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sandyzag

Embarkation Day Wedding - Carnival Dream - August 19 2018 - NoLa

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Hi Everyone,

I appreciated everyone writing reviews and providing critical information, so that I somewhat understood what would occur on the big day. I figured I will try and pay it forward and here it goes.

Our wedding was on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans.

Documents instructed to get there at 10am, so 10am it was. We had to wait about 10 minutes before they opened up the doors into the terminal. During that time, I was definitely sweating my make up off.. lol.. Once the doors opened up, they let us go in first. Up the escalators we went and then directed to the left, where the priority lines are. Check in was very quick and efficient. Make sure to instruct your NON wedding guests to state they are there for a wedding and are not sailing. Their check in is a little different. Also, keep in mind that if anyone is in a wheel chair, the elevators are roped out for about another 10-15 minutes before they let those people upstairs in the terminal. After checking in, you then go through the Xray and screening machines. After that, you meet your wedding coordinator right after security, She then brings you to the holding area. All none sailing guests have to walk allllllll the way down the terminal to guest services where they will provide their photo ID and get a visitors badge. They will then walk all the way back up to the front of the terminal and all wedding guests then sit in a designated area and wait until the ship is cleared. I have to note that as the bride, it was a bit chaotic and hectic. If you think you will have time to introduce people and such, you probably wont have time to do that. At this time, the coordinator will also take you aside and run through the whole ceremony and reception and how it all should flow.

Once the ship is cleared, they call your party. You are first to go through the line and on to the ship. At this time, all other guest are instructed to feel free to roam around the ship. They are provided a map, with the wedding room and reception room highlighted and the time for both indicated on the map. The coordinator then takes the bride to the cabin used for dressing. I told the whole wedding party to come with me, because right after she dropped me off, she took them up to the Burgundy lounge to do a walk through. Then my girls came back to the cabin. I was told that around 12:50, she would be back to get me to bring me up.(1 pm wedding ceremony) The photographer called the cabin and asked if she could come to it, probably around 12:30 pm. She came and took pictures of us. The girls then left at 12:45 pm to go up to the ceremony room. At this time, I had nothing to do but pace the cabin, waiting for the coordinator. And waiting.. and waiting.. apparently everyone did not get to the ceremony room when they should of, so she was waiting for them all to get there, before coming to get me.

She came to the cabin and up we went. Everything from there went at warp speed. Ceremony was short and sweet, just as I wanted it. The only time you really have to take pictures of EVERYONE as groups is in between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. It was approximately 20 minutes. We then moved into the reception area where guests were already eating and drinking it up. We got announced by the DJ, did our first dance and they moved right to the cake cutting and the champagne drinks. We thanked all of guests and then the Best man and the MOH did their speeches. From there, it was get your party on. The photographer took a ton of "snapshots" during the reception of everyone. I forgot to mention that the coordinator set ups your favors/guest book in the reception room. You just need to assign a "guest" to bring those favors up to the reception room.

My coordinator was TOP NOTCH. She waited on me hand and foot. Getting me drinks and even volunteering to get me food(which I declined because I felt weird having her do that)

All in all, I would rate the whole experience a 10. The only thing that sucks is the photography packages.. in order to get ANY digital photos you HAD to purchase the 2 grand package. Its as if they kidnap your pictures because they know you will LOVE them and you have to pay a price to get them. Yuck.. I wish they just had an all digital package, but they dont. I should also mention that after the reception, bride and groom went off to take pictures around the ship. We also got to miss the muster drill, due to the picture taking.

If anyone has any questions at all, let me know and I'll be glad to try and answer them.

 

oh! one more thing.. I ordered the tropical bouquets for both myself and my bridesmaids. They were absolutely PERFECT and breathtaking. I was glad I did not go with the standard white roses.

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Thanks for the information! I will be getting married next June on embarkation day out of NOLA. Should the wedding party be fully dressed prior to boarding, or do they have time on board to change?

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Hi

So there are a few variables in your question. Keep in mind that technically only two cabins will definitely be available for use. One for you to get dressed in and one for the groom/S.O. If other sailing guests purchased FTTF, their cabin MAY be ready but it is not guaranteed. The cabins are not big, even the suites. So depending on the number in your wedding party, you should definitely keep that in mind. Lastly, customs/coast guard. There is no way to predict when customs will clear the ship for boarding. Technically yes, it should be around 11 or 1130a, but that is not a definite. Also, you never know if the ship may arrive late to port. And there are times that the Coast Guard comes on to do an inspection.

If everything goes perfectly, then yes you will have time to change. If there is even one small crinkle, you will be cutting it very close. Remember, the entire wedding party, except for you, goes straight to a rehearsal of sorts as soon as you board.

My husband got dressed on the ship. His best man came dressed and ready. My two girls got dressed with me and we were not rushed. We were onboard by 1115a because there were no issues.

Hope that helps!

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Hi, I'm new to this forum and am planning my wedding for February 27, 2019. I chose a embarkation day wedding because this is the 2nd time for both my fiance and I and we wanted something affordable, good value with zero fuss and stress. A cruise wedding seemed like the answer. Having read so many reviews and experiences I'm now not so sure.

 

We're are doing the Southern Caribbean 7 day cruise honeymoon and doing the embarkation wedding in Barbados as this is where we live. My main concern right now is about delays or changes in port, as well as all the added planning details that I wasn't aware of when I first had the idea - not the mention all the exhorbitant additional costs for photography especially.

 

I'd like to say though that this forum has been invaluable to me to point out many of the pitfalls and has provided many tips on thigs I hadn't really considered. I'm hoping and praying that everything goes smoothly and right now I would just like to get it over with. I'm pretty much doing everything myself. We're an older couple and I have adult kids, 2 of whom reside in another country. My bestie also lives outside the country so I'm pretty much doing this alone, of course with the support of my fiance, but let's face it, he will go along with whatever makes me happy.

 

Anyway, I'm very glad I found this forum and will provide a review after my wedding. All the best to everyone getting married this year and next who are now in the planning stages.

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Hi

So there are a few variables in your question. Keep in mind that technically only two cabins will definitely be available for use. One for you to get dressed in and one for the groom/S.O. If other sailing guests purchased FTTF, their cabin MAY be ready but it is not guaranteed. The cabins are not big, even the suites. So depending on the number in your wedding party, you should definitely keep that in mind. Lastly, customs/coast guard. There is no way to predict when customs will clear the ship for boarding. Technically yes, it should be around 11 or 1130a, but that is not a definite. Also, you never know if the ship may arrive late to port. And there are times that the Coast Guard comes on to do an inspection.

If everything goes perfectly, then yes you will have time to change. If there is even one small crinkle, you will be cutting it very close. Remember, the entire wedding party, except for you, goes straight to a rehearsal of sorts as soon as you board.

My husband got dressed on the ship. His best man came dressed and ready. My two girls got dressed with me and we were not rushed. We were onboard by 1115a because there were no issues.

Hope that helps!

 

I also have this challenge as It's only me and my fiance crusing so there's only one room. I had asked my WC and she said he could dress in the public bathroom. Well I think not! That doesn't appeal to me at all. He wil have to try to dress quickly and then vacate the room so I can finish dressing. It is what it is. Maybe they don't get many non-cruising guest wedding parties and so have not thought about accomodating the bride and groom is such a situation.

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Hello ladies! I'm getting married on the Carnival Dream on Nov. 11 of this year. I was wondering if anybody knew if the guests are allowed to purchase food and drinks while they walk around the ship? We were given the option to purchase a buffet on the lido deck for our guests but $16/pp added up and we just couldn't do it. We did not purchase the reception package. I dont want my guests to get hangry!!!

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So excited for you!!

I can only say that with mine, I did purchase a reception. Having said that, the guests were allowed to roam around the ship, prior to the wedding. None of them had any issues with getting in the Lido Buffet line or anything of the sort. They ARE allowed to purchase drinks at the casino bar on Deck 5 and I want to say one other bar(but I cant remember for the life of me). I will also say that when I did my ship tour, ANY server was more than happy to take your credit card info and let you purchase a drink. We didnt do it, but that was our experience. There is no way to purchase food. So if they get called out, they will be beat.

Keep in mind, it is credit card ONLY. No CASH of any sort.

 

Good luck and congratulations!! Soooooo close for you now!!

Edited by sandyzag
Added more

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Thank you for your great review and information.  My grandson is getting married Dec 2019 on the Dream. They are  being married before departure in Galveston. 

All that you have shared is good information. 

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On 8/28/2018 at 5:02 PM, sandyzag said:

 The only thing that sucks is the photography packages.. in order to get ANY digital photos you HAD to purchase the 2 grand package. Its as if they kidnap your pictures because they know you will LOVE them and you have to pay a price to get them. Yuck..

Hi sandyzag ! We will be getting married June 2019 on the Carnival freedom . Could you inform me of a price range for the photography package ? 

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Oooppps, just seeing this....  It varies greatly, depending on what you want.  I think a very small package was $399.  I've heard people say that they have been able to negotiate with their photographer...  so I guess it all depends.  Mine would not budge off the $2000 if I wanted the digital pictures.   If I recall, the packages went all the way up to $8000!

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This is great information! Thanks! I am looking at Carnival out of NOLA because they seem the most affordable. However, one of my friends who often goes on cruises says that Carnival is the worse cruise line to travel on. Based on your review, it doesn't seem that bad and seems worth it. Did you or your sailing guest have any negative experiences throughout the duration of the cruise? Problems with any other cruise guest or staff? 

 

Also, do you think it is doable to do a private event instead of an actually wedding? I'm thinking of renting out an area for a few hours on a non sailing day instead of paying for the ceremony. We will probably get legally married before and just want to exchange vows in front of our guest and then party it up. Lol 

Also, did you take pictures in your wedding dress at any of your stops, and not just on the ship? I wonder how feasible it would be to take wedding pics on my non-wedding day. 

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24 minutes ago, Sbrume1s said:

This is great information! Thanks! I am looking at Carnival out of NOLA because they seem the most affordable. However, one of my friends who often goes on cruises says that Carnival is the worse cruise line to travel on. Based on your review, it doesn't seem that bad and seems worth it. Did you or your sailing guest have any negative experiences throughout the duration of the cruise? I would say that no one that sailed with us had any negative experiences.  We had quite a few first time cruisers who fell in love with cruising.  We have already gone on a couple more with them, all with carnival.

Problems with any other cruise guest or staff? I know that Carnival has a reputation of being a "party" cruise line. I have not found that to be the case in my 41 sea days with Carnival.  Are there rude/obnoxious/drunk people?  Sometimes, but no different than in every day life or on other cruise lines.   You never can predict who you will be sailing with or what their upbringing was like. I would say to book a 7 day cruise instead of the shorter 4/5 day cruises and avoid dates during spring break or holidays, when you tend to have a lot more kids onboard.  Every single staff member went out of their way to smile or say good morning/night and they were cleaning all of the time.  Our room Steward Rodney, was out of this world.

 

Also, do you think it is doable to do a private event instead of an actually wedding? I'm thinking of renting out an area for a few hours on a non sailing day instead of paying for the ceremony. If you go to carnival.com and all the way on the bottom of the home page, there is a weddings and occasions selection.  Carnival does offer a "vow renewal" type deal but I never looked into it.   I also never looked into booking a private function during the cruise, so you might have to do some digging on that.

We will probably get legally married before and just want to exchange vows in front of our guest and then party it up. Lol 

Also, did you take pictures in your wedding dress at any of your stops, and not just on the ship? I wonder how feasible it would be to take wedding pics on my non-wedding day. I did not.  So I am not sure if you would be able to use a ship's photographer off the ship.   Maybe see if you know of any photographer friends and ask them to come along with you.

 

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On 9/14/2018 at 11:49 AM, Fortress8363 said:

Hi, I'm new to this forum and am planning my wedding for February 27, 2019. I chose a embarkation day wedding because this is the 2nd time for both my fiance and I and we wanted something affordable, good value with zero fuss and stress. A cruise wedding seemed like the answer. Having read so many reviews and experiences I'm now not so sure.

 

We're are doing the Southern Caribbean 7 day cruise honeymoon and doing the embarkation wedding in Barbados as this is where we live. My main concern right now is about delays or changes in port, as well as all the added planning details that I wasn't aware of when I first had the idea - not the mention all the exhorbitant additional costs for photography especially.

 

I'd like to say though that this forum has been invaluable to me to point out many of the pitfalls and has provided many tips on thigs I hadn't really considered. I'm hoping and praying that everything goes smoothly and right now I would just like to get it over with. I'm pretty much doing everything myself. We're an older couple and I have adult kids, 2 of whom reside in another country. My bestie also lives outside the country so I'm pretty much doing this alone, of course with the support of my fiance, but let's face it, he will go along with whatever makes me happy.

 

Anyway, I'm very glad I found this forum and will provide a review after my wedding. All the best to everyone getting married this year and next who are now in the planning stages.

How was everything? I’m desperate for new reviews as I have booked and are getting married this September 2019. 

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On 8/28/2018 at 5:02 PM, sandyzag said:

Hi Everyone,

I appreciated everyone writing reviews and providing critical information, so that I somewhat understood what would occur on the big day. I figured I will try and pay it forward and here it goes.

Our wedding was on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans.

Documents instructed to get there at 10am, so 10am it was. We had to wait about 10 minutes before they opened up the doors into the terminal. During that time, I was definitely sweating my make up off.. lol.. Once the doors opened up, they let us go in first. Up the escalators we went and then directed to the left, where the priority lines are. Check in was very quick and efficient. Make sure to instruct your NON wedding guests to state they are there for a wedding and are not sailing. Their check in is a little different. Also, keep in mind that if anyone is in a wheel chair, the elevators are roped out for about another 10-15 minutes before they let those people upstairs in the terminal. After checking in, you then go through the Xray and screening machines. After that, you meet your wedding coordinator right after security, She then brings you to the holding area. All none sailing guests have to walk allllllll the way down the terminal to guest services where they will provide their photo ID and get a visitors badge. They will then walk all the way back up to the front of the terminal and all wedding guests then sit in a designated area and wait until the ship is cleared. I have to note that as the bride, it was a bit chaotic and hectic. If you think you will have time to introduce people and such, you probably wont have time to do that. At this time, the coordinator will also take you aside and run through the whole ceremony and reception and how it all should flow.

Once the ship is cleared, they call your party. You are first to go through the line and on to the ship. At this time, all other guest are instructed to feel free to roam around the ship. They are provided a map, with the wedding room and reception room highlighted and the time for both indicated on the map. The coordinator then takes the bride to the cabin used for dressing. I told the whole wedding party to come with me, because right after she dropped me off, she took them up to the Burgundy lounge to do a walk through. Then my girls came back to the cabin. I was told that around 12:50, she would be back to get me to bring me up.(1 pm wedding ceremony) The photographer called the cabin and asked if she could come to it, probably around 12:30 pm. She came and took pictures of us. The girls then left at 12:45 pm to go up to the ceremony room. At this time, I had nothing to do but pace the cabin, waiting for the coordinator. And waiting.. and waiting.. apparently everyone did not get to the ceremony room when they should of, so she was waiting for them all to get there, before coming to get me.

She came to the cabin and up we went. Everything from there went at warp speed. Ceremony was short and sweet, just as I wanted it. The only time you really have to take pictures of EVERYONE as groups is in between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. It was approximately 20 minutes. We then moved into the reception area where guests were already eating and drinking it up. We got announced by the DJ, did our first dance and they moved right to the cake cutting and the champagne drinks. We thanked all of guests and then the Best man and the MOH did their speeches. From there, it was get your party on. The photographer took a ton of "snapshots" during the reception of everyone. I forgot to mention that the coordinator set ups your favors/guest book in the reception room. You just need to assign a "guest" to bring those favors up to the reception room.

My coordinator was TOP NOTCH. She waited on me hand and foot. Getting me drinks and even volunteering to get me food(which I declined because I felt weird having her do that)

All in all, I would rate the whole experience a 10. The only thing that sucks is the photography packages.. in order to get ANY digital photos you HAD to purchase the 2 grand package. Its as if they kidnap your pictures because they know you will LOVE them and you have to pay a price to get them. Yuck.. I wish they just had an all digital package, but they dont. I should also mention that after the reception, bride and groom went off to take pictures around the ship. We also got to miss the muster drill, due to the picture taking.

If anyone has any questions at all, let me know and I'll be glad to try and answer them.

 

oh! one more thing.. I ordered the tropical bouquets for both myself and my bridesmaids. They were absolutely PERFECT and breathtaking. I was glad I did not go with the standard white roses.

 

How much time did you all have for your reception, the 1 hour or the 90mins

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We paid for one hour..  but Im certain it lasted a bit longer...  All non sailing guests were asked to leave around 245/3p.

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On ‎4‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 3:34 PM, Rzexmail said:

How was everything? I’m desperate for new reviews as I have booked and are getting married this September 2019. 

There was one small glitch with the music, but everything else was awesome. So did an embarkation wedding on Carnival Fascination when it docked in Barbados. My husband and I live in Barbados so this was the best option for us. The wedding was to have been held in the Passage to India (PTI) and the reception in the Diamonds are forever lounge. l wasn't comfortable with the décor in PTI, but I wasn't sure if everything could be done in Diamonds, so after trying to see if any other room was available, I left it as is, but really wasn't comfortable. 

 

We were told to arrive at the port for 10:30, my invitations said 11:00 but the WC suggested we get there early and I'm glad we did. Boarding was a breeze. My husband, the wedding party (my 2 daughters, my son and the bestman) and I boarded through one entry and the guests boarded through another. I already had on my makeup so the onboard WC escorted us to our cabin where the guys dressed first and then my daughters and I got ready (only my husband and I sailed so there was only one room). I gave the WC my decorations, favours, gift box, etc. and she took them down to the room where my bff was going to set them up and do a bit a decorating. Meanwhile, apparently the WC told my guests they could go up on Lido and get some refreshments.

 

So when my bff saw the room she was like 'no', this is going to spoil her big day. My issue with the room is personal and has to do with the various deities and symbolism that's in the room which are not in keeping with my belief system. She spoke to everyone she thought would have influence and got the ceremony changed at the last minute to the Diamonds are Forever lounge next door (originally set for the reception alone), so everything was held in that one room and it was spectacular.

 

Around noon or so the photographer called to ask if I was ready and if he could come to take pictures. He was wonderful. He took some beautiful shots (more on that later). After that the WC came for me and we went down to the ceremony. It was beautiful, but it went by in a blur. We signed assembled the Unity Cross, signed the register, cut the cake and threw the bouquet. Only my husband made a speech. We had our first dance and then it was on to the reception.

 

We opted for the DJ and I had gone through the entire playlist of songs and chosen the ones I wanted rather than choose one of the themed playlists on the entertainment form. I had put a lot of work into it and listed the songs in the order I wanted them played and timed them as well, so when I heard him playing songs I hadn't chosen I asked about it and he said no-one had given him the list. The time was whizzing by so I only really noticed that he was playing from my list about 10 minutes before the reception was due to end. I sent my daughter rushing up to the cabin to get the list so that we could at least get in one or two songs. We were able to get in "rock the boat" and everyone went on the dance floor. I had chosen 70s songs. That was the only thing that didn't go as expected. Everything else was fabulous - the food was great and everyone had a wonderful time.

 

With respect to the photos, we only budgeted for the cheapest package because we had my family members and friends taking pics with a variety of devices and cameras. The picture packages are exorbitant. Barbados dollars and 2:1 USD so that makes it every more costly for us. We got the wedding pictures we did buy scanned and added other pics from various family members and did out album ourselves on Mixbook at a fraction of the cost. 

 

The rest of the honeymoon cruise was lovely and I would recommend an embarkation wedding any day as an economical way to get married. I wish you all the best in September and if you wish anymore information I can send you my email address.

Blessings!    

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Thank you all for your reviews - planning an embarkation day wedding (Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas - August 4, 2019) and this has been very helpful!

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:39 AM, Fortress8363 said:

There was one small glitch with the music, but everything else was awesome. So did an embarkation wedding on Carnival Fascination when it docked in Barbados. My husband and I live in Barbados so this was the best option for us. The wedding was to have been held in the Passage to India (PTI) and the reception in the Diamonds are forever lounge. l wasn't comfortable with the décor in PTI, but I wasn't sure if everything could be done in Diamonds, so after trying to see if any other room was available, I left it as is, but really wasn't comfortable. 

 

We were told to arrive at the port for 10:30, my invitations said 11:00 but the WC suggested we get there early and I'm glad we did. Boarding was a breeze. My husband, the wedding party (my 2 daughters, my son and the bestman) and I boarded through one entry and the guests boarded through another. I already had on my makeup so the onboard WC escorted us to our cabin where the guys dressed first and then my daughters and I got ready (only my husband and I sailed so there was only one room). I gave the WC my decorations, favours, gift box, etc. and she took them down to the room where my bff was going to set them up and do a bit a decorating. Meanwhile, apparently the WC told my guests they could go up on Lido and get some refreshments.

 

So when my bff saw the room she was like 'no', this is going to spoil her big day. My issue with the room is personal and has to do with the various deities and symbolism that's in the room which are not in keeping with my belief system. She spoke to everyone she thought would have influence and got the ceremony changed at the last minute to the Diamonds are Forever lounge next door (originally set for the reception alone), so everything was held in that one room and it was spectacular.

 

Around noon or so the photographer called to ask if I was ready and if he could come to take pictures. He was wonderful. He took some beautiful shots (more on that later). After that the WC came for me and we went down to the ceremony. It was beautiful, but it went by in a blur. We signed assembled the Unity Cross, signed the register, cut the cake and threw the bouquet. Only my husband made a speech. We had our first dance and then it was on to the reception.

 

We opted for the DJ and I had gone through the entire playlist of songs and chosen the ones I wanted rather than choose one of the themed playlists on the entertainment form. I had put a lot of work into it and listed the songs in the order I wanted them played and timed them as well, so when I heard him playing songs I hadn't chosen I asked about it and he said no-one had given him the list. The time was whizzing by so I only really noticed that he was playing from my list about 10 minutes before the reception was due to end. I sent my daughter rushing up to the cabin to get the list so that we could at least get in one or two songs. We were able to get in "rock the boat" and everyone went on the dance floor. I had chosen 70s songs. That was the only thing that didn't go as expected. Everything else was fabulous - the food was great and everyone had a wonderful time.

 

With respect to the photos, we only budgeted for the cheapest package because we had my family members and friends taking pics with a variety of devices and cameras. The picture packages are exorbitant. Barbados dollars and 2:1 USD so that makes it every more costly for us. We got the wedding pictures we did buy scanned and added other pics from various family members and did out album ourselves on Mixbook at a fraction of the cost. 

 

The rest of the honeymoon cruise was lovely and I would recommend an embarkation wedding any day as an economical way to get married. I wish you all the best in September and if you wish anymore information I can send you my email address.

Blessings!    

What type of decorations did you bring?

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On 4/27/2019 at 2:34 PM, Rzexmail said:

How was everything? I’m desperate for new reviews as I have booked and are getting married this September 2019. 

What ship and when in September are you getting married? Are you bringing decorations ?

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I’m only bring on wedding favors, supplies for the sand ceremony, our guest book, and cake topper.

25324EC5-BF3E-4B16-A272-6556367C17FD.jpeg

48C9E7BD-A4A0-42B1-91D6-4480BEF73A9E.png

ABB1B526-0853-43FD-9116-A5BC72D60D55.png

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Also I’m getting married on the carnival  Vista September 21st

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Posted (edited)
On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 10:17 PM, haley_hay said:

What type of decorations did you bring?

Hi Haley, I didn't bring any at all. The lounge I ended up having the wedding and reception in (Diamonds are Forever), as the name implies, was beautiful just as is. All I took on in terms of decorations were a few big, glittery butterflies in my wedding colors that I decorated the cake table with. On the cake table they put your bouquets, along with the cake and champagne flutes, so with the butterflies strategically placed it was all quite beautiful. I took my own cake topper, gift envelope box, favors (handmade soaps) and that's it. I also had a Unity Cross ceremony so obviously I took that as well. I kept it as simple and cost effective as possible, because neither of us had a lot of money to spend and it was perfect.

 

Edited by Fortress8363

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On ‎6‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 1:29 PM, Rzexmail said:

I’m only bring on wedding favors, supplies for the sand ceremony, our guest book, and cake topper.

25324EC5-BF3E-4B16-A272-6556367C17FD.jpeg

48C9E7BD-A4A0-42B1-91D6-4480BEF73A9E.png

ABB1B526-0853-43FD-9116-A5BC72D60D55.png

Where did you get those wedding favors from? I like them so much!!!

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