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About dallas_texas09

  1. Quote: Originally Posted by Summer Hi my name is summer and I am trying to plan a wedding in los cabos and was just quoted the price for the wedding planner and was wondering what you were charged for your full time wedding planner? If that is not to much to ask. And also what actually did she do for you besides call the vendors and set up the date and times? I got married in Riviera Maya so pricing might be different. I think I paid $2,500 for their services. It wasn't a flat rate but based per person. She did everything for me. i picked out all of my stuff (flowers, centerpieces, etc) but she made it all happen.
  2. TO Marth and Phoebe: We stayed at the Occidental Grand Xcaret. It's only a few minutes from downtown PLaya del Carmen. Transportation between hotel and wedding was really easy as we hired private vans (4 total, I think) to take us to and from wedding. We coordinated all of this w/ Ajua. We just told them how many vans, what time, etc. If you want you can also have a white SUV for you and your fiance. As for the beach at the hotel, i thought it was fine. This was actually our second time in the Riviera Maya. We stayed at another resort the first time and though they had a stretch of white sand and beach, I HATED the beach. It was SOOO rocky in the water that I didn't even want to go in. So needless to say, we went in the pool for the entire stay. As for the one at Grand Xcaret, though it wasn't a "stretch of white sand and beach" I liked how it was all sandy and more "swimmer friendly." So I was completely okay with the "lagoon" instead of a "stretch." So it's really up to you. I know most people like the idea of a "stretch," but it just wasn't that important to me as long as the it's swimmable.
  3. morenaindc - his name was benjamin aguilar. ajua/maartje found and booked him for us.
  4. Quote: Originally Posted by Marcy M Thank you both SO much. I wish I would of asked this question before we started this whole madness. You have been a huge help and if we were not so close to the wedding date and already booked with the other planner I would switch over. All other Brides out there planning a catholic wedding - pick Ajua as your planner!!! Thanks for the advice on songs and the book - we did not get the book. I am going to talk with or Priest about this weekend! Hi Marcy, You shouldn't have a hard time getting a copy of the book (the church gives it to couples for free), but in case you do, let me know and I will mail you mine. I'm pretty positive I still have it sitting at home. Catherine
  5. dallas_texas09

    Getting married in Playa del Carmen - June '08

    We stayed at the Occidental Grand Xcaret. It's a family resort so kids are allowed. OGX is right by Playa del Carmen -- only a few minutes cab drive from the resort to downtown Playa del Carmen (cab ride cost $10 one way). Our guests and I went downtown a few times for some shopping, dinner, and to enjoy the night life!
  6. Oh, and you should be able to pick your songs too! We chose Canon in D Major, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, and Ave Maria. Father Quinn approved it with no problems whatsoever. The whole process took less than 6 months. We first met with our local parish in March and they had all of our documents sent to the parish in Playa del Carmen by September. Our wedding was not until November but it was good knowing that everything was already set for our Catholic ceremony!
  7. Hi girls, I just had a Catholic wedding in Playa del Carmen and from my understanding, the Church is VERY strict about the ceremony program. There are some Canon laws that the Church has and every marriage ceremony done at the Church must follow these rules (for instance, you cannot write your own vows, pick some random reading, etc.) The first thing when planning a Catholic wedding is to meet with the priest who is ordaining your wedding. Since your wedding will be in Mexico, obviously this is not possible. However, this does not mean you are exempted from going through all the pre-wedding process that the Catholic church requires. So, what you do is contact your local parish. Tell them your situation, that you are having a Catholic wedding in Mexico. They should work with you in preparing your pre-wedding documents. This includes: 1) Meeting with the Priest/Pastoral Associate: they meet with you to discuss the committment of marriage, to make sure you are both going into it for the right reasons, etc. This meeting is pretty much for them to give approval for you to get married at a Catholic church. They will also give you other documents that needs to be coompleted (a questionnaire you and your FI have to take, forms to be signed, etc). 2) You must have a CURRENT and original copy of your Baptism certificate. By current, I mean, it can not be the copy that your mom has from the day you were baptized. The document must have a current "date of issue" date. Also, on the back of your Baptism certificate there should be a notary of all your other Catholic sacraments (Holy Communion, Confirmation, etc.). You can contact the Church where you were baptized to request a current original copy of your Baptism certificate. This process should be easy....I did not have a problem getting mine and I was baptized in the Philippines! 3) Take the pre-Cana classes required by the Church. Depending on what your local parish has to offer, this could be a once a week/6 weeks class or it can be a weekend retreat. We did the weekend retreat. At the end of the pre-Cana classes, you get a certificate stating you have completed the class. Once your local Priest/Pastoral Associate has all of the required documents (pre-Cana certificate, Baptism certificate, all the forms you need to have signed, etc...), they will then write a letter to the parish in Mexico stating that you have completed all of the pre-wedding preparations and have approved your marriage. They will also send all of the original documents to the parish in Mexico. Our local parish in Dallas prepared all of the stuff for us then put it in a sealed envelope. We then mailed it to the parish in Mexico via Fed-Ex. I HIGHLY recommend mailing it Fed-Ex! It is a bit expensive (I think we paid $60for ours) but it is worth it when you're sending important and original information (trust me, you do not want to go through the whole process all over again!). Our local parish also gave us a photocopy of everything they put in the sealed envelope, just for our records. As for the reading selection, after completing all of your pre-wedding preparations, your local church should give you a book (I can't remember the title of it) that has all of the readings approved by the Catholic church. It's divided into different sections: First Reading, Second Reading, Responsorial Psalm, etc. You get to pick one reading from each section. Before printing all of our programs, I had our wedding coordinator (Maartje Oremus from Ajua Weddings) go through the draft with the priest in Playa del Carmen. After we received his approval that everything looked A-okay, we went ahead and printed the rest of the programs. Anywho, your wedding coordinator should have told you all of this. If they are experienced in planning Catholic weddings then they should be educated enough to tell you all of the process and required documents, etc. If you are looking for a wedding coordinator experienced in planning Catholic weddings, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend using Ajua Weddings. When I first started planning our wedding, I had NO idea what the first step was in planning a Catholic ceremony in Mexico. Maartje at Ajua Weddings walked me through everything and told me exactly what I needed to do. She told me who I needed to meet here in Dallas, what documents I needed to have available, who to send it to in Mexico, how to send it to Mexico, etc., etc. They are VERY knowledgeable in the whole process and because of this, planning our Catholic ceremony went without a hitch. It was definitely smooth sailing the ENTIRE way -- we had no problems with our local parish here in Dallas nor with the one in Playa del Carmen. We had no glitches, no problems, nothing. She even arranged for us to meet the priest ordaining our wedding (Father Quinn) before the wedding day. PM me if you have any questions. -Catherine-
  8. Quote: Originally Posted by zeemuir Thank you guys so much for all of your help! I e-mailed the Ajua wedding coordinators, so hopefully they will e-mail me back. How do they work? They coordinate weddings but only at a limited number of venues around Playa Del Carmen that they own? I've read a lot of great things about them, so I'll let you all know how that goes. I've also read about Caribbean Blue Wedding coordinating. Does anyone have reviews about them? I definitely think we will use a wedding coordinator to take a little stress off of us. Thanks again for all of the advice! Hopefully I will get to a point where I can contribute to this forum and not just continue to ask questions No, they actually coordinate weddings at a lot of venues, not just at the ones they own. For instance, I know they've coordinated a wedding at the Xcaret Ecological Park. I had a fabulous experience with them so I definitely recommend them. They did EVERYTHING for my wedding. It made the planning a whole lot easier! Good luck and enjoy wedding planning!
  9. Quote: Originally Posted by brandoo WOW! I can only hope my wedding is as much fun as your looks like it was!! Very cool pics! I have a question for you... we are having a guitarist at our ceremony too... unfortunately the stupid resort won't let us chose who we use, but do you know which songs yours played? I LOVE accoustic guitar, but don't know the first thing about what songs to ask for. Again, you guys look like such a fun couple and you wedding looked amazing! Congrats! Our wedding party walked down the aisle to "Canon in D Major". I walked down the aisle to J"esu, Joy of Man's Desiring". Both sound absolutely beautiful played on an acoustic guitar. It gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes just listening to the songs. Here's a clip of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" on guitar: YouTube - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - J.S.Bach Arr. D.Qualey Here is also a website of a Dallas based guitar ensemble. You can listen to samples of a few wedding songs played on a solo guitar: Classical guitar for Dallas wedding (there's a sample of "Canon in D Major" on there) Hope this helps! -Catherine-
  10. dallas_texas09

    Would you recommend your wedding planner?

    I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED my WC. Her name is Maartje Oremus and she works for Ajua Weddings wedding coordinator. They are actually based in Playa del Carmen! We had our wedding less than 2 months ago and Maartje and everyone at Ajua did a fabulous job planning and coordinating everything! I HIGHLY recommend them to everyone! If you want to see pics, you can pictures of our wedding at Catherine and Will
  11. I had my wedding in Playa del Carmen and worked with Ajua Weddings wedding coordinator. They are AWESOME (you can find my wedding review on the forum)! I'm pretty positive they have something that fits what you want. Actually, I just checked out their website and they do plan events at two beachside restaurants: Playa del Carmen Restaurants, Wedding Reception, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico-Ajua Weddings Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
  12. Quote: Originally Posted by jillhigginsphotography ha - that is funny. In case you all didn't know - Catherine is very CUTE! lol Jill - I sent Will your post and he said I did a great job brainwashing you. Hahahaha.
  13. Quote: Originally Posted by jillhigginsphotography Awww...I heart Catherine!!! I must warn you though - she was not completely truthful! lol She didn't even have an ounce of bridezilla in her - so don't believe that part - she was so concerned about everyone else. Somehow, she even knew I was a vegetarian and had a delicious vegetarian meal for me!! Oh - but this isn't a review about Catherine is it? lol Catherine's vendors rocked the house and her cake toppers were so cute I just went and snagged a couple of shots for you to see. Even the back of Will's jersey had fabulous detail! Thank you for your sweet words! Somehow, she even knew I was a vegetarian and had a delicious vegetarian meal for me!! I found out from stalking your blog. HAHAHA. A little creepy but I'm glad it came out as thoughtful
  14. Wedding Coordinator: Ajua Weddings (Ajua Weddings - Playa del Carmen Wedding Planner, Riviera Maya Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Reception, Akumal, Tulum, Xpu Ha, Cancun, Mexico) A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I don’t even know where to begin to rave about Ajua Weddings! First off, my coordinator was Maartje Oremus. She was absolutely amazing to work with. But before I get into that, I would like to talk more about why we picked Ajua Weddings. The first reason was because we wanted a Catholic ceremony. After much research online, I found that Ajua Weddings are very experienced with planning a Catholic ceremony. With all of the work involved planning a Catholic ceremony, I wanted to make sure we went with someone with experience. Ajua definitely has that! They made the entire process go so smoothly! The second reason why we picked them was because we wanted a non-resort wedding. We wanted our wedding to not only reflect us as a couple, but to also embrace our destination of choice. Ajua definitely made that happen for us! We had our wedding at the AMAZING Capilla Nuestra Senora del Carmen – a cute little chapel centrally located in Avenue 5 in downtown Playa del Carmen. All of the vendors that Ajua Weddings used for our wedding were absolutely amazing. My bouquet was simply gorgeous as were the bridesmaids’ bouquet and the boutonnieres. The cakes (Tres Leches cake for the wedding cake and chocolate cake/chocolate filling for the groom’s cake) were absolutely delicious. I also had a special request to have 2 eggless miniature cakes made for our vegan guests and we got amazing feedback on that – our vegan friends wanted some to take home with them! The guitarist they picked out (Benjamin Aguilar) was wonderful – the music was beautiful and fit perfectly with the ambiance of the chapel. Maartje Oremus (our coordinator) was a joy to work with. The scariest thing for me while planning the wedding was working with someone whom I had never met and with a company that I just randomly found online. To put my dream day on someone I didn’t even know was pretty terrifying. However, Maartje made the whole thing so easy for me. All I had to do was send her pictures of what I wanted and she made sure it happened. She was so patient with me throughout the whole planning process. I don’t know about you girls, but I can be a bit of a bridezilla, but that didn’t faze Maartje at all. She was such a trooper – helping me make my decisions, offering suggestions to me, and letting me change my mind 5 million times without batting an eye! She didn’t even blink when I walked in to our pre-wedding meeting with boxes of wedding stuff! Maartje coordinated everything for me – from transportation, to flowers, to cakes, to music --- EVERYTHING! She even arranged for a van to pick my family and I up at the airport upon our arrival in Cancun. Maartje also took care of everything on the wedding day – all we pretty much had to do was show up and enjoy ourselves. Oh, my mom also meet Maartje at the pre-wedding meeting. My mom’s a pretty good judge of character and after our meeting she told me that she could tell that Maartje is a genuinely good person. She couldn’t have done a better job even if she wanted to. She was the perfect wedding coordinator and I will forever be grateful for all the work she did in making sure my dream wedding came true. Reception Site: Ajua! Maya Restaurant A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ We had our reception at the Ajua Maya restaurant, which is also on Avenue 5 and owned by Ajua Weddings. Ajua Maya is by far the best restaurant and the best bar in downtown Playa del Carmen! The food was SOO delicious. We gave our guests a choice of either the BBQ platter or the rib-eye and both were a huge hit! Our vegetarian/vegan option was the spinach enchiladas and those were delicious also. The ceviche was by far their best dish ever – probably the best I’ve ever had! The restaurant is the perfect blend of 5-star dining and laid-back atmosphere. As for the restaurant staff, well, I don’t think there are words to describe what an amazing staff they have at Ajua! They kept all of us entertained throughout the night – from serving food and drinks on their head, to the infamous legs (very funny), and to the best conga line ever (which, I must say, ends with tequila being poured down your mouth!). Ajua Maya also have a live salsa band playing at the restaurant every night. The music was amazing. It definitely gave our wedding the perfect Mexican vibe! Ajua also catered our beach cocktail party and the food they served at the cocktail hour were also huge hits with all of our guests! I’m telling you, these guys can’t do anything wrong! If you are looking for a unique place to have your reception, rehearsal dinner, whatever, definitely go with Ajua Maya! You will have an absolute blast there and I can guarantee that you will leave the restaurant with happy stomachs! HUGE kudos to Maartje, Vaughan and all the staff at Ajua Weddings and Ajua Maya Restaurant! Destination Wedding Photographer: Jill Higgins Photography (Jill Higgins Photographer Destination Wedding Photography Savannah Charleston Tallahassee Valdosta<) A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There are no words to describe how wonderful Jill is. The first time I met Jill I was barefoot and in my lingerie – this was for our BD session meeting. From the second we met, she made me feel so comfortable. She was so laid back that she just made me feel comfortable instantly. Obviously, this is a must if you have to parade around and pose in front of a camera in your lingerie! In all seriousness, when picking a photographer you want to make sure it is someone you feel comfortable with. To me, it was important to have a personal connection with my photographer because that reflects on their work. That’s exactly what I had with Jill. I had such a great connection with her and I think that helped make our pictures more personal. Jill did such an AMAZING job with our wedding pictures. She captured everything – from the tears, the laughter, and all the fun. Her pictures truly reflected the joy we felt on our wedding day. You can feel the energy of the day just by looking at her pictures. She was with us the entire day of the wedding, from the wedding day breakfast, to getting ready, and then to the ceremony/cocktail hour/reception. She even woke up bright and early the next morning (7 am!) for our TTD session!!!!!! I can’t rave enough about Jill. Every time I look at the pictures from our wedding day, I get teary-eyed. I view our slideshow at least several times a week. Jill’s work is just absolutely beautiful. I sent the link to the pictures to all of our friends and families and everyone has commented on how great they turned out. If you’re looking for a photographer whose pictures captures all of the emotions of your wedding day, definitely, definitely use Jill. Looking at her pictures makes me feel like I’m back in Mexico all over again! I give Jill two thumbs up and HIGHLY recommend her to anyone looking for a fantastic photographer! View our slideshow at Catherine and Will Dallas Photographer: Harry Photo (Harry Photo) A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Will and I used Harry Photo for our engagement and pre-wedding pictures. Both turned out amazing! Harry did such a fantastic job capturing mine and Will’s personalities in all of the photos. He was very easy to work with and just give me free reign on what kind of pictures I wanted. He didn’t blink an eye when I told him I wanted pictures of me in my wedding dress taken in front of graffiti! The other good thing about Harry is that he takes his time with each session. Our engagement session was only suppose to be 1.5 hours….we were in such a roll and were having such a good time that the 1.5 hour session quickly turned in to FOUR HOURS! I think Harry would’ve kept going had I not told him we had dinner plans that night! LOL. Harry’s work is not only wonderful but he gets your pictures to you fast! I think I received the disc with all of my pictures two weeks after each session. Then it only took a week to get my prints! We also ordered two albums from him and he emailed us the proof 1.5 weeks after I sent him my photo selection…then another week to get the hard copy of the albums. He definitely works fast! (and still produce good quality work too!) Harry is also very affordable. His packages are reasonably priced. I looked at a few other Dallas photographers but he fit our budget the best. Don’t let his website fool you – his website does not do his work any justice! I was hesitant about hiring him when I first saw his website, but after meeting with him and seeing his work in person, I was very impressed with his work. If you’re looking for a good Dallas photographer that won’t eat out your budget, definitely contact Harry and arrange a meeting with him. You will not be disappointed! View my favorite pre-wedding pictures at: Catherine Gonzaga Solidon's Photos - Pre-Wedding Portraits | Facebook Favorite engagement pictures can be seen at: Catherine Gonzaga Solidon's Photos - Our Engagement | Facebook Customized Cake Topper: Frosted Art Bakery & Studio (Bronwen Weber Frosted Art Dallas Bakery & Studio) A- Bronwen Webber is the owner and pastry chef at Frosted Art Bakery & Studio based in Dallas, TX. I had a vision of the kind of cake topper that I wanted to have on our wedding cake. I contacted a few bakery/pastry chefs to see who could do a customized cake topper for me and found Bronwen! I wanted our cake topper to be just like Will and I….and it literally was! We met with Bronwen to go over the design of the cake topper. She took down notes while I gave her an exact description of what I wanted. She also asked for close-up and full-body shots of Will and I. The cake topper turned out very well. The quality of her work is simply amazing. Every little detail was perfect. I had sent her pictures of my wedding dress so she could replicate it on the bride and it turned out wonderful! If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you might have seen Bronwen! She’s apparently pretty famous in the pastry world and has competed (and won!) several Food Network Challenges. Her work is very detailed…she captures every little minute thing. To put it simply, Bronwen’s work is exquisite. I’ve watched her compete on the Food Network and the amount of work she puts into everything she makes is incredible. I know that she put in as much work into our cake topper because it couldn’t have been more perfect. However, as happy as I was with the quality of our cake topper, I have to say I was a bit disappointed at the same time. Though our cake topper turned out great, it was not the cake topper that I had in mind. It was not my “vision.†When we met with her, I gave her an exact description of what I wanted – everything from what the bride and group would be wearing, what they would be doing, etc, etc. I was VERY specific. I also emailed her my very specific explanation so she would have it in writing for her reference. When speaking with her, I thought we were on the same page. I was informed by her Office Manager that she would provide a sketch of the topper. I never did get the sketch. I thought she would sketch it during our meeting but she did not. I emailed her and the Office Manager several times after our meeting to request for a sketch. I expressed to them several times that I wanted a sketch in case my idea got lost in translation. However, I never did receive one. My “vision†did get lost in translation and that really disappointed me. I actually felt horrible when we went to pick up the cake topper. Bronwen was in a meeting with another client but came out to personally give me the topper and she and everyone else in the shop were just so excited about it. I saw it and I had to do everything to not let the disappointment show on my face. I’m not going to lie, like I said earlier, the quality of her work is AMAZING. The details that she put on our cake topper were great – my cowboy boots had creases on them….Will’s pants looked real and fit like pants do on a real person…..every little thing was perfect. The only thing was that it was only half of my vision. If I could do it all over again, would I still hire Bronwen? Yes, I would. You can’t find good quality work like that anywhere. Plus, the excitement that she showed when she brought out our cake topper to us made me feel like she honestly thought she captured what we wanted. However, if I could do it all over again, I would’ve tried harder to find someone who could draw and sketch my vision for me so at least this way I would know for a fact that we are both on the same page. Also, on a side note, Bronwen gives you several options for the material used on your cake topper. We picked some type of sugar that makes the topper inedible. However, you can keep the topper for up to ten years, which is why we decided on this material. We actually have our cake topper placed inside a glass case and displayed in our dining room. I love it! It is such a great memento of our wedding day! Pictures can be viewed on Jill’s slideshow (there is not a close-up shot of the topper but you can catch a glimpse of it on one of our cake cutting pictures)
  15. dallas_texas09


    No, I actually don't know how to post my BD shots since I only have the Pictage link (for ordering, etc).....