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St Thomas reception confusion!


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#1 S2BLennon

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    Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:05 AM

    Hi Ladies! Just when I was so excited about finding a location that we loved at the Frenchman's Mariott and are ready to sign contracts and set the wedding date, I am having second thoughts about the plans. I am at sorts with myself and need to see what you ladies have to say if anything!

    So We visited the Mariott and LOVE it and also met with Angela and LOVE her. WE were planning on having the ceremony at Megan's bay with a champagne toast and then heading to the Mariott for a short reception with our guests for some dinner. Perfect, the sun would set as we were having dinner on the terrace at the resort.

    I never really wanted to have a full fledged reception with a sit down dinner and have the formalities of a wedding, if that were the case we can have a reception at a hotel back home! The reason it seams like it is panning out that way with the Mariott is that the contract we got has a 5 hour function time and min cost per plate is $85 PRIOR to tax and drinks. UGH! We can't afford that, nor do we want to! After the cost of the function area, the min costs for food and the photo and ceremony with Angela I am thinking it will be $8000. That is NOT including travel and lodging!

    So, can we actually have a nice reception and keep cost down with a reception on the beach with Angela? I don't really know what to expect for food, decor and what guests would think / feel if the entire day was at the beach.

    I would still love to lodge at the Mariott I just don't think that the cost and the min's they make you guarantee are very fair.

    Havana Blue is great, but the food is just as expensive, the only thing that we would save on would be the fact that you don't have to "rent" / pay $1250 for the function area.

    They get you at every angle the second WEdding comes out of your mouth. I wanted this to be less planning with a destination wedding! Not the same as if we had it back home with less people!

    If anyone out there can give me thoughts on past experiences with any reception locations that are fun, low key but beautiful that would be great! Pics are welcome! We just want to have a nice ceremony and a place to offer our guests food and some dancing. Anything? Without getting too formal?

    Thanks and I am sorry for the rant!

    #2 PenMarie

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      Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:33 AM

      Hi, Kim.

      I'm with you and agree 100%. First of all, we're only going to have 12 people total (including us). AND, we're definitely on a limited budget, and want to do it as cost effectively as possible, keeping it very simple.

      For this reason, my first thought for us was for everyone to rent a villa together and actually get married right at the villa (if that's possible). And then have drinks and hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony right at the villa -- then maybe head out for dinner afterwards (?) Is all of this even possible?...who knows at this point.

      Personally, I think $85 a plate is outrageous, even though it's probably in keeping with most of the resorts. But, again, you could take them all OUT for dinner for less than that a plate.

      I'll look in my stuff I've saved from BDW so far to see if I can find the person on here who got married on a Wednesday (?) and then had their reception at a restaurant/bar type place where they just "happened" to be having their big entertainment night that same night. She said it was fabulous, but I don't recall who it was?...it could have been JessicaLovesBrian (who's on this thread), but my memory isn't too great. If I find the info I'll post back with it unless it IS Jessica and she responds here with the info.

      There's another thread under the "vendor" section or somehwere where someone asks how much you'd be willing to pay for what boiled down to one of those basic wedding packages the wedding consultants offer: one-tier cake, his/her flowers, officiant, help w/wedding license, photographer to include 50 digital pics on cd, and a few other very BASIC things. I've seen the wedding consultants charge anywhere from $500 to $1,500 tops for this basic package (and probably, more like $1,000), but yet the responses were coming back that they'd be willing to pay $5,000, $8,000, and i may have even seen a $10,000 response. I was like, HUH? -- talk about having disposable income..ha!...Thank goodness, a few people finally responded with reasonable amounts they were already paying for the same such package.

      So, what i'm getting at Kim, is I think we have to be realistic and NOT get so caught up in this "wedding game", and just stick to what you feel is comfortable and within your budget -- I think it can still be a very nice affair w/out getting totally ridiculous with $$$$. I think you have every right to baulk at that price and those minimums.

      #3 LadyP

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        Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:34 AM

        For this reason, my first thought for us was for everyone to rent a villa together and actually get married right at the villa (if that's possible). And then have drinks and hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony right at the villa -- then maybe head out for dinner afterwards (?) Is all of this even possible?...who knows at this point. Tell Angela your suggestions and she what she comes up with. she is a wc she should be able to help

        #4 PenMarie

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          Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:42 AM

          I may have to do that, LadyP...for now I'm trying to find a Travel Agent first -- not having much luck so far.

          Do you have Angela's contact info and website info?

          #5 PenMarie

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            Posted 14 March 2008 - 03:19 PM

            coquetayloca, yes, your wedding does sound almost identical to how we want to do ours. The biggest difference is we’d LOVE to be able have the actual ceremony at the villa – of course, we’re always open to other ideas as well. From some of the villas I’ve checked out on line, you may be able to find two villas you can rent that are adjacent to one another to accommodate all of your guests if you can’t find just one villa that’s large enough. I think “Sherri” who’s on some of the St. Thomas wedding threads here works with one of the management companies for the villas and also works for one of the wedding consultant firms. I’ve contacted her privately to see if she might be able to help me.

            Unfortunately, we can't visit beforehand...I'm hating the idea of leaving our pets behind for someone else to take care of -- we haven't been away more than 2 nights together since we've had them...usually one of us stays behind if we have to travel for anything. So I'm hoping we get this wedding thing right the first time. :-)

            #6 LadyP

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              Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:46 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by PenMarie
              I may have to do that, LadyP...for now I'm trying to find a Travel Agent first -- not having much luck so far.

              Do you have Angela's contact info and website info?
              Us TAJennifer that is who I am going to use when I get a date finalized

              #7 Jessica

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                Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:54 PM

                i had my reception at iggie's beach bar on a wednesday night (which was their carnival night, so entertainment was free!). it was a LOT of fun, but also really casual. i don't know if you're looking for something more formal.

                mafolie's is another really pretty reception option. nice little restaurant with an AMAZING view, especially pretty at night. i don't know what the cost would be pp though.

                #8 PenMarie

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                  Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:58 PM

                  okay, so I was right then, Jessica, you were the one who did this -- thanks for verifying. I was actually considering accommodations at Mafolie's if we're unable to go the villa route. Nice to know that you also like the location for dinner afterwards.

                  Thanks for the recommendations! :-)

                  #9 petunia

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                    Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:59 PM

                    Jessica,

                    I've been to Iggie's Wednesday night all-you-can-eat Caribbean buffet and entertainment, lots of fun. But how did you swing your reception? Did you have a separate menu, or just pay for everyone to take part in the buffet? Did Iggie's have a problem with it? How many guests were there. My fiance (by the way....what does "FI" stand for?) loves Iggie's and when I told him about your reception he thought it was a great idea. I'm also looking into Coral World, but have no idea of the prices. Catered Events & Weddings (Coral World Ocean Park, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands)

                    If you're considering catering at a villa I came across this site: Tropical Events Gropu - Off-Premise Catering Service I've been to Alex's restaurant, Bela Blu, and he's a really good chef. I don't know anything about his catering.

                    Gerie

                    #10 S2BLennon

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                      Posted 15 March 2008 - 12:25 AM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by JessicaLovesBrian
                      i had my reception at iggie's beach bar on a wednesday night (which was their carnival night, so entertainment was free!). it was a LOT of fun, but also really casual. i don't know if you're looking for something more formal.

                      mafolie's is another really pretty reception option. nice little restaurant with an AMAZING view, especially pretty at night. i don't know what the cost would be pp though.
                      MY FI read your post about the wedding there and loves that idea. The quesiton is will we be fortunate enough to be lucky that all the entertainment is going on the day we were planning on getting married?!

                      Did you tell them in advance that you were all going there and having the reception there? Or did you just all show up and party? Were you staying at that resort also / a guest at Iggies for the night?

                      I will check out Mafolie's, I was talking to my TA today and she suggested calling the travel and tourism beureua in NY for options.

                      Something will come up!




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