I`m back from Turks! My wedding took place on July 6th 2011 and everything was perfect. I promise to post a review and some pictures. I haven`t been very active in the forum but did log on from time to time for some feedback. Thanks so much to all the brides who got married in early 2011 (Brandy, Misti, etc) for all the great tips and feedback. I have one word for Beaches resort: AMAZING!!!!! Ladies please don`t worry about a thing. I didn`t have a very good experience with Monica (wedding coordinator in Miami), I found her quite pushy and hard to get a hold of, but Patricia, the onsite wedding coordinator at Beaches is such a doll. She was extremely helpful, very good with following up. I honestly have no complaints about Beaches. We have a 22 month old son, and took him to the sesame street day camp a few times (it is included in the price that we pay). The childcare workers were wonderful, they made sure that he was fed, gave him his nap, they even braided my god-daughter`s hair.
We did the BB package. I wasn`t a fan of the flowers, so I ordered my own real touch flowers for my bouquet and my bridesmaids. Everything blended in so nicely. Please do not hesitate to ask me if you have any more questions. I will try to log on more frequently during the next few days since everything is still fresh in my mind. I used Shenique for my hair and makeup, my pictures were taken by my photographer friend who flew in from our home town. The food at Beaches is amazing! It is by far the best resort that I have ever stayed in, in terms of customer service, location, food, overall experience. The staff really went above and beyond to accomodate us. We were upgraded to a concierge suite in the caribean village (I believe the honeymoon caicos? (but will confirm in my review). We had 28 guests who attended the wedding. Our wedding ceremony was at 4PM, reception started at 6PM. Pastor Colby who married us was very kind, and funny. His cell phone did ring during the ceremony, but I`m sure it doesn`t happen on a regular basis lol. So, we did the BB package, with no upgrades. Since I brought my own bouquets, I got Patricia to add the flowers from the BB bouquet that I would have carried to the small vases on the table. I also brought my own programs, placecards, keepsakes and menus. When you talk to Monica about bringing in your own things, she mentions a $250 set up fee, which I REFUSED to pay. Once on-site, I informed Patricia that I would have a guest of mine set up all the menus and programs because I did not want to pay the fee. She was very acomodating. My sister snuck out around 5PM to set up the stuff, and it took her no more than 5 minutes
I have so much to tell you girls! Originally, I had booked a welcome cocktail party with Monica on the day after our arrival (cost was $25 pp). We ended up canceling it, because my TA told me I could get the concierge to make a group reservation at a restaurant once we got to Turks. And that`s excatcly what we did. On the day that we got there, we made dinner reservations (for every night except the wedding and rehearsal dinner night and day after the wedding) at a different restaurant. It was a great oportunity for us to get together with our guests. We really enjoyed all the restaurant. My only regret is that we didn`t get a chance to try out the Japanese restaurant. On the friday before we left, we attended a beach party (which they apparently have every fridays at the resort). It was a blast. I would rate my overall expecience with beaches a 9 out of 10. Ladies, beware, because there are A LOT of mosquitoes in Turks! Also on the wedding day, I was sooo hot in my dress. I knew I would be hot, but seriously. By the time we got married, I was soaked. I ended up changing into another dress after the reception. We did the 3 hour reception, and afterwards went to celebrate at the resort club: Liquid.
We ended up cutting our cake and having our first dance directly after the ceremony, since we would have had to pay the camera guy an extra $200 for staying overtime had we decided to keep him until the reception.
So here is what we paid for:
BB package, traditional wedding video, sand ceremony and 3 hour reception, microphone rental.
I didn`t purchase any pictures from Beaches, but just got a free one that came with the package. To tell you the truth, I was not happy with it at all. I am dark skinned, and my husband is pretty fair but we both look orange in the pictures. The photographer from Beaches said that had we allowed him to take more pictures, we would have had some better results, but I think I have seen enough. Out of the 5 pictures that we had to choose from, they all looked the same. I`m glad I used my own photographer, had I not used my own, I would have gone with Ileana from Brilliant.
If I could turn back the hands of time, maybe just maybe I would have opted out of the 3 hour reception to go to a resort restaurant to save the extra cash. However, it was very nice to have that privacy with our guests, we watched the sunset during dinner, danced, and did our speeches. For the brides on a budget though, just keep in mind that even if you don`t have a dinner reception, there are many nice restaurants on-site and you can make group reservations once you get to the resort (of course Monica would never mention that to you over the phone!).
OK, so I`ve said enough for now. More info to come! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Have a great day!