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Rhonda

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Everything posted by Rhonda

  1. Just wondering if anyone has anyone heard of/used "destinationweddings.com" It is a company that does travel/hotel packages for you and your guests. Is anyone here familiar with this company? If so, please share any information/thoughts.... Thanks!!!
  2. My professional pictures and slideshow came in this week! My photographer was Citlalli Rico from Claudia Rodriguez Photography. She is so sweet to work with and I think she did an amazing job! We got almost 500 pictures in total, but, here are a few of my favorites:
  3. Wedding Date- 5/2/09 Resort- El Dorado Royale, Riviera Maya, Mexico Dates Stayed- 4/27-5/4/09 I can’t believe my wedding is all over and I’m sitting here writing my review…..I started planning over a year ago, but, knew immediately after visiting EDR last year for my site visit that this was the perfect place for my wedding. One of the biggest reasons that I chose EDR over other places that I visited was it had that “WOW Factor†that I was looking for. I wanted my guests to feel that their long trip to Mexico was well worth it. As I will mention in my review, EDR exceeded these expectations in many ways!!! Check in/ Rooms- We arrived on 4/27/09. As soon as we arrived at the main lobby, we were taken away to the Casita Suite-Check in (separate from standard check in). We were immediately greeted with champagne and cold towels. Our check in went smoothly. We were given free vouchers to use for either a candlelight dinner, massage, or $200 worth of wine. I had thought this was part of our free wedding package, until later when our guests arrived and learned that ALL of our guests received these vouchers! This was such a nice surprise and everyone was so excited to have this nice perk added to their stay. I’m not sure if this was standard, or, if they did this because of the low hotel capacity (swine flu). Anyway, we arrived at our Individual Casita Suite, which was in section 25. I had read on here that the nicer rooms were in section 30 or 31 and actually requested that from my TA, but, it turned out to be perfect in section 25 since it was so close to the rest of the resort and it was easy for us to meet up with our guests. Our room was very nice. I have to say, I was hoping that we would have been upgraded since I read other brides did, but, that’s ok- we didn’t spend too much time in the room anyway. The room had nice features- our own patio with breakfast table and an outdoor bed and our favorite…the outdoor shower ☺ ! All the rooms come with a Jacuzzi, which we actually didn’t even have time to use, but, it’s a nice feature of EDR rooms. On a side note, we locked ourselves out of our room at least 3 times the first day we arrived since all the doors lock behind when they are closed…so, word for future EDR visitors- be careful! ☺ The Casita area is nice because you are near to a private pool, have your own concierge in each section, among other benefits, BUT, my other guests who stayed in the junior suites were just as pleased with their rooms and service, so you really can’t go wrong wherever you stay. Food /Drinks– AMAZING!!! Seriously. I am pretty particular about the food I eat and I ate everything at EDR! Everything was so delicious! All of our guests also raved about the food. The only regret that I have is that I would have gone to more of the restaurants more often. My husband and I ordered room service for breakfast every morning and then we ate at La Isla & Jo Jo’s a few times because they were central to the pool, where our guests were. If I had to choose, I would say D’Italia was my favorite meal, but honestly everything was SO good. The candlelight dinner was also very special and the lobster bisque was absolutely incredible! Also, the drinks were great too…perfect strength…maybe too perfect for some of my guests ☺ At the pool, my favorite was the “Electric Lemonadeâ€, which wasn’t on the menu. You could also choose from a variety of beer, wine, soda etc. Beach/Pools- I was a little nervous about the beach (even though I had seen it last year) because of the sandbags. My husband and I are definitely beach people. But, the sandbags were really not that bad and I could definitely understand why they are there because the waves were so strong the entire week that you couldn’t even go in the water. We ended up meeting all of our guests at the pool anyway since it was more of a “social†setting. The pools were all nice and clean. We were able to get cabanas no problem. Some of our guests wanted to have more privacy and went to the beach or the casita pools. That’s what I loved about EDR is that there was something for everyone! Service- Excellent! Many of my guests also commented on how great the service was. They were very quick to respond to anything we needed and all of the staff were friendly and polite. One time a bunch of our guests came to our suite and left the door slightly open, within 10 minutes, our concierge called the room to say that she noticed the door open and wanted to make sure we were ok….I’ve never had that kind of service at any hotel I’ve ever stayed at! Nightlife- There are 3 bars that stay open late at EDR- the martini lounge, Guacamayas and the beach bar. Most of the nights we hung out at Guacamayas because they have live music and games (Dorado Idol- for real). We all danced a lot there and swung on the swings…it was a lot of fun! One night we went to the martini lounge, but, our group was so large and crazy that we had to move it back to Guacamayas. Overall, I was pleased with the nightlife and so were my guests ☺ Misc. – The grounds of EDR are absolutely gorgeous…very well kept and lots of greenery, which I like. Also, they have lots of activities to do, in case you’re not a pool/beach person. Several of my guests went on a bike tour, snorkeling, one did a cooking class and I saw a couple others painting pottery. Again, since we had a large group, I wanted to make sure there was stuff for everyone. Overall, every single one our guests LOVED this resort!!! WEDDING! Coordinators- For the past year, during my planning, I worked via email with Valeria. She is fantastic! It took me a bit to get used to the whole communicating through email only thing, but, it worked just fine. Valeria helped me with every detail of the wedding, except for the last minute changes. I felt very comfortable working with her and felt she addressed all of my needs in a timely manner. She is also very professional and sweet. I only wish I had gotten to meet her since I felt like I got to know her over the past year. I highly recommend working with Valeria if you’re planning your wedding at EDR. The day after we arrived, we had a scheduled appointment with our onsite coordinators. We worked primarily with Gloria & Odette. They were absolutely amazing!! I was a total mess at the meeting because we were just learning of some of our guests who weren’t coming (due to swine flu), but, the coordinators were so understanding, sweet and calm. We had to make a few changes due to the smaller group than expected, but, it all worked out because we got a few extra things to make up for the difference in cost. I felt totally confident that they were going to make my wedding amazing and they did!! I could go on and on about every way that the coordinators helped and how amazing they are! Seriously, every time that I would see them, I kept thanking them and would always become so tearful (happy tears- it could have also been that it was a very emotional week). Welcome Party- After probably the most devastating 2 days of my life, the majority of our 56 guests arrived on Thursday, April 30. We had a private welcome party at the Health Bar from 8-10pm. I chose to have cocktails and a dessert buffet. Even though I didn’t try any of the desserts (too busy socializing), they looked amazing and my guests seemed to have enjoyed it. The EDR staff stepped up the party by initiating a conga line and then tequila shots for everyone!!! Everyone had the best time! The staff truly went above and beyond ..it was awesome! Rehearsal Dinner- I chose to use my “free dinner†as part of the wedding package for my Rehearsal Dinner at El Cocotal. It was wonderful…we had about 20 guests, all at one big table…it was very intimate and the food was delicious. Everyone loved the dessert- Baked assorted berries aromatized with pastis and chocolate granite. Ceremony- Perfect, beautiful, everything I imagined!!!! I chose to have my ceremony at Gazebo 55 because it is private and secluded from the rest of the resort. We used the ipod for music, which worked great and we brought our reverend (one of our friend’s/groomsmen). We wrote our own vows and did a sand ceremony. Everyone commented that it was the most beautiful wedding that they had ever seen. I’ll post photos soon. Cocktail Hour- I chose to have the cocktail hour at Gazebo 55 (next to ceremony site). I didn’t get a chance to see too much of the cocktail party since we were with the photographer, but, from what I heard it was nice. We had a solo guitarist for 50 minutes and then used an ipod for the remaining time. Reception- We were supposed to have 81 guests, so the resort honored my request to have the reception at La Isla restaurant. Apparently, they’ve only had one other wedding there. Thankfully, we still had our reception there, even though, we only had 56 guests in the end. The room was perfect and exactly how I imagined my reception to be!! We had a DJ, but, we gave him our ipod with our reception playlist. This was the one thing that I was nervous about- we hadn’t talked to the DJ beforehand and weren’t sure how things worked. We had spent hours picking our songs that we wanted played. Overall, it worked out, but, I noticed that during dinner, he played 2 songs over twice (no one else noticed) and then he played about 20 minutes of his own music. He had lights and even gave out balloons, which everyone loved! There was plenty of room for dancing…people were going nuts! For food, we selected salad, appetizer, 4 entrees to choose from and I also chose to have a dark chocolate fountain (which I didn’t even taste, but, looked delicious). The only criticism that I had was that it took forever to serve the food. My guests seemed to be enjoying the relaxing music, but, of course it was probably only something that I noticed. Overall, I was very happy with the reception!! Photographer – For photographer, I chose Citlally from Claudia Rodriguez. She is one of the EDR approved photographers. Although I haven’t seen any of our photos yet, she was very sweet and a pleasure to work with. She even extended her stay so that she could get photos of the cake cutting, which I thought was so nice and definitely not necessary. Spa- I was booked at the Casita Spa for my nail, hair, and makeup appointments on the wedding day. I had Erika and she did a great job! I was a little nervous about what to expect, but, she did exactly what I wanted. I brought a picture of my hairstyle that I had done at home and she did it exactly how I wanted (even better). For makeup, I only said I wanted “natural looking†and again, she did it perfect! My mom, sister, and bridesmaid also got their hair done and all came out great too! Overall- As you’re probably aware, I had my wedding in Mexico the week of the crazy pig-flu crisis! Obviously, this is something no one ever plans for. And, although, I was completely devastated about the number of guests who cancelled at the last minute, I can honestly say that my wedding was absolutely amazing I would not change anything! I feel so lucky that I chose a resort like EDR to have my wedding because they did an absolute fantastic job. They made my wedding dreams come true and even exceeded!! I really can’t stress enough- if you are considering having your wedding there…without hesitation, I would HIGHLY recommend EDR. In fact, one engaged couple at our wedding is now seriously considering having their wedding there next year after coming to our wedding. I’m sure I left a ton of stuff out, but, Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
  4. Quote: Originally Posted by Jodi20 Hi! We're being married on May 20, 2010 at the EDR so it's so nice to talk to you all! Our dilemma right now is that we aren't having a private reception (we only have 5 guests). But we do want a first dance and a father-daughter dance. EDR said they would let us do that at the gazebo directly after the ceremony but we're afraid the Ipod thing might be a little tacky. Rhonda, you seem pretty classy to me so what did you think about the Ipod on the beach thing? was it nice? Jodi, I don't think the Ipod is tacky at all, but, I understand your concern. We used the Ipod for the ceremony and it turned out great! Keep in mind, EDR is very professional and they have all the right equipment to make it just what you want. Good luck!
  5. Quote: Originally Posted by CanadianLindsey Originally Posted by Rhonda "Photographer – For photographer, I chose Citlally from Claudia Rodriguez. She is one of the EDR approved photographers. Although I haven’t seen any of our photos yet, she was very sweet and a pleasure to work with. She even extended her stay so that she could get photos of the cake cutting, which I thought was so nice and definitely not necessary. Spa- I was booked at the Casita Spa for my nail, hair, and makeup appointments on the wedding day. I had Erika and she did a great job! I was a little nervous about what to expect, but, she did exactly what I wanted. I brought a picture of my hairstyle that I had done at home and she did it exactly how I wanted (even better). For makeup, I only said I wanted “natural looking†and again, she did it perfect! My mom, sister, and bridesmaid also got their hair done and all came out great too!" Hi Rhonda! I was wondering if you would mind if I asked a few questions about prices? How much was the make-up and hairstyling at the spa for you and your mom/sister? Also for the photography, what package did you choose and was it worth it? My FI wants to just rely on guests photos and disposable cameras we are giving as placeholders at the reception, but I still think we need some professional help! I just need help convincing him it's worth it, so any info you have would help me! Thanks! Hi Lindsey, The prices for makeup and hairstyle were $85 each. The photography package that we chose was the "Special" one and I definitely think it was worth it. Citalli did an amazing job! We also have pics from our guests but I think Citalli did a great job capturing the emotions of the entire event, which is something that is hard to do as a guest. Everyone comments on how amazing our pictures are and I would highly recommend using a professional. Here is the link to my slideshow if you're interested. Let me know if you have any other questions! Rhonda & Mark | May 2nd 2009 | El Dorado Royale, Riviera Maya Mexico
  6. I just bought a pair last week when I picked up my dress. It's basically soft, SCARILY real-like boobs that stick to you and give support if you're wearing a backless dress. It just hit me today that they might fall off in Mexico if I'm sweating...I'm not sure...anyone know
  7. These are all really cute ideas! Here's what we did: We've been together for a total of 10 years (not including our 3 year break) and we needed exactly 10 table #'s so it worked perfect! So, we labeled each table number with the year that we've been together and then put an interesting fact about us during that year. For example, starting with 1997- the year we met... 2000- the year we moved to California together....all the way to 2009- the year we got married! Everyone loved it and made it so personal!
  8. Rhonda

    Belize Weddings Gone Smoothly

    We stayed at Matachica Resort on Ambergris Caye for our honeymoon. We absolutely loved it! It is a very small and private resort. I can tell you more if you're interested. Are you looking to get married there?
  9. Quote: Originally Posted by punkie569 Thanks for the great review. We just booked November 10th, 2010 and I've just started to work with Valeria. Just wondering if you had any pics from the cocktail hour at Gazebo 55 you had? We were thinking of doing the same thing since we are having our ceremony there as well. Did you and your guests think it was worth it? Congrats! That's very exciting! I have one pic of the cocktail hour that I can email you if you send me your email address. I definitely think the cocktail hour was worth it even though my husband and I barely got to enjoy it because we were with the photographer. It was perfect for our guests because it was so convenient right after the ceremony. I don't know what they all would have done while we were away. We had a solo guitarist at the cocktail party, which, I heard was good, but, not sure if it was worth to have or not. Hope that helps!
  10. I dont think so. My florist brought flowers from the US and they got confiscated at the airport. He ended up buying them downtown at a local florist.
  11. One of our guests, who is a florist, brought flowers from home and they got confiscated at the airport So, at the last minute, he ended up going to downtown playa to get flowers once he arrived. They weren't exactly what I wanted but it was ok. I think he just found a local florist.
  12. I don't check in on this forum too much anymore, but, I liked reading about what other people are up to after their weddings. As for me, I'm definitely happier NOT planning a wedding. Although I had fun while doing it, I guess I didn't realize how stressed I was until it's been over...I feel so much more relaxed and my sleep is amazing! Now, I'm obsessed with finding a home to buy and hopefully starting a family soon!
  13. Hi, I got married there in May. I had the same concern as you. But, I didn't think it was a big deal when I got there. I got married at Gazebo 55 and there were no visible sandbags. I didn't go in the ocean because the waves were too big anyway, but, several of our guests were swimming and jumping off the sandbags. We enjoyed the pools there a lot more, but, you could definitely swim in the water.
  14. I have 3 pairs left over if you would like to buy mine. PM if you're interested.
  15. I agree! This is a great thread! I have so many memories, but, these are my top: 1.) Sharing a moment with my Dad right we walked down the aisle...he started telling me how he remembers when he sent me off on the bus to kindergarten...I just started to lose it right then. 2.) Hearing my song, "I'm yours" start to play just before walking down the aisle and saying to myself..this is it! 3.) Seeing my husbands face on our wedding day for the first time as I walked down the aisle. 4.) Seeing my mother in law right after she fell into the pool at the reception! 5.)Our first dance 6.) Feeling so grateful to have all those people at my wedding in Mexico
  16. Quote: Originally Posted by allisonmpls CONGRATULATIONS, Rhonda!!! You looked gorgeous. Can't wait to see all of your pictures. I'm getting married at EDR on 5/15/10. I can't wait! :-) Looks like you picked Gazebo 55? I need to email Valeria back with my selection. Did you check out the other options when you were on site? I think I'm leaning towards 55. Also, I'm trying to decide whether or not to do the casita suite... did you think it was worth it? I just can't decide. Thanks!! Allison Hi Allison, You're right- I chose Gazebo 55. I liked it because it was a little more private than some of the other areas, but, also, we had a pretty large group, so it was one of the bigger areas too. I also liked the Fuentes gazebo which is the newer one...that one has a lot of greenery (overlooking the ocean)...it's also very nice. I definitely think the casita is worth it. The rooms are a lot more spacious than the junior suite. The only thing for me was that I didn't spend enough time there to really enjoy the privacy of the casita area. Plus, I think it's almost the same price if you book the casita with the free wedding package or if you book a different room + wedding package. So, I think you might as well get a bigger, nicer room. Let me know if you have other questions! Good Luck! Valeria is so sweet to work with.
  17. Quote: Originally Posted by ebredhawk everything looks absolutely beautiful! i can feel the sand between my toes just looking at your pics! if you don't mind me asking.. where did you get your flower petals from? the white/pink combo is exactly what i need and i've been stuggling to find the perfect ones! They are called carousel roses. I ordered them from the resort. My friend who is a florist advised me to get these since I also wanted the white/pink combo look. Hope that helps!
  18. We stayed in the Casita area. The room is definitely bigger than the junior suites and you have extra perks. All the rooms are really nice at EDR so you can't go wrong, but, it is nice to splurge if it's your wedding. The only thing is that you are separated from most of the other rooms (which could be good or bad). Our room was in section 25 which was the closest to the rest of the resort and perfect for meeting up with everyone. I'm so happy we chose the casita area, I only wish I had more time to utilize it. In terms of cost, from what I remember, it was the same price (or similar) to book the casitas for 7 nights and opt for the free wedding package verses paying for the wedding package and choosing a junior suite.
  19. I love this thread! Here's mine to help future brides! What I WOULD do again: Have a DW- best decision EVER! Have my DW at the El Dorado Royale- it was beautiful and they did an amazing job! Welcome Party- such a great way to kick off the weekend and everyone had a blast! Get my hair & makeup done at the Spa- I had brought a picture of my hairstyle trial and they did a better job! Use Ipod for ceremony music & DJ for reception Make my own table numbers and menus- Our table #'s were personalized- used years that my husband and I have known each other (11!) and included a pic from each year...everyone loved that. Photobook/guestbook Not stress and Trust the resort to do my cake- I literally showed them one picture of what I liked and they did it great! Go to Belize for our honeymoon- it was absolutely the most relaxing, beautiful week of my life! And, so close to Riviera Maya. Log onto BDW forum almost everyday for the past year to find/share amazing ideas! What I WOULDN"T do again: Spend so much time & money on the OOT bags- I think everyone appreciated them, but, in retrospect I think I went overboard and it really was not necessary. Stress about getting my dress pressed at the resort- For some reason I was so nervous, but, they did a perfect job! Stress about the music at the reception- My husband and I had created a playlist...I was nervous that the DJ didn't understand how we wanted everything played (we hadn't talked with him prior and he barely spoke English) Have a chocolate fountain at the reception- I loved the idea while planning, but, I didn't even try it and I'm not even sure any of the guests did either. What I WISHED we had done : Videographer for ceremony- We were planning on having a friend video our ceremony, but, apparently the battery died. Now, we don't have video and with so many of our friends/family who couldn't make (swine flu), I wished I had a video to share.
  20. Congrats! Everything looked beautiful! You look so happy!
  21. Ever since we got back from our wedding and honeymoon last week, I've had no motivation to do ANYTHING! I've been sleeping like 9-10 hours per night and it is feeling like an effort for me to want to do anything. At work, I can't stay focused and I am not feeling very productive. Normally, I have a lot of energy and I am known by my friends and family that I am always working on something and keeping busy. SO, this feels very weird. I don't think I'm depressed. I'm just wondering if others had this same experience after their wedding? IF so, how long did it last?
  22. Rhonda

    Post-Wedding: Anyone else feel this way?

    Thanks Ladies! Glad to hear you had similar experiences. I suspect the wedding planning took a lot out of me and now I'm just recuperating...but, right now, I honestly feel like I'll never get my strength back! I guess I gotta just roll with it....
  23. Quote: Originally Posted by EDRBride2009 Great review! I am excited to see the pictures. One question, flowers - which bouqet did you go with and was it close to the pictures on the Lomas site? I actually ordered flowers from the resort, but, then had my friend, who is a florist do the arrangement of the flowers. Here are a few of my favorite nonpro pics, once I get the pro-ones, I'll post those too!
  24. That is truly amazing! Congrats! It was too late for us to postpone ours, but, it worked out anyway. I love all the "piggy-flare"!
  25. I just got back from my Riviera Maya wedding and a one week honeymoon in Belize....AMAZING!!!! Despite all the negativity surrounding the wedding with the swine flu, my wedding was absolutely perfect!!! I will write a review and share more pics as soon as possible, but, here are just a few taken by friends and family.....
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