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About jrb

  1. Just wanted to check in. I want to assure all of you that there is nothing worth freaking out about. Nancy and her staff are pros and take care of everything at your meeting....even if you e-mail her things in advance, you still talk about them. Enjoy this time!!
  2. We had a large destination wedding with 92 guests...all but 6 of them stayed at the resort. RESORT: The resort itself is the perfect spot for a wedding, the layout makes it easy to find people since there is only one pool and one spot to hang out at night. I loved how it was a "U" shape, because it made it so you could actually find your guests and spend time with them. The grounds were beautiful and spotless. There was no smell and no bugs at all. We were upgraded to a larger room with a jacuzzi tub and walk in closet. This was much appreciated, but we were never in our room except to sleep! WELCOME DINNER: We arranged with Nancy to have a "private" welcome dinner at the buffet on Friday night. Although it was technically "semi-private" because it was just in one of the rooms at the main buffet, because our group was so large, no one else was seated there. The staff surprised us with fresh flowers on all the tables, fancy napkin decor and a head table for two. None of this was asked for...the staff was so excited for us, that they took extra care to make things extra special. It was so amazing. We did all or toasts at the welcome dinner. Then people just went to the buffet. CEREMONY: We got married at 4pm in the gazebo, located right next to the pool. They set up all 90 chairs for us and they were covered in white. They hung two tropical flower displays that matched my beautiful bouquet. I gave Nancy my ipod and they played all the songs I wanted at the exact right moment. We had no bridal party, so we just had one song for both me and my husband. We brought our own rabbi to do the wedding. At 11am that day we met Nancy and the Mexican judge in our hotel room for our legal ceremony. I was worried this was not going to work out, but it went just perfectly!!! The judge was a little late, but once he showed up the whole thing took about 20 mins. It was just us and our parents. honestly, once the legal part was over, I felt so much more relaxed. It was also fun to go back to chill by the pool knowing we just had a little "secret" wedding. COCKTAIL: We had cocktails in the courtyard/lyrico bar. Once again, I was surprised by blue table cloths on all "our" tables. We paid for the "Mexican appetizers"--tacos, nachos, tortas...I had no idea, but they set up a beautiful table with the hot apps, decorated to the max. I was not expecting this and was thrilled when I saw it. Staff was on hand to take drink orders. There was the nightly entertainment later, so people started to dance there. I was worried the cocktail was going to be too long, but no one had anywhere to be, there was plenty of food and drinks and every had a great time. RECEPTION: We had paid for a private reception at Chilis at 8:30pm (they were ready for us early). We had 10 tables of 9 and one table of 2 for me and my husband. The place looked amazing and the staff was eager to serve us. We paid $1000 for the DJ to play till 11pm. He was AMAZING!! I gave him my ipod for our first dance and for the traditional hora---which he already knew. The guy was a total pro. David was his name. He quickly asked what kind of music I liked (pop!!), and did not disappoint. People danced ALL night. The food was great, everyone ordered their main course off the menu (three or four options). Salad, sides and seafood platter was brought to each table. The staff even had to kick out other hotel guests because people wanted to join our party! FOOD: Food at the resort was crazy good! So much all the time. You never went hungry! As soon as breakfast ended, lunch began. We only ate at two of the special restaurants, mostly because we liked being with most of our guests at the buffet. WEDDING PLANNER: Nancy and her staff are pros. They know what they are doing and have done it many times. Everything was on time and easy! We must have seen at least 4 other weddings over the week we were there. At our meeting Nancy answered all of our questions and took notes to make sure we got everything we wanted. We saw her around the resort and she was always very helpful. Just perfect! CALYPSO PHOTO: We met with calypso right before our meeting with Nancy. We got to pick our package (2 hours, 70 photos). The photographer came to my room at 3pm right when I was done getting ready. We got met the groom outside and headed to the beach for about 45 mins of pre-wedding pics. I am so glad we did this because the light was amazing at this time of day. She was amazing. She took picks at the ceremony and left directly after. We then went to their office the next day to look at about 200+ photos she took. We picked the 70 we wanted and came back the next day for our printed album and CD. At first I was worried 70 was not going to be enough, but honestly, who needs 100's of photos (our friends too tons), it was nice to have an edited collection of professional photos right away. She got amazing shots!! SPA: Included in our package was two 80min massages, two 25 min exfoliate treatment, and bride hair. We did the massage the day before the wedding and the exfoliation the day after. I am happy we split up the treatments. I have never ever had my hair professionally done in my life. I was very happy with how it turned out. I brought a photo and she did a great job. OVERALL: AMAZING!!!!!
  3. I'M BACK!!! We just got home last night from our week at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya with 92 guests and everything was beyond Amazing!! I am not sure where to start. We met with Nancy on Wednesday and made all the arrangements for our Saturday wedding. Saturday we started out with our legal ceremony in our hotel room with just our parents. Then we had our religious ceremony at 4pm with our own rabbi. It was in the gazebo and we had white chairs for everyone. They played the music I had brought down on my ipod. The tropical flowers were so beautiful. I had my hair done at the salon and they did a great job. After the ceremony we all went to the plaza for about three hours of cocktails. We paid extra for Mexican appitizers and they were so good! At about 8:30pm we all headed over to chilis for an amazing dinner and dancing. The DJ was the best ever! Service was amazing. We paid extra to have the place to ourselves, and had to kick people out---our party just looked that good. We also arranged the night before for a welcome dinner in the buffet, they set it all up for us, and it felt very private. Bottom line....everything was amazing and I am sad to be home in the cold.
  4. I leave one week from today!!! So crazy. I decided to not e-mail anymore and solve everything there! I was told $20 for the 2 hour reception and $40 for the four hour. I am doing the 2 and Not paying the extra for an open bar. We are also gonna pay for apps. during the cocktail. We have 92 guests coming with us and are still debating the garden or the beach...I just don't know.
  5. Good to hear about the photographer...I don't need that many pics, but we are gonna do photos before the ceremony, so I want to make sure we have time for those photos as well as photos of the ceremony...that's why I think about 2 hours would be perfect for that. We are set on doing the legal ceremony in Mexico---we shall see what happens. I never even heard that we need our birth certificates with us. I will e-mail Nancy right now
  6. seeflorwers...when is your big day? I have thick curly hair too. hope they can deal with it. questions: how does the legal paper work work? do we get all we need to make it valid in the states? do we get the marriage certificate? how is the DJ? one sheets says you pay for 4 hours, but the dinner is only 2 hours? anyone work with calyspo photography?? what package did you get? can you negotiate?--i don't need an album, but want them for 2 hours?! can you book them at your meeting or does it need to be down in advance? 3 weeks!!!
  7. I am doing a legal on February 19th....I don't really know what to expect.
  8. Four weeks from today is my big day!!! I was e-mailing with Nancy a lot, but now I am not sure if there is anymore I can do from far away....
  9. Ok. It's all good with the 4:00 ceremony. Now on to deal with other things, but I think everything else can be done during our meeting. Anyone have a review of their wedding night at chilis? For the ceremony...what kind of iPod do you use? Is there a sound system? Is there a microphone and speakers?
  10. They didn't give a reason. Nancy thought that was what was confirmed with us, although it was not. She also said there was another wedding at 4:30 at the same hotel...interesting. About saying we want to do semi-private. I thought of that, but wondering if we could still have a dj if we don't have a private. With our huge group, I am sure it would be private anyways, but I don't want to risk it. The hotel is sold out that weekend cause it's presidents day. Just waiting for my next round of emails. I know it will all be amazing in the end, I just want to get a general idea of what to expect
  11. Just head from Nancy, since our dinner will most likely be from 8:45 to 11. Why would I pay $1200 for the four hours for a dj. She said we could pay $1000 for the shorter time. Fine, but that is on top of the $25 per person just to get the private room at chills. She then said she was trying to get us the place from 7-11 so we could party all night, but it would cost us $45 per person. How crazy is that?!?! I said no way!!! Now they are trying to get us to change from a 4:00 ceremony to 3:00. I am fighting to keep the time we booked over one year ago!!
  12. Yes. I've been emailing her the week. It seems like there are so many extra charges! $25 pp for a private dinner. $14 pp for food at the cocktail. $700 for a fabc huppa on the beach. Then they wanted $15 pp for extra cake and sparkling wine. I don't really want either!! We have 87 people, so it's gonna get crazy expensive. Plus the cost of the wedding package. Ugh. Oh well. It's what I gotta do. I also got a price list for calypso photos. Also a rip-off.
  13. Sounds great! We, and most of our guests booked via Apple Vacations too, so I am excited to do some excursions!!
  14. I know there are lots of rabbi's here in the states that are willing to do a ceremony in Mexico...if you pay for the cost of their trip of course. let me know if you need a name. We are flying down a rabbi and cantor-who happen to be my future Aunt and Uncle. When is your wedding?