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Is that “Free” Destination Wedding really Free?
Is that “Free” Destination Wedding really Free?
We wanted to find out the truth behind the free destination wedding and set out on our quest by starting out right here on After all we list close to two hundred of the top destination wedding resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico.
In this issue of our newsletter we decided to look into free weddings at the Riu brand of hotels and resorts. Here is what we found.
The Riu Resorts and Hotels that offer a Free Wedding Package are, the recently refurbished Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Negril Jamaica, Riu Ocho Rios  Jamaica, Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and the Riu Paradise Island, Paradise Island Bahamas. (currently under renovations).
All Riu Resorts also offer Caribbean wedding packages depending on the resort and destination. Riu has resorts in Jamaica, Bahamas, Punta Cana, Cancun, Riviera MayaCabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta,Aruba  weddings start from $350 USD in the Bahamas up to $1795 USD in Aruba for their introductory package.
For more information or details, please check with the individual resorts.
Now back to that Free Wedding and what exactly is included.
We chose the Riu Negril in Jamaica as our example not only is the beach is amazing with truly white sand and turquoise clear waters and no one can complain about the hospitality and food in Jamaica it is second to none.  Here is whats included.
RIU Free Wedding Package 2009 includes:

* On-site wedding coordinator to help plan the special day
* Decoration set up for the ceremony location for the wedding group
* Bouquet of flowers for the bride and a matching boutonniere for the groom
* CD or recorded music during the ceremony
* Reception dinner for the wedding group at one of our specialty restaurants
* Wedding cake for the couple and all the guests
* Sparkling wine for the couple and all the guests (during the Main Toast only)
* Surprise spa gift
* Ten percent discount on all spa services for the bride and the groom (restrictions apply)
* Surprise gift and fruit basket
Not bad for a free wedding, what's not included are your legal fees and the minister or judge to perform the ceremony. Make sure you find out these costs when you contact the hotel to check for availability for your wedding date. You also have to book and minimum of five or more rooms and at least 80% of the wedding guests have to be staying at this hotel.
Riu does offer many extras to make your wedding special and some more extensive wedding packages. One of the things that we love about the Riu chain is the attention to details; all those little extras really do make difference. Things like fully stocked mini bars in your room, and yes it’s included, also your safety deposit box in your room, included.   The value for your dollar really goes a long way at Riu resorts and hotels with-out having to sacrifice quality and beauty. Riu offers four categories of properties;
Their Palace resorts rate anywhere between five and six stars. Have a look at the spectacular Riu Place Cabo San Lucas.
The Club hotel and classic category has properties in the range of four and five stars. Have a look at the club hotel Riu Jalisco in Riviera Nayarit-Nuevo Vallarta Mexico. And Hotel Riu Naiboa in Punta Cana from their Classic category.
We are still waiting on Riu to open a Grand palace on this site of the Atlantic Ocean. We found that Riu hotels offer a great value for you and your guests for a destination wedding or honeymoon.
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Benefits of a Combined Wedding & Honeymoon

Did you know that honeymoons typically account for 14% of the total wedding budget?  By combining your wedding and honeymoon you can save money!

  •      A destination wedding/honeymoon eliminates the need to scout and research two separate locations.
  •     No need to hire both a wedding consultant and a travel agent.  Your travel agent can arrange all of your details and put you in touch with the hotel’s wedding "co-ordinator" to plan all of your requests for the big day.
  • 2 in 1 options allow you to have your wedding in one destination and your honeymoon in another.  So not only do you save money, but you see two wonderful destinations.



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