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Engaged and Confused

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Congrats and welcome to the thread! It can be easy to get overwhelmed really quickly but here's a few things I found that helped to get me started.


First - both you and FI should write down your top 5(ish) items that you just can't imagine getting married without. Rank the items from the ones you are completely set about down to the ones that you'd be willing to negotiate. Compare your two lists to see what priorities each of you have. These can include anything from photographers to why style restaurants/food the resort has.


Second - once you've established your essentials (above) then figure out what you expect from your resort. Location (start big: Mexico, go smaller: Cancun), what amenities you want (lots of restaurants, pools, adults only, night club etc), what off-site activities you want to do and the proximity (shopping, ruins, snorkeling, scuba diving etc) and again, list these according to priority of what you really want vs. what you would negotiate.


Third - Budget. Some people would start with this which is fine, but I found that having a list of all the things I wanted helped me to estimate what a realistic spend amount would be for all those things and then compared that to what I could realistically afford!! They are usually two very different numbers! Keep in mind that your budget isn't just what you plan to spend personally, but what your guests will be spending as well. So we had X dollars that we were willing to spend for the wedding package and related items, then Y dollars that we'd feel comfortable asking our friends and family to spend on their resort packages.


Once I'd figured all these things out, I found it really easy to flip through the travel magazines to start flagging pages that met my criteria and easily ignore the rest. If you start with a mag. that includes all the resorts that offer DW's then it should be fairly easy. I started by ignoring anything that was out of my budget (ie. a week package starting at $2600 US!!!!) as a first pass, and then continued through my list of criteria to start eliminating from there. You'd be surprised how quickly the numbers can drop from something simple like the no. of restaurants available (my FI's request was to have at least 3 or 4 a la carte options so that we don't get bored of the same food).


I hope that helps get you started and keep yourself organized!! this is a great place to search for answers and ask questions for the things you can't find. Good luck!!

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