I got married on February 2nd at the Magdalena Grand in Tobago West Indies. I had such a great time, and such a bad time as well. Take a page out of my book and DON'T do some of the following things that I did if you are planning a destination wedding. First, go through a destination planning business, even if it costs more money. Second, know that the hotel may offer you vendors, like a wedding planner to use, but this may not always be the best course of action, even if they have worked with the hotel before. My case was a bit unfortunate.
First, this hotel is actually really nice. We had a few issues, but nothing that was not resolved rather quickly. For example, we had an issue with the tub in our honeymoon sweet, that was fixed within the hour. Room Service was great. Anything we called for we received. The service industry in Trinidad and Tobago is quite terrible, but for the meanwhile, the staff at the Magdalena makes you forget about this. We stayed from Monday night until Thursday. Our wedding was on Tuesday. The person who made our time there exceptional awesome was Carineh Deokiesingh. She is a joy and a delight. She made our wedding day amazing and our stay even more amazing by getting us some special perks for our wedding. She dealt with all my pre-wedding jitters with grace and was just an amazing person. She is really the picture of perfect hospitality.
On to the wedding. The day was so beautiful. The weather was perfect. We had a lovely day, thanks to Carineh. She was there to help with a lot of details that wedding planner, Therese Chung Waldropt, completely missed. There were a few issues with the ballroom when we got to the reception. The staff there was exceptionally unpleasant, especially the manager that was on staff that night. She made everything more difficult and was unhelpful. The dance floor was a terrible mess. It broke apart while we were dancing causing a hazard. I told the general manager about this when I saw him a few days later and he kind of shrugged like it was not a big deal. But it was. Three people hurt themselves, and this could be an issue for the hotel in the future. My uncle actually told the folks putting the dance floor together earlier that day about the hazard of the poorly constructed dance floor, and again, they kind of shrugged like there was nothing that they could do. They also kept turning the lights up on us during the reception totally ruining the mood and making people think they had to leave even though we pay for the place until midnight. Again, when asked about this, the staff shrugged and didn't really listen to us. We told Carineh all about this, and she was lovely about it and apologized. At that point, there was not much that could be done.
The absolute worst part of our wedding was the alleged wedding planner that Carineh suggested to us. Therese Chung Waldropt. I feel so bad trying to write this review because I really liked her as a person, but she is not the greatest wedding planner. And this really is not a reflection on Carineh either, just a series of unfortunate events. First, I don't think she has every planned a destination wedding before, something that I should have asked her, which was totally my fault. She assured me, however, that that she could handle all the tasks that I asked her to do. It turns out, she just wanted the money. She caused me so much stress. She was an over communicator which at first I thought was a good thing. But she has a severe problem with lying. She told me that she was getting my flowers for the reception from Italy. When we got there, she barely had any flowers anywhere at all, and they still had the price tags from a store in Trinidad. She charged me a lot of money to decorate, and when I got there, she had hardly done anything at all to the ceremony site or to the ballroom. Her day of coordinator was God awful. Everyone complained about her. Worst of all, I hired her to do three events for my family as this was a destination wedding and folks were coming from out of town.
I can't write a post long enough to explain everything that she messed up with those events. We had a beach lime with family on the first night we arrived, which she was paid to coordinate. She left early and provided subpar food and presentation. We had a boat ride which she told me she could organize properly. On the day of the boat ride, the person she hired Lincoln Potts of the drummers of tomorrow, was two hours late picking us up and had inappropriate transportation. On the day of our wedding, Therese and Lincoln came to my husband to blackmail him for more money, even though we paid him the day before. We explained what we subtracted from his total amount as we had to pay for extra transportation to get us back from the beach when the boat ride was done. He was able to blackmail us (unbeknownst to me because I would have thrown a fit) because he was the leader of the group for the reception entertainment, the Drummers of Tomorrow. They were actually and excellent group! Our guests loved the drummer and so did the other guests at the hotel. But Lincoln had never thrown a boat ride before. He stiffed a lot of people out of money and hoarded cash by cutting corners (as we found out later). During the reception, she ate before our guests and left for several hours even though she was being paid to coordinate.
There is way more that happened that I cannot write here. It would be way too long. She still has not even given me videos that she alleged that she took of the event. I gave Therese Chung Waldropt the opportunity to explain what happened, but she just told more lies and refused to give any sort of refund for the poor services. I just have to review her on several sites and write a blog about it so that when folks search for her they do not hire her. At least not for a destination wedding. Her husband Mark was a really nice person too and helped us out a lot. So it is a shame that she is such a poor planner. She just seemed really overwhelmed and like she did not plan well for this event. Which was her job; SHE HAD ONE JOB! lol.
I cannot sing the praises of Carineh enough, though, she was absolutely amazing. The only thing that she did incorrectly was provided Therese Chung Waldropt as a possible Vendor.
Hotel Stay: 4