I've struggled with writing about Day 2 of the wedding weekend because I feel less happy about the rehearsal dinner than about the welcome bbq and reception. It's my own fault, really.
Back when we began our wedding search, I really liked Nikki Beach Turks&Caicos, though I had some doubts. When I went to visit T&C in January, I stayed one night at Windsong (a very cute hotel which had just opened--I was their only guest that night--and which we ultimately didn't choose because they weren't planning on opening a real restaurant on the property and they are quite close to the busiest beach on Provo, the one in front of the Beaches complex) and one night at Nikki.
I liked the Nikki rooms a lot. I'm a sucker for things like the fact that they have Mitchell Gold couches, like we do at home. I also had a really nice meal at their restaurant and found the woman who was helping me, Lisa, to be very pleasant and helpful. It's true that once I saw the Gansevoort property, all other hotels were out of the running, but honestly Nikki didn't even make the short list because of their man-made beach. I didn't feel like I could ask guests to fly to T&C only to have them lounge at a bay like the one that Nikki sits on. I had felt the sand on Grace Bay, soft, white, beautiful and found Nikki's grainy sand to be really lacking.
IC, however, never liked Nikki. He found it completely pretentious and was very resistant to any events being held there. When he and I were in Provo in March, a few weeks before the wedding, we had still yet to choose a rehearsal dinner location (but we knew we wanted it offsite as we wanted to show our guests something other than Gansevoort in Provo). I was pushing for Nikki hard. The Gansevoort has a real "wow" factor, the second you walk onto their property. I felt Nikki, even with their fake beach, had the same thing. This is the view from the lobby in a pic I took in January:
We had dinner at Nikki and IC was not wowed. He thought the place was nice but nothing compared to what he would call "our" hotel. I kind of saw his point. Still, he had not yet seen the best part about Nikki Beach--its phenomenal penthouse. This is half of it:
When he did see the penthouse deck, he did admit it was really something. Still, he resisted. IC is big into cues and when Nikki didn't comp our meal that night he said to me "K, these people don't care if they get our business. It's a terrible economy, no one is traveling, they know we're here to book a party for 65 people, they should've comped our dinner." I was making excuses for them. I mean, they had initially met me when I was looking for somewhere to hold our wedding. They didn't get that business, why should they assume they're getting this?
Anyway, IC gives me what I want and we end up choosing Nikki for our rehearsal dinner. I arrange for a bus to come pick up our guests and Nikki tells me they'll provide us with their "party bus" for our family which fits 10 people.
Also, turned out that the night before our rehearsal dinner, Nikki would be celebrating their one year anniversary with a big party (supposedly 1000 people) featuring a performance by Maxi Priest. "Um, did they tell you they were having this huge party when you were looking to book our wedding there?" IC asked. No, no they hadn't. "So, you're telling me we could've been having, what, our welcome bbq on the night of their wild bash?" I take his point.
The bus for our guests arrives on time and we pile everyone in. No Nikki bus. I call my contact there. She assures me it's on its way. I tell the bus with the guests to leave. 15 minutes late, an SUV arrives. It fits 6. We have 10, as planned. I can't say I maintained my composure all that well. There might have been some F bombs and an irate bride-to-be yelling at the SUV driver to get another car LIKE RIGHT NOW. I was really pissed mostly because IC was right as always, this place did not care about our business.
We got to our rehearsal dinner 45, or so, minutes late. I wasn't going to let the delay bother me. Our guests seemed like they were having a good time. And the space really is beautiful.
The rest of the pics in this post are by our amazing photographer Matthew Szlakowicz:
IC rocked his awesome white suit which he had so feared wearing:
I actually had a dress mishap. I had bought this amazing dress at the Barney's warehouse sale back in January and had planned to wear it to the rehearsal dinner. That night, I snipped the tags off, put it on and it was HUGE on me, totally not the form fitting dress I had bought a few months earlier. I know, I know, it's hard to feel very sorry for me, waaaah I'm too skinny, but it was really annoying and extremely lucky that I brought another dress (I had thrown it in the suitcase at the last, last minute).
Anyway, back to the party. I thought the food was pretty average, my shrimp were overcooked, not nearly as good as the two previous meals I had had at Nikki. But ok, it's hard to cook for 65 people. I kept giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Then it got really, really, I mean, really windy:
Our guests were wearing towels to keep warm:
IC asked "you think they don't know how windy it gets up here? Why did they let us do a dinner here?" I was still defending them. I said "it's just a windy night, they had no way of knowing!" Of course, that seemed less likely when we left the party and went downstairs to a totally windless night.
It was a fine event, our guests said nice things about it but if I had to do it over I'd have it somewhere else. I hate complaining about things like this, I mocked myself in a conversation later that weekend about this post (like, waaaah my diamonds don't match with my other diamonds!) so I do get that we're so lucky to be able to have a wedding weekend like the one we had. Still, the girl in me who grew up poor and understands the value of a dollar really feels that everything should be perfect when you're paying what we paid. And it wasn't. We'll live. Wedding ceremony and reception write-up coming up soon!
UPDATE: Email from my husband: I wasn't a big proponent of the place but your post is too tough. Everyone had fun. It had its issues but was good overall.
He's right, it was good overall, I don't want to seem overly harsh but I do want to be honest.