Couples buy to buy wedding complexes

If you’ve always wanted a weekend wedding in your own enclave, purchasing a resort – where you would have all the property to yourself – might be the perfect option.

Buyouts offer couples and their guests exclusivity, flexibility, and a host of other benefits. And they are often comparable in price to more traditional places.

Almost anything can be personalized within the resort, and the usual rules put in place to ensure the comfort of all resort guests can often be relaxed.

“When you buy, you have the joy of bringing all the people you love together in one space and over a weekend together, connecting them more deeply and creating that unique sense of belonging,” said Alison Greer, 32, who made a buyout. wedding November 7 at Dive Palm Springs in Palm Springs, CA “There is no outside noise, and every face you see is someone you love.”

Inspired by the French Riviera of the 1960s, Dive Palm Springs is a boutique resort with just 11 rooms. For redemptions, a minimum stay of two nights is required. Guests pay the normal per-night rates for rooms (which currently start at $ 215 per night for a king-size bed) and a one-time site fee of $ 5,000 is also charged. Wedding expenses like flowers, cakes, photography, and the DJ, of course, are extra.

Greer, who runs MagicLinks’ human resources department in Los Angeles, says she was a little embarrassed by what people might think when she told them she was buying a resort for her wedding. “I’m not a millionaire or a movie star,” she said. “And it all felt really overwhelming.” But despite these initial reservations, Greer and her husband, Daniel Benesch, a 36-year-old graphic designer and photographer in El Segundo, Calif., Have no regrets.


They discovered the property when Greer was researching Airbnbs for their wedding. One of the owners she spoke to was Dale Fox, a Dive owner who suggested the resort. “It’s an oasis in the desert,” said Greer. And when Dale said, ‘Diving is for lovers’ I knew it was perfect. When you go you really feel it. Everything is so intentional and so romantic. We were able to have a tailor-made wedding. and even design a personalized ice cream with the cook. “

For the best results, says Greer, couples need to be clear about the experience they want and find the resort and staff that can make it happen. She suggests taking full advantage of what a resort has to offer and hiring a planner.

Greer and Benesch, known as Doogie, spent around $ 40,000 on a photographer and videographer, flowers, planning and coordination, rental and other expenses for the weekend, the majority of the guests. paying for their own accommodation. “The resort was the perfect size for us,” said Greer. “We didn’t regret our decision even for two seconds.”

(The couple requested that the 17 guests take covid-19 tests before the wedding, and they contacted them all ahead of time to assess their comfort level. Although the guests were not wearing masks, all vendors and staff did.)

All marriages have their drawbacks. A buyout, like most destination weddings, has its own challenges, including the number of people willing and able to attend; availability of the complex on specific dates; possibly stricter cancellation and deposit conditions; and the difficulty of obtaining certain items.


Brandon Mercade, 37, a painting contractor, and Madison Mercade, 30, a human resources system setup specialist for Snapchat, who live in Redondo Beach, Calif., Said none of these concerns had it barred from choosing a resort buyout from their 2020 Halloween weekend wedding, which they did at Mar del Cabo in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. They were the station’s first buyout marriage during covid-19. It was the only resort they had spoken to that had agreed to close the entire property for them, including all restaurants and other amenities. “We found this boutique hotel and it was great personal,” said Brandon Mercade. “It would have been weird with other people there.”

Mar del Cabo has a three night minimum stay for a redemption. The cost is $ 21,500 per night, for accommodation in the 48 suites. Other redemption perks include a cocktail with guacamole bar and a two-night stay for the couple’s first wedding anniversary, as well as massages and a romantic blanket for the bride and groom. Marriage is an additional cost. Masks are required on property, except during outdoor events with food and drink. Social distancing is observed and temperature and oxygenation level checks are carried out during check-in. Free antibody tests against covid-19 are offered on site.

Eighty-two guests attended their wedding on Halloween weekend 2020 and, Mercade said, the property allowed them to enjoy the property as if it was their own. “Just tell us what you want,” they said, “and we will, and they really did. The manager was always there to help,” he said.

The couple say they have no regrets. But they do have advice for other couples. When it comes to your contract, just start. “It’s a lot easier to add things – like more time – than to take them out. And find a good wedding planner,” Mercade said. Their planner was extremely helpful with details, the couple said, such as working with all local vendors.

NORTH OF $ 100,000

It all cost the couple “just north of $ 100,000,” Mercade said, “plus rooms and flights.” Guests have covered their own rooms, reserving through a dedicated link, for a total amount of approximately $ 60,000. And, the couple said, the resort worked with them when they ended up not filling five of the resort’s rooms.

Wedding guests were tested and / or quarantined before the wedding, and friends and family considered to be at high risk did not attend. “Many of our friends were excited to travel again and no cases of covid came out of our marriage. We asked everyone to stay on the property. And our welcome bags included custom masks and Purell bottles. “said Madison Mercade.

Resorts around the world, including Dive Palm Springs and Mar del Cabo, offer redemption wedding options from the super simple to the sublime, all to suit your budget and your desires. Here are some resorts and hotels to consider for a truly private wedding celebration.


• W Punta de Mita, on a secluded beach in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, offers 119 guest rooms. Rates start at $ 369 per room, per night, plus a minimum of $ 240 per room for food and drink (or purchase an all-inclusive meal plan). For redemptions, guests must reserve at least 90 rooms for at least three nights. Married couples get perks like a free room upgrade for the bride and groom and a romantic breakfast the next day. The rates do not include the cost of the wedding. Masks are only required indoors, and they offer on-site covid-19 antigen and PCR testing.

• Casa Palopo, located above Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, is a private house transformed into a boutique hotel. Three of their suites have their own infinity pool and two helipads. The cost to purchase the entire property is $ 5,555 per night plus tax, and includes a family breakfast, a free tortilla bar experience, and use of all the amenities of the hotel. hotel. All 15 rooms must be booked for a minimum of two nights. The wedding is additional and starts at $ 6,000 for 30 guests. Guests must be tested two days before the event and this can be done at the hotel. No mask is required once negative results are received.

• Plaza Beach and Dive Resort Bonaire offers 126 suites. This Caribbean beachfront resort even has a 5-star Padi dive center called Toucan Diving on-site. The minimum stay and the rates are based on the season and can be all inclusive or in bed and breakfast. The price of the wedding package starts at $ 3,000. The resort complies with all local covid-19 regulations. Masks are not required until negative covid-19 test results are presented on arrival. Covid-19 tests are available on site.

• Jade Mountain in Soufriere Bay, Saint Lucia, is a very secluded resort town built on the side of a towering cliff with 29 “shrines”. Each is totally open to the elements and offers private infinity pools, giant canopy beds, private butler service, and panoramic views. The resort requires a four-night minimum for redemptions with rates starting at $ 45,000 per night, plus $ 166 per person per day to add an all-inclusive dining plan. The cost of the wedding is not included. Masks are mandatory unless guests are seated at a table enjoying food and drink. Rapid antigen and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can be administered on site.

• The Caerula Mar Club in South Andros, Bahamas, the least inhabited island in the Bahamas, offers a three-night minimum stay for redemptions, with rates starting at $ 32,000 per night. Originally built in the 1960s, the property has been restored by Bryan and Sarah Baemler of HGTV fame. It includes six private villas and 18 clubhouse suites. Buyouts can accommodate up to 56 people and include meals, non-motorized water sports, transfers, event coordination and other perks. Weddings are coordinated by a third party at an additional cost. Guests are not required to wear masks on the property. Rapid antigenic tests are administered on site.

• Habitas Tulum is a sustainable property nestled between jungle and sea and offers guests a choice of jungle, ocean and pool rooms. He has a three night minimum for redemptions. Rates are based on time of year and inclusions. For example, a three-night redemption in June would have cost $ 13,825 per night for accommodation only. They follow all local covid-19 protocols. They can provide covid-19 tests on request.

• The Ranga hotel is located on the south coast of Iceland, considered the adventure capital of the country, and is well situated for viewing the Northern Lights in season. A full buyout includes access to all 52 rooms, daily breakfast, and exclusive use of all property facilities. A winter buyout, for rooms only, requires a minimum of two nights and costs around $ 53,000 a night with weddings starting at $ 18,000. The establishment complies with all local regulations relating to covid-19. The hotel can arrange covid-19 testing on site.

• Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club in Brewster, Mass., Located on Cape Cod, allows guests to purchase The Mansion, a Queen Anne style building; Les Villages, a collection of cozy villas; or both. Weddings can be celebrated on the beach, by the pool, on the lawn or in the large indoor ballroom. The minimum stay required and the rates vary according to the season. Guests are required to wear masks except when eating and the resort follows all local covid-19 regulations at time of stay. On-site covid-19 testing is available.