Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Perfect Venue (for us)

35 of our closest friends and family members will join us for an entire weekend on the property of Tensing Pen Resort in Negril, Jamaica. All of the cottages except for 2 will be our wedding guests. We are immensely happy with our choice and the staff has been nothing but helpful thus far.
I found the resort from a post on another blog. I can't wait to jump of the bridge like they all do!

Next items on to do list: finalize guest list, create wedding website, design & send invites, book photographer & videographer

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We have a venue part I

We finally have a venue and wedding date set! YAY! 10 months after we got engaged and 10 months from when we will get married. Before I tell you about our venue I'll fill in the details about our venue hunt and the ones that weren't.
When we first got engaged it took us a while to decide where we wanted to get married. Our families live in 2 different states, we met in another, and live in a different one. The first places to be eliminated were where our families were. While the most convenient for everyone else, we didn't feel a strong connection to the midwest. We also quickly eliminated New York. NYC is VERY expensive to have a wedding in and our families would have to pay an arm and a leg to stay here.
At this point we were left with Florida, where we met. Neither one of us is fond of Miami so we knew we didn't want to get married there but our friend's family has a wonderful beach house on Captiva Island. I contacted them after a few months of being engaged. It was well over our estimated budget so it was quickly eliminated. I contacted resorts on the island after various google searches but wasn't that excited by any of them or their prices. Our search expanded to the keys and other barrier islands on the gulf but much of the same thing happened.
After a few months of fruitless searching in Florida, we expanded to more of the tropics, thank you again google and Caribbean Life and Style magazine (a genius Christmas present from my future mother in law -FMIL). Keeping track of all of these venues and their information was exhausting and difficult but a spreadsheet from google docs helped. After sifting through the dozen or so venues that sent me information back, I sat down with Ben to show him what we had. Together we decided on a couple of resorts to further contact for more information. This was based on price, location, amenities, etc. My coworker happened to travel to one of these resorts during this process as well. When she came back with glowing reviews we decided to contact this resort even more.
The venue that wasn't - Iberostar Rose Hall Beach. We were very excited to have found an all inclusive resort on the beach that has only one wedding a day. We were VERY close to booking with this resort after emailing for a couple of months when they stopped contacting me one or two emails shy of us sending in a contract. After 2 weeks of NO contact, a different person contacted me with the excuse that their email system was down. I asked her our follow up questions and waited a week for 1 of the 3 answers I needed. At the same time the group reservations desk wasn't getting back to me as well. Needless to say we feel we dodged a bullet on this one.
Up next moving on and finding a dream...