Let me kick things off here with a little disclaimer: this isn’t an ad or a sponsored post. Sandals hasn’t paid or even asked me to review their wedding programs.
I decided to create this post after attending Weddingmoons Specialist Training in Antigua because I saw massive (positive!) changes in the way Sandals is approaching their destination wedding services and believe that’s something my desti-brides-to-be should hear about!
To be honest, I was not a Sandals fan when I first started my business. I felt like they were the outdated grandfather of all-inclusives and that they stood for everything I disliked when it came to getting married abroad. I’m not a cookie-cutter type of gal and cookie-cutter was exactly what Sandals was selling.
After a few recent visits to their properties, however, it’s clear that things have changed for the better. There’s no question Sandals still tends to appeal to a certain type of clientele, but I know without a doubt that if I send a couple to one of their resorts, that couple will come home with rave reviews.
Here’s my take on why Sandals’ recent upgrades mean you should consider a Sandals or Beaches resort for your destination wedding.
Why Sandals and Beaches?
In a nutshell: Sandals and Beaches new and improved all-inclusive destination weddings completely take the worry out of wedding planning (a MAJOR plus for any couple).
Sandals and Beaches resorts are no longer offering pre-packed weddings (HALLelujah, someone has answered my prayers! 🙏), but their a la carte destination wedding services mean you can design the wedding of your dreams without agonizing over the planning yourself.
Sandals has finally realized that times have changed and what couples REALLY want is a totally customizable, done-for-you experience that doesn’t leave them feeling like they’ve been shoehorned into someone else’s idea of a wedding.
Perks of hosting your wedding at a Sandals or Beaches resort:
Being the OG isn’t necessarily a bad thing—they’re world leaders when it comes to destination weddings and have a long track record of happy newlyweds to prove it.
They have amazing staff! Some of my best staff interactions have been at Sandals resorts.
You’re assigned your very own wedding planner and style profiler (for FREE!).
Their Love Nest Suites are uh-MAY-zing. (Honeymoon? Check.)
They’re award-winning—they’ve been voted the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company 23 years in a row.
What I love about Sandals is that they are aaaall about that peace of mind.
Once your wedding is booked, Sandals provides you with a top-notch wedding concierge team that’s there to help plan everything. You get virtual wedding planning sessions with event managers to discuss and review the ceremony and reception details along with designs for the final look.
Sandals and Beaches resorts are totally all-inclusive, and that goes for destination weddings too. That’s right—your romantic island wedding is complimentary (fancy talk for F-R-E-E, baby!) with a stay of 3 or more paid nights in any room category. This includes the bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, the wedding cake, a decorative centerpiece for the head table, and all other wedding essentials.
Free wedding inclusions, you say?
Sandals’ free wedding package includes:
A personal wedding planning team
An event manager
The preparation of marriage documents
White Chiavari chairs with cushions for your guests
The pre-recorded musical accompaniment of your choice
A 1-hour wedding cocktail reception with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres
A bride-and-groom signature cocktail
Complimentary 5”x7” wedding photo
White-glove honeymoon dinner and mimosa breakfast in bed
15% off Red Lane Spa services for the bride and groom
Luxury destination wedding garment bag (because traveling with your wedding dress can be tough)
If you decide to stay even longer (7+ nights), then you get some premium perks thrown in:
Up to $500 towards license & admin fees
$200 towards photo packages
$200 towards video packages
$100 credit towards scuba certification, pool cabana, or candlelight dinner
Sandals’ personal style wedding tool, designed to give you all the inspiration you need for your #BestDayEver, is another new addition that I’m loving. Remember, since they’re no longer doing cut-and-paste packages, you don’t need to worry about themes—the options are limitless!
Sandals wedding venues are like their room categories (in that there are too many to count 😆)
There really is something for everyone here: beachfront spots, garden gazebos, wedding chapels, rooftop terraces, over-the-water pavilions, and offshore private islands (Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Royal Caribbean, to be exact—these beautiful private islands are available as long as your guest list doesn’t exceed 40 people).
My personal faves include the overwater gazebos and serenity chapels. I think the Sky Terrace at Sandals Royal Barbados is amazing, too!
But let’s get down to the moolah, the cheddar, those dolla dolla bills, that cash money for a second! Is the all-inclusive worth it?
You might already be aware that the average cost of a traditional wedding is over $30,000, which makes me want to throw up, TB perfectly H. Here’s how Sandals’ all-inclusive offerings stack up to traditional wedding costs:
**Based on the 2018 USA National Average
And if you’re still on the fence, there’s always the good old fashioned site visit to help you make up your mind! (Who doesn’t love a totally justifiable extra vacay?)
That’s right: you can take your destination wedding for a test drive.
Sandals and Beaches offer couples considering a destination wedding up to three nights at their resorts starting at a reduced price of $250 per couple per night. You get to meet the wedding and photography teams, scope out the location, sample cake options, and look over all the various details before deciding.
And in a truly impressive bang-for-your-buck move, if you book your wedding (with 5 or more rooms) right there on the spot, Sandals will give you a credit for the ENTIRE cost of your test drive trip.
When I heard that little detail, I was like, “SAY WHAT?!?!” I love a good deal and that, my friends, is a good deal.
I know I’m veering into fangirl territory now, but from a travel pro’s perspective, this is a win-win situation: take a mini tropical vacay at a discounted price, test drive the amenities and decide if it’s love at first sight, and if it is, have the whole trip converted into bankable dollars you can then spend on pre-wedding pampering or fancy honeymoon perks.
Worst case scenario? You enjoy a budget weekend in paradise and keep searching for your dream venue.
It’s a testament to how much things have changed over at Sandals HQ that I’m here singing their praises after being opposed to their lackluster destination wedding offerings for so long. They’ve done a lot of work and seem to have really tapped into what modern brides- and grooms-to-be want out of their wedding abroad.
The Sandals brand isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel like it’s a no-brainer to at least give them a shot and potentially save some $$$ on your wedding (while avoiding the headache of planning it).
After all, they managed to turn me—the non-believer—into an ambassador! 😂
With that said, not all Sandals properties are made equal. If you’re considering a Sandals or Beaches wedding, reach out to me first to make sure the venue you’re eyeing is top-notch! There’s nothing I hate more than an outdated room and some of the properties are still rocking the old porcelain bathrooms and wooden furniture.
(I’ve got the inside scoop on each one and a list of faves—including Beaches Turks & Caicos, Sandals Emerald Bay, and Royal Barbados—that I can send your way!)
All sounding a little too good to be true? Don’t take my word for it! Book a site visit and scope things out in person.
And remember: if you need answers or advice, I’m always a phone call away. I’d love to help you get the ball rolling on your special day!
Eat, Drink & Get Married @ Sandals Already 😜