Destination Weddings 101


Weddings by Escapes is a team of expert travel coordinators and wedding designers with a vast array of wedding and travel experience. With a variety of industry contacts, resources, and knowledge, our team is ready to assist clients in any aspect of their wedding day. We are a full-service vacation agency committed to providing unique, distinct, and unforgettable destination weddings.

  • Resort Budgets
  • Ceremony Styles
  • Timeline
  • Questions

Ultra Luxury Resorts

These luxury resorts ensure the absolute highest level of standards with service, facilities and amenities. From 24 hour concierge services, to fine gourmet dining, these resort spare no expense. These resorts are for couples wanting the best of the best. Expect package prices in the $2800 per person range.

Velas Resorts
Viceroy Resorts
 
Zoetry

Luxury 5 Star Resorts

There is a large variance within star ratings, so we've categorised luxury 5 star resorts from the best of the 5 stars. These fine all-inclusive hotels feature top-rate service and amenities. Superior spa facilities, excellent dining options, premium spirits, and well-appointed rooms are a few of the items that separate these resorts from other 5 star properties. Expect package prices in the $1800-$2799 per person range.

Azul Hotels Resorts
Dreams Resorts
 
El Dorado Resorts
Hyatt Zilara
 
Hyatt Ziva
Karisma Hotels
 
Palace Resorts
Paradisus Resorts
 
Secrets Resorts

4 to 5 Star Resorts

Resorts that offer 4 and 5-Star ratings offer wide variety when it comes to accommodations and food options. Most resorts feature a variety dining options, as well as a variety of spirits and beverages to choose from. Guests will have the opportunity to have an all-encompassing experience when staying in these resorts. Expect package prices in the $1400 to $2399 range.

Bahia Principe
Barcelo Resorts
 
Hard Rock Hotels
Iberostar
 
Memories Resorts
Now Resorts
 
Riu Resorts

3 to 4 Star Resorts

These resorts still offer a good variety when it comes to resort options and activities. Though accommodations are simple or older in design, it does not take away from the entire experience of the resort. These are good options for guests who have no particular preference with their accommodations. Expect package prices in the $900 to $1399 range.

BeLive Hotels
Blau Resorts
 
El Cid Hotels
Palladium Resorts
 
Oasis Hotels & Resorts

Our professional services are the keys to your success

Catholic Ceremonies

A Catholic wedding ceremony serves as a deep and blessed sacrament between bride and groom. In a Catholic ceremony, both couples declare their commitment to their relationship under the eyes of family, friends, and the church.

Unlike non-denominational and symbolic ceremonies, a Catholic ceremony entails meeting with the ceremonial priest before the wedding date to discuss the sacrament of marriage. Contrary to assumptions that this would be more complex than a symbolic ceremony, resorts do a fantastic job, making this process hassle and stress-free.

Having a Catholic ceremony on destination is definitely unique. There are a variety of properties that offer stunning on-site chapels for your ceremony. Talk to one of our Destination Wedding Specialists to find one that's right for you.

South Asian (Indian) Weddings

With experience at Palace Resorts, Hard Rock Hotels and AM Resorts, our destination wedding specialists are able to bring a sincere and indispensable insight to your destination wedding plans. Our Indian wedding expert, Shez Khan, is able to seamlessly interweave cultural traditions into your idyllic dream destination wedding. Shez will make certain that your wedding is stress-free and end exactly as you envisioned!

Through our expertise and partnerships, we are able to offer the absolute best resort and venue options that know Indian customs and cuisines. Knowing that your traditions and tastes will be honoured is of the utmost importance with planning an ethnic destination wedding. We are at your service to ensure your Indian wedding is unique and timeless.

LGBTQ Ceremonies

Having an LGBTQ destination wedding is a statement that love truly knows no boundaries. With many all-inclusive destinations such as Punta Cana, Puerto Vallarta, and Riviera Maya recognizing LGBTQ unions, the choices are infinite for couples.

Whether it'd be small and intimate or large and elaborate, there are a variety of all-inclusive properties that can turn your dreams of a picture perfect wedding to a reality.

Our LGBTQ wedding expert, Jason, can help you find the perfect destination and gay resort.

Mayan Weddings

Authentic, simplistic, and deep in meaning: these are three elements that a Mayan wedding ceremony embraces. A traditional Mayan ceremony is truly one of a kind. Embracing traditions from the past, Mayan wedding rituals incorporate natural elements, such as incense of smoke, water, earth, wind, and fire to symbolically strengthen the union of marriage.

With ceremonies done amongst a beach or historic site, this type of ceremony is as beautiful as it is raw to its nature.

Below is a general guideline of how far in advance you should be planning specific items for your destination wedding.

12-24 months - Select Your Resort

While the resort itself wont sell out this fare in advance, the wedding dates are whats at issue. Most resorts only perform 1-2 ceremonies per day and since destination weddings are currently such a popular item, wedding date get booked up very early. Very similar if you think of traditional wedding venues, the good ones (in this case, resorts) get booked up fast!

12-24 months - Get Group Rates

Typically, while you work on selecting a resort with your wedding specialist, they will also start to think about sourcing group rates. Its a bit of a juggling act as it requires ensuring you get the ceremony date you want along with a good travel rate for the dates selected.

 
9-18 months - Send Out Invites

Once the ceremony date and travel dates have been selected and a group rate secured, the next step is to inform your guests of your special day. Your Escapes.ca wedding specialist can help to arrange sending out an evite or you can choose to take care of this step through mailed invites.

9-18 month - Deposits Due

A deposit due date will be included on the invites. This date will be required for guest to put down deposits to secure their space in the group travel. Deposits are typically in the $250 to $300 per person price range. Guests can still book in after this date has passed, but space and rates are not guaranteed beyond this date.

 
6 to 12 months - Final Payment

The final payment date is when all guests must pay in full for their travel package. Like the deposit due date, guests can still book in after this date has passed, but space and rates are not guaranteed.

3-9 months - Plan the Wedding

Now that all the travel is taken care of, its time to start planning the wedding. Couples communicate directly with the onsite wedding coordinator

What value does Escapes.ca offer for myself and my guests?

We truly are Destination Wedding Experts! Our specialists are patient when it comes to listening and prompt on action and they work with you to ensure each couples budget and vision is met. We have been to hundreds of resorts through Mexico, the Caribbean and beyond. At Escapes.ca we know that there is no better way to sell an experience than to actually experience it yourself. We rocognize the value in that and send our specialists on travel industry familiarization trips specifically catering to destination weddings. Our experts have experienced destination weddings from initial set-up to full tear down and everything in between. We have also built close relationships with the people and suppliers involved in your wedding, both here in Canada and in destination. This ensures your dreams are not only met, but exceeded.

How come my group rate is not the lowest price I've seen?

Basically it comes down to supply and demand and resorts have a limited amount of weddings they do each day, usually 1 or 2 per day. Destination weddings are in very high demand, so the resort and package suppliers charge higher rates for groups booked 6-12 months in advance. The lower rates that people find online are generally attached to a couple of seats only. You can certainly try to wait until closer to departure to try for lower rates, but the problem is that the wedding dates will all be booked at the resort and/or there will not be enough availability for you and your guests at the hotel or on the aircraft.. In a nutshell, you are paying for the security of having your travel dates and wedding day all arranged in advance.

 
How much will it cost for my guests?

There are many factors involved, but mainly it depends on the type of resort you choose and the time of year you travel. Of course luxury 5 star resorts will come in at a higher price point than a 4 star resort and traveling in the peak winter months will be higher than the slower summer months. Our wedding specialists can definitely help you through this planning portion and work with you to find a resort and time of year that suites you and your guests. See our Resort Budgets section on this page for a general break down of costs per resort type.

How far in advance should I book my destination wedding?

It depends on the resort, destination and seasonality of travel, but a realistic time frame is to begin planning 1 year in advance. Some resorts are now booking 1.5 years in advance. If you are looking for a Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon/early evening wedding ceremony you need to book 1+ years in advance. Most often, what is left available for the ceremony itself, once we are within a year of departure, are weekday and morning wedding times.

 
I've see free wedding ads, can resort weddings be free?

The short answer is yes, but everything does have a cost. Most often to qualify for a free wedding, the resorts have certain restrictions and rules you must meet in order to qualify for a complimentary ceremony. Resorts will often have stipulations that your group must book a room that are a few categories higher in price than the lowest room type. For example, everyone must book into an Ocean View Room, rather than the Garden View Room. Sometimes the bride and groom must upgrade and pay for a Honeymoon or Ocean Front Suite to qualify. Furthermore, any free reception advertised generally is for a maximum of 10 to 20 people and you will be paying for additional guests to dine at your wedding reception or during cocktail hour. More elaborate designs, décor and legal ceremonies are an additional cost and can be added to your free wedding or included when purchasing a wedding package.

Researching all the different wedding options can get tricky. We can gladly help you determine which route to take to make sure you receive the best value for yourself and your guests. Please inquire with us for exact wedding information relating to the resort you are interested in.

Why are group rates for wedding often priced higher than what I see online?

Basically it comes down to supply and demand and resorts have a limited amount of weddings they do each day, usually 1 or 2 per day. Destination weddings are in very high demand, so the resort and package suppliers charge higher rates for groups booked 6-12 months in advance. The lower rates that people find online are generally attached to a couple of seats only. You can certainly try to wait until closer to departure to try for lower rates, but the problem is that the wedding dates will all be booked at the resort and/or there will not be enough availability for you and your guests at the hotel or on the aircraft.. In a nutshell, you are paying for the security of having your travel dates and wedding day all arranged in advance.

 
Can I get a discount rate if just booking air only?

It gets a little complicated, but basically when a group reaches over 30 people, the airlines will often give less of a discount to the group. This is because a group prevents the carrier from being able to sell those seats at a higher profit to the general public. This is why we ask for a very realistic guest count at time of inquiry.

How much should my guests expect to pay?

There are many factors involved, but mainly it all depends on the type of resort you choose and the time of year you travel. See our Resort Budgets tab above for a general break down of costs per person. Our specialist will be happy to discuss budgets with you and chart the best options for your wedding.

 
What kind of wedding ceremonies is Escapes.ca familiar with?

Our wedding specialists at Escapes.ca are familiar with, and have experienced weddings of every size, culture, denomination and style. We have even witnessed an Avatar wedding! Seriously, ask us!

Do I have pay a fee to book my wedding?

Depending on your unique situation, there may be a small plan to go fee. This fee is used to ensure commitment and confidence between you and your specialist. The fee is put towards your final booking costs.

Why Choose Us


 

We Work for You

Our goal to make you happy! That means ensuring our wedding consultants have the best product knowledge and excellent customer service. A happy wedding couple is our #1 goal!

 

We Understand

Planning a wedding can be a lot of work. We get it and do our best to quickly and efficiently alleviate any issues or surprises that may arise. Another important goal is making your group travel arrangements easier!

 

100% Canadian eh!

We are 100% Canadian owned and operated and a equal opportunity employer. At Escapes we also operate with a triple bottom line... people, planet and profit. Find out more.

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