| Originally Posted by absonnek |
Sorry girls, this is gonna get lengthy!
I just returned last week from my wedding (the Dreams of Love mid priced package, 25 guests), and we were really disappointed in how much they "nickel and dimed" us too. The previous brides who got to bargain or exchange services were lucky. A summary of our "bumps in the road":
- We paid $150 for the sound system for the ceremony (which lasted 7 minutes by the way) and with the wind and ocean, our guests couldn't hear it any way.
- Anabel had us pay the day before the ceremony for our "extras" which included 2 kids meals (going rate per hotdog is $25 +tax and service). The kids wanted to go to Explorer's club after the ceremony so we told Anabel they wouldn't need their meals...no refund.
- They wouldn't allow my hair and make up to be used toward another service.
- We had our own photographer but the resort's took pics at our rehearsal since 30 were included in the package. They were terrible (did not use the flash and never got a pic of me and my groom).
- Also, when I had my meeting with her she had decided where our cocktails and our reception would be...no compromising (despite filling out all the paperwork and submitting it on time). Also, don't think you can get out of paying for 2 extra adults for cocktail hour by having it near a bar and saying you'll go get your own drinks. I tried that too.
- We did not use the 2 boutonnieres for the guys but had to pay full price for bridesmaid bouquets.
- As for the dress steaming...it came back looking worse than when I sent it. To the point I had tears in my eyes.
And don't forget the extra $33 for them to receive the package I sent to myself there via FedEx. For an end result of nearly an extra $600.
For the positives, my flowers were gorgeous. The canopy with white chairs (no bows or flowers!) was beautiful. I got ready in my room while staring at the ocean and watching the crew set up for my big moment. The reception meal was one of the best we had all week. Our real photographer did an amazing job. No one noticed my wrinkled mess of a dress in the wind. I got married to my best friend while surrounded by those who love me (and didn't care about the lack of flowers, bows, dance, etc).
My advice- keep it simple. And, if the costs related to the legal ceremony bother you, do your legal ceremony at home before you go or after you return. For us, it wasn't worth being legally married in Mexico for 2 days then waiting months on end for the marriage license to file in the US. We vowed ourselves to each other (which mattered to us) and signed the legal stuff when we got home.
Good luck! Whether you spend your life savings or go as cheap as possible, it will be beautiful.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to write a short review. Your advice about going a cheaper route is good I think, that's what I did and I still loved it!
In terms of your comment about the cocktail hour, you could have told them that you didn't want a cocktail hour, and then gone to hang out at the bar. It's not like they can stop you from taking advantage of the all-inclusive services. But you won't get any special service. I have often recommended this to brides as a way of saving money. Just tell all your guests to meet you at the bar of your choice (lobby, sugar reef, veranda...)
I've never heard brides say that they couldn't hear even with the sound system, most say it's totally worth paying the fee because the guests wouldn't be able to hear otherwise, that's really unfortunate that that happened to you.
The steaming issue is kinda shocking too, never heard that one before. I'm really sorry to hear you had to deal with that added stress on your wedding day. This might be another reason to request to have the dress steamed and returned to you the day before (not the morning of, I was actually sitting around waiting for my dress to arrive once I had my hair and makeup done) that way you can get them to do it again if it comes back crappy.
| Originally Posted by krista.baird |
Okay seriously!!! They actually charge you $150 to put up the canopy with white tulle over it if you are having the free package. That is what I'm being told by Aurora, and it states it in the wedding guide as well....I think that's crap because who has the wedding on the sand, with just chairs
You would think that the canopy would be included! So now I have to pay $150 for the canopy, plus $150 for the sound system, $175 for blood work, $50 for judge transportation, plus they have a special fee if you want to have your wedding dinner in a restaurant that isn't the world cafe buffet, so their "free" wedding, isn't really a "free" wedding, even though I have several guests staying in rooms for more than three nights so I could have this wedding. I'm really frustrated with Dreams and how I'm getting nickled and dimed for everything! Sorry thats my vent.....
The structure is always there, they don't charge you for that, they just charge 150$ to drape the poles with tulle because it does take them a while to do that (150$ is steep in my opinion, but I do understand them charging for it).
Although the costs are adding up (and definitely not free!) you're still much better off than what many other resorts would charge for the same thing. I remember considering a few resorts that were going to charge me 1000-2000$ just for the bare basics whereas DT it only came up to a few hundred.