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Jentwo

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About Jentwo

  1. I believe the day passes are $85 per guest per day from morning until 5pm. There is then an additional cost if the guest wants to stay until midnight (I want to say $135 for morning until midnight). Once the guest has paid this fee, they are entitled to all restaurants for food and drink. If your sister wants to use the beach, that is free. Pelicanos and the Tapas restaurant are on the beach an open to the public and she can pay cash there. But that's as far as she can go....the security is very tight.
  2. I booked my wedding date / locations at the Royal 14 months in advance. For my wedding we never had to put down any deposits but I think that may have changed from other bride replies. Flights are typically not available until 9-10 months out...even shorter for airlines like Southwest.
  3. I was married on a Monday and arrived on the Wednesday before. I chose a Monday because as long as most guests were taking a 3 night vacation or more, it didn't matter if we were married on a Sat or Mon. I also hoped to find better airfares for a Sat to Tues flight vs. Friday thru Monday. By arriving on Wed it was nice to be there as all of the guests arrived (Wed-Sun). We happened to have four friends fly in with us on Wed but you don't have to supply the witnesses, the hotel can provide them at no charge.
  4. I also totally recommend Xel-Ha. I went there with friends and my husband after we were married and in addition to everything listed in the last post, it's all you can eat and drink. The price if you buy on-line w/o transportation is $67. We booked our own van since there was 10 of us. The snorkeling was great - we saw a sting ray and some large fish. The best snorkeling is off of the rocks vs. the middle of the lagoon.
  5. I had these same questions and thoughts as I planned my wedding (just married last month in Mexico). I chose the "get married legally in Mexico" route for a few reasons: 1) I wanted the ceremony to be the official when we said "I do" - which we did with the Spanish speaking judge and English translation from the wedding coordinator. We wanted to have that excitement be live and real in front of friends and family. 2) It wasn't that difficult to get the paperwork in order (nor was it expensive). I guess you can technically save a few hundred dollars by getting legally married in the states because resort packages are cheaper but for a few hundred that wasn't a deal breaker for me. I have not changed my name legally yet so perhaps I'll hit the 'problems' that people have heard of at that point in a few months when I get around to it As for passports....remember that even when you get legally married in the states first, your name is still your maiden name. There's a nice lengthy process to convert your social security card, driver's license, passport and all of your financial info (i.e. credit cards, bank accounts, investments). So...your passport is not a concern unless you do the legal changing in advance of the destination wedding. Make sense?
  6. DJ Carlos did a fantastic job at my wedding. We provided an Excel sheet in advance of songs that we like (to help guide him) and songs we definitely did not want to hear. He started the night nice and easy to get people loosened up and then we had more fun, upbeat music at the end of the night. I've attached some photos from my wedding at the Royal that help illustrate the dance floor set-up. He surprised us with balloons later in the night, which was a blast. I did not have to pay extra for the lit up dance floor (the Royal provided it) but I'm not sure if this is applicable for all brides....please let me know if you have any questions! DJ Carlos Dance Floor_Royal Resort.pdf
  7. istephiez -- I was just catching up on my reading and had a few thoughts for you Hotel rates: my travel agent did the negotiating with the hotel and we ended up with a 3 night package of $560 (including the transfers). I got married in November so I'm not sure if May is much different. November is not the high season....and neither is May so I don't think there should be much of a difference. What I found is that the hotel did NOT show a lot of preferential treatment for the large size. I had all 82 guests stay at the Royal at some point or another (meaning some guests stayed 1 night and some stayed 7) but all in all they stayed there! I did end up getting the cocktail hour food cost waived. My quote for that was $10 pp and with 82 guests plus us, that saved $840. I did also get a free room for the night before the wedding for the groom. After our wedding a girl at the pool told us she had a wedding of 15 and rec'd $200 each for spa treatments and a free trip back! She was also married the year before....not sure if my negotiating is that bad or if the Royal has become more strict! One last cost comment - I loved my flower centerpieces at the tables but it was dark when we got there so who knows how much people appreciated them. We had 11 tables and the flowers total cost was around $500....so if you can come up with a cheaper option that will be a way to save money. If any of you ladies have questions directly for me it will be much more effective to PM (private message) me so I get an email. My email alerts with this string are kind of hit or miss and I'd hate for you to stress more waiting for a reply! After we PM we can just email directly.... Good luck everyone!
  8. istephiez -- I was just catching up on my reading and had a few thoughts for you Hotel rates: my travel agent did the negotiating with the hotel and we ended up with a 3 night package of $560 (including the transfers). I got married in November so I'm not sure if May is much different. November is not the high season....and neither is May so I don't think there should be much of a difference. What I found is that the hotel did NOT show a lot of preferential treatment for the large size. I had all 82 guests stay at the Royal at some point or another (meaning some guests stayed 1 night and some stayed 7) but all in all they stayed there! I did end up getting the cocktail hour food cost waived. My quote for that was $10 pp and with 82 guests plus us, that saved $840. I did also get a free room for the night before the wedding for the groom. After our wedding a girl at the pool told us she had a wedding of 15 and rec'd $200 each for spa treatments and a free trip back! She was also married the year before....not sure if my negotiating is that bad or if the Royal has become more strict! One last cost comment - I loved my flower centerpieces at the tables but it was dark when we got there so who knows how much people appreciated them. We had 11 tables and the flowers total cost was around $500....so if you can come up with a cheaper option that will be a way to save money. If any of you ladies have questions directly for me it will be much more effective to PM (private message) me so I get an email. My email alerts with this string are kind of hit or miss and I'd hate for you to stress more waiting for a reply! After we PM we can just email directly.... Good luck everyone!
  9. A oouple of different questions out there I'll try to address.... Photos: I don't have any other threads to suggest (I typically just did a search on Royal Playa Del Carmen) but I do have some websites I bookmarked that were of other brides at the Royals if you're looking for photos. 1.) Elizabeth Medina Photography Blog Archive Lysiane and Francisco, Gazebo Wedding at the Royal Resort and Spa, Playa del Carmen, Mexico 2) del Sol Photography Wedding Photojournalism 3) del Sol Photography Wedding Photojournalism Zulma: I didn't work with Zulma but have her email: zdominguez2@realresorts.com Best destination wedding forum points: points are accrued for viewing threads and posting. You can steal them from people or they can donate them. I can't imagine ever stealing but I think I remember it was an option! If someone needs points let me know, I probably won't use much of mine and I have a ton!
  10. Hi Shay, Having just been married in the gazebo I'm obviously biased but it was perfect. You and your future hubby face each other and have the ocean on your one side and guests on the other! With a smaller group like yours they will probably seat everyone inside the gazebo so it will still be an intimate event. I don't know what the charge is for the chuppa but the gazebo is free! As for the wedding coordinator - I thought she was nice and did what she was told but didn't offer any above and beyond service. In that regard it felt a little like the 'wedding factory' that the Royal is sometimes referred to as...so I'm glad I wrote everything out and provided instruction to her several times. Overall this didn't bother me. She did her job! Jentwo
  11. Mr. Jentwo fessed up to hacking into my account last night - too funny! Ok, I had my hair done at 10am, make-up right after, probably at 11am. I then had lunch and Claudia arrived at 1pm. If I could do over, I may have had Claudia come at noon and would have had her meet with the groom first because once I had my dress on, it wasn't so comfortable lounging around. I would have preferred my 'getting ready' to lead right to the ceremony. By starting my side of the family photos at 1pm, I was finished with pics at 2:30pm and then had to wait until 4pm for the ceremony. It will be pretty much dark by 5:30pm in early November - we had about an hour to take photos on the beach. We never did make our way inside to the hotel area for couple photos, just the beach.
  12. Hi! 1. I did see one wedding on the beach but to be honest, I didn't pay close attention to whether or not they used the Chuppa. I can say that the ceremony on the beach is typcially to the right of the gazebo but left of Pelicanos. It's a very public spot and I've heard mixed reviews of random people on the beach / guests having enough respect to steer clear of the wedding. 2. I don't know if the updated dance floor is for all weddings. You'll have to ask the coordinator. 3. I did a site visit to the hotel with my mom 11 months before the event and had a private tasting in Asiana. Here I tried everything on my menu (and most for the cocktail reception). It was not a pre-selected menu that the Royal offers, I chose each item. 4. I wish I had more time for pictures before the event. It felt a little rushed. I don't remember any photos with my mom or sister beforehand while I got ready. As for things being done that I didn't ask for? There's not too much - I'm extremely organized and provided lots of detailed instructions (both in email and paper when I got there). I had the reception tables laid out in print, a lot of the guests at each table, etc. My fiance provided further instruction for the sand ceremony the day of the event. 5. The guests were able to hear just fine. The wind wasn't too bad but I'm sooooo glad I wore my hair up and I'm guessing many of the guests did too! A microphone was provided for the judge and that same mic was used for the readings. The hotel has a stereo system set up with speakers for the ceremony music and a DJ. This would have been nice to know because I had asked a friend to hit play/stop for the ceremony music. You just need to provide the DJ the instructions of timing, etc. We provided a CD to them. That's all for now. I tried to dump my 'key learnings' in the original post but continue to reply if more questions arise! I know there are a million details I didn't comment on or just forgot to include.
  13. This is actually Mr. Jentwo (I've hacked her account). She had already asked me once before to go over her review before she posted to make sure she didn't miss anything, but of course I thought of some stuff afterwards. Sorry, Jentwo. -While it shows in the picture, I don't think it was actually mentioned in the post, but our ceremony was held at the gazebo. Since we had over 80 guests, the gazebo itself served as the "altar" while the seats were in the patio facing the gazebo. While you may have some people watching from the sides, don't worry about it. Trust me when I say that everything (other people, sound) outside of your ceremony will completely disappear. -As mentioned, the ceremony was at 4:00 PM. This turned out to be a great time of day to have it. I'm not sure if it would be the same all year long, but at least at this time of year, the gazebo area is shaded from the sun and it wasn't hot at all. I was wearing a suit and am notoriously someone who doesn't do tremendously well in the heat, so this was HUGE! -The one drawback with the 4:00 wedding in November was that there is not going to be much sunlight after the ceremony for pictures. But it was important to us not to see each other before the ceremony. So we couldn't waste time with pictures after the ceremony. That being said, I thought the setting sunlight looked good in some of the pictures I have seen taken by family and friends. Keeping my fingers crossed until we get our pictures back from Claudia. -Again, while shown in the pictures, I don't think it was mentioned that our reception was on the beach. (Ceremony - Gazebo, Cocktail Hour - Courtyard, Reception - Beach: The full resort tour). Absolutely awesome setting. Our guests were in awe. Our only concern going into the night was if it was going to be too windy on the beach (it seemed to us there were some strong breezes on the nights before our wedding...may have been due to a hurricane over Cuba). But the night of our wedding, there was a very faint breeze. Enough to keep everyone cool, but not uncomfortable at all. Somebody upstairs must like us. -The updated dance floor was great. Not just in appearance, but functionality. Some guests (and even I) were a little worried if it was strong enough. But nothing to be concerned about. Let's just say that I'm pretty sure a packed dance floor for House of Pain provided enough of a stress test. -We found out that having everyone from the wedding decide to go take a dip in the ocean during the reception isn't going to happen....at least late at night. Time to sell Jentwo out....she quickly ran back to the room with about 20 minutes left in the ceremony to put on a bathing suit (with shorts and t-shirt on top). She was bummed when there was a security guard out by the water that wouldn't let us go for a swim. -I can't stress enough how great the wait staff was at the rehearsal reception, cocktail hour, and wedding reception. We were told this a countless number of times by our guests. Okay, that's all I've got to add for now. Like Jentwo said, I'm also happy to answer and questions. Especially if you are looking for a guy's point of view.
  14. I've now been on this website about a year. I am so grateful for the tips and quick responses - thank you again! I always thought it would be very clear to me what to include in my wedding review but now I've re-read what I wrote so much that I feel like I'm missing something! Here it goes - lots of attachments too! Please feel free to reply or PM me with questions (or if you need points!) ************************************************** **** 2008 Wedding at the Royal Playa Del Carmen 10 day trip, wedding on 11-10-08 82 guests (84 including us) Overall wedding rating = A+ !!!! What we brought over…. -Wedding dress oBought it online after trying it on at House of brides – difference in price of $800! $400 online and over $1,200 at store; my alterations were done by a local seamstress for $230. oAmerican Airlines wouldn’t let me board early but I did manage to find some space in the 1st class cabin); had dress steamed at resort -Mini white lanterns (used as additional table decorations at reception) – I had 6 friends carry over a box of 12 in their luggage ) qty = 72 for $150 oWedding Favors, Unique Bridal Shower Favors, Wedding Gifts ♥ -Sand ceremony vases & sand oNesting Unity Sand Ceremony Vases & Minature Nesting Vases – Weddingstar - Wedding Accessories - Cake Toppers - Unique Wedding Favors oColored Sand – Moon Glow Candle Supplies - Wholesale -Luggage tags for place cards (we bought them on eBay (qty = 50 ~ $1.44 each) but below is a site that carries them) oFlip-Flop Luggage Tag Wedding Favors -Menu cards (made my own) -Programs (made my own) -Gift bags (used tote bags) – our wedding colors were orange and green so we had both color bags and they were great to spot who was with us at the hotel (more for our guests vs. us since we knew everyone!) Promotional tote bags custom sizes and styles from cheap totes -Thank you cards oShower - ocean and beach wedding theme : Romantic Stroll Thank You Cards - pkg. of 50 - 93047 oWedding - ocean and beach wedding theme : Paradise Thank You Cards - Set of 50 - 54124 -Stuff to fill the gift bags oCandy/Gum oCrossword puzzle or Sudoku oMints oPens/Highlighters oCD (with personal photos on covers and variety of music) oLanyards (for room key and money) oTums oWelcome Letter oHand Sanitizer oDeck of cards oFlip flop note pads We checked into the hotel online before leaving Chicago and picked our room (ocean view). To be honest, I don’t think the Ocean View is worth the extra money unless you really want internet convenience. I don’t remember the exact difference, but it was substantial. Pre-Wedding Meeting…. -We met with Micaela the first full day to discuss the wedding ceremony details and get blood tests (we were married legally at the resort). I too had emailed Micaela a million questions before coming down and she at times was slow to get back to me. I’ve read this quite a bit on the forum and all you can do is to be patient. -We paid for the wedding after this pre-wedding meeting and used traveler’s checks to avoid paying credit card overseas fees (our cards charged 3%). -We picked out flowers for the centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres. -We also needed our four witnesses present to sign some paperwork. If you don’t have any the hotel will provide them. We would have liked to provide some heads up notice to our friends but they were around the pool and more than happy to come over and sign (passports and tourist cards were needed). The Rehearsal Cocktail Hour (2 hours with food and drink) -We held a rehearsal the day before the wedding at the gazebo at 4pm. There was no one from the hotel to assist with this so my husband wrote out some key ‘to do’s to help direct the wedding party and parents on where to go and timing -We served cocktails and appetizers after that…and had dinner with our respective family’s that night (the Royal charged $15 a head) -We were really tempted to go to a restaurant on 5th ave. but struggled to spend a $1,000 when all of our guests were staying at the resort already! The Wedding Day -Pre-Ceremony – groom got a shave in the morning and I got my hair and make-up done at the spa on-site. The prices are high but it’s obviously convenient. I had the photographer arrive at 1pm (we chose Claudia Rodriguez) and she stayed until 9pm. First my side of the family had pictures with her and then we retreated to my room and the groom had photos with his family (yes, we were trying to avoid each other that day to help build up the fun of him first seeing me in the dress walking down the aisle). -Ceremony – We chose the Classic wedding package for $1,280 (I’m not even sure if this is still an option since they changed a bunch of their wedding packages). The ceremony went well but did have a few surprises. First, we didn’t know which judge was going to arrive until he got there (the English speaking one or the Spanish speaking one). The Spanish speaking one came and Micaela did the translation). He arrived a few minutes after 4pm so that didn’t create too much stress. Micaela and Zulma brought the reception decorations about 10 to 4pm so the groom was sweating a little hoping it would get there on time (this includes the centerpiece, sand ceremony stuff, etc.) The weather was amazing but I’m really glad I had my hair up and hairsprayed well because it was windy right there near the beach. We didn’t realize that our 4 witnesses would be called up after the paperwork was signed so that was interesting….we also didn’t realize that we had to do a thumb print in the paper work! The judge provided some tissue to wipe our hands but I immediately thought, this is great, what about my nice white dress! We were disappointed we couldn’t have our readings and sand ceremony before the ceremony with the judge but Micaela said they are very strict. It would have been nice if someone told us this before two weeks before the wedding. -Cocktail Reception (2 hours) – we chose to have the cocktail two hour reception in the grassy area outside the main lobby for a change of scenery. There were tables for people to sit and cocktail tables for those with fresh legs. There was a CD player and we brought two CDs to entertain the guests while the groom and I took pictures on the beach. I only managed to sneak in a few appetizers and a drink since the photos took at least an hour. -Reception - The reception flew by. We had our entrances for the parents and bridal party and then continued with the speeches right away. After that we had our first dances and salad/soup was served shortly after. The food was good but to be honest, I didn’t have much time to eat! I was having too much fun visiting with friends and family and dancing on the lit up dance floor! This was an awesome surprise. For months I had searched the forum looking for pictures of what the Royal offered. From the photos it looked like this rickety white dance floor that would give splinters if your shoes weren’t on. We thought we’d have to pay the DJ $700 for a nice lit up dance floor. When we arrived to the resort we asked to see it and they had it out the next night in the convention room for another party. Turns out the resort had invested in the light up dance floor and it was included in our price already! oDJ – we requested Carlos (who is a referral through the Royal) The Royal Restaurants -We ate at all 6 Royal Restaurants + 2 sister restaurants oPelicanos – limited menu but enjoyed the food and the outside ambiance; husband loved the ribeye at dinner oSpice (buffet) – convenient for quick meals; very tasty French toast and omelets for breakfast oAsiana – sushi is average, but chicken teriyaki was good oMaria Marie’s – tasty lamb (steak was average); chocolate dessert that takes 15 minutes to prepare was outstanding oMarias (sister resort) – traditional Mexican menu; thoroughly enjoyed the chicken enchiladas and fajitas oTapas & Pintxos – average tapas; flank steak is delicious oChef Table (only available if you book Ocean view room and above) – we went during the steak night; enjoyed the private-type dining experience and 5 course meal oIL Pescatore (sister resort) – Italian menu; lasagna was very good Welcome Bag Letter.pdf One month notice letter!.pdf Our Menu Card.pdf Our Wedding Program.pdf Wedding Snapshot for BDW.pdf
  15. I am less than 3 weeks out for my wedding at the Royal and just found out some disturbing news regarding the ceremony. Micaela explained to me that the judges for the ceremony are more strict than ever and will not allow any readings, etc. What this means is that the first part of the wedding is the exchange of vows and then once he leaves we can have readings and the sand ceremony. I feel like this is anti-climatic to the 'I-do's'. Who is going to announce us even if we do readings and the sand ceremony after the vows? What I'm wondering is how future brides that are getting legally married are going to handle this and how past brides have handled it? I'm very bummed and need ideas please! Thanks. PS - I haven't uploaded anything in a while so if '09 brides have questions or want samples (OOT bags, music, etc.) I'm more than willing to share!
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