I am also back from my wedding at Dreams and like Robs and Andie had an amazing time. I know its really hard for all of you to hear - "Dont worry it'll all be fine" right now, as you stress out bc you don't have visuals or emails coming back ...etc. but TRUST me -- it will be!! Rocio is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! She is a very competant, organized woman. She has a wall in her office with everyones wedding on their specified dates and I saw her email inbox, everyone is labelled and emails numbered. She has not LOST your email NOR is she ignoring you. She is simply 1 woman that is doing the job of many. If you think about it, she has 1 or 2 weddings a day down there --so you could imagine she has over a hundred of us at any given time requesting her attention. She does what she can and concentrates on the woman down there and that are coming up on her schedule. Once you are down there, she gets everything moving VERY quickly with arranging times to meet the florist, photographer etc. They are all super accomodating ( I know we met up with Fabian the photographer one night at 10:30pm)
Anyway down to the details.
1. I had my wedding at the terrace at 4:30pm. It's beautiful and secluded from those string bikinis as it overlooks the pools outfront and the beach. From where your guests sit, the pictures include you and your hubby + whatever table/flower arrangement you have, with a infinity pool behind you and then just water and palm trees. It is truly beautiful and honestly the most private place you can get married there (unless of course you choose to do it all inside....but why would you do that:)
2. Immediately following we were takin to the beach for photos and our guests had about an hr maybe less before they returned BACK to the terrace for a cktl reception and 4 peice band - which all the guests raved about (we of course were too busy with pictures)
3. Pictures take forever! Fabian is an artist, he truly is - but we took photos from the time we left the ceremony to the time the dinner started, literally minutes before. However, the positive side is that bc he takes so many - he GIVES you soo many. He may in your contract with him say he guarantee's say 300 pictures....but he will give you over 400! All the brides I was with down there, got way more than they thought...so great news. He said that would probably happen bc he honestly wants you to have the BEST pictures. The man loves his job! (Just a side note: he doesn't speak the best english, so if ppl are having troubles finalizing anything over email, it just may be he doesn't understand what you are asking/want....but he trys very hard and we had no problems getting understood - if anything Rocio will sit with you and translate)
4. We had our dinner reception set up infront of the gazebo. We insisted on a head table, so they set one up right against the back of the railing and then put the 5 rounds infront of us. (Make sure you ask Rocio to "uplight" your tables. (Incase you don't know what that is, they put lights under the tables, so that at night it shines through the table cloth and makes all the tables look like candles) It's super pretty....especially next to the pool that is lit up too. We used the gazebo to have our first dance in, which was super nice, and excellent for photos. You totally feel like your on display, but in a good way -- its your dance ignore the photos.
We also used the "sitting area" at the gazebo as a dance floor - worked awesome. We used an iPod for our songs as well. They set up a huge speaker for you, which is connected to the microphone and your iPod. Just set up your music smarty before you leave home -- clearly mark them as Processional, Recessional, Dinner, 1st Dance, Dance, Garter Toss etc and then its super clear and anyone can do it. I also recommend doing a little seating chart before you head down - I just gave mine to Rocio and she had everything set up perfectly.....I also gave her stuff to set up on the tables and on the book signing area and when I got down there I didn't have to do a thing.
5. We ended right at 11 (no one will kick you out mind you, I mean I think we were supposed to be done at 10:30, but the staff were waiting patiently and cleaning up around us - very polite...they kept telling us "It is okay"....so cute.
6. We ended up at the lobby bar with some of our friends...but didn't stay too long as we had "buisness" to attend too *wink* But I highly recommend taking all your flowers from the tables and giving them to ppl to put in thier rooms -- they make the rooms smell lovely and they are ohh soo pretty -- don't let them go to waste, enjoy them for the next cpl days.
All in all a beautiful day --HOWEVER - there was one part of the day that almost ruined it. The hair and make-up! Make sure that you get Renee and not his lil assistant. I unfortunately started with Renee in my room, but since there was a 2nd bride that day he had to leave before he could do me to attend to the other bride and I was stuck with the assistant. It was a DISASTER. First of all - if you are good at it, do your own make up. I asked for a very natural look, I got bubblegum pink and purple eyeshadow, the un natural looking fake eyelashes and purple lip gloss! When I looked in the mirror I swear I was 10 again and playing make belief. THEN she attempted the picture of what I wanted with my hair. I know up-do's usually always come together in the last minutes of the stylist doiing your hair so I didn't freak initally when she started making mini-ponytails on my crown.....but OMG - it looked so awful and NOTHING like the picture, not even close. I was tearing it out before she left the room, bawling my eyes out 20 minutes to the wedding! Rocio was contacted immediately and she had Renee in my room in less than 10 minutes. HE was a god-send. He took one look at the picture and went to town, while I fixed my make-up - it all looked great in the end. I was a half hour late for the wedding and freaking out, but thank God no one really noticed (the terrace is conveniently next to the lobby bar so everyone was just chillin') Because Renee came back, my day was saved. But just a word to the wise - if you are super worried about the hair, get them in your room earlier than later - JUST IN CASE
Funny thing too was that my hubby and I decided NOT to get the pkg from Fabian that included the getting ready shots - and thank goodness.....haha...the last thing I need is memories of that!!! Ohh and if ppl want to know if you don't need that part of the pkg than the price goes down quite a bit. We paid like $450 and got the ceremony, family and friends, just bride, just groom, b & g together, reception, 1st dance, father -dau dance, groom mother dance and cake cutting....we were guaranteed 200 and got 338. Great price and outstanding quality and shots. Some of them honestly belong in a Bridal Magazine!
The cost of our flowers weren't too bad either. We had the Ultimate pkg so that helped. But we got my bouquet and 3 bridesmaids, 4 bout's for hubs and groomsmen, plus 2 for our dads and 2 coursages for our Moms, 5 table centers, 1 major tablecenter (which was used on the ceremony table, as well as placed later on our head table at dinner) and the arch at the ceremony for $500cdn (if I did the conversion correctly....it was in peso's on the bill at the end of the week -- I can dbl check if anyone really needs to know)
We also took all of our 4O guests on a 7 Bays Tour the day after the wedding. Do not use the woman at the resort. They charge dbl what other companies do and they do not include booze on the boat. None of the boats include lunch costs or snorkel gear costs. But even adding $200 for snorkel gear for our group to the price, it was STILL cheaper than the hotel rep.'s boat PLUS ours served alcohol. We paid $900 + $200 additional USD for the boat for the day. They take you out around the bays and into one to snorkel and then into another for lunch (approx $12-$15/person USD) and then back to the Santa Cruz marina. THey also included round trip greyhound bus to and from resort - which was only maybe 5 minute drive. Only negative with these guys is they only took cash -- so take this out at home bc we didn't know and we had to take it out over 3 days from the ATM bc it'll only dispense so much at a time. The mans name is Adelino Olea his email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his local number is 958.587.6409 Great guy and his staff on the boat are super funny and fun. When you snorkel they find sea creatures for you and your guests. They let us hold puffer fish, squids and a spider starfish!!!
I have a TON of pictures for anyone who wants to see. I especially took some of the terrace from all views as it was different than I had pictured. If you want to see them, email me at email@example.com. I don't check it everyday, but I will try to get to it often enough.
Anyway Good luck ladies and let me know if you need any help !!