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Paradise Island Site Visit- Ideas and Questions


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#1 MrsWeiss1211

MrsWeiss1211
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    Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:10 PM

    Hi Ladies,

     

    Its my first post on BDW!  I've been a silent member for a few weeks and have finally gathered enough information to feel like I have some idea on what's going and a ton of questions on how to put it all together.  Planning our wedding is going to be so much fun!  Thank you for all your brilliant ideas and suggestions!  

     

    Soooo....

     

    My Fiance and I are heading to the Bahamas Feb 24-28 to do some reconnaissance.  Here's what we're thinking in terms of Vendors.

     

    Flowers-

       Wildflower- I've viewed their website and pictures of their work and I think they are very talented.  I have a meeting scheduled

       with them for when we get down there.  

     

       Anyone know how their prices compare to say Floral Arts and Full House Floral Events.  I looked at their websites, but wasn't

       blown away.  Is that just the pictures they're showing.  Anyone use them for their wedding?

     

    Cake-

       The O&O wants to charge us $1400 for our wedding cake.  I think that's asinine.  

     

       Swiss Pastry Shoppe-  I've seen this place listed a few times on the threads.  Has anyone used them?  Anyone gone for a cake

       tasting??

     

       Anyone know any other pastry shops?

     

    DJ-

       Everyone is raving about Jose Ageeb.  Does anyone have his contact info?

     

       Has anyone used anyone else?  We really want someone with a "club-like" dj feel.

     

    Entertainment-

       Ceremony Performer-  I'm thinking a violinist?  Does anyone know of one?

     

       Steel Drum band-  we'd love to hire one for either our rehearsal dinner or cocktail hour.  The O&O is quoting me $500-1200/hr.    

       Is that the going rate- or are they hiking up the price?

     

       Junkanoo Band- has anyone ever experienced one of these?  I've youtub'd them and I have mixed feelings...

     

       Fire dancers-  anyone have any recommendations?

     

    Officiant

       Matthew Sweeting- everyone is raving about him as well.  My fiance is Jewish and I'm christian but we're both wayyy more

       spiritual than religious.  Is he a good fit?  

     

       Also, anyone know any good rabbis?  We're not sure that we'll use one but I'd like to meet with one just in case.

     

    Photographer-

       I'm stressing out about this vendor.  

     

       I'm not even sure how pricing works for them.  How is everyone structuring their contracts?  I'd like them to shoot my whole

       weekend (casino night, pool party, rehearsal dinner, getting ready, wedding, reception, late night, brunch and trash the dress...).

       Am I going to be selling off my first born for something like this?

     

       Has anyone flown in a photographer?  How does that pricing work??

     

       If anyone has actually figures or even sample contracts that they feel comfortable sharing, please message me.

     

       Anyone have any names?  Right now I'm finding photographers in california and miami, but i'd love to have some local as I think

       they will be more reasonably priced.  Am I right?

     

    Hair and Make-up

       I'd love to have 2-3 artist come to our room and get all the ladies ready.  Anyone have any trusted stylists?  

     

       Right now my only idea is to go to the Mac store in Nassau and see if I can hire someone from there...

     

    Travel Agent

       Has anyone used Destinationweddings.com?  I hear that they not only get you group discounts on flights but also set up

       payment plans with 0% interest.  Sounds almost too good to be true??

     

    Guys,  thank you so much.  You all have been so amazing in the other threads I've read!


    Forever could never be long enough for me to feel like i've had long enough with you

    #2 porcell14

    porcell14
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      Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:27 AM

      Hi Mrs Weiss -

       

      I have some similar questions and some answers that may help :-)  I will be getting married 7/2/11 in the Bahamas.  Ceremony at Sunrise Beach on Paradise Island, and reception at Luciano's on Nassau. 

       

      I already booked Jose Ageeb due to the extensive recommendations he received on this site.  I actually looked him up on facebook (lol) but I have his email now: spinal1@hotmail.com.  He is very responsive (he uses a blackberry) and he asks for 50% deposit.  He also offers to do your audio/speakers for your ceremony if needed, and he has specialty musicians (like steel drum band, etc.).  I think he charges $250/hr for those.  I can't find the pricing info he gave me but I know we are paying $1450 total for 4 hours (just using Jose). So far, I feel very confident in our DJ choice since he has been so easy to work with.

       

      I'm not sure about my other vendors since I am using a wedding coordinator that is choosing the rest.  Destinationweddings.com looks very good, but I went with Deanne Williams at weddingvisionsbahamas.com instead, as she came recommended by a family friend that got married through her a few years ago.  So far, she has been pretty good... she definitely emails me back within 1-2 business days, even if it is to just confirm receipt of my email and say she is working on it.  I prefer to be more hands on in picking out my vendors (which is why we strayed and chose our own DJ), but so far she has been very accommodating in getting whatever I want.  I just send her pictures and she tells me she will duplicate it.

       

      As far as photographers go, I researched these and found that Ben Jamieson, Mark Da Cunha and Mario Nixon seem to be very good and are based in the Bahamas.  Since my WC has someone else she uses, she is just sending our photographer the links to these sites so she can copy their photography style.  I have read on here about other couples flying their photographers in, but I've learned that you have to pay for their expenses (flight/hotel), plus their work visa (since they are performing work for pay out of the country), all on top of their regular fees! 

       

      I am also debating the hair and make up situation.  I am lucky to have a friend who does hair but not sure what to do about makeup.  I didn't realize there was a MAC store on Nassau - that could be a good option.  I did read on another thread that someone used the services at the spa at Atlantis and said they did a good job.  I would think they would be pricey though.

       

      Hope that helps a bit!  Best of luck with your planning!!!



      #3 skp1

      skp1
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      • 405 posts

        Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

        Welcome to the board!  Sounds like you are making some good headway so far.  The planning can be a lot of fun and stressful too.  BDW has been awesome though!  I can answer some of your questions.  Although i don't have first hand experience yet since my wedding isn't until June, I did go on a site visit and meet vendors in October, have spoken to others and done tons of research.

         

        Flowers - I met with Wildflowers and Cacique during my site visit so those are the only 2 I know.  The prices from Wildflowers are so reasonable and they are so NICE!  Seriously, I felt so comfortable with Natalie and Alexander and felt they really understood what we were looking for without trying to oversell anything.  They were so willing to tweak things to get our price right.

         

        Cake - my wedding is at Atlantis and I don't think w e are allowed to bring in any outside food so I haven't checked vendors for that.  But the Atlantis cakes were to die for!  We tasted 3 and they were fabulous...pricey though.

         

        DJ - we hired Jose but I didn't get to meet him during my site visit (he was out of town).  I believe he DJs at a club so he has that vibe.  here is his contact info:

         

        spinal1@hotmail.com

        242-324-4903

         

        Entertainment - we are also looking at Junkanoo and have the same feeling about the YouTube videos - some suck and some are great.  During my site visit we saw one in the Marina Village (they do one every Saturday so you should try to catch it while you're there).  It was awesome but I doubt those are the ones doing weddings.  I'm curious to see any responses on this one.

         

        Officiant - we hired Matthew and met him during the site visit.  We are Jewish and Catholic so we wanted something neutral and Matthew seemed the right fit.  We originally looked into using a rabbi & priest but priests wo't' come out of the church so we nixed that.

         

        Photographer - I went through the same stressed out period trying to find someone to do the whole weekend and fly them in, etc.  But I finally said, forget it because of pricing.  I couldn't find any destination deals and then factoring in the flights and hotel it was just way too expensive. I figured there will be plenty of people with cameras as the other events (and I have one friend that does it semi-professionally so I'm thinking of tasking him with some of it).  So we are just doing the wedding and hired Tim Aylen. 

         

        Hair/Make-up - that's my next project.  I have 2 names of makeup artists but haven't spoken to either one yet.  I wear Bobbie Brown and also thought about going to the store downtown and seeing if someone there could do it.  I have another site visit next month so will check the options out.  I'm hesitant about using the resort spa.

         

        Travel agent - we're not using one so I don't have any info there.

         

        Good luck!  And ask lots of questions - we've all been there.


        Steph & John........Atlantis.......June 18, 2011......happily married


        #4 MrsWeiss1211

        MrsWeiss1211
        • Newbie
        • 127 posts

          Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:51 PM

          Hey Girls!

           

          Thanks for the responses! And thanks for Jose's email.  I'm going to send him a message now and see if I can meet with him (or better yet attend an event he's dj-ing) while we are down there!

           

          Just an update on the photography situation-

           

          I found an awesome photographer in staten island (we're from manhattan) and they quoted me $4500 for 2 photographers for the entire weekend + $1000 for travel and hotel BUT $3000 of that goes towards whatever we purchase- like prints and albums.  That really means they are about $2000!

           

          Other photographers I looking at are charging $3000-$4000 for a few hours and they only include a CD or website.  

           

          Sounds like while they are a little more expensive, we'll get a TON more!

           

          I'll update when I get back from the site visit and let you guys know more deets.

           

          D


          Forever could never be long enough for me to feel like i've had long enough with you

          #5 smfs

          smfs
          • Jr. Member
          • 176 posts

            Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:02 AM

            For photographers I would use local Bahamas photographer Mario Nixon or Tim Alyn. They have all pricing on websites. Also, after speaking to my wedding planner, it sounds like the Spa at the Atlantis uses MAC & may be Mac employees as well. Although I have made calls & no one uses airbrush makeup. So i purchased my own airbrush system & will try using that! I am just renting a sound system & hooking our Ipod to it so we can pick ALL of the music.


            *16 confirmed~9/10/11~Nassau, Bahamas*
            http://vimeo.com/19177280

            #6 krazedtrader

            krazedtrader
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            • 23 posts

              Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:13 PM

              Hi 

               

              Do you mind providing me with the information for your Staten Island Photographer?  It sounds like a really great deal worth considering!!!

               

              Kathy



              #7 MrsWeiss1211

              MrsWeiss1211
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              • 127 posts

                Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:53 PM

                Hey Kathy,

                 

                They are called The Studio Photographers and their main office is in Jersey.  Really great team.  They told me that all of their destination weddings have been featured in National Publications.  

                 

                Just found another associated fee for flying in your own photographers- Temporary Work Permits!  I'll be getting more deets on that this weekend and will have a full update report when I get back.

                 


                Forever could never be long enough for me to feel like i've had long enough with you

                #8 skp1

                skp1
                • Jr. Member
                • 405 posts

                  Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:09 AM

                  Oh, by the way I called the spa at Atlantis and they don't use Mac - they use Colorscience which I've never heard of.

                   

                  Good luck this weekend - let us know how it goes.


                  Steph & John........Atlantis.......June 18, 2011......happily married


                  #9 haring

                  haring
                  • Banned
                  • 10 posts

                    Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:50 AM


                     


                     

                    As far as photographers go, I researched these and found that Ben Jamieson, Mark Da Cunha and Mario Nixon seem to be very good and are based in the Bahamas.  Since my WC has someone else she uses, she is just sending our photographer the links to these sites so she can copy their photography style.  I have read on here about other couples flying their photographers in, but I've learned that you have to pay for their expenses (flight/hotel), plus their work visa (since they are performing work for pay out of the country), all on top of their regular fees! 

                     


                     

                    Fly somebody from Miami. It takes 30 minutes to get to the Bahamas from Miami. Lot of people book us for destination weddings in the Bahamas because we can fly in in the morning so you don't even have to pay for the hotel. Plane tickets are under $200.

                    Let us know if we can help!

                    Otto and Priscilla Haring

                    www.haringphotography.com



                    #10 MrsWeiss1211

                    MrsWeiss1211
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                      Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:52 PM

                      Hey Otto,

                       

                      I spoke with you about a month ago (on your way to a wedding in Orlando) and you never emailed me back! :(

                       

                      no worries tho... we found a great photographer based in the bahamas :)


                      Forever could never be long enough for me to feel like i've had long enough with you




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