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kadiebug12

My Princess Wedding Review and Pics

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Complete Review of our Caribbean Princess Wedding Part 1

 

Wow, where do we start? Day 1 I guess. 

 

Day 1:

As the luggage all gathers downstairs, I begin to panic. You see, we have two VERY LARGE boxes with the welcome bags in them (that turned out to be much larger than I anticipated), our large suitcases, one completely full of just wedding supplies, my parents large suitcases and my best friends large suitcases. I was sure there was no way this would all fit in the limo. Well, the limo arrived and somehow it all fit. We took a picture, handed our housekey to a friend and we were off. I couldn’t believe the day was here already. The two previous days had been hectic, except for the bridesmaids day at the spa, and we were ready to get on the boat!

 

On the way to the port we got a call from Alba at TWE and she just wanted to tell us to have a great time. She is very sweet. We had sent her some flowers as a thank you for all she did for us and she said they made her week. She also had been working desperately the previous two days to get the name of the dining room for the rehearsal dinner, and didn’t get word back until that morning when we were in the limo. It all worked out though, we printed the rehearsal dinner invites at home and just left a blank line where we wrote in the dining room it would be in. It all worked out.

 

We arrived at the port and handed all the luggage over to the porters. I needed desperately to use the restroom (champagne was shared in the limo) and on my way saw someone standing there with a “Wedding Party Check-In Sign”. It was Leidys from TWE. She recognized me and stopped me, and introduced me to Alwin, our onboard coordinator. I told Alwin I had these HUGE boxes with the welcome bags in them and he said he would go inside, up to the ship and find someone to take them through security for us and have them delivered to each cabin (we had paid a 1.00 fee per bag through TWE for delivery). There was a wedding on the day of embarkation, so everything seemed a bit hectic. Alwin went inside, and when he didn’t return for about 20 minutes (limo was waiting to go pick up our other friends), I just asked the porters to have them delivered to our rooms and figured I would deal with it once onboard. We told them to be careful with them, (the porters were VERY nice) and they were.

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Part 2

 

After picking up other friends in the limo and returning to the ship for good, we boarded. We carried on my wedding dress and Mike’s Tux, but that was about it. Ran into family/friends at the port during check-in. It was all very exciting.

 

Once boarded, we went straight to our room and it was GEORGEOUS! We had a mini-suite and I strongly suggest anyone that thinks they may be able to afford this upgrade to go for it, it was worth it. We had a letter waiting in our room from Alwin, saying he wanted to meet with us sometime that day to go over our wedding plans. We called him, he was in the middle of a wedding, so we decided to try back later. Our room steward introduced himself and we told him we would be getting married and that we would probably be high maintenance, so we gave him a little extra tip upfront. This was soooooo worth it! He doted on us the entire time! His name was Jefferson and we’ll never forget him.

 

After heading to the buffet and buying our entire party a drink of the day for sailaway, we decided we better try and find Alwin again before dinner. We did find him and he took us into his office. He went over every detail of what we had requested and ordered and it was helpful for me to have my copy of the confirmation sheet from TWE with me. He let us use the flowers allocated for a corsage and a boutinerre be reallocated to add to the bridesmaids bouquets. I had pictures of how I wanted to decorate the tables in Sabatinis (with supplies I brought), a picture of the cake, and other pictures with me. This was very helpful and he asked for the pictures. I had assumed that my bridesmaids and I would be the ones to decorate the tables, etc. but he told me to call for a bellman to pick up all the wedding supplies (table decorations, favors, guestbooks, cake cutter, etc. etc.) and he would take care of it all. I was happily shocked when he said this and was so relieved to know I had nothing to do all week except for get my hair done and spend time with our guests. Alwin is a really great coordinator and anyone getting married on CP in the next few months should be lucky enough to have him. He is a perfectionist, I loved him.

 

We spent the rest of the evening unpacking, when we returned to our room Jefferson was blowing up balloons for our door. We told family and friends we were ordering room service and catching up on our sleep as the days prior had been hectic, so that’s what we did.

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Part 3

 

Day 2:

This was an at sea day. We were spending time with everyone and enjoying our vacation for most of the morning. Alwin called and said that the manager of Sabatini’s wanted to meet with us about the tables we had selected for the wedding lunch, so he told us to stop by there sometime and talk with her.

 

My friends planned a bridal shower of sorts for me this day. They asked the buffet waiters to put together a few tables and we all sat in the back of the buffet dining space and had on silly hats. They had put together some Q & A’s about me and my life so we played a game. The waiters loved having us there and even searched out and found us pencils for the game. We had a great time and enjoyed a bucket of champagne. We were all to meet before dinner again in my room for a cocktail. Little did I know, my girls had something up their sleeves and my fiancé was in on it! He had set up a portable DVD player in our room that one of the girls brought and once everyone was in the room with their glass of wine full, the movie started. It was a slide show of pictures of my from childhood to college parties to Mike and I together. It was amazing, all set to music and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Well, except for maybe when the picture of me with a beer bong came up, followed by a picture of me with a scabbed up nose from taking a fall and Grandma bursted out with “I guess that’s what happens when you drink beer out of a hose.” It was great. We all went to dinner together and then went to Skywalkers and danced and had cocktails for a couple of hours. It was a blast, and all I could think was this wedding reception is going to be fun!

Day 3:

Having fun in the Caribbean at this point. It is like any other cruise, but we’re surrounded by family and friends we run into constantly and it’s so much fun. Only wedding related activity today is my practice hair appointment. It goes well, I wasn’t crazy about it, but we both agreed it would be a bit different on the wedding day, and it was good that we had the practice run.

 

Day 4:

Having more fun in the Caribbean with everyone. We meet with the Manager of Sabatini’s and she suggests we don’t take the tables in the back, but the ones up front. She wants to put Mike and I at a sweetheart table, and we can see all three tables of guests and they can see us. Sounds good to us, so we agree. We also remind her that we’ve requested white linens and that most people (because we have purchased open bar during lunch) would prefer bloody mary’s and mimosas. She takes note and we leave. Also, sent my dress in for pressing, my room steward enlists the help of another person and delivers it back to the room within hours. They were being so careful with it, it was adorable. Then, I take it to the bridesmaids room because I don’t want the groom to see it and I don’t want to put it back in the bag and he almost has a heart attack when he sees me carrying it by myself, tells me to be careful! What a hoot.

 

Day 5:

In the morning Mike and I put the rehearsal dinner invites in everyone’s inbox outside their room. We go to the dining room to speak with the Maitre’d about all the wine we brought for this dinner. We walk in, tell him we have reservations and he asks our cabin. We tell him our cabin number and he says, Oh Yes, and rattles off ALL our reservations, including wedding lunch at Sabatini’s! This man knew his stuff. He told us to simply call room service to pick up the wine and he’d take care of it. We had arranged with Alwin to have the actual run through rehearsal about an hour before dinner. Everything for the rehearsal goes well. I’m glad the Captain wanted to move the ceremony to the back of the ship, it’s beautiful. Alwin tells me he has seen the flowers and returned some to be redone because he wasn’t happy with them, he’s a total perfectionist and I love him! When we arrived for dinner it was all at our waiter’s station, white wine chilled and the red wine breathing. We gave the waiter our card for the corkage fee. It was a wonderful dinner and because it’s not very private, we simply went to each table and gave out the family/bridal party gifts and made a speech and toast at each table vs trying to have all tables hear us at once. It made it very intimate.

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Part 4

 

 

Day 6 THE WEDDING DAY!

Well, woke up early as my first salon appointment was at 8AM. Put on my “Soon to be Mrs.” Sweatsuit and headed to the salon. By the way, the salon was clueless as to what I had paid for through TWE so they double charged us for a lot. We eventually got it corrected, but they were a bit rude about it and it was a pain. That was really the only department that I wasn’t pleased with the service in, was the salon.

 

Arrived for my French manicure repaint and my hair appointment. The repaint was OK, but not nearly as good as the mani I had at the spa with my bridesmaids the day before we boarded. After that, I went over to have my hair done and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY. She did a much better job, since it was for real this time, and it turned out just how I had hoped. It really helped her to see what I wanted by bringing lots of pictures and she combined the styles for me. Alwin stopped by to see how I was doing, it was a nice jesture. I was totally calm, nothing was going to put a damper on my day, and I knew that as soon as we boarded the ship on the first day. Being surrounded by those you love helps bring things into persepective, it also helped once I met Alwin and realized how much he cared about making our wedding what we wanted.

 

At that time my bridesmaid went and checked my e mail for me quickly and got the message from the groom’s father they had sent to be read to my groom as a surprise. His father fell ill and had to have surgery the week before we left, so the groom ended up having no family at the wedding.

 

We then called room service, pre-ordered some coffee for the room, and by the time we got there both the coffee and the photographer were there. I told her what we were looking for in photos and when she told me she majored in photojournalism I almost kissed her feet. The girls put on their makeup and the photographer snapped away. I put on my old, new, borrowed and blue and then it was time to get dressed. Once everyone arrived at my room I put on the dress and we were ready to go. Alwin would be waiting for me with all the flowers just inside from where the ceremony would be.

 

We arrived upstairs and the weather outside didn’t look great. I saw my flowers and were stunned at how perfect they were. The bridesmaids flowers were the wrong color, but I didn’t even notice until later. I did notice, however, that 2 boutinerres were missing. I suggested taking two buds from the flower girls HUGE ball of flowers and using them, but Alwin was right on it and sent the florist to whip up 2 boutinerres. I really should have asked to see the flowers the night before so I could double check everything, but it actually turned out nicely because the girls flowers matched mine. Everyone who could see the ceremony site said it looked beautiful and that Alwin had them bring the floral arrangements from the chapel (even having them add some red flowers to the normally all white bouquet to match better) and had them put out some other arrangements we had purchased for the reception as well. They even brought out the candleholders from the chapel. I was told we had drawn quite a crowd, and boy was that true. I had so many people telling me how beautiful I looked as we waited in the buffet dining area for the ceremony to start. I had one woman come up to me and tell me that her and her husband’s 60th wedding anniversary was that very day and she hoped that would bring us good luck.

 

Then, it started to rain. Alwin was running around like crazy and I was confused because I wasn’t sure if we would move the ceremony indoors. He then told me we would wait 10 minutes or so because it shouldn’t be raining. I had no idea what he meant, but I said “OK” and waited for more direction. The Captain then came up to me and APOLOGIZED for the rain, telling me we would be out of it soon. You see, I guess he had told the bridge to do whatever it took to stay away from the rain showers, and he kept telling my fiancé that we wouldn’t hit the rain, we wouldn’t hit the rain, so when we did he stomped off, called the bridge and next thing you knew we were banking hard to one side. They MOVED THE SHIP OUT OF THE RAIN FOR THE WEDDING!!! Once the rain stopped, about 20 deck attendants appeared from nowhere and actually DRIED the entire deck per the Captain’s request so my dress wouldn’t get wet. It was so great, when the Captain wants something done, it gets done and he seemed to really care about this wedding.

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Part 5

 

 

Well, then the music started. Alwin had a keyboardist set up out of the way, so he wasn’t intrusive, but the live music was beautiful. No one fell on their way down the aisle which was great. Alwin made sure my neice and nephew walked down the aisle as they were supposed to, I feel kind of guilty now, I realize I didn’t have to stress on the wedding day because Alwin did all the stressing for me!

 

I approached the door and couldn’t believe the crowd. Three stories of “looky-Loos” watching the ceremony. I didn’t mind as long as they were polite and respectful and they were. The whole bottom deck was blocked off, however, they were just watching from above.

 

It’s so weird though, at this point I got tunnel vision and could only see my fiancé and the Captain, I didn’t see the flowers, didn’t see the people watching, didn’t see my family, only him. The Captain presided over the ceremony beautifully and read the special poem we requested. We said our vows, exchanged rings, were pronounced, kissed and EVERYONE cheered! It was really great. We then signed the log, took some pictures and headed to our lunch in Sabatini’s. Because the ceremony started late, we didn’t have time before lunch to wander around the boat and take pictures so our photographer said we would do that later.

 

When Mike and I walked into Sabatini’s our breath was taken away. These people had taken the supplies and pictures I brought and made it look sooo very beautiful. They even lowered the lights to let the candles glow and give the room a romantic feel. I was overwhelmed. They had done a job 10X what I could have done. When we raved to the manager, who was there waiting for our arrival of course, she told us the waiters had done it, and have enjoyed so very much doing it. I didn’t realize that we were going to have Sabatini’s to ourselves, but we did. The waiters had already gotten from the bar a tray full of mimosas and bloody marys, so drinks were delivered right away. These waiters were the BEST. There were 5 of them and only 4 tables. They had such great personalities, and obviously enjoyed giving everyone special treatment. We LOVED them, they made the meal quite special. They were even taking pictures with their personal cameras, they were having such a good time!

 

Then, as if they hadn’t won our hearts enough, my nephew got some of the tissue paper from his favor box a little too close to the candle and it caught fire. Everone ooh’d and awe’d at first, thinking it was a flaming desert of some sort. Then, we realized it was a fire. One of the waiters walked up, wrapped it in a napkin, threw it on the floor, rolled it around, and then pulled out the chocolates that were inside (the kids got chocoloates, everyone else luggage tags) and gave them to my nephew. We all cheered. He acted like nothing happened.

 

Now, the food at Sabatini’s was AMAZING! A ton of it, and it was all great. Coming out constantly. Our entire experience at Sabatini’s was wonderful. As we were leaving and gushing over everything the manager told us it was the most beautiful wedding they had there, and that no one had ever cared enough to bring decoration for the tables and such so it was as much a joy for them as for us. That made us feel good.

 

Next, it was off to Skywalkers for dancing and open bar. When we arrived, a beautiful table greeted us with flowers on it and it had our guest book on it. Then, we went over to see the cake which was HUGE! It was sooooo much bigger than we had anticipated. It was beautiful though. There were flowers there too. Alwin had brought the flowers from Sabatini’s we purchased and the flowers from the ceremony we purchased up to Skywalkers to dress everything up a bit. It was great. Some guests were late, so we didn’t have our first dance until about 20-30 minutes into it. Then, our photographer wanted to pull us away to take photos around the ship. We obliged, thinking it would give everyone a chance to have a cocktail and then we’d be back shortly. This is where I wish I would have done something differently. I wish we would have built in about 1 hour between lunch and the dancing and that Mike and I would have used that time to take the photos around the ship. This takes about an hour and we missed an hour of dancing with everyone, which we would have changed if doing it over again. I didn’t want to do that originally because I didn’t want people to be inconvenienced, but this isn’t a land wedding and some people later said they would have loved to take a nap after that large meal, or would have otherwise entertained themselves. Oh well, it was a blast regardless. Going around the ship for photos, we heard endless congratulations and you look great from guests. It really does make you feel special.

 

The DJ was great and had our songlist in his hands, playing what we wanted. We had requested songs from all the guests a few months prior, so it made it really special to play everyone’s own wedding song or special song, etc.

 

The bar staff in Skywalkers weren’t the greatest. Though no guests ordered a drink until almost 3PM (We paid for open bar for 3 hours, 230-530), they locked the bar up promptly at 5:25, when I asked them to do a last call right before 5:30, they had already put everything away. Later a friend told me that when they tried to order a specific drink that they had ordered just an hour before they were told we had bought 2 hours of open bar, then 1 hour of house bar or something weird like that and they couldn’t get that drink. That must have been some kind of mix up and had that person told me I would have called Alwin and cleared it up, that could have been why they packed up so quickly, they might have thought our time was already up. But, no one wants to bother the bride, so I didn’t find out until the next day. They were also kind of rude about what to do with the remaining cake. Alwin had told us that they would take it back to the kitchen and any time we wanted some we could just call room service, but they told us they couldn’t do that. They were kind of rude about it, and that was really the only hectic part of the day.

 

Everyone parted for the evening and my new husband and I retired to our room. Next thing we knew there was room service, at the door with our cake! LOL We asked them to take it to the kitchen, and then they tried to deliver it again in ½ hour! To say the least we didn’t want to be bothered, so we didn’t answer. We were hiding from our wedding cake! It wasn’t important enough for us to try and smuggle off the top layer, we’ll just have it recreated on our 1st anniversary, so we never had it delivered.

 

We had prearranged for everyone to meet for breakfast the next morning, and everyone showed up in the Tshirts we had made for the welcome bags, it was great.

 

We then met up with the photographer and she handed us our stack of 800 proofs!!!!! She told us to page her when we knew which ones we wanted blown up (we had pre-purchased all the negatives on CD Rom). We looked at the first few and knew they were exactly what we had wanted, they were georgeous. So, we went through them all and decided it would be hard to part with all the prints so we paged her to ask how much it would cost to buy the proofs. She met us at the photolab and first asked us what we thought of the pictures (she seemed so nervous about our response) and we told her we loved them. (Her name is Jennifer and she’s new to the ship, so ask for her if you’re getting married on CP in the next few months)

 

She told us the proofs would be 500.00, but she said she would keep it between us if 20 or so of them didn’t make it back to her. LOL We contemplated not buying them, but when my uncle offered us 200.00 towards the purchase (he knew we would regret not getting them) we couldn’t refuse. So, on the last night at midnight Mike was down at the photo desk buying our proofs. 

 

Well, all in all, it was great. By far, our favorite thing was that we got to relax and have a wonderful time with all our family and friends the week before our wedding. That was the reason we chose a cruise wedding and that was our favorite part, by far! We wouldn’t change doing our wedding this way for anything. Really, if we could change anything it would have been the last minute cancellation of the groom’s family. Everyone onboard Princess made us feel pampered and special. Everyone was eager to go out of their way to make our wedding the wedding of our dreams.

 

You can find some planning type photos here(including finished welcome bags and programs now): http://www.theknot.com/co_profileview.htm?profilename=kadiebug12

 

You can find a small sampling of some of the wedding photos (taken by Jennifer) here: http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EekNm7Fo2bsK-

 

We had 800 pictures taken, if you want a pic of something specific, e mail me at cepausm@bellsouth.net!

 

 

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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It sounds like things went really really well!!!! I don't even know where to start my questions.......

 

I am starting to get overwhelmed as it gets closer.......did you have any interaction with Leidys? She is the consultant I've been dealing with by email/phone so far.

 

How did you resolve the issues with the salon? Just by griping? That was something that occured to me already, that there might be some confusion, especially considering we're getting married on embarkation day. Who did you hair? It sounds like you ended up happy.....It also sounds like Alwin was great!

 

I love the story about the captain moving the ship! What a deal!!!

 

I want to see more pictures but I'm not sure what I'm most interested in seeing. I will have to think about it and get back to you. Don't go sailing off into newlywedded bliss just yet! ;-)

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I have had some interacction with Leidy's while Alba has been on vacation. She doesn't seem to know very much right off hand, but each time she hasn't been sure about something I've asked her to e mail the ship or ask her supervisor, she's always done so and gotten the answer back to me. I actually met her at the port as well, and she's very sweet.

 

I did see a wedding party on embarkation day, and they seemed a bit hectic. You actually will need to look for Leidy's or someone else holding a "Wedding Party Check-In" sign. That person will introduce you to the onboard coordinator (who will be waiting outside for you as well) and they will corral your group and lead you through a side door (not the door everyone else enters in).

 

The best way to resolve ANYTHING on that hectic day will be to tell them to contact your onboard coordinator. That was my standard line to the salong, "Call Alwin, he'll square it away" and that's what they did. I didn't have to deal with it, he did, but if I hadn't paid attention, I wouldn't have known we were being double charged and would have not brought it to his attention. The girls there at the salon were kind of rude to us though, but I found out later that an outside company is taking over the onboard salon and spa so they all might not have jobs. That's probably why there were a little rude. The girl that did my hair wasn't rude at all though. She even cut my sisters hair during the cruise too, she had a sassy personality and I liked her. Her name was Geraldine.

 

I'll be happy to send you any pics you might want to see and answer any other questions. As promised, I'll be checking these boards for a couple of months to help out anyone I can. Info on cruise weddings is so limited, I'm happy to share everything!

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Kadie,

 

Glad your wedding went so good, also glad to hear that you had a good vacation. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. I can't wait till the day my wedding comes closer. Look forward to me asking you for some help or advice.

 

I must say quite the good review too. Talk to you soon.:p

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First, thank you for sharing your trip and best wishes to you and your husband. What a fun read! And your pictures are wonderful. By comparison - I saw wedding pictures today taken by a NYC "society" photographer ($5,000 - at least - for the photographer) and I can't tell you how much better your pictures are. You are so lucky to have them - so now besides the wonderful memories - you have these great pictures to cherish too. All the best.

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Levine,

WOW, we got a bargain on our photography by comparison. Including the photographer's time, 5 5X7's, 2 8X10's, all 800 prints (4X6), negatives on CD, copyright letter, and a canvas print we only paid about $1300 total (500 of it at the last minute when we couldn't part with the 800 prints). It's worth it 100%! We could have spent less on the cake and such but wouldn't change a dime we spent on those pics. Can't wait to see the canvas!

 

Note to everyone: Be prepared to possibly spend more on photography than you plan because you might just fall in love with your photos like we did. At least get the negatives on CD, then you can print as many as you want at Sam's Club for 18C a photo. We thought about doing this, but my Dad forked over 1/2 of the 500 onboard to buy the prints, he was worried we would regret not having them all right away and might not print them all later. We couldn't pass up that offer. Also, don't forget to tell the photographer the style you're after and even bring in sample photos. Remember, they do the same shots for every wedding, and our photographer was sooooo excited to branch out and do something a little different. I think they've all got degrees in photography so they're much more talented than the simple, tilt your head here, move your arm here, you know?

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Kadie, it doesn't surprise me that the Captain moved the ship to better weather during your ceremony. It appears from your photos that Captain Romano married you...Giuseppe Romano? If that's the case, we had him on one of our Princess sailings, and he's an absolute doll.

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jerseygirl-

Yep, it was Captain Romano. He seemed to really love doing the weddings and took great pride in how they turn out. The wedding coordinator told us that our week was his last week on board and he was a little nervous about the next Captain, but I think Romano was only taking a 6 week vacation, then back onboard. We really liked him.

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Hi There

I was married by Captain Romano on Oct 10th. He was fantastic! I was getting nervous about leaving everything in someone else's hands ( the weddings at sea people ) ...but everything turned out fabulous. When we got onboard, there was a telephone message waiting for us from our onboard wedding coordinator, Quinton. We met with him for about half an hour to ensure everything was in order ( it was! ) and we were married in the chapel the next day. It was fantastic.....and we will cherish our memories of this forever!

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What a great review...I have soooo many questions I don't know where to start. My wedding is in November, on the Grand, I have already booked the ceremony and have about 50 guests.

Leidys is the coordinator I spoke with first and I would have to agree she is not very knowledgable. I was quite concerned until I read this review... When do I need to get with TWE to start the planning??? Is now too soon? Can we bring our own music?

I would love any advice!

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I really enjoyed seeing everything and reading your reviews. You did such a great job. You make me want to get married again and use ALL of your ideas!!!! :D

 

Best wishes for a wonderful marriage.

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What great photos! I really enjoyed looking thru them! I also got married on the CP (11/21/04) and it truly was magical! Thanks for sharing! :)

 

xo Pam

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I believe our total cost was around 6K with all the extras and such. Comperable here in Miami would have been 10K minimum and we wouldn't have had a wonderful week to spend with everyone! :)

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Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was so much fun to read and I loved all of the pictures... You have wonderful ideas.... I am glad that everything turned out so wonderful...

 

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I believe our total cost was around 6K with all the extras and such. Comperable here in Miami would have been 10K minimum and we wouldn't have had a wonderful week to spend with everyone! :)

Are you meaning $6000.00 for the wedding itself plus the cruise fare?

 

Thanks as we are just getting started in the planning stage for my daughter and we are trying to get a feel for the price.

 

Thanks

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That was for everything wedding associated (reception, gift bags, spa day for bridesmaids, hair, dress, etc.).

 

Our cruisefare was next to nothing because we received so many "credits" with the Princess referral program for our guests who booked with them. I think we paid under 1K for both of our cruisefare for a mini-suite, we would have cruised free if we had gone for an inside room if I remember correctly. With a group I think every 8th cabin, you get a free one.

 

Good Luck

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