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New and Desperately Seeking A Destination!


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#1 Stephen81

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    Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:11 PM

    Hello All!

    My fiance and I are recently engaged (I took her to Prague to propose two weeks ago...we're all about travel), but we're really beginning to stress over where to have our destination wedding.

    I've been trying to get recommendations from a travel coordinator but he's really pushing some resorts that he's affiliated with and I don't think I'm getting unbiased information, so I'm searching for someone new. After browsing this forum I decided that this might be the best place to go for honest opinions from people with personal experience. Our projected wedding date is the 8th of January, 2011...I know it's close but we don't want to wait because of some immediate and unforeseen health concerns with my parents. In any case, our priorities are:

    1) Classy Wedding Location - my fiance is opposed to the beach because we have some elderly relatives attending and they don't do well on loose sand...if we could find a "hard" beach that might work
    2) Inexpensive rooms - we want as many guests as possible to attend! We're inviting 80...realistically I'm anticipating around 25 to attend.
    3) Lowish airfare - under 500 if possible...again, trying to attract guests

    Our budget is 15,000. Do these priorities seem realistic with that figure in mind? We do want a few frills (a violinist and a quality photographer).

    Please help!

    Stephen

    #2 AnyafromCineart

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      Posted 15 June 2010 - 10:28 PM

      Welcome to the forum! Have a fun browsing and finding ideas.
      Your plan sounds good - I'm sure you will find a lot's of help here - happy planning!

      #3 TA Wendy

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        Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:10 PM

        Welcome to the forum! Spend some time, read others reviews of various locations and I bet something will strike a chord with you.
        Often the resorts on the beach will have an alternate location for a wedding, ie a gazebo, courtyard, or some even have small chapels on site.
        Good luck!
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        #4 JanineA

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          Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:12 PM

          Congrats on your recent engagement and welcome to the forum Stephen. There are tons of places around the globe that could potentially fit what you are looking for. But the airfare helps narrow it down a bit. Are you thinking of the Caribbean? Or were you thinking of Mexico? Somewhere still in the US? I think the more specific the region you can narrow it to the more suggestions you may get. Undeniably I think Mexico has probably the best bang for your buck, easy airfare, and you don't necessarily have to marry on the beach. You could try looking around in the Mexico thread. Most destinations in the Caribbean south of Jamaica will run your airfare over $500 in January (everyone escaping the cold). I'm sure as you browse the sight you will find some great suggestions. Good luck and happy planning!

          #5 artistique

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            Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:51 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Stephen81
            Hello All!

            1) Classy Wedding Location - my fiance is opposed to the beach because we have some elderly relatives attending and they don't do well on loose sand...if we could find a "hard" beach that might work
            2) Inexpensive rooms - we want as many guests as possible to attend! We're inviting 80...realistically I'm anticipating around 25 to attend.
            3) Lowish airfare - under 500 if possible...again, trying to attract guests

            Our budget is 15,000. Do these priorities seem realistic with that figure in mind? We do want a few frills (a violinist and a quality photographer).

            Please help!

            Stephen
            Welcome Stephen,

            To answer your questions:

            1: Some of the resorts have gazebos and reception locations that are not on the beach. Barcelo Maya Place for example has a Grecian gazebo and you can have your reception in one of the grills, so it is not necessary to go onto the beach at all. You still of course have the beach right there for all your guests to enjoy. The Royal in Playa has the same thing with the gazebo and different reception options. I will post some ceremony photos below so you can see.

            2. You can negotiate on the room rates through your TA with the hotel. The all inclusive are wonderful because your guests know exactly what they are spending for lodging, food, and drink. We have stayed AI for as low as $173 per night and anywhere up to $280 on a negotiated rate. I am sure there are some that go higher, but that is a good range I think. Your guests can get some great deals going through Expedia or what have you too.

            3. We can get to the Riviera Maya for about $390 per person, and that is all the way from Portland, OR. The east coast is going to be a bit more, but it is still pretty easy. Many flights are just a hop through Atlanta.

            I think $15,000 is fairly realistic for 25 people. There are a number of threads where brides have listed their budgets on here to you can get a good idea of what others have spent. One of the great things about destinations such as Mexico is that a lot of decoration isn't required! :)

            :) Michelle

            Here are the gazebo shots:

            Barcelo Maya Palace

            Click the image to open in full size.

            Royal Playa del Carmen

            Click the image to open in full size.

            #6 artistique

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              Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:53 PM

              Should have mentioned, both resorts I mentioned are in the Riviera Maya, Mexico!

              #7 autjo

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                Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

                Welcome to the forum Stephen! DH and I love to travel as well and picking a DW location was completely stressful. But once, you find the perfect place everything else will fall into place.

                Your budget is reasonable and very close to what I had. We got married at Dreams Puerto Vallarta and my brother in law was married at Dreams Cancun. I just love the Dreams resorts and truly believe that AI for group travel is the best due to pricing and all of the options they offer. For both weddings, most of the guests flew from Dallas, San Antonio and Austin and fell within your price range.

                Both of the weddings were not on the beach, the ceremonies were at the resort gazebos overlooking the ocean. And the receptions were at at restaurant on property and a pool terrace.

                Congrats on your engagement and happy planning!

                #8 DmitryYakunin

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                  Posted 16 June 2010 - 05:20 PM

                  Congratulations and welcome!
                  By the way, Prague could be the wonderful place for the wedding, but I guess this is too far for you..
                  Why don't you consider wedding at the gazebo? That is beautiful too

                  #9 AishaB

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                    Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:11 PM

                    Hi Stephen welcome to the forum. i was totally confused and lost when it came to my destination but I got a lot of help from everyone here. So good luck and happy planning!
                    BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

                    #10 MarieSam

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                      Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:15 PM

                      I got married in Akumal and had the most amazing welcome dinner at a private villa on a lagoon and then married on the beach. It's a small fabulous town and either location is PERFECT for a wedding. Our wedding involved 75 people and our budget was similar to yours, which included one week stay at the villa and our plane tix. Hit me up if you want more details!!!

                      Congrats by the way




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