Hi, just got engaged, not really sure about our wedding date, but looking more like Nov, 2011. I'm completely torn as to where to start, I was thinking about choosing my top three resorts and destinations, ie Jamaica, Bahamas, and Mexico. A friend of mine got married at the Dreams in Puerto Vallarta, and she loved it, but I'm not compeletly sold on the Dreams Resorts. I have a guest list around 20-25 and only one child who is 14. Im not sure rather I should look at booking an adult resort and have others stay at sister resorts ot have everyone at a kid friendly resort? Plus food, pictures, package's how does all that work and are the resort photographers, good ones? Should I contact WC's in advance not knowing if I'm going to be booking there, I guess I just have a million questions. Thanks Can anyone help?
A million and one questions~
Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:48 AM
Congrats on your engagement and welcome to the forum. Getting started is always the tricky part, so many beautiful destinations to choose from. You and FI can make a list of perhaps your top 5 resorts and then make a list of what is most important to you. Are you looking for lots of island activities? Do you want an All-inclusive or regular resort? Do you want boutique style or big? As you start answering these questions and others your decision will start taking shape. You can always contact WC at different resorts and ask for their wedding brochure so that you can see what is offered, what is included, and importantly where it may all fit into your budget. Don't worry there are lots of us brides here to help your questions and planning along the way and most of all just lend support. Good luck and happy planning!
Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:39 PM
Congrats and welcome to the forum! I have stayed at a few Palace Resorts in Mexico (they have several) and they are wonderful. They are all-inclusive and I have seen some very nice weddings while there.
Posted 23 September 2010 - 02:27 PM
Welcome and congrats! Sorry this post is long and kind of scatterbrained.. It's been a long day at work!
I'm planning on just about the same thing as you -- November 2011, about 30-35 ppl. I haven't booked a resort yet, but have been doing research and narrowing down my choices for now...
For me at least, the price for the guests to travel is a biggest determining factor! I looked at online travel sites just to get an idea of what prices might run for the two countries I was considering. Looking at travel rates for this year from where I live there is about a $350 difference per person between the 2 countries, so that may just decide the location for me...That's a lot of extra money to my sister's family of 5!! Wherever you choose, there are all kinds of resorts at all different price points. Once you have an idea on that, it can help narrow things down. I would also suggest reading reviews!!! I almost chose one resort, but the trip advisor reviews were sooo consistently bad that I ruled it out. Figured I wasn't going to have my family and friends travel somewhere for my wedding and risk them having a bad experience like I kept reading about!
I haven't done so yet, but if you plan on using a travel agent, they could also help with your decision and give you an idea of what the hotels can do for you and your group. I know this forum is ran by a travel agency (click the banner on top for their info), or I'm sure there are local ones where you live, too.
Also, I checked out the wedding packages online for each of the resort brands I am considering, and have been trying to compare those apples-to-apples as much as possible. That's been the difficult part because the wedding packages are so different, and I've found most sites don't list out the cost of the 'extras'. You'll need to decide what your budget is and prioritize out what is most important to you and your FI for your special day!
As for adults only vs kids, you just have to pick what you're going for. Most of my group will be adults, but there will be at least 5 kids, including my soon-to-be-stepdaughter, so we ruled out the adults-only resorts immediately. The whole point for us was to spend this time together and not have people split up across properties. But it's all your decision! I will say that's one of the best things about a destination wedding -- you can make it whatever you want it to be and it will be great.
If you plan on a legal ceremony, you may also want to check out the requirements for each of the countries you are thinking about. Just something to consider.
As for the resort photographer question -- you'll see most people on this forum suggest hiring your own rather than relying on the resort's. I would agree, unless you are able to see samples of photography from the exact person who is would shoot your wedding, and are satisfied with their work. That's the best part about photography -- the work speaks for itself. The pictures are what you'll have to remember it by, so it's hard to compromise on that aspect! If you are looking at hiring a local photog from down there, be sure to check if the resort allows outside photographers (or if there is a fee associated with that).
As for the food question, again it really depends on the resort, what you pick, and what's included in the wedding package. Almost all have options for a semi-private or private reception.
Good luck!! It seems deciding the resort is the biggest challenge! Which is why I'm still stuck
Posted 24 September 2010 - 06:25 AM
Welcome to the forum and above all, congratulations for your engagement!
Have you thought of the Riviera Maya? One of the best things about Riviera Maya is the fact that you can get everything you dream, and it goes from the simplest things, up to the most elaborated... I am certain that you would love it.
To check out various resorts, a good place to go is the hotel review section on tripadvisor.com and the venue reviews here. TA will not offer many wedding reviews, but the list is probably more extensive and you can come back here to learn more about wedding experiences. I would suggest using both resources.
Your wedding is going to be full of magic and this website will help you a lot!
We wish you the best.
Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:03 PM
Congratulations and welcome to the forums! We work in the Mayan Riviera Mexico.... so if you end up deciding to come here, let us know if you have any questions about a particular resort!
Best of luck and have fun with your planning!
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Posted 26 September 2010 - 01:52 PM
I just want to thank everyone for all the great information regarding our wedding planning. I feel really supported here by ppl who may know the answer or how to get them to all my questions/concerns. The website is the answer to my prayers! I will be checking out all the great responses and your opinions have a great deal of weight in my decision making. Thanks again~!
Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:49 AM
Congrats and welcome to the forum!! You'll find so much great advice here!
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