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Really need advice...

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#1 kafarm

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    Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:19 AM

    Hello my name is Josh, Im attempting to help my FI (Khara) out with getting our wedding in order. I need to take some of the stress off of her. We are planning for a mid November wedding but could move it back if we really have to.

    My FI and I are looking for a smaller more intimate place for our wedding. Our guest list will range from 10-20 people max. Some of our guest/family need to take it easy on the pocketbook so options for them to stay near by, if our place is to pricey, are a must. We had our hearts set on El Careyes but with all the violence and possible second wave of swine flu. Add on top of that the 2 1/2 hr drive from the airport we are not sure it would work our for the best. The people we plan on having will be coming from all over the U.S.. The planning on transportation alone is making it almost the breaking point for El Careyes. At $260 for a 6 person van ride each way, its looking like it could cost around $2k just for transportation, way to much. I would like to add that El Careyes almost called to us in a way. We loved the look and authentic feel that it has. To be honest, most of the places on Playa side feel more modern and touristy then we like.

    We have looked at Tides on the Playa side. While it is a tad high on the cost side, we feel we like it the best out of all the options we have looked at over there. But again even their transportation cost are $300 round trip, make the option that much more difficult. We have looked at many places over in Playa but just dont feel the connection. Everything from El Dorado/Azul and a number of other places, none of which seemed right for us. The Azul Villa was another option we though about, not only for the privacy but our other guest could stay in the same resort and enjoy the all inclusive options but the $ numbers really didnt add up for us.

    We have debated back and forth on the pros and cons of all inclusive. The problem is the resorts we tend to fall in love with dont really offer them and if they do there tends to be a huge hangup from another perspective.

    Then we thought about trying the Bahamas like the One & Only Ocean Club, but the reviews about the soso-food and cost and lazy service. Its still on the short list ONLY because it has one of the best options for wedding locations. We fell in love with their garden wedding location. We thought Atlantis would work for our guest but even thats not as cheap as we thought they would be. We also looked at other island locations but the flight/transportation cost for some just didnt work at all.

    As for our wedding, we want very low key. We plan on having a friend preform the ceremony and we plan on that only lasting 5 mins or so. We would like everyone to stand around us in a circle or something very low key. We just want it as simple as possible. The overall idea is to make it more of a fun trip for everyone then an actual wedding feel.

    Cabo is an area we really havent looked at to hard but have heard its a pricier area as well. Esperanza is the one place to stand out over first looks but they are already booked for our time slot. Im not sure what other places to keep an eye on that have the appeal we look for. So if anyone has any suggestion for ideas we are all ears. We talked with a few travel agents but they all push for the big Sandals/Beaches style resorts that we dont even want to think about.

    #2 DGG

    • Jr. Member
    • 275 posts

      Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:02 AM

      I don't have great advice for you - but if you did chose something in Nassau, Bahamas there are cheaper options for hotels in the area - so don't let the cost for your guests' hotel stop you from there.. It's not my favorite place, but Dominican Republic is a little cheaper than some of the other islands..

      #3 MarieSam

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        • LocationSouthern California

        Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:14 AM

        Besides something that is intimate and private, and not to costly for guests, can you tell me what are your other musts/requirements?

        #4 kafarm

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        • 5 posts

          Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:36 AM

          For must haves, I cant really say to much more other then really good food and great spot for the ceremony and pictures. Really good food is important and I think reliable service is to.

          The Versailles gardens is the spot at Ocean Club if it wasnt for this location, Im not sure that place would stand out to us. A few of the trip advisor reviews didnt make me feel well of the service and food.

          Versailles Garden, Paradise Island Attractions, Paradise Island Tour, Versailles Gardens

          #5 TammyB

          • Sr. Member
          • 10,630 posts

            Posted 15 July 2009 - 07:58 AM

            First off, congrats on your engagement and I love when grooms get involved in the planning process. Way to go. :-)

            We have a few travel agents on the forum, might I suggest that you check them out? They know the areas very well and I'm sure they can help you find a resort/location that will fit within your budget (as well as your guests)

            I was married in Cabo, and there are less expensive options out there, I got married at the Sheraton but I stayed at Villa Del Palmar (except for two nights for our wedding at the Sheration) We wanted to be on a beach that we could swim in, and it was cheaper.

            Also, we have so many reviews on many different locations on the forum, so sit back, grab some coffee and I'm sure you'll find some useful information. best of luck to you and your FI.

            #6 jk1101

            • Sr. Member
            • 2,582 posts

              Posted 15 July 2009 - 08:22 AM

              Originally Posted by TammyB

              Also, we have so many reviews on many different locations on the forum, so sit back, grab some coffee and I'm sure you'll find some useful information. best of luck to you and your FI.
              Tammy is so right! I had no clue how many resorts/hotels there were on how many different islands there are until I joined BDW! I'm still amazed now.

              #7 ~Jessica~

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                Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:05 PM

                Congrats on getting engaged!

                Concerning transportations, you may want to look for a hotel that includes transportation to and from the airport. We are getting married at Dreams in Puerto Vallarta and it is a little outside the city and transportation to and from the hotel in included in the room fee, which is a nice bonus.

                Also you may lean more towards the all-inclusive if your guests are tending to be more cost aware. Because even though the room rate may be a little higher, all food and drinks and some activities are included. Whereas if you go out to eat every night it can add up really quickly, especially once drinks are included. Because remember going to a foreign country people are less likely to go and explore for a more cost concious place to eat and instead look to the touristy areas where they feel safe and tend to be more expensive. I know that all of our guests so far have been impressed with how "inexpensive" coming to our wedding is.

                I totally recommend going with a TA though, they will help guide you through EVERYTHING!! They will give you options and then work with you and your guests in order to get the cheapest options available. My TA is a lifesaver and got us two roundtrip tickets to PV at the times we wanted for under $700. And I know for a fact that by booking through a TA you get way better pricing, the hotel wanted $2250 for a 5 night stay + flight at our resort, whereas our TA got my FI's mom the same package for a total of $1850.

                Just make sure you are not only happy with the resort but also with the wedding packages offered at the resort. And keep in mind that if you get married at an all-inclusive and some guests choose to stay at another hotel you/or them will have to pay a guest fee for the day of the wedding that can range up to $80 per guest. Because all-inclusives are very protective of who they let in since all food and drinks are included. We let our guests know that ahead of time, so if they choose to stay somewhere else they know they will have to pay the fee themselves.

                Also you can orchestrate your wedding to how you like, just work with your TA and the hotel wedding coordinator. A hotel that I really liked and offered great packages for smaller wedding parties (which didn't work out for me) and is more of a "small town feel" without the price tag is Isla Mujeres Palace. And a nice thing about the Palace Resorts is you stay at one, but you play at all of them. So Isla Mujeres is an island off Cancun, so you stay on the island but can take the ferry back and forth to Cancun and go to the Palace resorts there to enjoy their restaurants and beaches as well.
                Palace Resorts - Welcome to the Official Site - Isla Mujeres Palace

                Hope this helps!!

                #8 march132010

                • Sr. Member
                • 1,057 posts

                  Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:23 PM

                  Congrats and welcome---

                  #9 TerpsOfTheCaribbean

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                  • 33 posts

                    Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:33 PM

                    Did you consider using rental cars? Rental prices in Puerto Vallarta don't seem to be too bad and if you guest list can fit in two full size vans you can cut the transportation costs considerably.

                    #10 crazyldy

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 174 posts

                      Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:43 PM

                      I am having the same issue but if you have some people who have money and some people who do not I would for sure stay at a all inclusive so the people who don't have money are not embarrassed at dinners or activities.

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