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About cohnin08

  1. Dear Jacie -- If it helps, we were very happy with the photographer we used for our wedding at Le Kliff in May. His name is Paul Van Vleck and is new to PV (although he did wedding and other photography in Los Cabos for years). He is originally from San Diego. Paul was simply a joy to work with, worked really hard and built a terrific rapport with our family and guests. We thought he was just great and highly recommend him. I would suggest contacting him directly to see what his fees would be without the wedding planner mark-up. His website is Paul Van Vleck Photography and his contact info should be on the site. Feel free to tell him that Jennifer (Ortega) & Steve Cohn recommended him! Good luck!
  2. We recently got married in PV and worked with EM-Vallarta. Zach also suggested using the Beach House for our rehearsal dinner. If he hasn't already told you, however, the projected costs of holding an event there are quite steep because for private events, the venue must be rented and everything brought in (and you'll need to bake in EMV's percentage on every dollar spent within the budget as well). Given the cost of an event there for the level and kind of event we were planning (a rehearsal dinner with traditional Mexican food buffet, music and cocktails), we instead opted to have our dinner at El Dorado next door. The ultimate cost for a terrific event at El Dorado was more than half what it would have cost us for a nearly identical event at the Beach House. Hope this insight helps!
  3. I too hate to blacklist anyone, but having recently gotten married in PV in May under a contract with EM-Vallarta, I have to warn future couples to be very careful about working with them. We personally liked both Zach and Barbara and our research, diligence and now personal experience supports their reputation for throwing beautiful events. However, only those with money to burn and a limitless budget should consider using them. Their prices are indeed grossly inflated and although their sample invoices reflect steep event costs, there are significant costs that those sample invoices still do not include, and once you are pregnant with your wedding, it is nearly impossible to avoid them. Unfortunately, they also don't kick into gear until quite late in the game (they told us that this was entirely the norm in Mexico and basically told us we were being uptight for wanting costs locked down and plans in place before it was almost too late to do anything but spend the money they wanted us to spend). We ultimately had to move venues due to an increasing attendee response and were fortunate enough to find a venue that did not allow outside wedding planners. Because of EM-Vallarta's practices and prices (which do NOT reflect discounted vendor costs under anyone's definition), moving the wedding to a restaurant location saved us thousands of dollars without compromising any level of quality. We still had to have a post-wedding event planned by EM-Vallarta in order to honor our contract with them and spent over $6,000 for a taco buffet and jugs of margaritas for the after-party! Although the post-wedding event was indeed lovely, it was a high price to pay for what it was. Nonetheless, even given the cost of the EMV after-wedding party, we still saved thousands of dollars NOT using EMV for the wedding itself. Again, EMV plans and executes lovely events, but couples who are the least bit cost-conscious should definitely look elsewhere. EMV's demographic is American couples who are unfamiliar with PV and the actual costs of goods and services there, and we agree that the fees and costs they charge are opportunistic in that regard. Unfortunately, EMV also pushes for couples to be hands-off until it is too late to avoid EMV's significant mark-up. We do think that couples who do not have budget parameters and who just want to show up with a check in hand would be very happy with EMV, however. EMV would be the perfect choice in that context. For anyone else, however, my husband and I agree that if Prisar or another planner whose practice it is to share actual vendor contracts and receipts is available that you will find it preferable to use them.
  4. Quick, but hopefully helpful note -- I got married in PV in May (at Le Kliff Restaurant with events and guest accommodations at private villas). We stayed at Hacienda San Angel on one of our scouting trips in order to check it out for potential guest accommodations. Although the hotel itself is both beautiful and charming, we had a surprisingly negative experience with the owner (who was unexpectedly abrasive and actually insulting; treatment you do not expect at that level of hotel and price point!) We later were advised by local acquaintances and vendors that the owner is quite unpopular in the local community and a challenging employer and that run-ins with her are quite common. Needless to say, we did not recommend the hotel for accommodations for our wedding guests. Interestingly enough, we only later ran across some reviews of the hotel on popular travel sites like Fodors, Trip Advisor and Yahoo travel in which a bride relays a nightmare experience with the owner that culminated in her wedding being cancelled, deposit forfeited and legal wranglings. I was not surprised to read the story given how offended we were by the owner of the hotel. You may want to contact the couple who wrote the reviews on those travel site for insight about wedding experience and possibly how you can avoid similar problems . . . . Good luck!
  5. I just got married in May and originally did an enormous amount of research on private villas in PV. We booked at Casa Valerie in Mismaloya, although we ultimately had to move the wedding to Le Kliff Restaurant because our guest list outgrew the capacity at that villa. We would likely have tried to move the wedding anyway, however, because of the unfortunate and unnecessary headaches and problems caused by the owner of Casa Valerie. I would strongly advise against holding any kind of event at that location or even booking it for guests. We were, however, extremely pleased with several of the other villas we booked in the same neighborhood for guests. We booked about 6 or 7 different villas in the Mismaloya neighborhood. None were for groups larger than 12, but booking separate villas that are within walking distance of each other really worked for us and our guests were delighted. I would highly recommend Casa Kalista, Villa Suzannah and Villa Delfin. I would definitely avoid Casa Valerie and Villa Sirena. Hope the info helps!
  6. Hello! My name is Jennifer and have recently joined this terrific discussion and information forum. My fiance and I were recently engaged in September and are looking to potentially celebrate our wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo or nearby areas this coming spring. Any suggestions, knowledge or history future or prior brides have for private villas or boutique hotels for a celebration between 80-100 guests will be welcomed with open (and grateful!) arms! Thanks in advance for all valuable information and insight!
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