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With stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and world-class amenities, Sandals Resorts has everything you need to create a wedding you'll cherish forever. In this travel blog, I break down our destination wedding cost, our destination wedding location, the pros & cons of a destination wedding, and a bit more!
Also, if you have kids that will be attending your destination wedding, you will need to switch your resort to Beaches instead. Still amazing & exac
Also, if you have kids that will be attending your destination wedding, you will need to switch your resort to Beaches instead. Still amazing & exactly the same concept, but for the whole family, not just adults only.
Before I begin describing our destination wedding & the process of getting married in the Bahamas (Exuma Bahamas), I have to say this first... Sandals should be your #1 choice for your destination wedding! Sandals not only goes above and beyond with their customer service, but they also do their absolute best at making your stay, one that you will never forget.
While being situated in a dream destination (plus multiple other locations), giving top-notch service & incredible hospitality, it all makes sense why they have earned their SOLID 6 star awards, year after year.
When you arrive, you get an amazing 'Welcome' into the resort, and I'll be honest... it makes you feel like you are a movie star (cue the rolling of the red carpet). Oh, and you get a little 'Welcome' surprise (no, I won't ruin it for you... you will just have to wait and see for yourself!).
Become a part of the Adventure Encounters squad and be the first to hear about where our next travel destination will be, our insight on locations we stay & adventures that we take via our travel blog, plus a few extras (especially in the Bahamas)! ( Be sure to check your SPAM folder every once in a while! )
Here are some of the qustions that came to our minds, when we started planning. I also touch a bit more on some of these questions down below, while explaining our experience at Sandals.
1. WHAT IS A DESTINATION WEDDING?
2. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I START PLANNING A DESTINATION WEDDING?
3. HOW DO I CHOOSE A DESTINATION FOR MY WEDDING?
4. HOW DO I INVITE GUESTS TO MY DESTINATION WEDDING?
5. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF A DESTINATION WEDDING?
When I talk about intimacy, I'm not only talking about you & your spouse (to-be)... I'm also talking about you and the guests you invited and how everyone is treated at Sandals. That's what it's all about, right... the connection?! ❤
Take it from us, destination wedding or not; smaller is better when it comes to truly embracing the 'intimacy' piece of your wedding, and having a destination wedding, makes this a little more simple, which I touch on below. Not only did we focus on our guests as a whole, but Nate and I truly got to experience this 'new beginning' in sync with one another (cue the mushy feelings).
We only had to think about ourselves for those moments, never worrying about what was supposed to happen next, all because our wedding planners were on top of everything! It's incredibly easy to lose sight of this #1 priority when you have a million other things pulling you in 900 different directions (food, cake, DJ, after party, etc), which brings me to our next reason of 'why' we chose a destination wedding... the wedding planner.
Knowing what I know now... it's incredibly exciting AND incredibly overwhelming at the same time, to plan your wedding... let alone a destination wedding! I'm confident this is where the term 'bridezilla' comes into play, and now I understand how & why. I can personally attest to this because I planned two of my own weddings (don't judge lol).
With a combination of wanting everything to be perfect, plus depending on other people to do their jobs and follow through, at the correct moment so everything runs smoothly... it's a lot to handle and can end up putting a significant damper on the sweetness of marrying your best friend. Please take my advice and don't do that to yourself!
This is another reason we chose Sandals; they did nearly EVERYTHING for us. We chose the specifics (colors, bouquet, food, cake, specific songs we wanted, & ceremony location), and they ran with it and planned everything perfectly to a 'T'.
They even arranged the (mandatory) meeting with the Registrar General of the Bahamas so that we could be 'officially' married in the Bahamas. Let me tell you, this was one of the most incredible moments of getting our ceremony prepared. Not only did we get to meet the Registrar General of the Great Exumas Bahamas, but we also got to meet some of the other locals in the area.
Y'all... take it from us, the Bahamians are genuinely some of the most amazing people you will EVER meet! They were also incredibly excited to host our wedding in their hometown!
Yes!! Y'all... again, this destination wedding is about YOU. YOU AND YOUR FOREVER. So, why not combine the honeymoon and the wedding to create, what Sandals calls, a WeddingMoon? Not only will you be throwing your special day in an incredibly beautiful tropical oasis (like Exuma Bahamas), but you will already be on your honeymoon as soon as you say 'I DO' (well.. technically before it too)!
Let's be honest.... and let's talk about the cost comparison of a destination wedding vs an at-home wedding.
When you consider all costs involved for your at-home wedding (venue, rings, dress, suit, bridal party, photographer, ceremony & reception), you are in the range of about $10k to $30k+ (depending on your taste & style). And remember, this is a rough estimate of your home-based wedding.
Ok, now let's add the honeymoon cost into the mix. This is assuming you are catching a flight to an International destination for 5-7 days, it will most likely range from $5k-$15k (includes flight, room, meals, excursions, etc). Add those two together... you got yourself a whopping $15k-$45k in expenses for your home-based wedding & honeymoon.
Now swap over to a destination wedding and let's give you an 'estimated' cost for this. Again, these numbers can change drastically depending upon what your taste and style are, but let's dive in.
Considering all the same items from above - venue, rings, dress, suit, bridal party, ceremony, photographer, reception & honeymoon (plus a wedding planner) - you could potentially end up spending roughly the same amount.
It cost less for us (in Exuma Bahamas) because we didn't exactly follow the standard wedding traditions when it came to our guests (I will dive more into that in our next section of 'who & what').
When all was said and done, we spent roughly $17k (this included everything). I'm sure I don't need to say it again, but Sandals made this incredibly seamless and they took care of EVERYTHING!
Whether you're interested in a Cruise, guided tour, group trip, independent international travel or just a weekend get-away, and even that bucket list adventure... we can assist you with that!
Click 'Lets Go!' & lets start this adventure together!
When we booked our room at Sandals Emerald Bay Exuma Bahamas, they were doing an offer for a free wedding if we stayed a certain amount of days ( I believe it was 3 or 4 days)... legit a win-win, and once again this was a huge incentive for us.
Now... I know what you're thinking... "Free Wedding? This can't be good...", oh yes, but it is! When you book your room, essentially you are paying for your wedding (does this make sense now?).
Once you book your room and mention that you are getting married on sight, they will have a wedding planner get in contact with you and essentially touch base about wedding documents needed, and then you can start choosing your wedding day specifics. They make this piece incredibly seemless & work with you on every piece of the wedding planning process, all the way to till the day of your ceremony!
In a nutshell, this is what is included with your destination wedding from Sandals:
Here is the website to see what other items you can add for your special day if you want to (additional fees will apply depending on your taste & style). ❤
Now... I'll be honest, the biggest and hardest decision about planning this Bahamas destination wedding... we knew A LOT of our guests that we wanted to come, would not be able to make it. But, if you truly are worried about this, you could throw a get-together in your hometown and invite those who didn't get to come and celebrate the 'actual' wedding (a win-win situation... just some food for thought).
PROS OF HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING
CONS OF HAVING A DESTINATION WEDDING
And as always, if you enjoyed my rambling, and you would like to hear more, be sure to sign up for our blog posts. And if you REALLY like us, we would so much appreciate you sharing this with someone else ❤
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Thank you for your trust & Happy Adventures!
- Ashley, (Nate & Blake)
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