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mrs*j*2011

Beautiful Beginnings - upgrade certain decorations?

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I'm just had my first call with my (Miami-based) wedding coordinator yesterday. Up until this point, I have been picturing a beach ceremony with very simple decorations (arch/canopy) and maybe some flowers, followed by a 1 hr private cocktail hour and then dinner for 10 people at one of the restaurants. The WC informed me the BB package does not come with any decorations and they cannot guarantee a reservation for 10 people (or at least that we'd be seated together.) She suggested the Vision in White package and the 2 hr dinner/reception. I told her I'd think about it.

 

I really don't want to spend an extra $3000 but I don't want my wedding to be "ugly"! Has anyone else gone this route and stuck with the free package and did dinner at a restaurant? We are, after all, paying for all inclusive. It seems backwards to have to pay for food. I'm also going to bring my own flowers so I wouldn't need the upgraded bouquet.

 

And does anyone know if there is an option to buy decorations "al a carte" style? I've been reading a lot of different sites but keep getting conflicting information regarding this.

 

I am going to email the WC and ask but I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion either way. If I do anything, I might consider adding the reception for $50/ea person but still stick with the Beautiful Beginnings package.

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Okay, I get married in a week but I think I have this figured out. I am a Sandals Beautiful Beginnings bride who has been in contact with other's who did the same free package! The BB pckg does not come with any decor, and most people don't have it on the beach (because you just stand in the sand). I'm sure Ocho Rios is similiar to Montego Bay, and here's what I know: I'm being given the option of five different spots, some have gazebos some don't. Some are really pretty (I've even found a bride that did same spot/ same free pckg) and has enough natural flowers, ect to be awesome. I saw another bride that did same spot/same pckg with decor upgrades; the upgrades didn't really stand out and was NOT worth the money. So relax, I'm sure Montego Bay has great wedding spots with ocean backgrounds overlooking the beach. Also, don't purchase anything until much closer to your wedding date. The WC's are pushy, and once you pay for something that IS IT! Don't worry, everything will still be available if you wait the month before your wedding (whatever you order now you pay now). Also, other Sandals brides have complained of the WC's telling them they might not be able to sit together and they have come back to this site and in reviews said that is baloney! Especially if you upgrade to a butler level room, he will make anything happen! If anything, I heard the hot appetizer reception is the way to go: cheap, and you get to stretch the wedding part out a bit. But don't worry about decor: just pick a pretty spot! The natural decor will be enough. PM me if you have any questions

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I am getting married on May 22nd at the Royal Caribbean resort. Like so many other brides, I was in panic mode when i spoke to the WC because of all the additional add ons she was telling me that i should consider. I was also told that you may not be able to get a reservation. This is true for the restaurants that require reservations but i have a feeling that as soon as you arrive and are at the front desk and request reservations for your party - they will accommodate. they are not going to push you away and say no, sorry you cant eat together.

 

i did decide to do the private reception. i just thought that would be cool, to sit privately with our friends and family, on the beach, by the water...

 

i was pressured to add a photography package which i agreed to but then called and cancelled it. ive heard mixed reviews about the photography and so i have friends who are attending our wedding weekend who are great photographers and have agreed to take photos for us.

 

i made starfish with aqua ribbon to hang on the aisle chairs, made favors that will go on the placesettings and also have fans for each of the ceremony chairs. I will have my brother put these things out before guests start arriving. I refuse to pay 250.00 for sandals to put these things out for me.

 

so yes, the free wedding turns out to be more than expected because of the add ons but do not feel pressured. think about this, the resort can't "over book" they only have so many rooms. the restaurants on the property have to accomodate for the amount of rooms/guests they have so i dont see any problems with you being able to have your group all sit together. no worries! i think all will be very fine and will turn out beautiful no matter what.

 

i have seen pictures of the montego bay resorts wedding areas and they have beautiful gazebos overlooking the water - i dont think you really need any other decor other than that beautiful backdrop and you and your fiance standing in front of it.

 

it will be amazing!

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Thank you both - I feel better already. I kind of figured the WC's in Miami were more sales person than wedding coordinator. I'm sticking to my guns and won't be pressured into paying for anything I don't want.

 

MontegoBay - you must be so excited...it's almost your big day! I would love to see your pictures when you get back, if you'd like to share. Are you having the ceremony on the beach or at one of the gazebos?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontegoBay View Post
i made starfish with aqua ribbon to hang on the aisle chairs, made favors that will go on the placesettings and also have fans for each of the ceremony chairs. I will have my brother put these things out before guests start arriving. I refuse to pay 250.00 for sandals to put these things out for me.
I was hoping to do the exact same thing, have a guest put things out immediately before the ceremony. My WC (who hasn't been helpful AT ALL) told me that they won't allow anyone into the area before, so that might not be possible. I'm still in a panic mode about it.

Definitely let us know how things go for you! I can't wait to see your pictures!

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I just returned on Sunday from getting married at Sandals Whitehouse. I am getting ready to write a review and maybe some of your questions will be answered. If not, PM me.

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Montego Bay- I can't wait to read your review / see your pics. I am getting married at Royal Carribean July 10, my TA is amazing, and my WC is not pushy, but she's also not very helpful! I feel like I have no idea what to expect! We are booked in a butler level room as well...Royal Honeymoon Swim-Up Suite! I plan to have a small rehearsal dinner the night before at Royal Thai and am thinking of having the ceremony (no extra decor) at the Garden Gazebo, and then an additional Sand Ceremony (no seating, just us) at the Pier Gazebo. I want to ocean in the background, but they told me that was too small for my party (14 guests, photographer, and us). Then we want a private cocktail reception! Are you doing any tours? We're booking the zipline for our group! Good luck!!!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontegoBay View Post
i made starfish with aqua ribbon to hang on the aisle chairs, made favors that will go on the placesettings and also have fans for each of the ceremony chairs. I will have my brother put these things out before guests start arriving. I refuse to pay 250.00 for sandals to put these things out for me.
Unfortunately, I read in several places that Sandals will not allow any guests to decorate the ceremony or reception areas - maybe it is a liability issue? I wish it were not true, but you may want to budget the $250 so that you can have the items setup by the Sandals staff...

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I don't know if charging $250 to set up some simple decorations that will probably only take someone 10 minutes to do is reasonable, but I don't want to have to worry about a family member or guest setting this up either. I'm just going to budget for the $250 and it's one less thing for me to worry about.

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If you get Patricia as your wedding coordinator when you're in Turks and Caicos, she'll do some additional things for free that they would normally charge you for. Monica (WC in Miami) told us to bring our music on an IPod or CD. We don't have an IPod so we burned the songs on a CD. Well, you can't rent a CD player when you're down there. They bank on everyone bringing an IPod then needing to rent the IPod speakers. Patricia let us borrow her CD player for the wedding free of charge.

 

She also put out our favors for our guests free of charge. It was just small candy jars that we filled with sand.

 

Just be super nice and non-bridezilla like and insist that she drinks the champange with you when she offers it.

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