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Everything posted by marip123

  1. 3$ plus 15% plus the cost of the cake seems really pricey. I agree with Barrie. Our cake was good, and they copied it exactly how I wanted it. That's why I was so annoyed that I never saw it again because I really wanted to just look at it and admire it. I don't think they think you're crazy, but they know you're a bride, and to them you are money.
  2. Maura, congratulations! Have a wonderful time. I can't wait to see pictures!
  3. Hi there, Barrie, congratulations to you! You looked absolutely beautiful and I love, love the decor! AS for bar, we did not do consumption due to the reasons Barrie stated. My mom tried to talk me into it, but there was just no way, and Barrie is right, they were always right there with another drink. It was nice to not have to worry about it. As we were having dinner, they would come to our tables and refill our wine glasses or our water constantly. Also, people my mom said would not really drink were definitely enjoying the margaritas. We had a basic bar - wine, beer, daquiris, margaritas, pina colada, water and soft drinks. It worked out perfectly, and I knew exactly how much it was costing us. hope this helps. Maura, have so much fun! The time is so close!
  4. This is what we did, and it worked. Here in San Diego, anyone can pay 50 dollars and be a commissioner for the day. We are not religious, and wanted a secular/civil ceremony, so we had asked our good friend to perform the ceremony. We never had two ceremonies. She received her certificate, we took it down to Mexico, and told the county we were getting married on 6/8/08 in San Diego county, on the beach. ON the certificate it says June 8, 08, but the location in San Diego county. This way, my sister was still a witness without having to come back to San Diego. It worked out beautifully.
  5. IT's really not fair and a senseless sitauation. I do hope things are resolved soon. On a positive note, I received my refund!
  6. For 2 weeks we had 3600 plus some vouchers for restaurants and the buccaneer queen. We came home with 1500.00 and we paid for everyone's taxis to dinner (3 taxis full of people) for our Saturday dinner. We also paid cash for everything.
  7. We had an honor table at the reception. We bought a giant sombrero and a bottle of tequila for Ben's uncle because he was supposed to come to our wedding, and sadly he died. We also put out pics of the people who had passed and various momentos of friends & family that were not with us. I'm really glad we did it.
  8. Quote: Originally Posted by sassybride Ya cause that looks like whipped cream not butter cream. I think I will ask for fondant. Do you know what the cutting fee is if you bring in a cake? I don't know the cutting fee. oh and was your wedding the only wedding of the day at the westin? Yes, it was the only wedding the day of. There was one the day before.
  9. Quote: Originally Posted by sassybride I'm so happy the food was good. We will go with the sea bass and the chicken one...Did the Westin want to know ahead of time how many wanted the pork and how many the sea bass? Yes, I had to guarantee numbers one month prior. We got basic bar as well and had to really BEG for it! I don't think we got wine in ours?!? Was the wine in the basic bar? wow, that's amazing if it was! Yes, I had to beg for our basic bar too. It did come with wine, and the servers served our basic wine instead of us having to come to the bar for it. I'm looking into sweet dreams for my cake now..I really want a nice cake and the icing really looks whipped! Yes, the icing was really whipped, it wasn't buttercream, but they did offer to do a fondant, but I thought we were getting buttercream, so I opted for the no fondant..
  10. Quote: Originally Posted by Maura steph, amazing review! i have to come back with questions later when i have some more time. my boss keeps coming over to my desk and i want to write out a thoughtful response. two quick things though: 1) are you glad you used the bamboo to cordon off the ceremony site? Yes, they left the front open so we could have the ocean view, but it was nice to have that sense of privacy. It was funny, when we were saying our vows, there was someone at the pool yelping whohoo for us! 2) i dont remember seeing the flower petals for the aisle on your BOE - how much were they? they looked absolutely gorgeous! No, the petals were last minute, and I"m glad I got them. They added some nice color. They were $50.00 for the box or maybe $54.00, but totally worth it.
  11. Quote: Originally Posted by nicole.gia Hi Steph! Congratulations on your big day and being a married woman now!!! Thanks for such a detailed review, it really helps so many brides with decisions when it comes to their own wedding day. Thanks for the tip on Volaris airlines. I live in San Diego too and had no idea this was an option...very exciting! As for the venue, I had the Westin on my list of possible venues for my wedding...knowing what you know now which venue would you have chosen? Thanks! Nicole Hi Nicole, I don't know what venue I would have chosen. We really didn't look around because we just fell in love with the Westin! Volaris is awesome. I was looking into flights to acapulco and puerto vallarta, and you can fly there for less than 200! I can't wait to try them out.
  12. Quote: Originally Posted by bshortzie Steph- The pictures are great and you look fabulous! Thanks so much for writing the review. It was very helpful, especially since our wedding is next Sunday. I will not let the cake out of my sight! I am using Suzane Morel as well so I am glad you had such nice things to say about them. Its also wonderful that you thought the food was so good. I am going to use an Ipod at my reception dinner, we have a guitartist coming for the ceremony. I guess I can just keep my fingers crossed and hope all goes well! Barrie, it will go well. don't worry. The westin made sure the day of went perfectly. It was the before and after that was annoying! You're going to have an amazing time. I can't wait to see pics!
  13. Quote: Originally Posted by sassybride Thanks for the awesome review Steph! I'm happy that the wedding service for food, drinks etc was very good. So the crusted Sea bass was really good? I think this is what we are choosing! Did you have any food during cocktail hour If you did, what did you pick and was it good? The drinks good at your reception? What drink package did you pick? Thanks! The sea bass was really good. I even asked for a to go box. The waiter looked at me like I was crazy, but it was so good, and of course, I could hardly eat that day. We did have food during cocktail. We did passed appetizers, and I had been worried it wasn't enough, and there left overs. We had bruschetta (didn't try it), sausage in a pastry puff (didn't try), the baguette crouton with blue cheese and candied walnuts (so good!), and chicken wing with mango dip (also very good). Yes, the drinks were good. The bar, we did a basic bar, that I negotiated with Lorena. We had wine, beer, pina coladas, and margaritas, soft drinks, and water. We did this for 4 hours. We had a lot of drinkers in our group, and it turned out perfectly. Everyone drank for the 4 hours and beyond. And, most everyone just drinks beer and wine, so there was not really any reason to have the full on bar there.
  14. My and my little sis Centerpieces - we brought all this stuff on the plane with us. It can work! Bugambilias Terrace - love the firepit Bugambilias terrace Deana from Suzanne Morel - Thank you! & thank you Bradley Cocktails! set-up on the beach Club Regina - view from our balcony Our cake - I never saw it again after this picture
  15. Westin Wedding Review – 6/8/08 All in all, the week leading up to the wedding, the day of, and the week after were perfect. We encountered a few minor and major hiccups, but everything turned out just fine. All our family & friends were so happy about making it down. Everyone had a great time. We would do it all again if we could. It was just more than words can say. We flew down the week before our wedding date, and I would absolutely do that again. It was nice to chill out, get to know the town, and to finish any tasks that needing looking after. We flew down on Friday the 30th of May, and all our guests flew down the next Friday, the 6th of June. I chose not hire a planner, although it probably would have been helpful the day of, because I’m a planner myself, and I enjoy doing these things, but if this is something that is not enjoyable, I would suggest hiring someone to help you, otherwise, you will be highly stressed, and that is not a way to plan your wedding. Flight (A) Alaska Air – We were on time. All in all, flying Alaska has been painless. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hang my dress, but we gently folded it and put it in the overhead compartment, and it came out totally fine. We booked our reservations well in advance, so we only had a $50.00 Overage fee. The night before we were weighing all our suitcases to make sure we weren’t going over the 50 pounds, but I thought we could only have one checked bag without paying, but it turns out we could check in 2 bags, so we had thought we would be paying $150.00, so it was a nice little savings right off the back. We carried our hurricane vases in a Rubbermaid container. Ben packed everything because he is really good at it. We put foam all around, and wrapped the vases in bubble wrap, and cushioned it with the pashminas I was taking down, and nothing broke. We also had 33 favor candles, sandframe, vase gems, and I know you all understand.. I really can’t believe we pulled it off. Our best man took down 30 other votives that would go with our centerpieces. Everything made it down safely. Yay! Volaris Airlines (A+)– We are in San Diego, and all our friends flew Volaris through Tijuana. The fares are half and sometimes less than half the price of rates here in the states. There is a shuttle that picks you up from downtown San Diego and drives you right to the airport and back. All our friends flew Volaris, and they had an easy and cheap flight.. And the bonus is you get free alcoholic beverages! Everyone had nothing but good things to say about them, so just wanted to put that out there for anyone who might live in this area. First Hotel – Solmar (A-) This little hotel was very charming and inexpensive, and we had a room right on the beach. We could walk right into town, yet had the privacy we wanted when we got to our hotel. The hotel is on the pacific side, and really we thought it was in a great location. We stayed here a week. On the downside, the beds were tiny double beds and extremely hard. Second Hotel – Club Regina (Westin) (A) These condos were absolutely perfect. I was able to rent through someone I found through VRBO.com. He was able to give us 3 one bedrooms and 4 two bedrooms. WE had a 2 bedroom that was again right on the beach. We really couldn’t have asked for a better place. It was definitely wedding central. We did a big Costco shop the day everyone came in and provided margaritas, beer, sandwiches, and various snacks. The condos had kitchenettes, and most of us made use of them at some point. It was nice to have the option of not having to eat out all the time. A few guests, who were not staying the whole week, booked at the Westin. The condos are built right into the cliff, so little buggies would cart you around the property. We never had a problem getting a buggy. They ran 24 hours per day. I was a bit concerned that my 88 year old grandma would have a hard time with some of the stairs, but they gave her a room that didn’t require stairs to climb, and the buggies were always available. Each bedroom had an amazing Jacuzzi tub and the wall overlooking the ocean in each bedroom was an entire window. Really, really amazing. I wished we had more time to enjoy the tub and the view, but next time. The one thing that was missing was restaurants. There was only one on the Club Regina property, and it would only serve breakfast to people in the timeshare presentations. The other restaurant options were at the Westin, and really the only non-expensive one available there was La Cascada because the La Playa restaurant was closed. This is the reason we don’t give them an A+. Transportation – Transcabo (Ungraded and waiting for refund of money) We hired aiport transportation and shuttle to and from dinner through Transcabo, and that weekend, the taxi union was halting all private shuttle services with the government’s backing. Needless to say, the shuttles never came. I was livid and freaking out, but it all worked out. There were always taxis available. It has been over 2 weeks now, and I’m still waiting for an over 600.00 refund. As long as they give this back to me, I won’t have anymore bad things to say about them. I just hope I get this money back! I’m just crossing my fingers this refund shows in my account. Jorge was my contact, and he said they put the credit through right away. This was on the 7th of June. Welcome Dinner – Mango Deck (A) I found this restaurant from BDW. Everyone really enjoyed it. Garrit, who is on BDW, was extremely helpful, and very responsive with all my emails and questions. He gave me a good price, and I’m really glad we went with Mango Deck. The only thing was we were supposed to have fajitas, and the tortillas took a long time to come, so I was finished with my dinner by the time they came. That’s it though. Everyone really loved the atmosphere. I was looking for something fun and on the beach. We had fajitas (chicken, beef, shrimp), chile rellenos and flan. Everyone raved about the chile rellenos and the flan. They portioned out a section of the restaurant with balloons. There was an MC there keeping us all entertained, Ben’s brother volunteered for a “game†and won everyone free tequila shots. Again, it was great, but it was FREEZING cold!! Luckily, they had nice Mexican blankets waiting for us. If you’re looking for a fun & laid back atmospheres, I totally recommend them. Flowers – Cabo Flowers (A+) Francine was extremely helpful and easy to work with. I basically told her my colors, and she made a recommendation, I responded back and that was that. Originally we had chosen a canopy that was really pricey, so I opted for 2 flower arrangements instead that could frame the ceremony, the reception, and we had them for the whole week to admire, and I would just sit at the kitchen table and stare at them. It was so many beautiful flowers. I really had a hard time leaving them. We managed to smuggle a few roses and daisies back with us. I really, really loved our flowers, and I’m so happy because ordering them from afar was a little sketchy, but I really couldn’t have asked for more beautiful flowers. Hair & Make-up – Suzanne Morel (A+) Well, I know they always received high grades and really they were truly professional and excellent at what they did. I did go in and have a trial. My stylist and make-up artist’s name was Deana, and she was fabulous. Suzanne wanted me to mention that brides should have trials that way you know exactly what you’re going to get the day of. I have a bob right now, and wasn’t sure exactly what could be done, so I’m extremely happy I went in for a hair trial. I only had my make-up done the day of. I really wasn’t concerned about that. I figured anyone can do make-up better than me, and from what I had read about Suzanne’s, I had nothing to worry about, and I didn’t. They transformed me into a beautiful bride. They also did my sister’s hair and my mom’s, and a great job on them too. They were both very happy. Photographer – Bradley Fraser (A+) Another extreme professional and I really appreciated this. Like he says, he made us all feel comfortable, and his photos were more than we could have asked for and something we can cherish forever. He was late for our pre-meet, but was apologetic and compensated us for this. He delivered our discs to us the morning we left, and it was so nice to be able to come home and look at pictures. I really can’t say anything more about him except if you go with him, you will be happy you did. Westin – (B- to c+) This is the hard part to write. After we visited the Westin last year, we were so excited to have our wedding day there, but honestly, they were pretty difficult to work with. Throughout the year, it took 2 emails in order to get a response back. My planner, Lorena Vasquez, was always very nice, but it was just frustrating a lot of the time to always have to send an email and know you’re going to have to forward it again to get an answer. When we were finalizing all the plans, it took so many back and forths because they just didn’t have it right. She had recommended a particular salad to go with our meal, and on the menu she sent me, it was a Caesar salad not the salad she had recommended. She quoted me a price on cake, and then on the invoice, it was a different price. She had one sound system listed, when I had reserved 2. I had to look very closely at everything because there were just so many little things wrong or missing. Also, they had presented it to me like I had to go through them for everything, and all the vendor prices they were quoting me were outrageous. After I started looking into hiring my own vendors, I realized they were quoting me a 50% mark up plus 10% on top. We had a pre-meet the day before the wedding. The meeting, they were very professional and organized, and had everything in order. I was so relieved because I really didn’t know what to expect. They said they would be at our room the next day at 11am to pick up our centerpieces. They had a layout of our reception, and we visited the beach area. The meeting went well, and I was feeling better about having our wedding at the Westin. The day of the wedding, 11am, and nobody shows up. I finally called them. I’m not sure if it was ½ or 1 hour later, but again, it took that second follow-up for something to happen. They did come and picked up our centerpieces. The set-up was beautiful. The service during the ceremony, cocktail, and dinner was perfect. The food was exceptional. We had sea bass and orange-mustard pork. We had an apple tartalet for dessert. I had ordered a cake in addition to the dessert. I had told them we would do our cake cutting during cocktail hour. We did our cake cutting during cocktail hour and they took our cake away, never to be seen in all its glory again. They claim they cut the top layer up and offered cake to our guests, but they NEVER offered cake to any of our guests. There were guests, who were waiting for it, and it never came back and it was never offered, and I’m still pretty upset about this because they lied. I really need to get over this cake drama, but I was really looking forward to our cake, and after I saw it, I thought it was so beautiful, and it was just taken away from us. But, all in all, the day of at the Westin was perfect and the service was exceptional. This is where I again have a problem with the Westin. As soon as 10:30 rolled around, they just started cleaning everything up, and not giving anyone a chance to collect anything. I had asked the Westin to collect our centerpieces and we would get them at a later date, but they threw away our placecards and our menus. The only thing they saved was our centerpieces. I don’t know. I guess I thought they would save everything we had given them, and I apparently was wrong, and quite disappointed. I called on Monday for our cake (cake drama again), and 4 hours later we received the bottom layer of our cake with no explanation as to where the other layer was. This is when I contacted Lorena, and she informed me that the banquet captain had cut the top layer and offered to everyone, but nobody accepted (LIE). I met with Lorena to go over final billing, and scheduled to have the centerpieces delivered at 9am the next day. They never showed up during the entire next day. I called her and told her they didn’t show up, and she said they would come the next day. They did come the next day after another phone call wondering where they were at. They came with some of our votives and our large hurricane. I asked where the other votives were, and they had left them back at the hotel, so he had to go back and get the rest. It was just kind of the last straw with them. Again, I have to say, the day of at the Westin was perfect and the food was exceptional! They did a great job, and the property is breathtaking. I just want everyone to be warned that they’re pretty flaky there, and sometimes it can get really frustrating. I wish those other things hadn’t happened, but I’m not surprised they did just because of what I had encountered with them throughout the year. Sadly, if we did again, we would have to go with another venue because they were just so frustrating. Music (IPOD & Rented sound system) This was a perfect choice for us. It worked out perfectly, except the “friend†we asked to handle our ceremony music ended up getting wasted on the day of the ceremony, came strolling into the ceremony after I was already there waiting, and screwed up our recessional music too. Ben ended up putting on our processional music, and another friend saved the day when she finally went and took the IPOD away from Dru, who had for some reason unplugged it from the sound system and brought it over to the ceremony area, and played our song. We were seconds away of having to walk down the aisle without music. It was that bad. What she did was rude and unacceptable. She wasn’t even paying attention to our ceremony. She wrote us an apology letter, but I didn’t want to deal with her during the week. I had already had issues with her that Friday night, so she literally hid in her room the rest of the week. We really didn’t care. But, back to the IPOD. This was a great choice for us, and if you’re considering it, it will work. We had our play lists set for cocktail, dinner, and after dinner dancing. Everyone loved our dancing music, and it was fun to hear our favorite songs during cocktail and dinner. That’s about it for the wedding day. Most of us stayed the week after. We had a great time. The wedding night party went on until 5am. I couldn’t hang, and was in bed at 3, but the new hubby stayed up. Everyone had a great time. That Tuesday, 20 of us went on the Buccaneer Queen for snorkeling. Tons of jellyfish in the water, but the cruise was great, and the pirates were awesome. Everyone really enjoyed the day out. Wednesday was supposed to be a big beach day on Medano beach, but it was stormy. Black clouds and even a few drizzles of rain. We all stayed in and chilled, and then in the afternoon, a group of us played mini golf at the Westin’s little putting green. This is one of my most memorable events. It was so much fun. It’s always those little unexpected times that end up being the most remembered. Thursday, our best man cooked a huge brunch in our condo. We had everyone over, and everyone had a chance for a last visit. After brunch, we had a final pool/beach session. So much good food, good drinks and especially good friends. It was definitely the best 2 weeks of our lives, and it just went by in a flash. There was some drama, but not enough to overtake the complete happiness we felt. We would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps some other brides out there. If anyone has any questions, please let me know! I’m happy to help out.
  16. I think I am done with it, and I'm hoping to post tonight! I hope it helps.
  17. Congratulations! You look beautiful, and I love, love the colors you chose! they looked really beautiful together. so much color!
  18. Thank you so much everyone! I still can't believe it's over, but it was a beautiful day. The surf was huge that day. We actually had to move our ceremony site because the waves were coming up into our original site. Bradley is fabulous, and I highly recommend him!
  19. Quote: Originally Posted by Maura steph, what time did your ceremony start? i'm thinking perhaps we should adjust ours based on the fact that you said you didnt get great photos from bradley in the last hour because of the lighting. Our ceremony started at 5pm. we originally had it at 6pm, and moved it up because we wanted more outdoor reception time, and I'm really happy we did. We were concerned it would be too hot, but it definitely wasn't last week, and we had a nice sea breeze. You might want to consider moving it up a bit because in August, the days will have already started to shorten.
  20. Quote: Originally Posted by sassybride Was is it about the cake that you didn't expect Did you mean that is a good way or bad way? For me, I was wanting a thick rich cake. It was good, just very light. It seems desserts in Mexico are not so rich, which is what I was expecting. It wasn't a bad thing.
  21. BTW, the cake we ordered was chocolate with rasberry filling, with buttercream, but the buttercream was whipped cream. It was good, very light, not really what I expected.
  22. Quote: Originally Posted by sassybride beautiful pics...did you say there was something wrong with teh cake? I'd like to know because so far we are getting teh Westin to make it. What were the flavors you picked? Was it good? and was it nice? The cake turned into a bit of cake drama. I had told Lorena the day before that the cake should be offered to guests, but because we chose to have an additional dessert, not a lot of people would want cake. I also told her we would do cake cutting at 5:30, during cocktail hour. We get to cocktail hour, do our cake cutting, and they whisked the cake away, never to be seen again! It was a beautiful cake, and I was really looking forward to admiring eat, and eating it throughout the week. I thought they would bring it back after they took it away when the weather cooled, but they never did. The next day, I called the Westin to have our cake delivered. I was expecting the whole cake, with the top tier, and the beautiful coral white chocolate topper. Well, 4 hours later, they deliver the bottom half of the cake with no cake topper, and no top layer. I called and asked Lorena where our cake was because this wasn't our cake? She says, the banquet manager cut the top layer of our cake the night before, and offered cake to everyone (which never happened, I asked everyone, and people were wanting cake), but nobody accepted. A full on lie. I''m still annoyed over the situation, and I'm annoyed with their lies. That is the cake drama, and I'm sad I never was able to really enjoy our cake.
  23. We are back from our wedding, and I'm now a married woman. It sure did go by in a flash! Our photographer was Bradley Fraser, and he was as good as everyone has said. Here is a link to our pics! I'm in the process of writing our review, but it seems like it's turning into a novel! Cabo Wedding Photography- powered by SmugMug password: castillo
  24. Beautiful Amy! congrats. Everything looks perfect and beautiful! Enjoy and savor every moment because it goes by in a flash!
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