Post # 1
I’m about 99% of the way on pulling the trigger on a DW in the Caribbean. After crunching numbers last night (and sobbing in FI’s lap for a good ten minutes) I realized that we either need to seriously redo everything here or figure out another solution. A courthouse wedding is just not something I personally want. We can afford to continue with our plans, but with the amount we would have left every month I just wasn’t comfortable with it.
I’ve been checking out some different AI resorts and thinking of doing a wedding there next year instead of here. I’m getting a pretty good quote from Couples, but I am wondering if I am maybe missing some huge things. Is there anything not covered in the package etc that you had to spend extra money on? Any tips?
Post # 3
Uh oh – we want something along the same lines. Why were you sobbing? Cost? Timing? When were you hoping to get married? We are hoping either Nov or Dec.
FI has mentioned looking for a resort than includes tips in the fees. We’re going to talk to a travel agent in the next couple of weeks.
Post # 4
@mrs_pudding_pop: Just the frustration of it all! First it was my parents adding a huge number to the guest list (and with them contributing I couldn’t complain), then it was my mom being incredibly negaative every time we talked, and then last night it was coming to the realization that I am not okay with having this particular amount of money left every month after putting away for the wedding.
Our wedding date is May 2014 and we would probably push it to June if we did a DW. It’s just…we have 2 kids, a house, bills, cars, etc. I just don’t know how practical it is to spend all this money on one day and essentially trying to impress everyone else. Sigh.
Post # 5
Oh no! That really stinks. We are going away just the two of us specifically for the fact we didn’t want any family interference, etc. I am sorry hon, I hope it all gets worked out so that you two have the day YOU want! *hugs*
Post # 6
id hire a wedding coordinator, and not just a day-of one. my coordinator lives on-island and that is SUCH a relief to have someone answer all my questions (and believe me there are three tons of questions) and take care of all that vendor stuff for me. a huge load off my shoulders.
we r not doing the bridal party, so that takes care of a huge burden right there.
we r not using a resort as a venue, so i have all the freedom in the world to plan it the way i want it. but on the flip side, theres no ‘package’ pricing that would keep budget in check. my coordinator does offer small cheaper packages, but i opted for a customized event.
we chose to not do the wedding on a beach, because the beaches on St Thomas and St John r not privatized for a wedding. its all public. so if u do it during high-tourist season, u might have strangers witnessing your wedding or swimming in the distance behind ur arch. maybe not, but it was too much of a concern for us.
if u do a resort package, its probably going to be all inclusive for ceremony and reception details which means they do the decorating and planning but u have limited choices in what ur wedding will look like, who photographs it, who cooks ur food and makes ur cake, what flowers u get, what music u get, etc etc. that might be great for u if u dont want all the hassle of planning it urself.
Post # 7
We are doing our wedding at an AI resort in Cancun and I will say that it did end up costing more than we thought it would. Still saved us a ton vs doing it here in Texas. I think the main unexpected costs were the guest list ending up almost 2x as large as we guessed, and deciding that we may as well extend our trip 🙂
You have tons of time to work with and my biggest piece of advice to offer is to negotiate as many things as you can before you sign a contract or book any of your guests. We had only 7 months to plan so I was in a rush to do everything. I don’t regret it and our day will turn out amazing, but we ran into unexpected costs. For example, we found out that the resort charges $5 a person to hand out welcome bags. And the ‘cocktail hour’ that we were quoted for actually only includes champagne, full bar is extra. There were lots of these types of things.
I don’t tell you this to scare you off. I just could not deal with the thought of a 300+ person wedding when all I really wanted was a party on the beach and a vacation. I know we made the right choice. But you should narrow down to three or four resorts you like and get quotes in writing for very specific things. Once you have 70 guests booked at their resort, you can’t change the venue and any chance you had at negotiating is pretty much out the window. Ask extremely specific questions, again do this in email for proof, such as what is included with each thing you choose, if you can bring in third party vendors, what perks do you get for booking a certain number of guests.
Good luck! I’m happy to answer any other questions about the planning process – we are a couple months out from the wedding.
Post # 8
we’re having a destination wedding simply because it’s cheaper, and capped the list at 120 invites. Mostly likely, we’ll get 70 people attending (which is huge for a destination wedding) but even with that number it is still half the cost as a wedding locally would be. Plus it will be fun.
Post # 9
Thanks ladies! We are still in decision making time and as you said we have time 🙂 There are definitely pros and cons to both sides for me personally. I am pricing some things out at home to see if we can save money by having a different venue (our venue now has an exclusive caterer and the cost for chairs, linens, staff, etc is what is killing us I think (its an extra couple thousand dollars!). I told FI I would make a list of all avenues to exhaust before deciding on a DW. My main concern is that his parents wouldn’t be able to make it, and they absolutely must be there the day we marry. Again, thanks!!