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evtalbot

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  1. Quote: Originally Posted by ericaandsy I actually had a chance to look at your review when it was first posted. There are definitly some sections missing. Brides to be come to this website to get honest reviews from brides who have already been married. How disappointing that BDW would edit what you have to say about vendors/ resort specifics just because it is not a vendor they are associated with. It makes me second guess the reviews that I have read. Be careful what you read girls! Thanks for your comment! I went back and looked over my review and there are sections mysteriously missing, especially regarding my travel and flower vendors! I did not receive a message from anyone saying I did anything wrong, nor was I aware my posts could be edited. I have to say, I am a little disappointed myself. If you do have any questions regarding the resort or any aspect of my wedding, please feel free to e-mail me at evtalbot@live.com!
  2. Quote: Originally Posted by slapsappyhappy Everything looks so beautiful! I love your flowers, and the ceremony was beautiful. I am a bit concerned about the mosquitoes!!! were they really that bad? We are thinking about having an outdoor reception... we are getting married in August though is it just the time of year? Congrats and thanks for writing! Yes, unfortunately they were really THAT BAD. In a few of Sascha's pictures you can see like 6 swollen mosquito bites on one of my arms! However, Hurricane Ida had passed through the week before the wedding so it may have been more rainy than usual. MP did have employees spraying the grass that evening (too late for us, unfortunately), but if you are having your reception outside, I would recommend bringing a couple of cans of bug spray just in case!!!
  3. Nope, when we booked those packages weren't available yet. We just did the Free Symbolic package and added things from there. I think we got a better deal that way!
  4. We were there for a week but didn't get to try all of the restaurants. However, see below for my comments! El Manglar - Italian buffet casual dress code *We ate breakfast here daily because it was convenient. Not the place you would want to have your wedding dinner, but a place you would go when you want a fast meal with no wait!! Great coffee, for breakfast they have tortillas with pulled pork and chicken (yum!) Otherwise the best things to eat here are the ones you put in a bowl and ask them to cook (the fish is to die for!). Regular buffet food was hit or miss. Arrecifes - Brazillian buffet casual dress code * Most people love this place. We thought it was average. If you know what Fogo de Chao is and have been there, do not have your wedding dinner here or you will be disappointed. I agree, the salad bar is NOT good. Some of the meat is yummy, others are dry. The concept of the brazilian food being served off a skewer is cool though and service was fast when we were there. Just an FYI, this is the restaurant your "romantic honeymoon dinner" will be, which is set up at the honeymoon desk when you arrive. Los Caporales - Mexican a la carte dinner service Casual elegance dress code *Everyone raved about this place, but we never got to try it! Sunrise Side La Gondola - Italian Buffet casual dress code * This place is huge, and it has staind glass windows on the ceiling which are pretty. We loved the food (all buffet) and the desserts were good here. It is very busy and kind of loud & echoey. We had our welcome dinner there and were happy with it, but wouldn't have our wedding dinner there. They had a band coming around and playing songs, which was cool. Mo Mo No Ha Na - Oriental A la Carte Dinner Casual Elegance *This was the favorite restaurant for many in our group, esp. the sushi lovers! The sushi was best here, and service was wonderful! They also have other Asian dishes and deep fried ice cream or deep fried bananas for dessert! Grand Side Los Tacos - Italian Buffet casual dress code *We looked for this place and couldn't find it. Oh well! El Caribeno - Oriental a la carte Dinner Casual Elegance * We had our wedding dinner here. It was amazing! The menu serves mainly seafood ala cart but also has steak and chicken for non seafood lovers. Ambience is elegant, and there is an outside terrace that overlooks the grand infinity pool. We would have had our wedding dinner there but the mosquitos were too bad that night. When they bring out the main dishes, they place them in front of each person at the same time, and present them in a special way (you'll see if you go there). It was pretty cool! Great service, everyone raved about the food. Highly recommend it. Club House La Trattoria - Italian A La Carte Casual Elegance *This place is always SUPER BUSY. Plan to wait 45 minutes or more. We gave up and went to Bambu. Others in our group went there and said it was good. Definitely a fancy restaurant. Bambu - Oriental Buffet Casual Elegance * This place was ok. We thought the sushi was good til we went to Mo Mo No Hana. The waiters were very attentive here, it is a smaller restaurant with a soloist musician usually playing. We enjoyed the food but for Asian would go to the other restaurant!
  5. Flowers - A We decided to bring our own flowers. We really wanted orchids and they were super expensive if bought in Mexico. We used Angel’s Accents and had a great experience with them. I got my flowers on time, and they looked just like the inspiration photos I had sent. I got my bridal bouquet, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 6 boutonnieres, 2 corsages, 2 hair flowers and 3 stems of loose orchids (for the cake) for about $400. The flowers looked and smelled real – most of our guests didn’t realize that they were fake and tried to put them in the refrigerator after the wedding! I would definitely recommend Angel’s, they did a fantastic job. Photographer Sascha Gluck – A+ I used Sascha Gluck for our pictures. It was the best decision I made regarding the wedding. I wish I could have packed him up in my suitcase and brought him home with me!! He is the most creative photographer I have ever met. He used a lot of cool techniques to take his pictures, and from the ones he showed us, I think they are going to be AMAZING! I asked him to be there from 3-7pm to capture getting ready pictures, the ceremony, and part of the reception. He showed up at 2:30 with his assistant Lars (who everyone in the wedding had a crush on!) and started taking pictures right away. He uses a more journalistic style, so encourages you to just go about your business while he captures the special moments. He was great at directing us on how to pose and look at the camera (something I was worried about) and fit right into our family! We invited him to dinner and he stayed well past 7pm enjoying the food and snapping a few pictures. TTD – The next morning we met up around 6:00 for a TTD session! We decided to just stay at Moon Palace for the photo shoot since we were supposed to go on a tour with our families that day. We went out to the pier and got some beautiful pictures as the sun came up. Then we hopped in the water and rolled around on the beach a little. It was so much fun! If you have been thinking about booking Sascha, DO IT. It is rare to find an experienced photographer with such a creative mind and eye for detail. His prices are comparable to the hotel photographers and he was willing to create a personalized package for us that included TTD. Note: To get around the outside vendor policy, we simply paid for 1 night’s stay at the hotel and told the WC that one of our guests would be taking the pictures. No issues at all!  Once the slideshow is up and running I will post a link to my pro pics. Until then, below are a few of the teasers that we LOVE! Resort Activities The week of our wedding, we tried to take advantage of as much as we could at the resort. Looking back, we wished we would have arrived at the resort a few extra days before our guests so that we could just RELAX. Having a destination wedding isn’t quite the same as going on a relaxing vacation with your hubby. Once your guests arrive, the time will just FLY BY! What we did: -Day trip to Beach Palace - worth it if you want to lay on an awesome beach! -BOGO Dolphin Swim at Wet’n’Wild – the dolphin experience was fun but Wet’n’Wild was NOT! -Chichen Itza Tour -worth going to once, but our group collectively decided that the tour was WAY too long and we wish we had stayed at the resort and played in the pool! We left at 8AM and didn’t return until almost 8PM!! We went to most of the nightly shows (the Michael Jackson show is by far the best) and did a little shopping with the vendors who come to the resort during the week. After 9PM, the swing bar on the Sunrise side was the place to be, and it is also the only outside bar open til 1AM. Tons of fun! We didn’t have time to: -Eat our complimentary breakfast in bed the day after the wedding because of our TTD session and the Chitchen Itza tour. It looked SOO good too!!  -Attend the honeymooners cocktail party to meet other married couples -Go to our private romantic honeymoon dinner Overall, our wedding experience was absolutely wonderful! We would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Don’t worry, Moon Palace will take great care of you and your guests, even if you don’t hammer out the little details until you arrive at the resort. Hope you all have the wedding of your dreams, please let me know if I can answer any questions! Evelyn
  6. The Cake - B Ah, the cake. We chose a 3 tier cake from the resort’s catalogue. The top tier was sugar free chocolate (no extra charge for this), middle tier was regular chocolate, and bottom was vanilla with fruit. I would definitely say chocolate is the way to go. It was delicious. Most people finished their cake! The only negative was that when they brought the cake out, it was leaning. It was still beautiful and tasted good, so I give it a B. I thought it was going to tip over!!!
  7. Cocktail Hour We got our cocktail hour free for booking 10+ rooms. Our cocktail hour was setup from 4:45-5:45. During this time we were also trying to get in all the group photos and photos of the wedding party, so we weren’t fully able to use it until about 5:15pm. We picked the VIP hors d’oeurvres: Grilled cactus leaf stuffed with crabmeat Shrimp with pineapple Chicken Shish kebab Beef Medallions Seafood Vol Au Vent Everyone loved the food! The favorites were the cactus stuffed with crabmeat and the chicken shish kebab. (The medallions were a little too large to be finger food). We had our own bartender and high tables to eat and talk around. Now, for the only negative in my review: THE MOSQUITOS. Oh my gosh, after the sun went down, the mosquitos came out in full force. Our cocktail hour was on the terrace overlooking the beach (not in the grass) and we were eaten alive. Some people had 5-6 mosquitos on them at the same time. My stepdad had to go back to the room and get bugspray. We sprayed everyone down, including the photographers and the bartender. It was awful. Dinner – Caribbean Restaurant on Moon Grand side – A+We used our free dinner reservation instead of paying for a private function. Our reservation was at 6pm at the Caribeno restaurant on the Moon Grand side. It was a short walk from our ceremony location. Originally we had asked for the tables to be set-up on the terrace, but due to the mosquito problem they put us inside. We had a T-shape table (bridal party at the end and everyone else at the long table) and added some centerpieces and turquoise table linens to make our table stand out. The place cards and favors were at the correct places and there was a separate small table for the cake. Valeria had us choose a set menu, and we tried to pick a variety to satisfy everyone (including those who don’t like seafood, since it is a seafood restaurant). Our menu was: Appetizer - Green Salad (with dressing) - Shrimp Cocktail - Fish Cevice Main Course (choice of only 1) - Fish Filet in Coconut Sauce - Ribeye Steak - Honey marinated grilled chicken Dessert - Assorted ice cream (to be served with wedding cake) - Crème brulee About half of our party got the fish (which got rave reviews) and half got ribeye (get it medium rare or it will be overcooked). The way the main dish is presented to you is super fun (I’ll save it for a surprise in case you go there). They almost always have musicians roaming the restaurant. They had a Mexican quartet come and play us a romantic song, and we had an impromptu first dance! We had several speeches, and had no trouble hearing each other even though the restaurant was kind of busy. The service was phenomenal. When we look back, we are so glad we didn’t pay for a private reception. We had good service, great food, good lighting for pictures, and music throughout dinner and didn’t have to pay for it!
  8. The Ceremony Our ceremony setup looked like this: Our ceremony was set to start at 4pm – therefore, we sent everyone to the ceremony location at 3:30. At 3:45, Valeria picked me and my dad up for the horse and carriage ride. They took us on a 5 minute ride through the resort, and everyone was waving and taking pictures of us. It was a special daughter and dad moment. They stopped the carriage around the corner (out of view from our guests) until the bridesmaids had walked down the aisle. Then we made our entrance. You can hear everyone gasp in our videos once they spotted the horse and carriage! Music Originally we thought we’d just use the songs on a CD, but were worried about the songs not being long enough or having gaps in between the songs. So, at our meeting with Valeria, we decided to use the harpist. We had absolutely no idea what songs we wanted. We just knew we didn’t want it to all be classical, we wanted something our guests would recognize. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of music! The bridal party walked down to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, and I walked down to “Canon in D”. He played songs through our sand ceremony and as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife. The harp was a beautiful instrument for the beach, and no one had trouble hearing him. There were no awkward silences, no songs ending too early…. I’m definitely glad I chose live music. Officiant and Vows This was the area I was MOST worried about. I spent hours on the forum putting together our ceremony wording, but then started to worry that it wouldn’t sound right if the officiant wasn’t familiar with the words. So, at our meeting, we gave up all control and used their wording (they also have one for sand ceremonies). Our officiant, Gino, did a fantastic job. He spoke with emotion, in very clear English, and the words were not very different from those I had picked out. He did the reading of the hands first, then the “Love is patient love is kind” reading, then our vows, ring ceremony, and sand ceremony. It was beautiful. I was surprised that for a symbolic wedding they also have a keepsake certificate that you sign before you kiss. This was cool – it made things look “official” although we had already been married in the U.S.! Immediately after he pronounced us man and wife we had a champagne toast (which is included in the free package). Valeria’s assistant came by with a basket of rose pedals for each guest, and they were thrown at us as we walked back down the aisle. I was happy we did this, and can’t wait to see the pictures!
  9. The Salon - C Before leaving for Mexico, I e-mailed the MP salon (as per the wedding coordinator’s instructions) and set up a hair appointment for myself, my mother and one of my bridesmaids. They set up the appointments without any issues, and sent me e-mail confirmations which I brought with me. My hair and makeup appointment was with Doris. I brought pictures of the hairstyle I wanted and I would say she did a decent job re-creating the hairstyle from the pictures (however, I had to stop her a few times and politely request that she change a couple of things). I did NOT bring my own makeup to the salon, however, and that was a HUGE MISTAKE! No one in the salon spoke fluent English, so I tried my best to convey what I wanted, using as much Spanish as I could remember... I told her I wanted “natural” and “romantic”. I also brought fake lashes and asked if she could put them on for me, as I had heard other girls had success with this. So, she turned me away from the mirror and went to work. Once the eyelashes got glued on I knew they didn’t feel right (I had trouble opening my eyes) and when she whipped me around, I had bright pink eyeshadow, bright pink lips, and my eyes looked like tiny little slits! AHH! At this point, I knew that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted so I paid, ran to the bathroom, wiped off as much lipstick as I could, then went back to my room and started balling my eyes out (which took care of those botched eyelashes!) An hour later, I got a knock on the door. It was my mom and maid of honor. As soon as I opened the door and saw their faces, I knew they were pretty unhappy. They both HATED their hair. My mom asked for a French twist and got a beehive with curls on the top of her head, and my MOH got an 80s prom hairdo. We fixed their hair, and I started over and did my own makeup. Moral of the story: Bring your own makeup, and bring lots of inspiration pictures, or do your own hair!
  10. Wedding Coordinator Miami Coordinator: Janina Mendoza - A Moon Palace On-Site wedding coordinator: Valeria Vera – A++ After signing my wedding contract, I was assigned to Janina Mendoza out of Miami in case I had any questions. I sent her several e-mails regarding outside photographers, ceremony details, etc. and she was very polite and helpful. The downside was that it did take about a week to get a response; however, they are quite busy with weddings so this was understandable. I started to get worried when I didn’t get an e-mail from Valeria 3 months before the wedding, so I e-mailed Janina and she had them contact me within a day or two. Upon check-in at the hotel, we got a welcome letter with our appointment with Valeria. At our meeting, she had all of the e-mails I had sent, and went over every single detail of our day. I have to admit, I came down pretty unprepared. She helped us to choose an awesome menu for the cocktail hour and reception, went over the schedule for the day, and helped us choose any extras we wanted. I gave her my sand ceremony items, cake cutting set, a seating chart, table favors, and the silk flowers for the cake and she got everything taken care of perfectly. On the day of the wedding, she picked me up on time, got everyone in their seats for the ceremony, and periodically checked in during the reception to make sure everything was going well. She and her assistant did a fantastic job! Wedding Package We chose the Free Symbolic Package. I think that we got more for our money this way. It seemed like the wedding packages available for purchase had a ton of extra stuff we might not use (like multiple spa treatments) and we were told that no substitutions were allowed if we wanted different flowers, etc. Here is what we added: Harpist: $430 Beach Ceremony Decorations: We wanted blue and turquoise fabric over the huppa. They had a package for $290 for the 2 colors and 2 flower arrangements on the huppa. (the plain white beach setup was free) Chair Sashes: 14 x $4 = $56 (these were transferred to the reception chairs after ceremony) Rose Pedals: 2 bags x $35=$70 (one bag used for the aisle and the other to throw pedals at the end) Horse and Carriage: $130 Table Runners for Reception (turquoise): 5 x $9 each = $45 Flower Arrangement for Reception Table: 4 x $25 each = $100 Wedding Cake: $210 for 3 tiers (the top layer was sugar free at no extra cost) and we brought our own flowers to top it. We brought our own flowers and hired an outside photographer. I will review these services separately.
  11. Rooms - AThe resort is enormous and has three different sides: Nizuc, Sunrise, and Moon Grand. You can take shuttles to the other lobbies, or walk along the sidewalk by the ocean (usually about 5 minutes to another side). We booked all rooms in the Nizuc side, at the suggestion of many of the brides on the forum. I am so happy we did this. The Nizuc side was a little less busy and there were always chairs by the pool. It is right in the middle of the resort so about a 5 minute walk to the other sections. We stayed in the Bambu building (as did all of our other guests) which overlooked the pool on one side and the ocean on the other. We arrived 4 days before our guests and really loved the Moon Grand side that is still being built. Their rooms are larger and they have a bigger balcony, but absolutely no view. We still thought we wanted the bigger room for getting ready pictures, so we asked to be moved to the Moon Grand side, but there were no rooms available to move. SO GLAD WE DIDN’T! We talked to several other guests who actually moved OUT of Moon Grand because of a sewage smell in their rooms and said they couldn’t use the balcony without being eaten alive by mosquitos.
  12. Well, its time to start 2010 out right by crossing off one of my New Years Resolutions: writing you a review about my beautiful beach wedding at Moon Palace! First, I want to thank all of you Moon Palace brides who wrote such detailed reviews, especially those who had weddings on the beach! I can only hope that my review will be as helpful as the ones I have read! Wedding Date: November 12, 2009 Wedding Ceremony Package: Free Symbolic Package Wedding Date/Time: 4pm on the beach by the Tucan Gazebo Number of Guests: 19 (21 including photographers)
  13. Quote: Originally Posted by mrseddy For the ceremony, does the WC break it down to the wedding party just before gametime? Does she come to the room where we're getting ready to give us the plan? When do all the details get disseminated to the wedding party?? I was worried about this too, since there was no rehearsal....at the meeting with the WC she will tell you what time she picks you up in your room (usually 15 minutes before the ceremony starts). Either you get a golf cart or your horse and carraige. I sent the wedding party to the ceremony location 20 minutes before the ceremony. As soon as my WC had me and my dad loaded into the horse and carraige she went down to the ceremony location and got the wedding party lined up and told them what to do. She cued them when to walk and which way to line up and it worked fine. When me and my dad got out she said, "Ok Dad, you'll walk down the aisle, give the groom a handshake, give the bride a kiss and sit on the left with your family." They really do a fantastic job! There is always a WC and an assistant there to make sure things run smoothly, so don't worry!
  14. Hi ladies! I got married on the beach on 11-12-09 and it was wonderful! I am *almost* finished with my review.... the day I got there was the day Maura posted the pictures on the beach. Hurricane Ida had passed us and there was a TON of seaweed on the beach.... luckily, they were pretty quick to clean it up. I'd say that by 11-10-09 when our guests arrived, 90% of the seaweed was gone. On the wedding day my beach looked like this: I think that the resort does a great job keeping things clean.... I do have to say though, that maybe having a wedding later in the day is preferable if you want your wedding on the beach. They clean the beach daily, so the later your wedding is, the better your beach will be. We saw the tractors raking the sand as late as 2pm one day (thank goodness they turned around before they got close to the wedding that was taking place!)
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