Hi everyone -
I just got back from my Wedding at Beaches Turks and Caicos. I had a November Wedding. I would be happy to give any advise to anyone if you have any specific questions. There is so much I wish that I knew prior to going.
Turks and Caicos - was wonderful. Beautiful, perfect weather temperature, friendly people, easy to get to from the East Coast.
Beaches - it was a wonderful vacation place. The staff was so friendly, always saying hello, greeting you, asking you about your stay... they really made it a great place. The room attendents, cleaning staff, beverage stocking people for your room were great. They went above an beyond for me. They even threw away my Dom bottle that I was going to safe from my wedding and they went and dug it out of the trash for me.
The food was great - my 90 year old grandfather who hasn't enjoyed a steak for 5 years even said that they tenderloin we the best he had in forever.
Activities - so much to do. I am anxious to go back because I didn't even get to do everything.
As for my wedding -
I think overall Beaches really needs to develop a better system for setting up your wedding. The wedding planning was very difficult. I think that they could really develop a nice packet they could send you in the mail and go through everything you want and mail it back. It would even be nice to develop a computer program to go through and choose what you want and it would develop a spread sheet on how much everything would cost.
Another negative is them not allowing you pick the locations you would like for your wedding prior to getting there. They show you these beautiful ocean views where your reception could be but then tell you, that you will choose that when you arrive. I think that you really need to know what you could specifically have prior to getting there - ex. the specific locations in pictures - how it would look on the wedding day, and how many people it can accommadate. When I met with the wedding coordinator at the resort she showed me 2 locations for my ceremony and 2 locations for the reception. The wedding ceremony location was great - if you can get the Schooner's deck you won't be disappointed - it is beautiful and overlooks the ocean. This is great for larger groups. As for the reception - I was given the choice of 2 locations - the first one was the Carribean resort pool - (Iguana Pool) and the other was the Carribbean Village Basketball court. To be honest I cannot believe that this is a choice - there was nothing elegant about the Basketball court. When I inquired about some of the other locations that I saw in the brochure - I was informed that they were already taken because the sales department also books private receptions for groups and it wouldn't accommodate the size of my group ( I had 40 guests). I was a little upset at first because I really thought that if you book early you should get to choose the locations, but they said they don't allow prebooking of locations. On the brightside - the Iguana pool was a wonderful place to have the reception - I would advise it - the pool lighting and the strings of lights over the bar area was great! I thought that it was a perfect location. I wouldn't have have been able to see the ocean view anyways because it is dark in November by 5:30. So I was really happy how the situation turned out. I just think that brides should be aware of this.
The food that I had was great at the wedding. Push for them allowing you to have 2 entree choices for the wedding. They initially were only going to let me pick one, but I pushed for 2 and they allowed it. I picked the Beef Tenderloin and Mahi Mahi and they were both great. Appetizer was the crab cake - not my favorite - I think I would choose something different if I had know. Caeser salad was great. And the Chocolate Desert was fabulous!
I chose to add a tier on my wedding cake for $100.00 so I had three layers - I am glad I did that because the 2 layer cake look pretty small and if you have a bigger group you are going to need it.
I hired a DJ for 1 hour because they are expensive - in Turks and Caicos they don't run the deal like they do at the other Beaches and Sandals resort for more hours. I strongly advise that you have what you want your DJ to play and exactly what you want them to do - announce the speeches, father daughter dance, garter etc... if not they won't do it. My family had to go and ask for a microphone for the speeches and the next thing we new he was saying last dance of the night so my new husband and I got up and dances and then my parents jumped in. I know at my planning session that I said I didn't have any specific song that I wanted to dance to but that we wanted classic music so not to offend anyone. They said the DJ would do his best.
After the wedding we just went all over the resort - we stopped for karyoke at Cricketers and then went to Club Liquid - we had a blast all night.
Flowers - Ok so I don't know exactly what to say here. I wanted white dendrobium orchids for my tables which they said that I could substitute - since I was just doing to Bridal Beginnings package. Well they ordered the wrong ones - and they were great and trying fix the problem with the white flowers since they had magenta. To be honest I would have been happy sticking with the magenta, but they really wanted to fix their problem. So they talked to the florist and they were going to substitute the flowers with white roses and lilies - so I thought that I was getting a better deal. Turns out they gave me 1 rose per centerpiece - wilted lilies - and some other pink and white fillers - they looked bad. The flowers weren't good. They were gracious and credited me 50% of the price - but really I wish I just got the magenta flowers. Everything is preordered to the island and they get their orders on Tuesday only so if it isn't there your aren't going to get it. Now for the bouquets - they are expensive and you literally only get 5 stems for $75.00. I did synthetic orchids for the boutenniers for the men and they looked good. I think to do it all over I would save the money on the flowers go to Joann's or Michaels and buy stems for my bridesmades. I have seen some posts for synthetic bouquest bought by other brides and they looked good.
I would definitely go to Beaches again and stay. The all inclusive is wonderful and there is so much to do. However with the amount of what the wedding will cost you if you have more than 8 people attending, I think I would have hired a wedding planner down there and have the wedding at another resort.
Brides know before you book - when they say reception included - it is only a 30 minute cold appetizer and wine reception for up to 8 people. After 8 people it is 15.00 per person. A 1 hour reception is 25.00 per person. There is no dinner.
If you want a dinner it is only a 2 hour or 3 hour. The better deal is 3 hours if you have over 10 rooms booked because they will give you a 15.00 credit per person on the 3 hour dinner. But the 3 hour dinner is 75.00 per person. The frustrating part is that it is an all inclusive resort that you are paying for. You also have to pay for guests that stay in other resorts down there to come in 150 per person if you book the 3 hour reception. If you don't have a 3 hour reception it is like 370 per person to come in either 9-6 or 6-2.
Also, I didn't particularly like the Beaches photography down there based on the sample pictures online. So I hired an outside photographer - I had a book a room for them for 3 days in order to use them. I am so glad that I did because they were wonderful - we got them for 5 hours instead of the 2 hours with beaches - and they are giving us all of the 1800 pictures they took instead of the 200 limit that beaches will give you for $2000. Another reason why I might consider having my wedding at a different resort or location on the island to save on the room fees and be able to hire a great photographer. I didn't actually have beaches take any photos of us so I really can't comment on photo experience - I am just going by he sample photos that I see online - they are unedited and no attention to details. There are shots of mens shirts gapping open at the button holes.
I think that if you are going to have a small wedding Beaches would be great. I think if you are going to have a larger destination wedding - look for alternatives - I don't think it is worth what you are going to pay. I suggest looking at the website www.brillant.tc in the blog section to look at wedding at other resorts on the island.
The wedding coordinator at Beaches Patricia was WONDERFUL - she really tried her best to give me everything that I wanted. I know that hands are tied when it comes to corporations and prices. She was right there when we arrived and called me and really tried to make everything perfect. The weddings just seemed like an assembly line put together routine. No personalized details or options.
I am really glad that I didn't upgrade the wedding to Visions of white or anything like that - I don't think for the cost it would have been worth it.
I have other kudos and recommendations - so if anyone has questions please let me know.
I hope this helps - I don't want anyone to think that I didn't love my wedding - just I wish I knew some things beforehand because I would have done stuff differently.
Good luck to all future brides. If you have questions please let me know!