How I Planned an International Destination Wedding – Part 2

So when we last left off, I had explained that the main wedding stuff had been booked, and we had to wait until we reached the two month mark before booking any wedding details.  After booking the wedding, I received all the catalogs from the resort, plus a 2014 Price List:

Wedding Files

So, during the waiting phase, I kind of had an idea of what I was working with. (Along with a lot of questions.)  I moved forward with planning based on the pictures and pricing from all the catalogs.

In October the room block closed and final payments were collected by TA and sent to the resort.  All of the rooms in the block had to be prepaid by the end of October (this was the final payment in the room block contract that I mentioned in Part 1).  We ended up booking 13 rooms total, and the rest of the rooms in the block were released.  This process was seamless.  Thank you, TA!

At this time, my TA tried to get the ball rolling with the official wedding planning (3 months in advance), but we got an email back saying that it was too soon, and the planning starts at the 2 month mark.  At least they are consistent?

Once the 60 day point hit, I emailed the wedding coordinator back, asking if we could start planning.  After a week and another email later (You will see that this is kind of the theme of destination wedding planning in another country.  English is not the 1st language in the DR, and they operate on “island time”.  Once at the resort, I learned that a “DR minute” ranged from 15 minutes to one hour.  😉 ), my wedding coordinator resent me all the catalogs, 2015 pricing, and the wedding questionnaire, which is apparently how you make all of your wedding selections.  Here’s what it looks like:

Questionaire 1Questionaire 2And so began my wedding planning journey with the resort.  The week of Thanksgiving, my coordinator was really responsive, we’d exchange 4-5 emails a day.   I had questions about some things, so the document went through a lot of versions.  She would answer some questions (color coded) on the document and send it to me, I’d answer her questions, and give her some questions from me (in a different color), and we’d respond back and forth.

Email screenshot

A screenshot of the “planning process”

During this time, I was also able to confirm that we wanted to use the cocktail reception concession in the room block for a Welcome Reception the Saturday before our wedding.  She sent me the menu’s for that, and I was able to book it.  Easy peasy.   The most difficult thing about booking this was confirming the location.  I had asked her the location for the reception and she said it was too early to decide.  So I figured I’d follow up a few weeks prior to the wedding. (Spoiler Alert: I did not have locations for any of the wedding related events until THREE DAYS prior to the wedding.)

At this point, I also booked the day after brunch.  This entailed a different set of banquet menus, and all I had to do was pick the menu I wanted, and confirm the headcount.  Like the welcome reception, confirming the space/time for this “would be done later”.

After confirming all these details, the coordinator got quiet again.

At this point, I contacted the salon to book my hair and make up appointment. The spa wanted to confirm all of these appointments pretty far in advance.  I had my hair/makeup appointment, a couples massage (which was included in our wedding package), plus a treatment booked two months in advance.

And so, that was it for the the moment… next step was confirming all of the wedding event locations, and actually arriving on site for the final in person meeting.

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