Robin is a friend of mine, so I thought for sure we would be getting the best deal, but turns out we didn't AT ALL! We paid more than anyone that we talked to while we were there. In fact we paid more than people staying at the nicer hotels on the island! We stayed at the Occidental Grande in Aruba and it smelled musty, the employees were not that friendly, the buffet food was awful, and the beds were like sleeping on a concrete slab! Also, we were not told that there is a dress code to get into the other restaurants at the hotel, and since my 6'7" husband did not bring slacks or closed toed shoes we could only eat at the buffet and one other restaurant, which unless you mnade reservations as soon as you got there, you weren't getting in to! Thankfully, the hotel was oversold and asked us to move next door to the Hyatt, which was beautiful, so besides eating the same buffet every night at least we had a more comfortable bed. Just be warey of what questions you ask when booking it and be sure to research it! We were so busy with the wedding, I overlooked the importance of researching the honeymoon destination!
The pictures turned out great, but I felt like I had to keep asking him to take them the entire night. Everytime I looked he didn't seem to be snapping any. Now, we did just pick them up and there was a lot more than I thought though. One thing that really made me mad was that in conversation he sold us on his company because there are two of them, him and his wife. He even said, "it's great because one of us can be in with the guys getting ready and the other can be in with the ladies and you won't miss a thing". Come the day of the wedding he only showed up and said, "the contract says one "or" the other" with a smirk on his face. At the end of the night there was still about 30 minutes to go and he came up and said, "I'm leaving, we said 10:30". Nowhere in the contract is there an end time and again, in conversation he stated that they are there until the end. Now by this point things were winding down anyhow, but for others with a more exciting reception you may want to make sure you set an end time and put it in the contract, because apparently he likes to quote whats he has in it!
The flowers were absolutely beautiful and they even helped me to put toegther centerpieces! A little more than I wanted to spend on centerpeices, but they were also beautiful and really added to the tables! Everyone was extremely friendly and a great deal on pricing compared to other flourists! The also gave me a free dozen long stemmed roses and a rose for our Mistress of ceremonies!
Extremely friendly!! A pleasure to work with and a great price! A friend of our got married by her before us and another is using her next month. She helps you pick out the type of ceremony you want and keeps you from being nervous while up in front of everyone! She really was an absolute blessing to have marry us!
Brittney was great!! She was a little late in dropping off the covers, but they were still there the night before we had to set them up and because she was late she hooked us up with free matching color sashes to go with! I think the white ones are usually free and the color ones are a $1 a piece. Either way, they made the room! Seriously, of all the things to save money on, this is not one you should skip! The chair covers really did transform the room!
The chapel is pretty and once you get ahold of the chapel staff ot reserve it you're pretty much all set. The worst part about it is dealing with the "wedding coordinator"! You pay her $220 CASH and she does absolutely nothing! Oh, I'm sorry she does open the doors and make sure the building is unlocked. Other than that you play your own music, so have someone on standby to do that, adjust the lighting, decorate and undecorate yourself and if you ask her to do ANYTHING be ready for an eye roll! If you leave anything behind, don't expect her to call and tell you either, you better call her and know where it is or you'll make numerous trips to the church and they will tell you they have no idea where it is. The Chaplain is phenomenal though! If you talk to him, he will ensure that everything is done to help, but if you get anyone else, its hard to get things done.
You decorate and undecorate yourself, but for what you're paying it's not really a big deal. The bartender was awesome! Everyone commented on how nice she was and how great her service was. After asking 3 times and speaking to a manager, the wait staff finally took care of the head table, but apparently everyone else was gettign good service so I dont know if they were nervous to get near the center of attention or what, but other than that everything was great here and the final bill was less than we expected! The food was great! We did the Italian Buffet, which had spaghetti (fed the kids and vegetarians) lasagna and chicken parm! Dessert was also included and everywhere else we looked you had to pay extra for dessert.
A few issues with the rooms, but we were compensated for that. Sandy in group reservations was great! Extremely helpful and friendly! Just make sure that if you get a block of rooms for certain dates, that you tell your guests that unless they say different their reservations will be made for the dates you blocked and they will be charged one night immediately at booking!! The reservations people do not tell your guests this, I guess they expect you to tell everyone?! It is also NON-REFUNDABLE within 30 days of check-in!! Very important to know and again, they don't mention this to your guests. If you have people staying with back problems be sure to recommend staying in the actual hotel rooms, not the cottages or cabins, because the beds are old and terrible anywhere but in the hotel.
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