Hi, I'm happy to help
1) I booked the "free package" which isn't really free it's about $350 and that takes care of minister fees/legal fees/ etc. It always cheapest to go with this option and just add on as you wish. At your meeting with the coordinator they will confirm with you which package you want so even if you booked something different through the Riu website you can change it.
2) On top of that fee I paid $55/pp for the private poolside reception. This includes an open bar. Children under the age of 4 are free but anyone over that price is still $55/pp.
3) They can set it up the decorations anyway that you wish, I didn't go w/anything extra though because I had ordered the chivari chairs which were a nice touch. The tables are round tables that seat about 8ppl and have white cloth linen over them. They then add glasses and dishes. I think the buffet table was a bit dressed up but I didn't pay extra. All extras will come through Tai Flora so if you decide that you want something different you could email them to ask about pricing and different decor set-ups at the Riu.
4) The butterfly release was not something I had planned on. A relative who lives in Ocho Rios contacted the coordinator and discussed this with her and paid for it. So if it's something you want email them before hand and they can find someone to do it. We released 50 butterflies and it was $150. When I look at the photos though its not even noticeable but the guests found it to be a nice touch. Basically after you have kissed and been announced the minister went through a spiel about the significance of the butterfly release and then we released them. There were also guests who were given butterflies to release as well so it was cute. In the coordinators office they have wedding pics w/doves being released so I'm sure you can get just about anything you want if you ask for it.
5) As of now with the new coordinators there you can pay for everything via credit card. It was Chandlyn (the coordinator who is no longer there) who was requesting some things be paid in cash and some in other ways. So when you meet with the coordinator she will give you the total and an invoice that you take to the front desk and they charge it for you. Initially I was really worried and confused about that too because I was concerned about traveling with large amounts of cash. But no worries you can charge it.
Originally Posted by OchoRiosBride2010
I have a few questions for you, because alot of what you decided on for your extras is similar to what I want but was so confused as to how the Private pool reception worked, inregards to pricing.
Did you buy a specific wedding package? and then have to pay $55/pp on top of that? were kids any cheaper?
Did they set up ur pool side reception with standar decor, or did you have to put extra money out for reception decorations as well?
is the butterfly release something new on the extras list? i havent seen or heard of it before, sounds nice.
How did you pay for everything, was it mostly credit card, or cash, or travelers cheques? Ive heard and read so many different things.
Thank you for the detailed review