Ok brides! I'm back from our Jamaican honeymoon and back to work so I can start posting again and answering questions.
First off, I want to say - the Royal is amazing! We went there, sightunseen, based only on recommendations from my travel agent, and the place is just amazing. Every single guest had the best time and everyone is already talking about a return trip. The service, food, drinks, and property is just top of the line. Do not stress about people loving the property one bit. On the day most of my guests checked in, they had a private room set up for them with all of their check in stuff (most everyone did the online checkin) and everyone except for 2 people had their rooms immediately ready, even before the scheduled "check in" time. We had a swimup suite with a great view of the beach, right near Pelicanos, which was really the best of everything, I cannot suggest that room type enough!
I met with Lili (my onsite WC) our 2nd day there. I brought an entire suitcase full of stuff. I would pull stuff out, and she would make notes about it. We also went through the entire wedding package information to make sure everything she had written down was correct. She also loved that I had little Powerpoint slides with diagrams showing how I wanted the tables set up - so keep that in mind.
The day of the wedding started out gorgeous. Then around 2pm (my wedding was at 4) the clouds began to show up and it looked like it was going to storm. Lili called me and suggested we move everything inside. At that point, I just wanted a decision either way, so I said ok (I had been stressing about the weather all week). My photographer (Juan Navarro) thought we'd be able to at least get away with doing the ceremony outside, and said I should try to convince her otherwise. I tried not stressing about it, but my husband was in the next room calling her and talking to her. Around 3:15, she called and said we could probably do the ceremony outside. Right at that time, there was another bride getting married on the beach and it started torrential downpouring on her! Ugh, I felt awful. The weather was gorgeous for our ceremony and some pictures on the beach, so I cannot complain.
Also, having the reception in the ballroom ended up being perfect. I never would've thought I'd like it, but now I would definitely suggest it to people who are iffy about doing something on the beach. They really made the ballroom into our own little club! The wait staff was amazing, DJ Doremixx's staff was awesome, and they really do cater to your every want and need. One of the waitstaff, Javier, kept bringing these liter bottles with a spout on the end out - they were shots! He'd stand on a chair and shoot shots into everyone's mouth. Everyone loved it! The food was fabulous, as was the Tres Leches cake. YUM!
We did TTD the next morning, and went up the beach a bit past the Gran Porto for it. There is a pier and boats, and it really made for awesome shots. Make sure you eat a hearty breakfast because TTD is tiring! LOL
My only complaint about the entire process was that when Lili suggested we move everything inside, I said "how do I let my guests know?" And she said "I don't know, you have to handle that." I REALLY didn't like that. We had 50 guests! How was I going to contact all of them?! She said "maybe the Romance Concierge will help you..." My feeling was that she should handle having someone contact the guests. We made it work (TWICE, since we then moved the ceremony back outside and had to let everyone know), but that was my only gripe.
Here is the Shuttefly photoshare we are doing (people just started posting pictures):