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Sandos Playacar Brides!


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#351 Bride-chill-a

Bride-chill-a
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    Posted 19 January 2010 - 10:10 PM

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by motbride
    I am a mother of the bride and we are looking at Sandos Playacar for a Dec 2010 wedding. This thread has great information... thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post to it!

    Has anyone booked directly through Sandos rather than going through a travel agent? We will probably have a group of 20 minimum and 40 maximum, and they will be coming from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Colorado, with varying dates for arrival and departure.

    My daughter met initially with one travel agent and she said she charges a fee of $150 up front plus $30 per guest. Is this typical?

    Other than saving money, I can't see any reason to book through a travel agent. If it is going to cost more, I'd just as soon do any of the coordination myself. I'm looking for pros and con, etc.

    Have most of you have already done this used a travel agent or made arrangements yourself?

    Thanks!

    Cara
    Hello,

    Yes, this forum is extremely helpful! I love it!

    My bridesmaid and her husband booked straight thru the hotel and booked flights seperate as they were coming from a different city than us, and they said it was cheaper for them that way.

    The majority of my party and guests all booked through a group deal my TA had arranged as we saved $150 off the top/person and there were some perks for myself and Fiancee doing it that way. BUT let me tell you what a pain in the butt it was arranging travel for 20 people! I'm not so sure it was worth it in the end. Our TA didn't charge us any commission or anything as she is family and coming to the wedding, so we were lucky there. But I've actually never heard of a TA charging those prices you were qouted which could be because they don't usually tell you that.

    Good luck, let us know how you make out!

    Jennifer

    #352 motbride

    motbride
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      Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:05 AM

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Bride-chill-a
      Hello,

      Yes, this forum is extremely helpful! I love it!

      My bridesmaid and her husband booked straight thru the hotel and booked flights seperate as they were coming from a different city than us, and they said it was cheaper for them that way.

      The majority of my party and guests all booked through a group deal my TA had arranged as we saved $150 off the top/person and there were some perks for myself and Fiancee doing it that way. BUT let me tell you what a pain in the butt it was arranging travel for 20 people! I'm not so sure it was worth it in the end. Our TA didn't charge us any commission or anything as she is family and coming to the wedding, so we were lucky there. But I've actually never heard of a TA charging those prices you were qouted which could be because they don't usually tell you that.

      Good luck, let us know how you make out!

      Jennifer
      Thanks Jennifer,

      I had never heard of a travel agent charging a fee up front like that but I've never really used a TA myself, nor been involved on the front end of group travel. I thought perhaps it was more like a deposit and it would apply to the trip at the end, but that isn't the case. It is a fee. I think I will drop by a local TA here just to see what they do. I'm guessing as it gets easier and easier for people to plan their own travel and score their own deals via the Internet... the TA has to make some $$ somewhere for all of their coordination work. I'm sure they put in many hours coordinating a group trip like that.

      It just seems it would be easiest for all guests to do their own booking of flights and rooms for the resort, and other than getting a head count for reserving blocks of rooms... (and I saw the contact person listed earlier in this thread!)... each man is responsible for getting themselves there. People all have different favorite airlines and frequent mile clubs, etc. Heck, we just attended a family wedding in CO, and guests from our family alone came from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Mexico, and we all managed to get ourselves there and book our own rooms.

      I just don't see why it is much different, UNLESS a travel agent can save a bundle, but I prefer the flexibility and simplicity of everyone being able to handle it themselves. We do have some guests who are not seasoned travelers and might be uncomfortable booking their own travel, but they could always go to their own travel agent to help them book. Most of us attending are seasoned travelers and Internet users.

      And then there are the passports for those who don't have them.

      Even when it comes to the rooms, I'm not sure everyone needs to be near one another. I can see some guests wanting to be closer to the beach and action, and others in the back areas with more privacy. Again, there is so much GREAT info and tips in this thread. It took me an entire day to read through it all, but it was well worth it. I will probably reread it all again as we continue to plan. I feel like I really have a heads up on lots of things.

      The travel agent told my daughter she would be very sorry if she tried to coordinate this on her own. Of course, that makes one a little nervous! Although my daughter is busy with grad school and a job and really doesn't have the extra time... I don't work and have all the time in the world. We will probably set up a website with all the travel info, passport info, and travel tips for our guests. I just can't see where we could go too far wrong letting everyone be responsible for their own travel plans. I hope!

      Cara

      #353 kansas city bride

      kansas city bride
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        Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:04 PM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Bride-chill-a
        Also, here is information on Spa packages and prices



        Jennifer
        Bride-chill-a,
        Could you email me the spa package brochure you posted. I cant open it from here and I cant find the spa prices anywhere. My email is forbees20@msn.com. Thanks so much!

        #354 Bride-chill-a

        Bride-chill-a
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        • 121 posts

          Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:01 PM

          Hi Cara,

          I think you would be fine making the arrangements on your own. The only thing my TA said as far as the advantages of going thru a TA vs online, is if you book something and need to change the dates, times, etc of travel then it gets a little trickier. In the case of a wedding where the date and time are pretty set I think you'd be ok. I know it will be easier for everyone to make their own arrangments especially since they are all coming from different parts of the country.

          That's great that you have the time to help your daughter out and do the research. It's really like a full time job, especially in the beginning when trying to pick a resort!

          Talk soon!

          Jennifer

          #355 Bride-chill-a

          Bride-chill-a
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            Posted 22 January 2010 - 04:33 PM

            Hey Everyone,

            I just recieved pictures today, from Paola, of the Italian Buffett (the semi-private area). It looks really nice! If you want to see the photo's, let me know and I will email them to you as they are too big to post on here.

            Jennifer

            #356 jrprice24

            jrprice24
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              Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:46 PM

              Thank you!
              Well the toast is immediately after the wedding. The wedding hut is located at the back of the aisle that you walk down. We did the wedding, then the toast, then we went off to do pictures and everyone else went to the bar and started celebrating while waiting for us, then we all went to dinner at 6:30. I'm not sure if you can go back to the wedding hut after dinner b/c it will be dark by that time, that would be a question for Paola. I think you would do your first dance at the disco.
              We actually just hung out at the bar all evening. I figured everyone would be raring to go but we were actually all really tired and most of us were in bed by 11, lame I know! A few people changed clothes and then everyone hung out and played card games all evening. Nothing fancy but we had such a small group that it worked really well and we have the AHR to get wild and crazy. I was very worried about what we were going to do after the wedding and after dinner but it all worked out.
              Good Luck! Let me know if you have more questions.
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Bride-chill-a
              Mrs. Rohwedder,

              Congratulations! I'm so happy everything worked out so well! You've gotten me excited for my wedding! It's a relief to hear that everything went great!

              What did you do/where did you go for your reception? We are trying to establish what to do afterwards. So far we are aiming for dinner then going to the wedding hut to do our toasts and first dances, then head off to the disco after that. Any input you have on that would be great!

              I am now Mrs. Rohwedder!!

              #357 Bride-chill-a

              Bride-chill-a
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                Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:10 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by jrprice24
                Thank you!
                Well the toast is immediately after the wedding. The wedding hut is located at the back of the aisle that you walk down. We did the wedding, then the toast, then we went off to do pictures and everyone else went to the bar and started celebrating while waiting for us, then we all went to dinner at 6:30. I'm not sure if you can go back to the wedding hut after dinner b/c it will be dark by that time, that would be a question for Paola. I think you would do your first dance at the disco.
                We actually just hung out at the bar all evening. I figured everyone would be raring to go but we were actually all really tired and most of us were in bed by 11, lame I know! A few people changed clothes and then everyone hung out and played card games all evening. Nothing fancy but we had such a small group that it worked really well and we have the AHR to get wild and crazy. I was very worried about what we were going to do after the wedding and after dinner but it all worked out.
                Good Luck! Let me know if you have more questions.
                .

                Thank you for the info, that helps!

                I think this is what we are going to do:

                Photographer arrives at 2:30 pm to take pictures of Mike and groomsmen
                Bridal party (girls) to be ready at 3pm
                Pictures of bridal party (girls) from 3:15-4
                Ceremony 4pm
                Toast/First Dances 4:30pm
                Group photos 4:45pm
                Jen and Mike photo’s with and without families 5 – 6:30pm
                Dinner 6:30pm – 8pm
                Speeches and Cake cutting 8 – 8:30pm
                Dancing 11pm (either at the disco or on 5th ave in Playa – TBC)

                Due to what you said about it being dark, i think we will do the dances right after the toast, either on the beach or at the hut. Whatever Paola says will work. It's been tough to plan out the evening when I don't really know what the heck I'm doing and can't see anything either! I was relieved to see that the Italian Buffett was so nice, so I don't need to add alot of decorations. I'm going to bring my own candle holders and use our bouquets in vases as centerpieces and that's about it! I feel like it's all coming together now!

                Thanks again for your input!

                #358 kansas city bride

                kansas city bride
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                • 9 posts

                  Posted 25 January 2010 - 03:39 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Bride-chill-a
                  Hey Everyone,

                  I just recieved pictures today, from Paola, of the Italian Buffett (the semi-private area). It looks really nice! If you want to see the photo's, let me know and I will email them to you as they are too big to post on here.

                  Jennifer
                  Hey Jennifer,
                  Could you send me the pics of the Italian Buffett. Thats where we will probalby be having our dinner at as well. forbees20@msn.com Thanks a million!!

                  #359 Pinz

                  Pinz
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                  • 38 posts

                    Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:44 AM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by kansas city bride
                    Hey Jennifer,
                    Could you send me the pics of the Italian Buffett. Thats where we will probalby be having our dinner at as well. forbees20@msn.com Thanks a million!!
                    Hi Jennifer,
                    I would also really appreciate the pictures of the Italian Buffet. I forgot to take pics when I was there scoping out the place this year and my parents want to see as much as they can!

                    ldandeneau@hotmail.com

                    Thanks!
                    Lindsay

                    #360 jilligirl

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                      Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:45 PM

                      We just got back from Sandos where we were married!! It was beautiful, Paola is so good. Just after our wedding they closed the beach, they are removing the sand whales and putting a big pipe in under the sand so the beach will be even nicer! I will post a couple pictures from our wedding in a few days.

                      Two things, I have left lime green chair ribbons that I brought for my wedding with Paola for future brides to use. Also if you are having your dinner at a buffet definitely go with the Italian. As for the room upgrades, originally they had just upgraded us to a hacienda suite which wasn't as nice as our Junior Riviera. I asked Paola if they had any rooms that had a separate living area and they upgraded us to a master suite for the full two weeks! It was really nice, but there are not many so if the resort is full you are SOL. The resort is big and there are lots and lots of things for your guests to do. I honestly liked staying in the Riviera section because at night it was nice and quiet.




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