let me break it down for you…

The average cost of a wedding in the US? Approximately $35,000 for 2023 – yikes!

But, an all-inclusive destination wedding in, let’s say Mexico, will only set you back around $5,000 to $10,000 for 20 to 50 guests.

And get this – it covers everything!

The ceremony, décor, food & drinks, reception, music, the whole shebang!

2. You don’t have to search for vendors

Wedding planner/coordinator, caterer, florist, photographer, videographer, wedding officiant, musicians/DJ, baker, hair stylist, makeup artist…🤯

You won’t have to deal with any of these!

Your destination wedding package will most likely include all of these services and then some!

3. Smaller guest list

Having a destination wedding gives you the chance to host a more intimate bash.

Because there are additional travel and stay expenses involved, you don’t have to feel pressured to invite every person you’ve ever crossed paths with.

Just send out invites to the folks who are super close to you and willing to make the trip.

4. You won’t be getting distracted

Having a destination wedding comes with some awesome advantages.

Like, one of the best parts is being in a relaxing environment away from home.

No need to stress about boring household chores, catching up on work emails, or running errands at the last minute.

Instead, you’ll be enjoying the days leading up to your wedding vacationing in maybe a tropical paradise, catching up with your loved ones.

Looking for inspo? Here are 10 Best Beach Wedding Destinations In The Caribbean 🏖️

5. You’ll be stress-free!

Who needs extra stress in their life when planning a wedding, right?

Well, good news! Your all-inclusive destination wedding resort does it all – from the ceremony to flowers, food, and party, it’ll handle everything for you.

And once you’ve got a destination wedding planner on your side, everything’s automatically sorted!

Can’t beat that, can you?

6. Guests won’t get bored!

Your wedding doubles as a vacation for your guests!

So they get to have a blast before and after the ceremony.

You all can also go on awesome guided tours and uncover epic hidden gems together.

It’s the perfect opportunity to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Couple toasting to their destination wedding

7. It’s a built-in vacation!

If you want to have a super cool destination wedding, consider a place that you both haven’t visited.

You’ll be in for a fantastic vacation!

And your friends and family will be a major part of making the trip even more awesome and fun.

Watch our video on 10 reasons to have a destination wedding.

Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya wedding venue

There are also a few disadvantages to having a destination wedding.

1. Not Everybody can Make it to Your Wedding

The downside of a destination wedding is that not everyone can be invited to join in on the fun.

Which is fine if you’re aiming for an intimate celebration.

But the real issue arises when you want a BIG wedding.

In that case, not everyone will be able to make it due to the time or budget constraints.

While some guests might not be able to take time off from work, others won’t want to spend on flights and accommodations.

2. Paperwork!

Get ready for some paperwork!

Each country has its own marriage laws, so you’ll need to navigate through those.

Plus, dealing with visas and other necessary documents for you and your guests can be quite a hassle.

But don’t worry, our wedding specialists can help you with that! 

3. Additional Costs

All-inclusive destination wedding packages are affordable.

But if you opt for a customized wedding, the costs start adding up.

Besides, since many packages include services of vendors like photographers, makeup artists etc, and you’ll have to pay additional fees if you want to bring your own.


bride groom and wedding party on the beach

Great question!

When it comes to destination wedding etiquette, you’re not obliged to foot the bill for everyone, unless you want to and can afford it.

Typically, guests are expected to cover their travel expenses and accommodation.

Think about it, would you pay for them if the wedding was in your hometown?

Here’s the deal: whether you’re tying the knot in your hometown, or a domestic or international destination, some guests will still have to fly in and find their own place to stay.

It’s usually not your responsibility to cover those costs.

wedding on the beach at El Dorado Casitas Royale

Generally, there are 3 types of marriages:
  1. Civil (legal)
  2. Symbolic (not legal)
  3. Religious (not legal)

And yes, destination weddings can be legal. But there’s a lot of paperwork involved.

Many couples choose to have a simple courthouse wedding at home and then celebrate with a symbolic ceremony at their dream destination.

Documents needed to legally get married:

The following documents are required if you want to legally get married in a different country.

However, we suggest you check the laws of the destination you have in mind. 

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Tourist card or visa
  • Widowed or divorce decree (if applicable)
  • Names, ages, nationalities, addresses, and occupations of your parents
  • Blood test certificate
  • Witnesses’ info with copies of valid passports or driver’s license.

Thinking of getting married in Mexico? Here’s how to get legally married in Mexico.

garden wedding venue catalonia grand costa mujeres

So, here’s the deal with destination weddings: the total cost can swing wildly.

It all boils down to factors like:
  • Where you want to go
  • How many days you want to celebrate
  • The number of events you’re planning
  • The exchange rate from U.S. dollars to the local currency
  • The time of year
  • The number of guests you’re inviting

Here’s the average cost at the 6 most poplar countries for destination weddings from USA and Canada:

  1. Mexico: $5,000 to $10,000 
  2. Dominican Republic: $5,000 to $12,000
  3. Jamaica: $4,000 to $8,000 
  4. Costa Rica: $5,000 to $10,000 
  5. Thailand: $12,000 to $20,000 
  6. Italy: $16,000 to $22,000

Our team at has planned 100s of destination weddings across Mexico and the Caribbean.

Here are our top 5 picks for dreamy wedding packages that include a whole lot of services and amenities.

Top 5 Destination Wedding Packages In Mexico

1. Lavish & Opulent by Hyatt Ziva Cancun

Hyatt Ziva Cancun

Hyatt Ziva Cancun is an absolutely breathtaking resort!

Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the views from here are absolutely stunning.

You’re in for a treat with their fantastic suites, including awesome swim-out suites.

Guests love the variety of drink and dine options here.

And you have to visit their oceanfront spa – it offers holistic body treatments and hydrotherapy sessions.

Some key points:

✓ 547 beautiful rooms and suites
✓ 9 restaurants (French, American, dessert parlor etc.)
✓ 6 bars, including swim-up bars
✓ On-site microbrewery
✓ Spa
✓ Fitness center
✓ KidZ Club and Teens Club
✓ 3 infinity pools, including an adults-only one with a swim-up bar
✓ Plenty of activities (interacting with dolphins, kayaking, snorkeling, golfing, pool parties etc.)

hyatt ziva cancun wedding venues

Lavish & Opulent Wedding Package:

Our wedding specialists love the Lavish & Opulent wedding package offered by the resort.

It’s got everything you need for a memorable celebration.

Price breakdown:
  • $5,563 for 20 guests
  • $8,863 for 50 guests
  • $12,169 for 80 guests

You can invite more guests to your wedding for $110 per person.

hyatt ziva cancun sahara beach wedding venue

Lavish & Opulent package includes:
  • Symbolic ceremony.
  • Bouquets and boutonnieres.
  • Natural floral centerpiece for the altar.
  • Signature wedding cake.
  • 1-hour private cocktail party after the ceremony.
  • 3-hour private wedding reception.
  • Special decoration of the couple’s room.
  • Complimentary online wedding registry and wedding website.
  • Sound system for the ceremony.
  • 25-minute massage for the couple.
  • Romantic oceanfront dinner for the couple.
  • Hairstyling, makeup and grooming for the couple.
  • Manicure and pedicure for the couple.
  • 15% discount on spa services for the couple.
  • 10% discount on spa services for the wedding guests.
  • 1st anniversary free night.

See all the venues and packages at Hyatt Ziva Cancun here!

2. No Shoes Allowed by Paradisus La Perla

paradisus la perla resort

Paradisus La Perla resort is a 5-star haven exclusively for adults.

It’s got spacious accommodations, thoughtful amenities, and breathtaking views that will leave you speechless.

You’ll love the food at this resort. From buffet-style feasts to beach bars serving up tropical delights, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Want to just unwind before your big day. Paradisus La Perla has got your back.

Take a refreshing dip in one of their pools or treat yourself to a pampering massage at the Yhi Spa.

Some key points:

✓ 393 spacious suites, including swim-out suites
✓ 26 restaurants and bars, including swim-up bars 
✓ Spa
✓ Fitness center
✓ 4 pools, including 2 lagoon-style pools
✓ Private beach areas
✓ Plenty of activities (yoga, pool parties, live bands, water sports, day excursions to nearby places etc.)

paradisus la perla wedding venues

No Shoes Allowed Wedding Package:

The No Shoes Allowed package is specially for those couples who’ve been dreaming of a beach wedding!

Price breakdown:
  • $6,000 for 30 guests 
  • $8,600 for 50 guests 
  • $12,500 for 80 guests 

Invite more guests for $130 per additional person. 

paradisus la perla beach gazebo

No Shoes Allowed package includes: 
  • Symbolic ceremony with minister.
  • Wedding décor.
  • 1-hour cocktail hour.
  • 3-hour dinner reception.
  • Space for shoe valet.
  • Bouquet and boutonniere.
  • Audio equipment.
  • Custom menu.

Explore all wedding venues and packages here 👉 Paradisus La Perla.

3. Beso by Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos

Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos

The stunning Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos resort is located on the beautiful Baja California peninsula.

The resort exudes a Mediterranean vibe and boasts spacious suites.

Our couples love the refreshing pools, and the wine-centric spa here.

Some key points:

✓ 527 stylish rooms and suites, including swim-out suites
✓ Sea-level golf course
✓ Fiesta Kids Club
✓ 11 restaurants (Argentinian, Italian, Sushi, Mexican etc.)
✓ 1 exclusive bar, and 1 café 
✓ Gym
✓ Spa
✓ 6 pools (include infinity pool with a swim-up bar!)

grand fiesta americana cabo wedding venues

Beso Wedding Package:

The resort offers 4 fabulous wedding packages and our favorite is their Beso package. 

Price breakdown:
  • $2,440 for 20 guests 
  • $2,700 for 30 guests 
  • $3,220 for 50 guests 
  • $4,000 for 80 guests 

More guests can be invited for $26 per guest.

Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos beach venue

Beso package includes:
  • Symbolic ceremony performed by a non-denominational minister.
  • Wedding altar or gazebo decorated with draping and floral accents.
  • Aisle runner, white Avant garde chairs and ceremonial table.
  • Bouquet(s) and/or boutonniere(s) for the wedding couple.
  • Sound system.
  • Wedding cake.
  • Sparkling wine toast.
  • Reception dinner reservation at one of their restaurants.
  • Romantic turndown service on wedding night.
  • Breakfast in bed the morning after the ceremony.
  • 15% discount on spa treatments.
  • 2-night stay certificate to celebrate the first wedding anniversary.
  • Dedicated Wedding Expert & Celebration Expert.
  • Complimentary room for 1 member of the wedding couple the day of the ceremony.
  • Refreshments and amenities for the wedding couple while getting ready for the ceremony.
  • Room upgrade for the wedding couple.
  • Late check-out for the wedding couple.

Check out the amazing wedding venues at Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos here.

4. PH Glam by Planet Hollywood Cancun

planet hollywood cancun

Planet Hollywood Cancun, the resort inspired by all things movies, is an absolute blast!

Couples (and me!) love the delicious range of cuisines available at the fantastic restaurants and bars.

Plus the rooms and suites are fit for Hollywood royalty!

There’s also Planet Hollywood Cancun Adult Scene, a dedicated adults-only section.

Some key points:

✓ All-suites resort
✓ 11 restaurants (Burgers, Japanese, steaks, Italian etc.)
✓ 11 bars, including a unique lazy river float-up bar
✓ Several pools, a lazy river
✓ 2 splash parks for kids
✓ Unique fast drive track
✓ Spa
✓ Fitness center
✓ Plenty of activities (aqua fitness, swimming in cenotes, ATV riding etc.)

planet hollywood cancun wedding venues

PH Glam Wedding Package:

If you want to feel like a complete rockstar on your big day, the PH Glam wedding package is the best choice!

It’s slightly on the expensive side, but it’s worth every penny!

Price breakdown:
  • $11,199 for 40 guests
  • $13,599 for 60 guests
  • $15,999 for 80 guests 

You can add more guests for $120 per person.

beach wedding venue at planet hollywood cancun

PH Glam package includes:
  • Celebrity VIP welcome.
  • Upgrade to STAR Class.
  • Breakfast in bed after the wedding.
  • 2-hour private BBQ.
  • Symbolic ceremony.
  • Deluxe decor.
  • Sparkling wine.
  • Bouquet and boutonniere.
  • 4-hour private reception with open bar.
  • 2-tier wedding cake.

Want to feel like a celeb?! Get all the details 👉 Planet Hollywood Cancun weddings.

5. Love Song by Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun

margaritaville island reserve riviera cancun

Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun is an incredible resort that combines relaxation and luxury in the best way possible.

The floating pool bars at the resort are a total hit among our couples!

And guests love the resort’s exciting pop-up experiences, like mixology classes and spirit flights.

Besides, the accommodations here are simply delightful – they’ve got a charming island vibe and all the essential amenities you need.

Some key points:

✓ 148 rooms and suites, including swim-outs
✓ 4 restaurants (Asian, Mexican, Caribbean etc.)
✓ 1 café and provision store
✓ 5 bars, including a swim-up bar and a smoothie bar
✓ Parakeets Kid’s Club
✓ Kid-friendly amenities like cribs, baby monitors etc.
✓ 4 pools
✓ Spa
✓ Fitness center

margaritaville island reserve wedding venues

Love Song Wedding Package:

This is a super romantic wedding package that includes a whole lot of amenities.

Price breakdown:
  • $11,000 for 24 guests 
  • $14,640 for 50 guests 
  • $18,840 for 80 guests 

Additional guests can be invited for $140 per guest.

margaritaville island reserve wedding venue

Love Song package includes:
  • Dedicated services of a wedding designer.
  • Premium wedding location & ceremony time guaranteed.
  • Honeymoon registry.
  • Private in-suite check in for the couple.
  • Margarita Frozen Concoction Maker in suite for couple.
  • Couple’s 50-minute relaxing massage at St. Somewhere Spa.
  • Nightly turndown service for the couple.
  • Semi-private check in for the guests.
  • Personalized welcome letter with group itinerary.
  • Private 1-hour cocktail party in a premium location with open bar.
  • 4-hour private welcome dinner with 3-course plated dinner and open bar.
  • Monogrammed dinner menu.
  • Live Local Music- Marimba (one set of 45min)
  • Groom’s room day of ceremony for the gents to prepare and relax.
  • Bridal party reservation at St. Somewhere Spa’s Bridal Suite.
  • Non-denominational minister.
  • Symbolic wedding certificate.
  • Sky or Beachfront wedding location.
  • Altar table.
  • Sound system with microphone.
  • 4-hour private reception dinner with family style menu and DJ.
  • 2-tiered cake.
  • Margarita popsicle cart.
  • Farewell brunch on the beach.
  • Complimentary honeymoon package.

Check out weddings at Margaritaville Island Reserve.

Yeah, destination wedding planning can be tough! Where do you even begin?

Start with us! 

Our wedding planners have planned 100s of weddings in Mexico and the Caribbean at all-inclusive resorts. We can help you too.

Call us today at 877-737-0177 or contact us here for a free consultation.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Hi! I am Niyati from Need help planning your destination wedding? I'm your gal! From resort reviews to fashion tips, and everything in between, our team of certified destination wedding specialists and I've got you covered!

Ask questions below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Emet nisl suscipit adipiscing bibendum. Amet cursus sit amet dictum. Vel risus commodo viverra maecenas.


Why plan all alone?

Get FREE help from our award-winning destination wedding agency!