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Turks 2013

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#111 kabrooklyn

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    Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

    Hi Ladies!


    I just got back from my 12-12-12 wedding on Grace Bay Beach which was wonderful and wanted to offer if anyone has questions some of the great experiences and things I learned:


    We had both our Welcome/Rehearsal Dinner and Beach Bar-B-Que reception with Kissing Fish/ Bay Bistro. We ended up having almost 40 people, including us.  The food was wonderful, staff was super friendly and Mike, the on site coordinator was truly awesome.


    Most of our guests stayed at The Sands, which was perfect as it was right next door and everyone could easily walk back and forth (cabs are super expensive). The Sands was really lovely, had one of the nicest and widest stretches of beaches that we saw, beautiful grounds, again really friendly staff and did not mind our friends having a really good time late into the night. We gave everyone a year to plan, and many people were able to get good deals on Jetsetter down to 109 a night for the studio rooms (which were very nice). 


    Most of our guests also flew on JetBlue and at different points during the year, the flight from JFK was down at 149-157. It was even best for us to fly from LA to JFK and down on JetBlue.


    We planned everything ourselves and it went fine. An On-Site Coordinator for the day may have made it a little less hectic, but it was all good.


    William John was our DJ and he played all of the Playlists we made and was easy to work with, even as we were making in the moment changes to keep everybody dancing.


    Geraldine did mine and all my bridesmaids hair. She was so great and my hair was exactly what I wanted. I left it up for two days because it looked so good and only took the pins out to go snorkeling. Ann did my makeup and she was also awesome. I do wish that I would have given myself a little more time for her (she came at 2 for a 3:45 wedding) as I felt she was a bit rushed and we didn't end up having time to put on eyelashes which I was hoping to do.


    We were on a serious budget but wanted this to be as nice as possible and we brought all of our own decorations, which worked out awesome and was much much cheaper than renting them. They were exactly the colors that I wanted and it looked magical on the beach. 


    I made all of the bouquets and we brought them in our carry on. I got real touch calla lilies from afloral and they looked so beautiful and I am so so happy that I have my bouquet. We brought these cool glass bottles (that we got at Ross for $3) and after photos a few of the bridesmaids opened their bouquets and put flowers in them on the tables. We brought chair sashes and table runners, cafe lights from target and paper lanterns and it worked out great. I brought a couple things home but left the rest there to donate to church/school. We packed all of our decorations and guest gifts in duffel bags which we just folded up and only brought back one suitcase.


    For our guests we had towels made, plus cups with lids and straws and tote bags. It was super fun to see everyone using them all week! For our wedding party we also tried to get gifts that they could use there. Our groomsmen received these great backpack coolers which they used on the beach all week, for our ring bearer and flower girl we got kids snorkel gear which they loved and the bridesmaids havaianas and coconut lotion and a gorgeous sand dollar necklace (from overstock!). Everyone loved their gifts a lot.


    I can't say enough about how stunning Grace Bay Beach was. We actually never were able to go there beforehand and trusted in our soulmate hearts that it was going to be perfect and it really was. We are already planning our trip back!


    I hope this is helpful. I had looked at this forum a bunch before my wedding but never posted and in a moment of angst about bringing my decorations had spoke with another Turks bride who was so helpful and reassuring that I wanted to pass that good karma along! 


    Let me know if there is any way I can help! k

    #112 KaraMae

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      Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:25 PM

      Thanks for the info! I've been looking at Ocean Club West and The Sands. I don't want some fancy shmancy hotel and would love to keep costs down as much as possible so I appreciate your review on the Sands. Did you by any chance see Ocean Club West? Any thoughts? Also good to know about bringing your own stuff. Hadn't thought about that before but LOVE the idea! :) 

      #113 Danie

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        Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:26 AM

        Thanks for the info! I've been looking at Ocean Club West and The Sands. I don't want some fancy shmancy hotel and would love to keep costs down as much as possible so I appreciate your review on the Sands. Did you by any chance see Ocean Club West? Any thoughts? Also good to know about bringing your own stuff. Hadn't thought about that before but LOVE the idea! :) 

        I have stayed at ocean club west and loved it. Ia getting married there in 5 months. Back in April of last year we went on site visit there. Its beautiful. During my site visit i stayed in a junior suite which is perfect for two people. This time i will stay in an oceanfront 2 bedroom. I must say all of the views from the balcony are outstanding except for studio suites. They are the only room where the view is of the island. We have 25 people going for at least a week and all are staying at ocean club west with us. They have a wedding coordinator for the room and do offer discounted group rates which we were able to get and even received a free room for 5 nights for a guest to stay in a studio. We are also having our reherssal dinner at opus which is located at ocean club the sister property. The atmosphere and food there was great. The wedding will be on the beach of ocw and we are having a catered bbq on the beach the day of. I do have pictures of the junior suite and resort if you want to see them. I personally loved the resort it is not fancy schmancy lol but it is not crappy either. The condos are great. I cant wait to go back. If you have other questions about the resort email me

        #114 WCorey

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          Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:10 AM


             You mentioned that you brought a lot of your things down with you including your flowers. Did you have any trouble with customs eaither bringing them down or bringing what you brought back home? Did you ship any items down and if so, was it expensive?  Thanks for your input! I am having a April wedding and am getting sooo excited to go!



          #115 KaraMae

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            Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:13 AM

            Danie thanks for the info! I just got room rate from OCW and am just waiting to hear back from the Sands. I think either way it'll be wonderful! I'd love to see pics if you have them. :) Does anyone happen to know the cost of an officiant on the island? Just an estimate would be great. Thanks!

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            #116 kabrooklyn

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              Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:12 PM



              No, we had no problems at customs. My husband and I brought 1 large suitcase, plus two large duffel bags and our carry ons. When we went through customs the agent asked what was in all of our bags and we told her it was all for our wedding and she told us to have a great time and we were on our way.


              My brother brought the towels we gave out as one of our guest gifts. There were 40+ towels and he brought them in the cardboard box they were shipped in and also had no problems.


              I was totally prepared and had receipts for everything but it ended up being a breeze.


              As far as getting back, since we had given all of our gifts out and left all of our decorations and lights to donate to church/school on the island, we did not have much to bring back. Bringing duffel bags rather than suitcases made it super easy since we could just fold them up in our 1 suitcase to bring home.


              I did not ship anything. I looked into possibly shipping sparklers since you can't fly with them and the costs were outrageous. 




              You really can not go wrong at The Sands. We stayed in the one bedroom Ocean Front and it was gorgeous and had plenty of room for all of my bridesmaids to get ready. I had friends that stayed in the two bedroom ocean views and they were also spacious. Out of our guests, we probably had someone in every type of room and all were nice.  The pool area was also beautifully landscaped and the entire hotel was perfect. Especially knowing the rates at some of the other hotels in the area and knowing that almost all of our guests got decent rates made it even better.  And everyone on the staff was super friendly. We really loved it.


              I did not get a chance to see the Ocean Club West. The only other hotel I really explored was Coral Gardens, where some diver friends of ours that came to our wedding but did an extended vacation stayed and my college age daughter stayed for an extra few days after we came home.. Coral Gardens was also really nice and the rooms were very spacious, but the pool and hotel outside area was not as nice as The Sands. The one thing that was awesome about Coral Gardens was the snorkeling right in front of the hotel. Plus the Somewhere Bar/ Cafe right there was really cute and fun and my daughter said she ate there every day after we left and loved it.


              I can't say about the costs of the officiant as we did not legally get married in Turks and Caicos. Our dear friend officiated our ceremony there, but it was only ceremonial.


              Hope this is helpful! Please let me know if you have any other questions!


              Take care, k

              #117 WCorey

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                Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

                Thanks for the info Brooklyn. I'm doing a lot of DIY projects so have a lot to bring down. I'm having glass bowel centerpieces that I'm scared to ship or bring on too. But the florist quoted me $95 each, which is too expensive.

                #118 kabrooklyn

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                  Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

                  Hi WCorey!


                  We tried to use other things we were bringing to help insulate breakables, which def helped and cut down on having to use too much bubble wrap etc.  For example, bags of rose petals between things, used our tote bags that we gave out wrapped around our glass bottles, and used our cooler backpacks that we gave to our groomsmen for insulation.


                  We kept all of our bags under 50 lbs to avoid extra fees too.


                  Are you bringing real touch flowers or making the centerpieces with live flowers?


                  Let me know how else I can help! Take care, k

                  #119 stephcee

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                    Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

                    Hi everyone. I just joined this site today. I'm hoping to exchange a lot of good information. I'm in the very beginning of the planning process. Currently trying to determine my wedding venue between the Gansevoort vs Grace bay club. My only concern is the room block minimum. I'm planning to have about 60 guests. Any thoughts or input? I'm aiming for December 2013 :) Happy planning everyone!

                    #120 chitap

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                      Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

                      Hi Everyone, 
                      My wedding was on Dec. 8, 2012.  We were down there for almost 2 weeks - we extended our stay a few times because leaving the island felt wrong.  We had an amazing time there and wish it never ended.  Our wedding was amazing and in the grand scheme of weddings, it was flawless!
                      You may have seen in previous posts that I had some difficulties early on with their constant staff changing and re-orginization within their company but, I hung in there bc my husband and I could only imagine getting married there.  It was frustrating at times but, in the end The Gansevoort was great!  Their staff could not be friendlier - with the exception on me getting busted in  my wedding dress on a bike that I was trying to ride into the pool - fail.  The staff was super accommodating, helpful, and really just wanted to make sure our experience was everything we had dreamed about.  Everyone from housekeeping to the GM was exceptional.  
                      Linda Cangro who at the time I signed my contract was the wedding coordinator but, I believe she is only on the Food and Bev side of the wedding planning now was very helpful.  I met her in NYC and she was able to get a feel for what we wanted and who we are.  She was extremely helpful during the ceremony and reception, paid great attention to detail and made sure I was ok.  Throughout the planning she followed up and tried to get everything in order for me.  
                      Stephen Garland - F & B manager was amazing and so helpful and instrumental in making sure everything was perfect.  He made sure every detail that I had concern for was taken care of from the lights to pouring me and my bridal party shots on our way down to the beach.  I was very grateful for all of his efforts and hard work.  He even set us up with a gorgeous romantic dinner on the beach on our last night.  
                      Matthew Doerner - Chef of Stelle restaurant.  Great Chef, super accomodating, hardworking, and Delicious!  I ended up speaking directly to Matthew bc I was not 100% on any of the options that were being given to me and going through a third party is not always effective.  After we chatted and got to know each other he sent me an amazing menu.  We flew down for a tasting  before our wedding which exceeded our expectations and it did not fall short at the wedding.  Our family and friends were in love with  the food!  The only complaint I got when I followed up with guests was that there wasn't enough food brought out during cocktail hour.  I did ask during the cocktail hour where all the food was bc I noticed it was lagging and the wedding day coordinator that I hired (Teresa Brunner) told me there was plenty of food and pointed to a tray going by - OK Thanks.  All in all I had 3 of the 6 hor'dourves from the menu - Spring rolls, Mushroom Pizza, Beetroots, Tuna crudo, Conch salad and Prosciutto and Mozzarella Involtini.  (Please note that most of my guest are huge foodies and would notice things like that).  Our dinner menu was a buffet and it had  48 hour marinated Skirt Steak, Grilled Lobster tails with 3 accompanying sauces, Red Snapper with a red curry sauce, and Jerk Chicken as the main proteins.  Everything was delicious.  The Yuzu Hollandaise that was served with the lobster was to die for.  Our Sides were Truffled Cauliflower - Super yummy, Lobster Truffled Mac n cheese - a crowd favorite, broccolini, Tuscan potatoes, rice, and a few salads - chick pea with carrots, caprese, and a beet salad.  (The salads were the least favorite of the guests - not that they were bad just, not WOW as most of the other food was.  We went with a Buffet over sit down because we didn't want to eat up 1.5-2hrs of time with a sit down.  
                      Jean-Francois Tremblay - The guest services manager was simply a delight.  He made you feel special and important.  No matter where he was headed to he'd always stop to chat and make sure you were enjoying your stay and everything was good.  He was always eager to help, no matter what the task.  At one point I had a bag of food in my hand that I wanted to give a guest and he took it and delivered it for me.  He is 5 star service.  

                      We had about 60 guests for the wedding.  I did most things myself, speaking and dealing directly to vendors, etc. I only hired a planner for the day of to help everything go smoothly.   My rehearsal dinner was at The Grace Bay Club which was absolutely amazing!  It was a toss up for the wedding between the Gansevoort and GBC and in the end I got both.  The Friday festivities was really a welcome party rather than a rehearsal dinner.  We had a cocktail hour in the outdoor lounge by the fire pit.  Gorgeously lit, comfy, open bar, live band (I piggy backed onto GBC live band so I didn't have to pay for music).  The food spread they had for dinner was amazing and I have guests still raving about how amazing it was.  Friday night was really like a wedding in itself.  Ajay the Food and Bev Director (ajay.vyas@gracebayclub.com)
                      and Shameka their wedding coordinator were very helpful.  I could not be happier with GBC.  We paid for our guest to be transported to and from.  Cab fee was about $8 per person.  Please contact me for further details on GBC.  
                      Day of the wedding;
                      • I had Briggite from Tangled Hair Salon (www.tangledhairsalonprovidenciales.com)  come to my room for hair.  $40 out call and $85 for my hair.  $25 for trial which I had 2 on previous trips.  
                      • Thea Gangasingh did my make-up ( https://www.facebook...amakeupartistry,  Email:  thea.mua@gmail.com).
                      • Cyrile from Environmental Arts did my flowers for the bouquets and boutenniers.  We took our photos before the ceremony so we wouldn't miss our cocktail party.  events@environmentalarts.tc
                      • Our photographers/videographers were amazing!  Please contact me for their details.  
                      • We had our good friend officiate our wedding since we were already married by the Justice of the Peace before heading down.
                      • I rented stuff from Teresa Brunner and she also did my table flower arrangements ($700) to help save $$ bc they were very costly through the florist but in the end, looking back they were about the same price.  I also rented burlap table runners ($20ea), shepherd hooks ($10) with mason hanging jars ($8) for my aisle markers, Sparklers ($15-20 each) and 2 post Chuppa decorated with sheer white panels, hydrangea bunches and starfish from her for $600.   I hired Teresa for the day of the wedding ($75 p/hr) so I wouldn't have to worry about setting things up, etc.  She set it up and managed my timeline.  For further detail please contact me.  
                      • I hired DJ Williams for my party and it was great.  I gave him a bunch of songs I liked for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing and he put them together.  Our music was great and even the front desk staff danced.  5 HOURS PLUS 1 HOUR FOR SPEAKERS AND MICROPHONE FOR CEREMONY @ $100 ($375 P/HR for DJ).  williejamz@hotmail.com
                      • I purchased my cake from Diane Guess who made me a 10" round so I could put my cake topper on it and also made 2DZ cupcakes for the grooms cake which we also brought our own toppers for.  ($321 - includes 2 stands)  guess@express.tc
                      Items I brought down:
                      • Gift Bags - Etsy
                      • Advil packets - ordered on amazon
                      • sunscreen wipes - amazon
                      • bug spray wipes - amazon
                      • Paper bag material napkin ring printed with guest names - Etsy
                      • snorkels - purchased locally
                      • underwater cameras - ebay
                      • gum/candy - costco
                      • votives - mercury glass from pottery barn outlet in riverhead (gorgeous and worth it - $2 each)
                      • tea lights - amazon 
                      • seating chart - in efforts to not weigh down my luggage I bought art canvas from Michaels and glued seagrass wall   paper to it and made a decorative background with the table number and guests table)  it was really pretty
                      • thumbprint tree - also made with a canvas, seagrass wallpaper and then thumbprint tree from etsy
                      • flip flops - purchased a variety of sizes and more of the average size.  Sizes were 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 12-13.  So more of the middle sizes.  For the most part I had a good idea of the shoe sizes since we're really close with the friends that came.  
                      • polaroid camera for a guest book
                      • guest book
                      • pens for guest book
                      • pashmina's for people when the were chilly.  Instead of renting decorative pillows from teresa at $15 each I went to chinatown and bought a bunch for $3each in my two main colors and draped them over the couches we had set up around the dance floor.  
                      Please contact me for further details.  We spent 2 weeks there and can really offer some insight.  Happy Planning!

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