I got married on January 26, 2010 at Casa China Blanca just north of Puerto Vallarta. The Dazzling Details were my wedding coordinator. We and our guests stayed at Dreams Villamagna in Nuevo Vallarta. I am finally posting my review!
1. Casa China Blanca: A+
I rented this villa for my wedding event only. It is located approximately 20 minutes north of Nuevo Vallarta. It is SO much prettier in person. The pictures do not do it justice. I rented it through Jennifer Lawarence at Casa Bay Villas and she was awesome to work with, very organized and reliable.
Her contact info is: email@example.com. I planned my wedding from Canada and chose the villa site unseen so I sought a lot of guidance from Jennifer and she really listened to what I wanted and found me the perfect villa. We took 15 person passenger vans from the resort to the villa and the ride up the coast was beautiful.
2. The Dazzling Details: A+++++++++++
If you are planning a wedding in Puerto Vallarta - in my opinion, the only way to go is hiring The Dazzling Details as your wedding coordinator. They made our wedding planning stress free, were amazing to work with but most of all, were SO creative. I had no idea what design I wanted for the wedding and sent them so many different ideas and photos that I likely really confused them.. yet in the end our wedding represented my husband and I so well! I don't know how they did it! It was truly a dream wedding. Kristin and Michelle of The Dazzling Details were so organized, hardworking and reliable. They negotiated vendors down on my behalf. They gave me honest advice when I sought it. They really get to know what you are about and who you are as a person and plan your design so it is personal to each and every bride. I cannot thank them enough! I feel like I came out of my wedding with new friends! Website: thedazzlingdetails.com.
Here is a link to their blog about our wedding:
The Dazzling Details: Search results for sandy
Their facebook fan page also shows the behind the scenes of their exquisite work.
3. Dreams Villamagna: A-
My guests and I stayed at Dreams Villamagna for one week. I was really worried initially that I had booked this resort because it was getting very mixed reviews. However, I was very happy with my choice in the end.
The staff at Dreams really went out of their way to please us. They offered to have private dinners for our group and discounts on spa services. They were great at bringing my dress to be steamed the day before the wedding and bringing it back on a timely basis.The night of our wedding, when we came back from the villa, our room was covered in rose petals, balloons, champagne, chocolate strawberries etc. Leonardo Herrerra, the concierge at the time, was so helpful (I understand he is no longer working there). Cynthia Salcedo, the groups director was also very helpful. He email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The best part of this resort were the rooms. The hotel is only a little over a year old so the rooms are very modern, huge and have jaccuzzis on the balcony. The bed was very comfortable; the washrooms had a huge tub and were very clean . The food at the resort was quite good for an all inclusive resort. There are five restaurants to choose from and all of them were open when we were there. The service during lunch at the seaside grill was pretty slow but we weren't in any rush. The rooftop sushi bar was one of the best parts of the resort - our group would hang out there most evenings and had a blast. I thought the resort was a bit colourless - I wish it had more foliage, and wish the resort was situated more horizontal to the beach and had rooms and restaurants closer to the beach, but I knew that when I booked.
I go to Puerto Vallarta very often and some of my other favourite resorts include: Velas, Dreams Puerto Vallarta, Villa Premiere and the Westin. If you ever have any questions about resorts, please feel free to PM me.
4. Hair/Makeup - Grand Velas Spa: A
My bridesmaids and I got our hair and makeup done at Grand Velas Spa. They did a very nice job. We had the entire spa to ourselves. They served canapes and drinks as a perk. Very nice touch. In hindsight, I probably would have stayed at Dreams Villamagna to get our hair and makeup done though because my bridesmaids couldn't wait for me to finish on the grounds of the resort, they could only wait in the spa or in the front of the resort. It was a beautiful day so they ended up catching some rays in the parking lot. Also in hindsight, although they did a good job with my makeup, for the cost, I would have probably just done it myself.
5. Welcome Dinner - El Palomar de las Gonzales: A
We had a welcome dinner at El Palomar de las Gonzales. The view from the restaurant was amazing - you could see all of pretty Puerto Vallarta! They reserved a whole terrace for us. The food was great. Given we were staying in Nuevo Vallarta, I wanted to show my guests the charm of Puerto Vallarta so chose to have my welcome dinner there. My guests loved the experience.
Address: Located on Calle Aguacate #425; Reservations: 011-52-322-222-0795
Email: Palomar_glez@hotmail.com. Website: PalomarPV.com. I should point out though that a couple months ago, the restaurant went under new management.
Some of my other favourite restaurants include: El Palapa (on the beach, amazing food, service and ambiance), Trio (great italian style food), Barcelona Tapas (great view), Pipis (great mexican), Espresso (great italian) and Las Carmelitas (the best view of puerto vallarta, it is way up in the hills - amazing experience). Feel free to PM me with any questions about restaurants.
We did an excursion to Las Caletas with Vallarta Adventures. We unfortunately set sail when the water was very rough so most of my guests got seasick. Because of the weather, we also couldn't do most of the activities when we got there, so I didn't have the best experience. However, Vallarta Adventures allowed us to Swim with the Dolphins when we returned due to the weather at Las Caletas. What an amazing experience. Vallarta Adventures really went out of their way to make us happy.
7. Photography / Cinematography
Our photographer was Joe Cogliandro, based out of Houston.
Houston Wedding Photographer J Cogliandro Photography. Wedding and Portrait Photographer Houston, Miami, Katy, Texas, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Caribbean locations and Europe. Joe is a wonderful person and worked very hard when he was in Mexico. He fit in really well with our guests. He took about 3000 photos! His coverage was amazing. While he was there, he did a boudoir session for me, came to Las Caletas and did a beach shoot, and covered our stay at Dreams and of course our entire wedding day. We also went to Conchas Chinas for our trash the dress session. I will be sure to share my slideshow upon receipt!
I didn't use a videographer but really wish I had in hindsight. There is a new amazing cinematographer called Sandpiper Films that has recently shot a number of weddings in Puerto Vallarta - samples of their work as stunning and very creative. I didn't realize at the time that I booked my wedding the new type of wedding films that are being produced. They are like movies as opposed to cheesy wedding videos. Amazing!
Ok - that's all for now - feel free to email me anytime with questions - I really relied on this site to help me plan my wedding and it provided me with so many great resources, so I really want to give back to other brides Happy planning!