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Jamaica wedding - ISSUES!

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Hello everyone,

 

I have been encountering problems with everything I am dealing with, so I figured I would put it out here and maybe you guys can help me out.

 

My fiance and I want to get married in Jamaica next February. We want to send an open invite to all of our guests that we will have at the reception back home after, but we don't expect anywhere near that many to show up. I think we'll have between 50-60 and my fiance thinks 80. We are having trouble finding a resort that will book us. I feel like having this destination wedding has been nothing but a headache from the start, but I am so not ready to have the traditional wedding (not at all what i want!). Can any of you offer suggestions? We wanted all-inclusive, and children friendly. Also a tropical looking place, not a condo/apt building look. And obviously we wanted something affordable for our guests, @1,000/pp.

 

Here are the problems I am encountering:

1. I am already on my 3rd travel agent (the 1st was with destinationweddings.com, and she just wasn't helpful at all, the 2nd was a mall travel agent, who kept telling us that we should get rid of the kids (we have 4 kids in our immediate family and in the wedding) b/c if we got rid of the kids it would open up our options and she wouldn't tell us any other options then Jamaica, now the 3rd seems great and all, but we keep submitting our information to resorts and then she comes back with problems, so i don't know if she is just not very good, or if the problems are valid!).

 

2. We have already changed our date once (we originally wanted Feb 17th, but since that was Valentine's day weekend, we moved it back to avoid the increase in price).

 

3. And we are on our 3rd resort! I am almost to the point where I am done with it all, but that is just not realistic. (Originally we were goin to book Sunset Beach Resort, but found pics and weren't crazy about the look of the resort. Then we tried to book Sunset at the Palms, but they couldn't accommodate all of our guests. Now, we tried Beaches Boscobel, but they won't give us a block of space since the weekend we want to get married is the weekend after Presidents day!)

 

4. I got the latest bit of bad news yesterday morning, so while I am complaining to my mom about why is this so damn hard, she springs on me that her and my dad might not be able to go anyway. She proceeded to give some bs excuses, but who needs to hear that on top of all the other issues!

 

Going crazy, any suggestions?

Carly

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I COMPLETELY know what you're going through (minus the multiple TAs). Some family members just NOT like the DW idea at all. But we reminded everyone that DW means MUCH less money than a wedding at home. And since we're paying for it on our own, that's key! :)

 

Look for my responses below in green. cheesy.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlymcmullen View Post
Hello everyone,

 

We want to send an open invite to all of our guests that we will have at the reception back home after, but we don't expect anywhere near that many to show up. I think we'll have between 50-60 and my fiance thinks 80.

 

My fiance and I are doing the same thing...we will be inviting somewhere around 100-120 people. I don't think more than 50 will come, but everyone we've told says if their finances are OK they'll be there.

 

We are having trouble finding a resort that will book us. I feel like having this destination wedding has been nothing but a headache from the start, but I am so not ready to have the traditional wedding (not at all what i want!). Can any of you offer suggestions? We wanted all-inclusive, and children friendly. Also a tropical looking place, not a condo/apt building look. And obviously we wanted something affordable for our guests, @1,000/pp.

 

We're PROBABLY going to the Riu Ocho Rios. The Riu's in general are more affordable than other area reasorts (Beaches, etc), but still all-inclusive, child-friendly and very nice - which are the reasons why we're probably booking there. Affordablity is KEY for us....Riu rates for 2008 arent' being officially published until mid-May. My TA is working on getting them for us. I'll let you know as soon as I do!

 

My TA recommended a few other resorts, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. I will look them up when I get home from work and let you know what they were.

 

Also, on affordability - Jamaica resort rates DRAMATICALLY decrease in April, which is why our date will be in April. Would you consider changing the month?

 

Here are the problems I am encountering:

1. I am already on my 3rd travel agent (the 1st was with destinationweddings.com, and she just wasn't helpful at all, the 2nd was a mall travel agent, who kept telling us that we should get rid of the kids (we have 4 kids in our immediate family and in the wedding) b/c if we got rid of the kids it would open up our options and she wouldn't tell us any other options then Jamaica, now the 3rd seems great and all, but we keep submitting our information to resorts and then she comes back with problems, so i don't know if she is just not very good, or if the problems are valid!).

I work with a TA who is the mother of a co-worker. She is based out of Allentown area, and is a leading TA of the Caribbean. She specialized in cruises AND destination weddings. I would be more than happy to give you her info. She does require a $250 retainer fee, but that money gets applied to the wedding in the end. My TA is working COMPLETELY within our budget, not pressuring us to increase it or anything, she really is great.

2. We have already changed our date once (we originally wanted Feb 17th, but since that was Valentine's day weekend, we moved it back to avoid the increase in price).

Again, consider April/May when rates will decrease. This month (May 2007) Riu has rooms for $89pp!!

3. And we are on our 3rd resort! I am almost to the point where I am done with it all, but that is just not realistic. (Originally we were goin to book Sunset Beach Resort, but found pics and weren't crazy about the look of the resort. Then we tried to book Sunset at the Palms, but they couldn't accommodate all of our guests. Now, we tried Beaches Boscobel, but they won't give us a block of space since the weekend we want to get married is the weekend after Presidents day!)

Don't get too frustrated - the right resort is out there!!! Also, check out Reviews of vacations, hotels, resorts, vacation and travel packages - TripAdvisor - they've been VERY helpful to me. They have forums on there (you'll probably recognize some posts from me, haha!) where people will give you 100% honest feedback. Also, trip advisor shows you guest photos, NOT the doctored up resort photos on websites.

4. I got the latest bit of bad news yesterday morning, so while I am complaining to my mom about why is this so damn hard, she springs on me that her and my dad might not be able to go anyway. She proceeded to give some bs excuses, but who needs to hear that on top of all the other issues!

 

Going crazy, any suggestions?

Carly

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I promise, no commission from the Riu here, haha, but here are a couple pics:

 

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

And wedding locations:

The new Gazebo on the beach: My Photo Gallery - New Beach Gazebo with Basic included arch - Powered by PhotoPost

Beach w/ free arch: My Photo Gallery - Free Pkg Coconut Arch Included in all packages - Powered by PhotoPost

(from Riu's photographer), the Gazebo off of the beach: Click the image to open in full size.

(from Riu's photographer), upgraded arch on the beach: Click the image to open in full size.

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I second RIU Ocho Rios. I am getting married next door at Sandals Dunns River. They share the same beautiful beach. But RIU will accomadate kids and everyone.

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Carly

 

Remember anything worth having is worth fighting for. Dont give up the first sign of trouble. Those are not the only resorts in Jamaica. Keep looking maybe Negril has what you are looking for. Keep searching if this is what you truly want

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Carly

the 17th is a great date! that's my birthday and have you contacted the wedding coordinator for beaches, her name is Renee Phillips, that is where we were planning to get married originally. Let me know if you want to contact her directly.

Actually if you book through sandals you get the 11th room for free so that's a cool perk.

As for the TA's our host Tammy is a TA and probably can refer you to someone a little more helpful.

A lot of girls on this forum had issues with destinationweddings.com and I don't know that I would trust the mall TA's, which might be part of your frustration.

Have you considered just the two of you going away and then coming home for a really fun reception? If you are set on having a lot of people there, consider a destination that is closer to home for you and your family, which is what I did in changing my plans. My family and friends are all in the west so Nor Cal worked for me and I still am getting a destination wedding, plus a honeymoon in Jamaica. I bet you could still find a great beach location on the East Coast, it might not be an AI but you still have a lot of options.

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what about private villa's...the next time i go to jamaica, i am gonna rent a few private villa's for my family...the cost is less than hotels and they are AI and have their own chef, bartender at each willa...there are 4-5 villa's clustered together and it was like $200-300 per room per night (most villa were about 5 rooms).

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dont worry you will find the perfect place.. I lived and worked at a few of the all-inclusives in Jamaica and Im sure that I can help.... Besides RIU have you tried Jamiaca Grande or Trelawny Beach Hotel?

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