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Thread: Is having a wedding planner necessary? Am I getting ripped off??

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2014
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    Is having a wedding planner necessary? Am I getting ripped off??

    Hello all! Thank you for the abundant amount of information thus far. I've learned a lot more by reading this site than through my current wedding planner I've have since December. I am nervous and anxious bride in need of some reassurance and assistance. As I said, I've had my wedding booked (April 8, 2015) since Christmas. After my initial deposit to the Renaissance, I've been a lost bride who cannot get any solid answers or prices since then. When I do get prices, they are astronomical or "around abouts". I live in NY and have been involved in many weddings and pre-events. Therefore, I felt like I was confident with knowing prices of flowers, DJ, rehearsal dinners etc. So please tell me if I'm crazy but my planner quoted me the following prices:
    -Super premium open bar from 6-1 am was $141 per person (Alcohol ONLY)
    -Welcome gathering for about 40 guests at a bar in the Renaissance (Hors O'durves passing and open bar) $6,000
    -Bridal bouquets and bridesmaid bouquets for coral peonies, dusty miller & white hydrangeas "A range of $200 per bouquet." Not to mention that in my original proposal, we were quoted $85 for bridesmaid bouquets.

    When I tell my girlfriends these prices (who have all recently planned their wedding in NY) they have never heard of such a thing.

    I also feel that back here in NY, when pricing halls and venues, they usually quote us with per person rates months/years before the wedding. How is it that they don't do this, rather than just price things on the fly?

    Basically, does anyone think I am able to get in touch with other vendors on my own rather than needing a wedding planner? I already booked my photographer (Momento) and vidographer (Ingmar Maduro) on my own.

    Any thoughts??

  2. #2
    Senior Member act1966's Avatar
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    Have a small ceremony on the beach in Aruba and a big reception in NY. You're going to pay a premium for everything on the island. If the lack of commitment on quotes is already driving you crazy, trust me, it's only going to get worse. I've been there. Planning it from North America is near impossible if you're trying to do something exacting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum..... I'm a long way from being able to help you...... but you will definitely get lots of help here on the forum.... Good Luck! And.... Happy Wedding!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    well first off, the bar tab we had at radisson was $50 first hour and $10 each additional hour per person for open bar. However, please understand that was NOT premium liquor, which would have cost a bit more. so depending on your liquor choice, that may not be far fetched. the flowers we had were $150 for bridal and $85 for bridesmaids. I believe that was Elsa's flowers used through Radisson. we took our guests to Le petit cafe (25 people) for "rehearsal dinner". I believe the bill was $1400 (give or take). Another member had 70 people for pre-night meet & greet, hor deurves and drinks and it came to $2500 (at radisson). we had angela for our photography and she was more than reasonable (bella photography). DJ was Tino (from this forum) and might I say the best EVER... I would say they are rather high but you didn't mention what you were getting for that. i just gave you guidelines of what we had so maybe that will help you feel better OR worse, depending what you booked.

  5. #5
    Senior Member photosbyjulia's Avatar
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    Hi, I don't know much about the pricing. But don't plan a wedding out of your country without a local advisory. Aruba is amazing with the most incredible opportunities, but JMO don't do it alone if you want a once-in-a-life-time wedding.

  6. #6
    Junior Member momento by elnathan's Avatar
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    This is an interesting question. The answer is yes! A local planner has planned many weddings over the years and they know all the details of weddings on Aruba. Some may take a bit longer to get back to you, or might be a bit hazy with the answers, but it certainly helps. You can also combine a planner for the logistic parts of the wedding day like the ceremony, banquet and bar etc but you are also entitled the approach any vendor of your choice. It all depends on how much you want to be involved with the planning process.

  7. #7
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    welcome to your first posting elnathan!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Lisa, my daughter got married on Aruba just about 4 years ago now. First wedding planner that she had would not commit on any pricing and was being a major pain as we were trying to lock things down. My wife and I traveled to Aruba that December (pre wedding) and found another wedding planner. We ended up using Lissy Lampe for the wedding and then had the reception/dinner/dance at the beach at Passions. It was very memorable and Lissy took care of everything!! You knew exactly what the bar costs were going to be, food costs ect. I highly recommend her services. Her email is candcaruba@yahoo.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Karen Lutzker's Avatar
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    Planning a wedding from so far away is a very difficult task indeed! A planner that knows the island, excellent vendors etc. will be an asset to any couple in the long run. Stick to your budget of course and being realistic to your needs.
    http://www.cayenaweddings.com
    Aruba's First Destination Wedding Planner
    Specialists in Wedding Coordination and Vow Renewals

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