We had a wonderful wedding & honeymoon at Beaches Turks & Caicos! We were there 10 days, and spent the first 5 days with family & friends, then after everyone left we had 5 more days of honeymoon/ alone time.
We had a wonderful experience, and so did our 22 guests! Patricia was our wedding onsite coordinator and she made everything a breeze. It really helped that I read the entire "Beaches Turks & Caicos roll call" string in advance so that I could make the most of our destination wedding prior to arriving, because Roxi (sales wedding coordinator) was not very informative or accessible. The advice of the past brides was invaluable to planning, and I want to know that I credit you all for being the BEST wedding assistants EVER! Everyone loved the welcome gift bags we made up. The "fill in the blank" itinerary of where to meet at what time during our wedding week was very useful in getting everyone where they needed to be. We arranged a few group dinners upon arrival with Patricia as well.
The day before the wedding, we received a complimentary dinner, because we had 10 rooms booked in our wedding group. But we wanted to let everyone experience the Friday night Beaches sponsored "island beach party" that takes place on the beach just past the Caribbean Village, by where the management staff is housed. So after my hair/ makeup trials we had a heavy appetizer reception with full open bar, then we headed over to the island beach party with all kinds of different kinds of food, desserts, drinks, plus contests, entertainment, dancing, face painting and a bouncy house for kids - it was perfect! This may sound weird, but I thought the curried goat and conch were delicious.
For the ceremony, we used the free Beautiful Beginnings theme and upgraded on the things that meant the most to us: the flowers (Island Paradise), the 4-post wedding arch with orange sheers, the sand ceremony, and a steel pan player. I understand that the wedding packages may have changed a bit and brides can now make more choices, which is great, but I loved every element of what we did. Our ceremony timeslot was 11:00am, so my hair and makeup appointment at the Red Lane Spa took place at 9:00am. Our ceremony took place on "Schnooners Beach", and from the golf cart (Patricia drove my sister, mom and I from our room), I walked down the boardwalk steps to the sand, which was an awesome entrance/ exit. Afterwards, we had a 30 minute reception on Schnooners Deck (where the Caicos Sloop Bar and sail shades are located), which turned into more like an hour reception. And since we didn't finish the delicious chocolate rum cake there, they delivered the rest of the cake to our room, and we snacked on it throughout the rest of the week! Then we did photographs, followed by a large group lunch at Barefoot on the Beach. It was perfect! The photos took a bit longer than we expected, but Barefoot on the Beach was great and didn't mind that we were 30 minutes late. Then everyone was free to do whatever they wanted for the rest of the day, since we had a private dinner on the beach booked for that evening. A bunch of us played at the water park, some people went on a snorkel trip, some played at the beach, and a few went to watch the Kentucky Derby at Cricketers. My mom even arranged a "good night" tuck-in with Abby Cadabby, one of the Sesame Street characters on site for my niece. Everyone liked that they had some "do whatever you want" down time.
We decided to use Beaches for our wedding day photography upon our meeting with Patricia. We were assigned James Bond, who was really good at wrangling all our guests to make sure we got the best group photos. He also suggested and did an excellent job with some of the artistic and fun shots we didn't think of doing ourselves. When we met with Patricia, we bought a 24 photo package on CD for $410, and ended up upgrading to a 32 (?) print package during our photo-selection appointment because we liked so many of the professional ones compared to the amateur ones our family and friends took for us!
Three days later we got dressed up again and did a "trash the dress" session with Ileana at Brilliant by Tropical Imaging. Not only is she incredibly talented, but very fun and welcoming, so we were immediately comfortable and relaxed for our shoot. My husband and I both agree it was one of the best choices we made regarding the entire wedding! She put a few photos on her blog, but there were over 200 images to choose from, and we can't wait to get the photo journal we ordered. Some of our photos had our wedding flowers, since we used the fridge in the room to keep them cold/ preserved.
The only thing I would NOT do again is use the Beaches Registry. We were gifted some very generous gifts, one of which was an off-site "sail/ snorkel/ lunch on a deserted beach" Provo Cays Exploration, which the onsite Vendor calls "Little Taste of Heaven". Our excursion was cancelled 24 hours before due to lack of participants. The vendor said they had to refund the entire $418 directly to the resort the exact way it was booked, versus letting us rebook different excursions worth the same cost, per their policy. We booked a more popular, less expensive ($99 per person) excursion to take it's place, but could not use any of the registry funds for it, so we used our credit card. What is terrible is that we still don't have our $418 refund from the original cancellation!!! The vendor was supposed to make refund to the Beaches TCI Resort, who in turn was supposed to make refund to the Beaches Registry, who in turn was supposed to refund it to Honeymoon Wishes, who in turn was supposed to contact us to find out whether we wanted the refund via bank draft or check. We received the registry gift in April. Our wedding was 5/5/12, the 5/9 excursion was cancelled on 5/8, and despite numerous calls to the Beaches Registry folks, Honeymoon Wishes, and Customer Service, there is no resolution. Strangely, I didn't have to go through all this to book the tour we were gifted on the registry - all we did was call Sanjay at the Beaches Registry and we got a confirmation number. But when we called to get refunded, we were told by Sanjay that we had to contact their 3rd party vendor, Honeymoon Wishes who would physically refund us. Of course, Honeymoon Wishes can't make the refund until Sanjay sends some email with the authorization from accounting, so it is a total mess and no one will step up and actually DO anything. I have talked to 3 different people at Beaches, and they all promise to call back, but no one does. They are incredibly disorganized, and I have to go through my entire spiel each time I call. I suspect the fact that Beaches TCI has been closed for 3 weeks due to the norovirus outbreak hasn't helped matters, but this is ridiculous and really bad customer service. I have also written to customer service and responded to the survey requests for Beaches Registry and Beaches Weddingmoons. I don't think anyone read anything I sent. Please save yourself the aggrevation and don't use the Beaches Registry!!!
I hope this helps