If you’re not aware of the hotel/vacation sale sites Jetsetter.com, Vacationist.com, and the getaways on Hautelook.com, you’re missing out! They offer super nice, schmancy hotels for up to half off (sometimes it’s more like $70/off…but it’s still something!). Jetsetter.com is especially great, because each hotel they select has to be up to the standards of the editors. All you have to do is sign up to become a member of these sites. Best news is, it’s free to join.
I was psyched to see Jetsetter.com offering several Destination Wedding packages today! They already offer some great honeymoon packages, so this is a no-brainer. I also love the idea of booking a wedding as a package, because that means it’s less planning time for you.
I went and checked them out, and I have to say there is really only one I would consider. There are three options: The Peninsula Hotel in NYC, Sebastian Vail in Colorado, and The Villa by Barton G in Miami Beach, which used to be Versace’s mansion (I wrote about it here, when I considered it for my own wedding in Miami). The first two are hotels, and have the “hotel ballroom” type vibe, which I’m not into. Plus, at first glance the packages look decent (“$34,000 to get married on a NYC rooftop, all in? Great deal!” you think to yourself), but when you look at the details you find out it says FOR 40 PEOPLE, and each additional person is $350/pp. Hmm, not so great anymore.
The Villa by Barton G deal is intriguing, but only if you’re in that price range to begin with (the package is going for $77,000). I personally think that venue is too pricey, as I wrote about earlier, but it is beautiful. There are a few pros/cons: First, $77,000 is a lot of money for only 100 people. If it was $50,000, that’s another story. Second, the area where you would be having the wedding is an uncovered courtyard/garden with a pool. It feels slightly cramped because there’s a pool taking up 1/3 of the space that guests have to maneuver around. Speaking of pools, my parents went to a wedding recently (not at The Villa) where one guest fell in the pool because it was near the dance-floor. Yes, it’s hilarious…unless you’re the guest. Then again if you’ve had enough wine anything can be funny.
One definite pro is that Barton G. makes amazing food. His namesake restaurant in Miami is delicious, and chances are your food is going to be extraordinary. You’re also smack dab in the middle of South Beach, and guests that aren’t staying in one of the 10 rooms included in the package can walk to/from the venue. You can stumble upstairs.
The package is attractive because it includes basically everything, from your wedding invitations and flowers to the band/DJ. If you’re in that price range and are looking for a unique venue, I would check it out. Here is what the package includes:
Villa By Barton G Wedding Package
- Exclusive 2 nights accommodation (10 rooms included) at the Villa by Barton G (access to the entire villa) for a wedding between May 1st and Oct. 31st, 2011 or 2012 for
- Wedding officiant (of any or no denomination)
- 30-minute ceremony in the Mosaic Gardens & Pool
- Live trio for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour
- DJ for the wedding reception; a 4-hour dinner and dancing wedding reception in the Mosaic Gardens & Pool
- 3-course dinner for up to 100 people
- Traditional three-tier wedding cake made by the villa’s pastry chef for up to 100 people
- Flower arrangements (including bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, groom and usher florals and up to 10 centerpieces)
- 5-hour deluxe open bar along with a 1-hour pre-dinner passed hors d’ouvres
- All glassware, utensils, 10 sets of specialty linens and service staff
- Up to 100 Chiavari chairs, carpet runner for ceremony
- Candle decor package and basic lighting package for the gardens
- Up to 100 charger plates at the table settings
- Custom-printed menus, invitations, thank-you notes and place cards
- A personal round-the-clock butler
- All taxes and gratuities for event and villa staff.
Not Included: Flights to/from Miami or ground transportation to/from the villa, pre-ceremony rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, mandatory refundable security deposit of $5,000, photographer, videographer, tent rental (typically $5,500), personalized menu for table settings, custom table numbers, custom invitations or postage for invitations and thank-you notes, place cards for assigned dinner seating or matrimonial fees.
The sale lasts on Jetsetter.com for two weeks