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THinking of changing location and resorts?

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#1 jenniferroberson

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  • 4 posts

    Posted 08 July 2008 - 10:13 PM

    I am considering cancelling with sandals dunns river and going with another resort for my wedding. I have researched several other places and have found that you get more for your money at several locations without paying all of the outrageous extras. I feel that it is nuts to be spending 4,000 to stay in addition to my other guests fees which total 10,000 and then have to pay for my reception and dinner for them as well. The photos, the flowers, decor, etc... I get the feeling that this is a little overboard. Please reply if you can help me.

    #2 Kelly C

    Kelly C
    • Sr. Member
    • 2,051 posts

      Posted 08 July 2008 - 10:34 PM

      You should pick a place that makes you happy! Your thoughts are why I picked an AI.
      Kerrington Danielle was born 6/23/09 12:31 pm 7lbs 14oz.


      #3 Jamminworld

      • Newbie
      • 136 posts

        Posted 09 July 2008 - 09:32 AM

        Jennifer- How much time do you have before your wedding? Unfortunately for myself I did not do enough research ahead of time on Sandals/Beaches wedding policies. I think there locations are very nice but I think they are crazy for not allowing brides the option to choose outside vendors. I mean I understand not bringing in outside food but not being able to have your own photographer or florist really sucks. I also find it irritating the price they are charging for food that my guests and I have already purchased when we booked the AI. I understand that some other AI actually include a reception. I have not had my wedding yet but I can honestly say for the headache they have already caused me I would NEVER recommend Sandals/ Beaches to anyone having a wedding. Hopefully others have had a better time than I have but my wedding consultant is Aweful and you can tell this is not something she enjoys doing. I know in the end everything will turn out fine but I wanted to do a small destination wedding to minimize the stres not increase it. Good luck in your decision making.

        #4 hollisandsteph

        • Jr. Member
        • 419 posts

          Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:06 PM

          I was married in May at SGOR. I had a wonderful experiance but then again I have never been anywhere else. I did not do a lot of research and doubted my choice a few months out. My brother had gone there for his honeymoon and that is why I we went to SGOR. I wanted to go somewhere someone I had known had been and somewhere I had reconized the name. I was a little worried about what I would end up with. I also knew I wanted and all adult, all inclusive resort. Sandals fit the bill. I do agree the outside vendor policy sucks! For this reason I did not order any extras but I had a very very small wedding. I think the prices would be out of this world if I had had a large wedding. Once you are there, the wedding coordinator (atleast mine) was awsome. I worried about NOTHING. I know some people do take there receptions offsite. Have you thought about this? I know iriebride08 did this and wrote a review about her whole experiance. Maybe search that.

          #5 WifeToBe

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          • 59 posts

            Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:22 PM

            Well I actually did lots of reserach and knew exactly what to expect when I booked the Grande in St. Lucia. It is only my fiancee and I going though. But I have already bought myself a real touch bouquet and am going off site to take pictures. I do think not being able to bring in my own photographer stinks but I do understand it also. I know it's expensive and I will probably only get a few pics from them and just have my off site pics, but I mean when you really think about it...it's a business. Kinda like when you go to see some type of show in Vegas or something. You can't have cameras or camcorders but when you walk out you can buy some pics or video that's way over priced. I see this the same way. I know Sandals is not hurting by any means, but it is a business. I can see why they don't want every local vendor under the sun coming to their resort and doing something they offer. Of course, that's just my opinion. I don't like it but do understand it. :)

            The things I really want like pics...hired my own photographer to go take fun ones. I did want a certain bouquet...so I bought my own. Decorations...bring whatever you want I do believe you can have anything they just only set it up if you're using them.

            #6 OMC

            • Newbie
            • 23 posts

              Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:28 PM

              I went through this same issue myself. I originally booked at Sandals Dunns River but changed to Whitehouse. Now that I have a new job, I was looking for ways to save money when I found the Riu. The Riu is a lot less expensive and I do see a lot of brides on the forum that get married there. However, my dream has always been to be married at Sandals and a friend of mine asked me if I would still have that urge to go to Sandals if I go somewhere else and the answer is yes for me. So to save myself the heartache later and some money now, I switched back to Dunns River. I'm going on August
              5th and I'm hoping for the best. Good luck with your decision.

              #7 IrieBride08

              • Member
              • 716 posts

                Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:45 PM

                I have to say that I completely feel your pain with the exorbitant fees and overcharging that Sandals does. However, I must admit that I LOVED my wedding and do feel that the resort went above and beyond to accomodate me and my guests. (We had 40 guests). I'll admit that I would do it all over again if I had the choice.

                I decided to take my reception offsite in order to save $$ from a Sandals reception and that worked out perfectly. Also, I felt it was a draw since SGOR gave me a free welcome cocktail reception as well as rehearsal dinner and both of those events went perfectly--food, service, etc. I brought my own flowers and everything that I felt was outrageously expensive, I was able to find a way around it.

                My advice would be to completely ignore your "wedding coordinator", she's really nothing but a sales person who wants to sell you every extra detail she can. I would wait to solidify some details once you get to the resort because it will be less expensive. Hold your ground girlie! Good luck finding the resort of your dreams.

                #8 jenniferroberson

                • Newbie
                • 4 posts

                  Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:46 PM

                  I want to thank everyone for their sweet replies and thoughts. I am yet to make any certain decision, but I think I have narrowed it down between Sandals Dunn's River and Sandals Grande Ocho Rios.
                  Dunn's River is of course beautiful but for $3,710 it should be.
                  Grande Ocho could save me around $1,000 but I am unsure of the room. Does anyone have any suggestions about the rooms at Grande Ocho? Is it worth it to switch? I have read many reviews on trip advisor about both places and feel more confused than ever. I want everything to be beautiful, but I want a nice clean roo, as well, for all of my othr guests(8 guests, 4 rooms). Let me know what you guys think.
                  Again, thanks to all of you for your support.

                  #9 Lindzg1984

                  • Banned
                  • 11 posts

                    Posted 13 July 2008 - 09:11 PM

                    I would suggest the first level Butler Suite. I just got back from Sandals Whitehouse for my wedding. My husband and I decided to go with the butler suite, and it was wonderful. They organized everything for me and kept track of my guests. We had 26 people, without them we would have nto been able to eat in a large group. Also, since we had so many people they kept track of their room numbers and helped me get in touch with them when they had to move my rehersal dinner due to rain. Another plus to the Butler suite was they dealt with the wedding coordinator. I will post my wedding review below:

                    1. Wedding Coordinator- The first one I had was Jodi-Ann she was awful to say the least. Talking with other brides on the resort, they had the same experience with her. She met with us, but if it had not been that I wanted to add the flower package and noticing my menus were all changed I would hav ebeen completely suprised! For our rehersal dinner, she gave us a menu to choose from that was out of season. When she realized her error, she took it upon herself to switch everything. Then, with our paid one hour cocktail recpetion she didn't even let us choose a menu. Once we caught all her errors Rochelle took care of everything for us. She was more than accomodating.

                    2. Flowers-My husband and I took pictures to Michael's and had one of the designers there do all of our flowers. We got my bouquet, 6 brides maid bouqets, and 7 boutinaires for $220. The ony thing we decided to upgrade on the resort was the flowers on the gazebo, which if I could do it all over again I wouldn't have wasted $300. Sandals must pick the flowers in the AM, because my flowers were wilted by the time I walked down the aisle at 4pm.

                    3. Photographers- I was very unhappy with the photographers at the resort. Very unhappy is an understatement. My husband and I had an awful time picking out our free picture. However; we took our photographers with us. I highly recommend that you check out their website Ambience Photography :: See Beauty in Everything.. I worked very closely with Tammy and Tamar and we very happy with everything so far. However; I have not seen my pictures from the wedding, I will post when I get them. Don't let sandals steer you away from taking your own photographer, they are still guests of the resort! As long as the photographer is a paying guest you should not have a problem.

                    After all the ins and outs I have learned from the sandals wedding planning, I have decided to go into business of destination wedding coordinating. There is so much sandals does not tell you. PM me if you have any more questions.

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