Originally Posted by cbritto
We got married at sunset in the big gazebo on the beach and it was absolutely beautiful! Overall, it was the best wedding experience I could have asked for. The staff was so helpful and friendly! I thought the wedding extras were ridiculously expensive, so we brought as much with us as we could, which I would definitely recommend. We ended up bringing chair sashes (which were $6 each to rent through the resort, and I think I bought them for like .69 each online), our own centerpieces (pottery barn glass vases with fake flowers wrapped on the inside with a candle in the middle, then little votives around the table), ribbon for the bouquets and boutonnieres and cake, and cake topper. I just brought one set of chair sashes and they moved the chairs from the ceremony over to the dinner tables for the reception. We also hand-delivered all of our welcome bags to the guests instead of paying $4 each to have them delivered to their rooms. We did pay extra for the tiki torches, $8 each, and I think it was a nice touch. I asked them to put the ribbon I brought around each tier of the cake instead of having the icing flowers like in their pictures, and they did not charge me extra for that. Honestly, nobody even remembered the cake but did remember our cake topper we bought on Etsy. The wedding staff did a great job of setting everything up that we brought with us, but I think they did charge an extra setup fee, I can't remember how much it was but I don't think it was bad.We paid to have the flowers upgraded to orange roses, which I thought was expensive but worth it as I did not like the flowers that came in the package. We brought our own sound system with an ipod dock and used that for the music for the ceremony and reception, which worked out fine. The best decision I think we made was to bring in an outside photographer, Misha Earle, who was amazing! The photos taken by the resort photographer were fine, but nothing spectacular and I would have been disappointed if those were the only photos we walked away with. We got the silver menu for the wedding dinner, which I think was fine, but I really don't even remember what we ate! Each course of the meal took a little while to come out, but it's the caribbean and everything moves slower so just prepare yourself for that. The reverend was very funny, just make sure you are very clear with him about what you want, as we told him we had written our own vows and then during the ceremony he had us say his vows and never gave us a chance to say ours. It worked out fine, as we ended up walking down to the beach and saying our vows privately to each other, which was really special, but just a head's up. The ceremony and reception flew by, so we ended up going to the wine bar with everyone afterward and then some of us went to the nightclub. Let me know if you have any other questions. I will add that we have booked our trip to go back to Secrets Wild Orchid for our one year anniversary in November because we loved it so much there!
Thanks for your detailed info! do you remember the website you bought your chair sashes for .69? I've been looking online and most are around the price that the hotel is charging to rent. I'm planning on having Dec wedding at Secrets. Just want to start early on the planning process.