Thinking about opting for a destination wedding at Sandals Resorts? If so, you’re going to find today’s post super informative! Carlie of 2 Travel Anywhere is sharing the inside scoop of what to know about destination weddings at Sandals Resorts. She even includes a great timeline and checklist. Keep scrolling to find out more!
Can you walk us through the first few steps couples need to take in order to book their wedding at a Sandals Resort?
Carlie: First it is best to reach out to a specialist such as myself to help. We have experience with personally traveling to all Sandals Resorts and helping others plan their dream weddings. We help take the stress out of the planning and there are no hidden fees when booking with us.
Do you recommend couples take a trip to the destination to see the location before booking?
Carlie: Absolutely. Once we have selected the resort we can plan a trip to see it in person. You’ll get the feel for it in person and meet the on-site coordinators. Sandals offers a two-night Test Drive Your Wedding package which is a great way to check out everything. For more details about this, click HERE!
What paperwork has to be done in order to book your wedding?
Carlie: One of the perks of using Sandals and Beaches for your wedding they take the pride in making this process easy and stress free for all couples. Some of the island documentation will vary depending on the island. I can help you with all this. Residency Requirement below means the number of hours you must be on the island before you can legally get married.
For Jamaica and Turks & Caicos only: All documents must be mailed to our office. Notarized copies of the bride and groom’s state-issued birth certificates (card not accepted). Notarized copy of a divorce decree final judgement with the court’s stamp and judge’s signature (for Bride and Groom, if applicable). Notarized copy of spouse’s death certificate and related marriage certificate (if applicable). Notarized copy of legal adoption papers or legal name change (if applicable). Notarized affidavit of spinster-ship and bachelorhood, with raised seal must be dated within 90 day prior to wedding date, if applicable. (For Turks & Caicos only.) Notarized copy of legal translation of all documents to English along with original documents in original language (if applicable). Notarized copy of passport or driver’s license. (Turks & Caicos only.) All original and court certified documents must be hand-carried. (Turks & Caicos only.) Residency Requirement: 48 hours (2 business days NOT including day of arrival, weekends or holidays). Government Fees are as follows: Jamaica: US $95 Turks & Caicos: US $400.
For The Bahamas/ St. Lucia/Antigua/Barbados: All original documents with certified court seals must be hand carried to the island. Country issued Passports or State issued birth certificates of the bride and groom. All pages of divorce decree final judgement with court’s stamp and judge’s signature (for Bride and Groom if applicable). If applicable, spouse’s state issued death certificate and related marriage certificate. Legal adoption papers and legal name change document (if applicable). Legal translation of all documents to English (if applicable). Residency Requirement: 48 Hours (Jamaica, Antigua and the Bahamas). St Lucia: 72 hours. Government Fees Bahamas: US $205 Antigua: US $288 Barbados: US $325 For Grenada Original state issued birth certificate or passport. All pages of all court certified final divorce decrees, if applicable. State issued death certificates with related marriage certificates, if applicable. Legal name change or legal adoption documents if applicable Sworn affidavit (or letter from a clergy man, Lawyer, Registry or Notary Public; must be on letterhead with applicable notarization stamps, seals, etc.) attesting that neither party has not been previously married. Residency Requirement: 72 Hours. Government Fees: US $180 Your documents are generally asked to submitted documents 60 days prior to your arrival date.
The most important thing is that I will be here to help and a pre- travel wedding planner will help guide you every step of the way. For more information on this click HERE!
What’s the best way to give your guests information on travel and resort arrangements?
Carlie: So many people now opt for digital documents for their guest, however if you prefer guest to have travel documents in hand we can mail guest packets as well.
How long do you recommend couples and their guests stay at the resort?
Carlie: It really depends on if it is just the 2 of you or if you’re celebrating with others. However, some couples choose to claim their post wedding privacy by booking a suite at completely different resort. While this can be a good idea, it may not be the most convenient for everyone. All-inclusive resorts like Sandals are created especially for couples, so you can find rooms that are more secluded, while the family can stay at a nearby Beaches resort. This way you can enjoy Sandals adults-only setting after the wedding, while the family and kids have fun at one of the Beaches resorts with water park. Maybe even stay in one room category ahead of your wedding, and switch to a honeymoon suite afterwards – your guests will surely get the message.
What should a couple do half way through their wedding planning process?
12 Months Before:
- Get Engaged. Check!
- Set a Budget (I cannot express enough how important this!)
- Start planning and draft your Guest List.
- Pick your wedding venue (Keep in mind if you’re planning a WeddingMoon -wedding and honeymoon in one-, you’re essentially picking your honeymoon spot first unless you’re hopping to another location.)
- Look up and start to gather the weddings documents you need to get married in the country you’ve chosen.
- Make your first wedding/honeymoon deposit to secure your wedding date and a honeymoon suite.
- Once booked, schedule your first call with your pre-travel wedding planner.
- Start thinking about the time of day you want your wedding.
- Research good travel insurance.
- Ask friends and family you’re considering being a part of your bridal party.
- Optional: If you haven’t visited your destination before, plan a visit. Look for venues abroad that offer a chance to test drive your wedding destination.
10-11 Months Before:
- Research best group wedding hotel accommodation deals at your destination.
- Look for hotels/resorts that offer group wedding discounts and reserve a block of rooms or share this information on your wedding website for your guests.
11 Months Before:
- Finalize your guest list and send out save-the-dates (also very important to give guests time to plan travel).
- Build out your wedding website with as much travel and wedding information as possible to include the link with your wedding invites enclosure cards.
- Research and book your wedding photographer, especially if they’re located at your wedding destination.
- Buy your plane tickets.
- Schedule two-three calls with your pre-travel planners to talk wedding documents, décor and vendors.
- Secure the time of day of your wedding.
- Apply for passport and travel visas if needed. Caribbean destinations don’t require a travel visa.
- Optional: Sign up for a honeymoon/travel wedding registry (if you’re not into traditional wedding registries).
9-7 Months Before – 10-9 Months Before:
- Shop for, order and send out destination wedding invitations, especially if you’re getting married during peak travel seasons like winter, spring and summer.
9 Months Before:
- Buy your destination wedding dress.
- Shop for and order bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Shop for wedding bands.
- Start to think of the type of reception you want to have including food, specialty bars, desserts etc.
- Think about your wedding entertainment.
6-5 Months Before:
- Go through RSVP list and note accommodations/hotels for all your guests.
- Arrange a call with your planner to set your cocktail and reception menus and entertainment for your reception.
- Send off your wedding documentation if you haven’t already.
- Shop for beach or vacation wear/swimsuits that you absolutely must-have. Don’t forget your flip-flops!
- Shop for your wedding accessories including the right wedding shoes for your venue.
4-3 Months Before:
- Follow up call with your pre-travel planner: make all your hair, makeup, and any other spa appointments.
- Check-in with your guests to see if they’ve made their hotel accommodations and to see if you qualify for any group wedding perks. Order any favors or special items you want to take with you to your venue like cake toppers, guest book, cute robes, etc.
- Rent/Buy Groom and Groomsmen attire.
- Call your airline to ask about traveling with your wedding dresses. Most airlines have a separate policy and may not allow you to store it in the onboard closet.
2-1 Months Before:
- Write your wedding vows.
- Set your wedding day order/run-of-show including speeches and wedding traditions you want to include, i.e. tossing of the bouquet, cake cutting, etc. Make Up your seating chart.
- Make a must-play or do not-play list for your DJ.
- Pick all your ceremony music (i.e. wedding party processional, the song the brides walks to, document signing, recessional, etc.)
- Do a final call through any outstanding RSVPs and get a final headcount.
- Give a firm and final deadline to your guests and those who don’t RSVP by a certain date will be marked as not attending.
- Order your bridal party and family gifts.
- Have an overview call with your wedding planner to go over all your destination wedding details including seating charts, wedding day timeline, final décor details, assure all final documents have been received to apply for your marriage license. Plan your pre-wedding, rehearsal dinner at your destination.
- Have your final gown fitting and arrange for your gown to be professionally packaged for travel.
- Order all of your wedding day stationery – wedding programs, table numbers, etc.
- Assure all your bridesmaids have everything they need – dress, accessories, etc.
- Order and put together items for your welcome bags/packets.
The Week Before:
- Pack your bags for your honeymoon. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and other toiletries in your checked luggage, not your carry on.
- Go over the final headcount and menu details with your on-site wedding planner.
- Have a brief meeting with your wedding party to ensure they’re all set for travel and go over any wedding details like who will carry the rings, be your contact person for the day of your wedding for your wedding planner to coordinate with, etc.
The Week Of:
- Arrive at Destination.
With a week or two before the wedding, how can a couple prepare for their destination wedding?
Carlie: Be sure to connect with guests 2 weeks up to a month before traveling. Ideally, you will want to send out save the dates cards about 8 to 10 months prior to the wedding date mailing out invites a minimum of 3 months before your dates. Your travel agent Carlie with 2 Travel Anywhere can arrange the best pricing for all guests.
Do you have any packing tips?
Carlie: Pay attention to the schedule of activities of the wedding, and pack clothing suitable for each day and event. Consider the climate of the destination and the theme of the wedding as well when selecting outfits and other things to pack. For more information click HERE.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about planning a destination wedding at a Sandals Resort?
Carlie: Don’t let friends and family get to the party started before you. I would recommend arriving a few days ahead of guests to meet with your on-site wedding coordinator and do a final review of everything. Since many of the islands have different residency requirements typically you will need to arrive a few days before saying the vows. You may even consider taking the honeymoon at a different resort than the one you say I DO. Also, best ahead of the ceremony ask your wedding coordinator how you can incorporate cultural traditions (if you choose to) into your wedding. Get all the information you can, so you’re informed about what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Carlie, this information was so insightful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us about destination weddings at Sandals Resorts! If you’re interested in a destination wedding, reach out to Carlie at 2 Travel Anywhere!