The ABC’s of Destination Weddings
May 15, 2016
When planning a Destination Wedding it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the new terms being thrown at you. That’s why our team of LUXE Destination Weddings experts have compiled a glossary of terms to help you out! This list covers both travel and wedding terms we are frequently asked…
Additional Guest Fees – Typically resorts will include a certain number of guests in their Wedding Packages. For each guest above that number, you will pay an additional guest fee to cover the cost of the package inclusions for them.
All-Inclusive Plan (AI) – A plan offered by the hotel in which all meals, beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), non-motorized water sports, daily activities and nightly entertainment are included.
Breakfast Plan (BP) – A plan offered by the hotel in which only breakfast is included with your stay.
Cancellation Insurance – This type of insurance covers the non-refundable costs of your trip should you have to cancel unexpectedly prior to your departure. Reimbursement can only be determined by the insurance provider. In order to be fully reimbursed, you must be cancelling due to what they consider a “covered event.”
Chargers – These are large, flat plates that are not intended to be eaten on but rather are a décor element in wedding set-ups. They act as a base for the food-baring plates to be placed on. The use of charger plates is a great way to add colour, texture and depth to your place setting.
Chivari Chairs – Sometimes also referred to as a Tiffany Chair, these are one of the most popular décor upgrades for weddings. They are commonly available in either wood or a coloured resin, such as silver or gold.
Day Pass – If you have any guests who are attending your wedding, but not staying at the hotel, they will be required to purchase day passes in order to come on property.
Dietary Restrictions – These refer to any limitations you or your guests might have when it comes to the food being served at the wedding. This can includes allergies as well as dietary preferences such as vegetarianism.
Domestic Open Bar – This entry level open bar package includes only alcohol varieties manufactured within the country you are travelling to. The more common “name brand” varieties would not be included in a domestic open bar as they are imported.
E-Documents – Your electronic ticket for your trip. Typically you will receive this approximately two weeks prior to your departure, and it will include your flight confirmation, hotel & transfer vouchers.
Excursions – This is a day trip planned to go off of the hotel property. Excursions can include snorkelling, site-seeing, adventure tours etc. These can be booked in advance as well as in destination.
Family Style – Family Style is a type of meal service when the various dishes are placed on each of the tables and guests can serve themselves.
Gateway – This is a travel term that refers to the city which you are travelling from.
Gratuities – These are credits offered to groups based on their booking size. Gratuities vary from property to property, and typically do not include tax. An example of this would be for every 10 adults booked there is one complimentary booking.
Head Table – This is where the newlyweds along with their wedding party sit during the reception. Typically it is a long table with everyone sitting on one side so that they are facing out towards the rest of the guests.
Honeymoon Registry – This is very similar to a traditional wedding registry, except instead couples can make requests to help fund their honeymoon. Depending on the type of service you use, guests can contribute financially for specific items, such as a particular excursion, or they can contribute to an overall fund.
Imperial Table – An alternative to round guest table, imperial tables are long rectangular tables. They are often formed by arranging multiple smaller tables together.
Interruption Insurance – This type of insurance covers any additional costs incurred should you be forced to return home from destination early due to an emergency such as a death in family, deployment etc.
Kids Free – This is a particular type of package offered by some properties and tour operators when children are charged only for the airfare portion of the travel package and not the hotel. There are often a limited number of these spots available at each property.
Land-Only – A Land-Only travel package includes only the resort portion of travel, and not the airfare or transfers.
Legal Requirements – These are a list of items that are required in order to be legally married in destination. It varies greatly from destination to destination, so it is important to review everything very carefully. Common requirements can be anything from translated legal documents, to an arrival date policy. Some countries have more complicated legal requirements than others, which is why some couples opt to have a symbolic ceremony in destination instead.
Modified American Plan (MAP) – With this type of plan, two meals a day are included in your hotel package. MAP always includes breakfast plus either lunch or dinner, depending on the property.
Non-Transferrable – This means that monies on file cannot be allocated to another existing guest’s booking.
Occupancy – This refers to the number of people booked in a room. For example, double occupancy is two people per room.
Off-Site – Sometimes couples prefer not to get married at the hotel, and instead want to travel off property to an alternative location. Common off-site venues include beach clubs, restaurants and churches.
Outside Vendor Fee – Hotels will have a list of preferred vendors that they work with on anything from photography to décor. If a couple decides to bring in an alternative vendor, the resort will often charge a fee.
Processional – Music that is played while the bridal party, followed by the bride and her escort, walk down the aisle. Traditionally this music is considered to be very stately, however in recent years couples have taken a little bit more creative liberty when selecting their music.
Recessional – Music that is played following the ceremony as the newlyweds lead their wedding party back up the aisle. This typically tends to be a more upbeat and celebratory song.
Room Drop Fee – If you are planning on having anything delivered to your guests rooms, such as a welcome bag, the hotel will charge you a fee for each delivery.
Room Request – This refers to anything include on file that has been requested for you room, such as a particular location on the property. Unfortunately these are always subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed in advance as your room assignment is completed by the hotel staff within a day or so of your arrival.
Semi-Private Reception – A semi-private event is what is included in most entry level hotel wedding packages. There would be a reservation for the wedding group at one of the onsite restaurants, and guests would have their choice of meal off the restaurant menu. While it is typically a more cost-effective reception option, there are a lot of restrictions in place in order to be considerate of other hotel guests. For example, dancing is prohibited in the restaurants. Most couples who decided to do a semi-private reception will often host a private after-party in order to include some of the traditional reception elements.
Site Visit – Some couples will travel to destination a few months prior to their wedding in order to tour the property and meet with some of their vendors.
Supplier – Sometimes also referred to as a Tour Operator, this refers to the company that is providing the physical travel arrangements i.e. Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing Vacations etc.
Sweetheart Table – This is similar to a head table, however instead of including the wedding party it is just the wedding couple who sit at the table.
Symbolic Ceremony – It’s not uncommon for couples to decide to take care of their legal requirements at home either before or after their trip. In this case, the ceremony performed in destination would be symbolic and therefore have no legal standing. Having a symbolic ceremony allows more freedom in terms of what is included – some brides and grooms even decide to have one of the wedding guests perform the ceremony to make it more personal!
Transfers – These refer to arranged transportation between the airport in destination and your resort.
Wedding Package – Typically hotels will offer a variety of wedding packages for couples to choose from based on their needs when planning a destination wedding. Package inclusions range from property to property, but often include some décor and reception elements, as well as additional amenities and services such as late check out or a couple’s massage.
Are there any other terms that you’re wondering about? Comment below and we’ll be happy to explain them to you!