Wedding Date: November 9, 2023 ~ Resort: Dreams Playa Mujeres ~ Photographer: Andrew Meier Photography ~ Bridal Gown: Savvi Bridal ~ Gown Designer: Casablanca ~ Tux Salon: Generation Tux
Why did you choose Romance Travel Group?
We chose Romance Travel Group after meeting some of their team members at a local bridal expo. My husband and I had already decided on a destination wedding, yet we were just looking for additional information and location ideas. After having a rough start to the planning process with another travel agent, a meeting with Shelli immediately put us at ease, and we trusted that her team knew what they were doing. The fact that they specialized in destination weddings was a plus, and it helped them help us narrow down resorts based on what we were looking for.
What led you to choose a destination wedding?
We were living in NC then, and I was from the Chicago area while my husband is from Ohio. No matter where we held our wedding, people would have to travel, so why not make it a tropical destination where we could spend more than one day with our guests.
How did you select the resort? What were the deciding factors?
Shelli and her team did a great job listening to what we were looking for on our wedding day, along with our group size and budget, to help narrow down resorts. We ended up going with a resort that had the wedding package we were looking for, along with amenities and incentives for booking a certain number of rooms.
Were there any objections from your wedding guests about your decision to have a destination wedding? If so, how did you handle overcome those?
We had a few objections from family and friends about us having a destination wedding. We included why we decided to have a destination wedding on our Q&A page on our wedding website, and we understood from the beginning that only some were going to make it. We had a 2.5-year engagement; by the time a date was set, it was a 1.5-year notice for guests. We tried to be considerate of our guests to be able to plan for time off and save, and this allowed us to save up for our big day, too. The people who wanted to be there would be there, and no matter what, it was a fantastic time.
Describe what it was like working with the wedding coordinator at the resort? What went well? Any challenges?
We heard from our assigned wedding coordinator three months before our wedding. It can be a bit challenging, but I had all my planning forms filled out when she emailed me, as well as my Pinterest board up to date with our vision. There are also tons of destination wedding groups on Facebook to ask questions, see reviews, or get inspiration ideas. I can be type A, so I was a little nervous going into it, but I had a wedding binder with all the needed information, ceremony, and reception space layout, etc. I could hand it over to our planner, talk through our vision, and brought it to life. I saw this a lot through the planning process in online groups, but the planners know what they are doing and will pull it all together flawlessly.
Describe the booking process for your guests. Did they find that to be easy to navigate?
Booking was super easy for our guests, and I even went through it myself for our room and booked our photographer's room. RTG created a wedding website for us, and while I had already created a wedding website, I linked their site to the front page for everyone to go through to book. Our guests also mentioned how easy it was to go in and make payments.
What were some of your biggest fears or things you worried about as your wedding date drew near? How did you get through this?
Customs was my biggest fear. I heard too many horror stories of brides traveling with their wedding decor and welcome bag items and getting taxed unfairly. I had letters that explained what everything was for in my luggage in English and Spanish, as well as a list of how much each item was (with receipts) in case we were to get questioned. I kept all this information in my wedding binder, which was easily accessible if needed. I brought a good amount of decor from home and was worried about some things breaking, but we had extra bubble wrap to protect everything. We ended up being fine due to so many of us arriving at the same time, we put all our luggage together on the same cart, so they didn't question it for 12 people. But I'm sure individually, we would've been stopped as we had seven bags total (2 large suitcases, 1 medium suitcase, 2 carry-ons, and 2 backpacks).
Describe the meeting you had with the onsite wedding team when you arrived at the resort.
We planned to meet with Iridian (our wedding coordinator) the morning after we arrived. We started with a walking practice at our ceremony location (which was extremely helpful for people knowing where they needed to be) and then returned to the office for our final planning meeting. It was slightly nerve-wracking since our wedding was the next day, but we had confirmed most of the details a week before our arrival, which definitely helped. We had our rehearsal dinner that evening, which was a great way to get everyone together.
Were your guests wowed by the resort and the all-inclusive concept? What was their reaction upon arrival?
Our guests loved the resort. Everyone was thrilled with the service they received, and they were impressed with the food. We arrived with a large group of friends, and it was the most incredible feeling to see the "wow" look on their faces as they got out of the transfer. We were all greeted with drinks and then escorted to the check-in desks. A few guests got upgraded upon arrival, which they were happy about.
How easy/difficult was it to travel with your wedding attire? Did you carry-it on, where did you store it? Did you get a lot of comments at the airport?
I put the 66 inch WallyBag on my registry and was lucky enough to have someone buy it for me. I will tell you, this bag was a game-changer. It made traveling with my dress a DREAM. I was able to fit my dress, my husband's suit, 2 dress shirts, my veil, our welcome sign, signature drink and guest book sign, both of our shoes and anything that we would need the day of (i.e., getting ready outfit, perfume, jewelry, etc.). Everything fit into the bag, and it folded up perfectly. We flew American Airlines, and the WallyBag served as my carry-on. I put it in the overhead compartment with no issue. The bag also says "Mrs" on it, so I got a lot of questions/compliments/congratulations while at the airport, which was fun.
Tell us about your wedding – did you have a traditional wedding with a cocktail hour, dinner reception and dance? What was different about a destination wedding compared to a wedding at home?
We had a traditional wedding with a ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. My husband wanted an open bar, and did they deliver. It was the most perfect day, and exactly as we had imagined. Our guests said it was the best wedding they had ever attended; everything ran on time, and the service was excellent. Our guests loved the variety of food they could have and that they were able to make a vacation out of it.
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
The ease and convenience of everything. RTG handled the booking and transfers, the resort handled the food, decor, setup, and tear down, and everyone was already in one location. I didn't have to worry about booking transport to get guests from the venue back to the hotel; everyone could walk back to their rooms. Also, the backdrop of our photos is perfect. The scenery speaks for itself. I kept our decor very simple, and it turned out fantastic.
What is your most favorite memory of your wedding experience?
It's hard to pick one moment because everything was so amazing. It was a night to remember from our first look to our reception entrance to the sparkler exit. We all had so much fun, and it flowed seamlessly from one moment to the next. We had cold fireworks during our first dance, which also gave a lot of "wow" factor.
What would you do differently? What advice would you give to couples just starting the planning process?
I should've started working with RTG earlier in our engagement. It would have saved a lot of headaches on my end in the beginning. But to those just starting the planning process, it's your day. Make it what you want, and your wedding planner can help bring it to life. Also, enjoy the moment and have fun. This whole experience was something I will never forget, and indeed, it was the best day ever.
Would you recommend Romance Travel Group to other couples who are considering a destination wedding?
1000%. Shelli and her team are excellent to work with; they are so great that I would love to book future trips through them.
Congratulations, Kaitlyn and Taylor! Best wishes always!
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