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Everything posted by cjb0arder13

  1. Holy smokes those are BEAUTIFUL! You were a glorious bride. I'm so happy for you!
  2. Like I've said before, I only paid for one night for my photographer. I figured I'd try it and if they said something, I'd just pay the extra $50 or whatever for the $300 fee. I told Claudia I booked them a room...I didn't say for how many nights. On the day before the wedding, the Kodak people called my room and offered their services. I said that I already had a photographer, and they asked "Is it a guest, or an external photographer?". I just replied that they had a room booked. That was the end of it. If you can find an awesome deal on the happy days site, you can probably get a smokin' good deal at the Beach or Caribe and save some money. I know we brides are all about saving money!
  3. Thanks ladies!!! I honestly didn't think I'd be this excited about the pictures...but since they've come, I haven't been able to stop looking at them. I am a woman obsessed!
  4. Oh my gosh ladies I got my pictures back yesterday and they are amaaaaaaaaaaaazing!!! I am so thrilled to pieces, I don't even know what to say! For anyone wavering on photographers...you cannot go wrong with Claudia Rodriguez. She is simply amazing. Believe me when I say I am very unphotogenic, but I honestly feel beautiful in my pictures. Here they are! http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AbNW7Zu3buGbiA You'll have to register for Shutterfly, but it's free
  5. All right ladies! Thanks for your patience with me! Here is my SUPER long review My wedding at Barcelo Maya Palace, January 31st 2011. The Palace We (DH and I) arrived at the Palace the night of January 27th, around 6:30. Obviously, it was dark when we got there, so we didn’t get to see much of the resort on our way in. It was lit up beautifully, though, and I could already tell that the whole property was HUMUNGOUS. Upon arrival to the hotel in our private transportation (arranged for by our travel agent), we were greeted with a tray of yummy apple drinks. I think they were champagne mixed with something else. So good! We were whisked off to the Premium Club lounge, because we’d been upgraded (again thanks to our travel agent). Check-in was super quick and easy. We went to our room and were only there for about 5 minutes before our bags were delivered. Pretty darn quick service! The rooms are beautiful, and VERY very clean. The bathrooms are a work of art (for realsies). Not a ton of privacy, but chances are you know your fiancé pretty well by now, so it shouldn’t be an issue J The food I’m pretty easy to please, so I didn’t expect to have any issues with the food, and I didn’t. The buffets have a ton of food to choose from. It’s kind of what you’d expect from a buffet. I will say that we tried the buffet at the Colonial, and it was much better there (hotter, fresher). We tried all the a la carte restaurants except for the Caribbean, and they were all delicious. The Bars Almost everywhere we went, we got great service. There’s a little bar called Havana over at the Colonial…it’s a tiny little bar but it’s tons of fun! The bartender there (I forget his name) was great. Tip him well! The only complaint I have is that the service at the pool bars was not so good. The bartenders kind of made it seem like it was a pain in the butt to serve you. In fact, at one of the pool bars, the two bartenders were making fun of my friends and me in Spanish…right in front of our faces. I think they were upset because we ordered Miami Vices, which are blended drinks and probably not so easy to make. Either way, it was NOT cool, and I didn’t go back to that bar the whole time. The Wedding Our WC was Claudia. We met with her the morning after we arrived, and she was very, very nice. I never had any complaints about her during the planning process, because my emails were always answered quickly and I didn’t have a lot of demands in the first place. We went over all of the choices, and she confirmed our guest count and list. I had NO idea what I wanted for flowers, and she pulled out a humungous book with lots of options, which I picked from. They really know what they’re doing down there, and I had absolute confidence after our meeting that everything was going to go perfectly. The day of the wedding, my bridesmaid did all of our hair/makeup. We started at 11 (wedding was at 3). I wish now that we’d started earlier…we were REALLY rushed to get done on time. But at least I was so busy I didn’t have a chance to get nervous! Claudia picked us up at about 2:55, and we all rode the golf cart to the ceremony location (Playa Azul). The shuttle had picked up the rest of the guests and groomsmen at 2:40 and taken them over there. The Ceremony I’m sooo glad we got married at Playa Azul. Out of all of the ceremony options, this was the most private. It’s down at the very far end in front of the Beach hotel. When we pulled up in the golf cart, it was set up beautifully. I didn’t order anything extra, but they had the chairs/chair covers, and sashes tied around the chairs in my colors. There was a table set up that DH and I stood in front of. We chose a violin player, and she was hooked up to speakers so we could hear her very clearly. The beach is breezy, although not super windy, but I would recommend that your Officiant use plastic sheet covers and clip them into a notebook/binder. My officiant (brother-in-law) was having a really hard time keeping the papers with the ceremony script from blowing away. I should have thought ahead and had them clipped in. D’oh! The ceremony was beautiful, and I keep replaying it over in my head. The Reception We had our reception in the banquet room. In hindsight, I’m actually really glad we did this, because it was very private and kept us insulated from the wind/sand blowing everywhere. We had our own private bartender and two servers, and the food was AH-MA-ZING. We had the Caesar salad, cream of asparagus soup, rack of lamb, and dark chocolate fondant. There was a TON of food, and we couldn’t eat all of it. The cake was beautiful and delicious, but everyone was too full from dinner, so we didn’t even eat half of it. They delivered the rest of it to our room the next morning J There was a sound system set up in the corner, and I just hooked up my iPod to it. Super easy. Claudia Rodriguez I don’t know if I can convey here how amazing Claudia was. Right off the bat, I felt totally comfortable with her. She’s very nice, and knows how to direct you without seeming pushy. I paid for one night for her and her brother/assistant Armando at the Beach. It came to about $250. Now, I guess you can pay a $300 fee, or book them a room for two nights. Claudia took a TON of pictures…I can’t wait to get them, because I know they’re going to be amazing. She is so talented. And she went way above and beyond to help me out. She was taking pictures of me sitting in the sand. I got up and started to brush the sand off of my hands, and in doing so, accidentally flung off my grandmother’s wedding ring (it was my something old and something borrowed). My grandmother passed away over 10 years ago, so obviously this was a pretty distressing situation. After helping us look, digging through the sand for 10 minutes, Claudia jumped on her phone and started making phone calls. First she called the OTHER Claudia (the WC) to see if the hotel had a metal detector. Then she called a friend that worked at another hotel a few miles away, and the friend said they did, so she asked her assistant Armando to drive down and get it. While he was gone, she took a ton more pictures, very nicely distracting me from freaking out about losing my grandmother’s wedding ring. A half hour later, Armando showed up with the metal detector (it was one of those things they use at the airport when you set off the big metal detector…the portable kind that they run up and down your body to find where the metal is). After a tense 5 minutes of running it around the sand and not finding anything, they FINALLY found the ring! I think I screamed…I jumped over to Armando and Claudia and gave them the BIGGEST hugs ever. They seriously saved the day!!! I will hopefully get my pictures this week. As soon as I have them, I’ll post a link so you can see them! If you guys have ANY questions at all, ask away!
  6. That's more for you, for organization. I never filled mine out, and she never asked me for it. Ladies, I PROMISE I will do my review in the next week...it has been so crazy getting back into the swing of things and I know I've been slacking. Please forgive me!
  7. Hey Brenners...we've got a thread started for the Palace....check it out: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/thread/21746/barcelo-maya-palace-brides-post-here-d It also contains info about the other resorts on the Barcelo property. I just got married there last week, and it was perfect. Some brides haven't had such a great experience, but go ahead and start reading the thread and you'll learn lots. Good luck!
  8. The new rule for outside photographers is that you either book them a room for 2 nights, or pay the $300 fee to the resort photographers. Actually, this isn't a new rule, it's an old one, but they keep changing their minds on what they'll allow. I just booked the room for one night, for 2 people, at the Beach. It was $250. I booked it online through the Barcelo website. You may be able to find an even better deal if they're doing "Happy Days" promotions. I just said I had a room booked. I didn't say how many nights. The day of the wedding, the on-site photographers called my room to offer their services. I said no thanks, I already had a photographer. They asked if he/she was with the wedding party or hired from outside, and I just said that they had a room booked. No more questions.
  9. Ack! Clean...that totally sucks!!! I am so sorry you had all of those issues . Honestly, if I have one recommendation that I would give above all others, it would be to have your wedding on a weekday. If your guests are already all down there, then it doesn't really matter if it's on a Saturday. Like I said, my wedding was on a Monday, and was the only wedding on that day for the Palace. Obviously, most peeps here already have their wedding day booked, so don't stress out and panic and think you have to change it. But if you haven't already picked...try going for Monday thru Thursday. You'll have the planners all to yourself for the day. Playa Azul is really the only "private" beach location. It's down at the very end. We did have a few lookie-loos, but I didn't notice them because I was focused on my hubby. All of the other beach locations, as well as the gazebo at the Palace, are right smack dab in the middle of everything. People walk by to get to the buffets, so you'll have lots of action going past your wedding. It's up to you to decide if you care or not; I'm a pretty private person and hate being the center of attention, so Playa Azul was the best location for me. The gazebo is absolutely beautiful, though. Michelle...we got upgraded to Premium club for booking our guests at the Palace. We were originally booked at another resort (Azul Beach) but there was construction going on there, so we switched. I don't know if brides & grooms automatically get upgraded...I would ask your TA. It was nice, though, having free room service, free internet, and our own separate check in/check out. Yes, color-coordinated table-runners are also included. You'll get one flower center-piece, and a fruit center-piece. I thought the table looked beautiful. As soon as I get pics, I'll post 'em!
  10. I'll try to answer some of the questions here. Michelle, chair covers and sashes should be included in your package. I didn't have to pay a cent for them. The wedding planners have a book full of colors to choose from. They'll decorate the ceremony location, and the reception location with your color choices. The photographer policy has changed (again!) They now allow you to pay the $300 fee to allow an outside photographer. However, I booked mine for ONE night at the Beach, which was about $250, and didn't have any problems. My WC (Claudia) is very familiar with Claudia Rodriguez and said she's VERY good...which she was The wedding coordinators are super duper busy. This is why they don't email you back right away. On the Saturday before my wedding, there were FIVE weddings booked. My wedding was on a Monday,and mine was the only wedding that day. When you have your meeting with the WC the day after you arrive, you have as much time as you want to go over everything to make sure it goes according to plan. Be organized, bring all of your paperwork, and there shouldn't be any issues. I had a very simple wedding, didn't add any centerpieces or decoration--just what the resort provided--and it was beautiful. I'm sure if it had been more complicated, I would have been more stressed out. As it was, I was totally relaxed and confident that it would go off without a hitch...and it did! We have used American money the entire time we've been here and have had NO problems. I literally have not touched a peso since I've been here. American money works everywhere. Any other questions girlies??
  11. Hey fellow Barcelo brides! I had my wedding yesterday at Playa Azul (we're staying at the Palace) and everything was 100% wonderful, perfect, amazing...I could go on and on and on. I'm about to go lay out by the pool so I'll keep this short and sweet, but just rest assured any of you brides that your wedding will be amazing! I'll leave a detailed review when we get home and will answer any questions you guys have. I know how much this forum helped me when I was planning, so I will definitely return the favor. For anyone still looking for a photographer...we had Claudia Rodriguez, and I cannot say enough good things about her. She was fantastic. So nice and sweet, took a BILLION photos, made us feel so comfortable, and I know the pictures are going to be amazing. Plus she really helped us out when I dropped my grandmother's wedding ring in the sand (but that's a story for the review!). I'll try to check back later to see if anyone has any questions for me. The Barcelo resort is absolutely top notch. I don't have one bad thing to say about it. Pure perfection!
  12. Every single Canadian I've ever met has been really, super nice. My parents live very close to the Canadian border, and they come over into the States to shop. My only complaint is that y'all don't know how to drive!!
  13. Funnily enough, we Americans laugh at our Northern neighbors quite a bit as well.
  14. Hello lovies! Haven't been on here in a while...well, actually I have, but I've been more of a lurker than a poster. I can't believe we're so close to January! I leave in exactly 3 months from tomorrow, and I totally do NOT feel prepared. I still have to make up a music playlist for the reception, get FI a wedding ring, make a decision about OOT bags or not (and if I decide yes, I need to actually get stuff!), buy clothes for the trip, PAY for the trip, get my wedding dress altered...aack! I'm stressed. FI and I got legally married last Friday. We had a friend of his sign the wedding license...no words spoken, it was super low-key, to make the ceremony in Mexico that much more special. I don't feel married AT ALL and I won't until January 31st How is everyone else doing? Anybody as far behind as me?
  15. My computer is still trying to load the picture slideshow, but I wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing! Â I'm getting married Jan 31st 2011....I had picked our ceremony to be at 4, thinking we'd have plenty of time to do the ceremony and get pictures in afterward. Now I'm thinking I may want to push it back an hour or two! Ack!
  16. I can answer part of this question The "foreign credit card fee" is basically a .08-1% transaction fee that VISA/Mastercard charges to your bank, and your bank passes along the fee to you. So if you were spending $3000, you'd get charged $30. It's basically a fee they charge to do the funds conversion for you. You could always ask if you can wire the funds, but chances are your bank will charge you a fee for that, too. The credit union I work at charges $35 for an international wire. Â Not sure about the officiant situation, as my brother-in-law is going to do our ceremony (and save us the $300! Woo hoo!) Â
  17. Now I'm sort of starting to stress about paying for a room for 2 nights for my photographer. I got a quote from my TA, and it's over $500...holy smokes!!! There aren't any specials going on right now for the Riviera Maya Barcelo hotels; I checked the happy days site. I'm hoping specials come out soon so that I don't have to pay an arm and a leg just to have good pictures taken. Ay yi yi!
  18. Hey gorgeous! I totally understand you wanting to do the surgery. I know a few people who have done it and have seen some amazing results. Â I've been researching a ton of diet options, and one of them that I can't really seem to find ANY negative press about is Medifast. I'm going to order 6 weeks worth in two weeks when I get paid again. Hopefully the diet, combined with consistent exercise, will help me lose these last 20 pounds in the 4 and a half months before my wedding. Wish me luck! And good luck to you, too, whatever you decide!
  19.  Hey girl! I have Claudia as WC...she usually takes about a week to get back to me, but I'm ok with that, since we've still got quite a bit of time and I'm sure we'll figure most stuff out when we get down here. I'll try my best to answer your questions if I can.   Are the tables rectangular or circular, and the sizes of the tables?  It depends on where your reception is. We're having ours in one of the banquet rooms. We can do a long rectangular table for 30 people or less, or round tables that seat 8 each. Here's a couple of pics she sent me:        - How many to a table? See above  - As far as time line, what would you suggest (our wedding is at 1)  Here is my schedule (my ceremony is at 4). You can do something like this, or change it up. It's your wedding! Do what makes YOU happy!  Wedding ceremony at 4 pm. Ceremony ends at 4:30 to 4:45 Pictures taken until 5:30 to 6 pm. Reception starts at 6. Guests drink cocktails. Dinner served at 6:30 First dance at 7:15 to 7:30 Dancing, etc until 8:30 Cut cake at 8:30 Reception ends at 9 (move on to disco for further dancing)  - Is the cocktail hour cost additional? And is it per person?  Cocktail hour is an additional cost. I'm not doing one, because we're going to have an open bar at our reception, so I can't help you out with the cost there. I'm sure someone else will jump in.  - What color are the linens? Is there an option to change the linen colors I believe white linens are included in the package price that you choose. I'm not sure if they offer other options, but I'm sure any other colors will have an additional cost. We're going to just stick with white. I'm not even doing centerpieces...I'm super laid back (aka LAZY!)  Any other questions?? Hopefully this helped! Â
  20. I think I'll do the 2 nights...hopefully they allow you to choose one of the cheaper hotels on the property. I'll just figure it out when we get down there.
  21. Those are sooooooooooooo cute. How perfect for a destination wedding!!! Â
  22. Haha...I love that every time the question is asked about outside photographers, Claudia's answer is different. Â I'm guessing either $300 or 2 nights minimum. I'm going to pay whatever is cheaper
  23. Hi ladies. I need to vent! Â My fiance's aunt is notoriously out-spoken. We normally get along (I try to get along with everyone...I hate confrontation) but lately she's been making comments that are driving me up the wall. Her biggest complaint is that she doesn't want to "sit around the pool all day...that's boring". She hates the heat, hates the sun...etc etc. So, of course, I tell her all the tours and things that are available, and say she can go up to Cancun or down to Playa Del Carmen because those are bigger towns and there should be a lot of stuff to do/see. She's only planning on going for 3 or 4 nights. So the last time I saw her, she said she checked into it and it didn't look like there was a lot of stuff to do down there. I almost lost it. I wanted to say...THEN DON'T COME. Honestly. It won't break our hearts if you're not there. My job is not to entertain you, my job is to marry the man I love, on the beach, and have the people that want to be there, THERE. Â But of course, I don't say this, because she's my fiance's aunt and she's important to him. But I'm not sure I can bite my tongue much longer...arg!
  24. Hey Jenlevergood! Welcome to the forum...and how cool to have your wedding date so close to the day you guys met! Verrry romantic  We're having an at-home reception, too, but I haven't even STARTED planning it yet. I just want to get through the Mexico wedding, and worry about the other when I get home. But then again, our at-home reception is going to be very casual. Probably in someone's yard, barbeque food, kegs of yummy beer, and bottles of wine. I more just want it to be a party/celebration than a fancy shindig. I'm guessing there will be probably at least 150 people there, which sort of makes my head explode, but we'll figure it out.  Any chance you could make yours a more casual event to take away some of the stress? Just an idea Best of luck toy ou!
  25. Seriously! I know my photogs aren't going to stay anyway, since they're located in Playa del Carmen, so it doesn't make sense to have to pay for 2 nights stay for them...sigh. Â
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