Is the Honeymoon Over for All-inclusive Resorts?

Are you looking into an all-inclusive resort for your destination wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, or just because? Lucky you! 

As an all-inclusive honeymoon resort specialist, we’re here to help wedding couples (or any couple!) plan the most important trip of your newlywed life or that special getaway—and when it comes to destination weddings, what’s ideal for one couple can be totally different from what you imagine.

We’re going into this article assuming that there must be an adults-only, all-inclusive resort that’s perfect for you.

But the truth is, you two know yourselves best, and besides, you might be a couple looking for the best all-inclusive resort for all ages if there are kiddos in the mix.

Sometimes (say it ain’t so!), an all-inclusive resort isn’t the best idea for your destination wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary.

We want to help you decide today. So let’s get into the 7 “Do’s and Don’ts” to know whether an all-inclusive honeymoon resort is right for you.

Seven Do’s In Choosing an All-Inclusive Honeymoon Resort Package

The saying “the more you know” really comes in handy when choosing an all-inclusive resort for your destination wedding and honeymoon.

In our experience, this list also applies to all couples looking to get the best experience from an all-inclusive resort.

So if you read this and think, “That’s not me…” it’s a great indication that an all-inclusive resort might not be your ideal destination for a wedding, honeymoon, or special getaway.

1. Go Bucket List With a Butler Suite

The cool thing about a Sandals destination wedding is that your wedding is free with stays of three nights or more (although we recommend customizing your wedding… and we’ll get into that too).

English Garden Wedding venue

Because many couples want to save money with a destination wedding, the budget you’d be spending on your ceremony and reception at home can be used to upgrade your all-inclusive honeymoon resort package—which we recommend!

Not only are your accommodations more luxurious, but the service in a Butler Suite is unbelievable for wedding couples and honeymooners:

  • You’ll receive a welcome cocktail and treats when you arrive at the resort, and you’ll receive a private resort orientation
  • Your baggage handling is included, and you’ll love the private check-in right in your suite
  • If you’d like, your luggage can be unpacked for you
  • Your butler handles all reservations for meals and activities, and a cell phone is provided to communicate with your butler team
  • Your laundry items are collected and returned as quickly as possible
  • Your room service should be expedited, including breakfast in bed, and a romantic private dinner can be served on your patio or balcony from any available restaurant
  • Beverages and lunch can be served to you on the beach or by the pool…
Butler Suite

And the list goes on!

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Professionally-trained and experienced butlers should be tipped based on their excellent service. Tipping the butlers on your team between 20-25 USD per day is customary, payable at check out.

2. Consider Your Dream Couple Activities

Take a moment and think about activities because they can take your destination wedding and honeymoon (or getaway) from better to the best and make your time even more unforgettable!

Montego Bay scuba diving

Do you want a lazy and laidback time, amazing dining, an all-day party, or to do active stuff together on land or sea?

Check this out: 

Sandals Ochi wedding chapel

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: There are additional charges for golfers to know about. Click on Sandals golf in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and The Bahamas to learn more, and if you’re not a certified diver, you can do an introductory dive at Sandals for an additional cost.

3. The Time of Year Matters

Sandals Montego Bay Longbeach

Most Caribbean destinations have three distinct tourism seasons: high season, shoulder, and low season, based on when most travelers come to the island, as well as weather patterns and temperature fluctuations throughout the year.

You should definitely plan the best time to book your destination wedding and honeymoon, and it’s also crucial to know when hurricanes are most likely to hit the Caribbean for any tropical getaway.

The travel and weather information in these links remains current, so check out the best times to visit Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Bahamas, Antigua, and Grenada.

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Curacao is a desert-like island with a colorful city and remarkable underwater world, and its location is outside the typical Caribbean hurricane zone. Check out our Sandals Curacao review!

4. Find the Best Flights

Did you know that Wednesdays and Thursdays are historically the least expensive days to fly internationally?

That’s great news for couples planning a destination wedding because you can arrange to fly to your all-inclusive honeymoon resort midweek and prepare for your big day if it’s on the weekend.

We’re mentioning this because most all-inclusive honeymoon packages feature airfare as an add-on cost, so it’s always a good idea to factor that cost into your wedding planning budget.

It can also be cheaper and less stressful to fly direct (nonstop) as much as possible.

These major cities offer direct flights to many destinations in the Caribbean or Mexico (airport code in brackets): Austin (AUS), Boston (BOS), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK or LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), and Washington-Dulles (IAD).

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Do an internet search for affordable flights to compare nonstop airfare and the best routes offered at an additional cost by your travel agent or destination wedding resort.

5. Rock That All Inclusive Resort Exchange Program

Weddings at Sandals Grande St. Lucian

The exchange program is a new and hugely popular amenity at the best all-inclusive resorts—trust us, this concept rocks!

This is when you book your destination wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, or getaway at one resort and automatically get exchange privileges (including roundtrip transfers, meals, drinks, and activities) at nearby sister resorts.

Check out these exclusive exchange programs that turn your trip to one all-inclusive resort into two, three, or more vacations for the price of one:

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: There is one resort in Jamaica, Sandals Royal Plantation, that does not participate in the exchange program because it is exclusively for the enjoyment of its own guests. Check out our Sandals Plantation review and discover an intimate and super-popular adults-only all-inclusive!

6. Keep Digging for Deals

We pride ourselves on being destination wedding party promotional sleuths and always searching for specials for our wedding couples. So keep those promos and links to specials handy because you might find a particular resort offering the deal of a lifetime! 

Wedding beachclub at Sandals Ochi

It can also be great timing for couples planning to elope to know about last-minute savings at an all-inclusive honeymoon resort.

There’s also a Sandals Loyalty Program that’s absolutely free to join. You’ll receive super-special privileges like this before you’ve even booked a stay:

  • Access to Sandals Select Member-Only Sales and Promotions
  • Exclusive Sandals Select Emails and First Look Communications
  • Access to the Official Sandals Select Loyalty Facebook Group
  • Access to the Sandals and Beaches App

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Have you ever wished to experience an all-inclusive honeymoon resort before booking your destination wedding? This is for you—check out Test Drive Your Wedding at fantastic rates!

7. It Pays to Customize

Sandals Royal Bahamian bride and groom

A Free Tropical Wedding is as fantastic as it sounds, and many of our wedding couples also add customized details to their destination wedding ceremony and reception. 

This way, you make your wedding unique, and you can choose the decor, catering, and entertainment that’s best for you two and your budget.

Check out this Wedding Inspirations link to learn more!

Five Don’ts With All-Inclusive Resorts

Put it this way. These five don’ts are the biggest reasons people don’t enjoy an all-inclusive resort, so don’t make these mistakes, especially on your destination wedding and honeymoon!

1. Don’t Do Your Honeymoon Homework

sandals barefoot cay

We know a wedding couple who was a heartbeat away from choosing the beautiful Sandals Royal Bahamian, complete with a private offshore island.

It’s a fantastic all-inclusive honeymoon resort, but they chose Nassau because they mistakenly believed that Sandals in The Bahamas have casinos directly on the resort.

While there are casinos close by Sandals properties in Nassau, Antigua, and Saint Lucia, you might spend too much time away from the foods, drinks, and amenities you’ve already paid for if you want to hit the tables or slots all day. If so, Vegas is your destination wedding heaven!

2. Don’t Book Meals and Activities Upon Arrival

Some couples spend so much time planning their wedding and honeymoon that they might forget to do those little things when they get to their all-inclusive resort (and this goes for any busy couple planning that special vacay). 

Sandals Ochi Bar

Figure out which restaurants are open when you’re there, as well as the meals served and dress codes, and whatever you do, make sure to get reservations asap if they are required. Don’t disappoint yourself!

The same thing goes for activities like a free snorkel boat tour. Check out what’s available as soon as you check in, and reserve spots for activities that tend to book up more quickly.

By the way, this is another good reason why a Butler Service or a Club Level room is the best—you can get all the little things taken care of by a butler or have a concierge to assist you.

3. Don’t Be Prepared

There’s one hotly debated issue at most all-inclusive resorts… what exactly is the tipping policy? 

We can confirm that some people tip small bills at all-inclusive resorts because they perceive it will deliver better or faster service. You should never be asked for a tip, though.

Spa at Sandals

One thing that’s common knowledge is tipping spa employees (and butlers, as we mentioned earlier).

Tipping your airport driver and luggage handlers is also standard because third-party employees depend on tips to supplement their incomes.

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Another thing to prepare for is travel time between the airport and your all-inclusive resort. Some destinations in Jamaica and Saint Lucia can be up to two hours each way in heavier traffic—always search a website link for transportation details!

4. Don’t Take a Breather

Gormonde Bar Alcohol

Premium wines and the finest liquors are a hallmark of the best all-inclusive resorts for adults, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pace yourself.

Rest assured that if you don’t drink your ensuite wet bar all in one night… it will still be available tomorrow!

After all, the best way to ruin your all-inclusive honeymoon resort package is with a raging hangover. 

5. Don’t Be Adventurous

Tennis at Sandals

With a luxury-included resort, you’re paying for gourmet restaurants, culture and entertainment, and even watersports and land sports that you might not be familiar with.

An all-inclusive resort allows you two to try different things that add to the experience.

Off-resort excursions are additional costs but also the best way to connect with an extraordinary place—this is very meaningful if it’s your destination wedding.

Sandals resorts in Jamaica, Barbados, and Grenada are close to safe, vibrant island communities you can visit without even paying for a tour.

Talk to the locals and ask about their experiences, visit crafters, and maybe find a special piece of art to bring home. It’s a wonderful way for any couple, especially newlyweds, to remember the island if it’s where you said, “I Do!”

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