Sorry for my late review! Hope my experience at Dreams Cancun will help all the future dreams brides planning their weddings. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
Getting to the hotel:
Most of our guests were coming from New York by Jet Blue or American Airline. Both airlines have daily direct flights to and from Cancun. Everyone arrived to the hotel with no delays. One thing that we should have done was to warn my guests about timesharing selling in the airport. Several of my guests have never been to Cancun and were stopped by timesharing people. They spent almost an hour with them and missed their shuttle representative from American Express who were waiting for them by the airport entrance. Fortunately, they were able to find the rep in another terminal.
About 40% of my guests booked through my TA and the rest booked their trips on the internet. My TA gave Daniela a list of guests who booked through her and I also provided a list of guests booked their own. Somehow, only the list provided by the TA ended it up in their system as â€œour wedding guestsâ€. Most of our guests booked â€œsupersaverâ€ or â€œgarden-viewâ€ rooms, but most of them got upgraded to ocean view / dolphin-view rooms. I think everyone was pleased with their rooms â€“ their favorite part was the 24-hr room service. The A/C in one of my guestâ€™s room was broke one night and they were moved to the â€œtower clubâ€ since there were no other rooms available. Our honeymoon suit was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. There was a very cute â€œhoneymoonersâ€ sign on the door and beautiful flower petals on the floor. A bottle of champagne and a bowl of fruit was on our table.
(+) Daniela was very responsive. Generally, I would get an email response from her within one day. About one month before our wedding, her response was usually within hours. We went back band forth several times on the changes of the contracts and she was very patient about all of our changes. Pretty much everything was settled before we left NY and we finalized everything including the bills during our half-an-hour meeting two days before our wedding. Several girls in this forum had problems with their color of their chair bows. Daniela bought samples of the chair bows to us during our meeting and we were able to tell her which one we wanted. The color turned out great!
(+)One the day of the wedding, she knew exactly what we wanted, and executed everything very well. I have wedding favors, napkins, party favors, guest books, etc. Everything was set-up just as we discussed. During our reception on the beach, there was a blackout, it was completely dark. Daniela quickly got the technician on site to fix the wire and set up more torches on the beach. The light came back on within Â½ hour.
(-) Daniela told us someone will pick up our dress/suit for pressing the day before our wedding and she will check if there is any availability for him to stay in another room the night before our wedding. She was off on that day, so no room was arranged and our dress/suit were not picked up from our room. Fortunately, we were able to call the cleaning room in time to get our dress/suit ironed and we got a room from the front desk.
(-) Before I left NY, I requested Christian to do my hair/makeup and Daniela told me that she would set up an appointment for me. During our short meeting, I confirmed with her again for my appointment with Christian and my trial hair/makeup session with him the day before our wedding and she told me everything was set up. The next day, I went to the spa and they told that Christian is not booked for my wedding and he wonâ€™t be able to come back since heâ€™s at another wedding in a different location. Instead, another lady (forgot her name) would be doing my hair/makeup for me. Left with no choice, I decided to give her a try. I was soooo glad I did the trial session. My hair was okay, although not 100% satisfy but it was acceptable. Unfortunately, her makeup skills were horrible. We tried at least so many different styles and both of us were frustrated. She just kept putting makeup on my face and rubbing my face/eyes. Finally, my friends asked her if she had any makeup removers because everything she put on was just a mess, maybe we should just start overâ€¦.. I think I was in the spa for at least three hours and both of us were exhausted and I completely gave up on her and decided to ask my girlfriends for help. I wished Daniela would have told me that Christian was not available and I can at least find some back up plan before I leave NY.
Group Dinner/rehearsal dinner: We didnâ€™t really plan a group dinner / rehearsal dinner. Since my momâ€™s birthday was the day before our wedding, we had a surprise birthday party for her. The hotel arranged a free birthday cake and we had a great dinner at the Japanese restaurant for all of our families and a few of our friends. They were able to accommodate all 15 of us without advance notices. The waiters were extremely nice and they bought out mixed appetizers without even being asked. We ordered sushi/sashimi/entries/sake/etcâ€¦ everything tasted great!!! BTW: everyone in the party agreed my momâ€™s birthday cake tasted better than my wedding cake!
OOT bags: Every room gets an OOT bag (beach towels, beach bag, underwater camera, flip-flop, sun block, and wedding timeline). My girlfriend helped me delivered most of the bags. For the couples that she didnâ€™t know (about 5 or 6), we gave the bags to the concierge for delivery (I believe it was $3/bag). It was a lot of stuff to carry from NY to Cancun, but it was definitely worth it.
Wedding day: We went to the spa around 12. Since I had a test run the day before, she knew exactly what she needed to do. One of my girlfriends has long and thick hair. It took 3 hours for the hairstylist to do her hair. The other two girls and I went back to my room to do make up and we were constantly calling the Spa to check on her. We ended up have to postpone our wedding by almost 30 minutes because of the delay in the spa.
Flower (+): I picked my bouquet from the upgraded list and paid a little extra. It looked exactly liked the picture from Daniela. I also bought table centerpiece. It turned out that you donâ€™t have to stick with the pictures from Daniela. They are very flexible. For me, I wanted to match the color of the flowers to my bouquet, but none of the centerpieces she sent me had that color. I picked one of the styles in the pictures and Daniela was able to change the color for me. If you think the price is too high but you like the style, they could also change the flower to lower the price.
DJ-PSAV Presentation Services (-): Daniela put me in contact with Lola from PSAV. Lola was extremely nice and patient. We had great email communications. I also put her in contact with our MC (we were lucky to have a friend who is a professional MC for weddings). Taking advice from Susan in this forum, I arranged a meeting with Lola and requested DJ to come with her the day before my wedding. Both of them came and we discussed our list of songs that we want to play in the wedding. The MC assured us that they had all the songs we requested and everything would be great. On the day of wedding, the DJ DIDNâ€™T SHOW UP! The light and sound technicians from PSAV showed up with their equipments, but no one had any idea where the DJ went. We tried to contact Lola and call the company. The technicians also called their company and contacted the DJ. PSAV eventually sent a backup DJ, not the wedding was almost over. Fortunately, my MC and FH were able to use our songs from our IPODs and everyone had a blast. Nobody knew we had totally different songs from what we planned. I had to say that it was completely unprofessional for the DJ not to show up in our wedding. He didnâ€™t notify PSAV/dreams that he wonâ€™t be able to work that night. As rep from PSAV, Lola was extremely sorry about this incident and at last we negotiated that we would only pay her the equipment fees (light & speakers).
Photographer â€“ We used Vincent (Matt & Solâ€™s assistant photographer) as our photographer. This is probably the best decision weâ€™d made for our wedding. The pictures were amazing. He was so fun to work with, everyone loved him. He was able to capture everyoneâ€™s emotions. Because of the DJ incident, our reception was delayed by almost an hour. Vincent and his assistant Diago so understanding and accommodating that they offered to stay a little longer to take more pictures for us. If you would like to me some of our pictures, please feel free to pm me.
The ceremony: it was extremely windy in the gazebo. I didnâ€™t wear a veil and really glad that I didnâ€™t. I think it would probably be blown away anyway. The minister was kind of a disaster. It was a little difficult to hear her clearly (wind and her accent). My husband asked her several times to repeat. In retrospect, I would recommend the minister to make her speech a little shorter. I didnâ€™t understand half of what she said anyway.
Cocktail hour and reception: we were taking pictures during the cocktail hour. We didnâ€™t have any of the food, but from what I heard the food was great! Daniela showed us pictures of the menu and we just ordered the food from the pictures without tasting them first. We had our cocktail hour on the terrace and the mariachi trio played during cocktail hour. Our reception was on the beach with dinner buffet. We also requested separate vegetarian meals for our friends. Everyone loved the food especially the shrimps from â€œsurf/turfâ€. Before our wedding, we were worried that it would be too windy and hard to dance on the beach. Both problems were not an issue at all. Everyone danced and laughed together. Before I knew it, my husband was thrown into the beach and was completely wet.