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Secrets Saint James Wild Orchid Bride 11/9/2013 - Need Planning Help/Tips


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#51 Jennkn87

Jennkn87
  • Jr. Member
  • 212 posts
  • Wedding Date:September 19, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Secrets Wild Orchid - Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • LocationOhio

Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:02 PM

Amaxey- 

 

I'm getting married at WO on September 19. It's nice to finally find some other 2014 Secrets brides on here! 

I have a couple more answers to your questions that I have previously asked. 

 

She told me that there is a $300 vendor fee charge PER VENDOR. I feel like I've read some things on here before that said the brides didn't get charged what they claim they are going to charge you. I also am getting Misha Earle for photography ( can't wait to hear if you like her!), she pays the vendor fee for you that is included in the pricing, so thats a plus. On top of the vendor fee you have to also pay the $80 for a resort pass, per person. So you will be paying $300 for the outside vendor, then $160 for the makeup artist and hair stylist. It's ridiculous where they get you to pay more and more money! 

Angelsj and I are both leaving the resort and going to Joni Powell's studio to get makeup and hair done. 

 

I am under the understanding that the complimentary meal is only included in the honeymoon and newlywed package. It is complimentary if you book a PREFERRED CLUB jr suit for 7 days, not just a regular room. I also thought that it was included at first. 

 

I was also told that there is a $50-$300 set up fee to set up decor that you bring yourself, they decide when you get there I assume how much they want to charge you, which I also feel is kind of ridiculous, considering thats kind of what you are paying them to do in the first place (since they are already making double since everyone is all-inclusive for food and alcohol anyways!) I'm just hoping that it will only be $50. A couple of the past brides seemed to have a bit of decor and things and they said they were only charged $50....so I'm crossing my fingers. I'm bringing my flowers with me...I really don't want to take on another $500 for flowers and decor...Chair sashes, organza for the gazebo, and possibly some table decor, but it won't be outrageous! 

 

If you have the Secrets Ultimate or Secrets of love package, a dressing assistant is included in the package. 

 

As for the music. She replied to me that if you decide to use the sound system, it is $180 PER HOUR, and that you will be given the equipment to use but will have to "assign someone from the group to monitor the music"...which I took as one of your guests would have to be in charge. After thinking about it for a LONG time...I finally decided this week that I think I'm going to pay the extra  $210 and just get the DJ. I would feel bad if someone had to man the music the entire time of the reception and didn't get to have any fun. I feel like we're already paying an outrageous amount of money for all the extras, what is another $200.  <_<  I can't fathom the fact that he is making $750 for a 3 hour reception (and I've also talked to brides that have told me that he is kind of forward about "tipping" him....if it's the same DJ for everyone that is....IMO thats very RUDE..and your already making out big time on the job!! Oh well! I feel like music is a really important part of the whole thing! 

 

I still haven't received any correspondence from the wedding consultant yet. It's already less than two months prior to the wedding date. I read elsewhere that it would be at least that before anyone would contact you to start the planning process. I'm trying to be patient but it's getting a little to close and I have alot of things to finish planning but don't want to before knowing the correct answers to everything!! 

 

Sorry this was wordy! Let me know if you have any other questions, and let us know when you hear back from her!! 



#52 angelsj247

angelsj247
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  • Wedding Location:Secrets Wild Orchid
  • LocationChicago

Posted 25 July 2014 - 06:11 AM

Amaxey- 
 
I'm getting married at WO on September 19. It's nice to finally find some other 2014 Secrets brides on here! 
I have a couple more answers to your questions that I have previously asked. 
 
She told me that there is a $300 vendor fee charge PER VENDOR. I feel like I've read some things on here before that said the brides didn't get charged what they claim they are going to charge you. I also am getting Misha Earle for photography ( can't wait to hear if you like her!), she pays the vendor fee for you that is included in the pricing, so thats a plus. On top of the vendor fee you have to also pay the $80 for a resort pass, per person. So you will be paying $300 for the outside vendor, then $160 for the makeup artist and hair stylist. It's ridiculous where they get you to pay more and more money! 
Angelsj and I are both leaving the resort and going to Joni Powell's studio to get makeup and hair done. 
 
I am under the understanding that the complimentary meal is only included in the honeymoon and newlywed package. It is complimentary if you book a PREFERRED CLUB jr suit for 7 days, not just a regular room. I also thought that it was included at first. 
 
I was also told that there is a $50-$300 set up fee to set up decor that you bring yourself, they decide when you get there I assume how much they want to charge you, which I also feel is kind of ridiculous, considering thats kind of what you are paying them to do in the first place (since they are already making double since everyone is all-inclusive for food and alcohol anyways!) I'm just hoping that it will only be $50. A couple of the past brides seemed to have a bit of decor and things and they said they were only charged $50....so I'm crossing my fingers. I'm bringing my flowers with me...I really don't want to take on another $500 for flowers and decor...Chair sashes, organza for the gazebo, and possibly some table decor, but it won't be outrageous! 
 
If you have the Secrets Ultimate or Secrets of love package, a dressing assistant is included in the package. 
 
As for the music. She replied to me that if you decide to use the sound system, it is $180 PER HOUR, and that you will be given the equipment to use but will have to "assign someone from the group to monitor the music"...which I took as one of your guests would have to be in charge. After thinking about it for a LONG time...I finally decided this week that I think I'm going to pay the extra  $210 and just get the DJ. I would feel bad if someone had to man the music the entire time of the reception and didn't get to have any fun. I feel like we're already paying an outrageous amount of money for all the extras, what is another $200.  <_<  I can't fathom the fact that he is making $750 for a 3 hour reception (and I've also talked to brides that have told me that he is kind of forward about "tipping" him....if it's the same DJ for everyone that is....IMO thats very RUDE..and your already making out big time on the job!! Oh well! I feel like music is a really important part of the whole thing! 
 
I still haven't received any correspondence from the wedding consultant yet. It's already less than two months prior to the wedding date. I read elsewhere that it would be at least that before anyone would contact you to start the planning process. I'm trying to be patient but it's getting a little to close and I have alot of things to finish planning but don't want to before knowing the correct answers to everything!! 
 
Sorry this was wordy! Let me know if you have any other questions, and let us know when you hear back from her!!


I cant believe they havent contacted you yet. A week after i sent my documents down they replied they recieved them and included the forms for me to fill out and return which i did and they sent me their break down bill. Id try contacting them if i were you since it is getting close.

#53 pzl101

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    Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

    Hi Amaxey (and Jennkn87 and angelsj247)

     

    Jennkn is right. It's $300 per vendor PLUS $80 per person guest pass. I just married at St. James in May and had an outside photographer and paid an additional $460 for the vendor fee and passes for him and his assistant.

     

    I was NOT charged a set up fee and I brought my own chair sashes, centerpieces, guest map, frame, cake topper, and other misc guest goodies.

     

    I also did not get that romantic dinner included and I had the Ultimate Package but it looked very nice for those that did it.

     

    Jenn - I'm surprised you haven't heard from them. I booked Secrets months in advance and anytime I had questions, I emailed them. I didn't care about the "2 month" rule and they ALWAYS got back to me within a day. On the exact date of 2 months prior to my wedding date, they emailed me the "details form" to complete. They were really on top of things so I suggest you contact them.

     

    Let me know if you any of you ladies have any other questions.



    #54 cora4600

    cora4600
    • Newbie
    • 36 posts
    • Wedding Date:November 8, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Secrets St. James/Wild Orchid
    • LocationPortland, OR

    Posted 01 August 2014 - 01:32 PM

    How big is everyone's wedding? Also what time did you guys book? We have about 80 people coming and so far I haven't really  talked to anyone on here with a guest count as large as ours! Ha! We also got stuck with the 2pm time, and I was going to try my dangest to get them to push it back to 3pm (for as much money as I am paying them, I don't see why this would be an issue). 



    #55 Southernjag04

    Southernjag04
    • Newbie
    • 4 posts
    • Wedding Date:June 20, 2015
    • Wedding Location:Secrets Wild Orchid - Montego Bay, Jamaica
    • LocationHouston, TX

    Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:18 AM

    Hey cora4600! I'm getting married June 2015 at Secrets WO and am expecting 40-50 attendees! So you still have me beat, but I definitely feel ya on the money bit. We're having a reception so yeahhhhh it's adding up! Lol


    Does anyone have information from the resort on how much they charge for the various beach structures?? I'm not too fond of using the gazebo as I want the wedding to be on the sand. Just need to gauge how much they charge for a separate setup. Any help would be appreciated!!
    Courtney

    - Planning Thread
    http://www.bestdesti...w-June-20-2015/

    #56 amaxey

    amaxey
    • Newbie
    • 2 posts
    • Wedding Date:September 3, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Secrets St James Jamaica
    • LocationTexas

    Posted 05 August 2014 - 12:08 PM

    Jennkn87 -

     

    Thanks for the info!  The gals doing my makeup and hair are staying on property using the vendor fee I would have had to pay anyway....that way they are available for touch-ups and whatever for the afternoon/evening (our wedding is slated for 5pm). 

     

    As for the complimentary romantic dinner...we did book a PREFERRED CLUB Jr suite for 7 days thinking this was one of the perks that came along with it (we're getting the Weddings in Paradise since it's just us two).  It's very disappointing to find out I'm having both my wedding and honeymoon at a resort that seems bent on squeezing every nickel and dime out of you.  Maybe it's just because our wedding party IS just the two of us...I've read different stories on these forums for folks with larger wedding parties (it seems it's all about the $$ you're bringing in for them - not so much about making your day/stay special).

     

    I still haven't received a response from my WC on how much the bamboo arch/chuppa is to rent.  If anyone hears back on how much just the structure is, I'd be interested.  I'm bringing my own fabric, but don't want any extra flowers from the florist on it.  I don't mind paying the $50 to have them add my fabric since I can't really do that myself...right before my wedding.

     

    I'm also looking for a textured, one-tier, butter-creme cake (8", vanilla, no filling) the color of light brown sugar instead of the 'standard' cake provided by the resort.  My WC quoted me anywhere from $175 to $200 for this 'upgrade'.  I've found a local bakery that quoted me $45 for the same cake.

     

    purplerustic1.jpg



    #57 ashark

    ashark
    • Newbie
    • 1 posts
    • Wedding Date:June 14, 2012
    • Wedding Location:Secrets St. James - Montego Bay, Jamaica
    • LocationPhiladelphia, PA

    Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:23 PM

    Hey ladies,

     

    Brand new here and stumbled upon this thread with a lot of great insights from fellow Secrets St. James brides!

     

    My wedding is December 6th and last week my fiancé and I decided that we needed to do a site visit in advance. It should be noted that we’ve not done any planning in the 9 or so months since we’ve had this date and venue booked, so here we are trying to do it all last minute. Nevertheless, I feel very fortunate to be able to do so.

     

    We're going down September 5th for 2 nights and meeting with the wedding coordinator. (Is anyone on here getting married there Sept. 5, 6 or 7??). My hope is that we can get a lot of the details nailed down in advance and then not have to do much of that when we arrive in December. 

     

    I’m not the bride that’s had her wedding planned for years. In fact, when the wedding coordinator asked me to send her pictures & ideas of what we want for our wedding, I didn’t even know where to start. Yes, I’m THAT girl. The only thing we know is that dancing is the most important part of our wedding celebration, so I'm really curious about reception locations and dance floor options.

     

    We're expecting about 50 people and would ideally like to do both the ceremony and reception outside. (We have the 4pm time slot). I know they can build a dance floor on the sand, but what happens when sand gets onto said dance floor and people start slippin' and slidin' (not part of actual dance moves)? Anyone run into that or am I just overly paranoid?

     

    @muneera0302 I noticed that your reception was set up near a pool area. I love that. Is that one of the location options? (Stunning photos, btw.)

     

    The only other aspect I’ve actually researched is photographers. We got quotes from Dwayne Watkins, Saab Weddings and Misha Earle. We’re not really considering the resort photographer at this point, primarily because they've not shared a portfolio or enough details about their services, pricing, etc.

     

    I’ll be happy to report my findings upon returning from the site visit in September! In the meantime, I guess I should get to work on coming up with “ideas” for my wedding. Thanks in advance to all you lovely brides for any awesome ideas/suggestions/tips/tricks you share!

     

    Cheers!



    #58 JamaicaNicole

    JamaicaNicole
    • Newbie
    • 91 posts
    • Wedding Date:July 4, 2016
    • Wedding Location:Montego Bay, Jamaica (Secrets)
    • LocationPA

    Posted 17 August 2014 - 04:02 PM

    Hi everyone I am getting married at Secrets on July 4,2016!

    A few questions I would also like to know about the set up around the pool does that cost extra?

    For music while walking down the aisle do they include that or do I have to rent a sound system for a half hour? We are getting the DJ for the reception.

    I saw in some pictures if you have the wedding on the beach black lamp posts for lighting are those included?

    #59 cora4600

    cora4600
    • Newbie
    • 36 posts
    • Wedding Date:November 8, 2014
    • Wedding Location:Secrets St. James/Wild Orchid
    • LocationPortland, OR

    Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:13 PM

    @JamaicaNicole @ashark I talked to Muneera and she actually had her wedding next door at the Seawind Club, thats why her photos are around the pool. We looked into that options as well, but I didn't want to have to deal with getting a wedding coordinator and planning it myself. That was the whole point of the destination wedding for us. 

     

    I also thought I saw that the bamboo wedding arch was $450, but my booklet could be out dated. When I get the information back from the WC I'll let you guys know for sure if you haven't found out already. 

     

    Has anyone received any quotes from the florist? I still haven't heard back and trying to budget for an unknown amount is getting difficult :)

     

    You ladies are the best! 

     

    -Cora


    Oooh I do have one more question for past brides. Do they let you play music to walk down the aisle to? Or do they charge you for that as well? 



    #60 cindygeorge

    cindygeorge
    • Newbie
    • 2 posts

      Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:08 PM

       Hi

      I am in the same situation right now and am debating on whether to use the resort photographers.  What did you end up using?

      I am hoping to get all of the picutres on a disk.  I know that is extra money though.

      Alexisinjamaica -

      Did you use the resort photographer? I am trying to find some more information on them. I really like Misha Earles work...but am trying to deicde if I want to have them both there for the ceremony. Were they easy to work with? Was it expensive if you wanted to add to your already included photos? Do they do TTD sessions? How long was it till you got your pics back? I'm wanting to have mine for the AHR a month later.






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