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  1. Quote: Originally Posted by jdrewett I read in the contract the coordination and DJ were required. Does anyone know if they are flexible on this? Since we are having a church wedding and very low key dinner, I don't feel we need the coordination. We were also planning to do live music, instead of the DJ. I was planning on bringing my own photographer, but read about the extra $250 for the slideshow. I'm going to email my questions to Adam tomorrow. I always appreciate the input here too. Let me know your thoughts! Sam- Great pics! Can't wait to see the rest! Shreets- I was wondering the same thing. I used the catering industry standard of 1 server per 25 guests for estimating purposes in my budget. Jdrewett - Since we used one of the photographers who works with Playa, I didn't compare costs. I really loved Michelle's work when we were first looking, plus there is the added bonus of less stress, because her flight/accomodations/etc were taken care of by herself and Lindsay. If I remember correctly, I think Melissa brought in a photographer (and the pictures are amazing!), so maybe she can share more info. They assign one waiter per table (8 guests per table) and I think one captain. Ian and I had a separate table just for us two, and 4 guest tables; I'm trying to remember if we had 5 waiters or 6... As someone mentioned, the coordination fee is for Lindsay and Blaire's amazing work while you're planning. When it is done, I am pretty positive you will think that is money well spent - the amount of work and effort they put into everything is amazing! They don't just plan the wedding/reception - they coordinate your entire stay, and Lindsay goes way above and beyond. During my four days there I managed to request makeup remover (she loaned me her own), scissors, super glue (which she went into town and bought!?), and nail polish remover - all of which she found/got for me within minutes! And about the dj, I will tell you Aldo (the dj/bartender/karaoke leader) is awesome. He is totally worth it and especially at the end of the night, he does a really great job of reading your group and keeping the dancing going. We had dancers nonstop until 2am! I think he maybe would have kept going, but we kind of pooped out at that point! If you decide to use him for part of your wedding night, I think you'll be happy! Have you decided on the band you're going to use yet? Quote: Hi Sheri! Welcome to the goup. Las Celatas was on my list too! It's such a beautiful place. My grandmother would have had a hard time getting around - so we decided against it. But the pics of the place are gorgeous. Shreets - We looked at Las Caletas too, but decided against it for the same reason! It is a great venue, but a little more rustic than we were hoping for, plus I was worried about casualties on the boat ride back! About the kitchens - there are SOME pots and pans (in at least the bridal suite - we used a skillet to warm up our leftover wedding dinner ), but I'm not sure how many or if there are any in the other two penthouse suites. Lindsay would definitely be able to tell you how many or if they can make sure to round some up for your stay. Quote: I am falling for Playa Fiesta!! I started out thinking that for sure we would be going to Punta Cana and then started reading reviews on this site. Now Playa Fiesta and Las Caletas are my two tops!! Question for those of you who have been to PF - in some photos it looks like there is some nice sand and others are totally rocks - same beach different tidal time or different beach? Also, I see kids in some of the wedding pics but can they stay at the hotel or were they just there for the wedding day? I am not sure about staying there for a week with our small group but maybe a week at Dreams and then a wedding weekend at PF or something like that. Sheri - the beach varies from week to week - or even day to day! We arrived on a Sunday and the beach was pretty rocky... but by the time we left on Thursday it was definitely more sandy. I guess it all depends on the tide! And kids can definitely stay at PF - they have a few cribs/pack n plays for babies, and in the suites the couches can be converted to twin beds. I think with both PF and Las Caletas, you have the option to work within a budget or go completely over the top! Although I think Las Caletas can be cheaper. The biggest deciding factor is probably how you envision your wedding. I really wanted a "family" wedding - I wanted people to be in close quarters and run into each other in the hall and feel like at the end of four days they knew everyone (kind of like when you went to camp as a kid!). The atmosphere at PF is somewhat unique (I think) - PF is definitely a "villa-feeling" wedding... kind of like Lindsay just invited you and all your friends to hang out at her house for a week! Which she kind of is doing Also, have you done a site visit to Las Caletas? It is a great venue and the coordinators there are really sweet, but there were some aspects of it I wasn't expecting...though I DID really really want a parrot to fly my wedding ring down the aisle... Let us know what you decide though! As I'm sure you've seen on the site- there are LOTS of great weddings at both places!
  2. Quote: Originally Posted by mlabbe I also had the same question about the dance floor - I think that this is the sort of decision that would be much easier to make doing a site visit! Would the area where you get married make for a good dance area, or is it too far from the bar & music? Otherwise is there enough dance room around the pool? It's odd but looking at photos of the dance floor is looks sort of small - how many people would you say could fit on it to dance? Sam, i love your photos! Blaire sent them over to me two days ago so I guess that I got to see them early! It just looks perfect, and you two looked fantastic! I really like that Michelle included shots of the food, it gives me a good idea of what it looks like! Were those mini cheesecakes? Magalie, they were actually just mini (wedding) cakes - the same as the larger top layer, but shrunken. I mentioned to Lindsay I wanted cupcakes, and she suggested the mini cakes. They turned our great! We had orange cake with chocolate filling and raspberries - yum! The frosting isn't buttercream, but a whipped cream frosting and it was delish! I asked them to put beading detail on it (which you can't see) and I brought the ribbon, but when the baker sent over the sample for a tasting, he had put a raspberry on top, I guess to mark that it was chocolate and raspberry inside, but it looked so cute I asked him to put raspberries on all of them. Cake was not something I was excited about, but I really loved ours. The baker they use is great! Also, I can I repeat again how much I love Michelle Turner! Her photography is amazing! I was so excited to see these shots and she just sent them to me - she was editing our photos tonight and sent me an e-mail saying she couldn't wait to share these. I love them - especially the beer in the air in Ian's!
  3. wieselliot - p.s. congratulations on booking! You guys are going to have a great time! We are trying to convince our remaining un-married friends to get married at PF so we can go back as guests this time!
  4. Sneak peek of our pictures are up! I will definitely try to post a review once we get the pictures back... the wedding porn is 99.9% of the fun, right?! But for now, you can see a few pictures at our amazing photographer's website : Sam & Ian's Beautiful Puerto Vallarta Wedding And in the pictures you can see my answer to one of the questions - I wore low wedge heels. I am about an inch taller than my hubby already, and although my every day attire is 3-4" heels (he doesn't care!), I didn't want the kiss to be awkward as I towered over him. Plus, you spend the entire night on the concrete, and my big concern was comfort - no corsets, no sore feet! We didn't use a videographer. I kind of wish one of our friends had a video camera, because after reading Kate's review, I tried really hard to listen to the mariachi music as I was walking down the aisle, but it was all so fast, I don't remember! But we set a budget for our wedding, figured out three areas we wanted to splurge, and since the still photography was one, we skipped the video. I woudl highly recommend the dance floor though! I know it seems expensive, but it is soooo worth it! It connects the bar area to the dining area, so for us it really maintained a good flow throughout the party, plus people were amazed by a bridge over the pool! We used it the night before the wedding as well, when we did salsa dancing. Plus, it's nice to have a designated dance floor. Just my opinion! On the rooms, we ended up with 17 rooms. All of them were GORGEOUS and amazing. In a partial takeover I kept wondering which rooms we would be assigned because they are not all equal, but Adam and Blaire were terrific and gave us ALL The oceanview rooms. they even locked off bedrooms in the 3-room suites, so we had 2 2-room suites. We had one couple in a standard (no sitting area) ocean view room, but that was their choice becuase they wanted a balcony and ocean view but were originally on the 1st floor. All the rooms are great, but I can see how it might be more difficult if you do a full takeover and some guests have huge ocean view rooms and others have standards (I think in most of the standard rooms, the window faces the hall - no ocean view). Lastly, we took a TON of stuff down! I made everything - menus, guestbook, napkin rings, table letters and place cards, ribbon runners for the dinner tables and cake table, silk tablecloths for the extra tables, etc. Plus we took fans for hte ceremony and coolers & koozies for the welcome bags...and I had my best man take a MASSIVE cupcake stand (which I left for Lindsay and any future brides if you use minicakes or cupcakes!). If you're going to take tablecloths and other linens I highly recommend thinking hard about the weight of the fabric. silk dupioni is great because it is so light it doesn't take much space, plus you can iron it. That's also why I made ribbon runners - I'm thinking of marketing them to destination brides, they were so easy to carry! And if your question is about customs, we didn't have a problem. The maximum you can take in for gifts is $300 a person, so I made sure to distribute that; they stopped us at customs entering Mexico after our bags went through the x-ray and searched them, but they saw the tags saying "Welcome to the wedding celebration," I was carrying a huuge dress bag, and we told them we were getting married, and they waved us through. They must have initially thought we were importing coolers to sell on the beach! Anyways, whew that's long! HOpe it helps you girls though! Any other questions, ask away! I promise, I'll try to be brief!
  5. Hola Chicas! I just wanted to pop in and say hi - I know I was lousy at posting before... I was busy diy-ing for our wedding! Which was AMAZING! Ask any of our guests - they were raving! It's not that I didn't believe Kate or Melissa when they said everyone had a great time - I just was anxious that maybe our group wouldn't feel the same... but they did! We're still waiting for our pro pics, but once I figure out how to post candid shots, I'll try to do so - I DIY'd my tail off and we took so much down with us, I want to show it all off! And to everyone planning a PF wedding - it is completely and totally worth it! We did a site visit last year (which is awesome because they totally take care of you!), but I can honestly say this is the one place I can recommend booking sight unseen! And a special shout out to JennieBey! After you left on Sunday, I put two and two together and realized I'd seen you on the BDW board! I didn't realize it when we met! Congratulations to you too! I saw your pics on Michelle's blog and they look beautiful! Your flower centerpieces were gorgeous as well...we got to look at them after you were gone!
  6. Hi Joyce! I looked at both those places as well! I think a lot of people get married at Le Kliff, but the downside for us, is that the dining room looks over the ceremony site, so diners can watch your wedding. Hacienda San Angel is AMAZING! It is absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking, but we decided against it based on both the cost (just the site fee was substantially more than everywhere else we looked) and we did not get a very good vibe from the owner. We met with a wedding coordinator during our visit, and they repeated what Mishka said - she's a little eccentric and has very definite ideas about how the property should be used/decorated/etc. Obviously, many brides have been married there, though, and the weddings are gorgeous! Good luck in your decision - let us know what you decide! Deciding on a location was stressful (for me!), but no matter where you choose, anywhere in PV will be gorgeous!
  7. Quote: Originally Posted by Bunsie3 Awww Mel, I just saw your slideshow up on the Playa Fiesta page...looks great!! You were such a beautiful bride. Everytime I watch the PF slide shows I get teary...guess I am just a big sap! Did anyone do a signature drink? It looks like it in some of the slideshows and pics. If so, how did you do it? Budget for so many per guest or do them on top of the open bar during the cocktail hour? I can offer my support on the room issues too! We are over our room requirement but we have already had two couples pull out, who had already booked rooms, which we then had to fill with other guests booking rooms b/c we were responsible for them. We also had a couple book two rooms...each of them booked a room without realizing the other had...which we are now responsible for and need to fill. Luckily my mom and dad have not booked yet so we can cover it with them. The rooms have definately been the most stressful part of planning for me and I have not even had to decide who gets what room yet. One recommendation I can make, from lessons learned, is to hold a few guaranteed guests back...we asked my mom and dad and sister and brother in law to hold off on booking their rooms. That way if you have people who have to cancel their room reservation you will have people to fill them. If anyone else backs out we will still have my sister and brother in law to fill the room requirement. We have had quite a few of our good friends decline do to expenses, time off of work, etc...but I guess we have to just remember to see it as part of chosing a destination wedding. The perks by far out weigh the negatives. Question for the PF brides...was Adam lenient at all with which rooms he assigned you after you met your initial room requirement block? Did anyone have unhappy guests over which room they were assigned?/ As always, thanks for all of the info I definitely think the booking issue has been the most stressful part of the planning! We have been trying to help singles find roomies, so they don't pay for a full room, and I think we finally have it all figured out now. I definitely second the tip to have a few family members hold back! We've had a few people specifically request room types, which makes me a little apprehensive (and, in a few cases, gives me a small wish to be spiteful and put them in the windowless kitchen room! Bad Sam!), but I think all the rooms are gorgeous. I think we're going to try to put my bridal party in the 3-room suite, and give priority to the singles bunking together for the other suites (so they have the option to use the couches for beds rather than sharing). I suspect once everyone gets there they'll be happy regardless! And it sounds like Kate & Mel can back that up! We're torn on the signature drink - originally we were going to do one, but some of the Mrs friends will for sure only drink beer or whiskey, so I'm not sure it's worth it. Does anyone know how it works? Right now we're planning on the sangria for the cocktail hour as a compromise - I hope it's yummy!
  8. Quote: Originally Posted by Mel&B Ha ha! Ok, I do have wedding porn then. Our slideshow just went up on Playa Fiesta's website!Playa Fiesta I just looked at your slideshow - your wedding was beautiful and you looked gorgeous! I love the picture of you walking to the ceremony - your dress looked perfect! Now I can't wait for our wedding! And thanks for sending the brochure - it looks so great and will make my life so much easier!
  9. Aaargh! I can totally relate to all of your stress! Our deadline to book rooms is this Saturday and no one has done it yet! We should meet our room requirement though - eventually. But we have had a lot of stress related to one guest with a timeshare who offered floorspace to all of the Man's best friends! It is so frustrating! My stomach was in knots, thinking about the awkward situations that would ensue - we didn't want guests to choose between hanging out at PF with the Man, or going offsite to hang out with his other friends (who live elsewhere, so we don't see that often), and I didn't want the Man to have to go offsite and pay cash bar just to see his friends. It was a stressful few weeks, but the Man explained to his friends that it was important to us for everyone to stay at Playa Fiesta, since I'm from across the country, so everyone gets to know each other without cliques or groups (there's no bigger bummer than attending a wedding where everyone knows each other but you!). I think most of his friends understood - only one couple is staying offsite. In a whole 'nother ball of wax, the same gentleman who was offering up a timeshare (and had already accepted the invitation) then sent the Man the rudest, most offensive e-mail I've ever read, giving "Life Lessons" insulting every decision we've made related to the wedding from the hotel to the timeframe to the bachelor party (which he also said he was attending) and accusing the Man of being on an ego trip and costing people too much money! This from a gentleman my father's age! I was floored - and shaking mad! But in the end, we made the decision to politely tell him we felt it was inappropriate to attend the wedding, given his feelings about the event (and the not-so-nice way he shared it - really people! Keep it to yourself!). All I could think was seeing his face on the day of and remembering all the awful things he said - plus stressing that he was ruining our guests' vacation as well by sharing his opinion. I'm not sure that was in the etiquette book, but we felt 100 times better after doing it! Has anyone else EVER had to uninvite someone from their wedding? Not something I imagined in a hundred years! However, with that drama over, we're just trying to keep in mind that people are strapped for cash and we should feel good that they really want to attend our wedding, so they're trying to find a way to do so. But I wish I could have them read the forum, so they can see that everyone's really glad they're staying! And I really believe they will be thrilled when they get there - the wow factor at PF is unbelievable! That said, I am still planning our wedding! The invites went out (and looked gorgeous! totally worth the work!), I've made the ribbon runners, and am working on making matching fabric flowers for the napkin rings. And the dress is in! My first fitting is at the end of the month, so I am painfully working through Jillian Michaels' fitness routines. Ouch! Does anyone have any wedding porn to share! I need a motivational boost! Ooh, and Melissa - I remember one of your posts where you shared the wedding brochure you sent out to the guests who are attending. Can you link to that again? Thats next on my list!
  10. Quote: Originally Posted by edna I decided to go with orange shoes preferably satin... but it seems I have the same problem, no high heels in peep toes ... the shoe search is harder than the dress!!!! I found a pair that I love but is in UK SABELA-Evening/ Occasion-LK Bennett any suggestions? The orange UK shoes are hot! Can you find them "this side of the pond" (intended to be heard in terribly wonky british accent )? I definitely agree- I did the dress search in a week. I've been working on the shoes for 2 months! I am looking for fuchsia/pink shoes, but I want peep toes and a loooooow heel. I am a sky-high girl normally, but the Mr. is a little shorter than me and we have tried the kiss when I am in 4" heels- it's a little ridiculous! So I'm aiming for 2 1/2" or lower - unfortunately I cannot find many peeptoes or d'orsays in bright pink with a low heel. And darn JCrew- why are they coming out with cute, wedding-perfect shoes in only one color (which is not pink!)?? I thought I had the perfect shoes - I ordered a fuchsia suede peep with a glittery jewel by Casadei off endless.com and they were perfect! But they're Italian sizing and I think they are one size too small - my toes are squished, so I think I have to send them back So the search moves onward!
  11. Quote: Originally Posted by Mel&B I totally agree! And what a headache it must be to plan a wedding like that! Do you worry about every detail all day long? It's amazing to look back and think about everything that came together- things that I didn't even think about that I'm sure Lindsay worked hard to accomplish (timing of events, coordiation of vendors, etc). Ditto! So, we haven't gotten married yet, but already I am sooooo glad we went with Lindsay and PF! It has been so much less stressful. We get a lot of questions, mainly from family, along the lines of "why are you getting married all the way in Mexico" - clearly disregarding the fact the DC is just as far from the west coast and HI as Mexico! But the main reason we chose a DW (besides the obvious, sun, rum, and fun!) was that if we got married here I would totally be a bridezilla stressing about everything! Lindsay is awesome! and Mel - your tables were gorgeous! We were going to do runners, then I decided to do woven ribbon mats in the center (they are hard to explain), but I'm kind of lusting after the runners after seeing your pics! The green looks great against the white. We are doing fuchsia, plum and a little bit of navy - yum! on a kind of unrelated note - Mel, Kate, or any other past PF brides, how did you handle tipping at the end of the night? My etiquette is a bit rusty about that - do you tip everyone? Did you tip Lindsay? I'm not sure how that works... thanks! Sam
  12. Bunsie3 - your plans sound gorgeous! I am also someone who generally doesn't like carnations in bouquets, but oddly enough, I love arrangements of all carnations tightly clustered - it looks completely different and beautiful! We're using ribbons too - I'm weaving them to make centerpiece mats for the candles. THey're such a great option because they're affordable AND easy to transport down there! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only bride with guests (who technically don't have invitations yet -- oops!) freaking out about the swine flu already - it's 6 months away people!! We're hoping it will work in our favor with cheap airfare and maybe cheaper hotels for our before/after stays!
  13. Mel, I think you're right - whichever D&E package you choose, the additional cost is per room per night, no matter how many dinners are included. We are staying for four nights, and we chose the D&E with 3 dinners, 3 food/beverage stations and 3 entertainment choices, so it's pretty close to an all-inclusive stay (sans lunch), and I think it tacked on $25 per person per night (or $100) - which is still pretty good for all your dinners! You should definitely ask Adam, but I think before you sign the contract, he sets your rate and you will see the total cost for the stay, and can figure out the cost per night (with the D&E), unless you're paying the D&E for your guests. I think the D&E options are great though! We are having a mexican buffet as our welcome dinner, with a margarita bar and the mariachi trio - fun!
  14. thought I would chime in with my two cents My Mr and I took a 5 day scouting trip to PV last November (on which I took tons of pictures with the best of intentions, but have been terribly lazy in posting any of them!) and I think anywhere you get married is gorgeous. We looked at the Sheraton, Las Caletas, we met with Prisar Events and saw the Krystal, a private beach, the Botanical Gardens and a garden overlooking PV, Hacienda San Angel, the Buenaventura, Villa Premier and Playa Fiesta (wheeew! that was a lot!). Definitely, I am biased, because we chose Playa Fiesta, but we were totally blown away. I was torn between using Prisar and doing the Botanical Gardens and PF, but in the end, PF fit what we were looking for. It's a little expensive for our guests, but we're picking up the D&E, so it's basically all inclusive, and a lot of guests don't know about that pesky tax and service fee (27% is insane!), which can bump up the price anywhere. When we walked into PF we were amazed by how beautiful it was and how private, as well as the service from the staff. Another wedding party was just beginning to trickle in, so we were able to chat with them and see what a great atmosphere it is when you arrive. We specifically were looking for a private location and were anti-AI, so I don't know how it would compare to Dreams or the Riu. We stopped by the Mayan, and watched a wedding at the Sheraton and those are both completely different atmospheres. PF is more akin to a private villa, but much more affordable and definitely easier (three cheers for Lindsay!). One thing to consider, we decided to do a 4-day, weekday wedding - we're getting married on a Tuesday - so the cost to our guests is significantly less. Lindsay is great, and I think she could help you work with a specific budget. We are having a pretty low key celebration - I did choose the most expensive flowers (orchids and mini calla lilies!), but decided to do a smaller bouquet size and we're not doing flower centerpieces. We chose to splurge elsewhere - picking up the D&E, getting a great photographer, live music, and fireworks(!!). However, if you're willing to go with the dj, less decorations, etc, you could do it for less. Playa Fiesta itself is so gorgeous, you don't really have to decorate it too much, and they have great options like guac and salsa instead of individual hors d'oeuvre, and bowls of sangria for cocktails. And I can tell you from first hand experience, the food is great! I guess this is a long-winded way of saying, I think Playa Fiesta is definitely worth the money (I knew it was a go when we walked in and the Mr commented not only how awesome it was, but that it would blow everyone away when we got married there!). You can have a gorgeous wedding anywhere in PV, and some places for less, but PF stood out for us in terms of the class and quality, as well as the intimacy - we wanted our guests to come away feeling like they got to know everyone, kind of that cheesy summer camp feeling! I know some of our guests may be hesitant about the cost, but we've let them know well in advance so they can save up, and I suspect after the wedding, 99.99% will agree that it was worth it. On a side note, if it turns out PF is just not in your budget for the wedding you imagine, our second choices were definitely the Botanical gardens (using Prisar - we did not have a good experience with the Botanical people themselves), and Las Caletas. If anyone has questions, feel free to PM me! And Mel - congratulations! I can't wait to see your wedding pictures - I bet your dress was absolutely gorgeous at that location!
  15. Yay! less than a year! brittbrodin - Las Caletas - March 21, 2009 Andi - Las Caletas - April 24, 2009 Mel&B- Playa Fiesta- May 1, 2009 klhutsell - Villa Celeste - May 16, 2009 alliegrenier - Riu Vallarta - May 22, 2009 JaimeLynne Mayan Palace May 24, 2009 Susanandmo Dreams Nuevo Vallarta May 24, 2009 Bca33 -Las Caletas June 6, 2009 Goldstein to be (Bo) - Riu Vallarta, June 6, 2009 Ylopez87 (Yesenia) - Palladium Vallarta, June 29th, 2009 Ashey063009 (Ashley) -- Dreams Puerto Vallarta -- June 30th, 2009 Tiffiney01 -Riu Vallarta - August 15, 2009 tcuvicki- Presidente Intercontinental 9/26/09 jmiranda - Riu Vallarta - October 21, 2009 Jamie (smith3576) - Dream - 11-3-2009 (arrive Oct 2 Sam (db2b) - Playa Fiesta, November 10, 2009 godaloveme-playa Los arcos- 11-14-2009 Jess - Dreams Puerto Vallarta - 11/28/09 MaryS-Mayan Palace - 11/28/09 msjcastillo- Las Caletas Puerto Vallarta 12/27/09 owensmiley-las Caletas-4-10-2010
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