spread the wealth Even wedding couples who have their hearts set on one of Grace Bay Beach’s most extravagant resorts can take steps to save, especially when it comes to accommodations for their friends and families. “We have quite a few people who will maybe have their wedding at the neighboring Regent Palms,” Beswick describes. “But not all their friends can afford to stay at the Regent Palms. So we’ll have a lot of times where half the group is staying with us [The Sands], and the other half is at the Regent because of the proximity and amenities they can offer with a banquet hall and full spa and other things they can take advantage of.” That set-up works particularly well on Grace Bay Beach, where most of the resorts sit within walking distance of each other, and it’s an ideal cost-cutting solution for groups of 40 or above that need a large banquet hall or tented space for the ceremony and reception.
Beswick is right; it’s hard to downplay the advantages of luxury resorts like The Regent Palms. With its romantic colonial architecture and expertly manicured tropical lawns, the setting looks as if it was designed with weddings in mind. Here, the Messel Ballroom is anything but a generic event space, with its wide terrace giving wedding guests a bird’s-eye view of the resort from between its tall white columns. Weddings on the resort’s lower pool deck, just steps away from Grace Bay Beach, are just as popular, and clients who want an outdoor ceremony with a more refined, European feel can also plan their ceremony on the Croquet Lawn, saying their vows beside The Regent Palms’ luxurious spa building—likely the very place brides will have prepared for the big event along with their bridesmaids, with spa services including bridal hair, wedding make-up, manicures and pedicures.
The other side of all that luxury is price; to hold a wedding at The Regent Palms, wedding parties must book at least 15 rooms for three nights, as well as a $5,000 food and beverage minimum for every 20 guests. Add set-up fees ($400 for functions up to 50 guests), chair covers, flowers, spa services and music, and you’ll have a significant difference in budget from weddings at The Sands. But if you’re looking to up-sell to the Regent, remind the couple that it’s all significantly less costly than a wedding at home, and that The Sands itself is ideal for those in the wedding party seeking less-pricey accommodations. In fact, Beswick says, “If agents really want to personalize the accommodations, the easiest way is directly with our reservations department. The reservations department will cater to needs like, ‘Uncle Tom wants an ocean view,’ or ‘Aunt May has a hip problem so she can’t climb steps.’ Of course we get all that, and it’s easy to plan that directly with us. It all depends on what type of clientele you’re going to be catering to, and getting to us early so we can try to put rooms together.”