I was so excited to plan my destination wedding. I had over a year to plan, so I did some research and called Naomi at Ever After Travel in Lakeville, MN. She sounded knowledgeable and was happy to help me with my wedding trip plans. We didn't know that once we booked our wedding, we couldn't change travel agents-- until it was too late. After our initial booking, we started realizing that Naomi wasn't able to answer many of our questions. We were getting frustrated. She wasn't returning phone calls or e-mails from us or our guests promptly, either. We chalked it up to her being busy and thought that she would at least come through on the important things. Wrong! I was supposed to have a call with the wedding planner from Beaches/Sandals 60 days before the wedding to make decisions. I asked Naomi a few times during the year if she had more information for me. I wanted to be able to plan ahead and make sure that what we wanted would fit into the budget. She sent me one document with flowers and no prices and another document with information that was also on the Sandals website. About 45 days before our wedding day, I received an e-mail from Naomi, forwarding me the information for someone from Sandals that I needed to contact to plan the details for the wedding. I contacted her and we set up a time for a phone call. My husband and a friend of mine who is a wedding planner were there with me. We called the person at Sandals and the first thing she asked was if we had gone through the wedding packet. We had no idea what she was referring to. Apparently Naomi was supposed to send the packet to me a long time before, so we could be prepared for the phone call. The Sandals rep e-mailed the wedding packet to us and we set up another time later in the day to call her back and go through our choices. It was a good thing we had some time that day because it took a few hours to make all of our decisions. The first page of the packet talked about the documents we needed to send to Sandals via courier-- certified copies of our birth certificates and any divorce decrees. We spent the next week scrambling to obtain these documents. I had to order my birth certificate and have it rushed, which cost over $50. And by the time I got it, we were just days away from being charged a late fee by Sandals for having to rush the paperwork on their end. If we had known about the documents ahead of time, we would have had them ready to go. We were very frustrated. Also, Sandals had my name spelled incorrectly in the paperwork and had to change it when they got my birth certificate. They said I was lucky they had caught the error. When we got to Sandals, they had my husband's last name spelled incorrectly. Also, the confirmation paperwork that Naomi sent us just before we left had our old flight information on it. About 6 weeks before our trip, the airline changed our flight, but apparently Naomi hadn't gotten the information.
I usually book everything online myself. This is the first time I've used a travel agent in many years. I'm reminded of why I don't usually use one. Please, if you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and are planning a destination wedding, save yourself a headache and don't use Naomi at Ever After Travel as your travel agent.