Destination wedding

Aug 21st, 2009, 06:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Destination wedding

My fiance and I are looking into having a destination wedding. I am picturing a wedding on the beach - at sunset - with blue/green water in the background. The One and Only on Paradise Island or Pink Sands on Harbour Island would be perfect - but are too expensive for some of our guests. Does anyone have any suggestions of resorts closer to $300 or $400 per night? Our only requirement is that it's grandma accessible. We have three grandmas coming in from New York, Cleveland and Florida.

Thanks in advance.
m_loveman is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,496
You don't say when you are planning your wedding but if it is in "winter" you might want to avoid any destination in the Bahamas as it could be too cool for the usual "tropical island activities". The One and Only Resort is a very expensive place.

That said, there are a number of beach front resorts that fit your budget on St. Thomas. The island is easily accessible by non-stop flights from many US cities which will make it suitible for the "grandmas". Other island destinations you might want to check out are Aruba, Antigua and and perhaps St. Martin. All are serviced by non-stops from many US Gateway cities and all have numerous beach front resorts in your price range.

The key to finding a resort when you have budget constraints is to set your sights realisticlly. For instance, the One and Only Resort is very pricey. True, it is a very nice resort but there are places on Paradise Island that are more closer to your price range. Don't expect to find 3-star prices at a 5-star resort.

One other suggestion, not all of your guests have to stay at the same resort you do. You can, if you wish, stay at an exclusive resort while your guests who have more limited means can stay at a nearby resort that is more in their price range.

Hope this helps.
RoamsAround is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Thanks Roams! Those are all great suggestions and I've been looking into all of them. We're thinking of February/March because we love the idea of a Carribbean wedding when the weather in New York is bad. I'm really looking for suggestions of resorts that are gorgeous and easily accessible - because it's so hard to tell from Websites. They all look gorgeous online. Thanks!
m_loveman is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Take it from someone who has been travelling to the Caribbean for over 20 years - you can find "gorgeous" resorts on just about every island and, with few exceptions, you can find resorts in almost every price range on every island. Also, as far as "ease of access" is concerned here again most resorts are easily accessible. Of course, it does depend on what you mean by accessible. For instance there are a few resorts like Anse Chastenet on St. Lucia where the rooms are on the side of a mountain requiring guests to navigate multiple flights of stairs to reach their rooms but that's not the norm.

I usually recommend that before making a trip people (especially newbies to the Caribbean) do a bit of "general research" on the differences between islands in order to select the destination that most appeals to them. You see, every island is different and, really, no two are exactly alike - they all have something different to offer. You can start your research easily by going to the "Destinations" link at the top left of this page. Using the drop down menus click through to the section on the Caribbean. There you'll find brief descriptions of what each major island destination has to offer. Read the material and it will help narrow your search to the 2 or 3 islands that most appeal to you. From there you can begin researching resorts on those islands that are within your price range.

Now for some practical advice;

You are contemplating travelling in February or March so you'd be wise to avoid the Bahamas and concentrate on islands that are south of Puerto Rico as they will have warmer temperatures. Regarding "accessibility" - if by that you mean an island that is easy to reach than concentrate on islands you can get to non-stop or direct from your departure city. These will generally be the larger islands (many of the smaller islands require multiple changes of planes and/or ferries to reach. For starters check out the islands of St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Kitts, Antigua, Grand Cayman, St. Lucia, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Aruba - all of which can be easily reached from both NYC area airports and from some Florida airports (you weren't specific as to which cities in those states you and your guests will be flying from). FYI -Your guests from Cleveland may have to take one or more connecting flights to reach some or all of the suggested destinations.

Once you select the island finding a resort that fills your needs and your budget should be relatively easy. Many yong travellers get overwhelmed because the look at resorts first . Since there are litterally thousands throughout the Caribbean it's easy to get confused. That's why I say pick your island first - by doing so you'll have a more managable number of resorts to consider making it easier to focus on the one or two that you like the best.

Good luck in your research.
RoamsAround is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 06:03 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 34
I understand your concern with the grandparents as I arranged a wedding recently that involved seniors coming from various states. Many are not comfortable with a difficult airlift schedule, so keep that in mind. They may shy away from many of the islands far south of Puerto Rico. I know you don't want to strictly focus on their needs, but it's nice you recognize their importance. There are many lovely locations to have a fantastic destination wedding without traveling a very far distance!
travlgal is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 312
m_loveman, I'm also looking for ideas for a destination wedding...More in the May/June/July time period though.
Not sure where to start...just that we would like a beach/relaxed setting! There wouldn't be many elderly people travelling with us, if any at all. Any suggestions are helpful!
chgeeb is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
m_loveman, about the grandmas. what ages? are we talking 60's or 90's? some resorts are very spread out, some have lots of steps.
does anyone have plans to do certain activities? scuba, golf, gambling, etc? quiet nights or out dancing?
how do you feel about some of your group staying at a different resort? coral sands resort on harbor island might work for some of your party. not sure how far it is from pink sands.

another island you could consider is provo (airport code pls) in turks & caicos. very small island with several very high end resorts (grace bay club, parrot cay, amanyara & a few more) for the wedding and numerous mid range resorts as well. the resort area of grace bay beach is only a couple miles long so ppl could stay in any number of places and easily go back & forth between resorts for meals and events. lots of wonderful dining options. and i can gaurantee you will be happy with color of the water.

once you choose your resort i strongly advise you consult their wedding planner. i've been involved with a couple island wedding and the planners were invaluable. i.e. they'll know how to find the kind of flowers you want, do the paperwork, etc. ask for samples from the photog they offer to make sure you like his/her style.
virginia is offline  

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