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Minley16

Last minute Wedding in the making...

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Hi!!! Im so excited to be here and able to chat with all of you and share our info.

I have never been one to want a big wedding...I would be happy with going away, just the two of us but my family isnt liking that idea. with that said we would like to throw together a destination wedding this summer...oh the stress!!!  It has to be soon bc my father isnt doing well health wise and I would like to get pregnant this fall and give him some grandbabies. =) (daddys only girl)

 

We have no date set, no idea of a budget and no location in mind. yikes

we both LOVE aruba and it was our first vacation spot together so that is an option. We can keep our guest list to 30-40 for the sake of saving money but depending on cost we have about 80 that im sure would be willing to come to all end of the earth if invited.

 

I know it is very last minute, almost rude to send out invite with such little notice but we plan to have a cocktail reception when we get back for those that cant make it.

 

Our realistic budget is $10-15K.

My questions for you are...

1. where do you recommend going?

2. is this a realistic budget?

3. Can i get this alllllll done by this summer? T minus 4-6 months

4. how do you think i should word the invitiation and do i send an invite to EVERYONE assuming only some will come?

5. words of advice

 

thanks guys

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Hi Minley!

 

 How is your planning going? Any progress on a destination yet?  I am just starting to plan mine. I have picked Riviera Maya in Mexico. I went to a friends wedding down there a few years ago and fell in love with that area. You mentioned Aruba (I have not been but I know how gorgeous it is!!) so I'm figuring you're looking for a tropical wedding.? Does Aruba have all-inclusive resorts? Most of the resorts in Riviera Maya are all-inclusive, which makes for an easy and stress free vacation for your guests. 

 

 I started by finding a travel agent. The wedding I went to was arranged by the groom's mother, who is a travel agent. I decided to find a different travel agent for my own wedding. I searched until I found one that has experience in destination weddings, and who was near me (I'm in Denver metro area).  I would recommend finding a travel agent #1. There is info for travel agents on this site. Mine is http://all-inclusivevacations.com/. I'm working with the owner now and he is awesome and has been so patient with me on my search for a resort.

 

I've been reading EVERYTHING on this site the last couple of weeks and I can say that your budget would work for a wedding in Riviera Maya. I haven't searched other destinations, so can't give insight about Aruba... Many resorts in Mexico offers free wedding packages as well.

 

4-6 months is a very short time to plan a DW but it's not impossible! Just get a travel agent to help you find the perfect destination and resort or hotel and get it booked ASAP!!! Most places I've seen are booked through June this year, and many stress to reserve your date a minimum of 6 months in advance.

 

As for invitations and wording, I would say just search this site, there is a wealth of knowledge on here!!!!

 

Again, travel agent. Can't stress that part enough. A ta can get you big discounts on resorts, find you cheap airfare and keeps everyone organized and together. I was looking specifically for destination wedding travel agencies and most I've saw charge a nominal ($50) consultation fee, which is refunded to you when you book, but they don't make their money off of you, they are paid by the hotels that they book. So don't think of a ta as an added expense, they will actually SAVE you money on travel and make the whole experience much easier on you AND your guests.

 

Also, keep in mind the weather. Not sure about Aruba, but June - November is hurricane season in Mexico. My friends wedding was Nov , 2009 and Hurricane Ida ripped through the area the whole time we were there. It was very disappointing. Torrential rain the entire trip until our departure day when we were leaving. ;(

 

Good luck with everything and congratultions!!!!

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Hello! Congrats and welcome!

 

I do think it is doable, but it will definitely be a fast turnaround on everything!

 

As for cost and location, that'll depend on where you/most of your guests live. If you're on the west coast, Mexico might be a good affordable option and within your $10k-$15k budget. If you're on the east, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, etc. would be more affordable. I would recommend settling the date and location ASAP so you can notify people and send invitations and give them as much time to save as possible. And in terms of who you invite, other brides/wedding planners have mentioned that you should expect about 30% of the invited guests to come. You know your friends and family best though and how many would actually go, so just user your judgment in deciding how many you can safely invite without breaking your budget.

 

Good luck!
 

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Hi ! 

I also think it's doable ! You just want to settle quickly on a resort.
My travel agent was able to request 4 to 6 quotes to suppliers per day. So keep asking quotes every day without waiting for a price back. Look up travel agent's magasines along with Trip Advisor. I thought choosing the resort was the most difficult. We were settled on Jamaica, but it was too expensive to ask our guests the quoted price. So we had to choose somewhere else. Mexico turned out to be a great option for us to travel afterwards. Choosing the resort took us 2 months and half. If I would have known to request quotes everyday, it would have been way shorter...

10-15K seems realistic for the time of year you're looking at. All up, mine was closer to 15K but 4.7K were dedicated to getting there (over Christmas/New Year Season), the all-inclusive part, and separate flights to return (we forfeited our included return flights to stay longer and travel independently). Extending a second week, staying in an independent small hotel and actually relax was the best thing we've done, because the wedding week is busy, trying to hang out with our guests. The wedding package at the resort was 3000, and additional stuff was 3000. You can see my resort wedding bill in my pictures. The rest of the 5000$ was spend towards my husband attire, his bestman's attire, bridesmaids dresses, silk flowers, accessories, 2nd week travelling/diving/food/drinks/accom/transport, save-the-dates, etc...

Word of advice...Keep it simple. Less is more ! I was studying full-time in the fall semester leading to the wedding, I didn't have time to think about OOT, shop for outside vendors, or be picky about flowers. I just went with the provided photographer & flowers.

Good Luck !

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Congrats Minley16! and welcome to the forum :) it's a wonderful resource, sure to help you with your planning process!

 

Wishing you all the best and that your wedding turns out to be everything you dreamed it would ! Enjoy :)

 

*

 

team MTM asst, Lynda :)

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I think the budget is fine and the timeframe is doable, but I agree with everyone recommending you choose your location ASAP and get the word out to friends and family. If you don't have enough details for a proper invitation in short time, at least send Save the Date cards or make a mass announcement via email/web that there is a wedding happening in whatever country in whichever month and that more info is coming soon. This at least tells people they need a passport and to start filling a piggy bank, if they plan to attend.

 

Since it is such short notice, I would lean towards a smaller crowd of close loved ones, but it's a really personal decision. Your desire to elope gives the impression you would rather keep things intimate, which is what we decided to do. I haven't regretted it at all and feel good knowing only people I really love will be there. No obligatory invites, old acquaintances, distant family, etc.

 

I don't have any suggestions on Aruba venues, but I think you're on the right site to find one in a hurry. Good luck!

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Thanks for the feedback. We are starting to look at maybe a cruise as an option... Do any of you have a travel agent to recommend? I can see I am not going to be able to do this alone.

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My TA is awesome! I think he deals specifically in all-inclusive vacations. But that includes cruises! He does a lot of destination weddings and cruise weddings. He is located in Denver, but he arranges travel for people all over the country. I have been really impressed with him so far. He is very patient and knowledgeable. Check out his website if you want, www.all-inclusivevacations.com

My agents name is Stephen Lord. But he has a decent size staff who all work on DW's from what I see.

 

Goodluck! A TA is definitely the way to go.
 

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Originally Posted by Minley16 View Post

 

Thanks for the feedback. We are starting to look at maybe a cruise as an option... Do any of you have a travel agent to recommend? I can see I am not going to be able to do this alone.

 

 

Wright Travel Agency is owned by the owner/creator of Best Destination Weddings and is a fantastic resource! Check them out at http://www.wrighttravelagency.com/ I'm using TA Babs for my Jamaica wedding-- not sure where you are thinking of cruising to but I'm sure they have someone who can help out! Good luck!

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Originally Posted by Minley16 View Post

 

Thanks for the feedback. We are starting to look at maybe a cruise as an option... Do any of you have a travel agent to recommend? I can see I am not going to be able to do this alone.

Hi Minley16,

I assisted a wedding that was on a cruise in Hawaii. My advice is if you're doing your ceremony in an idyllic location off the boat, you should consider choosing a location where the boat stays overnight rather than only docking for the day.

My friend chose a beautiful spot where they were docking only for the day, in Kona. OMG the pre-wedding race. To make matters more challenging, we weren't docked on a pier, we had to be ferried onshore ! She chose a hairdresser onshore, we left the boat at 7 am. Came back on the boat at 10. Put our gear on in a small room, her cabin. Take the ferry again. A shuttle was organised by the couple for the guests, and two Escalades were rented for the groom's party and the bride's party. We drove to the site, about 25 minutes. The groom and the bestman went to Costco to buy some appy and drinks for after the ceremony, it had to be dropped to the ceremony site. The master of ceremony guy was at the ceremony site early in am to coordinate the arrival of food, chairs and deco. In all this, the ceremony was supposed to be at 12, it ended being at 2 I think. We had about an hour of appy, drink and hawaiian dancing, and the couple left for photo duties. During this time the site had to be dismantle, by the guests, and the guests went back into the shuttle. And we had to be in the ferry line-up at 5 to get back to the cruise. It was a challenge for sure. Once back on the cruise, it was more relaxed. The dinner was in a restaurant, private. And the dancing was in the conference arena, with soundsystem and all. A friend did the music. 

I certainly don't want to put you off going on a cruise for your wedding, as a cruise allows you to see many places all in one week. But this experience might help into what to consider for the preparation and the coordination. 

 

Happy prep !

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