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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Pick a Destination Wedding Location

Words by Sirenis Hotels & Resorts
Photos courtesy of Sirenis Hotels & Resorts

So, it’s decided, you’re exchanging vows in a tropical paradise. Now, it’s time to iron out the specifics to find that perfect location. There are a lot of beautiful places in the world, but destinations like Punta Cana, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit are fan favorites for a reason. Here are some important factors to consider as you assess your options.

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1.    What does the travel process look like for you and your guests?

 When looking for the right place to host a destination wedding, location accessibility is a huge factor. Most couples choose somewhere that the majority of their guests can get a direct flight and a resort that is within close proximity to the destination airport. Since the turn out for destination weddings tend to be on the lower side to begin with, you don’t want a complicated travel process deterring your loved ones from attending.

The newly renovated Grand Sirenis Punta Cana is located 40 minutes north of the airport (PUJ), along the Uvero- Alto beach. The Punta Cana International Airport has direct flights from 16 major US airports. The majority are from the East Coast, with several from the mid and south west.

Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya is about an hour away from the Cancun International Airport (CUN), in the Akumal region. The Cancun airport has daily non-stop flights from 40 US airports, with many from the Midwest and East Coast.

Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills is nestled in the hills of a small fishing town called La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, and a short 30 minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PUJ). There are 18 airports throughout the US that have non-stop flights to Puerto Vallarta, the majority of which depart from the West Coast and south west regions. 

2.    How much will attendance cost?

Finding the right hotel with the right wedding package to fit your budget is a top priority, but you also want to consider the cost to your guests. So, it is a good idea to set an estimate budget range for your guests, as this is a significant deciding factor on whether or not loved ones will be able to attend the big day.   

As each Sirenis property is all-inclusive, it is easy to coordinate a gathering of loved ones for a nightly rate that will not break the bank! Let’s say you want your guests to be able to celebrate your special day with you during a five night vacation, for less than $2,000 with flights included. It is easy enough to price out an estimate of the hotel cost online. For example, a five night stay from Feb 11 to Feb 16, 2019 at Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills, Grand Sirenis Punta Cana, and Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya, comes out to less than $1,000 per person at each property. You can also use websites like flightsfrom.com to get an idea of the price range for flights. It’s important to know that nightly rates will vary depending on the time of year and location. Valentine’s Day week is during the busy season, so rates are higher at this time than during the summer and fall seasons. Package deals that include airfare and airport transfers for large groups can also be arranged easily by travel agents, making the booking process hassle-free and often times cheaper for your guests!

3.    Does your wedding package include a wedding planner?

Having boots on the ground as you prepare for “operation destination wedding” makes all the difference in the planning process. Hotel wedding planners help with everything from venue options for the ceremony and reception, music options, flower arrangements, the wedding cake, dinner menus, etc.

At each Sirenis property there are teams of wedding coordinators eager to assist you in planning the perfect wedding day. At Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya, our team can advise on venue options such as a ceremony on the beach with the Mayan ruin in the backdrop or a ceremony in the on-site chapel that overlooks the ocean. Our wedding staff in Punta Cana are happy to help you decide if a BBQ beach party or a steak house dinner is best suited for you and your guests for the reception. A beach-side ceremony/reception combo, with a delicious seafood menu can easily arranged at the exclusive Eva Mandarina beach club by our team at Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills.

4.    Is there enough variety in the food department?

While buffets are great, à la carte restaurants are important to look for at an all-inclusive hotel. No bride or groom wants to deal with relatives complaining about a lack of food options!

Each Grand Sirenis property offers a variety of cuisines and à la carte restaurants such as Italian, Japanese, Brazilian and French gourmet. Grand Sirenis Punta Cana boasts seven different themed à la carte restaurants to choose from in addition to the snack bar and two buffets. There are eight à la carte restaurants at Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya and four different restaurants at Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills

5.    What kind of activities are available for you and your guests to enjoy?

The beauty of a destination wedding is that you are essentially going on vacation with all of the most important people in your life. It’s one of the few times your friends, family and new family will all be in the same place for an extended amount of time, enjoying paradise. For this type of occasion you want to make sure there is enough to do to keep everyone happy, from those who want to relax by the pool, join in on beach games or enjoy water activities.

At the serene, adult focused Grand Sirenis Matlali Hills, guests can indulge in one of the traditional Huichol rituals at the Makawe Spa, lounge by the infinity pool with snacks and a cocktail, or take the hotel shuttle to our private beach club and sample the decadent seafood platters at the beach bar. Activities include hiking, archery, beach yoga, water polo, volleyball, water aerobics, soccer, table tennis, darts and trivia games. The entertainment team hosts daily happy hour mixology and Latin dance classes where guests can learn the Bachata, Merengue or Salsa.

Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya hosts a weekly Mayan Dinner experience for guests to learn about the ancient history of the surrounding area. The resort also has an on-site Dolphin Discovery park and some of the best snorkeling conditions with proximity to one of the largest coral reefs in the area. There are a variety of pool games and beach tournaments, as well as a lazy river. Guests can also indulge in a day at our award-winning Spa Grand Sirenis.

Grand Sirenis Punta Cana has a variety of activities for guests of all ages to enjoy. Dance classes, games and entertainment are hosted by the pool area and change daily, while sports competitions such as soccer, volleyball and horseshoes take place on the beach. Guests also have access to non-motorized watersports and exciting nightly performances. Our 12,000 m2 on-site waterpark, Sirenis Aquagames, boasts seven thrilling high tower water slides and a central pool lined by lounge chairs. There are also a number of picnic tables and hammocks, where guests can refuel with snacks and refreshments from the aquagames buffet.

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