A destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort does sound pretty sweet. Your family and friends will have plenty to do, plenty to eat, and—to the delight of all—plenty to drink. Charlie will love the snorkeling and kayaking, and Sarah’s kids will spend hours at the waterpark. Foodie Mom will be in gourmet restaurant heaven, while Dad will finally get to tackle his first Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
It’s all so perfect… until you look at the onsite wedding venues. Sure the beach is romantically sandy, and the ballroom has nice, flowy curtains, and the garden flowers are brighter and more colorful than a bowl of Lucky Charms. But maybe they just don’t scream your name. The love you and your significant other have is unique, and you want the spot you get married on to be unique too!
Good news—you can have the best of both worlds. You can still enjoy the all-inclusive perks for your guests and your reception, but venture away from the resort to trade “I do’s” in a personally-inspiring, perfect-for-you location. And we know just the places to do it.
Perfect for Instagram junkies and GoPro aficionados, Jamaica’s famed Mystic Mountain offers couples the ultimate place to get married – 700 feet above the ground! Rainforest Adventures takes daring couples up their Sky Explorer chair-lift to wed with sweeping views of the lush, tropical jungle. Or for those with a bit of a sweet tooth, opt for a ceremony at Rose Hall–a functioning 18th-century sugar plantation surrounded by sparkling seas and rolling hillsides. They offer resort-style wedding packages that include everything you need to get hitched—all you need to bring is the love.
The Dominican Republic is far more than just a sand-and-sea destination. If you want the best of both worlds, book your wedding party and reception at one of Punta Cana’s all-inclusives, but get married off the beaten path at the sleepy fishing village of Las Galeras. You’ll get sweeping coastal views paired with locals fishing and carving coconuts in the background for added authenticity. If you’re both spelunking certified and don’t mind an intimate ceremony for two, get married in the Caribbean’s largest cave at Los Haitises National Park. The drive from Punta Cana is bumpy enough to shake your martini, but the views when you arrive—sugar cane and mango trees swaying in the wind—make it all worthwhile.
Cancun & Rivera Maya, Mexico
Skip the traditional beachside ceremony and do something a little different – like saying “I do” on a sunset dinner cruise on the Cancun Queen, a two-story Mississippi-style paddle boat that comes with its own DJ. If you and your partner prefer something a bit more adventuresome, you can wed in the jungle nestled along the mangroves or next to thousand-year-old Mayan ruins. Wherever you decide, your travel agent can work with the resort to provide transportation to and from the big event, because they’re handy like that.
Aruba has a vast collection of offbeat and quirky locations to get married, as well as some of the Caribbean’s most breathtaking and affordable all-inclusive resorts. Book your wedding party at the Tamarijin or the Renaissance, and then grab your betrothed for a ceremony in the middle of Arikok National Park at the beachfront Boca Prins Bar and Restaurant, where your nuptials will come with a side of fresh-caught grilled snapper. For history buffs, wed under the California Lighthouse, an historic landmark named after the ship that wrecked on the nearby rocks in 1910. Here you’ll not only find the best real Italian restaurant in Aruba, but also a gorgeous sunset view that would make the ideal backdrop to wedding photos.
Costa Rica will simply spoil you when it comes to weddings locations. Your ceremony could take place at the base of the staggering, and still active, Arenal Volcano, giving you photos that look like a movie set. Another iconic wedding destination, for couples who don’t mind getting a little wet, is next to one of Costa Rica’s thundering waterfalls, like La Paz or Cascadas Farallas. If you’re lucky, a toucan will land on your shoulder during pictures!
Although the Hawaiian Islands don’t have as many all inclusives as others on this list, the ones they do have are undeniably beautiful and surprisingly affordable. Pledge your eternal love at the Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, a nature reserve and working cattle ranch flanked by steep limestone cliffs. Or you can share your first wedded kiss at the poetic Ha’iku Mill, a 150-year old sugar-industry relic complete with vine-draped ruins and spectacular flora.
Wait, There’s More…
…more destinations, that is. All-inclusive resorts are scattered throughout the globe, and there are unique settings to get married at every one. To the find a venue that best fits your personality, consult the wisdom of a travel agent. No one knows both the resorts themselves and the surrounding areas better. Not only will they help you find “the one” place to marry “the one,” they can also use their group travel experience to make sure your friends and family arrive with smiles on their faces and a little more cash in their wallets.