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About inanna

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  1. I haven't stayed there, but it's location would be a deal breaker for me. The location is in what's called "New Town," which is a bit far from the action of Key West. Most people visiting Key West want to stay in "Old Town," fairly close to Duval Street, where they can walk to most of the sights and beaches/marinas. If you prefer a fairly calm resort, the Southernmost Resort properties are on the quiet end of Duval (Southernmost Hotel is often very reasonably priced). Hyatt, Pier House, Ocean Key are some of the nicer resorts on the other, "party" end of Duval. There are also lots of privately owned, adorable B&Bs and cottages throughout old town. We've had good experiences at the Mermaid and the Alligator and many family members have enjoyed staying at Courtney's Place. Here is a good map of Key West neighborhoods: http://vacationhomesofkeywest.com/key-west-map.html. I prefer to stay in the Heart of Old Town, Historic Seaport, or Downtown. Truman Annex is also very nice (mostly very high end cottages/vacation rentals). Bahama Village is fun to go to during the day, but I've been told to avoid it at night.
  2. Yes, this is pretty common everywhere. I somewhat understand the logic - accidents are much more likely to happen with big gatherings, esp. for celebratory events where alcohol is involved (this is why many rental houses don't allow weddings at all). We rented 2 beach houses in Islamorada for our wedding, but the owner agreed to waive the $1500 event fee...this was in 2009, so I doubt they waive this fee anymore. Back when I was looking at properties, it seemed like newer owners were more willing to negotiate. Most rental agencies I contacted required a $1000-2000 event fee and were not willing to negotiate.
  3. Absolutely beautiful pics Stina! Congratulations!!!
  4. You may want to look into the Sundy House in Delray Beach, Fl (in between Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach). Its not actually on the beach, but they have a gorgeous gazebo in a garden/lagoon area of the property. http://www.sundyhouse.com/
  5. Congratulations Stina! You're going to have such an amazing time... ENJOY!
  6. Quote: Originally Posted by huongii Inanna, I would love to see more pics of your wedding but I don't think I have the option to PM you yet. If you don't mind, I would really love to see more pics. My email is Kimzwedding@gmail.com. Have you heard of Pierre's? I am still debating between Cancun and the Keys. Thanks so much for sharing! Huongii - I'm emailing you a links to a slightly bigger wedding album (250 pics). Pierre's is absolutely STUNNING! If we hadn't chosen a private estate for our wedding, Pierre's would have been at the top of our list. Right next to Pierre's (same owner) there's also Morada Bay Cafe, which has the same amazing views, but is more casual and affordable.
  7. Hey stina - if you want something truly "Keysy" for your OOT bags, you may want to just stop for some items when you get to the Keys. Once in Key Largo on US 1, you'll see tons of shell stores and souvenir places. One of them is Shell World, which also has a website: Shell World Key Largo You may also want to stop at Worldwide Sportsman or Robbies of Islamorada - both sell souveniers like beer koozies/shirts that say Islamorada on them. There are also several small boutique stores in Islamorada, but some of these stores are on the pricey side: http://www.islamoradachamber.com/listings.cfm?sid=16. You might also give Debbie a call at Floral Fantasy and ask if she has any cute, affordable ideas - I believe her shop also specializes in gifts.
  8. We sent out save the dates 9 months before the wedding with the wedding date, location, and our wedding website address. We included hotel block information, things to do in the area, flight info etc. on the our website. If you have a wedding website, I'd put any relevant hotel information there ASAP. Since our wedding didn't involve international travel (sounds like yours doesn't either) we decided to send out invites 3 months in advance. For those who hadn't already booked their hotel room based on the website information, this gave them about a month a half to book their room before the block rate expired.
  9. That's appalling! I'm so sorry! Are you looking for a new place to have your wedding in the upper Keys? I have heard that the Key Largo Grande Resort & Beach Club and the Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort are both very good. Or if you're willing to consider a venue a bit further south in Islamorada, here are some locations you may want to look at (locations our caterer has worked with): http://www.islamoradaweddings.com/we...locations.html. You may also want to look at the Islander Resort and Cheeca Lodge. Best of luck to you with your planning, and again, I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this.
  10. The private estate we got married at in the Florida Keys can sleep 24. There are two beach houses and two pools. The real estate company can apparently arrange for a private chef. Here's the link (its the first property listed): Vacation Rentals Florida Keys Taxes in the Florida Keys are 12.5%. We ended up hiring a local company, Caribbean Catering, to handle the food for our wedding reception.
  11. Its definitely optional. I was a bridesmaid in a DW that had a bridesmaids lunch the day before the wedding, and included the MOB/MOG and other close female family members of the bride. We showered the bride with lingerie for the honeymoon. Meanwhile the guys went on a deep water fishing trip together. It was really fun, but not a requirement.
  12. I'm not sure how much help I'll be since I got married in the US (Florida Keys), but I had a non-resort wedding. Basically you just have to be prepared to book many more vendors than you would at resorts which typically offer a package deal for everything. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but overall I found planning extremely easy and fun once I discovered some great vendors in the area. I felt like I had a lot more input and customization by hiring separate vendors for each aspect of our wedding. We ended up renting a private estate (2 beach houses) which I found on VRBO.com. VRBO lists rental properties worldwide, so you may want to take a look. Looks like there are fabulous properties in that area - like this: Cabarete - Magnificent Beach Front Mediterranean Villa. The houses functioned as a secluded event location and also doubled as lodging for our immediate families and bridal party. Our next step was to find a caterer and figure out how to arrange for ceremony and reception tables/chairs/etc. We found a caterer who could provide all of the rentals we'd need, food, cake, reception staff, day of coordinator and even outdoor lighting. I'm not a DIY type person and wasn't interested in lugging a bunch of decorations on a plane, so our florist handled all decorations and of course the flowers. Vases/candles/glass hurricanes were borrowed from that florist, so we didn't have to worry about what to do with them after the reception. The florist staff just picked them up the next day at the same time the catering company was picking up the rentals they'd provided. We then chose a photographer and DJ and nearly all of our work was done. We chose vendors based on local recommendations (the real estate company we booked with and our caterer were a great help with local vendor recommendations) and on reviews from sites like WeddingWire.com. Tripadvisor.com and WeddingMapper.com were also somewhat helpful. Since I'd imagine finding vendors may be harder in the DR than in the US, you might want to talk to your FIs family who live there about any recommendations they have for florists, caterers, bakers, etc. Or perhaps hire a well connected wedding planner who lives in the DR, especially if there will be a language barrier. I'm sure you can find photography and other vendor recommendations in the DR forum. You might also want to bring a photographer to the DR with you. Some photogs will give a hefty discount if you pay for their travel expenses. I hope this helps a little. Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with planning.
  13. inanna


    Little Palm Island is on my list of places to stay at some point in my life, but it is extremely expensive! Its a private island only accessible by boat or sea plane. Currently there is a room sale going on at Jetsetter.com and the starting SALE price per night is $430 (normally rooms are $700+/night). I'm sure its an absolutely fabulous wedding location, but I can only imagine the cost of hosting a wedding reception there. In Key West I've heard that the Pier House and Southernmost on the Beach are among the better large resorts. Beach locations are very limited in Key West, and they have them. Throughout the rest of the Keys, there's the Islander Resort in Islamorada (I didn't get married there but many of our guests stayed there and enjoyed it). There's also Casa Morada, Cheeca Lodge, The Caribbean Resort, and Key Largo Grande - all popular wedding locations in the upper Keys. Unfortunately I've never heard anything about Kona Kai.
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