Bahama Beach Wedding Diary

Honeymoon & Wedding Cruises
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#1
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Wow...

No one responded to my request for information...about Beach weddings in the Bahamas...I'll have to turn this request into a diary!

Since no one has done a Bahama Wedding via Cruise ship...I guess I will tell you what we are doing. Pay it forward!!

First, I am the groom. I am a Technical Project Manager by trade...so a wedding is one big project!

My fiance and I have know each other for 30+ years...and have been living together for 12 years. After running a small business for many years, I returned to the corporate world...which will (hopefully) provide us with enough money to do this wedding!

Since this is the second marriage for both of us...we are doing without a lot of the First Wedding "standards". Since this is coming right out of our pockets (cash only...no credit), we need to cut out a lot of the normal stuff.

Interested in following us on our journey?

Since I am the Groom...this will be presented from a guys point of view.

Ladies..you may find this a bit on the bland side...but I will try to dress it up!

So lets get started!

Dwayne
#2
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I proposed about two weeks ago, in the Wine Country (Napa Valley). She (Kelly) got to pick out her own ring..so now it's on to the wedding.

It took me a year to save for the ring...so I had plenty of time to think about the wedding. I presented the info for a Destination Cruise Wedding...and she was all in!

Our two families are quite different. My side of the family would be all in....her family....not so much! Her family doesn't reach outside of their comfort zone too much. Heck...every year...for the past 12 years...they vacation in Vegas!

That's it. No where else.

Kelly and I want to see the world!!

We have gone one two cruises...both on Celebrity (Solstice) to the Caribbean. We were hooked!

Her family....didn't even want to watch the videos!

So...we went for it.

My first task was to narrow down the trip. We selected a 4 night trip to the Bahamas. This threw me for a loop...as I had spent a year planning for Cosumel. Since I had no info on Bahama Wedding planners...I asked for help on this forum.

No response. Bummer.

So I'll do it blind!

We selected the Celebrity Constellation for the March 13th trip! The wedding date....March 14th!

Now...time to tell the family.

I immediately started looking for a (Free) Save The Date and wedding site. I found two that I liked:

http://www.paperlesspost.com/cards/c...save-the-dates

and

http://www.theknot.com/wedding/Dwayne-and-Kelly

It took me a few long nights (after work), but I gathered the names and email addresses...and out they went!

Here's our Wedding Website:

http://www.theknot.com/wedding/Dwayne-and-Kelly

What do you think?

Ok...I've actually got do keep searching for a Bahama Wedding Planner...so I'll stop right here. If you are interested in what the family had to say....let me know!

Dwayne
#3
West Chester, PA
359 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Congrats! There are very few men who post on this forum so it will be interesting to see how a guy's take is on planning a wedding. I hope you do find some information on a Bahamas wedding, sorry I can't be of help all my research went into St. Thomas!
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12/2009 - Carnival Pride - Bahamas
5/2010 - Carnival Liberty - Western Carib.
12/2011 - Carnival Dream - Eastern Carib.
12/2012 - Carnival Liberty - Exotic Western Carib.
3/2014 - Carnival Liberty - Exotic Eastern Carib.
4/2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Carrib.
4/2015 - Carnival Liberty - Southern Caribbean
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#4
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Bo59rt
Congrats! There are very few men who post on this forum so it will be interesting to see how a guy's take is on planning a wedding. I hope you do find some information on a Bahamas wedding, sorry I can't be of help all my research went into St. Thomas!
St. Thomas....nice!!!
#5
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
OK...the search continues for a good, but affordable Wedding Planner.

I put together a "want" list, so i can copy it to each WP (Wedding Planner). That way, everybody has he same info.

So far, only one WP specifically mentions Cruise Weddings:

http://www.yourbahamasbeachwedding.com/

I filled-out their online form...and they called me the next day. Spoke to Sam, who was nice and knowledgeable. We spoke at length about the 24hr Bahama resident rule. She mentioned that we need to be in Bahama waters for 24hr..and that they can work with that. She sounded confident about it...but i worry.

Will our marriage be legal or not?

I sent her photo's of what we want...and we are waiting for her quote.

I received a call from Weddings in the Bahamas, this evening:

http://www.weddingsinthebahamas.com/

I spoke with someone (not Ann Marie). She was nice...but the conversation was very "Car Salesman-like" and she tended to talk over me a bit. I found that a little annoying..but she was very knowledgeable.

Overall...they could do whatever we wanted. She add all the pricing down and answered each question I had...as if she's heard the question a million times...which I'm sure she has!!
I'm not picking on them. She was very professional...it was just very shopping-cart like. Know what I mean?

She asked details about our cruise and told us that we would not be in Bahama waters long enough. We had two choices:
1) Fly to the Bahama's up to 90 days before our wedding and get the license....or
2) Get married here in AZ...and just do a Symbolic wedding when we are there?

Hh....a quick trip to the Bahamas is NOT in the budget....I will see what Kelly thinks...

My thoughts...?

You can't bend time and space. Either we are in Bahamian waters long enough..or we aren't.

Their pricing for my other request were about normal. To go with the package we want...plus extras..ir running TWICE what I had budgeted. Time to take a look at the extras...

More later...

Dwayne
P.S. Here's a few pics of what we want.....

#6
Northern Va
67 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Looks like you are doing everything right to plan your wedding!
As usual something always can go wrong and screw things up.
I' am looking into a Vow Renewal so have looked at all of the
different islands that you can use cruising from a Florida port.
You can't beat St. Thomas for price, ease of planning and beauty.
Lots of people have had weddings there so you would get more helpful
advice.
There are short cruses that go there also. Just a thought.
Tropic Queen
#7
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Ok..Week Two of the planning.....

Itinerary Change:

After looking at room costs in Miami, FL, we switch to flying into Ft. Lauderdale.
I really wanted to party in Miami Beach...but somethings got to give (budget-wise). Considering most people will be flying into Ft. Lauderdale in the afternoon (the day before we leave)..not sure how many people will be up for partying!

Sometimes the fantasy is never close to the reality.....

Wedding Planners:

We are still waiting to hear back from the three (3) WP's we contacted. We looked online for reviews...and so far, Weddings in the Bahamas is in the lead (with the most positive reviews).
Price will be a big factor...but we need to feel comfortable with the final Wedding Planner. I will let you know our decision when we hear from them!

Bahama License Issue:

As you may or may not know...you need to be in the Bahamas at least 24hrs before you can get a license.
We won't be.
We have been told that there is a workaround...but we don't want to risk it.
We will probably end up (secretly) getting married at the Court House...before the Cruise. Kel's really bummed...because she thought that the date, 3/14/14 was really cool. I'm a guy...so I just think it's a date. To me, the day of the Ceremony will be my wedding day. Not 30min in a Court House...but I'm a guy...so....

We have asked Celebrity Weddings about having the Captain marry us...before we dock...but (sigh) we are waiting to hear from them, also.

By removing the whole "License" issue from the equation....that free's up precious time in port...and a whole lot of worry. To me...the license is just a piece of (legal) paper. That's what a marriage is (to the state and country). Our destination wedding...is about the wedding. The event.
If Kel is cool with Plan "B"...then so am I.

Budget:
We are still crunching the numbers. Our problem is time. We just don't have a lot of time to save. I have about 40 days to come up with the deposit on the 10 Rooms...and just another 30 to 45 days after that...to pay the balance on the rooms. We are not paying for ALL ten of the rooms...but close enough.

Stay tuned....
#9
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Quick update, folks...

Spoke to Celebrity Wedding Planners. No go on the Captain.

We were hoping to have the Captain marry us before we docked in the
Bahamas. It was another attempt to be married on 3/14/2014.

So now we are down to two choices:

1) Spend $ 2k to fly to the Bahamas for a few days...

2) Get married before we cruise.

It looks like # 2 it is!!! (unless some money falls from the sky).

Our Celebrity Group Rep has been less than helpful, lately.

We had to change our Suite...back to an Aqua Class room...guess it cut into his comish...Since then...I've been getting one sentence answers....

A few more tasks are underway....

- Started on the Invitations. Gonna do email invites to most people..and about 10 - 15 paper ones. Cost is nothing...about $ 20

- Signed up for our online Honeymoon Registry and added the link to the Wedding Website. It was easy. Kel and I disagreed on the denominations to ask for...so we compromised. Without some nice $$$ gifts...our Honeymoon in Itay is DOA....

- Still working on the budget. Still haven't heard back from our primary Wedding Planner. I called them and left a VM.

OK..that's all for tonight. Maybe tomorrow I will have some answers?!
#10
West Chester, PA
359 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Sorry to hear you aren't getting the answers you are looking for. I know it sucks when people take forever to get back to you. I'm in the same situation with my photographer. It will all be worth it though.
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12/2009 - Carnival Pride - Bahamas
5/2010 - Carnival Liberty - Western Carib.
12/2011 - Carnival Dream - Eastern Carib.
12/2012 - Carnival Liberty - Exotic Western Carib.
3/2014 - Carnival Liberty - Exotic Eastern Carib.
4/2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Carrib.
4/2015 - Carnival Liberty - Southern Caribbean
11/2016 - Carnival Vista - Repositioning Cruise
3/2017 - Carnival Fascination - Southern Caribbean

2/2018 - Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean
#11
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Bo59rt
Sorry to hear you aren't getting the answers you are looking for. I know it sucks when people take forever to get back to you. I'm in the same situation with my photographer. It will all be worth it though.
Thanks! Today was better!
#12
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hey All,

Not sure if anyone is reading this...but I'll continue our saga.....

Today was better (and worse). I started hearing back from people....

Linda (Weddings in the Bahamas....WIB from now on...) spent a great deal of time with me on the phone today. We walked through the list of questions I had. She even called me back, when i text her a quick question!! I would like to have some of this in writing...but we will soon enough. Tonight i will go through the choices with Kel. We narrowed down a few items via text.....

Out: Reception (Cocktail party at the beach). Booze is too expensive on land...and Linda said it's a quiet locals area (i.e. not a party place).
We will still have a party/reception back on the ship.

Out: Covered area on the beach (sun protection). WAAAY too expensive...and the ceremony is only 20min long.

Eliminating these two items saved about $ 2,500+

Now we just have to decide on the music and transportation times...

The Reception: Still haven't heard back from our Group planner, Rob. Starting to get a little annoyed. Because of the short time and payment deadline (forced on us by Celebrity), we need to lock in a budget and see what we can and cannot do...ASAP!!
I prefer email communication (because then I have the info in front of me). All he has to do...is respond to my emails...line by line...and we would be done?!

I will give him another day...then ask for another Group Planner. I don't have time for this...

Budget: The budget doesn't look good. We have gone from $ 10 to $ 13k. over half of it is due by Jan 15th!!! Just not enough paychecks between now and then....and i have no Catbitat sales in site!!

Come on Lotto!!

Bookings and Drama: Not doing the drama thing...so everything is rolling off my back. Trying to get kelly to sign on. She's doing pretty good...considering. You wanna bring your hubby you despise...fine....wanna bring your kids on an adult cruise ship...when they are bored at home (standing in front of an Xbox)? Cool...won't bother me at all....Wooosaaaaaaa

As soon as we hear from Celebrity, we can get an idea on the amount of deposit we need to come up with. We currently have a block of 10 rooms that will require $ 200 or $ 50 each, to hold until Jan 15th (when full payment is due). $ 200 allows us to add names and etc to the rooms...$ 50 just holds the Aqua Class.

Ok..time to head home. I will start adding a few pictures, as soon as I can.

Later!
#13
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hey All,

I hope someone is reading this...otherwise...this is getting weird!

FINALLY heard from my Celebrity Group Rep. He was helpful (in the end), but I had to guide him. I asked him to call me around 10am AZ Time. He called me at 7am (my time).

Ok...AZ time can be weird....He did offer to call me at 1pm..but i had a meeting at that time...so....

I emailed him a list of my questions, so he would have them in front of him (when we talked). I then called him (because I had only a small window to talk...). Left a VM and waited. He called me back about 30min later.
He immediately launched in to multiple answers...i stopped him and re-directed him to the email. I had him answer each question completely...in the order of the email, while I kept notes...

Must be the Project Manager in me!!

He eventually answered all of my questions. I told him, that we were going to discuss it this weekend and decide a "Go/No Go". I told him that I was a little frustrated with him...and considered asking for a replacement Rep.

Well...he would have none of THAT!!

He immediatlely offered to supply us with Hot and Cold Canapes for our 1 hour reception...!! I told him that I had spoken with the Wedding Department...and their "fee" of $ 795 for a wedding consultant, on top of the $ 32 per person for the Canapes...had us thinking about dropping the whole idea!

He told us, that there would be NO fee...and the Canapes would be part of our free Cocktail hour (because we are a group booking)!! He couldn't promise us Michael's Club..but would do what he could!!

The Reception is back on!!


Next,

We tackled the Money Timeline...

The deposit on our 10 rooms is due on Nov 30. $200 x 10 rooms = $ 2,000.

OK...that's doable.

The BALANCE will probably not be....($ 13,000 by Jan 13)!!

I told him that we will probably not make the Jan 13th date. I then went ahead and put down $ 200 to get the ball rolling. He seemed surprised...??

He told me, now that I had a deposit down, he could process our request to hold Michael's for the reception...AND then he processed a CREDIT to our room for $ -549.00!!

Well...THAT helps!!

Just $ 12,451.00 to go!!!

Later....
#14
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hey All!

We are gonna go with Weddings in the Bahama's
(http://www.weddingsinthebahamas.com/ )

I've been talking to Linda. She is starting to grow on me. Very professional..and calls YOU. Heck...she even called me to tell me she was going out of town for a few days...and gave me another number to call...in case I had any questions!

SOLD! Communication is important to me!

She has supplied us with a preliminary contract and a song list. We just need to decide on the music (Soloist or prerecorded) and a few other items...

We went with the Hibiscus Package and added to it. Our original budget of
$ 1,595.00 is currently at about $ 3,500.00.

We'd have to cut the Archway and Flowers to do and real cost reduction....so they will probably stay.

Here are some of the Archway looks we are deciding on...as well as some location shots:






And my favorite so far.....



Overall...the destination wedding is not the driving stress factor...it's ALL of the deposit money that is needed upfront (or within 60 days).

Unless you are loaded....Give yourself a year to pay for this.....

Later!
#15
Baltimore, MD
121 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I am reading this and enjoying it so please continue to write. My daughter has hinted at getting engaged and we are going on a Bahamas cruise in September, 2014 so I am just looking just in case.
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#17
New York
105 Posts
Joined May 2013
Mr Carter, there on many silent groupies on this forum, they like to read, but not comment. We don't see many reviews for Bahama weddings. Your providing us with a great deal of info and we appreciate it. I'm currently planning in St Thomas, so although your planning does not pertain to me directly your process of planing and methods used to obtain the info you need is something I could definitely follow. So please just keep it coming. Best of luck.

Crystal
#19
174 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Hey All!

Well….Kelly’s watching the football game…so I have time for a quick update (what’s wrong with this picture….)

We went over the budget and everything in 30mins!! It helps that I am so organized…and that a second wedding is SOOO much easier than the first.

Add the Destination Wedding factor…and this is a breeze!

Budget:
Nothing we can do about it. We are Go/No Go on by January 12, 2014. That is the last day we can get 100% of our money back.
We have trimmed all we dare. It’s up to fate now. We make what we make. I will hustle all I can…be we need about $ 10k by Jan. 12, 2014…or the wedding will be delayed until the fall (um…Santa….if you’re out there…?!!!)

Staterooms:
At this point, Kel and I have put down the first $ 200 to save our choice of room, and the reception date and location (location subject to change). Once we hear back from Celebrity Wedding Dept. about the cake and upgrading the beverage service during our Reception….we are all set. Guests are instructed to call Celebrity Group department and mention our Group number.

Invitations and Communication:
I just LOVE this “Electronic Wedding” development. I have a very informative wedding website, Save the Date and now…formal invitations……all for (virtually) free!

I highly recommend The Knot for your wedding website. You get a website, RSVP’s the works…for FREE!!

http://www.theknot.com

Our page:

http://www.theknot.com/wedding/Dwayne-and-Kelly

For your Invitations….look no further than Paperlesspost!

http://www.paperlesspost.com/

I sent out 61 “Save the Dates” for…..FREE

I used the same template to design the invitations. I added a few nice items…which allowed me to send out 61 invitations (complete “moving” envelopes, and RSVP cards and tracking)…for a whole $ 16.00!!

Our moms aren’t internet savvy so we had the exact same template…and will have ten (10) complete invitations for……$ 51.00!!! Our moms, key wedding guest and rich friends will get the paper versions!!

Total price of my wedding correspondence: $ 67.00??!!!! I spent about $ 350 the last time!!

I created an Update page on the website…so whenever anything changes…I simply update my page…and send out an update notice email!!
We have no need to stare at the mailbox waiting for RSVP’s…..

Our Paperless Post informs us of who opened our invitation, RSVP’s, Regrets, and questions. (2 Regrets and 1 RSVP so far). I sent out the Invitations 3 hours ago!!

I receive all the above…in my email and on my iPhone (yep…there’s an app)!

What about our Registry?

http://www.pleasanthoneymoonregistry.com/

BOOM!!! DONE!!

Kel and I have so much stuff...we don't need any thing else. What we'd like...is to do a CruiseTour of Itay and Greece. That's gonna take some money. Instead of an envelope...guest just go to the website and "gift" whatever they'd like...towards our Honeymoon!

How did we ever do this, any other way?!!

And finally….

The Wedding Planner:
Just waiting on some final chair and decoration prices…but we are all set with Weddings in the Bahamas.

http://www.weddingsinthebahamas.com/

The modifications to the Hibiscus Package ($ 1,595.00) has us at around $ 3,600.00 right now (for 25 people). That’s doable.
(If I would find a way to attach a document….I’d post all of this).

Color theme will be simple…stunning white. We’ve narrowed it down to two views….

[IMG][/IMG]

or
[IMG][/IMG]

So….what do ya’ think?!

D & K
#20
New York
105 Posts
Joined May 2013
Everything looks and sounds great. I like the first pic better, but that may just be because I can envision family and friends sitting there. Question, are you having and Island planner for your ceremony and then using the ship wedding coordinator for your reception? If so what do you plan to do after the ceremony on the island?

Crystal