Originally Posted by kbrannock22
This is my first post. I got engaged in July and have been trying to narrow down places for my destination wedding in June 2013 and I think I have finally settled on the Cayman Islands!!!! Now that I think I have chosen a location, I feel extremely overwhelmed. I have seen a lot of advice about different planners, and like a few people have mentioned, I think the majority of the planners are on vacation right now. I'm not sure if I need a planner or can afford one, but I have emailed a few that were mentioned.
I would like to have a beach wedding ceremony and a reception at the Grand Old House. I am hoping to have my guests stay either at Sunshine Suites, the Westin, or the Villas of the Galleon and have the ceremony at either the Villas of the Galleon or the Westin. Then arrange transportation for a small reception at the Grand Old House. I am having approximately 18-22 guests.
Can anyone give me advice? I see very few people who do multiple sites for wedding and reception and I'm not sure if there is a reason for this. I just love the way the Grand Old House looks and the gazebo for a reception, but I can't go all the way to the Grand Cayman and not get married with my toes in the sand on the beach . Also, it seems that there are restaurants within walking distance of these hotels. Are there any that are recommended for a rehearsal dinner?
Also, big question...Photography. I absolutely love Aaron Rebarchek and his blog. How many of you destination brides actually do a full day for 8 hours? My mother (who is helping pay for the wedding) thinks its weird to do photography getting ready and during the reception, but I think its pretty typical nowadays. Anyway, I am thinking that maybe I can negotiate and just do 4-5 hours and then a TTD the next day Any thoughts? Or any photographers that are similar to him that maybe are just a little less expensive ??
Thanks so much!!!
Hi! Ok I think I can help - I actually just got back from the island and did lots of investigating! I am getting married on Seven Mile Beach - probably Governor's Beach - with my toes in the sand And then shuttling people over to Grand Old House for the reception. Desiree at GOH is great, but there is no beach there as you probably know. Governor's Beach is directly next to the Westin beach and it's GORGEOUS. It's very wide and the sand is perfect. My planner, Juliette Heath, recommended it and we are 99% sure that's where it will be. It's also a public beach and is FREE to use. The Westin beach is beautiful, but they will probably charge you site fees. We are also getting a room block at the Westin and Sunshine Suites (which is right across the street from the Westin, but cheaper).
We didn't eat at any of the restaurants in walking distance from there, but there are a bunch. We ate at Tukka, which is prob a 30-minute drive, and it is AMAZING. I think we are doing our rehearsal dinner at Ristorante Pappagallo which is also beautiful, and about 10 minutes from 7 mile beach.
We are also using Aaron for photos and Picture This for vidoegraphy! So many similarities! He said that most people do 4-6 hours of photography (I think we are doing 6). And for a Trash the Dress, he just charges you for 1 extra hour of photography (even though the shoots usually go longer than an hour), so it's a pretty good deal.
Bottom line, if you do the wedding and reception all in one spot, you may be fine using the on-site planner. But if you have them in separate places I would recommend hiring a local planner. We are so happy with Juliette and her price is very reasonable compared to some of the other planners on the island. It was great meeting her in person and her local knowledge just makes me feel better about everything. Let me know if you have any more questions! Sounds like our plans might be very similar