Getting hitched is one of the most exciting times in your life, but it can also be the most stressful and expensive. All couples just want everything to be perfect on their special day, and it takes time and a ton of preparation to really ensure that things go smoothly. There are endless details to take care of and decisions to be made that can add a lot of stress to an otherwise joyful time of your life.
Many brides have a much easier time with the arrangements when they invest in all-inclusive wedding venue packages. Although it may seem like a good deal in most cases, you really need to do your homework to know if you are getting your money’s worth. Many companies and resorts will advertise wedding packages, but if you don’t know exactly what you are going to get you can run into unexpected problems, extra fees and having to hire outside vendors to cover the gaps.
All-inclusive should mean exactly that. Everything from start to finish — with the exception of the wedding dress and the rings — should be taken care of. In some cases, all-inclusive can mean as little as providing a caterer, a minister and a venue and that’s it. If you are really looking to get what you are paying for, make sure that these things are included in the services:
- All vendors from bakers to linen providers
- Catering and cake
- Photographer and videographer
- Ceremony and reception venues
- Minister or priest
- Staff from bartenders and meal service to clean-up crew
- Equipment rentals for tables and chairs
With an all-inclusive package, the bride and groom should really not be bothered with any of the set-up details. Once you have talked to your coordinator and made any suggestions or special requests about your day, the rest should be taken care of for you.
To really lower the level of wedding stress, you should book as far in advance as possible — a year ahead is standard. This will allow for lots of time to make changes or last-minute additions to your wedding without creating panic.
All-inclusive packages can also save you a ton of money. If you were to try to deal with all the vendors and details separately you will no doubt rack up your wedding bill significantly. The wedding coordinators are in the “getting married” business so you will be able to take advantage of all of their contacts and service discounts.
Make sure that you have a detailed contract that is signed with your package provider. It should list every service they are providing with the costs including taxes. Beware of extra fees that could be added, like cake cutting fees or bottle corking fees.
Once you have your plan laid out with your coordinator, you can concentrate on the more enjoyable parts of planning your wedding, like the dress and the gifts.