AI or non AI and Why?
Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:49 AM
My initial thought was to do AI so everyone would know in advance what to budget, but you all know how much "advice" you start getting from friends and family and i was starting to get overwhelmed.
i will keep checking back - thanks for all the responses so far!
Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:53 PM
Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:21 PM
Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:25 PM
Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:26 PM
Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:09 PM
- AI are much more expensive compared to just rooms, and a lot of our guests could not afford to pay 200-400$ a night per person. Food and drinks could not explain the difference - you have to use the activities, or have children, or be a really heavy drinker if you want it to be worth your money
- Even if all your guests are AI, you still have to pay for your own food and drinks if you have over a certain number of guests (usually around 20-25 - they call it "private event"). Which means you pay twice for the drinks and food of your wedding (once, your guests pay ; the second time, you pay). I thought it was a rip-off.
- if you don't pay for a private event (under the number of guests), it seemed to me weird to have our guests pay for their food at our wedding through their AI fee !
- even if you pay for a private event, external guests still have to pay a day pass to enter the resort (usually over 100$) !!!
- the several AI I was considering would only issue a day pass for up to 20% (or other stupid limit) of the wedding guests. Which means that, if I had 30 guests, only 6 day pass would be issued !!! Meaning that if I had 8 guests staying outside, 2 could not enter !!!! Simply crazy. I could not take the risk, knowing most of my guests could not afford the price of the AI and would probably look for an outside place to stay.
- most of the AI I was considering were requesting that you use their wedding package, so you're stuck with their wedding coordinator and you end up having to go through the resort for everything and it's usually twice the cost of ouside (for instance : there were only 12 chairs in the package and each additional chair is 8$)
- most of the AI I was considering were asking for huge fee for external vendors and I wanted to bring an external photographer
- Most AI I was considering would not allow external bottles, or would charge an astronomical corkage fee, and I wanted real champagne for the wedding, not sparkling wine (I'm French...). And one bottle of champagne inside is usually 125$-140$.
- Some AI have crazy rules like "you cannot take a piece of the wedding cake to your room". WTF ?
So I ended up picking a very small, family-like resort. No constraints !
Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:16 PM
Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:51 AM
Another consideration is for AI & non AI -is location both in the world and at the particular destination. Is the resort you chose close enough to a variety of dining venues for your guests ? There are many Caribbean islands that have resorts that offer an AI option-these tend to be a bit limited and much more expensive as compared to say a 4 or 5 star Mexico or Jamaica AI!
You may want to read this article about AI's- it may be helpful with your decision!
Posted 23 July 2009 - 12:10 PM
*We wanted a place where only our guest would be, no outside people.
*The rental came with 4 cooks and a wedding coordinator who was fabulous!
*We saved a ton on food and drinks because we purchased stuff from the grocery store and the cooks made it. (Obviously we didn't do this for the wedding!) If people wanted to go out to eat, they were free to do that.
*AI didn't make sense for our group because there were several non-drinkers.
*No vendor fees!
*I had a say in everything. There was a small wedding package, but I wasn't tied to that by any means. I did not want a cookie cutter wedding.
*Just like Ayita, we had a big issue with guests paying for their own wedding meal.
Had we gone with AI it obviously wouldn't been more convenient and easier to plan, but I'm so happy we went the route we did. And TA Jennifer is right, transportation can be a killer. Luckily I had been to St. Lucia before and knew what to budget for it. Also, St. Lucia is such a beautiful, wonderful, friendly island. By staying at an AI the whole time (like I pretty much did the first time I visited there), I would miss out on some of the best meals I've ever had and totally falling in love with the island's charm and true beauty.
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