Why did you choose Romance Travel Group?
Romance Travel Group was recommended to me by a friend who also had a great experience. Having a team local to MN was super helpful as well!
How did you select the resort? What were the deciding factors?
My (now) husband and I always knew we wanted a destination wedding so picking the resort was the hard part! We asked Shelli for recommendations of places she or her team stayed at…as we picked our resort sight unseen! Crazy, I know. Our deciding factors were being a middle-of-the-road price point for our guests, family friendly and a good location. We read a TON of reviews. The Riu Palace Cabo hit all of those notes after lots of back and forth.
What were some of your biggest fears about having a destination wedding?
Some of my biggest fears relate to the earlier question…when you plan a destination wedding you HAVE to accept from the get-go that not everyone is going to make it. We talked to those we knew we needed there first (my grandparents, the Maids of Honor, Best Men, immediate family etc…) and once they were on board, we went full steam ahead! There were of course a few people important to us that couldn’t make it and we knew early on we had to be good with that. If you don’t visit your resort first (like us) there was a huge nervous factor of what if we hate it…but we still went with it. I also brought my own stylist. I was TOO nervous to put my hair/makeup in the hands of someone I have never met. I also have very difficult hair and don’t wear a ton of makeup so I needed to make sure my hair/makeup and I would be on the same page on one of the best days of my life!
Describe what it was like working with the wedding coordinator at the resort? What went well? Any challenges?
The wedding coordinator was INCREDIBLY responsive. For our particular resort the wedding coordinator only answers a ton of your details 6 months ahead of time. I am a big planner/organizer so that was hard for me. However, you can ask a certain amount of questions per month before that. I can honestly say I have ZERO complaints about our wedding coordinator at the resort. Lupita was amazing. She also helped advise on certain questions I had and changed our location based on our number of guests. They don’t tell you what you need to be doing every step of the way though. You do need to be a proactive person to make it through this phase. If you are someone who is waiting for everything to come to you first, that will not happen. Just reach out to them and they will help with everything.
Tell us about your wedding dress – How did you find it? Who went shopping with you? How do you feel wearing your dress?
Well this is such a fun and at times frustrating part I think! I chose a dress that was (in my opinion) incredible for a destination wedding. I would not have chosen the same dress if I was doing a church wedding in Minnesota. One thing you HAVE to think about is a travel-friendly dress! I went multiple times of course. The first time I just brought my mom and sister…then I brought 4 of my best girlfriends and then the final time was my mom, sister, future sister in law and mother in law (after I narrowed it down)! I had 2 final choices and then selected my final with my family.
Describe the booking process for your guests. Did they find that to be easy to navigate?
I think it was pretty simple! I know Shelli reinforces this to BOOK EARLY but for some reason we had to reiterate this many times…so that part I put on my guests, no one else. aving Shelli send you everything in one form, arrange the transportation to and from the airport etc…was amazing. Knowing we could go to her with any issues was amazing. We were married in Cabo where the resorts are a bit of a drive from the airport so the transportation was extra helpful.
Describe the meeting you had with the onsite wedding team when you arrived at the resort.
It was great! We met with everyone the day after we arrived in the lobby. We went through all of our selections, changes etc…one amazing thing about our resort was that you could change pretty much anything once you arrived. After you see things in person it might change a few selections (other than flowers). They were able to show us any changes they thought should be made, etc…turns out they’ve done a wedding or two so they have great insight…and they do it without you feeling any pressure. The biggest thing is I felt like we had someone the entire time…I knew I could ask for my coordinator and I would get a response, but they also reminded you and allowed you to have a great/relaxing time. I should note although I’m a type A planner I was pretty laid back for my wedding, that is how I wanted it though.
How easy/difficult was it to travel with your wedding dress? Did you carry-it on, where did you store it? Did you get a lot of comments at the airport?
My dress was very easy to travel with. I had an extra large garment bag from my friend who had her destination wedding a few months before. On the way down I was allowed to hang it up and on the way back they didn’t have a hanging area but they let me put it up in first class carry on that wasn’t full. I would say telling people it was my wedding dress definitely helped.
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 semi-traditional wedding. We had our wedding on the beach and dinner reception and dance. I’ve never had a wedding at home vs. destination so I can’t imagine the differences. So much of it is that there is a ton out of your control…you don’t know exactly how things will look, exactly how the food will taste, exactly how the flowers will be etc…and I was great with that. I was so excited to spend multiple days with the people that meant the most to me in an incredible location. If you aren’t okay with some ambiguity, I would not recommend it. Everything went amazing for us though. Our dinner was great, decorations, our DJ was great…I enjoyed every second but it did go too fast! I think everyone says that though.
What is your most favorite memory of your wedding experience?
The entire planning and actual wedding trip! You get stressed in the moments, want things “to be done” and before you know it, it is all done. This is another reason I recommend a destination wedding – you might be busy but you get to spend 2,3,4,5,6 etc…days with your guests.
In what ways did Romance Travel Group make the planning less stressful for you?
Oh my in so many ways – having resort recommendations, insider info, having everyone’s travel docs and booking ready to go….basic travel questions, their email reminders, their payment choices, their final travel docs all being in one place, transportation info etc…
What would you do differently? What advice would you give to couples just starting the planning process?
The ONLY thing I would do differently (and remember I was a super laid back bride) is bringing your own photographer. Romance Travel Group started a partnership like this after we were married but that would be my only change. Different countries have a different idea/styles of pictures, and by having someone you know you can see their pics beforehand…and can understand if your styles are similar or not. Oh yes and as I did – definitely bring your own hair/makeup or do it yourselves. Invite all of these people to your wedding so you don’t get the “outside vendor” fee.
Would you recommend Romance Travel Group to other couples who are considering a destination wedding?
Yes I would recommend them for sure. Despite what you tell them or what Romance Travel Group tells them, guests will still contact the bride/groom for travel questions. We directed them back to the Romance Travel Group as much as we could..I think there was only 1 case where I had to “get involved” and it was more so for my guest to feel support even though I knew Romance Travel were doing all they could.
Congratulations, Lindsey & Scott!! We are so happy for you!