Iâ€™m back from our Atlantis wedding and WOW, it was amazing! If I had to do it again, I wouldnâ€™t change a thingâ€¦seriously, I couldnâ€™t have asked for anything better and our guests were blown away. We kept hearing comments like â€weâ€™re doing this every year right?â€ or â€œI want you to plan my daughterâ€™s weddingâ€ and â€œI canâ€™t believe you did all this.â€ Believe me, I had my ups and downs during planning but it was sooo worth it.
I have so many things to tell you, I donâ€™t know where to begin. I guess the logical place would be the actual wedding and then all the other stuff.
Venues â€“ our ceremony was on the Royal Overlook and the cocktail/reception was in Fathoms. There was a 40% chance of rain but luckily it was fine. However it was HOT, I mean really hot! I had originally worried about crying during the ceremony but the tears werenâ€™t a problem, the sweat was! I just hope it doesnâ€™t show in the pictures. Fathoms is awesome and our guests were so impressed â€“ the rustic dÃ©cor and fish tank really made it feel like we were someplace special.
The wedding staff was really nice. Of course I had been working with our WC for months but the banquet manager only comes in that day. It all went really smoothly. A few minor glitches but nothing anyone noticed. They really keep on top things too and made sure the bride and groom were taken care of.
Matthew Sweeting â€“ everything you hear about him is true â€“ he IS the guy to marry you. He makes the ceremony personal and really makes you comfortable while standing up there. As my sister put it, he is so charismatic. It made the heat bearable.
Wildflowers â€“ they are awesome. We had simple dÃ©cor since Fathoms has a lot of natural dÃ©cor already. We did cylinders with dendrobium orchids submerged in them and it was perfect â€“ simple and elegant. We rented the chivari chairs and had some draping to close off certain areas. They really came through because at the last minute we had to make changes once we saw the spacial elements of the room.
Tim Aylen â€“ such a nice guy! Havenâ€™t seen the pics yet but heâ€™s so easy to work with. I know theyâ€™ll be great. We didnâ€™t do many of us alone because it was so friggin hot outside and we couldnâ€™t stand it.
Jose Ageeb â€“ heâ€™s your one stop entertainment source. The music was great, he kept a good flow and kept us on the dance floor. We coordinated in advance the rough time line and it worked out great. And we were able to easily modify things on site too. Jose also organized our Junkanoo and cigar roller â€“ 2 HUGE hits at the wedding. I went back and forth about the cigars since we didnâ€™t have that many guests, but the guys loved it! Plus we were able to keep all the extras. We only had them during cocktail hour and it worked out fine. The junkanoo was AMAZING â€“ you have to do it. I know itâ€™s pricey, but seriously, cut something else and get this, seriously! Our guests were talking about it for days. We had it at the beginning of the reception when we were introduced so it really started the party off right.
Mandara spa â€“ my sister (MOH) and I had our hair done here. We opted out of the typical bridal up-doâ€™s and just had a shampoo and style. My sisterâ€™s hair looked great but mine looked like it does every day. I knew that would happen so I wasnâ€™t fazed by it. I had a beautiful sparkly headband I was wearing so it was fine. And really, it was so hot I ended up pulling it back once we got the receptionâ€¦again, I knew I would do that.
Bobbie Brown â€“ Trinere came over and did our make up and we looked beautiful. BB is the way to go!
Food â€“ honestly, as is typical with brides I didnâ€™t eat much so I canâ€™t say much about it. But our guests did comment how good it was the next day. I did eat the hors dâ€™oeuvres during cocktail hour which I loved (these we tasted at the site visit so I knew they would be great).
Cake â€“ this was to die for! We did a yellow cake with grand marnier and white chocolate filling and buttercream frosting. I didnâ€™t think we had an option of using a pastry shop so we only tasted Atlantis cakes during our site visit. But several guest told us it was the best cake they ever had. I canâ€™t wait â€˜til our first anniversary when we can eat it again. I was able to smuggle the cake top back home with us â€“ I was afraid it might get confiscated at airport security at which point I would have sat down and eaten it right there.
I think that covers all the Atlantis specific items at the wedding itself. We opted not to rent AV equipment for the photo montage. Instead we loaded our pics onto a digital frame and had that set near the bar so people could watch while waiting in line for drinks. We also did a photo booth type thing (minus the actual booth) which was a big hit. Guests were hamming it up with boas, leis, glam glasses, etc. We had a blast looking at the guest book the next morning.
We stayed at the Cove and ended up upgrading to a Sapphire suite. Man, the room was as big as my condo. It was crazy. Such great views, so much space. It looks exactly like the pictures on-line. We had a ton of treats for our guests and added even more once we were there. I really think they were surprised and shocked at everything we did.
Day 1 â€“ meet and greet at Breakwaters Bar â€“ this is a great spot right on the ocean. We had everyone meet there at 5:00 (they close at 6:30) and just ran a room tab. Everyone came over in their swimsuits/pool attire and it was a great casual way to start things off. I highly recommend it. I gave out our welcome bags which I totally went overboard on (I only had to make 15). I was a little stressed getting them all together â€“ our plane was an hour delayed, then the supermarkets were a joke â€“ really slim pickings on snack bags. And we couldnâ€™t even buy a case of water â€“ we had to buy individual bottles and find a box to carry them. Just weird stuff. So my sister and I were in a frenzy to get them done by 5. But it was done and our guests LOVED them. I actually have some extra bags if anyone is interested in buying them for bridesmaids/groomsmen/family members, etc.
After that we broke into smaller groups for dinner but all ended up in the casino area afterwards. Some people played at the tables, some of us hung out at Dragons Lounge (it was totally dead, but convenient) or Atlas Bar/Grill. So we could easily hop around and all interact.
Day 2 â€“ thanks to one of our guests we had a cabana at the Cove. This worked out great â€“ we all had a central place to meet â€“ we could hang out or come and go. Most people hung out on the beach side so it didnâ€™t matter that they were not Cove guests. We had free flowing drinks and ordered lunch (all extra of course) but our friend was nice enough to pick up the tab as his wedding gift to us. This was one of those fun surprises that we added on at the last minute to treat our guests. It worked out so well we decided to do it again on Sunday (we picked up the tab this time). That night we had the rehearsal dinner at Carmines â€“ holy crap that was a ton of food! We were in their private room, the staff was very good and of course it was so convenient. Glad we did it there. Afterwards we decided to have everyone over for a night cap since we had this gorgeous suite. We arranged for all these drinks to be set up with room service but had a little run in with getting guests past the elevator security guys. So about half our guests were there.
Day 3 â€“ everyone was on their own until the wedding. We had an after party at Aura for those who wanted to keep going. We reserved a VIP table so we had bottle service and a place to hang out. Hubby and I argued about this one a lot â€“ I thought the price was ridiculous and that we should just go to the club like normal. But once we were there I was so glad we had the table. The place gets so crowded and having the table not only provided a place to rest our feet, but an area where we could actually breathe and sort of hear each other.
Day 4 â€“ we all met for brunch at Mosaic. This was a little challenging but our WC pulled through for us. They tried telling us they couldnâ€™t make a reservation that large except before 8:30 AM. This was 3 days before the leaving and I was almost in tears. But it all worked out and I swear itâ€™s the best deal in town. It would have cost us more to have a continental breakfast set up through the banquet depâ€™t. Guests loved it and it really didnâ€™t cost us much. We then proceeded to our same cabana and hung out for the day. Dinner wasnâ€™t planned but groups formed on their own.
Day 5 â€“ home L
Overall, we were really busy but not stressed, work-like busy (other than putting the bags together). All I can say is, if you havenâ€™t been before, go early or stay later. I was so busy socializing that I didnâ€™t do all the things I normally would (like the slides, the spa, etc) but it didnâ€™t matter because Iâ€™ve done it before. Iâ€™d have been really sad if I missed out otherwise. And Iâ€™m so glad we did our marriage license on the previous trip and didnâ€™t have to worry about that and take time out to go downtown.
Please feel free to ask me any questions â€“ I feel like a guru now. Iâ€™m still waiting for friends to send more pictures â€“ obviously I was too busy playing hostess so I didnâ€™t take any. I have a few Iâ€™m posting here â€“ first one is good view of Royal Overlook as well as Wildflower dÃ©cor, next one shows Junkanoo as well as Wildflower dÃ©cor and last one is our yummy cake.
Now I need to get ready for my Hawaiian honeymoon - heading out Friday - Aloha!