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ROR Help Needed - Getting Married in 3 Weeks


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#1 Future Mrs. Coleman

Future Mrs. Coleman
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    Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:58 AM

    I am so happy I found this wedding forum. There is so much great information here. I wish I had found this sooner.

    We are getting married in just a few weeks (April 17th, 2010) at the Riu Ocho Rios and I have lots of questions after reading many reviews and posts on this website. Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated and would help calm my nerves! Basically, I am trying to keep this as simple and low-cost as possible. That was the reason we chose to have a destination wedding. I thought we could just show up at the resort and pick a package and everything we needed would be included in the package, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I do apologize if these questions have been answered previously. I have done several searches and can't find the info I am looking for.

    1. We are doing the Royal Package for 40 guests (we have 35 booked so far), but I have noticed a lot of people doing the Free Package and then upgrading. What is the advantage to doing the Free Package?

    2. We are getting married at 2 pm. Do we have the option of going right to the dinner/late lunch after the wedding ceremony? It seems like a lot of people didn't eat until 6:30. I really don't want to have a 4-hour gap between the ceremony and dinner because I think our guests will go off on their own and not come back for dinner.

    3. Is the free cake they provide really that bad that we need to upgrade? I don't want to spend extra for a cake when we are supposed to get one with the package we purchased.

    4. Is paying for a private reception really necessary or is there an area by one of the bars that we could just set up our iPod and dance and drink? It seems a little weird to pay extra money for drinks and dancing when we are at an all-inclusive with six bars where our guests can drink for free and a disco where they can dance for free.

    5. If we do a reception, do we need to bring our own decorations? I don't know how we would get decorations to the resort since the airline we are flying on has weight restrictions on luggage. If we don't bring decorations, is there something standard they can provide at no additional cost or do they charge you extra for everything?

    6. Can we pick out our flowers when we get there? I haven't even thought about what I want. I thought we could see some samples when we get to Ocho Rios and choose what we want then. Did anyone use the free bridal bouquet and boutonniere? If you did, were they nice? If not, why didn't you use them?

    #2 Mello78

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      Posted 25 March 2010 - 12:23 PM

      Hi Future Mrs. Coleman,

      I am so glad you asked these questions as I am also very curious to find out the answers. I am leaving for ROR in 13 days and still haven't heard from the wedding coordinator....I did email her asking her when she would contact me to get things prepared and she replied that she would closer to the date...well I think it's close enough to the date now. We are getting married on the 13th but arriving at ROR on the 8th. We are also doing the ceremony at 2pm on the beach and dinner isn't until 6:30pm, I am just a little worried with the 4 hour gap.

      Congrats on your wedding and good luck with everything!

      #3 sweetluna

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        Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:45 PM

        You've definitely come to the right place for answers! I haven't had my wedding yet but I think I can answer a couple of questions:
        1) Using the Free Package - The Royal package is the more expensive and you get some of the extras that the Free package doesn't offer. However, I would go to the RIU site and review the different packages & what is included. If you picked the Royal simply because of the # of people you are expecting, you may want to consider looking at the free package and then upgrading the cake & champagne if that is important to you. From what I hear the cake is good (comes with the free package) but not necessary to upgrade because a lot of people are so full they don't really eat the cake. The free package cake should feed up to 20 people according to the website
        2) I emailed the WC with the same question about an earlier dinner - my wedding is at 2pm also - and she said that ALL dinners start at 6:30. We'll filling in a lot of the time with getting our pictures done then. I wouldn't worry too much about your guests not returning for dinner. They are there to celebrate this special event and their only other choice is to go to the buffet or join you for dinner - I suspect they will be joining you.
        3) See #1
        4) Another question I asked and the answer I received here on BDW was that it will be difficult to have a reception without having the area reserved. You wouldn't have lights or electricity without booking the location. I think for private bar & table/chair set up it is $15/person
        5) Yes, you do bring your own decorations or you can find a local vendor there. Some of the brides on this site divided up what they needed to bring and asked family & friends to bring some in their luggage to help with the weight restrictions.
        6) From my understanding, yes you can decide on flowers when you get there. The florist the resort uses is on the expensive side (according to information from other brides). What a few brides are doing is researching other florists and getting a better rate for the extra decoration flowers, bridesmaids flowers, etc... but if you're just getting the flowers included in your package then you don't have to worry. You can decide when you get down there.

        Good luck and I hope you have tons of fun!

        #4 Future Mrs. Coleman

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          Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

          Hello Mello78,

          Congrats on your wedding! I can't believe they haven't contacted you yet when you are going to be there in less than two weeks. I know the e-mail I originally got with my confirmation code said they would contact us 1-2 months in advance to finalize all the details. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who is confused.

          I have e-mailed Chandlyn and Roxianna a couple times with different questions and they do respond quickly. I asked about programs. They don't provide those so you have to make them if you want them. I also asked about the sand ceremony. They told me they could provide it for $70, which I think is overpriced. We have found some sand ceremony kits online for $35 or $40 so we are going to bring our own. We are also bringing our own guest album and bags for favors because those will fit easily in our suitcases. We are planning on going shopping in Ocho Rios to get some Jamaican souvenirs to put in the favor bags. I e-mailed them again this morning asking all the questions I asked the forum so I will let you know if I hear anything back. I am sure everything will work out fine at the end of the day. They have done so many weddings. I know they know what they are doing. I just got a little worried when I logged onto this website and saw the amount of work some of the brides have put into this. I feel like I haven't done enough, but I just wanted a nice, simple, relaxing wedding with as little stress as possible!

          #5 Future Mrs. Coleman

          Future Mrs. Coleman
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            Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:49 PM

            Thank you so much SweetLuna! This is very helpful information.

            #6 JennandMike08

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              Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:25 AM

              This is helpful information. Like you I don't want to be stressed with the details either, but I don't want to spend unnecessary money either.

              #7 hiccups

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                Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:32 AM

                Thanks for the details...very helpful info!

                #8 Mello78

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                  Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:56 AM

                  Hi Future Mrs. Coleman,

                  When are you getting married?

                  I emailed Chandlyn 2 days ago and still haven't heard anything but I am sure she is super busy planning weddings. She usually emails within 48 to 72 hours.

                  My question for the sand ceremony is...I've purchased the vases and sand but how do we bring back the sand in the vases in our luggage without having sand scattered all over in the suitecase Does anyone have any suggestions

                  Thanks

                  #9 kris

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                    Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:39 PM

                    Looks like you got most of your questions answered but I just wanted to say that my ceremony was at 2 pm (this turned into 3 pm because my flowers were 1 hour late) and because it was the HOTTEST day we were there everyone enjoyed the break to freshen up before the 6:30 reception. We also did pictures right after the ceremony and actually ran out of time and my fiance and I were 30 minutes late for our own reception haha (again this was ok because they were still setting some stuff up) So I would say don't worry...it's nice having the whole day :)

                    #10 Future Mrs. Coleman

                    Future Mrs. Coleman
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                      Posted 26 March 2010 - 04:04 PM

                      Thank you all very much for the answers. This helps so much and has definitely calmed my nerves.

                      Since we won't have dinner until 6:30, I am going to do pictures and the steel drum band on the beach right after the ceremony. We are going to do our first dance then and the bouquet toss and garter toss. I doubt we will be done until close to 4:00 (or later if the wedding doesn't start on time). Then we will allow everyone to go back to their rooms or go to the bar and meet back for dinner later. We are not going to do a formal reception. Many of our guests do not drink or dance so I don't feel the need to pay extra for it. The steel drum band after the ceremony should suffice. We will probably do the beach party that is hosted by the hotel after dinner and any guests who want to can join us, but they won't feel obligated if they would rather go back to their rooms or do something else on their own.

                      I am getting married on Saturday, April 17th. We are arriving at the hotel on Wednesday, April 14th.

                      Chandlyn or Roxianna have always e-mailed me back. It does take them a couple days though.

                      There is a thread on here about sand ceremonies and how to bring them back on the plane. There are several options: 1) get a vase with a cork in it so the sand doesn't spill everywhere, 2) melt candle wax in the top of it to seal it and then pack it in your luggage or 3) carry it onto the plane with you and hold it in your lap. I don't think the third option is very realistic, but other brides have said they have done it. I wouldn't think any airplane would allow you to bring a glass vase on since it can be broken and used as a weapon. The airlines are quite strict now. We bought our own vases for the sand ceremony because the pre-made kits can be pretty expensive and they aren't really all that special. I found some very cool shaped vases at Pier 1 and my total cost was about $25.00 ($15.00 for the vases plus $10.00 for two different colors of sand, which I bought from Party City.) We are going to seal the top of our vase with candle wax and put packing tape over the wax to make sure it is sealed very tightly and then pack it in our suitcase.




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