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Our long overdue wedding review at the Riu in Bahamas

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#1 loua4

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    Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:35 AM

    Sorry about this being like almost a year overdue. But here it is :) oh and this is going to be in parts as i spent 4hrs doing it this morning was almost finished and then i accidently erased it.



    My husband James and I got engaged in October 2009. He picked me up after work. A day where i was feeling so sick, so i didnt think anything of it when he showed up all dressed up looking. When we pulled into our driveway he brought up how he was so annoyed with the fact that I wrote him a note saying how mad I was at him for telling me that I could start planning a destination wedding without being engaged yet so that when the time came I would have an idea of what to do and how he was not helping with any of the questions that i was asking him.

    He sat me down on a bench in front of our house and started yelling at me and then went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. lol i was shocked. At first i was mad and embrarassed that he was yelling at me in public and then there he was. before i answered I grabbed the ring and put it on myself and then said yes. of course!



    that is my ring. Love it!


    After about a week we decided we wanted to get married in the Bahamas, as we have both really wanted to go there and i really wanted to see Atlantis, but we couldnt afford a wedding there.


    A co-worker who was married in Mexico Jan 2009 refered me to our TA who was fantastic and we went from there.


    Travel Agent - Erika TA and then Chrisine - Both A+++

    It was still October 2009 when I made an appointment to see Erika and right away she had some other resort ideas that we could look at. The first was Breezes in Nassau, and the second was The Riu Palace that was undergoing a total reno at the time on Paradise Island and right beside Atlantis. With in 2 weeks we had quotes from both resorts and I went on Tripadviser.ca to check out reviews. We went with the Riu Palace because of where it was and the amazing quote that we got for us and our guests.

    James and I made our deposit for ourself right away and with in a week my family put down money for themselves as well. We needed to book 10 guests to get the quote that we got asap.

    As soon as that was done i sent ordered and sent out STD postcards with info about Erika on them. Plus I made a wedding website with her info for our guests as well. She was awesome! My guests and myself could email her everyday and she would have an answer for you that day or the next to ease any fears or worries. She also suprised us by getting an upgrade on the trip. We had the Silver package for flying, and had everyone sitting together on the plane to and from which was the best!

    Unfortunatly 2mths before we got married she decided to leave the profession and go back to school, but the manager Christine took over and she was just as good. When i went to pick up everyones tickets she had just come back for spending a weekend at the Riu Palace Paradise island and was able to give me a great review.

    There were some mishaps, like 3 guys that wanted to room together, and then didnt as my moh's husband couldnt come at the last min that she fixed for us. there were guests that waited way to late to book and were not able to book with us on our flight because the plane was full so she made arrangements to get them there on other days with just as a great quote. My one cousin, aunt and guests went down on the thursday before us and left with us, and my college roomate came down on the thursday after we arrived and came home with us. plus there were a few other things that were handled like it was nothing. We will book trips with them all the time from now on.






    #2 loua4

    • Jr. Member
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      Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:16 AM



      Once we had our travel agent and she helped us pick the resort I went to Vista Print and had STD postcards made. They were awesome!



      on the back had our wedding website address and on that website it had all the information so that everyone could get in contact with Erika. We made a free website from www.weddingwire.com a wonderful site that I used for so many things. The check list is the best!


      I jumped into wedding planning right away. I wanted to get as much as i could done right away.

      Once the STD was done I was refered to the same co-worker to this website and joined right away and found the template that someone had posted for our wedding invitation. I knew I wanted to do passports and found this template that I changed a little bit. Thank you so much for the person who posted it. I am sorry i didnt record your name somewhere. Everyone loved them and thought we paid to have a professional to do them




      I dont have any photos of the finished product but will try to remember to scan it and post it later when our scanner works again.


      I had postcards made from Vistaprint for our RSVP's. I dont have a photo of that either. but i was really happy with it.


      Through Vistaprint I had so much made. They get a A+ for everything.


      They made me:

      *a key chain with our monogram on it - free :)

      a* sign we had made that read:

      if you want to hang out with

      the bride and groom

      look for this sign

      do not go to their room


      it was really cute, but not really used much.


      * we had business cards made to put with our cds for people to put their photos on for us that have.

      * our rsvp postcards

      * return address labels for before the wedding and after

      * a pen with our monogram on it

      * a mouse pad with our monogram on it

      * and a free tote bag with our monogram on it

      * business cards that i used for everyones luggage tags that i made with laminating pouches i purchased at Staples. So awesome!

      * post cards for our guests to document their favorite things about the week for us.

      * our welcome letter that I had done on postcards which were so cute!

      * and finally our thank you cards.






      Attached Files

      #3 loua4

      • Jr. Member
      • 397 posts

        Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:47 AM



        other than usind vistaprint there are a few other things that i made from either finding the templates on here. To those of you that i stole from i cannot remember your names but thank you! and some things i found on Martha Stewart.com and few other places.









        tags i made to put on the pashmina's i purchased for all the women





        brochure I made for all of the guests that paid to come on the trip




        I used the wording from this and put it on our passports




        tags i put on the fans i purchased from Michaels i put our monogram on them.





        tags i put on bells that were rung at the beginning of our ceremony.












        Attached Files

        #4 loua4

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        • 397 posts

          Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:12 AM



          The Airline - Thomas Cook - B

          Everyone that was on our flight arrived at the airport about 2-3hours before we were leaving. Because we were upgraded we were able to skip the really long line for regular packages, and were through the line of the Gold and Silver packages super fast. We were checked in and had no problems with my taking a carry on and my dress as well. No one else had any problems bringing extra things as carry ons with them either. Customs went really well. I forgot though that there was metal on my jeans and had to go through the metal detector a few times and a lady put her hand down my pants! other than that it was fine. lol when asked about liquids in my carry on all i said was yes there was, but no one wanted to look in.

          We made it to our terminal and went up to the lounge where upgraded packages got to relax. it was super nice! Our flight was in the evening so there were serving dinner free of charge and you could drink whatever free of charge. There were comfy lounge chairs and tvs all over. My dad loved how he could watch many NFL games and the same time. Boarding the plane was eventless and super easy. We were all together which made the ride fun. Everyone was wired. lol and with our package we recieved 2 free drink tickets and a comfort set (pillow, blanket, and headset) for to and from Bahamas. The ride went by so fast.


          Nassau Airport - A

          We arrived really fast and they had us off the plane super fast and efficiantly. it is super neat. You leave the plane and enter in the building and then to go to where your luggage comes out you have to walk outside before you go in again and go through customs. Our luggage was waiting for us when we got there and customs was really smooth and the employees where really nice and fast.

          When we were leaving we were through really fast, and the ladies at customs for departures were funny when the scanner found a huge water bottle that James had filled with sand. it was cute.


          The photo above is when we were all leaving to come home. Exhausted and home hung over. lol


          Transport from the airport to resort - B

          After getting out of the airport we found the busses that were transporting everyone to our resort. We were handed forms to fill out for when we have to leave and go home, but it wasnt really explained well and we were to excited to be in the Bahamas to listen. lol With it came a list of excursions that can be booked through our resort. And we were told to attend a meeting the next morning about excursion ideas and what to do with the form etc.

          it was almost 10pm when we were on our way to the resort so it was really hard to see anything. The trip was fast. About 20-30 mins from the Airport to our resort.




          our friend on the way to the resort from the airport.

          #5 loua4

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            Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:29 AM



            The resort - The Riu Paradise Island Palace - A+


            We arrived at the resort and there were staff waiting for us with punch as refreshments. The choice of either virgin or Acoholic. Both were yummy. We were checked in with in 30 mins. I thought that we would have had upgraded rooms, but we were just given standard rooms. To make up for it though they put everyone on the same floor. The 15th floor. it was great! everyone should do that. makes it so easy to plan things together and it was a full time party. Whenever we were up there everyones door was left open unless they were off doing something or needed privacy.



            one of our friends hanging out in the hallway of our floor the first night we were there.


            The first night we were there. everyone explored the grounds together and we checked out where everything was. There was the lobby bar that was where we alway hung out at. Plus our favorite bartender kalen worked there at night and at the pool bar during the day. he made the best drink called the kalen special. and only he could make it.

            there was also the calypso lounge which was a hoot at night for entertainment. We made friends witht he head guy for that place. He was amazing. Then other than the pool bar there was the sports bar that had tv's and snack food at all hours.  They also had computers that you could pay to use if you needed to be incontact with someone from home if you didnt have a device to use the free wifi that they had in the lobby.


            our room was really nice and clean and stocked up all the time. never had any problems. here are some photos:














            #6 loua4

            • Jr. Member
            • 397 posts

              Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:08 PM


              Oh! james and i were on the poolside which also faced Atlantis, and some of our other guests were facing the ocean which was really beautiful.

              I have to say i liked the poolside better though so that you could see where your family and friends were from your balcony if they werent out off the resort.



              the next morning the meeting they had was really informative and really important. so anyone planning on going here needs to go to it.


              The food and service in all the restaurants that we tried was amazing. All our breakfasts were in the Buffet. That was my favorite time of the day. Lots of selection and everything was so good.

              Lunch times they turned the steakhouse into a buffet that had a different theme everyday but with dependable hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, and salad.

              Dinner in the buffet was always a different theme as well. super fun!


              For the Ala-Carts: A+

              The Crystal restaurant was the first one james and i tried. So yummy! it is a set menu and the restaurant is super small so there are not to many guests a night. james's favorite one we tried.


              The Steakhouse: We used this one for our Rehersal Dinner/ my cousins daughters 1st birthday party. The food was amazing and also a set menu. so good!



              Sir Alexander is where we had our Reception dinner. OMG so glad I chose that place. They had the tables all decorated and the food was amazing and so classy. i will post photos later on.


              All in all the resort is amazing. We enjoyed it so much that james and i went back 4mths after we were married there for a mini honeymoon by ourselves and i will go back again and again in the future.


              Travel Agent - Debbie TA - A+

              Getting in contact with Debbie before arriving in Bahamas was really stressfull and she doesnt do it till like 3 weeks before you arrive. But After meeting her the day after arriving there I could not have been happier. Myself and my MOH sat down with her in the lobby and went over all the details. Our ceremony time, I chose to not have any decor. Just wanted the ocean and beach as the decor. It was perfect. Chose the Restaurant for our Semi-private dinner. Picked our flowers, ordered chairs for the guests to sit on during the ceremony, picked the cake etc. It was great!


              We had it set up so that all the guests would meet her in the lobby at 1:30pm on the day of the ceremony. our start time was for 2pm and she would get them all set up with james and the guys. Then when they were all out she called me to tell me when it was okay to leave my room. It was awesome. the flowers were better than i could hope for, she had the music and entertainment stopped for our ceremony, she blocked off the stairs from the pool area down to the beach to everyone but our guests and james and I. Our champane toast was ready right away and it was nice and cold. Which was great as the day was super sunny and hot. We couldnt afford to have a private reception for our dances and other things so she arranged for free for us to hang out on our own on the back terrace facing the ocean behind the buffett restaraunt. and she added an extra tear or cake to our cake for free too so it looked nicer.

              the next morning we had breakfast delivered to our room with champane and strawberries. it was so sweet. She is the best!

              #7 loua4

              • Jr. Member
              • 397 posts

                Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:37 PM



                Photographer: Tim Aylen - A++


                Tim was amazing! I found him when i was googling photographers in Bahamas after deciding i didnt like the portfolio of the one that the resort uses. His prices are amazing, he replies to emails promtly. like the same day or the next. his portfolio is amazing etc!

                He arrived on time and just started taking photos right away. I loved them all. We didnt edit anything that is how good he is. Really really think everyone getting married in the Bahamas needs to hire him. His website is s7300007.jpg







                #8 loua4

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                  Posted 10 October 2011 - 01:03 PM

                  more photos:






                  photos by Tim:






















                  Group photo:




                  photos on the beach:












                  photos done in the lobby:










                  #9 loua4

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 397 posts

                    Posted 10 October 2011 - 01:13 PM

                    dinner at Sir Alexanders:


                    Our Cake:






                    Dinner table







                    That's it :)


                    I hope this helps those of you thinking about getting married here. I would do it over and over again.

                    #10 MichCraw

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 369 posts

                      Posted 10 October 2011 - 05:11 PM

                      Beautiful review, thanks for taking the time to enumerate every point! You looked beautiful with your dress and hair, very flowy and beachy! Congrats!

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