@Meandhim Most people deposited before the deadline, we had a couple stragglers that my TA managed to get the group rate for still and a handful that have booked last minute. So I'd say we pretty much knew the final numbers by the deposit deadline, maybe plan for a handful more? It's also a pretty expensive time to travel so it was unlikely that people thought they would get a better deal by waiting so that might have helped more people book early.
We wanted to keep costs down and from all the destination wedding folk I've talked to and all the ones I've been to, at the end of the day, you're in paradise and the little things don't really matter or get noticed. Don't get too caught up in those things is my best advice. I've had to remind myself of that often cause it's easy to get caught up in it all and get stressed out on Pinterest that your wedding won't live up Just remember, its a beautiful location and everyone is just happy to be on vacation. Nobody remembers the centerpieces
Our package comes with most of the things we'd need and a few perks. I liked the colors of the Ocean Pearl package but I could have easily gone with a cheaper one. We had to pay $22 per person above the 20 the package includes. We opted for a private reception at one of the buffet restaurants near the beach. It isn't set it stone but I can't imagine why we wouldn't get it. We are going with whatever centre pieces are included. The private reception is $1060 for the use of the restaurant. We are getting the DJ for all 4 hours of the reception with a lights and balloons and all that for $900. There is a cheaper option with just a basic music setup, no lights etc for $550 I was told.
Additional costs include bridesmaid bouquets that will be between $25-$40 each for us based on what I asked for (yet to be picked) and the boutonnieres and corsages for groomsmen and parents, about $25-$35 each. And we are going with the resort photographer which will be around $650 I'm estimating. I just couldn't justify the amount to bring in an off resort photographer. We wanted costs low and at the end of the day we only need a handful of good shots. And who doesn't have a camera these days, i'm sure we'll have plenty to choose from
The only decorations we're bringing are some little paper things for the tables, small cards for our seating plan, table numbers and holders and a guest book alternative thing. We are opting out of the bouquet and garter toss and doing an anniversary dance instead so we bought a small gift for that.
The next biggest cost for us was our OOT bags. That is costing us about $850 for all the guest and a handful of kids. And also our bridal party and parent gifts, totaling about $1400 (we went a little overboard
@samilein That's a pretty good estimate. The killer for us is the terrible canadian dollar right now The wedding costs at the resort are around $7k but with the exchange we'll be pushing $9k. On top of that cost is all the extras (decorations, dress, clothes, guest gifts, miscellaneous mr and mrs items, bridal party and parent gifts etc )
Of course you can spend more very easily. There are lots of centre pieces to choose from that range from $12-$200 each, beach bash (sounds great but seemed too pricey for us), photography, flowers etc. Lots of places to save though too!
Just remember, it's a beautiful piece of paradise and doesn't need a whole bunch of decoration. Just let that and your and your new hubby be the focus and it will be great!
Let me know if I can be more specific about anything, I know I looked here quite a bit for some guidance so I'd love to be of help to others!