The Pros and Cons of a Resort Wedding

For couples planning a destination wedding, most end up choosing to have a resort wedding. Or something resort like, whether that’s a hotel or an inn.


Because it’s super easy.

You have to travel for your destination wedding so you’ll need somewhere to stay. And why not make where you stay the same place that you have your wedding?

It also makes a great gathering place for your guests who are also flying in and need a place to stay.

Makes perfect sense, right?!

Bride and groom walking at their resort in St. Croix a destination wedding in the Caribbean by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: McAllister Photography)

Resorts also come with catering and bar in house and they usually provide tables, chairs, china, glassware and flatware. This means you don’t have to hire a caterer and you don’t have to rent these items (unless you want to).

Both of which saves you time.

Having a resort wedding sounds lovely, doesn’t it?!

And it can be!

But the truth is that it’s not all champagne and roses.

Yes, it’s easy.

But there are some definite cons to having a resort wedding that you should be aware of before you choose a resort venue.

4 Cons of Having a Resort Wedding

Con #1 – Catering and bar is set

Probably the biggest con about having a resort wedding is that you have no choice in your catering or bar. You HAVE to use their in house caterer and bar.

And that means prices are set.

So, if you’re having your wedding at a high end resort, that’s going to come with high end food and beverage prices.

And most resorts also have minimums which means you have to spend a certain amount.

While you may be able to customize your menu or your drinks, you won’t really be able to reduce costs in this area.

Having an in house caterer and bar also means that you have less choice of what you serve. You’ll be limited to what they can and are willing to do.

Which can be a bummer if you’re looking to do something different.

Con #2 – You can end up stuck at the resort

One of the best things about a destination wedding is being able to experience the destination.

Seeing, eating and experiencing new things is part of the fun as a guest.

And as a host, it’s fun to share what you love with your guests.

But while having a resort wedding allows you to stay easily, it can also hamper the exploration.

Making a point of seeing the town or the landscape and experiencing the culture is part of the point of a destination wedding.

But, when you’re having a resort wedding it can be easier just to stay at the resort and hang at the pool.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong about hanging at the pool. But with resort weddings you can find yourself never leaving, which is not ideal.

Con #3 – Resorts aren’t the most flexible

Beach wedding ceremony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Hawaii by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

Resorts in general can be very set in their ways.

And because they control a good portion of the wedding, if they only do things a certain way, it can be hard to adjust anything.

They may not be open to doing something different or new. Like using a different space. Or having a different floorplan or flow. Or switching up the timing for the wedding.

This makes it hard to do something unique and plan your wedding in the way you want to.

Con #4 – There are always extra fees

Illuminated bar for a club feel wedding reception and dancing at Calistoga Ranch by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Kate Webber Photography)

Resort weddings typically always come with extra fees. And this usually takes the form of service charges.

But, there might also be chef charges, bartender fees, or cake cutting fees. There might be fees to use a different lighting company or rental company. Or fees to use their in house sound system.

Resorts always have extra fees which can catch you off guard.

It’s something you don’t really think about when you’re thinking about the cost of a venue.

But it can really add to your bottom line and make it hard to budget for all the other fun things you want to do.

Wedding reception table floral centerpieces and lighting design for a Calistoga Ranch lake wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Emik Nikora)

Resort weddings can be great and there are a lot of pros to having one. But, there are also cons.

Make sure you think through the cons before you choose to have a resort wedding so you pick the right venue for you.

Trying to figure out what wedding venue is right for you? Let us help you!

We’re venue match makers and will find the perfect one for you. Contact us today to get started.

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