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BeachBride83

10 Things Every DW Bride Should Know From the Get Go

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TA Maureen View Post
More specifically...10 Things Every DW Bride Planning a Wedding at an AI resort in the Caribbean or Mexico Should Know:
Please note these are generalizations and of course there are exceptions to the rule from time to time. This list is written by someone who has been a DW bride, been on a DW forum for almost 3 years, and has been working with DW brides for years.

1. Contact with your resort WC and any on site vendors months/years in advance of your wedding date will be S-L-O-W!!! (I mean 2 weeks for an email response for weddings months in advance and possibly no response for those more than a year out, slow! They prioritize by wedding date).

2. If you need to have every detail mapped out in advance from the timeline of the ceremony to the cutting of the cake then you are going to give yourself an aneurysm. Try to focus on the big picture and remember why you wanted a DW to begin with.

3. PRIVATE EVENTS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGES AT RESORTS!!!! YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR RECEPTION. YES, EVEN THOUGH FOOD AND DRINKS ARE NORMALLY INCLUDED AT AN AI, PRIVATE WEDDING RECEPTIONS ARE NOT!

4. Your dress could get folded in half and placed in the overhead compartment on your flight! Yes, it's true most flight attenendants will try to hang it in a closet or on a hook elsewhere but that is based on the individual aircraft and how full the flight is. Also those closets and hooks are not high enough to keep the bottom of your garment bag from touching the floor. So essentially your dress will eventually be folded/bent in some way shape or form on your flight.

5. At least one but most likely more of your friends/family members will end up not going to your DW and giving you a bogus excuse.

6. People will complain about the fact that you are planning a DW. Some will do it behind your back. Others to your face. You decide which is worse.

7. If you ship wedding items to Mexico or the Caribean they will likely get stuck in customs.

8. Airlines SUCK! There will be some issue along the way whether you can't find cheap flights, flight cancellation, flight delays, schedule changes, baggage fees, etc.

9. Your resort WC is NOT the same as a wedding planner that you would hire and pay for for say a wedding in the US. For the most part they do NOT hold your hand every step of the way. They take in basic info, answer basic, questions, and then the day of do their best to make sure you have everything you want/need.

10. No matter what destination you choose a family member or friend will find a negative news report regarding it (drug lords, swine flu, Natalee Holloway, drug dealers on the beach, political uprisings). Be prepared with a list of all the great things about the destination to counteract.

What you can do to minimize the negative during the planning process:
1. Retain the services of a travel agent that knows both your destination and how to handle DW's. Refer ALL of your guests to the TA. Then your DW TA becomes your liason between you and your guests and you and your resort and airline or tour oeprator. This minimizes stress for you.

2. Even great TA's that specialize in DW's are first and foremost TA's. They can assist with wedding details and try to track down the elusive resort WC's for you, but they usually do not book outside vendors for you or actually plan your wedding ceremony/reception details. If you think you need someone to research and hire outside vendors and coordiante them on the wedding day then you may need to hire an outside WC or WP.

3. Try to find a balance between remembering it's your day so you should have what you want without having a total disregard for your family and friends.

4. You do NOT have to plan every detail in advance. These resorts have designed packages so that most details can be finalized either 1-2 months before your wedding or at your onsite meeting days before your wedding. If that thought makes your stomach turn try to pick 3 things that are most important to you and focus on that. Then allow smaller details to get planned on site if that's the way your resort works.

5. There are great DIY ideas on this forum but if you are not able to do DIY don't worry there are also great vendors on this forum from invitations to how to videos, you can find those vendors here.

Whoa, why bother with a DW then? Well because they are awesome! When you and the guests that actually make it to your wedding are on the beach sipping a margarita a few hours before your wedding starts they will tell you it's the best wedding they have ever been to!!!!

You will actually miss the planning process after your wedding is over so try to enjoy it !!!
i love the part about guests talking about the negatives (drug lords, diseases, etc) for a destination wedding. thats so true. ive heard it all. some friends told me "you will get married in black waters" when this oil spill crisis began. i think overall its jealous mean ppl who say those things. totally not cool.

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I can't remember if I read this in the beginning stages of my wedding planning, but it made me realize everything that happened during all of this is totally normal, and that I really have approchaed this with a very level head.

 

This should be a must read for everyone that joins this forum!!! Way to go Maureen :)

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