Wedding Planning; Favor Crisis

Today wedding planning has taught me to have a plan A, B, C & D because nothing goes as planned…… So I just got a response from my wedding coordinator: no candles allowed 😦 So here I am searching Pinterest like a mad woman for cute wedding favors that aren’t edible or flammable. I asked my coordinator for a list of things not allowed onboard. I’ll post it here once she sends it. Good news, wedding guest list is finalized! This week I’ll be visiting flower shops to see their silk flower arrangements. FYI: fresh flowers are only allowed on the ship thru the cruise ship themselves. So you can either buy fresh bouquets from them or bring on silk flowers. Anyway back to the dilemma at hand: which wedding favors is your favorite? Leave a comment below, I’ll reveal which one I chose on our wedding day 😉

Option 1: Glass Coaster


Option 2: Corkscrew Coasters

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Option 3: Sailboat Keychain


Option 4: Anchor Keychain

 

Wedding Planning; The 100 Day Countdown Begins

Typically in the last 100 days before your wedding, you’re supposed to send out invitations. But because this is a cruise and we wanted to give ample time for guests to book and pay for the cruise, our invites were sent out in October. So what’s there to do you ask? Well you still have a bridal shower list that needs to be made and handed over to your maid of honor, and you probably have your rsvps back so nows the time to finalize your guest list and figure out who’s cruising and who’s not. For these cruise ship weddings, a finalized list with everyone’s first and last name are needed by the cruise company for security purposes. And usually this list is needed about 90-60 days before the cruise. (I’m still waiting on my fiancé to give me full names of some family members, men smh) also now is a good time to decide on wedding favors. Cruise ships have very special guidelines on what you can and can not bring on the ship, your coordinator can give you a full list but I can tell you for sure NO OUTSIDE FOOD. So those cute little s’mores boxes you saw on Pinterest are a no no. You know how hard it is to find cute destination wedding favors that aren’t food??? Too hard. That’s why I’ve decided on making cute little gel candles with a ship/beach theme. I’m not sure if they’re allowed yet, still waiting for Nicole to get back to me. (There’s that waiting game I told you about again).  It’s also time to find your wedding day makeup and hair style (yay!) so here’s the thing, your make up and hair MUST be done before you get on the ship, but you can put your dress on once you board. If you choose to have a wedding party they must be fully dressed before arriving to the ship. Now, I’m not sure if boarding time is the same for all cruises but for my cruise boarding time is 10 am. So no drinking the night before because you’ve got to be up pretty early getting all beautified the next day. Also, because the wedding is so early and in a high traffic area we told our guests whether cruising or not that It would be best to stay the night before at a nearby hotel to avoid being late because of traffic. (Royal Caribbean is very strict about boarding times for special events, guest must be on by 10:30) Our cruise port is in Bayonne NJ, which is basically New York. Downside to Bayonne: for some reason there are no hotels in the area that provide transportation to the cruise port. Which means finding a third party company to transport my guest to the port. Today wedding planning has taught me: research, research, and research some more. It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour that come with wedding planning.  Somehow through all of this I’m remaining optimistic and retain a 3 1/2 stars out of 5 at the moment.

Peace, Love & Wine

Sami

Quick Wedding Planning FYI:

I just wanted to do a quick overview of what correspondence  with the wedding coordinator is like. Its better to email your coordinator than to call Royal Romance. When you call their center you end up talking to one of their customer service reps, hardly ever your actual coordinator. And the answer to your questions, if they even answer them, are usually incorrect.  So email is the way to go. The further out your wedding the longer the response time, as they are dealing with the most current and upcoming weddings. But if you’re like me aka a hounder you’ll get your response.

 

Peace, Love & Wine,

Sami

Wedding Planning; 3 Months….oh Sh*t.

I’m starting this blog because I’ve been squaring the internet for cruise ship wedding reviews and have come up completly empty handed. Seeing as though we are three months from our wedding date, I’ll have to catch you guys up on what has and hasn’t been going on. Before we even begin to dive in let me state this disclaimer now: IF YOU HAVE OCD OR NEED TO KNOW EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF YOUR WEDDING, THIS IS NOT THE OPTION FOR YOU. Fortunately and unfortunately this happened to me, but before I knew better. Like I said there’s really nothing online that breaks down what a cruise ship wedding consists of and the main thing it consists of is waiting. Lots and lots and lots of waiting.

So after months of arguing about venues and wedding colors and table clothes, Derrick and I got the bright idea of getting married on a cruise ship since we had just gotten back from our first cruise ever (Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas *EXCELLENT*) and were now in love with cruising. We did a quick search on Royals website , went back and forth with a couple of “are you sure’s” and before I knew it we booked our wedding. Just like that…..well not really. See, you call Royal Caribbean’s wedding center, I think its called Royal Weddings now (they change the name every few months smh), they have different packages to choose from you can check them out here but prices and packages change so please call Royal Caribbean for up to date info. Once you’ve decided on a package (we choose Paradise Shipboard on their newest ship Anthem of the Seas, having our wedding right before the ship leaves), Royal Romance sends you out a massive load of paper work for you and your beloved fiance to fill out, you then return said paper work and wait for your wedding date to be approved. Now listen closely: once they have approved your wedding date, you have 5…….1,2,3,4,5 days to pay for the wedding package and no, your wedding package does not include a stateroom, you must book that and put a deposit down first. (sorry, its been almost a year since we’ve booked so some info will come in late as I begin to remember things, I really apologize) Once you’ve paid for your wedding the fun beings, I mean the waiting begins :/

See our wedding/cruise wasn’t for almost a year and a half at the time we booked, and with these cruiseship weddings they only deal with the ones that are as far as three months out. So, here we are finally at our 3 month mark, between last January and now to keep me busy I’ve:

  1. Sent out Save The Dates which I ordered from MagnetStreet     
  2. Picked out my wedding colors
  3. Designed and put together my wedding invitations which I got from Michael’s      
  4. Ordered my wedding dress
  5. Decided on bridesmaid dresses

Trust me, all of that doesn’t even take up 2 months if you’re really excited about your wedding lol. Once you’ve hit your 3 month mark you are assigned a wedding coordinator for your wedding. Ours is Nicole Torres, who seems pretty nice. Our package comes with one coordinator for our first 25 guest, after that an additional fee of 250 is required for another coordinator for the next 25 guest and so on. At this moment we are at 53 guest……and yes I need a third coordinator for those other 3 guests :/

As of right now, my over all rating for this experience is 3 1/2 stars out of 5. I’ll update you soon. If you have any questions please feel free to comment, I will answer to the best of my ability.

 

Peace. Love & Wine,

Samantha