Alexis
Just Said Yes January 2023

Destination Wedding Dilemma: All-inclusive requires guests to stay at resort

Alexis, on December 27, 2020 at 12:24 AM Posted in Planning 0 22
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We are planning on having our wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico that my fiancé, bridal party, and parents on both sides all love. The resort requires 90% of guests to stay at the resort in order to hold a wedding there. While we already confirmed with the aforementioned groups that the requirement wouldn't be an issue, we're trying to figure out how to word the requirement on the invitations for our other guests. If more people RSVP, we can allow more couples to stay off the resort. So we're thinking of being quite blunt on the invitations and say that staying at this resort is required, and then have our friends/family reach out to us if that's an issue and we go from there. Is this a good way of going about this issue?

22 Comments

Latest activity by Sam, on November 18, 2021 at 7:31 PM
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    Hmmmm. I don't see an issue with it.
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  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    Keep in mind that nuptials in mexico must obtain blood tests there and at least 10 days in advance of the wedding
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  • Alexis
    Just Said Yes January 2023
    Alexis ·
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    Good to know! We just don't want to come off as rude/inconsiderate. We're already anticipating two couples to have issues since they both have young kids and can't stay at the resort if the whole family comes along (it's adults-only). But we're close enough that we just expect to have a honest conversation about it once invites are out.

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  • Alexis
    Just Said Yes January 2023
    Alexis ·
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    Yeah we saw that and it's pretty much the main reason we'll be doing a symbolic wedding and getting legally married beforehand. Thank you for the head's up though!

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  • W
    Super September 2020
    Willow ·
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    An invite that says staying at the resort is "required" would rub me the wrong way.


    I would seriously consider a different resort. Guests might say one thing now, but change their minds later if they realize they can stay cheaper elsewhere. That could leave you in a bad spot.
    They're already spending a lot of money to travel to you. You shouldn't dictate where they stay
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
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    This is a problem of some destination venues. They’re forcing your guests to stay there, often to give the couple a free or discounted wedding. More than likely that resort charges a lot more than others in the area. It’s not fair to pass wedding fists to guests. They need to have options. Unless the couples/families are covering hotel costs for guests.
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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    I agree with others that there isn't really a polite way to say this. Honestly, as a guest, if I got an invitation that stipulated needing to stay at the resort and I wouldn't be able to afford it, I would just RSVP "no." I wouldn't even think to contact the bride and groom and discuss other options. Destination weddings often have a very large decline rate due to added costs. I would either look into other resorts which don't have that requirement or just anticipate a much smaller guest list. What resort is it anyway?
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  • Alexis
    Just Said Yes January 2023
    Alexis ·
    • Flag

    Thank you for the responses everyone! Thankfully with our friends the issue is not one of affordability, but the issue of not being able to stay with kids at the resort (an adults-only wedding is a big priority for us). In an ideal scenario, we have enough guests that more can stay off the resort with the 90% rule (there's a kids-friendly resort right next door). The problem is how to convey that succinctly and politely on the invite...

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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
    • Flag

    I would probably try to switch to a different resort that doesn't have that 90% requirement. Especially since you mentioned that you have two couples with young kids. From my understanding, most adults only all inclusive resorts in Mexico require guests attending a wedding but not staying there to purchase a day pass for the wedding day. At least, this is how it worked at the two destination weddings I've attended in Mexico at adults only all inclusive places (one Secrets, one Sandals). Despite the fee for the day pass, many wedding guests chose to stay elsewhere either because it was cheaper or because they had young kids and a babysitter travelling with them. I would find a new venue if I were in your shoes due to this resort requirement.

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  • Victorian Bride
    Master February 2022
    Victorian Bride ·
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    I'd not put it on your invite, just word it normally, but put those details either on an Information card or a VERY prominent area of your home page of your wedding website (or both). That way it'd be both polite and succinct. Best wishes!! ❤
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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    I don't think there really is a polite way to say they are required to stay at the resort so that a portion of their fees, and e ery other guests, goes to partly or wholly pay for your wedding. And that is the resort does not get it in the form of part of your stay, it will charge you $65-$100 per person for just the wedding. Everyone I know who has had a wedding in a National park has pid entrance fees for all for the day, and paid up to $100 per person for an overnight room , for every guest, so that guests do not essentially pay for much of the wedding. Bad enough to pay to travel there , and spend that time away, for a mini-vacation of someone else's choosing.
    It is customary for people to pay for their own wedding. If you will be married before you go, you are asking people to go to another country for your wedding reception. And pay toward the reception itself. Seriously? A polite way to say that.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
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    This is the dilemma of a destination wedding. Do you have any other resorts around that area that do weddings?
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  • KYLIE
    Super May 2019
    KYLIE ·
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    I really don’t think there’s a polite way to say this, tbh. And I know you don’t think there will be a cost issue and everyone’s super excited for your destination wedding, but wait until RSVPs roll in. People who “promised” they go will be unable to.


    Also, I totally understand having an adults only wedding, but are you saying people will travel with their kids and then have to leave them for the day at another resort in a foreign country. I don’t know any parents of young kids who’d be comfortable with that.
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  • Katelyn
    Savvy May 2017
    Katelyn ·
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    I echo other responses. Also, your wedding is two years away, so I would take any promised attendance as a tiny grain of salt. People tend to dream big and make promises but when it comes time to book, they change their mind or their situation changes. A lot can change in two years (just look at where we are now). In addition to this situation, people move, financial situations change, have more children, get sick, etc. Anyone who has kids between now and 2023 will then not be able to stay at the resort. Finally, things will obviously change over 2021, but I would be very hesitant to book anything out of country so far in advance. We don't know when unfettered travel will really resume, and in the meantime, the resort could shut down. If I was a guest in this situation, I would probably tell the couple, we would love to attend but will need to wait 1+ years to confirm.

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  • A
    Super September 2020
    Alli ·
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    We dealt with this in our contract as well on an island... ours was 80% of guests had to stay at the resort. You are going to be super stressed out waiting for people to book and confirm at the resort. Literally two months before, we had a family of 6 book at an AirBnB after telling us they were staying at the resort. People do not book far ahead either and especially following a pandemic. About 60% of our guests booked 4-5 months before our wedding and this was pre pandemic. The other 40% booked within the last 2-3 months. So, obviously at this point, the contract already has to be signed. Mexico is literally the cheapest place to get married / vacation, so people won’t be booking in advanced. We had a total of 60 people booked. These are just my experiences throughout the journey and wish I would have searched out advice. We would have switched resorts 100%. It was quite annoying having to keep track of where everyone was staying. Best wishes 🤍
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  • Vicky
    VIP January 2020
    Vicky ·
    • Flag

    This is not appropriate for a few reasons. It's not okay for you to tell your guests where they have to stay (unless you're paying for them), and it's not appropriate for you to have your guests subsidize the cost of your wedding, which is the entire reason that the resort is requiring you to have 90% of your guests stay there. You should be paying for 100% of your wedding costs, full stop.

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  • H
    Devoted August 2023
    Hhh ·
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    I’m going to go against the consensus on this and say that I have been to all-inclusive resort weddings and this is a pretty normal requirement (honestly I thought EVERY single guest had to stay on-site, so clearly the couples communicated it as a requirement to us!) My experience was that RSVPs for the wedding went through the couples’ coordinators such that you would commit to attending by booking a room through them. You couldn’t RSVP ‘yes’ through another method, so anyone who had concerns would have to run it past the couple prior. The STD/invites said that all wedding events and activities would take place at the resort all guests would be staying at. As a guest, I thought this was standard for Mexico and didn't find it offensive in any way (but it was expensive so my gift was a bit smaller than normal!)
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  • Alexis
    Just Said Yes January 2023
    Alexis ·
    • Flag
    As someone who has gone through the same experience I greatly value your input! Obviously we are super planning ahead so I’ll get more info from the wedding coordinator when that happens, but when you received an invite was the accommodation requirement on a separate info card? Or did the couple just have everything on their website (or both)? We’re planning on sending an invite suite with the invite, RSVP card, accommodation card, and weekend events card. We also don’t want gifts because we’re already asking a lot from our guests. Any more insights on what your friends/family did would be super appreciated!
    • Reply
  • Sandra
    Dedicated September 2021
    Sandra ·
    • Flag

    I'm trying to think of any possible nice way to say it. On a separate card regarding accommodation details (and on the website) put maybe something along the lines of..

    We are so excited to share this experience with you all and have secured for our guests a block of rooms at ___ Hotel so the party won't stop! or "so the festivities continue!" Something like that?

    And then perhaps put the website on the card or your wedding coordinator if they can book directly through her to encourage people to go book. It's the only thing I can think of because a gentle nudge is the only polite way to do it but a gentle nudge is not a guarantee lol. So I tend to agree with some of the above posts that if it's at all possible to change resorts to save yourself the stress, I would. Best of luck Smiley smile

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  • Tina
    Beginner August 2021
    Tina ·
    • Flag

    So I'm doing a destination wedding in Mexico in summer 2021 and my resort does require a certain percentage of guests staying there for the event. I didn't convey this to my guests at all. My resort periodically sends out deals for booking thru their website, so I've actually just forwarded those emails to close friends and family when I've received them and they super appreciated that. We sent out save the dates in Nov, I only just ordered invitations and those will go out early March, and they will include our wedding website. Our site has all the info for the venue and link to their booking. Thru just word of mouth alone, already I have 12 paid for reservations (24 ppl since everyone can bring a +1); I'm asking people for their booking codes so eventually I present my coordinator with all the codes and they can group everyone/add more discounts/whatever it is they're offering to do lol. Hope that helps and feel free to ask me any other questions if you'd like!

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