Off Site Wedding Venue Misconceptions
Have you been looking for information on Destination weddings that are not all inclusive ? We can’t even believe we’re already on the LAST post of this three part series on offsite venues! We are so excited to tackle this part too – Off Site Wedding Venue MISCONCEPTIONS! If you have been following along with our off site venue features, your head is probably full of ideas and excitement over what an off site venue could offer you in terms of destination wedding options!
It’s NOT just about an all inclusive resort! You might have a nagging voice at the back of your mind now filled with misconceptions and hearsay about off site wedding venues so in this post we are going to address some! Although we have tried to find information that is both general AND useful (a fine line, at the best of times), there will always be exceptions to every rule.
This post was originally published in 2020 but has been updated in 2023.
Accidentally starting with Part Three?
Make sure to also head to Part One to Check Out a Few of our favourite off site venues, & Part Two to read all about Off Site Wedding Venue ADVANTAGES. Although I do believe if you want a wedding that is simple and beautiful, or you love to DIY, you can get away with working with the resort coordinator at your venue instead of hiring a full-service wedding planner, this is not the case with off site venues. Hire a professional. You won’t regret it.
Thinking Love at First Travel might be a good fit? Head to our services page to see what we offer or get in touch. Want to do this on your own (at least for now)? We made an amazing guide for less than the cost of getting your Starbucks delivered.
Shout Out to One of Our Fave Off Site Venues
Before we dive in to the misconceptions, we just want to give credit to Jennifer Borgh at Borghinvilla. Borghinvilla is an incredible off site venue in Jamaica. This whole series truly was in collaboration with her and she was incredibly helpful! The information online is SO LIMITED so trust, we have the same frustrations as you! Jennifer is clearly very passionate about her work and it comes through in every conversation. As a Canadian herself, she really gets what Canadian couples are looking for. We are happy to share her venue with our readers it really is a truly incredible venue.
Misconception #1 It is way more expensive/less expensive to go off-site
Surprisingly enough, we have heard both! Whether or not an offsite venue it’s going to be more expensive truly depends on what you are comparing. Which resort you’re getting married at (and the starting vs actual price of their wedding package) and what you are expecting from the off site venue make a huge difference. The same way resort wedding packages might range from “free” to “starting at $10,000USD”, there is a huge difference between off site venues.
First let’s just say, free wedding packages at the resort are never really free ! You might be able to elope for free – maybe. Assuming your reception is just dinner at one of the restaurants that are already included in your stay. We just want to get that out of the way because we know it can be misleading if you are expecting to have your wedding at a resort for free (or cheap!) because you see these free packages advertised. If you and your fiancé are wanting something unique and highly personalized/specific an offsite venue might actually be cheaper. Add ons and customization can add up quickly!
Misconception #2 It is way harder to plan an off site wedding because resorts take care of everything for you
You often have more options when it comes to off site venues, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that things have to become harder to plan. Yes, resorts take care of everything for you. They make it really easy to have a destination wedding at the resort. But offsite venues often have on-site coordinators that take care of everything too! And to be completely honest, they usually respond a lot faster to emails.
Many will offer a discount if you plan on bringing your own wedding planner as well. Off site venues are definitely something we would recommend hiring a destination wedding planner for.
Misconception #3 I can have the luxury wedding I want and chose a budget resort for my guests
Technically this isn’t a misconception because it’s true – you can do anything you want. That being said, it’s not actually the best idea. I know sometimes you can hear some resistance from guests because of price. In case you are wondering, this price resistance happens whether you choose a $1700/person resort or $2500+/person resort. Budget resorts might be happy to charge you for your luxury wedding, but they absolutely do not have the most experience actually executing them.
Because you are often booking your destination wedding a year or more in advance, it may seem expensive to guests that are looking for last minute deals. Surprisingly enough, frequent travellers are the most frequent offenders! They always think they can get a “better deal” if they DIY. And you know what? Let them. Don’t spend one minute stressing about this.
Speaking of budget resorts – the only thing worse than having a guest complaining that the resort you chose is “too expensive“, is having guests that are at your destination wedding complaining about the resort you chose. Don’t get me wrong there are very many value conscious resorts that we would be happy to recommend but choosing a “cheap” resort to try and keep your guests happy is a losing battle.
Misconception #4 I have the same freedom with an off site wedding venue as I do with a resort
Absolutely not. Again this depends on what offsite wedding venue you’re comparing it to because some of them are just as restrictive as resorts. For many off site venues though, the main advantage is how much freedom they give you to have the wedding that you want without compromise. Not that resorts won’t give you ANY freedom, but like we mentioned earlier, add ones to resort packages get expensive.
That being said there are certain rules that won’t be broken by resorts no matter what your budget is. One of the biggest negatives for couples that we work with is that most (almost all) resorts will only let you keep your wedding reception going outside until 11 PM. They do this out of consideration for the other guest staying at the properties. If you want to keep the party going late you have to move inside to a ballroom. No midnight beach bonfire allowed 🙁
Misconception #5 We will be inconveniencing our guests by choosing an off site wedding venue
Every guest is different but off site venues tend to give off a WOW factor not an inconvenience! With destination weddings becoming more and more popular, your guests may have already experienced a beach wedding at a resort before (not that they wouldn’t mind doing it again of course). They have likely experienced a ballroom or a barn wedding before too – #Alberta . By going off-site, you might be sharing something truly unique with your closest family and friends.
Of course there are a few things you need to consider so your guests are not inconvenienced. The biggest factor here is arranging transportation. Make sure to arrange transportation from the resort where a majority of guests are staying to the venue in advance, so they don’t need to worry. Don’t forget to arrange a rides home as well. Depending how late you want your wedding party too go or how big your guest list is, you may want to consider offering rides back to the resort at different times throughout the night. MANY local companies will work with you on this, so don’t worry too much about the details at this time. You will be able to figure it out.
Are these some of the same misconceptions you have about destination weddings that are not all inclusive? Did we help answer some of your questions?