Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2013 - Pink Shell Resort
I’m new to the Wedding Bee, so not sure if I’ll use the right abbreviations- but I really need some feedback. I’m planning a beach wedding in one of three places: Sanibel Island, Captiva Island OR the Keys. I’ve done a little research on venues, and so far they’re either too expensive ($20,000 minimum on food/bev?!) or super cheesy/tacky (read: cookie-cutter). I really want a simple, non-traditional beach wedding with modern touches. But somehow not a gazillion dollars. My question is- I can’t seem to find any venues outside of the typical resorts for a wedding & reception location for 75(ish) guests, and I’m wondering if I have to hire a planner to get the hook-up for all things non-resort. And to get out of all the cheesy, stupid things that come with a wedding “package”. For instance, I do NOT want matchy-matchy napkins and chair covers to go with a matching cake. I don’t even want a big cake! I want customizations to my wedding and I want to be able to make it my own- not like pick a color and they do the same, tired food & decorations as they do for everyone! But I really don’t have a million dollars to spend on a planner. Is it possible to find a reasonable one, and is it worth it? Anyone? Thoughts? Would really appreciate any and all thoughts!
Post # 3
I don’t have experience in the region you’re looking in, but I’m also doing a dw and I don’t know how I could do it without a planner! They have experience with vendors who have done a good job in the past. All I would be able to do was hire someone off the internet without ever meeting them or seeing their product; which made me really nervous.
Also, for my wedding I have a package that was very customizable. The package includes certain things (bouquet – I pick they style, boutonniere, champagne, officiant – we can customize the ceremony, etc. ) but other things were very flexible. For example, I decided to make my own centerpieces, place cards and favours. I’m also making my own ceremony programs and table numbes. There are things you can do to put your stamp on it if the venue/coordinator is flexible enough.
Post # 4
I looked in the areas you are currently looking and quickly ruled them out because of price! They are all popular vacation & wedding destinations and the price to go with them. If you’re dead set of getting married there I would definitely shop around for a planner. They may know smaller venues, restraurants, etc. suitable for your events.
We ultimately decided on a boutique resort in Negril for our Destination Wedding and the coorsinator there has been very helpful. She knows all of the logistics for their site as well as other places for other wedding events.
Post # 5
- Wedding: April 2013 - Pink Shell Resort
Thanks to you both!
Mademoiselle- was your planner reasonable, price-wise? I don’t have to worry about not being able to meet vendors in person, as I live right down the street from both Sanibel and Captiva- but I still feel like a planner might know about things that I would not otherwise know. However, if I ended up going with a venue in the Keys, I would not be able to jump down there and meet vendors in person. So, I really need to narrow down my location before deciding.
Awagy86, thanks also for your feedback. I’m still holding out for that one good deal in the area- but I know it may not happen. I’m trying to set up appointments with some of the more reasonable-sounding venues on the Islands, to find out if there’s a way we can do parts of a package but not the full monty- aka, no plated dinner or buffet, just stations and heavy appetizers. But the problem I’m finding with some of the resorts is that they do require a food/bev minimum (especially for the popular time of year I’m shooting for), which is totally screwing up my whole plan. I don’t understand why resorts would turn down potential wedding parties who are willing to give them anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000, just to charge them a $20,000 minimum!! I just don’t see why that’s necessary. But, I am new to this wedding research and I’m sure they have their reasons! Anyway, Negril sounds beautiful and exotic and awesome- best of luck with your DW!
Post # 6
@JennyG34: I dont know about the places you are talking about but am planning a Destination Wedding in Thailand without a wedding planner. The resort I am using has a planner there & even though they have a package, they are quite flexiable and let me swap or change things. Good luck with your search.
Post # 7
@JennyG34: The planner that I have works for the venue where I’m having my wedding, so it’s actually included and she doesn’t have a separate fee.
Post # 9
They get you on the prices because you are having a beach wedding. They must pay high fees, taxes, maintenance to have their property on or close to a beach, so who pays? We pay!!! That’s just the way it is. I live in NY and it’s impossible to pay less than $125 per person for any beach venue.
A planner in the area may be able to arrange just a wedding ceremony at the beach for you (get permits, pay the fee, set up), and recommend a nearby restaurant (either in a hotel or in a restaurant located there). I would also recommend that you look into “house rentals” on the islands. Perhaps you could find something on the beach and do a party there. Most beach houses can sleep 4 and you could stay there for your honeymoon as well. A week averages about $1100. A planner could help with putting on a party there and you could find a nearby hotel/motel for your guests. If you have over $10k for a wedding of 75, I can’t imagine it being an impossible feat to get a successful wedding together.
Patricia Slater’s Weddings by the Sea
P.O. Box 672
Sanibel Island, Florida 33957
(239) 472-8712 (Voice)
(239) 472-1889 (FAX)
E-Mail: [email protected]