We just got back from our wedding in Turks and Caicos! It was absolutely perfect. This website was so helpful in deciding on a Turks and Caicos wedding (other contenders were Playa del Carmen, Aruba, Jamaica). We had never visited any of these places, so it was helpful to get the opinions from other brides!
We had about 47 guests for our wedding. We stayed at the Sands and used Island Harmony as our wedding coordinators. Kissing Fish was our caterers and Environmental Arts were our florist.Here's a little bit about each of our vendors.
I cannot thank Diane and her team enough for our wonderful wedding! From the beginning, they answered all my questions/concerns promptly (this was one of the main reasons I went with them..I had contacted a few other planners). They were incredibly organized and on top of everything. The 6 months before my wedding I was incredibly busy with work, and they were the ones who kept ME on track. I was a bit of a picky bride in terms of how I wanted things to look (I was more rustic meets beach type of gal), and they embraced my vision and helped create it. I sent out a few freak out emails (just an fyi...try to avoid looking up the weather forecast a week before the wedding), and they responded quickly and helped alleviate some of my nerves. The whole time I was in Turks and Caicos, my guests kept telling me I was the most calm bride ever. I have to say it was because I didn't have anything to worry about! Diane and her team had everything set, and I didn't have to worry about a thing (well...except for my lost luggage...but that turned up in time for the wedding...). I was able to enjoy my time there without worrying about any of the wedding details. I told Diane from the beginning I wanted a beach ceremony that felt private, and she recommended the Sands because there weren't any resorts on one side. It was perfect. There is a little boardwalk that ends right on the beach without any sunbathers or umbrellas in the way. And, the ocean and beach was the perfect backdrop. I don't have my professional pics yet, but here's what our ceremony looked like (its hard to see the whole thing). Best wedding decision I made was to hire Island Harmony (I may have told my husband that everyday for the last few months leading up to the wedding)
Joan from Kissing Fish was one of the most prompt responders! We had a beach bbq next to the ceremony. It was well worth it! Honestly, I cannot tell you much about the food (I don't remember eating the food during the reception..let alone what it taste like), but all my guests raved about it! A few weeks before the wedding, I decided I wanted late night snacks for my guests (might be good after drinking). Kissing Fish was incredibly accommodating for this last minute request. We had burgers (beef and portabello mushroom) and pulled pork sandwiches at the end of our reception/dance party. I do remember these and they were delicious AND a big hit with our guests. They even brought to go containers so we can take the food home with us (I may have had a second burger back in our resort...). I'm still craving the mushroom burgers. BTW...the servers were great! We started a little dance party with the servers by the bar area. All the servers were wonderful and so much fun (and also made sure my guests were taken care of). I'm sure they made it in many of our party pics . We also rented our tents/tables from them. Here's a pic of the reception set up.
To be honest, I was unsure about them at the beginning. Communicating through email with them was a bit difficult in the beginning, and I wouldn't get a response back from them for weeks at a time. They were great when I called them, but I couldn't make international calls to them everytime. I was getting a little nervous.. However, a few months before the wedding, they had a bit of a personnel change, and Ernst became my contact person. He is GREAT!!! He got back to me quickly about everything and addressed all my questions. He even responded late at night to some of my questions that I wrote also late at night (totally unexpected...I did not expect him to get back to me at 11pm!).
I had a bit of a unique flower situation. My mom is a florist also, and I had always wanted my mom to do my bouquet, which was a little difficult for a destination wedding. EA and Island Harmony were so accommodating about this. EA ordered the stems (peonies and hydrangea) for us and delivered them to my mom when she got to the island. It made me and my mom so happy! EA provided the reception flowers. The flowers were exactly as I had hoped! Despite having a mom who makes beautiful arrangements, I was more of a loose stem/non-arranged type of girl for flowers.
DJ and Steel Drummer
We had DJ William for our DJ. He was awesome!! I gave him a pretty extensive must play and do not play list, and he definitely got a sense of our music style from there (his picks were spot on for our crowd). My guests had so much fun dancing and many of them requested his playlist. I looked around at one point during the night and noticed that every single one of our guests were on the dance floor. The dance floor was crowded the whole night. He definitely paid attention to our crowd and played the right songs at the right moment (my husband and his groomsmen were ECSTATIC when their favorite song was played twice!). The music for our wedding was really important, and the DJ was spot on!
We had Kelci Talbot for our cocktail hour. I was a bit bummed because I was off taking pictures and couldn't enjoy his music! He sounded great from afar. Unfortunately, I can't say that much about him, but my guests enjoyed him (and thought he set the right tone for cocktail hour).
Hair and Make up
We had Edmonde from Teona Spa. Edmonde is a true artist with her make up. She managed to make our getting ready suite into a serene spa while we were getting our make up done. My bridesmaids got a little worried when I got so quiet when I was getting my make up done....I was just so relaxed while Edmonde was working on me! She matched the make up perfectly to my skin (as she did with all 9 of us getting our make up done). When I first saw my make up, I was a bit shocked..I'm not used to wearing that much make up. But she assured me it would be perfect for pictures (she was right!). She sensed that I might not have been 100% happy and got right back to work to make sure I was (just a change of lipstick color and looking at a normal mirror did the trick). One of my bridesmaid had bright blotchy red arms (someone forgot to apply sunblock evenly her first day on the island), and Edmonde whisked her away and put make up on her arm to even it out and dull the red out!! In our pictures, you can't even see the sunburn anymore.
We also had Brigitte from Tangled Hair. I was a little unsure about what to do with my hair and showed her a few pics. She did such a beautiful job with my hair. It wasn't quite what I had in mind initially and it ended up being even better!!! Not having a trial made me nervous, but Brigitte did a beautiful job. My only complaint would be that my hair probably needed a few more bobby pins (I have thick super straight hair), and loose curls is probably not the best style for my type of hair (but was what I wanted). My advice for future brides..after your hair is done, try jumping up and down a bit to make sure everything holds. My hair definitely came out as soon as I started dancing!
Also, most importantly, compared to a few other make up/hair artists, Edmonde and Brigitte were pretty reasonably priced (I think close to what it would cost to get hair/make up done in Philly at least). And all of us were pleased with their work. They got through all 9 of us efficiently without sacrificing quality. I was worried about not getting ready in time!
Just a quick note..we did not go with Brilliant for our photos. We ended up flying our own photographer (incidentally, it was cheaper to fly him and the second shooter and pay for his accommodations and photographer fees). We decided not to go with Brilliant for a few reasons (we wanted engagement photos in Philly, we had a bit of a diff style than what we saw on their blog, price, we wanted the photog to get a sense of who we are as a couple so we wanted someone local to us). It was the right decision for us, but I do have to say it is a bit of a risk to have a photographer who is not familiar with the lighting at Turks and Caicos (pictures can get pretty washed out). Our photographer has done some shooting on the island and have shot for a few of our friends weddings so we felt pretty comfortable with our decision. If you look at Brilliant's blog, the pictures look absolutely picturesque and the lighting is perfect. I think they have perfected the lighting for the island. Something to take into consideration when picking a photog.
Philly locals..if you're looking for a photographer, Nute Nicholson is great (he is the other half of Tiffany Atlas)! I can give you his contact info if you want.
Also, we ended up having two welcome dinners. One was an impromptu/casual dinner at a restaurant called Somewhere. It was a casual restaurant with outdoor seating. Since we had such a big crew coming over, they had a band come over. They were awesome! They got our guests dancing and it really broke the ice and set the way for a fabulous and fun wedding week! Our formal welcome dinner was at Regent Palms. Unfortunately, it rained that evening so they had to pull our dinner indoors. The food was fabulous!
That's it! Let me know if you have any questions. Turks and Caicos was absolute paradise. Everyone was extremely friendly, the beach was absolutely beautiful, it was less humid than Philly, and it did not feel too commercial or crowded. It was the perfect place for a beautiful destination wedding with added personal touch. PM me if you would like to see more pictures or have more specific questions!