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Overwhelmed And In Need Of Unique (Affordable) Suggestions!

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#1 JamieDonna

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    Posted 11 November 2015 - 10:56 AM

    Hi everyone,


    Been engaged about 6 months now and was planning to get married in May 2016. Due to my being a grad student, planning unfortunately didn't start until September.


    The problem is that everytime I fall in love with a place, it seems to fall through. I was set for Coconut Bay in St. Lucia but after getting the group pricing from Westjet (Canadian), the cost actually went UP several hundred dollars and we decided it was too much to ask of our guests. Apparently only Westjet and Air Canada (which is more expensive) actually travel there so sadly, St. Lucia is out.


    After another month of searching I came to love Jewel Runaway Bay in Jamaica..however, after getting pricing and even booking my wedding there they subsequently came back to me to tell me they didn't even have enough rooms for me!! (something they knew before giving me my quote but failed to communicate). 


    Now I feel I'm back at square one again and don't know what to do. I am not interested in Mexico or Cuba but am open to pretty much anywhere else.



    I now realize that I am very keen on the idea of having a lazy river or water attraction that is not just designed for kids (e.g., a lazy river with swim-up bar sounds fun!) although it's not essential. I just want a fun atmosphere, not just a resort that only promotes rest and relaxation and I want to keep in under $1900CADpp.....any suggestions? 

    #2 vancouverpetunia

    • Member
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    • Wedding Date:April 7, 2016
    • Wedding Location:Now Sapphire, Riviera Maya, Mexico
    • LocationVancouver, Canada

    Posted 11 November 2015 - 12:49 PM

    @JamieDonna - Where are you and the majority of your guests flying from? Toronto? That will have an impact on cost. Getting from the West Coast to the Caribbean can be pretty pricey, so hopefully you are East Coast. Unfortunately I don't really have anything to suggest, as I've only been to Mexico myself. Other than Curacao, which is beautiful. 


    Also, are you working with a travel agent? A TA should be able to help you find a few resorts that fit your needs and your budget, which would narrow down your choices.

    Edited by vancouverpetunia, 11 November 2015 - 12:54 PM.

    - Erin


    My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...2016/?p=1893268


    My Now Sapphire review: http://www.bestdesti...riviera-cancun/

    #3 JamieDonna

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      Posted 11 November 2015 - 01:59 PM

      @vancouverpetunia...yes, luckily my group will be flying out of Toronto. I am working with a travel agent but haven't really found them to be that great in terms of suggesting places to look into or giving feedback on specific resorts for weddings

      #4 calgarybride2015

      • Sr. Member
      • 4,504 posts
      • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
      • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
      • LocationCalgary, AB

      Posted 11 November 2015 - 02:32 PM

      I just wanna say good luck with your search. I know it is frustrating, probably the hardest part is picking a resort!

      I would suggest that maybe you call around to find another TA who is willing to help? maybe one who specializes in destination weddings?  You can actually find ones who are GI certified (I believe it's called) who have special relationships with brands of resorts to get you even better deals!   


      That said, our resort had a fantastic lazy river, but it's in Mexico :( I am totally sure there are others.

      We have decided we want to move to paradise and build our own little town of lazy rivers, which a small lazy river beside it with flowing coronas for us to drink hahaha!!!  We are nerdy!


      Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


      Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


      Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


      Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



      #5 vancouverpetunia

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      • Wedding Date:April 7, 2016
      • Wedding Location:Now Sapphire, Riviera Maya, Mexico
      • LocationVancouver, Canada

      Posted 11 November 2015 - 06:01 PM

      I agree with @calgarybride2015. The hardest part of our wedding so far was picking the resort, so you are not alone. And, yes, if you can, try another TA, and make sure they specialize in DWs. I'm sure there's a few ladies here who would recommend someone in the Toronto area. @deecol, @snswedding2016, @perianjay, @veryvalentine, @acw271011, @Meandhim, @JoannaBanana (Not sure if all of you ladies had TAs and whether you would recommend them - but there's got to be at least one out of this group who has/had a good TA.)


      Also, to keep it simple, you may want to stick with all-inclusive packages (if that wasn't already your plan). I think, other than Mexico & Cuba, you are most likely to find good options for that in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Although I hear Jamaica is more expensive. Good luck!

      Edited by vancouverpetunia, 11 November 2015 - 06:02 PM.

      - Erin


      My planning thread: http://www.bestdesti...2016/?p=1893268


      My Now Sapphire review: http://www.bestdesti...riviera-cancun/

      #6 acw271011

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      • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
      • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
      • LocationToronto Area

      Posted 11 November 2015 - 06:33 PM

      @JamieDonna  Congrats and welcome! I'm so sorry you're already running into complications. Be prepared lol This may only be the start! Not to scare you off but I think every single bride here has had some sort of aggravation or disappointment over their wedding planning. But what you get is so worth it in the end! So just hang in there.


      I'm a Jamaica bride from October 2011. We were married at Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay. Transat was running the package and still is as far as I know. May is generally a lower price because you're out of peak season so you should be ok with your pricing. We absolutely LOVED the resort! I know some things have changed since we were there but there is an entire thread here for the resort so you could definitely do some reading. There are a couple of other popular resorts here that the ladies seem to like - the RIU resorts are nice as is the Rose Hall and of course the Secrets resorts but they might be a tad more expensive but worth a look. They are all available out of Toronto. I think there is also a new Moon Palace resort in Jamaica.


      I had a travel agent referred to me here that was great. He is GI certified which is for Karisma properties. He was always reachable and replied pretty promptly to emails. He's in Mississauga through a Marlin Travel office but there is no rule that says you have to actually get there. PM me if you want his contact info. We were super happy with his service and he actually had about 8 other weddings on the go at the same time so he's used to group bookings but we never felt like he was ignoring us. We were only 6 to travel, but then 2 cancelled 5 days before we were due to leave and our agent was super with trying to help us out with what the problems were. They couldn't be solved but not because of anything the agent did. It was all on the family member and solely their fault.


      Good luck! I know other ladies will chime in here. I would also suggest you do a resort review search on the site (up top tagged as "Resort Reviews") and go to the country or countries you're considering and look through the reviews. St Lucia is definitely on the higher end of pricing but Jamaica has a lot of options that might work out for you. I don't know what group size you're looking at but May is still a popular time of year for weddings so I would definitely try to get on it as soon as you can.

      I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015







      #7 snswedding2016

      • Member
      • 667 posts
      • Wedding Date:January 9, 2016
      • Wedding Location:Azul Fives
      • LocationToronto, Canada

      Posted 11 November 2015 - 07:52 PM

      @JamieDonna Congrats on your engagement! I agree with what the ladies above have said. Picking a resort is the hardest part but also just the start of the process. I've definitely had my fair share of disappointments along the way with the biggest one just a couple of weeks ago with only 2 months left BUT I'm still so excited and know that a DW was the best decision for us. 


      I'm working with a great TA Karen from myweddingaway.com - she's been amazing!! She is also a GI certified agent. She has truly been so great in helping me from day 1. She helped me do a breakdown from various resorts for the wedding itself to see if it would fit within my budget. We ended up picking a great resort that I had never even heard of. Let me know if you'd like her contact info.


      We're staying at Azul Fives which does have a sort of a lazy river but it is in Mexico. There are other Karisma properties though in Jamaica and the DR - I'm just not too sure on the price point. 

      My planning thread - http://www.bestdesti...016-azul-fives/



      #8 deecol

      • Member
      • 787 posts
      • Wedding Date:April 30, 2016
      • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
      • LocationToronto, Canada

      Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:59 AM

      @JamieDonna Congrats on your engagement!  I'm about 5 1/2 months out from my wedding and so far picking the resort was the toughest part.  Once that's done, it will get a lot more fun!  I promise!


      I saw you're not interested in Mexico so I can't suggest my resort.  But I can recommend the Travel Agency I worked with.  They are called Total Advantage Travel & Tours based in Toronto, quick to respond to emails and got the quote for my guests down $130 pp from a previous quote.  My guests flying out of Toronto are only paying $1259 (with tax) each.  It's worth a shot contacting them to see what they can do and suggest for your destination wedding.  We were able to get our price down to what we did because we went back and forth with another company comparing quotes against each other so it's definitely worth contacting multiple agencies until you find the right one for you.  Oh!  And Total Advantage threw in Custom Beach Bags for our guests that booked through them!  I'll have to order a bunch more for our UK guests, but every bit helps!


      Good luck and keep us posted!  xo



      My Planning Thread:


      #9 Moments That Matter

      Moments That Matter

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        Posted 12 November 2015 - 06:51 AM

        Welcome to our forum community JamieDonna, and Congrats on your engagement and upcoming dw!!! You've come to the right place to find lots of helpful info, advice and suggestions from everyone here, so well done on a great start already :)


        We're based in Playa del Carmen, so are knowledgable about this area in Mexico. However there are lots of other resources here, so hopefully you'll find the perfect destination for your Special Day!


        We can offer you some visual inspiration tho - from some magical wedding moments that matter we captured in our beautiful Mayan Riviera - to ramp up your creativity even more......enjoy :)


        ....taken from our Cover Photos Album:











        Wishing you happy research and all the best with finding the perfect place for YOU!!! cheers, team MTM :)


        Edited by Moments That Matter, 12 November 2015 - 06:52 AM.




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        #10 JoannaBanana

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          • LocationEtobicoke

          Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:34 PM

          I would recommend Tracy from Romantic Planet. They are based in Burlington, but you can deal with her exclusively via email.

          My Planning Thread (Grand Sirenis 05.12.16)http://www.bestdesti...-grand-sirenis/<p>


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