Originally Posted by msop04
Hello everyone!! My fiance and I are planning to get married at SMB on 2/22/2013, but are a little concerned about the planning aspect of it all... Hopefully, some of you can give us some answers and much appreciated advice!! Here goes...
1. We would like for all guests (less than 20, more like 15) to stay at another resort. The reason for this is that SMB is quite pricey and we would like to give our guests other options, and also, it's gonna be our honeymoon so we kinda want to be alone.
If guests stay at another Secrets resort (Silversands, Capri, The Vine), is there still a charge to get on the property for the welcome bonfire and wedding activities?? (assuming the bonfire and wedding/reception will be a couple of days apart...)?? I really hope this is an option, so that our guest won't have to pay $100/day to get on the site for each activity. That would really be a bummer.
2. We have chosen the Ultimate Package. I know this includes all white. We like the idea of small pops of color and LOTS of lighting (reception is after sunset). Can certain portions of the package be exchanged for credit to use on decor/lighting?? (ex. no photography or video in exchange for flowers, cake, or lighting credit) Since photography is one of the main expenses, we don't wanna "pay twice."
3. Photography is extremely important to us, since our guest are just close family and very few close friends. We will be having a reception when we get back home for all others, so we want to have these photos to show them, as if they were there with us. We want to hire an off-sight photographer, as to avoid the "typical" photos that the resort guys usually do... We want other photos of us (not ceremony), such as in the abandoned building next to the resort, beach photos, and others. My concern is that our ceremony is mid afternoon and reception is after sunset (only allowing about 1 hour in between for photos. Would it be weird to get photos made before we get married, so we can catch some of the good light and sunset in them?? Any advice ladies??
4. Ahhhh yes... the MUSIC!
Welcome Bonfire - we wanted to use the Mexican Trio that is included in the Ultimate package for the cocktail hour/welcome bonfire, so this leaves the ceremony and reception to consider.
Ceremony - I would love to have a violinist play at the ceremony, but SMB's price for that is too expensive. Anyone used an off sight violinist or string quartet?? Cost? The other option is to use our own music... which leads to the next question...
Reception - the options are to either bring our own music and rent their sound system (which is WAAAY overpriced, IMHO) or bring our music and a portable sound system. Which is worth it?? I am open to any and all experiences with either - love it? hate it? any regrets??
5. We will most likely be using Expedia to book our trip - will wedding package payment be expected before we arrive, or mostly after we've arrived and chosen what we want? I've read that there are more options than that are listed on the site... I'm really just a control freak and a little stressed about choosing so many things without seeing them... Does the planner (Cecelia) send photos of other options or at least options listed upon request? (ex. lanterns vs. lighting balls *or* chair covers vs. different colored sashes, etc)
Sorry for the long post ladies, but I am starting to get stressed just thinking about planning!! Any answers or advice is GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
Dear future bride, welcome to SMB brides!
I can answer only partially to your questions;
2. If you but Ultimate package you can have some credit if you don't use any service, this expecially if you upgrade the service. For example if you want a bigger photo packet you can pay the upgrating or if you want more flowers, in my case, I have added flowers to the canopy but I didn't want corsages and extra boutonniere so I received credit for the flowers not used and I have spent to canopy flowers.
If you don't want at all one service, for example video, you will receive partially the credit.
3. My reception was at 5.00 and when my guest were at the cocktail hour we have taken pictures in the abandoned mansion. For pictures on the beach during the day you can fix one other session some days after. The photographer in the resort (Adventure phjotos) gives one session of 45 minutes for free and you can purchase ony the pictures that you like.
Remember, you must pay 20$ tip to go in the old mansion
4. Mexican trio. At the beginning I have booked them for cocktail hour but at the end I have change and I have booked them for the dinner. This is because you will not be with your guests during the cocktail (you will be with the photographer) and we didn't want miss them.
5. I have booked my owne the rooms and I have used otel.com with the 10% of discount thet you can have booking by facebook. This is the best rate I have found.
Cecilia can send you more option if you ask something special but I suggest you to fix as soos as possible before arriving to the resort, they need time to arrange everythings. Flowers and menu should be choosen at least one week before.