Destination Weddings Discussions
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Where to Start???

Hi! 

I'm recently engaged and have been way too stressed trying to decide where we will get married.  My FI and I would prefer a destination wedding, but I need to convince my mom to get on board.  She's concerned that a destination wedding will be too expensive for guests.

We looked at Turks and Caicos as well as the BVI and these do seem really pricey!  I would really appreciate any suggestions/recommendations of locations in the carribean, central, or south america that are easy to get to and more affordable.  We want the wedding to be on the beach and are looking for somehting a little unique as we both like to travel to exotic and adventureous places.  Also, we will probably have around 50 guests.  A lot of the resorts have packages for 12 or less so I'm not sure how this works with more people.

Also, for those who have already had a destination wedding, or are planning one, did you go through a travel agent, or use a wedding planner, or go it on your own?  Thoughts on these?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

Re: Where to Start???

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    JessiiJJessiiJ member
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    edited May 2011
    I'm going with T&C... Beaches Turks and Caicos to be exact.  As for recommendations... I'm horrible at giving them, as I've never travelled in my life. I would suggest sitting down and deciding what your budget is and if you were invited to a DW, how much would you personally feel is a comfortable amount to be spending on vacation in terms of costs to your guests. 
    I'm sure your mom will come around. FI and I had to come up with a pro and con chart for at home vs. destination wedding for his mother before she saw the light. 
    Please keep in mind, some resorts also offer a group reduced rate, so what may seem expensive now, actually wont be too much later. 

    Luckily for us, we have a Beaches office in our city, so we will be dealing with them directly... no middle man, it'll cut costs and headaches for us. 

    Check out trip advisor too. 

    HTH!

    Edit: the resort has a wedding co-ordinator, but we're using her(or him) as just that. A co-ordinator. We're planning everything ourselves (using their packages and putting our spin on things), doing A LOT of DIY and she'll just be there to help us get it all perfect. 


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    We aren't having guests just to keep it simple. We figured if we invited everyone, some of the people we'd really want there wouldn't be able to make it and really random people that we could do without would come and then we just decided to make it really intimate and do just us and our parents. Originally we wanted just us, and then we extended it to our parents and cut it off there for the reason stated above.

    We're using a wedding coordinator since we're getting married on a public beach. If we were doing a private location (which is unnecessary for our small group) I could probably do it myself, but I just preferred being able to hand off the reins and let them put it all together, it seemed a bit stressful to do everything on my own here especially since our first time in Hawaii will be 2 days before the wedding.
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    I would definitely say get a TA. Most of us ladies on here used Beach Bum Vacations and they are really great. Almost everyone has said they had a great experience with them. They can help you figure out a perfect location for you based on your budget and what you are looking or in terms of type of ceremony, reception and accommodations.

    I originally used them when we planned for Mexico, but switched to Aruba and then had to re-start. Since we did not want an all inclusive there, we booked everything on our own. I had already been to our wedding venue before so I had gotten the contacts for them and my wedding planner from the friend who got married there. We have a time share to stay in most of the time, and our guests we gave the option to stay wherever they wanted since they all have different budgets. It worked out great, and I am making an itinerary to put in the OOT bags so everyone knows where and when to be places :)

    I think getting help from a TA will definitely be good for you to see what your options are. I used Nanda and she was excellent! Good luck and happy planning :)
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    Thanks so much for the post so far girls!  I will definitely check out Beach Bum Vacations!  I'm finding there are soo many beautiful resorts which makes it all that more difficult to choose.
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    Welcome and congrats!  As you can see...there are MANY helpful ladies here!  I'm a FL bride and honeymooning in St. Lucia.  Look forward in hearing all about your planning process!
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    Hi, Welcome & Congrats!

    I'm working with Melissa at Beach Bum  Vacations and am thrilled with her!  I'm getting married in Cancun because it's a more affordable option.  We're inviting close to 150 guests, with thinking approx 60 will join us.

    We have a group booking contract, which lowers the rates for our guests, and there are also perks for us, so it's a double good thing. 

    As far as the packages saying they're only for 12 guests, generally there will be a per person fee after those 12 guests.  For example, my resort is for 35 people, anything over there, we're required to have a private reception, and we'll have to upgrade our cake for the additional guests.

    As PP have said, the most important is to find what you and your FI want.  You need to see what your budget allows.  There are locations that are a little more affordable then others!

    HTH and please don't hesitate to ask any other questions!  You've found an AWESOME board right here!
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    Just to mix it up a bit, I'm using Sherryl at destinationweddings.com. She did a great job at helping me understand everything about traveling and showing me resorts that matched my requirements. FI and I are getting married in Riviera Maya for the same reason as Kayla, it's less expensive for the guests. Good luck with your planning!
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    Hi!!!! Welcome and congrats! I say get a TA. It will cane in handy when gathering info on location and resorts. They know a lot about the in and outs. I work with Diane from DW.com and she's been a blessing. We decided on Puntaa Cana DR because I was born in DR and still have family there so we didn't have to do a lot of research. But I do hear DR along with Jamaica is one of the cheapest location. We have 40ish guests traveling to PC with us from the US and our resort Dreams offered a package for 20 guests so we are paying the difference. Lots of resort have packages that includes 12-24 guests so don't give up that quickly. Keep searching till you find the right one for you guys after all you'll have to deal with the decisions for months to come. Deciding on the location and resort is one if the hardest yet "funnest" part so enjoy it! Happy Planning!

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