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Thread: Our May 11th, 2009 Wedding at the Marriott...

  1. #21
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    When we stayed there I didn't even really notice the other properties until we walked back from dinner later that night. They are really three totally separate properties. If you check it out on Google Earch or the satellite view of google maps you'll see. And the hotel is the furthest hotel to the north so I would expect it will have the least amount of traffic. Somehow I would expect the most traffic to be around Moomba and toward the pier. That's what we noticed when we walked the beach. Maybe you could see if the Marriott would put you in touch with other July brides? They've got to have some weddings going on in the next few weeks.

    Ya, I did like how the patio is right off the sand. I'm still torn as to whether I'd like to do dinner and dancing on the terrace or stick with the original plan of dinner on the lawn and dancing poolside. I think I even saw setups where they set up the dance floor in the sand. Decisions decisions.... =) Don't they have some sort of computer program that they use to help you figure out what should go where?

  2. #22
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    Hi Christene,

    Did they send you pictures of all the different options or are you just going off your site visit to decide on locations?

    I am getting kind of irritated because I have been emailing both the Westin and Marriott and haven't heard back from either about moving along the negotiations. Sorry, just venting.

    Thanks again!

  3. #23
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    I can appreciate your frustration with the negotiations... I had similar problems. I think I was down to three locations and was trying to gather final information and it seemed like between the three there was always someone out of the office. And when they are out of the office there isn't someone backing them up - you just have to wait for them to get back. If you want to PM me who you are communicating with I'll let you know if they are the same people I worked with. If they aren't I'll give you the contacts of the people that did a great job for me. Marriott and Hyatt communications were sometimes slow but the Westin was always prompt.

    I think they showed me pictures of the grass setup and the sand setup but I had trouble visualizing them until I got there. I had received photos from the Marriott as well as photos from an independent wedding planner. To be honest, I don't remember seeing any photos of a terrace setup or a poolside setup. And don't quote me on this, but I thought they said they would be going through the setup with me in some sort of computer program. Maybe like a CAD program?

    Desiree is out of the office until Wednesday so I hope to find out more then. The one pic I have of the terrace is a bad night shot. A wedding dinner was going on and we didn't want to get too close. When it comes to the beach wedding ceremony setup, I kind of felt like they were all pretty much the same so I didn't spend much time worry about that though I know they send me photos of that. You aren't limited to just what you see in the wedding packages brochure they sent you. There are additional options through them and outside vendors. For example I want a simple bamboo and fabric arch that I don't think I receive a picture of but they assured me it wouldn't be a problem.

  4. #24
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    Frustrations

    I just sent you a PM with my contacts. I've totally been in the frustrated spot and am in fact there again as I wait for proposals from potentially 3 different independent wedding / event planners. Its definitely been an exercise in patience for me. "Island Time" is a little different though I don't think its unreasonable to expect a certain response rate from internationally branded resorts.

    I also mentioned the Travel Agent we worked with who I think really helped. She'll stay on them and get answers - when the Marriott contact wasn't available she put me with the manager who took over.

    Quote Originally Posted by poodles2 View Post
    Hi Christene,

    Did they send you pictures of all the different options or are you just going off your site visit to decide on locations?

    I am getting kind of irritated because I have been emailing both the Westin and Marriott and haven't heard back from either about moving along the negotiations. Sorry, just venting.

    Thanks again!

  5. #25
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    Thanks again Christene. The Hyatt was also just recommended by a friend's parents....any comments?

  6. #26
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    The Hyatt's property is gorgeous, rated as one of the 10 Best in the Caribbean on a Travel Channel special. When I saw that special I HAD to check it out. We loved the property and the decor is awesome. The pool I think is the best we saw and the open air lobby is impressive.

    However the rooms were slightly smaller and I seem to remember the balconies being 'standing balconies' instead of full balconies with seating. (I could be wrong on that but I think the balcony size was one of the things that turned off my fiancee since the other resorts we were looking at were offering larger balconies.)

    And then yes, price came into the equation. We felt like we and our guests would get a lot more for our money at either of the others. We have some guests going through hard times and every dollar will matter for them. So 25-40% more would really add up. The rooms and all costs related to the reception are higher. They are also stricter with their contracts and do not allow outside vendors. We still aren't sure we'll even use any outside vendors but like having the option available. We considered moving to the Hyatt for a few days after the wedding for a mini-honeymoon but decided we will stay put at the Marriott.

    The Marriott also has mini refrigerators in the room that we are going to load up with bottled water and some cold snacks for the guests - a nice touch I think for those on a budget. I don't want to give up the glam of the high-rise but am trying to respect the guests as much as possible.

    If money weren't an option would I reconsider the Hyatt? Maybe... I'd have to take another look at the balconies. I also wasn't comfortable with the menu since we didn't have enough people for a buffet (75 minimum). But ya, I think it's 'the place' if you're looking for glam. Its hard to find any bad reviews about it - they rock Trip Advisor. For more information on the Hyatt try to find the threads on the forum by Bride2Be. I think she just got married there and posted some things as she was planning.

  7. #27
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    Hyatt Balconies

    I just reviewed the "cheat sheets" our destination wedding travel agent sent us and the Hyatt's balconies are in fact described as "Step out French balconies" and there is a note that refrigerators are to be requested only for medical purposes...

    Quote Originally Posted by christene View Post
    The Hyatt's property is gorgeous, rated as one of the 10 Best in the Caribbean on a Travel Channel special. When I saw that special I HAD to check it out. We loved the property and the decor is awesome. The pool I think is the best we saw and the open air lobby is impressive.

    However the rooms were slightly smaller and I seem to remember the balconies being 'standing balconies' instead of full balconies with seating. (I could be wrong on that but I think the balcony size was one of the things that turned off my fiancee since the other resorts we were looking at were offering larger balconies.)

    And then yes, price came into the equation. We felt like we and our guests would get a lot more for our money at either of the others. We have some guests going through hard times and every dollar will matter for them. So 25-40% more would really add up. The rooms and all costs related to the reception are higher. They are also stricter with their contracts and do not allow outside vendors. We still aren't sure we'll even use any outside vendors but like having the option available. We considered moving to the Hyatt for a few days after the wedding for a mini-honeymoon but decided we will stay put at the Marriott.

    The Marriott also has mini refrigerators in the room that we are going to load up with bottled water and some cold snacks for the guests - a nice touch I think for those on a budget. I don't want to give up the glam of the high-rise but am trying to respect the guests as much as possible.

    If money weren't an option would I reconsider the Hyatt? Maybe... I'd have to take another look at the balconies. I also wasn't comfortable with the menu since we didn't have enough people for a buffet (75 minimum). But ya, I think it's 'the place' if you're looking for glam. Its hard to find any bad reviews about it - they rock Trip Advisor. For more information on the Hyatt try to find the threads on the forum by Bride2Be. I think she just got married there and posted some things as she was planning.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by poodles2 View Post
    Thank you so much for your input. Your advice is very helpful and your pics are beautiful! Have you been to Aruba in July? Do you know what the weather and crowds are like then? I think it is still considered low season, but with kids out of school it might be a lot more crowded? Are all the condos etc, you mentioned on the same property?

    Do you think I am crazy for not visiting the hotel before booking everything? Thanks again!
    Hi! Hope the planning is coming along!

    To answer your ?'s....
    We normally go to Aruba in May/June so I have not been to Aruba in July ever so I can't help you out with that (sorry).

    The condos are in the Ocean Club & the Surf Club. We stay at the Surf Club. It is the newest building and has a huge pool with a lazy river, etc. All of the buildings and their pools are very nice though and there is a sidewalk that connects all 3. The hotel just went through a huge renovation...very contemporary...it's great!

    And no, I don't think you are crazy for not visiting the hotel before booking everything (ha ha). It's gorgeous there and they will take care of you so no worries at all!

    Hope that answers your questions!

  9. #29
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    Was it common for the Marriott to take days to respond to emails? Seems like response was pretty brisk before the contract was signed but now it seems like I wait days for responses. Thanks.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by christene View Post
    Was it common for the Marriott to take days to respond to emails? Seems like response was pretty brisk before the contract was signed but now it seems like I wait days for responses. Thanks.
    Yes, sometimes you may need to wait for email responses. But they will get back to you as soon as they can. Don't hesitate to follow-up if you need to.

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