We were married at the Riu Palace in Cabo on February 18, 2010!
Once we made it through the airport and onto our charter bus they drove us to our resort (took about 30 minutes). At the resort we were directed to leave our luggage at the front and head to the lobby bar to check in. We were greeted there with Margaritas. The check in process went quickly, but our rooms were not ready yet which was understandable because our flight was early. We hung out at the lobby bar terrace for the short wait and got our drink on! With our wedding package we were told we’ve receive a room upgrade upon availability. The resort was at full capacity during the week we were there because it was February break for us Canadians. We were not upgraded to a Junior Suite (we were told there are only 12 in the whole building) but we did get a partial upgrade and were moved to an ocean view room. We loved it!
MEETING WITH WEDDING COORDINATOR
I contacted Daniella (wedding coordinator) about 6 months before our wedding to get some information on the wedding options. She sent me about 10 attachments in an e-mail that had every detail imaginable in them. There were a few things I knew I wanted for sure (Mexican Terrace for reception and the San Jose Gazebo) so I wrote her back to let her know. I thought I’d be better off speaking early for them incase there was another wedding that day. About two months before the wedding I got an email from Daniella asking me for the final details (flowers, cake, music etc.). She had me fill in a few spreadsheets and fax/email it back to her. She then did up a final spreadsheet with all the final costs and all my details. I liked this because it was reassuring that she had made note of everything I wanted (right down to the fresh flowers for the cake). She also set up a meeting with me for the morning after our arrival to the resort.
Dustin and I met with her the morning after we arrived. She basically went through her final spreadsheet and asked us if there were any other changes or questions. I gave her my favors and a brief rundown of how I would like them set up. I also gave her the cd of our ceremony/first dance music. The meeting took about 15 minutes tops.
The day before the wedding, we all met Daniella in the lobby and she took us down to the Gazebo for our rehearsal. The rehearsal is without the Reverend, so it was just our wedding party, parents and Daniella there. That would be my only complaint and worry. I really didn’t know what to expect for our ceremony. I didn’t have any readings or any songs during the ceremony. Daniella gave me the email address of our Reverend a few weeks before we left, when I asked her what to expect. He never did write me back. So we just went with whatever he had planned. Good thing we decided not to write our own vows too! I’m okay with the way it was, short and sweet. I started crying when I said my vows, so any longer I may have looked a little soggy for the pictures ha ha.
The Riu Palace resort is perfect. The grounds are immaculate. Everyone in our group was able to find something to eat. We ate at the Krystal for our rehearsal dinner (only will book 6 people max – very tiny inside) but it was awesome! The other people in our group weren’t able to get into this a la carte during their stay so I’m glad I got Daniella to book it for our rehearsal. We all loved it. We also ate at the Steakhouse (it was ok) and the Japanese (very good). The main buffet was good as well. A lot of my guests raved about the Japanese. The main buffet was good as well. The rooms were very clean and nice. There were rumors on tripadvisor about theft from the rooms. We used our safe’s and no one in our group had a problem what so ever!
Our wedding was booked for Feb 18th at 4pm. To put it in the simplest terms possible, it was easygoing, relaxing and beautiful.
The day of the wedding the 7 of us girls went to Suzanne Morels salon to have our hair/makeup done. We started by 10am and were done around 1:30pm. We caught another cab back to the resort and had a quick lunch. We went back to my room to get ready. When I got back to the room my flowers had been delivered and were in a box. They were beautiful! I paid extra on top of the ones the came with our package (cost me $60 I believe) and got a few calla lilies, roses, and orchids. Calla lilies and roses come with the package, among a lot of other flowers, but the orchids didn’t so that is where the $60 came in. At 2:30 our photographer came in to start pics and they worked back and forth between the boys and girls rooms. At 3:45 we were to meet down by the spot we practiced at the rehearsal (all planned out so the boys couldn’t see us). We were married at the San Jose Gazebo, and the set up was beautiful. I recommend that area if you want something more private. It’s along the far side of the resort overlooking the beach but it’s far enough over that no one is around. It was literally our wedding guests, Daniella, and ourselves that was it! No One around. After they announced us husband and wife we made our exit, went around the corner and came back (Daniella planned this at the rehearsal) to have champagne with all our guests and get some group photos. We then began our photos.
Note: The wedding was set up just as we asked and all the music was all exactly how we had wanted it. The judge did his thing then he had a hand ceremony that we asked him to add on and "I DO". The ceremony was very quick. Daniella handed our rose petals to all the guests and they tossed them on us as we made our exit. I didn’t know that the flowers were part of the package but it sure made things ever more pretty!
We hired a local Cabo photographer Gilda Badillo. She was very good to us and we couldn’t have asked for more. We had a meeting with her the first day we arrived as well. She went over a timeline and questioned us on what kind of shots we were looking for. We booked her for 8 hours (7 the day of the wedding with a 1 hr trash the dress on the next day).
The day of the wedding Gilda and her two assistants came. They were all great and full of ideas and so organized, we were able to do so many shots in so little time. We had so much fun shooting all around the resort. We also did a trash the dress shoot the next day at 4pm. She picked us up in her car and drove us to downtown San Jose and then to a private beach. I don’t have any of my pictures back yet. But when they are sent to me, I’ll be sure to post some!
We decided at the last minute that we wanted a wedding video and I’m so happy we made that choice. We used Mango Productions and got them to do a 1 hour video, just during the ceremony. They did such a nice job. It even had my husband in tears the first night we watched it. They editing is so cute! When we have our kiss, they turn it to slow motion just for the kiss, so it last and lasts and then our Jason Mraz song begins and we all make our exit. The video cost $600us for the one hour and so far it’s my favorite thing from the wedding – mind you I don’t have any pictures from Gilda yet!
SUZANNE MORELS SALON
Let me begin by telling you that I am a hairdresser. I never like when anyone does my hair, not even my fulltime stylist. This was the only thing I was stressing about and even up to the moments before I sat down in the chair at the salon, I still had 8 pictures in my hand and didn’t know how I wanted my hair. They did such a great job on all of us and I have nothing but good things to say. It was a little expensive but not a whole lot more than I would have paid here in Canada. I think my hair and makeup was $150us, but I paid for all the girls’ hair and when it was all said and done, with extension being put in and whatnot it came to $800us. I still think it was SO worth it! They have a translator/ coordinator that works alongside the stylists and she is always asking what you do and don’t like about your hair. They took no offence to your criticism. I didn’t have to get anything changed to mine- she did it dead on at her first attempt!
The reception was great and everyone danced the night away. We had our private dinner reception at the Mexican A la Carte Restaurant on the Terrace from 8pm to 11pm. This was an added cost of $500 we just used the regular menu b/c I figure paying $50 per/person for a meal would have been a waste of money. I had my brother who was also a groomsmen, be a little bit of a mc for us. We were introduced as the newly wed couple by Daniella and then we went right into our first dances, father daughter/mother son. We then ordered our meals and then we did the speeches and after ate dinner. They had a huge sound system all set up and it was quite good. No complaints! We then cut the cake and did the garter/bouquet toss. By that time our time was up with Gilda and her crew. They left and so did Daniella, so we cranked up the tunes and had a dance. Everyone had a good time... I guess I made a great play list because everyone danced and had fun all night.
AFTER THE RECEPTION
Do you really want to know? We went over to the Disco once Daniella came back at 11pm to shut down the terrace. The Disco at the resort was always a good time. They played a lot of good music! Dustin and I were so hot in our wedding gear. We stepped outside for some air around midnight and decided to disappear into the night hee hee! When we got back to our room there were rose petals everywhere! All over the bed and all around the floor. It was so beautiful. They also had a huge fruit basket and champagne for us set out. The next morning we were to have breakfast in bed. But it never came. When we called down to ask why, they told us that we never filled out the form (which was true because it was never delivered to us). They had no problem fixing something up and bringing up to us. They also brought up a form to fill out so that we could have our planned “breakfast in bed” the next day. We chose not to after they brought us up our cold “bacon and eggs” which happened to be two hard boiled eggs and a little plate of bacon. No worries though! We just got up and went to the buffet for some hot breakfast.
We only went on one tour- The Whale Watching and it was great. It was only a tour hour excursion. We went out on some speed boats and got up real close to some whales. We saw a pile of them! At one time there were 7 males travelling together, and we also got to see a mother teaching her baby whale. It was quite cool to see them not caged up in an aquarium but in their natural habitat!
The vacation and wedding were awesome. The Riu Palace was worth every penny. I can't wait to go back. 1 week was not enough....Ten days would have been great!