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NEWLY ENGAGED!!!!!


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#1 snknight

snknight
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    Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

    Hello everyone,

       My name is Simone and I am newly engaged!!!!! I am so excited to plan a wedding for me and my soul mate. I have a couple of destinations in mind (i.e. Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, St. Lucia), but I am having a hard time selecting an all inclusive resort that is affordable to my guests (expecting 70-80 people) and child friendly. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

     

    Best,

    Fellow Bride to Be



    #2 Mlite83

    Mlite83
    • Jr. Member
    • 384 posts

      Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

      Originally Posted by snknight 

      Hello everyone,

         My name is Simone and I am newly engaged!!!!! I am so excited to plan a wedding for me and my soul mate. I have a couple of destinations in mind (i.e. Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, St. Lucia), but I am having a hard time selecting an all inclusive resort that is affordable to my guests (expecting 70-80 people) and child friendly. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

       

      Best,

      Fellow Bride to Be

      First of all CONGRATS!  It's a super exciting time, but picking a resort can be overwhelming!

       

      When I priced out St Lucia it was definitely pricey so we cut it from the list.  Some resorts in Jamaica can also be quite pricey (Iberostar, Secrets) but others (Gran Bahai) were comparable to Mexico.  In the end we went with Mexico as we found more resorts that offered true 5 star calibre lodgings/food/entertainment and the value per person was awesome!  Some resorts we looked into (mostly in Jamaica) just didn't look quite as polished and modern.

       

      I would recommend figuring out what is most important to you and FI (ie MUST haves) and what would be nice to have.  That helped me cut out any resorts that didn't meet the requirements for us.  Then I compared resorts vs resorts in terms of amenities, reviews, wedding packages etc. Once I had a list of potential resorts I started collecting prices from a couple different TA's which helped me further narrow choices (ie Secrets properties look great but were quoted at double what I wanted guests to spend). 

       

      Hopefully this helps - picking the resort is probably the most difficult part but I'm sure you will love where ever you end up!



      #3 snknight

      snknight
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      • 12 posts

        Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:10 PM

        Mlite83,

           Thanks for all the info, that was really helpful. We have started pricing, but some resorts do not give all the info upfront. When you say the prices in Mexico were reasonable, around how much did it cost per guest (or per couple) for a room for your wedding? Also, how many guests are you expecting at your wedding? If more than what is allowed, how much is it per extra person? Sorry to be asking so many personal questions, I just want to have a good head start on the planning. Thanks again!!



        #4 Mlite83

        Mlite83
        • Jr. Member
        • 384 posts

          Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:53 PM

          Originally Posted by snknight 

          Mlite83,

             Thanks for all the info, that was really helpful. We have started pricing, but some resorts do not give all the info upfront. When you say the prices in Mexico were reasonable, around how much did it cost per guest (or per couple) for a room for your wedding? Also, how many guests are you expecting at your wedding? If more than what is allowed, how much is it per extra person? Sorry to be asking so many personal questions, I just want to have a good head start on the planning. Thanks again!!

          I also found it frustrating that some resorts offered so little information online about wedding packages, ala carte pricing options etc - I emailed for additional information and as you would expect some resorts were very prompt (ie 2-3 days to reply) whereas other resorts were over a month...just to get the PDF of wedding packages! 

           

          For our guests at Now Jade in early February 2013 it will be around $1400 per person (all taxes in) and that includes flights from Toronto.  As a comparison Secrets resorts (priced for Jamaica) were almost $3000 pp.  Iberostar (again in Jamaica) was around $2000 pp for rose hall suites (beach is less expensive, the grand is more). 

           

          We are figuring we will likely have around 40 people at our wedding -- the packages at Jade are built for 25 people and then any additional guests cost above the package price so we will be paying out a bit but we loved the resort, the pricing and the inclusions in their wedding packages.  Some resorts offer packages for larger groups (ie 40+ guests) but you may be looking at a semi-private reception or paying a fee to upgrade to private.  On the flip side some resorts offer wedding packages for 8 people so if you have a group with you it would add up quite quickly!

           

          *For our guests above the 25 included in wedding package the cost will depend on exactly what items I select from the ala carte -- for example the package includes hor d'ouevres for 25 but I understand from previous brides they allot 6 pieces per person (which is lots) so you don't necessarily need to pay to upgrade hor d'oeuvres for everyone (especially since wedding party will miss cocktail hour for pictures), and since the wedding cake isn't usually eaten by all guests (esp. since dessert is included for the wedding dinner) it won't be necessary to purchase a larger wedding cake either.  Right now I'm thinking I will pay the additional fee for the champagne toast and dinner (obviously - ha!) and not worry about the rest...Below are a few examples of pricing from the ala carte menu for additional items, just so you can get an idea. 

          Champagne toast $4pp

          Wedding cake $5-7 pp

          Hor d'oeuvres $15pp

          Wedding dinner ~ $50pp

           

          Wow that was long-winded but I hope it was helpful!  I found that all of the AM Resorts (Now, Dreams, Secrets, Zoetry) were very upfront with package pricing and how much extras (food, decor, music, pictures etc) cost - they have a PDF you can download on their website.  It might give you some ballpark numbers to work with?

           

          Any other questions feel free to ask - I always take comfort hearing from other brides about their experiences!



          #5 sherylh

          sherylh
          • Newbie
          • 51 posts

            Posted 25 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

            Hello to all the future brides! What an exciting time, I just got engaged approximately 1 month ago and it seems that I cannot stop looking at wedding sites, magazines and talking about my vision in general. My fiancee and I are hoping to have our wedding in Nassau, Bahamas and are looking at different wedding planners and packages to see which is more cost effective and will fit within our budget. It's difficult to explain the feelings you are dealing with as you go through this process. Looking forward to details on everyone's plans! Glad to see I'm not alone =)



            #6 snknight

            snknight
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            • 12 posts

              Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:43 PM

              Mlite83,

                 That was a lot, but I definitely appreciate all the information you put above. We have started narrowing down our choices for the wedding. We ran into some family this weekend, so it seems like at least 70 people will be there. We are definitely looking at Mexico a lot harder. I may have some more questions soon. Thanks again!






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