We are having our wedding at the Riu Ocho Rios in July. The place looks amazing and I just can't wait to go!
We are using Elite travel (Tammy, the owner I think) posts here all the time, but she hooked us up with Donna, who is absolutely great! She has been so helpful. So if you need a planner/ travel agent, she's your woman!
As far as the abbreviations go, you'll get used to it. Here's one that may help you get started, OOT bags = out of town bags (you know, like for your guests when they arrive at the hotel).
Good luck with your planning and have fun!!! If you do decide to go with Riu let me know, I'll keep you updated on how everything goes!
Hi Tammy, I am getting married at Riu in Ocho Rios in May 2007. I'm so excited, nervous, and anxious. I've already booked the wedding date at their resort, which was not the date that I wanted, but was able to get a date close to it. I've been trying to get in contact with someone personally and I've been unsuccessful. I was just wondering if you could possibly give me some direction, advice. I am in desperate need of help. Can you help me please? 🙁 Thanks Tammy 🙂
Tammy from Elite Travel is AWESOME!! I have no complaints so far. I email her VERY often and she responds very quickly.
Elite has been consistent and has responded quickly to my needs but one the other hand, DWT specializes in destination weddings. So I am torn, especially if DWT comes back to me with the same or better prices.
I read a review on trip advisor from a girl who booked her destination wedding with destinationweddings.com. She said that they had made her some promises that they were not able to keep. One thing that made me comfortable working with Elite Travel is that Janine will NEVER quote me on anything that she cannot confirm. I would be leery of working with a company that has a history of empty promises. I just started doing some price comparisons for Elite Travel, so that I could feel good about my decision. The prices are good, and the company is ethical. The decision is up to you, but if you decide on destinationweddings.com, I would get a signed agreement so that they do not go back on their word.
A. Butler, Brides.com
I'm getting married at Riu Ocho Rios and am having Tammy help me with everything - she is FABULOUS! After dealing with trying to get a response from Chandlyn for over TWO weeks I was about to move my wedding when I found Tammy on this forum and she had all of my questions answered in a matter of hours! Anyone who is thinking of doing this without any help from an outside source should seriously reconsider and give her or another agent with experience with the property a call - she has been a lifesaver!
I just recently took a trip down there to check the place out and it is GORGEOUS - prettier than the pictures!!
We decided to move our ceremony from the beach to the pond gazebo because of the lack of privacy on the beach and decided on the Plantation because of the same thing. The pond gazebo has a long path leading to it with grass on either side for chairs for your guests, it is set back a little ways off the beaten path so you don't have people watching close by. We saw quite a few weddings while we were down there and every single one was different and beautiful. The arches for the beach weddings were very very pretty.
The food was surprisingly good everywhere we ate (we read online somewhere else that the food was bland - but that wasn't the case at all!!), the beach was gorgeous, the staff was helpful and friendly, just everything was perfect. Mammee Bay is a beautiful place to have a reception, very pretty; the other restaurants are very nice as well. I'm sure that no matter where you all choose to hold your ceremony/reception you will be happy - the property is just stunning.
We saw a couple weddings on the beach and got to see the couples taking pictures and we stopped in the photo shop to see the different weddings they've done and while some of the pictures weren't that great, overall we thought they did a good job and we don't see the need to pay to bring someone else in.
Now that I got the chance to go there and see it firsthand I know I made the right choice in sticking with the RIU (even with the lack of communication from their wedding dept!) - I seriously can't wait for January 🙂
Congrats to the other RIU brides out there!!!!
Thanks Tammy! I was about to say the same thing! I know if I booked the Half Moon I wouldn't have to worry about family pics because none of my family could afford to go!!! Ideally, I would love to get married in Aruba my favorite island, but when my fiancée and I sat down to discuss our options we knew that family and friends would not be able to afford $2,000.00 per person for a 4 day trip to our wedding. We decided the best option would be to go to a family friendly resort that is moderately priced. I know Half Moon and the other resorts are beautiful and they have excellent reputations for weddings, but like Tammy said we have to book what is right for us and our situations.
I know it's frustrating to wait a while for responses from Chandlyn, but I do believe she tries her best and when it's time for each of our big days she will make sure we have everything we want to make it special. It's just like anything in life, it is what you make of it.
I just received the Save the Dates that you guys put together for me, and they are beautifully done. It is official now. I am so excited and glad that I chose the Riu and that I dropped destinationweddings.com and chose Elite. To any brides out there that are trying to do a destination wedding on your own. I would highly advise you to look into Elite. They are very professional, understanding, and they really know what they are doing. I save myself a wrecked wedding by going through them.
On another note, does anyone have any ideas of what welcome gifts to give my guests? I want to do something since they traveled all this way, but I don't want the hassle with customs. Any suggestions?
I am just dropping by to send some more praise to Tammy and her Elite Travel team. This morning she made the impossible happen for me - a 5pm wedding when the resort doesn't host weddings after 4pm! I am so thrilled! We would have been stuck otherwise with an early afternoon wedding and having to wait until 6:30 or later for the reception dinner...how crappy would that have been?!
Anyway, for those of you who haven't, check with Tammy about making your destination wedding/honeymoon just the way you envisioned it. There are no obligations, just answers to all of your questions, and I guarantee that after one or two emails you will be so impressed, you'll want to do business with no one else! I plan to use Elite Travel as much as possible in the future for family holidays. Oh, and if you are having problems with the agency you are already working with, Tammy will still help you. She and her team are one of few out there that really care about brides and their special day. Think about it...then stop thinking and write her!!
Congrats ladies on all of your big days!!
Jenna & Brian, Brides.com
Thank you so much! Yes we had an amazing time at Secrets the Vine. We couldn’t get over how gorgeous the property was and how amazing the staff was there. The customer service was outstanding!!! The food was great, not excellent but great. Most of our meals were really good, but there were a few that were so so. Also the drinks from the bartenders were just ok but honestly we had such a fun time that it would not stop us from recommending it to our friends, or even going back again. The only thing that I thought was odd was how the palm trees were all dead. If they would have just taken them down, the resort would look so amazing. It was kindav an eye sore. Aside from that though, again it was an amazing trip. The room was great and beautiful. We got our vows renewed and it was so amazing! We thought we were just going to have a simple service on the beach but they went all out with a gazebo on the beach with shells and candles, a wedding cake, champagne….. it was such an unexpected and sweet surprise. They even upgraded us to a Grand Suite for the rest of our trip.
The spa was amazing as well. We had 2 80 minute massages and they were incredible!
They had a really fun 4th of July planned and although we didn’t really participate in the evening entertainment, from what we saw it was great.
We are already thinking about our next trip! We would love to stick with the Secrets brand and were thinking about going to Cabo next year. What is a good time to go and what resort would you recommend?
Tammy, this email is WAY overdue, but only because there doesn't seem to be a place to "post" a review for a Destination Wedding Planner. What a miss! I would like to suggest that TripAdvisor realize what a valuable service you provide, and ask them to add that category!!!
Jose and I wanted to thank you, and your entire team. Since we knew that we wanted a destination wedding, and had NO IDEA where, the first amazing thing you did was recommend the most perfect place ever! We travel a lot and have seen a lot of terrific places, but none so beautiful as St. Lucia - including Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, as well as Ladera.
From the very beginning, directing us how to appropriately let people know that we didn't need a toaster or a vase, but what we DID NEED was contributions to our trip for 5 (including our 3 children) so that we could marry as a family! The process was seamless, no one had to write us a check or track down our resort. You made it easy for our friends and family to give us the perfect gift, and for THAT we will be forever grateful.......READ MORE
Jose and Bridgette Bello
Katie, I wanted to take a second to thank you because everything went great at the wedding. Once we have the pics we will gladly share them with you, but everyone was delighted with the resort, quality etc... I guess if there was a drawback to mention it would be the beach and the amount of rocks in it, not necessarily a quality beach, but an amazing time nonetheless, and I am mentioning this just for future reference and truly splitting hairs. We had an amazing time.Will & Jessica De Veyga (NOW Jade wedding)
Wedding/Reception: Was pretty much everything I had envisioned! It rained briefly during cocktail hour, but was fine during the ceremony and reception. Francina was great – it’s funny how things come together once you meet and go over everything. She made a few adjustments to accommodate my day (instead of an overnight room, I had a room near the ceremony location during the day for hair, makeup and getting dress). The only real stress I had on my wedding day was that the room wasn’t ready until 2PM (so I was roaming around the resort with my stuff for a few hours) and I had to find someone else to do my hair because it wasn’t going well with the stylist; as a result, I was a little late and the groom became nervous..LOL. The guests said the food for the reception was the best food they had since they’d been there.
The wedding was amazingly beautiful.
Angela C. Smith
BB&T Commercial Finance
To: Tammy Levent
Our company AMResorts which represents five brands...Zoetry, Secrets, Dreams, NOW and Sunscape. Our resorts our located in Mexico (Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Ixtapa, Cancun and Riviera Maya), Punta Cana, La Romana, Jamaica and we operate/Manage 29 resorts. We are in the business of delivering an unlimited Luxury resort experience to our guests and our goal is to always deliver an exceptional experience to our customers and not only meet their expectations but exceed them. The SECRET to our success is maintaining relationships with professionals that not only can move the business but also deliver exceptional service to our mutual guests. Our valued relationship with Elite Travel, specifically with the owner Tammy Levent, is one that we value and nurture, reason being, she is a professional that has dedicated her career to also meeting and exceeding her guest's expectations. READ MORE>>
Back in 2008 when we decided to do a destination wedding in Jamaica to cut costs since we were a very young broke 24 and 25, we was not about that "wedding debt life." Who wants to start a marriage in debt? Shidddd you got the whole rest of your marriage to get in some debt lol. Our wedding, non stop flight, jacuzzi suite hotel for 2 weeks, honeymoon, reception, decor, food, drinks, wedding cake, flowers, etc was $5700... Shouts out to Elite Travel Management Group (tell me I sent ya, ask for Katie Levent) Our resort was The Riu Ocho Rios and all the food and drinks were included. I had rubber flowers (that I still keep in a vase) and was a true DIY Bride. My wedding dress was $280, engagement/wedding ring combo was less than $1000 (us the rings I'm currently sporting.) When you don't have a lot of money especially as young as we were and fresh it if college, you supposed to make it work with what you got, not go beyond your means... I could teach a class in what to do and what not to do, especially seeing how I attend at least 3 weddings a month since I'm doing makeup for them... Almost 90% of Brides wish they would've done a destination wedding. Trust what I say...
Katie planned our wedding and the travel of nearly 40 of our closest friends and family! She was always available and helped us pick the most beautiful wedding destination. She also planned the local travel while in Cancún and made sure everything ran smoothly along the way! We will definitely use Elite Travel again for our next getaway!!!