My fiance and I are getting married in Aruba in early 2010. I know we are a little early in the planning cycle but we have some questions.
How soon is too soon to book locations?
We are thinking of either working with a hotel for the ceremony or renting a villa and doing the ceremony with a wedding planner. Should we get a wedding planner regardless of whether we do the villa or hotel thing?
Any recommendations for wedding planners?
How much can we expect to spend for the wedding planner (approx. 50 guests)?
Any help or direction you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
CONGRATS on your upcoming wedding!! And I don't think you could ever be too early to start planning. But I would suggest that you research each hotel very well before deciding on one and leaving a deposit. I am getting married in Aruba in July and I already had to cancel one location and book another.
Most of the hotels will give you a similar ceremony (all beautiful), but be sure to compare the prices of vendors. I found that some hotels add their own fees on top of the regular vendor prices (photographer, video, etc.) So know you prices before booking a place. You should also watch the catering prices. I thought I was getting a great price at on place for my reception (40 ppl), until I realized that drinks were not included ($100 extra per person), so get all of the details upfront. Also, my biggest concern was how well the hotel kept in contact with me. The first place I had booked never returned any of the emails I sent after I signed the contract, and I still had alot of questions. That was the most frustrating part of the whole process, so make sure you find a reliable hotel planner.
As for hiring a wedding planner, keep in mind that if you have your wedding at a hotel all of the places I contacted provided a wedding coordinator with their packages. I did contact a planner on my own and was quoted approx. $2000 just for her services, so I decided not to spend that kind of money.
After everything was said and done, I ended up booking my wedding at the Bucuti and I couldn't be happier with the way things are going. They have been extreamly accomodating and answer every email within hours.
If you have any other questions I would be happy to help you....I know I needed all the help I could get in the begining )