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!!!
To answer #5 on your list: You will pay for your trip through Expedia. You will talk to Cecilia before you leave for Mexico and set a time to meet with her (probably the day after you arrive). She will go over your contract, show you the wedding locations, meet with the DJ company if you are using them, and then you will pay for the wedding cost. You will want to have most of it chosen before you arrive. When you meet with Cecilia, you can make changes if you want. We changed a couple of things such as extending the reception for an hour and changed the location of the cocktail hour.
Cecilia will send you photos of whatever you want, but this thread is a great source to see real photos of the lanterns, etc as well. You will have to request them from her and be patient. She will not rush to send them out to you immediately. The way that I did the planning was just started going down the contract when Cecilia sent it to me and filled it out then scanned it and sent it back. I just did that over and over til it was all planned. I added whatever extras I wanted throughout the process.
If you have most of the planning done, you will only have to spend an hour with Cecilia and the rest of the day can be spent at the spa or the beach. Whatever you choose for sashes or lighting will look beautiful. They really do a great job, no matter how simple or how extravagant you decide to go. Good luck and congrats!