Chase, I initially wanted to do the Pandero for cocktail hour also because of the paper lanterns, but since there are no wooden slats on top anymore, the lanterns can't be hung from there. They have to hang them from the poles around the outside of the terrace. They were unable to hang the lanterns on the Cove Terrace because there was nothing to hang them from. I think Jess (jszy10) might have a picture of Pandero set up for her cocktail hour?? Or am I thinking of someone else Jess?
Try not to stress so much about the destination wedding...I know that's easier said than done though!! Everyone will still have so much fun! We went with the trio band instead of mariachi because it was cheaper. I think the mariachi band has more instruments in it maybe...and the trio band is only 3 people, but it was plenty.
I heard from my wedding coordinator maybe 2 months out or so...but communication was not always that great. The closer we got to our date, the better she was at responding. Honestly, you realize how busy they are when you get there and it's easy to understand why they don't respond right away. They are so busy with weddings all the time...sometimes several in the same day. Our wedding coordinator got everything perfect and we met with her 2 days before the wedding! So don't fret because they are soooo GOOD at pulling things together last minute.
Like Jess already said, if you have a musician playing, then you don't have to pick any songs for the ceremony, because they will play appropriate music. We did not have a musician play, so I brought an instrumental wedding CD that I bought at Joann Fabric...I just picked like 4 songs from there and they filled in the rest for me. It all worked out fine and sounded great! You don't HAVE to pick music for the ceremony...they offer 'romantic' music to be played if you don't bring your own music. But if you have your heart set on something in particular, you would need to bring that yourself.
We did purchase the Amber package because it just seemed easier to me, because I wanted alot of things included in the package. Alot of others just do complimentary packages and then add-on what they want. That seems to work out well for alot of people! I would suggest the horse-and-carriage...it was so awesome and beautiful. I felt like Cinderella!!!
Any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask:)