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bromadka

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About bromadka

  1. Thank you!! It was the most magical day of our lives!!! The cost of our ENTIRE wedding was right under $7,000 for 30 guests (includes bride/groom). The cost of our guests really varied. This is because it depends on how many people stay in your room. The more people to a room, the cheaper it becomes. For four nights, five days, in a "regular" room (which was still very nice with a beautiful view) for three people it was around $960 per person. And that's the all-inclusive price. So that's what they paid for all five days and that included all meals, drinks, hotel stay, taxes, gratuities and transfers to and from the hotel. Depending upon what your plans are, I recommend staying in one of the cheaper rooms. We were only in our room to shower and sleep. It doesn't make sense to pay a lot for a room when you won't be in it a lot. There's just too much to see and do at that resort. You won't want to be in your room. The honeymoon is a different story but you know what I mean. For my husband and I, we paid around $6,300 for the two of us in a grande honeymoon deluxe room. That was for six nights, seven days and it was the all-inclusive price. SO worth it!!!!!! Yes it's an expense, but I'm telling you, our friends and family RAVED about the resort, our wedding and their experience. At first, there was much chatter about the expense. However, I stuck to my guns and was very polite about the whole thing. I was very respectful but stayed true to what my husband and I wanted, and that was a destination wedding at this resort. I made it very clear from the beginning that we knew there would be family members who wouldn't be able to join us, whetger due to travel time, expensive, etc (my own husband's mother didn't go-that's another story) but that this is what we really want and what's important to us. We are having a reception in our home town in a couple weeks. We made it very clear that there would be no hurt feelings if anyone couldn't attend (no matter how close to use they were) and that we would party with them at our party back home. Lemme say..handling it like that shuts em up. You do what you wanna do. If you don't you'll regret it. The people who wanna be there, will be. And lemme tell you it's in their best interest to go. They're missing out IMMENSELY if they don't. Even though some very important family members couldn't attend (like the groom's mother-which was her own doing), we had the time of our LIVES and it was the wedding of a lifetime. Go with your gut! Don't listen to anyone's negativity. It will only bring you down. This is your day. And you only get one of em. Let me know if I can be of any more help.
  2. I just posted in detail about my wedding experience. It's in the resort reviews section of the site. I cover a lot of information about the wedding, our experience at the resort, how to cut cost, etc. I also attached pictures. Read that review and let me know if you have any questions. We had 30 people (including my fiancé and I) and the total cost for the ENTIRE wedding was under $7,000. We couldn't have been happier with the cost. Definitely refer to my post because I talk about where to splurge and where to save. Some of my good friends couldn't attend because of the cost and I heard several comments from my family about the expense. However, they enjoyed every minute and plan on returning with other family members. That goes to show how great it is. When I initially planned this wedding I knew there would be a lot of people who couldn't go. It's not about them. It's about you and your guy. You want to look back and be happy with the choice of your wedding location. The resort is all inclusive which is huge for guests. Yes it's expensive but it's worth EVERY penny and it's way cheaper than a resort that isn't all inclusive. Your guests would be lucky to go!!! Every ounce of money, time and effort we spend was WORTH IT!! It was the most amazing and magical wedding. I'm telling you, it was the wedding of a lifetime!!! That resort is the place to go and get hitched!!!!! :-)
  3. Our Dream Wedding at Beaches Turks & Caicos! My name is Brandy, and I am THRILLED to post our wedding story, as it was the most magical time of our lives!! Oh, where shall I begin..My (new) husband (Jack) and I recently had our wedding at Beaches Turks & Caicos! By far, it surpassed EVERY and all expectation we could have ever imagined. I cried more leaving the resort than I did at my own wedding! We had 30 family & friends travel to the resort for our wedding. Our wedding was on a Friday. My husband and I arrived Monday and guests began trickling in Tuesday-Thursday. We were VERY glad that we came in a day before family and friends. It gave us some time to “take it all in,†enjoy a dinner just the two of us, and get our bearings. Time FLIES when you’re there, especially meeting with the wedding coordinator and working out wedding details. We were there for six nights and seven days but honestly if we stayed longer, we still would have wanted to stay even longer! We were all departing the resort on Sunday. So we had the wedding Friday and then Saturday was a day to chill and do whatever. I HIGHLY recommend a day after the wedding (at least) to have a day of “fun†without the worry or planning of a wedding. Our group had a blast! As a group of 30, we went banana boating, hit the lazy river and waterslides and went to Kimonos for our last dinner together. It was an awesome day and a great way to end the evening at Kimonos (which we highly recommend-very fun atmosphere). It was also neat to spend a day with family and friends as new husband and wife! Our Resort Experience: Our entire group absolutely loved the resort! The water is a gorgeous teal blue and the beach is fabulous. The pools are endless and just beautiful. Our entire group stayed at the Caribbean Village and we all loved it. We felt that it had the most “islandy†vibe because they play music at the pools, have dance contests, a delicious buffet by the pool, and it has a lot of restaurants. The Caribbean Village also has Turtles Bar which we went to almost every night. They had awesome reggae bands and dance music and we had a BLAST dancing and livin’ it up! The resort including our rooms was very neat and clean. We had no issues whatsoever. Our room had a pool and ocean view which was lovely. However, we really weren’t in our room very much. The staff who cleaned our rooms were extremely friendly, as were pretty much every staff member we saw and interacted with throughout the week. The Key West Village is new and is great if you want peace and quiet. I highly recommend going to their restaurant Sky for breakfast. It boasts an incredible view of the ocean. Also, their rooms are more like villas, as opposed to a hotel room (if that’s what you’re looking for). The Italian Village seemed to be where most of the kiddos were, at least in the pools. Beautiful Village (honestly, everything is beautiful at this resort). You must go to Mario’s for breakfast AND dinner. Their breakfast buffet is enormous and they have an incredible anti-pasta station for dinner. It was amazing and we did dinner their twice (once for the night before the wedding where there were 30 of us-we loved it!!!). The French Village had our favorite pool. Just gorgeous. It’s really beautiful at night also. At night, we enjoyed walking to the pool (it’s lit up beautifully at night), where they also have a large stage with entertainment. My husband and I found ourselves in a conga line and then were on stage for a reggae dance off! Why not?! Walking around the pool (it’s enormous) is really nice and stopping by Café de Paris for one of their many scrumptious pastries, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies (all to die for) was just awesome. Two of the highest recommended restaurants Le Petite Chatau (French Village) and Sapadillas (Caribbean Village) have a strict dress code. Men have to be in slacks and dress shoes (women are fine in a sundress). Given that this is a beach resort, we told our guests to pack casually for the trip (my husband only had khaki shorts and dress shirts). So unfortunately, we couldn’t go to those restaurants (which was really ok because the million other restaurants are great). However, some of our guests tried Sapadillas and said it was possibly the best dinner they’ve ever had. Worth a shot, so bring at least one pair of dress slacks guys! I’ve read numerous reviews about the restaurants before our trip. Honestly, we thought they were all really good. I threw out some more of the memorable ones earlier in my review but none of our gang had a bad meal any time of the day. Oh, I will say, Bella Napoli Pizzeria takes quite a long time. It is a brick-oven pizza joint right by one of the pools. They are very honest and let you know that it will take approx 30-35 minutes for a pizza. The pizzas were so delicious; however, sometimes we didn’t want to wait that long because we wanted to get back to the beach and pool. So we took advantage of the buffet that the Caribbean Village had at their pool every day. Outstanding! They had grilled fish, chicken, filet (that I cut with a plastic knife), all the trimmings for tacos, curly fries, the works! If you don’t want to wait for a pizza then I’d recommend that buffet! Schooners (Caribbean Village) was a great place for dinner (excellent seafood)! And the one and only ice cream place is at Bobby Dee’s right by the water park! We had an ice cream almost every day! And since it’s all-inclusive we went all the way and got banana splits with the works! One thing we noticed, is that the portions at the resort are very reasonable. Anyone coming from the United States will notice a huge difference in the portions served to guests at restaurants. We all loved it because we left not feeling like a two ton elephant; however, some of our guests ordered two appetizers and an entrée, or two entrees, etc. Don’t feel bashful ordering more food. You paid the money, indulge!!!! We were at Beaches in July so obviously it was pretty hot. One thing we did for wedding party gifts was buy Tervis cups. They had Bride, Groom, Best Man, Maid of Honor, etc., and they made fabulous and thoughtful gifts. I highly recommend bringing a cup that keeps your drinks cold. Can’t tell you how nice it was to hang at the pools and beach without having to get a new drink every ten minutes. They melt very fast and usually your drinks come in small plastic cups. It was often a little slow getting drinks (everyone is on island time so we just went with it) so having a larger cup (as opposed to a small one) really helped in not having to wait a lot to get drinks. Your bartender will fill your drink to the very top so it’s almost like two or three regular sized drinks in one! Highly recommend! If you don’t bring a cup, get two or three drinks at a time. Some of our family who didn’t have those cups did that and it was a very good idea! Before traveling to the resort, we were told that the resort tends to run out of beach towels at the pools. So we brought our own beach towels. I don’t know if getting towels was a problem, but when I saw the bins with the towels there were usually at least a couple. However, it’s worth it to bring your own towel just so you have it. We reserved a cabana each day (with our large group came some grandparents who couldn’t be in the sun very long). Having that cabana was really nice. You can also reserve chairs I believe and they will place a towel on your chair. They may only do that if you have butler service but for a possible extra charge (I have no idea if they charge extra) they will probably do just about anything for you. If you choose to go off the resort, we had some friends who went to Grace Bay for shopping. They loved it. After the wedding, a group of us went to Da Conch Shack! If you have time, we highly recommend this place!! It’s a really neat and beautiful place to go for lunch but also they have an ENORMOUS array of conch shells in the waters at their beach. I came home with three! They have freshly prepared conch salad (which is fabulous), a great menu and be sure to have their awesome rum punch! One of my cousins took a conch out of a shell (with the help of one of the natives). It was pretty cool! Bring your bathing suits and sun screen! It’s a beautiful beach! We went with a group of our friends and had a blast! Highly recommend!! Our Wedding Experience: My husband and I are in midst of planning a wedding reception in our home town. We wanted to throw a party for all of our family and friends who couldn’t be there (or whom we didn’t invite) to our island wedding. Let me just say..I am SO grateful that I had a destination wedding with close family and friends. The party we’re having back here in Baltimore is overpriced, the guest list is annoying and it all just seems very insignificant. We have a lot of my in-laws friends attending and I don’t even know who they are. It will be a very nice evening but NOTHING compared to my spectacular and magical beach wedding!!! The planning process, a million miles away, wasn’t always so fun. In fact, it was rather stressful. Our wedding coordinator for the pre-planning was Roxi. She was very nice and ended up helping us have a fabulous wedding. If you have her, just be patient. And be kind. I sent her no less than a million emails changing details and asking questions. Be sure to always be certain your invoice is correct with every detail you want and if there’s ever anything that needs to be changed she will do it. There were times when we had some language barriers but in the end, it was all fine. And your wedding will come together, even though it may seem that it might not. It will!!! I think Roxi has a thousand weddings on her plate at one time. Patience and kindness goes a long way. Our wedding was held on the beach at 3:00pm in the afternoon on Friday July 26, 2013. Initially, we wanted a later time but they weren’t available. Our wedding coordinator was Comanici. She was great. I told her everything that we wanted at our wedding and reception and she made it all happen. One thing I thought was nice was I had brought large starfish for our ceremony arch. I wanted them on each side. She wasn’t sure how she was going to make them stay (without breaking) but she did and they were returned to me in perfect condition. Not to mention the starfish looked beautiful and completed our beach theme! More on the arch down below. For our wedding, we chose “Your Wedding, Your Style.†Red Lane Spa: My wedding party and I had our hair done at the spa. I heard mixed reviews, but lemme tell ya..these ladies have done COUNTLESS weddings. They know how to do hair. Bottom line. We scheduled a trial hair session the day before which every bride and wedding party should do. That way, everyone knows who’s getting what and how it will look. The wedding morning flies by. You don’t want to be worried about being late on your wedding day because your hair (or one of your girls’ hair) doesn’t look right or they don’t like it. It’s worth it to take the time. Also, the ladies had neat ideas. One of them went outside and picked flowers from their garden and placed flowers in my maid of honors hair. It was stunning and totally beachy. It looked beautiful. The spa was lovely. Some girls did mani/pedis and they loved it. The spa was very nice, clean and the ladies were lovely. Highly recommend. Oh, my cousin did our makeup. Flowers: I was up in the air for a while about my flowers. Initially, I had bouquets for myself and my girls. And it was extremely expensive ($450 for my bouquet). Also, it’s very hot there and I was worried that the flowers would wilt. I was very against the idea of “fake†flowers for my wedding but boy was that an awesome decision that I made. I got my flowers made from the Little Bouquet Shop. They’re an online company and my flowers were exquisite. www.thelittlebouquetshop.com. I chose twelve stems of white calla lilies, wrapped in a teal satin ribbon (fully wrapped which I recommend, it’s prettier), with a silver rhinestone cuff at the top. They were stunning. The packaging that they came in was what I kept them in on the plane. I carried it on with me and their packaging was awesome. It was easy and I was very content knowing my bouquet would be in good condition. Best decision ever going with this company!!! And the neat thing about synthetic flowers (which btw, look SO real) is now I have the opportunity to preserve my bouquet! I would have never been able to get a real bouquet home without it wilting or becoming damaged. We did the same with the boutonnieres. They were cheaper, prettier, and we get to preserve them as well! Btw, my girls carried white fans. I got the idea from another bride and it was awesome! It totally completed the beach and island theme. Also, the fans were $5 a piece!! I saved over $800 on flowers! Ceremony: I am a huge lover of beach, warm weather and teal water (everything teal!). That’s what I got!! Our beach ceremony was everything I always wanted it to be. We had white chiavari chairs (they come standard) with teal tie backs. They were beautiful. Our arch had a white and sea glass fabric draped over (with a starfish on each end at the top). Each guest was provided a parasol which I can’t say how great that was for our guests. The sun was shining bright that day and it really helped shade our guests. Not to mention they made for awesome pictures, especially for the Bride!! They are expensive at the resort (in my opinion). They were $20 per parasol (you’re allowed to keep them). However, I got them for $8 per parasol back home. Obviously, I couldn’t fit 20-some parasols in my luggage (shipping was very expensive) so we paid for a dozen parasols at the resort and then just brought 10 with us. And that was something else we could let our guests have (we didn’t do favors). Our family and friends raved about having them. Very worth it!!!!!! We had music playing on an ipod for my bridesmaids walking down the aisle and of course the bride. Wasn’t a dry eye on that beach! Btw, our songs were awesome. My girls walked down to “Over the Rainbow†by the Piano Guys and I walked down to (with my mom and dad on each arm) “A Thousand Years†by the Piano Guys. They are awesome!!! We didn’t love our officiant. He wasn’t very enthusiastic but he got the job done. My husband and I wrote our own vows and that’s what really mattered from the ceremony and what people remembered. Once we were pronounced husband and wife, we danced down the aisle to Forever, by Chris Brown! Was really fun, made for great pictures (as we were dancing down the aisle) and everyone was dancing leaving the wedding. It was fabulous! We also had a sand ceremony with white, teal and purple sand. What a nice touch to a wedding ceremony. The sand was placed in shells and close family members of the bride and groom took turns pouring sand in the glass. We used a glass provided by the resort. It was just ok. It says Beaches WeddingMoons on it which we thought was tacky. However, it you’re displaying it in your home, you can just turn the glass around and you can’t see it. If you want something else, you’ll have to provide it yourself. They packed it for us and we carried it on the plane. Highly recommended ceremony touch!! Btw, we could see our guests walking down to the ceremony site from our room and it was so neat! They were all carrying the parasols! It was like something you see in a movie!!! Cocktail Hour: We had a cocktail reception on the lawn which was beautiful. There was a beautiful display of various fruits and selections we had chosen with our coordinator. We did not have music during our cocktail hour and we are so glad we didn’t. Guests were scattered about, especially going off with the bride for pictures. Some went to change their clothes, others were hitting the restroom, etc. It is a great way to save some money and forego entertainment for that hour. Plus, our steel band had already started playing on our deck at our reception (which was right by our cocktail hour) so that was perfect. The cocktail hour flies by, no need for music!! Reception: My husband and I are STILL giving ourselves accolades for our music choices! Our reception was held on top of a deck that overlooked the ocean. It was just spectacular. We had two rectangular tables with white table cloths and a sea glass overlay. Our centerpieces were white candles and shells. They were in a pattern and they were just perfect. There was plenty of room for dancing and dancing we did!!! We chose a steel band for the first hour of dinner. Then we had an ipod play list that consisted of reggae music, and songs like, All Night Long (Lionel Ritchie). Into the second hour of our reception, we had a calypso band. They were fabulous! It created that island feel that everyone thinks about when they think about going to the islands. The final hour of our reception we had another play list that had songs like Boogie Shoes and Dynamite, which got every age and gender on the dance floor! We had a wide variation of music for our big day and I can’t say enough about those bands. Forego the DJ, save the money with an ipod and splurge on those bands! It completes the feel of a beach island wedding! Lemme say one thing about the ipod. For whatever reason, our ipod died at our ceremony. It held our wedding up a few minutes. We charged it ALL DAY the day before. But for some reason it was not working. A friend of ours ran up to their room and got their charger and we were saved. So if you are planning on using an ipod, be sure to give your wedding coordinator your charger even though you’re certain it’s charged. It was the weirdest thing. What’s a wedding without SOMEthing going wrong?! Made for a funny story at the end! It was very hot at our reception and the staff was monumental in seeking out every umbrella they could find to shade our guests from the sun. Every staff member who assisted us at our wedding was just the friendliest and sweetest. We had an open bar which is just a given in my opinion. We couldn’t expect guests to walk to another bar (and possibly wait a long time) to get a drink. It was worth the money and honestly we were surprised at how reasonable it all was. Food: Our food was delicious. I think we were all shocked at how awesome the food was. The presentation was fabulous and it tasted as good as it looked. We chose the following: Appetizer: Caribbean shrimp and tropical fruit salad (SO good, light and fresh!) Dinner: Grilled mahi-mahi or grilled tenderloin Dessert: Lovers pineapple baked Alaska (OMG!! The presentation & flavor was awesome and so perfect for a cool treat! It came in a pineapple!) Wedding Cake: We had a three tier cake with each flavor they have (chocolate, vanilla, fruit). I absolutely loved the vanilla. Our cake was white with a sea-glass satin ribbon on each layer. I provided the cake topper, as well as the shells around the cake and on the cake table. It was my dream wedding cake! Our guests RAVED about the food, service and desserts!!! Photography/Videography: This was a decision that initially started out being a difficult one. We hadn’t heard good reviews about the photography at the resort. In fact, some were nightmare stories. I was having a cow because the one thing I feel should be invested in and should be no less than perfect is photo and video. After all, that’s what’s left after a wedding is over. In reading review after review, I came across a recent bride (whose name was also Brandy) and she talked about a company called Tropical Imaging. Well let me just say…they are FABULOUS! They are actually now called Brilliant by Tropical Imaging (www.tropicalimaging.com). Weddings are what they do. They live on the island, not too far from the Beaches resort. They are experienced, know what to do in every situation (cloudy weather, rain, etc). They are friendly and most of all, they capture exceptional photos of a wedding. We had Andy (photo) and Preston (video). Both truly lovely souls. I was SO at ease the day of my wedding knowing they were capturing the beauty of it all and the fun we were all having. With that said, Beaches has recently contracted with a new photography company. I have no idea how good they are. What I didn’t like about our situation was that we weren’t going to know who our photographer was going to be and we weren’t able to see any work they had previously done or any reviews (no website, nothing). That right there didn’t sit well with me. Tropical Imaging has numerous photos and videos (they call them movies) on their website. We were much more comfortable having them and knowing we knew exactly what we were going to get. We met with Andy and Preston a couple days before the wedding and we discussed the timeline of the wedding day. We knew exactly what we were to do and where to be. Andy and Preston are very laid back and it was so refreshing because I was a little nervous come the wedding day. Getting them on resort property gets interesting. The resort obviously wants the bride and groom to use their photography and if they don’t it costs them money. Any outside vendor has to be “allowed†onto the resort property. Buying them a guest past for the day doesn’t cut it. You have two options..you can go off property and have your own photo shoot (either on your wedding day or another day) OR you can book them a room stay (minimum of three nights). Yes, that’s right..you book them a room stay and they will not be staying at the resort (they live five minutes away). At first I was like, this is just crazy. But having exceptional photo/video was extremely important to me. So what we did, was we added Andy and Preston to a room that one of our single friends had booked. Adding people to a room lowers the cost. Considerably. In the end, we couldn’t have been HAPPIER that we did it. Plus, given that Andy and Preston were “guests†of the resort, that allowed them to grab something to eat (while we were all having dinner) and go about the resort as they pleased (taking photos of pretty spots, etc). It worked out so so well. And when we met with Andy and Preston in the lobby of the resort, they knew everyone! These guys do numerous weddings at Beaches and are very well liked. It worked out perfectly! Some things are worth the money and THEY ARE!!!!! Weddings are what this resort does. They have it down to a science. The six days we were at the resort, I saw seven weddings. The wedding coordinators are creative, experienced and they want to make your day, the best day. And they will. In addition to the wedding, having our closest family and friends with us that week, was just amazing. It was the true meaning of what a wedding should be and should mean. We laughed, we danced, we went on water slides, had dinners together and made memories that will last us all a lifetime. Every moment was meaningful and something my husband and I will cherish forever. We were talking about it last night and got choked up! Our wedding was everything I had always dreamed of and more. I just couldn’t get over the beauty and magic of it all. The ceremony was everything I thought it would be, the reception was a blast, the food was outstanding, the staff was great and watching the sun go down that evening while we were dancing on the deck overlooking the ocean was just magical. Our last song was Today was a Fairytale, by Taylor Swift. And that’s just what it was. This link expires November 30, 2013, but here is a link to some of our pictures from Brilliant by Tropical Imaging.. http://www.brilliant.tc/weddings/brandy-and-jacks-beautiful-beaches-resort-wedding/ Please feel free to ask any and all questions!! ~Brandy
  4. JeanaBeana: We are getting close and are very ready! We're so excited! Yes, if you don't want to do the whole "reception" thing, having dinner at one of the numerous restaurants is certainly an option. But it would have to be a smaller crowd. A friend of mine did that. They had their wedding on the beach and went off to a restaurant and had dinner. They loved it. It just depends on what you want. For them, they didn't do a DJ, party, or anything like that. Dinner after the ceremony was pretty much it and then they hung out at the beach bars into the evening. She had a lovely experience. I guess also, there is the option to do a cocktail hour afterwards, gathering with all family and friends, and then retreat to a restaurant. You could have a steel band play for an hour during the cocktail hour or something like that. The options are limitless!! ~Brandy
  5. JeanaBeena: I noticed your location says Redondo Beach! I lived there for a year back in 2011!!! I lived on Via Monte D'Oro, on the same street as the shops, restaurants and bars. I was out there for a traveling contract for my job. It was the most fabulous place and the neatest experience! Redondo has my heart forever! I made friends while out there and we try to visit at least once a year. ~Brandy
  6. You are correct. A cocktail hour will be at an additional charge. However, if you have 10 or more rooms booked, you will receive a free cocktail hour that includes hot and cold Hors d' oeuvres and sparkling wine. If you don't then that would be an additional charge. We have more than 10 rooms booked so we get the free cocktail hour, BUT if we didn't then we were not going to provide a cocktail hour with hors d' oeuvres and wine. We didn't feel that was a necessary expense. There are numerous beach bars that guests could hang and mingle while the bride/groom were taking pictures. Furthermore, guests would have more drink options since the cocktail hour only provides sparkline wine. Otherwise, you'd have to provide an open bar which is an added expense (especially when guests can drink for free at the other bars). Since we're getting it for free I don't know how much one would be. Probably not too much if you don't have a lot of guests attending. We have 31. Our reception dinner, for 29 guests, costs $1,305 ($45 per person). This includes an open bar. We have two kids meals (anyone under 16) that costs $22.50 per person. Our reception dinner includes a four course meal. According to other recommendations and reviews from previous brides, we have chosen: Appet: Caribbean rum shrimp, Salad: Tropical fruit salad, Entree: Beef tenderloin or grilled mahi-mahi (guests choose one), Dessert: Lovers Pineapple Baked Alaska. Our wedding cake is an additional charge. :-)
  7. I do have pictures of them but they're on my phone. Not sure how to get them on this site. However, if you do a google image you will see an enormous display of all kinds of beach weddings with bridesmaids carrying fans. A lot of really neat pictures on there. :-)
  8. You are awesome and thank you SO much for your message! I very recently canceled my wedding bouquet, the boutonnieres AND corsages. I just couldn't see spending that amount of money on flowers. After all, our ceremony will be less than 20 minutes! I found two websites that are really great who do synthetic flowers. I am getting my bouquet through www.littlebouquetshop.com and the boutonnieres through www.afloral.com for anyone else who reads this post. Very reasonable, excellent reviews and the flowers seem gorgeous. Congrats on your April 2014 nuptials! How exciting! I am really counting down at this point. Your jewel and broach bouquets will be amazing!! Thank you again for the info!!! ~Brandy
  9. Awww, you're just the sweetest person ever! You're right where you need to be in helping people! Thanks so much for the link to the Conch Shack!! Sounds like a great time!! Can't wait to check out their site!! I have given serious thought to canceling my obnoxiously expensive bouquet and going with an articficial one. One more thing to add to the list right? Thank you for telling me about your bouquet. I think I'm gonna go on my own on that one. That money can certainly be spent elsewhere. It was great chatting with you!! Please reach out with any other questions you have and I'll do the same!! Thanks again!!
  10. Hey Kelly! Loved your response. I honestly can't get over at how much my bouquet is compared to yours. Makes me crazy! I'm still considering an artificial bouquet and just taking it with me on the plane. $450 is a lot of money for just a 20 minute ceremony. My best girlfriend got married in Punta Cana!! I was living in California at the time and wasn't able to go but she had an absolutely wonderful experience. Her pictures were insane!! Just a totally gorgeous place!!! Surgeons you work with? What line of work are you in? I'm a speech therapist and work in a school with the little guys (Pre-k-5th grade). I really wanted, but just couldn't, do the hospitals. I was born with a pregnancy nose and I literally almost passed out my first observation at a hospital in grad school. So embarassing. My girlfriend is about to complete her first year of nursing school. She's literally put her heart and soul into the program. Ok tell me about this Rum Bar!!!
  11. Hi Kelly! Where is your wedidng? Yeah, the flowers are a huge expense. When I saw the ideas with the fans I jumped on it! I have seen a lot of gorgeous bouquets on pinterest that are articifical. They don't look artificial at all. That was going to be the way I went if I didn't do a real bouquet. Because we have saved with other things for the wedding, we've also been able to have a calypso band for an hour. Just to give you an idea, here's how it will go as far as music at our reception: one hour steel band during dinner ($600). Dinner APPARENTLY runs two hours (I can't imagine that but we'll see). So after the steel band is finished, we are planning on doing an hour (or so) of music on our playlist. That way, we can do our cake cutting, first dances, etc to our own music. During the third hour of our reception we are having a calypso band play for an hour ($600). After that we will have one hour left of our own playlist music. Our reception is a total of four hours. So we will have two bands and we still won't be paying as much as we would have for a DJ ($1400). It's worked out really well. We figured it's an island wedding so why not take advantage of the island music. We saved by not having them play for longer than an hour. It will give us a taste of that music for an hour and then we can have our own music from our playlist. All we had to do was order speakers in order to have our playlist. Done and done. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask!! ~Brandy
  12. We are having 29 guests so it's 31 including my fiance and I. We are fortunate enough to have 10 plus rooms booked which gives us numerous incentives while at the resort. My colors are similar to yours! Teal and white!! We ordered the parasols from the Beaches website. We only ordered a dozen (white) because we aren't sure how many people will actually use them. Once we get to the resort and we can gage the weather, we may order more. If it's supposed to be overcast the day of our wedding we'll probably just stick with the dozen. If it's supposed to be brutally sunny, we will order more. I think it gives the wedding a nice touch. They were $20 a piece. We could probably get them cheaper online but the hassle of shipping them and making sure they arrived and/or taking them on the plane, it was worth it for us just to pay the money. The silk ribbon bouquets are beautiful. There is another bride I saw on this site who had her bouquet made out of clay. It was gorgeous. She had it shipped to the resort and luckily all went well with the condition of it when it was delivered. I considered making my bouquet but with the amount of things we're already bringing, we felt it was better to pay the money. I'd be worried about keeping the bouquet in good condition. I did not want a wedding party! My fiance did however, so I lost that battle. It's a true pain in the butt in my opinion. I have two bridesmaids and he has four groomsmen. Trying to get a dress that works with my girls' body types was no easy task. Then trying to match the colors of the girls' dresses with the boys shirts..not fun. One of the groomsmen is on the heavy side (which is an understatement) so he has to custom order a shirt that fits him. Just madness. I was worried about the cost for them too. We got the dresses from David's Bridal and they were about $125 I think. If you can go without a wedding party I highly recommend it!!! We decided to forego a DJ for our reception. My girlfriend who was just married there did this and she said it was the best decision they made. They created a playlist on their ipod and just ordered speakers. Because it's a smaller crowd (given it's a destination wedding) there really isn't a need for a DJ to emcee the reception. Depending upon where your reception will be, there isn't a lot of room (including dancing room) in the pavilion. So we are doing the same thing. The DJ is rather expensive so it felt good to save the $1400! We decided to have a steel pan player for the first hour of our reception (during dinner). Another idea we thought was neat for the islands. Just a thought I wanted to pass your way. :-)
  13. Oh, I forgot to mention...the flowers there are VERY expensive. Reason for that is because they have to have all of their flowers shipped. No flowers on site. My bouquet is $400 and I tried in every way to get it cheaper. My bridesmaids bouquets were $180 a piece! I was having a really hard time spending that amount of money for flowers that the girls are only going to carry for 15 minutes! My friend who was just married at Turks had her girls carry white fans. It was the neatest thing and totally beachy and islandy (if that's even a word). So I canceled the girls' bouquets and went with the fans! The fans are $5 a piece!!! You can order them yourself or on the Beaches site (we ordered them through Beaches). So $10 for both girls as opposed to $360! And it totally completes the beach theme and perfect for an island wedding! Just an idea I wanted to throw at you.
  14. Hi! I am having my hair done by the resort's spa. I've heard mixed reviews. What I'm going to do is get my hair done exactly the way I want it by the girl that does my hair here at home. I'm even going to have her put the head piece in my hair that I'll have for my actual wedding day. I'm going to take all kinds of pictures of it and give it to the person who's going to do my hair at the spa in Turks. That way, they have something to go by. I have a trial hair AND make-up appointment. So if I don't like it then I will have one of my cousins do it for me. The trial appointments are very important and I think showing them a picture of what I want will really help. We considered the sunset ceremony also. However, it was like $500 extra dollars and we really didn't want to spend that. We are actually being married at 3:00pm (the 4:00 wasn't available) on the beach. We're thinking it may be sunny for our guests at that time so we ordered parasols for them to hold. The ceremony is like under 20 minutes so we didn't want to pay that amount of money just to have it an hour or two later for a very quick ceremony. Plus, we liked the idea of everyone having parasols at the ceremony. Completes the beach theme if you know what I mean. I agree with you about people kinda leaving the beach around that time. My girlfriend who was married there in November said that there were people around while they were getting married. She said it didn't bother her too much and that they were respecful for the most part in that they gave them their privacy. Our wedding coordinator, Roxi, said that our wedding team at the resort puts a sign "Wedding in Progress" so that guests of the resort will shy away. My friend said she didn't have that. Upon arriving at the resort you'll get to meet with your wedding team and pick out your location for your ceremony (and reception). At that time, I'm going to talk with them about the privacy of the ceremony. I think it will be fine. My friend had speakers at her ceremony and she said she could hear the music just fine. So there's nothing loud that gets in the way of your "moment." Bring on the next question! I love answering them!! What are your colors? ~Brandy
  15. Hi! Congratulations! How exciting! We went round and round with the photography too. It's quite a decision and a real bummer that we must make such a tough call as a result of less-than-perfect photography at the resort. Yes, we were allowed to add extra people to rooms that were already booked. We had a single guy friend who booked one room and we added two additional people (photographer and videographer). So the total came to three per room which really cut the cost for us (more people to a room the cheaper it becomes). Good question about someone staying for a week versus three nights... Luckily, ours worked out for the three nights because our friend is staying for just that time. However, we've been adding people and making all sorts of changes to rooms so I'm somewhat familiar with this. What I THINK would happen is, if you added a person(s) to a room for three nights and the other person(s) is staying a week, then the cost would be cheaper for those three nights (for everyone) and after the guest(s) departed (from the 3 nights), the person(s) staying the rest of the week would pay the remaining balance for their stay. Does that make sense? I do believe it is possible for people to check out of rooms when others are continuing their stay. I'm almost positive. To be sure, contact your person who booked your rooms. They would have that answer for sure. My girl is Antoinette Brown (goes by Tonian) and she is great. Here is her contact info if you want to give her a call: 1-800-327-1991 ext: 4664. Her email address is: AnBrown@uvltd.com I decided that I'm paying for the photography myself. It's an investment and super important to me to have no less than amazing pictures. I am using my tax refund and I'm saving money from each paycheck to have enough when the time comes. I've also forfeitted mani's/pedis, in a way of saving money, which hasn't been easy but that's how important my wedding photos are to me. You're right..you have some time to save which is great. I had to jump on the ball rather quickly (we planned in eight months!). But let me say..the photo book that my girlfriend has really isn't bad. The place itself is beautiful and any photographer captures that beauty. If you decide that having outside photography just isn't in the budget, I would make a list of the exact pictures you want (good for any photographer to have) and give it to him/her. I believe you will have a meeting with them upon arrival at the resort (before your wedding). At least then you would be familiar with them and let them know what is important to you on that day. My friends photos were very nice. She didn't love them but they sufficed if you know what I mean. I'm happy to answer any other questions you have! ~Brandy
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