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What I would and wouldn't do again...

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Originally Posted by tracy.clements View Post


Hi Go with the flow!!  Thanks for the great tips!!  I am working and slightly obsessing over my welcome bags right now. What did you put in them that your guests were raving about?





We were at an all inclusive, so that helped me narrow it down. I found great bags at target for $2.50 each. I got just about everything else at the dollar stores.  I bought makeup bags for the ladies that I filled with chapstick, pony tail holders, nail files, loufa, body wash, lotion, and my favorite, these great mirror/brush combo compacts from the travel section at target. We also put in a cigar and matches for the guys and a travel mug for each guest. We got spanish for dummies on sale for a $1 at office max. One of the things people really loved though was a last minute add on. We got lanyards and key card holders.  Oh we also got first aid kits from the dollar store and put inside them ibuprofen, pepto tabs, and alka seltzer. I bought a huge bottle of ibuprofen and then tiny jewelery bags from hobby lobby and put the meds in those with labels of dosage. No one cared that they were not individually pre-packaged meds and it saved us a lot of money. 


We also included a welcome letter and a pre-stamped postcard with directions fro people to fill in their favorite memory of the trip and send it to us when they got home. We are still getting some and it is so fun to get the mail!

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What I would do again:

*Join this forum - what a great help it has been!

*Have a Destination Wedding - Best time of my life!!

*Splurge on a sky massage - that was amazing

*Plan an excursion (depending on your group) - we planned a group catamaran excursion to Isla Mujeres and it was the most fun day of the trip. 

*Tropical colors for the wedding.  The pictures are so vibrant!

*Use Mixbook for our guestbook.  It turned out great. 

*Splurge on a great photographer.  I haven't seen any pics yet but I'm positive they are going to be magical!

*TTD session - so much fun



What I would do differently:

*OOT bags - While a nice gesture, they caused excess baggage and only a few of the items were really utilized. We could have gotten away with something smaller I think, like a welcome card with the tip/card holder, share site and some type of Mexican snack.  ??

*would not have extended the trip to include the honeymoon.  We did 10 days and we were done by day 6.  I would plan a week long trip tops, and then maybe a few months later plan a separate trip for a "honeymoon"

*Not Plan so much.  I analyzed everything, and in the end some things I spent hours planning didn't even happen or go the way I planned.  So, that was a little frustrating. 

*Fix my hair before professional pics. :(  Our beach wedding was very windy and I have a feeling I may be dissappointed with some of our pics because my hair was being all crazy!

*I should have pushed more with the wedding coordinator on some things I know other brides had received.  I received less and paid more.  :(  That made me sad. 

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This may be the most informative thread I have EVER read! Its been fun lurking around and seeing everyones weddings approaching, then seeing them in this thread. The things I am going to consider most from what you have all said are 1) don't feel bad about splurging on the photography 2) get that bustle back-up and extra pins!!! 3) put together small OOT bags 4) do my own makeup!!! We will see in just over 60 days how I feel...

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Finally, I can do my list:


What to do again:

  • Join this forum and have an amazing support group of fellow brides.
  • Book through palace resorts to guarantee an amazing vacation and also the great group benefits.
  • Order a second ceremony dress because I wasn't completely happy with the first one.
  • Have a short reception dress for comfort.
  • Have my hair and makeup done at the resort. They were able to cover up my horrible peeling skin, I would never have been capable enough. Plus, I never would have anticipated getting so dark.
  • Upgrade our room to be closer to the lobby and some of our other guests.
  • Hire fabulous photographers from home, they turned out to be great people and hopefully new friends.
  • Not stress throughout the week and trust that everything would work out.
  • Purchase our decor to save a ton of money and just pay a minimal set up fee.
  • Plan a day trip for the day before our wedding to relax and forget about little details.
  • Make my own veil. I don't think there was a huge difference looking at it, but it only cost $20.
  • Not worried about packing my dress in a small carry on. For $36, I had it pressed at the resort and it looked great. And I didn't have to worry about where to store it on the plane.
  • Stay a few days after the wedding to relax. Although it wasn't as exciting as when all our friends were there, it was nice to go places without having to call 8 other rooms to arrange meeting times.
  • DIY our real touch flowers. They turned out great in pictures, were exactly what I wanted, and didn't cost a fortune.
  • Choose tangerine for BM dresses, they both looked great in the color even with different skin tones, and it was great for a tropical feel.
  • Take a few days off after we got back to unpack and relax at home.


What to reconsider/should have done:

  • Not been away from home and hubby for 90% of our engagement and throughout our planning. I really would have appreciated a hug and kiss from him most days.
  • Forced my MoH to cancel her reservation and book through our group. It saved her $200, but I would have gladly paid twice that to have her included with our group. It basically cost us $1500 to not have her included and that still keeps me up at night.
  • Arranged our luggage a few days before leaving, I was borrowing luggage from friends at midnight before a 5 am departure.
  • Asked BM that actually have time in their lives to help me plan. One of my really good friends came to our wedding, but I felt guilty asking her to replace my prego BF. She was a great support and I felt like I should have included her in the wedding party.
  • Made a playlist for cocktail hour and reception
  • Made a list for getting ready on the day of, I forgot my garter, my starfish bouquet pin, the boutonnieres for my dad and ring bearer
  • Tried harder to find shoes that I loved. I wasn't completely pleased with my shoe selection, but I also ended up borrowing flip flops that were 3 sizes too large and wore them dancing.
  • Made the time to go proper dress shopping and find a dress that I absolutely loved. I kept delaying it and when I tried to go shopping there just wasn't anything fabulous. I picked all my dresses from pictures.


I could probably over analyze every aspect of the whole process, but theses are the things that stood out for me.

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excellent idea!  Thank you I will try to remember this

Originally Posted by Morgan View Post

Originally Posted by Jtds2713 View Post

have a list of must-take wedding pictures for Juan Carlos - I think he missed a lot of the wedding details. I also did not have a bridal portrait in the room, no picture near the window. I also wanted more pictures inside the Sheraton since it was such a great resort. I think if I gave him more direction it would have worked out better.
I have read other brides saying that juan doesn't take many details pictures. I believe it's best not to give your photographer a big list of pics because you can inhibit creativity. But, when you look through several of their previous weddings & see that they don't tend to take a certain type of picture it can't hurt to ask for a few "must-haves."

I forgot to pack an invitation for a details shot, but I packed an extra program & some other extras. mostly as backup. But, once i started unpacking I realized i should put them to the side for kristie to photograph. I think it helped her get some details shots without having to waste time rounding things up. She just threw that stuff in a sack & ran out to the beach with it.

So my advice (and something I would do better if I did it again) would be to fill a sack with things you want photographed. Things like programs, invitations, etc. I've been in several weddings where the bride spent time trying to hunt down the details stuff with the photographer. So if you plan ahead you can save some valuable time & be more relaxed. I also wish i didn't forget to take an extra invitation so it could have been in the mix with the other things on the beach.

It was also really fun to see all my stuff have an adventure without me. I didn't know where my ring & programs had been until I saw the pictures.

But, then details like shoes, veils & dresses are not something you can throw in a sack. So I guess future juan carlos brides should just let him know in advance they want more details shots.


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It sounds like you were quite calm and relaxed about everything.  Way to go!smile159.gif

Originally Posted by Prettyhazardous View Post

I waited a while to answer this question bc I really wanted to think it over. So here goes...
What I wouldn't do again
My wedding was such a beautiful day, but there were some huge issues that stemmed from my WC: So this first thing I wouldn't do again is work with Island Bliss Weddings in St Thomas.I felt that my WC was unprofessional. She wore shorts to my wedding, she lied to us about a bill that we had to pay when we arrived on the island. The bill ended up being 60% higher than we were told. Since we've been home she said that she was reimburse us for the bill. She sent us a check for less than 1/3 of the bill. Also she changed the site of my wedding and we found out from the cab driver enroute and then of course she lied again stating that she told us and the info was on our invoice. That was untrue so everything we had printed with our wedding site was wrong. I would never work with her again.

I would change going on the 8 day cruise with 42 ppl. While I love my family and friends after my wedding I really wanted to be alone with my hubby and while my family and friends afforded us that opportunity I felt bad about it so we ended up hanging out with the family alot.

Wear A sweetheart neckline gown- My breast are way too big for that

Getting my alterations done at the gown shop- That wasn't a good idea I spent way too much on alterations and while I won't quote my gown shop bc I really liked them (or at least the ledo's pizza place next door haha) they really messed up the front of my gown by cutting the top layer to short. Once it was done it was done so i didn't freak out about it but I was very disappointed.

Things that I would do again
Get married in St Thomas on Megans Bay Beach (Ok so yes I'm mad that my wedding was moved to Megans Bay beach but I had to admit it was a beautiful beach, just way too busy with 3 other weddings surrounding ours and ppl swimming in the ocean right where my wedding was)

Work with Ana De Roux for invites, programs and menus. She is truly the best. She works with you and I can't say anything more expect she is just great!!!

My tour after the reception with Sunny Liston- he's the best tourguide in St Thomas everyone loved him

Book a suite with Carnival OMG the room was awesome and while I would only get the room for my wedding it was great

Over organize in the beginning so that once we started the vacay I was really on vacay and was stress free. As you see above we had alotta stressful event take place on our day, but I was so carefree that no one knew ab it but me and my hubby!!!

Ok I think that's it.


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for me I think this depends on where you are going for your DW.  I selected Jamaica large in part becuase the requirements to make it legal are much easier than say Mexico.  We do not want to get married here and then to a symbolic ceremony at the destination.  That is our personal choice.  I think alot of people go either way.  Some places I believe you cannot get a legal marriage done (don't quote me on this but I know each place seems to have its own set of rules and requirements)

Originally Posted by june11bride View Post

I have a question... speaking of things you would do again and wouldn't do again, how many of you did a legal ceremony and would/wouldn't do it again, and how many did a symbolic ceremony and would/wouldn't do it again??



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