By Susie Reese
As avid travelers, we know how important food is on vacation, and when you have a destination wedding, the menu becomes even more refined. No longer are you hampered by the two box system—the chicken or the steak, or the chicken or the sea bass. You have options. You have themes. You have the destination wedding of your dreams with scrumptious fare waiting for you in Mexico and the Caribbean at AMResorts, Excellence Resorts, and Palace Resorts.
Packaged for your pleasure
You expect nothing less than exceptional food with exquisite variety at an all-inclusive resort, and on your wedding day, you’ll be treated to a delectable culinary journey. Most resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean offer wedding packages that include a cocktail hour, reception, cake, and toast.
Amanda Davis Pak is the Product Manager of Romance for AMResorts and handles all things wedding and honeymoon related. According to Pak, AMResorts’ wedding packages provide a private cocktail hour and a private dinner reception for up to 20 guests (additional guests can be added for a per-person fee).
The wedding packages include:
– Passed and private open bar at cocktail hour
– Four-course dinner menu at reception inclusive of appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert
– Three-hour private open bar serving top shelf spirits, wine, and beer
– Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast
“Each wedding event has a team of dedicated waitstaff, a bartender, and of course, an on-site wedding coordinator exclusive to the group ensuring top level service,” confirms Pak, who knows from experience. She held her own wedding at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun, one of AMResorts’ premier venues.
Like AMResorts, Excellence Resorts, The Beloved Hotel, and Finest Playa Mujeres offer three wedding packages that are 100% customizable, and Carlos Canino, sales manager at Excellence Resorts, says the inclusions are “superior to the marketplace.”
“Each of our wedding packages includes and shows the amenities and services that come within that package, and from then on our wedding coordinator gets in contact with our guests with catalogs that show images of the different decorations for the wedding gazebo available and included as well as those with extra charge,” explains Canino. “So this way our couples looking into get married at any of our properties can truly tailor their wedding day to their needs and preferences.”
At Palace Resorts, “everything’s included,” according to Sales Manager Connie Marianacci.
“Each of the Palace Resorts Wedding Inspiration Packages includes everything from the wedding ceremony location with set-up and chairs to the bouquet, cake, sparkling wine and dinner reservations for up to 30 guests,” says Marianacci.
But a private reception can be added to any package at Palace.
Related Story: “3 Ways to Get Married in Mexico and the Caribbean”
Since you’ll be busy getting married and all, you’re going to be hungry after the ceremony, and at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, you’ll savor an all-inclusive reception. While all resorts offer a private reception for you and your guests, some allow smaller parties to enjoy the ambience and flavors of their a la carte restaurants.
“The name of the game for [Excellence] is: options,” says Canino. “So our guests will have an array of options for their reception dinner to make their night truly special and unique, exclusive and petit or as extravagant as needed.”
At Excellence, The Beloved Hotel, and Finest Playa Mujeres, reception dinners are tailored according to the size of the group, but among the most popular venues are the resorts’ restaurants for a private or semi-private dinner, such as Agave Restaurant (Mexican) and The Lobster House. Private terraces throughout the properties are also booked frequently.
Palace Resorts offer similar benefits with an expert team of planners who work with the bride and groom to create an experience that fits their specific needs and desires, whether that means dining beachside, in their spacious guest rooms, or in one of their gourmet restaurants.
But for Palace, elegant settings truly make the reception breathtaking.
“Beach Palace’s Sky Terrace is ideal for couples seeking a wedding venue with 360 degree panoramic views of the breathtaking Caribbean Sea,” says Marianacci. “For the bride and groom seeking something especially unique, the bohemian chic Isla Mujeres Palace is an ideal backdrop for an intimate secluded experience.”
The reception can happen just about anywhere on a Palace property, from an ocean view terrace to beach-based venues, as you can see in this video about Sun Palace®.
“Arecifes at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort is a Brazilian Rodizio restaurant and very popular with wedding groups,” continues Marianacci. “Moon Palace is also home to MoMo, an Asian destination known for mouthwatering flavors and visually enthralling culinary performances. The restaurant is popular with smaller wedding groups because they enjoy the Tepanyaki experience.”
AMResorts add a private reception location in their packages, which allows the couple to have a unique and private event specially tailored to them.
“Many of our resorts also offer the option to rent out one of the restaurants, making it exclusive to their wedding group,” explains Pak. “This is an excellent option for couples as our restaurants and exquisitely decorated—which saves the couple money on wedding décor.”
The El Patio restaurant at AMResorts in Mexico is the most popular venue as its style is indicative of the destination, and at Dreams Los Cabos, it’s beachside along with the resort’s wedding gazebo.
Everyone’s a foodie at a wedding
Rip up the reservation card where guests check their dinner choices. Between buffet receptions and culinary explorations, your guests will have too many options to fit onto one little card. And let’s be honest—sure, you’re looking to start your lives together at a tropical or exotic locale, but really, you cannot wait to try gourmet offerings by accomplished chefs at these award-winning resorts.
AMResorts pride itself on having different receptions than the traditional sit-down banquet with chicken or steak.
“We have had themes like a Mexican or Caribbean dinner,” gushes Pak. “At Dreams Tulum, for example, couples can have an authentic Mexican buffet, complete with a chef handmaking tortillas for quesadillas to order. They are absolutely delicious!”
Other reception events include a tequila tasting station, private cigar roller, and a candy table with Mexican delicacies. Couples can also have Churrascaria-style barbeque and even a bonfire on the beach complete with marshmallows and an open bar.
Couples can select whatever suits their taste—filet mignon, shrimp, salmon, chicken, and lobster. Chefs are also well-versed with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options at AMResorts and Palace Resorts.
Marianacci explains that at Palace Resorts, fare is all top quality with USDA beef served at every restaurant and flavors including Asian, Italian, and other culinary experiences. But the most popular restaurant experience is the traditional Mexican.
“Many Palace Resorts brides and grooms request customized menus and appreciate the inclusion of Mexican cuisine to celebrate the destination’s authentic flavor and backdrop,” says Marianacci.
Related Story: “How to Plan Your Wedding by Palace Resorts”
Wedding Cakes, Extreme Edition
You want the piece of food you’re going to smash into your loved one’s face to be tasty, so it’s quite perfect that you get to customize your wedding cake. Most resorts offer fondant, buttercream, and whipped cream for the outsider layer followed by a variety of filling.
While vanilla and chocolate cake are a staple, AMResorts has taken wedding cakes to the extreme with unique flavors.
“Each resort has its own list of options available with flavors like almond, Kahlua and red velvet,” explains Pak. “Couples can also opt for cupcakes or personal sized wedding cakes for each guest.”
Palace Resorts offers one-of-a-kind masterpieces for their wedding cakes, and their pastry chefs’ goal is to create edible art. In addition to the normal flavors, Palace also offers red velvet, carrot, and cheese cake, while Excellence Resorts presents 100% customizable cakes in shape, flavor, etc. What you imagine, they can create.
Size matters when planning a wedding.
When planning a destination wedding, the date is most important, followed by guests and room nights. Almost every all-inclusive resort offers a complimentary wedding to couples who book in a certain room category for a certain number of room nights.
In Palace, couples get more with the larger group they bring.
“Couples who book 75-room nights for their whole group can take advantage of Palace Resorts’ splendid perks including: unlimited private functions such as a cocktail hour and two-hour dinner, seven complimentary room nights and a room upgrade for the bride and groom,” says Marianacci, meaning couples can enjoy a free honeymoon if they celebrate their wedding with enough friends and families.
Contrarily, room nights, rather than number of guests, designate which hotel can host your wedding at Excellence Resorts, the Finest Playa Mujeres, and The Beloved Hotel.
“The biggest wedding group we have received at Excellence Resorts has been from 60 to 70 rooms and depending on the season and the Excellence Resort, we are able to welcome groups as big as 100 rooms,” reports Canino.
“The ideal size for groups at our properties is from 25 to 35 rooms, and due to the boutique size and quality of the Beloved Hotel, groups are limited to 45 rooms. But to receive a complimentary wedding package, Excellence Resorts only has one requirement.
“Couples can obtain a Wedding package free for up to 10 people if only the bride and groom stay in any of our Excellence Club Junior Suites Ocean Front or higher,” adds Camino. A great deal, couples can still enjoy a wonderful wedding at a Excellence Resort by paying for nothing more than their room.
AMResorts have an upcoming 300-person South Asian wedding at Now Amber Puerto Vallarta inclusive of three days of events.
“It will be absolutely breathtaking!” exclaims Pak, and with their anniversary night deals, couples can return on their anniversary with a free night.
Nothing beats an all-inclusive vacation, so can you imagine how lovely an all-inclusive wedding could be? Most resorts host one or two a day, so on your next vacation, contact the wedding coordinator and see if you can take a glimpse of the magic that will be your destination wedding.
Check out more wedding fare from AMResorts, Excellence Resorts, and Palace Resorts on the blog, keyword “Destination Weddings.” and come back next week as we reveal two popular wedding recipes from our featured resorts!