This was by far the most stressful and confusing part for me. I had a ring on my finger and thought finding the perfect place to get married would be simple. WRONG. We wanted to get married this summer and with it already being January I feared that dates would be already booked or booking up fast. We also knew that we would be working with hurricane season and couldn't put the wedding off till Sept.
Initially we were trying to decide between Cabo and Riviera Maya. I quickly learned that there is not as many all inclusive resorts in Cabo (which was one of our 'musts') so we knew Riviera Maya would be our destination. I spent countless hours researching the different resorts. We had a budget and anticipated that 40 - 50 guests would be attending so that I could budget according to each resort. I made a binder and printed the wedding info, pricing, pics, etc from the resorts I liked. On the tab for each resort I then did a break down on cost. There were a few resorts that I was able to automatically nix due to cost. I was then looking at photos of a resort online that guests had posted and that's when I really started getting worried. Obviously the hotel websites post their most glamorous photos of the wedding and don't show you the not so glamorous parts. This was our wedding day and not only did I obsess at first how perfect I wanted it but I also wanted our guests to have an amazing time as they would be taking the long trek to Mexico to be with us. I started reading tons of reviews and was able to narrow things down to 4 resorts. I still was having trouble picking a place for our wedding that I had never seen before. That is the moment that I found DestinationWeddings.com. My fiancé could see how stressful this was for me and while we had discussed getting a travel agent, we didn't know there was wedding specific ones. Scott signed us up on the website and the next day I heard from Penny.
Penny was a life saver. She was so knowledgeable about the Riviera Maya and had been to almost every hotel there. She even had her own personal photos that she shared with me. She gave me open and honest pros and cons with each resort. I finally felt like I had a way to figure this out without going crazy reading everything online for hours. Penny recommended a few resorts and they were actually some that were my top. Seeing her personal photos really helped. Both Scott and I are foodies and so we were able to narrow things down to a Karisma resort. I really loved the wedding set ups at the Azul Sensatori and the Plaza Zavas for the reception. The one downfall (or so I thought) was the beach. Penny explained to me while the resort and location is beautiful you can't necessarily jump in the water right infront of the hotel due to the coral. I am a HUGE beach person and while she explained that if you go to the left a little there is a gorgeous beach to go swimming at, I was still a little bummed. That is until I saw an old friend's wedding pics on fb. She had gotten married at a resort that we were considering which had a gorgeous beach. So gorgeous though that during her wedding ceremony everyone was in the beach and in her photos. Even during her vows you could see a man behind them in his speedo! Right then I realized while I love getting in the water I can walk down a little and for my wedding avoid all the bystanders in their itsy bitsy swimwear.
I then had a friend that had actually been to a wedding a few month earlier at the Azul Sendatori and I called her. She raved about the rooms, the service, the pools, and the food! She even took pics of her food bc she said it not only tasted amazing, but the presentation was beautiful. I asked her about the beach and she admitted that everyone was having such a blast at the pools that they never made it down to the beach. She explained that her and her husband would def be going back to a Karisma resort.
That's when we decided that Azul Sensatori was our location!