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Totally stuck on where to go - I thought a destination wedding would be easier!


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#1 AnnCam2011

AnnCam2011
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    Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:49 PM

    My fiance and I are completely stuck as to where to go for our destination wedding. We got engaged the start of this summer, and would like to get married March 2011. We have looked at a ton of places online, and after looking at so many options, we are left completely stuck. Part of me wants to just say "forget it" and either have a small wedding in town, or just ELOPE! Both of which are not something we really want to do, and isn't that part of the fun of YOUR wedding day? Making is special for the B&G?

     

    We have looked at places in Aruba, T&C, Mexico, PR, St Lucia but haven't been able to find THE resort to travel to. My fiance is set on NO all inclusive, since part of the fun of traveling is finding interesting places to eat, which I am on board with. The issue is we want it to be somewhere special enough, but still budget friendly for us (since we are paying for everything) and for our guests to get to.

     

    We are open to anywhere in the Caribbean, but would prefer to stay away from Mexico. We were there a few years ago, and just want to have the wedding location somewhere a little more off the beaten path (and maybe fewer spring-breakers!).

     

    Can anyone give me some direction - resorts to check out that maybe I haven't already? I have been in contact with a TA here in town, but am getting the feeling she is just as frustrated as we are, and I have the feeling she is pushing a few resorts in Mexico in specifically for her kick-back. I feel like I have looked so much everything is starting to look the same, and am to the point of "I just don't care" - even though I should! I've waited 11 years for this to happen and it would be nice if we could find a great spot for the occasion.

     

    Any ideas you can throw out there where to look would be appreciated. We want a simple beach ceremony, cocktail hour, then dinner with ipod music if people want to dance. :) Simple, right?



    #2 *Karla*

    *Karla*
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      Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:08 AM

      I think you can find what you are looking for anywhere in the Caribbean.  I would say, you first need to narrow it down to a couple of countries.  If price is a concern, I would check out airfares to various places.  For example, we fly out of Houston or Dallas.  I wanted to go to St. Lucia for vacay, but flights were nearly $800, so that got knocked out.  I would start like that.  Then, check out tripadvisor.com.  You can get a ranking of top resorts in each country.

       

      I personally got married in a small hotel in Jamaica, and I know there are a lot of beautiful small hotels there.  But, in my researching for vacation spots, I have fallen in love with Tulum in Mexico.  It is a small town, not touristy at all, if you stay away from Dreams, and has beautiful ruins to discover.  It also has the second largest barrier reef in the world, if you're into snorkeling and/or SCUBA.

       

      What you are looking for is out there, it is just going to take a bit of time and patience to find that perfect spot.  Don't give up!  Good Luck!



      #3 Tropical Imaging

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        Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:28 AM

        For the Turks and Caicos, we have a lot of options but if you are watching your budget and want simple/within walking distance to other restaurants etc  here are a few ideas for resorts:

         

        http://www.thesandsresort.com/

        http://www.oceanclubresorts.com/

         

         

        The Sands has a great stretch of beach, there are no resorts on either side of the property.  They also have a nice deck area overlooking the beach that has been used for ipod cocktail/receptions etc, it additionally is easily in walking distance to many shops/restaurants etc.  When we have family and friends coming down this is the resort we recommend.

         

        Ocean Club and Ocean Club West are also both great options.  Ocean Club is the older of the two, but also has a very nice stretch of beach.  They additionally have a meal plan option that people can do if they would like to have some meals included and you can use both resorts pools and facilities.

         

        Both of the resorts are condo/hotel style resorts, which allows people to cook or fix breakfast/lunch if they like.  We have  grocery store within walking or a quick shuttle ride from them so people don't have to eat every meal out.  

         

        If you want something in a higher price range or lower, let me know and I can give you some other options, I didn't want to overwhelm you with more choices.

         

        Depending on when you go in March will determine if deals are going on as you are entering the busy season.  We do have Jet Blue starting service from NY and Boston in February (they'll start listing flights in Oct).  AA flies from Miami and New York, Delta flies from Atlanta and USAirways flies through Charlotte NC, depending on where you are, those would be the connecting cities.   

         

        Here are some blog posts of weddings we have done at those venues to give you an idea of what they look like

        Ocean Club

        http://www.brilliant...son-ocean-club/

        http://www.brilliant...n-club-wedding/

         

        The Sands

        http://www.brilliant...tals-explosion/

        http://www.brilliant.tc/2010/07/sail/

        http://www.brilliant...ng-tiffany-ben/

         

        If you have any other questions about the T&C let me know, I have lived here 15 years and am about 5 minutes away from Grace Bay Beach at all times.

         

        Krys

         

         

         

         



        #4 AnnCam2011

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          Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:23 PM

          Krys, thank you for posting picts from Ocean Club - it is one place I have in a request for information and am waiting to hear back on dates. The place looks amazing and T&C is on the top of our list. This would be awesome if everything prices out they way we are hoping, and they have some dates open in March! Still waiting to hear back from the TA on that info, she has been super patient with us, and am surprised she hasn't kicked us to the curb yet (haha!). The Sands also looks great, but from what I was able to find online, the rooms are not cheap. Maybe I need to talk to them directly for any discounts?

           

          Are all weddings in Turks coordinated by the same 2 companies? I was reading online and sounds like there are 2 options for weddings. Maybe I am reading this wrong? We just want something super simple - the ceremonies you show in the 2 T&C links pretty much nails it what we are looking for. Also, not 100% set on going thru the resort for the reception - are there restaurants that can accommodate groups within walking distance from the Ocean Club? Otherwise if the OCW has a spot that we can be outside for most of the night would be ideal.

           

          Thanks again for the info. Looking forward to your response! I was running on panic mode most of this week and think I have calmed down. I am just anxious to get a location set, the rest will be easy (easier?) :o)

          Best,

          AC
           

          Originally Posted by Tropical Imaging 

          For the Turks and Caicos, we have a lot of options but if you are watching your budget and want simple/within walking distance to other restaurants etc  here are a few ideas for resorts:

           

          http://www.thesandsresort.com/

          http://www.oceanclubresorts.com/

           

           

          The Sands has a great stretch of beach, there are no resorts on either side of the property.  They also have a nice deck area overlooking the beach that has been used for ipod cocktail/receptions etc, it additionally is easily in walking distance to many shops/restaurants etc.  When we have family and friends coming down this is the resort we recommend.

           

          Ocean Club and Ocean Club West are also both great options.  Ocean Club is the older of the two, but also has a very nice stretch of beach.  They additionally have a meal plan option that people can do if they would like to have some meals included and you can use both resorts pools and facilities.

           

          Both of the resorts are condo/hotel style resorts, which allows people to cook or fix breakfast/lunch if they like.  We have  grocery store within walking or a quick shuttle ride from them so people don't have to eat every meal out.  

           

          If you want something in a higher price range or lower, let me know and I can give you some other options, I didn't want to overwhelm you with more choices.

           

          Depending on when you go in March will determine if deals are going on as you are entering the busy season.  We do have Jet Blue starting service from NY and Boston in February (they'll start listing flights in Oct).  AA flies from Miami and New York, Delta flies from Atlanta and USAirways flies through Charlotte NC, depending on where you are, those would be the connecting cities.   

           

          Here are some blog posts of weddings we have done at those venues to give you an idea of what they look like

          Ocean Club

          http://www.brilliant...son-ocean-club/

          http://www.brilliant...n-club-wedding/

           

          The Sands

          http://www.brilliant...tals-explosion/

          http://www.brilliant.tc/2010/07/sail/

          http://www.brilliant...ng-tiffany-ben/

           

          If you have any other questions about the T&C let me know, I have lived here 15 years and am about 5 minutes away from Grace Bay Beach at all times.

           

          Krys

           

           

           

           





          #5 82turtles

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            Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:34 PM

            Not sure how helpful this might be, but I stayed at the Samsara resort in Negril, Jamaica with a few girl friends. It was January, so not sure how it would be around March and Spring Break time, but you could ask them. Anyways, they had an option for all-inclusive if you wanted, but we didn't do that (nice that they do have the bar and restaurant if we didn't feel like wandering around though). It is in the cliffs part, so definitely a different feel, yet they had a sister hotel right on the beach, with free transport between the two. It was very affordable, although I don't know if the hotel has any wedding coordination services.

             

            Good luck! Choosing is the hardest part, so I hear. I still haven't picked after looking around and researching for the past couple months... :)



            #6 AnnCam2011

            AnnCam2011
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              Posted 16 September 2010 - 06:00 PM

              I think a resort where AI is an option would be ideal, but I know it would be tough to find. I am not against doing AI - I think it would be easier for our guests to not have to worry about paying each time they get a drink or a meal. I was in Jamaica a few years ago, and while it was a nice trip (cheaply done since I was in college) I would rather go someplace I haven't been before. My fiance loves to travel and has a hang-up on going to the same place twice. I realize there are different areas of the island, but it's just his opinion!



              #7 Tropical Imaging

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                Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:34 AM

                Glad I could help.  Just FYI September is the SLOW season, in fact many resorts and restaurants here are closed right now and this is when resorts ask staff to take vacation time.  That may explain the slow response from Ocean Club (not an excuse, just an explanation...I personally wish they would be a bit more prompt).   As for the Sands it doesn't hurt to check with the hotel directly.  Right now there are still lots of rooms available and I know deals are happening.  I would call and see if there is a better rate if you are booking a certain amount of rooms. 

                 

                There are actually 3 wedding coordinators on island.   Teresa from www.tropicaldmc.com, Diane from www.islandharmony.com and nila destinations (Diane and Teresa own their companies and we have worked with them extensively, they are great, Nila has been on island the longest but it is owned by someone else and they hire their staff, there has been a changeover and I don't know the new gal very well, but they have always been nice in the past).   However for a simple wedding, Hotels also have a person assigned to coordinate so that is an option.  The last time I was at Ocean Club, their on site coordinator had things in hand quite easily.

                 

                There isn't anything within easy walking distance from Ocean Club except for their restaurant, but it is a lovely location with some indoor areas and then a nice outdoor area and dance floor.  Ocean Club West is in the middle of things so there are lots of restaurants around.  The Sands is in walking distance to Bay Bistro (owned by the same people who do Kissing fish catering) which is lovely for a reception.    You could also talk to Joan Whent from Kissing Fish (joanandclive@yahoo.com) for reception options.  They set up tents on the beach and do amazing food for receptions/rehearsal dinners etc.  And Joan is a type A personality, she'll be very prompt and quick with responses etc  www.kissingfish.tc.

                 

                Hope that helps

                Krys

                 


                 

                Originally Posted by AnnCam2011 

                Krys, thank you for posting picts from Ocean Club - it is one place I have in a request for information and am waiting to hear back on dates. The place looks amazing and T&C is on the top of our list. This would be awesome if everything prices out they way we are hoping, and they have some dates open in March! Still waiting to hear back from the TA on that info, she has been super patient with us, and am surprised she hasn't kicked us to the curb yet (haha!). The Sands also looks great, but from what I was able to find online, the rooms are not cheap. Maybe I need to talk to them directly for any discounts?

                 

                Are all weddings in Turks coordinated by the same 2 companies? I was reading online and sounds like there are 2 options for weddings. Maybe I am reading this wrong? We just want something super simple - the ceremonies you show in the 2 T&C links pretty much nails it what we are looking for. Also, not 100% set on going thru the resort for the reception - are there restaurants that can accommodate groups within walking distance from the Ocean Club? Otherwise if the OCW has a spot that we can be outside for most of the night would be ideal.

                 

                Thanks again for the info. Looking forward to your response! I was running on panic mode most of this week and think I have calmed down. I am just anxious to get a location set, the rest will be easy (easier?) :o)

                Best,

                AC
                 


                 




                #8 AnnCam2011

                AnnCam2011
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                  Posted 17 September 2010 - 04:00 AM

                  I looked at the Kissing Fish website last night and they food looks awesome! I've never had conch before :o) Think that might be a good way to go if T&C works out. I really appreciate all the info you have given me - Now I can go into the weekend feeling a little less frazzled!

                   

                  Last night was another sleepless night for me - kept waking up worried about finding the location and started to wonder if we should just throw in the towel on the DW idea, have a regular old wedding here then take a honeymoon trip. I kept thinking about my cousin's wedding, how they really wanted to do a DW but since they have large families, they opted to stay home and do the norm. Thinking back on it, they really didn't seem all that into their own wedding - the ceremony was outside in a lovely garden with a gazebo, but the reception was very average: dance music was blah, food was blah, the whole night just seemed like they both didn't really want to be there (if that's the right way to put it?). Thinking back on their wedding now, it seems like they were bored with it, maybe because it wasn't done the way they really wanted? And I don't want to give up on this idea and have a "regular old wedding" at home. So, that being said, I am NOT giving up! We WILL find a great location! I WILL drink frozen fruity drinks there!! :o)






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