Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: All-inclusive Wedding Companies

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A answered by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

Q:  I’m planning a destination wedding and I found this company that can do pretty much everything for me.  They’ll plan my wedding, be my officiate, do my flowers, be my DJ and provide all the rentals.  And all for a really low price.  I was really excited about this.  But, then my fiancé wondered if that was normal and if they were legit.  And it started to worry me.  Are these kinds of companies normal?  Or is this a scam of some sort?

Great question and thank you for asking!  So, without specifics, I wouldn’t be able to tell you if this particular company was legitimate or not.  But, I can give you more information about these kinds of all-inclusive wedding companies and what to look out for.

So, all-inclusive wedding companies that cover a variety of services definitely do exist.  It’s not the most common, but they do exist.  Most of the time if you come across them they’ll be catering companies, venues or wedding planning companies.

The idea behind these companies is to make it easier for you from a planning perspective because you don’t have to find as many vendors.  And from their end, they get a bigger portion of your budget.

Types of All-inclusive wedding companies

Roasted veggies on a wedding buffet for a San Francisco destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

The all-inclusive caterers (as I like to call them), have partners that can handle each different area for you.  So, for example, they can take care of your music for you and they work with XYZ DJ to do that.  Outside of partners they work with they may also have someone on their staff that would do it for you like an in-house florist.  In either case, you usually don’t have a choice of who you can use.

The venues and wedding planning companies who do this offer package deals.  In these packages are all the vendors you’d potentially want.  Similar to the all-inclusive catering companies these vendors are partners that they work with.  And similarly, you don’t usually have a choice of who you can use.

Now these types of all-inclusive wedding companies are normal, but in the world of weddings they are less common.  The locations that tend to have more of these types of companies are where all-inclusive weddings are common.  Which makes sense, right?!

Why all-inclusive wedding companies are less common

Multi colored seating cards for a plated meal for an elegant destination wedding in San Francisco by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Sabine Scherer Photography)

So, you may be thinking, why are they less common?  The reason is because like in any other profession or industry, we all specialize in an area.  For example, I specialize in wedding planning and specifically destination wedding planning.  I’m not an officiant, a florist, a photographer or a DJ.  I *could* do it, but I don’t for many reasons.

The first is that it’s really hard to be good at many things.  You work hard at one thing to master it.  But, it doesn’t stop there.  You continue to work hard, to learn and are always improving so you can give more to your clients.

Related to that, when your focus is spread out over many things you tend not to be very good at any of them.  In order to deliver the service and quality I want, I focus on what I’m really good at.  The same principles apply to almost every wedding vendor you’ll come across.  We all specialize in what we do because it’s what we’re good at.  And we come together as a team to create your unique wedding.

So, on the flip side when you’re a company that does multiple things, it can get muddled.  And it’s possible that they aren’t really good at any of the services they provide because they’re spread too thin.  Now this doesn’t mean all companies are this way, it’s just important to be aware of it.

What you need to look out for with all-inclusive wedding companies

Bride and groom waiting in anticipation for their wine country wedding by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Sherman Chu)

So, what do you need to look out for?  What you need to watch out for and get more information on is who is doing what.

Is it partners they’re working with?  If so, do you like those partners?  Who are they?  Are they good at what they do?  Do they fit your style, personality and what you’re looking for?  Is there a markup or kickbacks for using those partners?  You’ll want to understand what you’re actually paying for, who you’re working with, what you have access to and what that process will be like.

And then if they aren’t working with partners is it one person or company doing everything?  What are the qualifications for this person/company?  And how does this actually work?  Where will their attention be during the planning process and on the wedding day?  You’ll need to understand how good they are at each service, what they’re really providing, how the process will work and what happens on the wedding day.

You can certainly work with all-inclusive wedding companies (and some are great), just make sure you understand completely what you’re getting, who you’re working with and what it will mean for your wedding.  Don’t just go with it because it’s cheaper or it’s easier.

I know, you just want to pull that easy lever.  But, you have to make sure the company and the quality of what you’re getting makes sense for you.  Otherwise, you’re doing yourself and your wedding a disservice and just wasting money on someone and something that isn’t a good fit.

Got a wedding planning question you need help with?  Ask away in a comment below.

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