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About zeemuir

  1. I found this site to be very helpful when we did our destination wedding, so hopefully this will be my “pay-it-forwardâ€. Get ready for a LONG REVIEW… Here is a link to a slideshow of some of our pics (pics by Vincent from Zasil, and I made the slideshow) This is a password protected video on Vimeo Here is a link to a few of the pics from our week that are primarily of the venues. Most of the pics of the actual wedding are by our professional photographer, but I added in a few from our guests that give a good idea of what the venue looks like Picasa Web Albums - lkmuir - Playa Del Car... My husband and I got married in Playa Del Carmen on January 3rd, 2009 and it was UNBELIEVABLE!! We had 101 guests who all came down for the New Year and stayed through our wedding. We had events planned all week, so I have a bunch to review. My BIGGEST recommendation is to take at least one trip to Playa to see everything before you make any deposits. I PROMISE it is worth it. We originally planned to get married at the Blue Parrot Beach Club, but we ended up getting married at XCaret Eco Park instead. My mom and I took a trip to see Blue Parrot a few months before our wedding and I decided it wasn’t right for us. We got married January 3rd (HIGH season) and even when I saw a wedding at Blue Parrot during the low season; it did not feel private at all. Blue Parrot is right in the middle of the busiest section of the beach, and the beach is very narrow. The wedding my mom and I watched was set up on the beach, and there was a CONSTANT flow of people (all in their bikinis and Speedos) walking just behind and in front of the ceremony. I honestly wanted to cry for the bride. The lounge area (where they sometimes have receptions) is also not very private. Doing a reception on the beach-front palapa might be a little better, but the Blue Parrot beach club doesn’t close down the “club†for a wedding, so there is still club music going on. We had already put a deposit down on the Blue Parrot for our wedding, but Paula (the coordinator at the Blue Parrot who is WONDERFUL) let us move our deposit to do our rehearsal dinner their the night before instead. We did a BRIDAL LUNCHEON at La Casa Del Agua and it was BEAUTIFUL!! We did it in the morning so they didn’t over-charge us (we just paid for what we consumed) and they let us have a whole private area (we had about 50 ladies come). They sent us the menus ahead of time and we chose a few item (that were the cheapest) and made up our own abbreviated menus for all of the ladies to choose their meal at the luncheon. The service was pretty slow, but it was a nice lazy morning (and we had the alcoholic beverages flowing so everyone was happy). We were on the terrace (the “beach view†side of the restaurant). Their prices were really expensive to do anything at night (we looked at doing the wedding reception there and I think it was overpriced for that). Overall, I would give them a good review and we were very happy with it. We did a welcome dinner at Zenzi beach club, which is a really nice (newer) beach club not far from the Blue Parrot Beach Club. The club is really nice, but the owners are TERRIBLE. I would stay away from that place. It turned out ok for us, but it was a HUGE headache leading up to the wedding. The event coordinator changed 3 times in a 6 months span, and no one could ever tell us what was going on. Just a few weeks before the wedding (after itineraries had already been sent out to our 101 guests) the owner told us we couldn’t do our event their anymore. In the end he let us do it, although he wouldn’t make it private for us like he had originally promised and didn’t have ANYTHING set up when the guests arrived. We did a Mexican buffet at sunset for all of our guests, then they set up a screen on the beach and we played a slideshow of my husband and me. The guests didn’t know there were any problems and said they had a great time. They also said the food was wonderful. Overall, we would NOT recommend Zenzi beach club. We did our rehearsal dinner at the upstairs palapa at Blue Parrot (the VIP terrace) with only 40 guests (wedding party and family) and that turned out very nicely. The food was good and not too expensive, and the VIP terrace is very nice (although it was VERY windy the night we were there). We had a Mexican trio play for a cocktail hour, and then we had a DJ play music during dinner. This was good because the DJ had a microphone we could use for people to make toasts. They had a nice set up, with round tables and chair covers with light blue bows. Our only complaint was that the SECOND our time was up, they literally took our chairs out from under us and kicked us out. Once the Blue Parrot club gets going, the music is REALLY loud (the young people did a lot of clubbing their, but the older guests stayed away). If you are planning a wedding at the Blue Parrot, I would just make sure to check it out ahead of time and make sure it is what you are looking for. It feels very different in real life than it does in the pictures. We did our wedding at XCARET ECOPARK and it was UNBELIEVABLE!! Seriously, my guests still haven’t stopped talking about it. It ended up costing more than Blue Parrot would have, but it was worth it. I know every girl thinks that her wedding is the best, but this venue was literally the COOLEST think I have EVER seen in my life!! We did our ceremony at the Chapel, St. Francis of Assisi, and it was PERFECT. It is an open-air palapa that is an officially sanctioned Catholic chapel, although we are not catholic. My uncle did the ceremony (we actually got legally married in the USA before we left, then my uncle conducted a symbolic ceremony in Mexico). We had the XCaret trio play (XCaret won’t let you bring your own musicians) who were ok (not worth the money we had to pay for them, but better than pre-recorded music would have been). We hired Patricia Biedma from Artevelas [patriciabiedma@gmail.com] to set up candles down the isle (which I’m really glad we did). She was wonderful and extremely helpful (always answered e-mails very quickly). Artevelas can set up big beautiful candles at any venue that will allow it, so this would be something I would recommend as a nice touch to any wedding. XCaret wouldn’t let us start the wedding until 6pm, which is probably good so there are no tourists around for the ceremony, but it meant that the whole thing was after dark (since we got married close to the shortest day of the year). XCaret offers a cocktail hour down on the ocean, but we decided against that. It costs extra to use the venue, plus it would have cost extra to have the alcohol and potentially appetizers. We decided to go straight to the reception after the ceremony and start dinner, and I think it worked out great and the guests seemed to think so as well. The walk to the reception is SO COOL!! They set up tiki torches everywhere and you walk past some Mayan ruins, then down this huge spiral path with a big bonfire in the middle of it (it’s hard to explain, but it is SO COOL!) Then you walk through this CAVE and over a glass bridge, where servers are passing out margaritas, then suddenly it opens up into this HUGE reception hall (La Isla). It has a palapa roof, but it is 3 or 4 stories high. I did not see any pictures ahead of time that did this place justice. There are rivers that run around the edges of the hall and they have floating candles set up. The lighting is UNBELIEVABLE! Any time there was a toast or anything, they would put spotlights on my husband and I. The lighting for the dancing was incredible as well. The chairs are the leather sling-back chairs that are all over Playa, and they have cobalt blue dishes. The hall is huge, so it might feel overwhelming for a group smaller than 70 (and I think XCaret had a minimum number of guests needed to do a reception here). We hired the XCaret DJ (who was also very expensive, but ended up doing a great job). We had the dance floor on the stage, which was also very cool. They have AC in the hall, but we were still all sweating up a storm from dancing so much by the end of the night. The servers were incredible. When they first came in to serve dinner, they all walked down this huge ramp with fire on the platters and made this beautiful entrance. The hall is rustic and elegant at the same time. XCaret is incredibly organized and professional, so it was great for my husband and I to just enjoy the whole thing. Our coordinator was Veronica and she was great. I know that a couple of the other coordinators are not as good, so request her if you can. We had Vincent from Zasil photography do the photographs, and this guys is AMAZING. He is this kind of over the top French guy who lives in Playa and is a real “artist†type. Some photographers stay out of the spotlight, but not this guy. He had our guests laughing and playing and was all over the place, climbing trees and rolling around on the ground to get the perfect shot. My guests still talk about Vincent, and a number of my friends have talked about flying him to the US for their weddings. You can look at our wedding pictures to see if you like his work. We used Mike Cantarell from Cancun Wedding Videos for or videographer. We had an appointment set up for a couple of days before the wedding to pay the deposit and set all of the final details for the wedding and he never showed up. I e-mailed him a bunch of times in the days before the wedding and never heard back from him. Then, the day of the wedding, some guy with a video camera showed up to XCaret saying he was Mike’s cousin or something and he videotaped the wedding. It was ok but nothing special, and the lack of communication was very scary the days before the wedding, so I wouldn’t recommend him. Plus, I think there are some better videographers in Playa. Vanessa Jaimes did the flowers and she was FABULOUS!! It was difficult ahead of time to communicate what I wanted, but Vanessa sent me a picture of some flowers she had done at XCaret in the past, and I just said I wanted the EXACT same thing. They were UNBELIEBABLE!! She also did arrangements at the chapel for the wedding. I had NO idea what to expect for those flowers, but it turned out PERFECT. They are a little modern (not very traditional). The day of the wedding, she called saying that the flowers she had ordered for my bouquet came in and didn’t look very good, so she changed the kind of flowers in my bouquet the day of the wedding. I don’t even remember what they were, but they turned out wonderful!! She was not cheap, probably comparable to US prices (and I know she has a minimum she charges for doing weddings) but I would recommend her 100%!! We had Irene from Caribbean Blue Weddings arrange transportation for our guests to and from the wedding and do the cake. She charged WAY too much, got my bridal party COMPLETELY LOST the day of the wedding (despite my obsessive-compulsive directions explaining where they needed to get in XCaret), then the cake got there 2 HOURS LATE (2 hours after the reception had already started). I had really wanted the cake set up so the guests could see it as they entered the hall. The cake was BEAUTIFUL (exactly what I had asked for), but I wouldn’t recommend these people. They weren’t organized and couldn’t figure out why I was upset that the cake was 2 hours late (it was an $800 cake, I just wanted people to be able to see it before we cut into it). They also tried to tell me that my bridal party hadn’t gotten lost. I would strongly recommend AGAINST these people. We had our guests choose their own hotels, so they stayed all over Playa Del Carmen. There are literally hundreds of little “boutique†hotels, so I would recommend taking a look at them in person before choosing where to have your guests stay. Although our wedding turned out very well, I would also recommend against trying to do it during high season (we weren’t able to get our guests good deals because of that). We REALLY loved Playa Palms, although I think it got loud at night because it is right in the middle of the “club†district. None of our guests stayed a La Tortuga, but we ate there a couple of times and it looked really cool. Delfin was very CHEAP! We had about 20 guests stay there. A group of 5 of my friends got the suite and paid $20 a night each. It was clean and simple and right on 5th ave. A couple guests stayed at all inclusives, but we didn’t see them much because they stayed at the hotels the whole time (since they had already paid for all of their meals etc). We had a bunch of guests stay at Xamen Ha, which is a condo complex just south of the city. It was much calmer down their and they had a nice pool. The beach tends to disappear down there, so it is not great if you love the beach. The beach is MUCH wider north of the city, so if that is important to you, find a place up there. There is a TON of new development, so I’m sure you could find a nice condo up there for a good deal. My family and bridal party all stayed at Villa Sacbe which is condos and it was SO COOL!! Really, unbelievable. Villa Sacbe, El Taj, and Porto Playa are all the same builders, and each unit is a private owner. The complexes are VERY small (maybe 9 condos??) and just outside the complex doesn’t look very nice, but inside they are great. They are all right next to each other, and right in the middle of town. It is a short taxi ride to Wal-Mart, so you can buy food since there are full kitchens at the condos. My husband and I stayed at the Blue Parrot suites which were really nice, but I think a little overpriced (and not as unique and Villa Sacbe). Hopefully this was helpful!! Again, here are some pics to check out… Here is a link to our wedding video, password is: playadelcarmen This is a password protected video on Vimeo Here is a link to a few of the pics from our week that are primarily of the venues. Most of the pics of the actual wedding are by our professional photographer, but I added in a few from our guests that give a good idea of what the venue looks like Picasa Web Albums - lkmuir - Playa Del Car...
  2. HI Samandry - I see that your wedding was February 2008. I am getting married at the XCaret Chapel in January 2009 and having a reception at La Isla as well. I would LOVE any info you could give me about how your wedding went!! We are not able to start our wedding until 6:30 and the sun will set at 5:20 so it will be completely dark. I am REALLY worried about that!! Did you see the chapel in the dark? Do you think I need to find some extra lights somehow so our guests can see us as we say our vows? (IE tons of candles, hanging christmas lights, anything like that) Anything you can tell me would be awesome. Also, if you have any pics from your wedding I would love to see them. My e-mail is zeemuir@rmlearning.com Thanks so much!! For everyone else, if you want to see some good pics of the chapel and la isla at xcaret, check out this link (click on XCaret and it will download a powerpoint document) Preschool Educational Software - Dora the Explorer World Adventure! It takes a LONG TIME to download, but it is very helpful!
  3. The information they sent me said they won't start ceremonies in the chapel before 6:00pm, at the Ponds before 7:00pm, and actually I think they will start a reception at La Isla (the cave) at 7:00pm as well. I've put in a request to start the ceremony sooner sooner, so I'll let you all know what they say. Here are 2 more wedding slideshows at XCaret. This photographer is AMAZING, hu?? del Sol Photography Wedding Photojournalism del Sol Photography Wedding Photojournalism
  4. So, we are booked to have our wedding at the Blue Parrot for Janaury 3rd, 2009, but after a visit to Playa last week, we are considering moving the wedding. I have started e-mailing the people at XCaret Eco-Park, and Liliana has e-mailed me back the same day I e-mail her :-) (good sign!) My biggest concern (besides price) is that they won't even let us START the wedding until 6:00 for the ceremony at the chapel, 7:00 at the Ponds for the cocktail hour, and 9:00pm for dinner at Dos Playas restaurant. The sun will set at 5:20, so the whole thing will be after dark. It seems odd to pay a bunch for this beautiful place but not be able to enjoy it at all during the day light!! Anyway, here are some pics of a wedding here with a dinner in Dos Playas (I THINK, please tell me if I am wrong!) matt adcock photography And here are 3 short videos of weddings here PlayaWeddings' VENUE: Xcaret Eco-Park album on Vimeo Jaime, I would LOVE any info you could pass on about this place! I have all of the price lists and everything, but I would love any pictures you took while you were there and what you might think about doing the wedding after dark? Also, do you know if the pond area is located on the ocean? Do you have any pictures of it? We are having 100 guests. Do you think that La Isla restaurant would look empty with that many people? From the pictures I have seen, I think we like Dos Playas a little better. What where your thoughts after seeing the place? I would be SO GRATEFUL for ANY info you have! If you can send pictures, send them to zeemuir@rmlearning.com THANKS!!
  5. Oh, and we are having our wedding at the Blue Parrot Beach club. I have TONS of info on it (and pics and so forth) so e-mail me if you have specific questions zeemuir@rmlearning.com
  6. I just returned from a trip to Playa. We are getting married on January 3rd, 2009, and our families will be staying at the Blue Parrot Suites. They are very nice places, but to be really honest, after visiting Playa last week, I think they are a little overprices. Part of our problem is that we are going down over peak season (New Years) so EVERYTHING is very expensive. But I do think there are other hotels that are just as nice that are not as expensive. The Blue Parrot suites are located one block away from the Blue Parrot Beach Club. It is far enough away from all of the clubs on 12th that I think it should be pretty quiet at night. However, there is a TON of construction going on in the couple of blocks surrounding the Blue Parrot Suites. Hopefully this helps a little bit! Best of luck!
  7. 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
  8. My fiance and I have decided to do a destination wedding and we LOVE Playa Del Carmen. We'd like to find a venue close to or in the city (so our guests have hotel options). I think we'll have 75 - 100 guests and we would like a venue that has some sort of exclusive, large palapa or gazebo that the reception could take place under (preferably with a view of the beach without being right ON the beach with room for a dance floor. Does anyone know of such a place?? I've been looking around this site and seeing some really beautiful places, but I thought I would put it out there in case anyone had ideas...
  9. Quote: Originally Posted by amyh Ahh! Thats the beauty of Mexico, I couldn't get that here in CA so I had to go to PV, haha! No really, this place is not as pricey as it seems. Why do you think we jumping on the opportunity! Some one else said that they wanted "Nordstroms on a Target Budget" -- well I'm right there with you! PM me if you want pricing info! Hi Amy, would you mind sending me the pricing as well?? I'm new to this website and am not sure how to pm you my e-mail is zeemuir@rmlearning.com. Thanks so much!!
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