We got married at Coral House with 45 people and it was beautiful. We started planning August of last year but honestly didn't need all that time for planning, everyone we worked with was so responsive. I wanted to give our guests as much notice as possible so they could start saving/planning their trips. We sent out our STDs last August and our invites in Jan with a March RSVP date for our June wedding since the house needed a final count 2 months prior. We didnt do a hotel block, we literally had people staying everywhere based on price and the kind of resort they wanted to be at. We were down there for a week, as were most of our guests but we had some do 3 days and others do 10.
We did a private charter with Caicos Dream Tours 2 days before the wedding, I worked with Kristine and everyone had a great time. We had 22 people on the boat so it was the same price pp for a private boat as it was if we were to go with other people so that was a no brainer. Everyone really loved the cruise, even those who were on the fence about doing it in the first place.
We had no issues with customs bringing that much stuff in since it was all packed in suitcases. We just looked like a wreck carrying garment bags and pushing all the suitcases through the airport. Even traveling with my dress was so easy. Security let us get in the front of the line at the airport (your arm will get tired of holding it up!) and the stewardess laid it down in the overhead bin that took up 2 rows and closed it and said if anyone had an issue with me taking up the giant bin then they could talk to her. She said it would be smushed in the first class closet but that's where we hung my FI's suit.
The house had a iPod hookup with great speakers and past brides successfully used that without a DJ so that's what we did. We spent hours and hours on the playlists getting everything in the right order, making sure there was music to please everyone, etc and it worked out fine. I was going back and forth about a DJ but I got to a point where I was so tired of spending money on the wedding so I'm really happy that worked out well. We also had Correy Forbes on the beach playing guitar for us for an hour during the ceremony and through formal pictures on the beach which was nice.
Our planner was Teresa Brunner who was very personable and knowledgeable and I booked because she offered day of services, everyone else required full on wedding planning. I like to do a lot myself but I didn't want to be worried about all the details the day of. She took care of booking the pastor and all of our paperwork, and when the day came she set up all the tables and really made it so I didn't have to worry about anything. My only complaint was the increased price quotes of items I got from her. I completely understand planners adding a 10-20% service charge on items since I know they need to make money but I was put off by how increased hers were. For example, $10 to rent a single charger plate (bought these for $1 each at Hobby Lobby), $15 to rent a place mat, $50 for a single hydrangea stem in a bud vase. So I got our reception rentals and flowers directly through Environmental Arts and brought the rest of the stuff down with me. I would have loved for her to take care of things without my involvement, which she would of, but I had an issue with such a large increase.
We also had zero ceremony decor which stressed me out for no end but at the end of the day I didnt want to pay $1200 for an arch for 15 minutes or $400 for some driftwood pieces I didnt really like in the first place. So we just had the rows of white chairs and it was totally fine. The strip of beach where the house is at is away from the hotels and you dont have to worry about people walking by etc. Everyone was blown away by how beautiful the house was that it wasnt an issue and I feel dumb thinking of how many nights I was up worrying about it. The house was our splurge so we left it at that.