Photobook: Mexican Beach Wedding

Bride: Heather
Groom: Michael
Resort: El Dorado Casitas Royale
Agent: Audrey

 

Photobook: Kristen and Brian at El Dorado Royale

Bride: Kristen
Groom: Brian
Resort: El Dorado Royale

Agent: Terrah

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” We are absolutely THRILLED with how everything turned out. I genuinely think that everyone had a great time. Everyone raved about you and that you were so helpful. You and everyone at Legacy did a great job!”

-Kristen

Q & A: Sandals Royal Bahamian with bride Hannah

Bride: Hannah
Groom: Corey
Resort: Sandals Royal Bahamian
Agent: Lesley

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What made you decide on having a destination wedding?

Many of my married friends who had traditional weddings have confided in me that they wish they had just gotten married on the beach instead. I decided to skip the regret and just go for it! I was shocked and pleased when I realized how affordable it was to have a destination wedding (especially if you don’t have a lot of guests), and you can’t beat the stress free experience of tying the knot at an all inclusive resort.
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What made you decide on the (original) destination/resort/venue? 

My main criteria was that I wanted to be on a beautiful beach, and be at an all inclusive resort. Originally I chose Jamaica, but my now husband told me during the planning that, “Everyone gets married in Jamaica, let’s go somewhere more exotic.” We settled on Sandals Royal Bahamian (in the Bahamas), but in an ironic twist of fate we had to choose another resort about a month before the wedding due to unexpected maintenance. And guess where we ended up? Jamaica. We both loved every moment of our experience in Ocho Rios, and are happy to join the ranks of “everyone” who has gotten married there. I feel like we definitely ended up there for a reason!

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What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding? 
 

It was a little disappointing that none of the guests we invited were able to make it out to the wedding, but we ended up really enjoyed the intimacy of a one on one ceremony and not having our family at the resort during our honeymoon. As I mentioned. the original resort we chose ended up closing for 2 months which happened to include our wedding date, so we had to scramble a little to change our plans and choose another resort. It was a very stressful bump in the road, but luckily we had new reservations and flight booked within a week.

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What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?
The actual day of our wedding could not have possibly been more perfect. We had a brief but sweet ceremony barefoot in the sand, which I had been dreaming about for a long time. We met another lovely couple at the resort who attended and took some photos for us, and shared our cake and champagne toast later. Everywhere we went for the rest of the day, the staff and other resort visitors congratulated us. Then we spent the day on the beach and saw the most beautiful sunset of our entire lives.
The biggest surprise came when we went back to our room on our wedding night. Our butler really went all out to decorate our room, including a disco light, an entire cake, rose petals, and a card. I was so surprised that I accidentally locked myself out of the room running to get my husband to come and see it!

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How well was the resort and your On site Wedding Coordinator to work with?  

It felt a little awkward at first sitting in the wedding coordinator’s office, because we knew going in we were just going to have the bare bones minimum and not make any extra purchases. I was worried she might pressure us into buying something additional, but she ended up being absolutely understanding when we told her we wanted to keep it super basic since it was just the two of us with no guests. I feel like she put the same amount of effort into our wedding as she would for a bride with 100 guests. I really can’t thank her enough for her understanding and her help.

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If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?

I would tell her to really embrace the stress free experience. Don’t worry about planning and just let the resort coordinator take care of it, all you have to do is show up. Make your wedding about you, not about your guests.

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Was there anything that you would change looking back? 
I might have set some more money aside to use for excursions and spa treatments, but I still think that my experience was absolutely perfect and I would not change a thing.

Photobook: Nazneen and Steven at El Dorado Maroma

Bride: Nazneen
Groom: Steven
Resort: El Dorado Maroma

Agent: Terrah

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Q &A: Secrets Playa Mujeres with Elizabeth & Justin

Bride: Elizabeth
Groom: Justin
Resort: Secrets Playa Mujeres
Agent: Hannah

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1.What made you decide on having a destination wedding? 

B&G – Having been a wedding/event planner for almost 4 years in my prior job, I knew what the average wedding would cost in the US as well as how much work/planning you have to put into it for it to be what you can afford. Luckily my fiancé and I also love to travel so we just knew when it was time to plan our wedding that it would be abroad for less price and less planning on our part and way more fun than a traditional wedding!

 

2.What made you decide on the destination/resort/venue? 
B&G – We tossed back and forth about the location because we wanted something exotic and a place we had never been to before, but when it really came down to choosing – we kept in mind who we wanted to attend with us and how far we could go on such limited vacation time, so we compromised on Mexico. Mostly for how close it is to Texas (for the majority of our family & close friends) so flights were a breeze for most of our guests but we knew we wanted an Adult Only – and 5 Star accommodations that we have been accustomed to traveling and wanted to share that experience with our guests. We selected Secrets because we knew the brand having been to their new location in Cabo the prior year so we knew the quality we would get for the price. We chose Playa Mujeres because it was a new resort location and off the “touristy path” of Cancun, but still close enough for guest excursions to Isla Mujeres or Cancun.

3.What was the biggest difficulty in planning your destination wedding?
B&G – Surprisingly everything was super easy start to finish, but if I had to choose the hardest part was probably just communicating with the wedding coordinators at the resort since their primary language is not English and they are super busy planning tons of weddings every week. SO it was hard for me to relax knowing they got my messages and would take care of me when it was my turn. (Trust me – just relax they got it and they will make it all happen when its GO time!)
4.What was the highlight of the experience and what was the biggest surprise?

B&G – Our biggest surprise was at the reception, we didn’t know we would have a separate M/C with the Dj. We knew we hired a Dj ahead of time and that he had our music list to play, but when we arrived at the reception our M/C Alfonso introduced himself to us and took charge of all the formalities and just asked us a few simple questions before getting started. He really helped set the mood we wanted for the reception and really was such a delight to our guests! Our friends were so complimentary of our wedding afterwards, that it was the most fun they have ever had at a wedding and that was saying A LOT because we are older than most couples so our friends have been to quite a few weddings already! We were so thrilled to keep hearing that over and over! We even had “on lookers” at the resort wanting to join in our fun!

 

5.How well was the resort and your Onsite Wedding Coordinator to work with?

B&G – Overall the resort was accommodating to us, with a few bumps in communication here and there. (We assumed it was because the resort was still new (only 7months old) so most things were still being worked out rather than systematic like most we have been to) but our wedding coordinator Claudia was absolutely amazing! I slightly panicked when we arrived because the wedding coordinator we had been working with for 6 months was no longer at this resort so we had to down load all of our information onto Claudia two days before the wedding but she really absorbed all of our information and requests and really made our wedding ceremony and reception perfect for us.

6.If your best friend were planning a destination wedding what would your advice be to her?

B&G – DO IT!!! For the amount money we spent, we really got so much more out of it than we ever expected. We walked away with a wedding video, professional photos (on cd and hard cover album in the mail), a plated reception dinner (4 courses!) and all alcohol all included. But most of all – the memories we made with our family and friends while we were there on the trip really made it all so worth it. These memories and experiences together are so valuable to us and we will treasure this adventure we had for our lifetime!

7.Was there anything that you would change looking back?

B&G – YES! We would definitely build time into the trip for “just the two of us” time. Remember it’s still planning a wedding, so there are days which you have appointments to attend/follow up with photographers and such as well as guests to wrangle and inform, a rehearsal, plus a day for the event and a day to recover. So plan some “alone time” days after all your guests leave so you can decompress after all the excitement.

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