My Wedding Review: Wedding Day: Friday, February 25th, 2011 @ 3pm
Hair & Makeup: Adrian Guerra (Styling Trio Riviera Maya)
Ceremony: Playa Azul
Reception: Playa Azul
Photographer: Ivan Luckie
So here we are just one day back from our week in paradise. I went from a balmy 28 degrees and sunny to a frigid -15 and snowing! Oh how I wish I was back lounging by the pool....
Our week was in a nutshell AMAZING. I can not begin to tell you what an incredible resort Barcelo Maya is. We stayed at the Tropical section and it was perfectly situated for everything! Being my first time there I was so impressed by the grounds, they are pristinely manicured every day! And the pools go for days, just spectacular!
Wedding Coordinator - Victoria Vasquez A+ --> On our first day we met with Victoria to go over all the details. I think she knew we were super relaxed as we walked in in to her office with our beach clothes and pina coladas in hand. I was instantly impressed with Victoria as she had our file all ready for review. Basically we just went over all the things in the spreadsheet and made any last minute changes etc. We went over spa appointments, when she would pick us up, etc etc..The thing that took us the longest to decide on was flowers. I knew I wanted purple and white orchids, some mini white calla lilies, and then then the rest Victoria made suggestions. In the office there just happen to be some centerpieces with various flowers so she was able to show me some other choices to add. We also chose the bridesmaid bouquets and mens boutonniÃ¨res. I had also wanted the huppa, and had brought some capiz shells to hang from it and wanted it wrapped in white organza. She knew exactly how to do it! On her computer she has hundreds of photos of other ceremonies/flower/colors etc. The only other additional thing we added was the Mariachi band. Victoria tallied up the costs: $3385 (Strawberry Passion Package), Flowers $~200, Huppa $396. We didn't have any additional costs for extra guests (had 15 on the dot ) and we didn't buy any additional hours. The cost for the JOP ($300) and Mariachi band ($400) was to be paid in cash, and the rest was put on our credit card. It was funny because it came back in peso..$43,922!!!! hahaha. Once we paid at the front desk, they gave us our Premium wristbands. Victoria was absolutely amazing and was there for us every step of the wedding day! She is the BEST and she told me there were 25 weddings that week and that was a slow week! I don't know how they do this job, she was there for the whole day that day and I saw her the next night doing another wedding...it's amazing they get back to any emails at all. That's why I never complained about getting an instant reply from my WC...they are pure professionals at what they do!! So for all upcoming brides, seriously, don't sweat the details, as long as you have a date confirmed, you are in good hands. Unless you are going above and beyond the normal destination wedding, all the details can be ironed out in the month before your wedding, and even the during the resort meeting!
Hair & Makeup-A+ Adrian and his team met up with me on the Tuesday before the wedding for a rehearsal hair and makeup trial. Best decision I ever made! We were able to experiment with different colors for my makeup. His assistant Jessica was awesome as she was able to make suggestions, while Adrian worked on me. Another member of his team did my hair (sorry can't remember her name). The airbrush makeup is incredible. It made my skin look so flawless, but at the same time it was like nothing was on! The day of the wedding they were there all day working on us, it was so nice to have everyone in my room getting ready together. Adrian and his team were super fun to be around, made you feel so comfortable and exactly what I needed on the big day. My hair and makeup was exactly what I wanted, so perefct (if I do say so myself hehe) They are experts in what they do and I was sooooooooo happy I hired them! I would recommend them to anyone doing a wedding in the Mayan!!
Ceremony at Playa Azul A+ . Victoria came to pick us up at 2:50pm at my room and she had our flowers....um GORGEOUS!! Seriously they were spectacular! We rode the golf cart over to Playa Azul. My photographer Ivan and his wife we able to fit on as well, so they got some shots of us enroute. It was actually really fun riding over. When we got to the ceremony site, my jaw just dropped...It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. Strangely enough, I hadn't even walked down to the site before the wedding so when I got here I was able to take in the sheer beauty of the scenery, the colors of the water, the beautiful palms, the glowing white sand...and about 100 meters away there stood the guys waiting at the beautifully decorated huppa. This area of the beach is really secluded there were hardly anyone around. It was perfect. As I wrote in another post though, not great for high heeled shoes...eeekk. I should have worn the platform wedges I brought, but I managed to do the best I could wading through the sand, holding up my dress and bouquet, while hooked to my Dad's arm! Picture that, all the while being cognizant of the fact that everyone will be taking photos!!! One little glitch I will mention was the sound system, I'm not sure if it was my iphone, but there was some interference. I had asked to play Sea of Love by Cat Powers for us to walk into. It was all over the road sound wise, so the guitar player just stepped in and started playing. It was no biggie, I was just focused on my man down the isle! The guitar player was amazing anyways, so I recommend that to anyone. The JOP was really nice, went through a lovely ceremony. He did put us on the spot and ask us to say a few words...lol...I don't remember what I said but we said afterwards that we were glad he did because it made it more personal (so be prepared!). After the said our "i do's" we walked out and was instantly greeted by a waiter with Champagne for everyone!!
Reception at Playa Azul: A . They set up a beautiful large table for the 15 of us. The wedding table took the back 8 seats (facing the water) and we had our parents on the right side and others on the left. It was perfect because we could all talk and it was good for photos as the wedding party was all together. They decorated the table with the items I had brought down and it looked really nice! We chose sea scallops, lobster bisque, surf & turf, and white chocolate raspberry tiramisu, and coconut wedding cake. Everything was delicious, albeit a bit cold. I will admit it was pretty windy once the sun went down. It didn't blow sand at all, but you just felt a bit strained with the wind blowing the whole time. The service was perfect! Once we had our dessert served we had some speeches, and then the mariachi got the party started. They were hilarious and the best $400 I could have spent! Once they left we did our first dance, and then everyone danced the rest of the remaining hour barefoot an the sand. It was so much fun. The had all the poles lit up, plus some paper bag candles around the dance floor. It was exactly what I envisioned when we decided on a destination wedding!
Ivan Luckie Photography- A++ If you are thinking of booking an outside photographer for your wedding you have to book Ivan! From the first email I sensed we had made the right decision. He is a true professional at what he does. We had booked Ivan for an engagement shoot and the full wedding day and it was the one of the 3 best decisions we made (Wedding at Barcelo, hiring Adrian for makeup and hair, and Ivan for photos). He met us in the lobby and took us to Playa del Carmen for the day! I would be in trouble if I said it was my favorite day...but it really was awesome! It was relaxing, exciting, romantic, and fun all wrapped up in one! Ivan and my hubby hit it off instantly. They both have great imaginations, and played off their strengths- Jeff gave it the fun element and Ivan the instinctual aspect. I can not wait to see the pictures we got that day!!!!!!! The day of the wedding Ivan came just as I was finishing my hair & makeup, he took pics of my dress, jewelry etc and of everyone getting ready. It was impressive how he just blended in and captured all of those candid photos (the one's that are always the best!). For the rest of the day he managed the group, took some "standard" shots and then we had some fun. After that we got some amazing pics of us while the sun went down. Ivan stayed to the bitter end and probably got some crazy shots of us on the dance floor! Again, best decision we made! Ivan you rock!
Other things: We had our massage on the beach. It was awesome! It's up by the Palace. Since I was wasn't going to be using my hair and makeup that was included in my wedding package for my actual wedding day I had asked Victoria to make it for Thursday (the day we did our engagement photo shoot). The hair was very good, but wayyyyyy to much hair spray used. It was like starch! The makeup was rather pathetic hhaha. Hardly any foundation, a touch of eyeshadow, and tons of liner and mascara. I wiped it off as soon as I got back to the room. I obviously would have said something to them if it was my wedding day but being that I didn't really care I just said "great!". Another reason I was so glad I hired Adrian and his team!
So take a look for yourself! Here is the link to my Moms photos from the day! Hope you enjoy and please do not hesitate to ask any questions. I'm already in serious wedding withdrawl! haha
It was not only the best day of my life, but the best week!! If I have any advice for future brides- rely on this board (and especially the unofficialbarcelomaya website wedding section) for any questions; you can really research it all there. Us former brides (wow, I'm a former bride already ) will be here for you, so don't worry when your WC doesn't get back to you right away, especially if you are more than 6 months out. I know it's difficult because you want it all to be planned out, but trust me when I say they are the ultimate professionals at what they do and I truly believe that if you have a positive attitude going in you will always get that in return. I always got a response from Victoria, and yes maybe it took her 2 weeks, but she replied. I kept my emails to the point and didn't bombard her with questions (I had already done my research here! LOLOL).