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About pepper55

  1. Martha Roque and her photo assistant shot my wedding on May 24, '09 at Azul Sensatori hotel in Puerto Morelos. I was extremely happy with both the service and the photos that we received. Martha was so great to work with - made everyone feel comfortable and at ease. I had her scheduled for 5 hours, which included bride getting ready, groom getting ready, ceremony, group & individual shots & cocktail hour. She arrived at the hotel early and came to my room right on time to shoot us getting ready. She was able to get both posed shots and a few candids that really made me remember my day in a special way. She got great shots of my husband and his family - our ceremony and reception sites before our guests arrived. She captured everything up until right after we sat down to dinner. We stayed in Mexico for our honeymoon for another week, and upon leaving Martha met us at the airport to deliver our album with 250 pictures and a CD with all of the shots. It was so nice to come home with all of our pictures and not have to wait weeks for it to arrive. The only thing I would have liked would've been a little retouching on some of the shot (although, I don't know if any photogs do this). It was really windy that day and my husbands hair looked like horns in some of the shots, LOL! I would highly recommend Martha - she was a pleasure to work with! She posted our slideshow on her blog. Check it out Martha Roque Photographer: Patricia & Russell
  2. Quote: Originally Posted by Shandalier Thanks for the review! Today is exactly 4 months until our AS wedding! Looking back, would you have chosen not to have the cocktail reception? We are thinking of saving the money there and using it toward an excursion for our entire group. Just wanted to get your thoughts. Congratulations! Shanda If I were going to skip out on anything it would've been the cocktail party. Your guests to go to any bar on the property on the 'downtime' between -so you can def. save there. Good luck!
  3. Hi All - I'm back from the wedding and honeymoon in Mexico! So sad to be back, I'm jealous of all of you who are on your way! I posted my LONG review and a few pics. Once I have all of my pics I'll share the link as well. Feel free to ask any questions, I know how stressful the planning part can be! All I can say is don't worry - everything will be wonderful! Thank you all SO much for your help thru the planning and chaos, I don't think I would have made it without this forum!!! http://bestdestinationwedding.com/fo...504#post821889
  4. Hi Ladies – so we’re back from our wedding at AS and wanted to give a full review. I do hope that this will help everyone as much as everyone on this site has helped me through all of the planning and obstacles! I worked with Nancy and then Tiffany throughout the planning process, although it was not as seamless and stress-free as I would have liked, ultimately we ended up getting exactly what we wanted. The back-and-forth is slow with the US based planners, but as long as you have them log in everything you want on your detail sheet – the on-site planners will help make anything happen. So don’t stress working with them too much (I know its hard!) – everything will work itself out once you arrive at the hotel. Our arrival: We arrived on Tuesday 5/19. All was smooth, we found out we were being upgraded to the Honeymoon suite in the Luxury Building (Azul Section – I think they also call it). This was great, but we were looking forward to our swim up suite at the Adults only section. We were told that only 2 of the 4 buildings were open due to low occupancy. Our room was great, ocean facing – huge balcony, top floor. If you do get upgraded to a honeymoon suite, request a higher floor. We would have been very disappointed if we’d been on the first floor. Your patio is right on the walkway between the beach and buildings – so not very private. We had a few issues with the room – nothing major (door and window locks were broken and bathroom door didn’t close) – they sent maintenance right away to fix. One thing to watch out for is the “Personal Concierge†they are very helpful at first but ultimately they want to get you to attend a meeting in which they intend to sell you on the time share (or equivalent). When we protested attending the meeting she assured me this was NOT a timeshare sell, but whatever it is, it’s close enough. They will also call all of your guests when they arrive and ask them to come to the front desk for a “Gift†from the bride & groom. A few of our guests went thinking it was our goody bag and had to wiggle out of the sell. We just told everyone else to ignore the call. Our blood test & wedding meeting: This was scheduled on Weds (our 2nd day there). Blood test in the AM, very easy. Nurse comes to the wedding office with all the supplies does it right there. Very painless and safe. The wedding meeting was later that day. Gilberto and Veronique went thru everything on the detail sheet with us confirming all. You really need to make sure that everything you want is on there. We had a few last min cancellations that Tiffany didn’t capture on the sheet so we had to make sure all of our numbers were correct. Gilberto will make sure you have whatever you need, he is AMAZING! He really wants to make your wedding beautiful and memorable, so trust him. We had a couple of changes to venues – our cocktail party was scheduled to be at Zocalo Terrace (along the pool) – but since we’d been there in November for the site visit they’d since built a bathroom and activity sign almost right in the middle of it. So we were able to move it to another location. We also found out at this meeting that there were 4 other weddings on our day! I was so upset, I told them both that we should have been made aware of this, etc. And that we would never have booked here if we’d known it would be a wedding factory. They assured me that our party would have the FULL attention of the staff and that we’d never even know there was another wedding on. If you have anything special you want to do (speeches, table set ups, anything at all) tell Gilberto at that meeting. We were a little under prepared, and had to go back a few times to give them things. Welcome Dinner: This event was a Mexican Fiesta Cocktail Party on the beach from 8-10pm. Around 5:30, Veronique comes to my room saying that it looks like it might rain and they’d need to move us to the “back-up location†which is one of the conference rooms off the lobby. Once we got in there to take a look I was not happy. The room was too big, no windows and a small outside patio. She said we could keep it on the beach, but if it rained we’d have no food, drinks or music. I asked if we could move it to the Zocalo Plaza (the Original Plaza which is now covered by a huge palapa). She said no, even though I’d seen a private wedding there the night before. After much back and forth, she finally conceded and let us hold our event there. It was nice, the space is huge. The Mexican food was wonderful!! Much more than just food for a cocktail party – we had encouraged our guests to eat dinner first since I wasn’t sure how much there would be – and it was totally unnecessary. They set up a full bar, and a buffet line of different tacos and Mexican foods. They also have a taco cart where a guy will make you tacos to order, I highly recommend this! Wedding Ceremony: We were scheduled for 4PM on Sunday. The weather that day was amazing, but it seems to always get really windy around 3pm until about 6:30/7. The set up was beautiful exactly what I wanted. Gilberto came to my room with my bouquet about 2pm so I could have them for pictures. Then he will meet the groom about 20 before the ceremony to give him the boutonnière (if you have a wedding party they will deliver all flowers the same way). We asked if our flower girl could have some of the flowers they put on the walkway for the basket – which they did, no problems. Gilberto came to pick me up at the room at 3:50 and we were off. We had a legal ceremony, so it was performed by a judge. They’d told us at the wedding meeting they have 3 judges they work with (2 females and 1 male) only the male judge speaks English. We ended up getting him (otherwise the female judge will read and Gilberto will translate). It was very quick, which was good since you could see a storm rolling in. They were good with the processional music and music while we were signing paper – but they flubbed on the recessional music, so we just walked away to nothing. Oh well, I doubt anyone remembers that but me! We took pictures with everyone on the beach near the site (we were at the Ceremony site toward the Family section). Photographer: We used an outside photographer Martha Roque from Cancun Photomemories. She was AMAZING! So wonderful to work with – and we’ve already rec’d our album and disk. I will write a full review, and attach the link. I highly recommend working with her! We had no problems getting this approval from AS – but this was also a while ago that we did that. I’m not sure what their policies are now. Flowers: I’d requested a “Tropical Bouquet†told Gilberto orange, pinks and greens – It was perfect. Unless you have something very particular in mind – I would not pay extra – the one included in the wedding package is beautiful. The boutonnière I just wanted something orange and tropical, and it was perfect. I had 2 large corsages on the ceremony “gazebo†with white fabric (this is extra $$ which Tiffany never told us – but you can just pay there), and small hanging chair corsages. After the ceremony they bring that all in to help decorate your reception, which is nice. I also had flower centerpieces – small square vase with pink and orange flowers with green leaf wrapped in vase. Cocktail Party: After changing the location from the Zocalo Terrace, we were supposed to be at the Zavas Terrace (poolside in front of Zavas restaurant) but b/c it was about to rain they moved us to the Zocalo Cantina (the covered outside bar of the Zocalo restaurant). This was fine for us, since our group are big drinkers – they are more than happy to mingle around a bar. We had the white glove passed appetizers – all of the food was amazing! And the waiters were wonderful – especially Hector. He took such great care of us at the cocktail party. We ended up closing up the cocktail party early since everyone was looking antsy, and we moved to the Reception Dinner. Reception Dinner: We were scheduled at the Zocalo al Fresco. This is the outside patio of the Zocalo Restaurant. We were told by Tiffany that since we had less than 50 guests we would not be able to have this venue, but it got “approved†on our detail sheet and there was no mention of it at our wedding meeting on –site. We were so happy to find out that they’d covered the outside patio since we’d been there in Nov. And thank goodness, since it ended up pouring right through our dinner. They also have shades that they pull down to cover the “windows†which was great b/c the rain was torrential. Its was not a big deal, a few leaks in the ceiling and from the covered ‘window’ but we all survived. We had a friend of our do the “announcing†since the DJ doesn’t do any MC’ing. All worked great. DJ was awesome – we brought our ipod and so did a few of our friends in case he wasn’t good. But we didn’t need them at all. As soon as we were done with dinner, I asked him to kick it up and get everyone dancing – and he did! From 8pm on everyone was dancing and having a great time. By then it had stopped raining so they could open the shades for a breeze. Since the restaurant was closed that night, we had the place to ourselves. The waiters came around to bring drinks, but everyone could also go to the bar. Even though the bar was still open to hotel guests, no one came in. Overall our experience at AS was wonderful! Everyone loved the hotel and thought the wedding was wonderful. Even though there were 3 other weddings going on that night, I felt like the only bride. There was a wedding going on at the Zocalo Plaza right behind us and I never even saw them! I would recommend having your wedding here definitely! Just don’t let yourself get stressed about the planning – it literally ALL happens when you get there. I know that everyone says that, but it really is true. Our wedding was so fun and memorable – I wish I could do it all again! Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
  5. Quote: Originally Posted by trayce2222 Hi everyone!!! Well, we just got home and let me tell you.....I had such BDW withdrawls while I was gone! I just kept thinking about everyone worrying about this dang flu! I will post a review with tons of pics later (as well as my planning thread since I didn't get to it due to all the swine flu stress)! We left on 4/29 and returned about 3 hours ago. If there are any of you still debating on moving or cancelling your wedding......DON'T!!!!! There is nothing to be afraid of! Most people aren't aware that Mexico City (where the majority of this started) is 24 hours driving from Cancun! It is so far away and there still hasn't been any cases reported in the Riviera Maya!!!! Anyway, our wedding and vacation was more than I had even hoped for!!! I truly had the wedding of my dreams! I'll share more once I unpack! lol Congrats!! Can't wait to hear all about it! I'm so glad it everything was what you'd hoped for. We're leaving in less than 2 weeks, and I CAN'T WAIT!!!
  6. As of now, we're still planning on going. Only a few of our guests have cancelled and possibly a few more. Our hotel and the airlines are offering no penalty cancellations, so at least I don't have to feel guilty they'd lost $$. Our concern is now getting a decent flight to Cancun - our flights were rearranged to include a long layover in Houston. I think the media sensation has tapered off, so hopefully the airlines will put the flights back on! Good luck to everyone who's dealing with this unnecessary stress - I'm so glad I have this forum to help figure everything out! We'll get thru this girls - our weddings will be beautiful!! AND we get to have the craziest story to tell our grandkids someday!!
  7. We're still unsure what we're doing. Trying to find out from our hotel & TA what options we have (if any). If its a matter of losing our money, then we are going! No matter who comes with! Below is a statement issued from our hotel. This may be helpful to send to your guests who are on the fence... STATEMENT ON TRAVEL TO MEXICO IN LIGHT OF US, EU AND CANADA RECOMMENDATIONS April 30, 2009 4:00 p.m. ET As many already know, ongoing reports of swine flu cases around the world prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to announce the influenza as Phase 5, denoting the “human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region.” Although these reports are dismaying, swine flu’s overall impact is still quite minimal, having affecting less than .000008 percent of Mexico’s population, .0000004 of the U.S. population, .00000005 of the EU population and .0000005 of Canada’s population. As such, the United States, European Union, Canada and Mexico have all decided NOT to restrict travel to or from Mexico – an assessment aligned with WHO, which “recognizes individual country considerations will affect national decisions, but, in general, does NOT encourage” border closings. There have been absolutely no reports of influenza in the Quintana Roo region (encompassing 16,228 square miles) of Riviera Maya, where El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma are located. The Quintana Roo State Secretary of Tourism reports that the isolated cases of H1N1 Influenza outbreak registered in the country have been located at the central and northern regions of Mexico. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, the Ministry of Health in Mexico and its counterpart in the State Government have not reported any of these cases to be identified in Quintana Roo. We continue to monitor the situation daily and will provide related updates as developments arise and/or new information is learned.
  8. Congrats and welcome back! I can't wait to read your full review, I'm sure you guys had an amazing time!
  9. Oh Blkatz, I'm so sorry to hear that! I wish there was something I could say to make you guys feel better.
  10. Has anyone spoken to the resort? Have they issued a statement of any sort. We spoke to our TA today, she has a few colleagues in the RM area doing site visits. They're back in the states on Weds, so I will post whatever update I receive from her then. I've been reading EVERYTHING today - and it doesn't look like they're restricting any travel to MX (as of now). This map made me feel a lot better - I live in NJ and work in NYC, I think we have a better chance getting the swine flu here than in MX! Swine flu map - Wall Street Journal
  11. Thanks for your post, even though the beginning was bumpy it sounds like your wedding was wonderful! Our wedding in less than a month away and I'm expecting a lot of stress, so hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised....
  12. Great stuff, thanks for sharing. Just another "to-do" on my list...
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