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DESTINATIONS WEDDING BUDGETS WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS


commissionable extras available including flowers, photography, cake, reception, dinner, accommodation and musicians to add a little va-va-voom.


w SPEND For those willing to splash a little more cash, suggest going farther afield. The Caribbean comes high on the list for overseas weddings thanks to relatively light paperwork on several of the islands, but it still doesn’t have to mean spending the earth. Sandals and Beaches Resorts offer a


free wedding for couples staying more than three nights, with a ceremony, cocktail reception, wedding planner, entourage, cake and free manicure for the bride all part of the deal. Those staying more than six nights qualify for ‘premium perks’ including credit to put towards room upgrades, government fees, videography packages, decoration and scuba diving. Locations include an overwater chapel – think colourful fish swimming beneath the couple as they say “I do” – at Sandals Grande St Lucian and Sandals South Coast, plus a Jamaican chapel at the latter too. All AMResorts brands – which include Zoëtry, Secrets and Dreams Resorts & Spas – likewise offer a free wedding package for guests staying more than a week. Funway Holidays recommends Dreams Delight Playa Bonita in Panama for a private beach wedding on the Punta Bruja Nature


Overseas weddings mean high-value bookings for you, idyllic ceremonies and hassle-free planning for your clients


Reserve. “The weddings offered by the resort here are beautiful, overlooking the ocean with stunning sunrise views,” says Malcolm Davies, product destination manager. Even if couples opt for an upmarket


resort, there are still savings to be made on the ceremony. In Saint Lucia, the iconic Jade Mountain offers couples staying five nights or more a free wedding package covering the basic legalities plus decorations, wedding arch, bouquets, buttonholes and a cake, with locations ranging from the outdoor Celestial Terrace to an 18th-century colonial plantation. And in Mexico, 20° 87° Unico


Riviera Maya offers a gazebo set-up,


ABOVE: Mediterranean Beach Hotel, Cyprus


BELOW: Overwater chapel at Sandals South Coast, Jamaica


minister, cake and sparkling wine as part of its Ultimate Wedding Package, complimentary to guests staying a week with Thomas Cook Weddings. Seven nights’ all-inclusive in an Alcoba swim-up room, with return flights from Gatwick, costs from £1,984 per person departing November 19 with the operator. Couples staying two weeks at the resort also get added extras, while those wanting a little more detail can opt for one of several other packages, offering violin soloists, private dining and other bonuses. But if it’s more the Indian Ocean islands that appeal, look to the Seychelles – specifically Constance Ephelia on main island Mahé, says Kuoni. With beach and hillside villas on its elegant, beachfront complex the accommodation is top-notch, and it needn’t mean breaking the bank. A light wedding package is available for £385, complete with legal fees, coordinator, cake, beach location, arrival present, bottle of sparkling wine and a wedding dinner to round it all off.


w SPLURGE For those looking to really go all-out, you’re not short on options. For an extra-special ceremony in


Thailand suggest The Sarojin, a 56- room retreat in the secluded resort of Khao Lak. It offers western weddings as well as Thai ceremonies in various locations – beneath an ancient fig tree in the tropical gardens, in the shadows of an almond tree on the beach, or at the Edge, an open-air restaurant overlooking rainforest


40 travelweekly.co.uk 7 June 2018


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