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About AKH2011

  1. I just returned from my wedding in Tulum that was on February 26th. My photographer was Fer Juaristi and he was amazing. Photojournalistic pictures (I think I will receive most of the pictures this week and can send them). But he was the honestly the best decision I made regarding our wedding considering we will have our pictures for a lifetime. I posted a separate review on him on this vednor section this week, so definitely check that out as well. You will be so happy if you hire him!
  2. I just returned from our amazing wedding in Tulum, Mexico that was February 26th at Akiin Beach Club (which was also perfect thanks to the wonderful staff and the gorgeous location). I have not yet had the chance to get settled back into the MidWest cold weather, but I had to jump on here immediately and write a review of our photographer, Fer Juaristi, who was absolutely the best decision we made about our entire wedding (which is saying a lot as we had 65 guests that we had to plan for)! When I got engaged in early 2010, I began researching photographers for our 2011 Tulum, Mexico wedding. I fell in love with the photojournalistic style and realized that there were more than a few popular vendors in Riviera Maya (all with great pictures). However, when I came upon Fer's website and blog (www.ferjuaristiblog.com, www.ferjuaristi.com ) I immediately fell in love with his work. I reached out to him and we spoke on the phone so that I could get to know him better and vice versa. Being able to have a live conversation upfront confirmed that he was the photographer that I had to have shoot our wedding. His passion for what he does absolutely comes through in his pictures - he made a huge effort to get to know my husband and I before coming down to Mexico (he even looked on our wedding website and asked us questions about us) to make sure he captured our personalities appropriately. We did a casual shoot the day before our wedding and then Fer spent the entire day with us (and all of our guests) on our wedding day. He made us feel so comfortable the entire time, so much so that he eventually just felt like one of our wedding guests. He works by himself, but he has the energy and personality of 4! He had such an amazing eye, and would find places to take pictures that we would not have even considered. And then once we saw the pictures - we were completely blown away at the angles, colors, and emotions he was able to capture. While we sat to eat dinner he put together a slideshow that highlighted pictures he had taken from our casual shoot the day before and pictures taken throughout the wedding day leading up to dinner (the ceremony, getting ready shots, family pictures, etc.) We were able to see the slideshow shortly after dinner. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing his pictures were - the slideshow was only a quick preview of all of the pictures that he had taken. They were not retouched nor in their final form, yet they left such an impression on everyone that Fer was the talk of the wedding the rest of the night. He continued to snap away late into the night all of our dancing on the beach and partying, but was continuously interrupted by our guests going up to him and complementing him on his work! We have not seen all of our final pictures yet, but seeing a small sampling of those in the slideshow that he took, has us soooo excited to see all of his work. Fer was so excited for us and his passion for his work and energy during our wedding was infectious - all of my guests keep asking me when they will be able to see all of his pictures. Making sure that we have amazing pictures from the best day of our lives was by far the best decision we made and worth every penny spent! I can't say enough about Fer and highly recommend him for brides looking for photojournalistic pictures. I know that Fer will continue to be tremendously successful in his career, and I only hope that my husband and I will have an opportunity to work with him again!
  3. Hey ladies - this forum has been so helpful in our planning process. And for that our guests and my fiance and I have decided to stay at Dreams Tulum. We're getting married on February 26, 2011 and already counting down the days! I think I have seen one or two others that are around that timeframe as well. We're expecting around 60-70 guests, which is honestly a lot of people to think about! We're are getting married offsite at Akiin Beach Club in Tulum, but hoping to just have our rehearsal / welcome dinner at Dreams the Thursday night before our wedding. All of the per person dinner fees seem SO expensive though - especially considering our guests are already paying for all their meals. Ideally we can make something work out, but from the other posts I have been reading, the days of the $20 meal are few and far between. I did read a few times that they would allow this for the rehearsal dinner - has anyone confirmed this?
  4. We had drinks at Al Cielo during our site visit in May 2010.. It was a great place and for sure an intimate beach - would be a great place to stay and even have a wedding.
  5. We actually were in PDC for only one night during our site vist 05/7 - 05/10. We ate at Playasia on 5th ave on Saturday May 8th. It has a cool atmosphere inside the restaurant but the food was not good, my FI, myself and my mom all got sick from eating here and were sick for two weeks after. Do yourself a favor and pick another place.
  6. Quote: Originally Posted by Chill Bride Just saw this two months later. My experience is that you don't have to lock down a coordinator if you do site visits. Gwen from mytulumwedding.com is our coordinator and she spent a good 4-5 hours with us looking at locations and helping us before we ever signed a contract with her (no strings attached). Also, most places don't have one coordinator like they do at resorts. They will mostly work with you or whichever coordinator you choose. We decided on the coordinator after we returned from our scouting trip and she will work at any venue we like basically. Yeah - We ended up doing a site visit on our own before securing a wedding coordinator. We checked out the following places just based on research we had done online (Xcaret, Ak'iin Beach Club, Ana y Jose and Al Cielo). We'd set up appointments with Xcaret and Ak'iin and their onsite WCs and then just stopped by AyJ and Al Cielo later in the day. We did a tasting at Ak'iin and ended up choosing them as our site but at the end of the day it was all about the feel of the place that made the decision for us.
  7. Congrats the Royal is a beautiful hotel and right in the middle of all the action of Playa Del Carmen. You can't go wrong there.
  8. Playa - That would be amazing. We're not so much worried about them being in pictures as we're getting married in Tulum most likely. But I'd just like to know which resorts have them in the water and even more which resorts suffer from bad beach erosion. We're ulitimately looking for a resort thats All inclusive but not massive and one thats got a nice white sand beach free of erosion and sandbags.. Maybe thats too much to ask but if we're asking people to spend money on vacation and trip we'd like to know what we're getting into. Because obviously all of the resorts show gorgeous beach pictures and don't mention anything about the current state of the beach so its impossible to know.
  9. Yeah - We're not worried about them being in pictures at all as we're not getting married at the resort. My concern was just more about the ability to have fun in the water by the shore without having massive obstacles in the way. Can't imagine if you were body boarding and you hit one those it would feel too good. Either way we'll see the second weekend in May when we take our site visit. Thanks!
  10. Quote: Originally Posted by svetayasofiya I think they are absolutely horrible but to each their own. I made special care last year researching resorts that don't have them. Honestly, I think they are ALL gone. Check Trip Advisor for the most recent shots of the beaches, but I am pretty sure you will find that no resorts have these monstrosities anymore. Cool - I wasn't sure as this was an old thread - I definitely feel better about it. Thanks for all the insight ladies. And when we go down in May to check out resorts we'll make sure we check out the beach quality.
  11. I was also worried about this. We want our guests to be able to swim in the ocean and body board etc.. What are the purpose of these? To prevent the surf from eroding the beach? Do all resorts have these? Part of the fun of swimming in the ocean is being able to play in the waves. Thoughts?
  12. Quote: Originally Posted by michelle10 I was considering Barcelo Maya before deciding on Jamaica. I've heard great things about it. YOu will find tons of reviews on resorts on the forum! Barcelo Maya has been added to the list to check out. Thanks for the suggestion.
  13. Quote: Originally Posted by lalanyc This is the hardest part of the planning process, IMO. You just have to immerse yourself in the search process and keep whittling down based on your checklist of "must haves" or you will drive yourself crazy. In my case, hotel size was a major factor so I started reducing hotels based on that and kept going from there. There's a useful sticky thread in this section w/ various maps of the resorts in the area. http://bestdestinationwedding.com/fo...era-maya-2278/ As for your site preference, I do think the Playacar area is a good alternative. You may also want to consider hotels in Puerto Aventuras and Akumal which are also a little farther down from PDC. Dreams Puerto Aventuras might be a good AI option for you since it's kid friendly and smaller than many of the mega-AI resorts in the region. Thanks for the Map.. We've narrowed our list down to a handful by listing pros and cons - We might find out the most by doing a site visit which we're planning. Thanks again.
  14. Hi, My FI and I are getting married in Feb 2011 in Riviera Maya we're thinking we'll have about 75-80 guests.. We want to have everyone stay in a AI resort to make things easy and were looking for one thats somewhat south of PDC but not as far as Tulum. We're thinking we'll do the ceremony and reception offsite in Tulum to get away from the resort. But that being said we also don't want to be in the middle of PDC with all of the other resorts. So Playacar area maybe? Other ideas? We're going to have a few small children among our guests (max age 5) but the large majority of our guests will be young adults (age 30 ish). So we're looking for something that allows kids but isn't kid crazy (heard Dreams Cancun Riv is). So something that can accomodate kids but isn't child focused. We really want a nice beach (important) where we can swim and body board etc... and then a hotel with nice accomodations and a good swim up bar. Does anyone have suggestions? We've been looking on all the various search engines and forums (tripadvisor) and are struggling a little since we've never been down there. We've not seen an a map of all the current beachfront resorts along the coast does anyone have one?. We're just having a tough time because some places seem nice but then there are some reviews contradicting the good points. And we don't want a resort thats insanely massive.. As we'll want to be able to meet up with our guests easily. We're doing a site visit in the beginning of May so we're also looking for a place to stay then and were hoping to checkout other resorts while we're there. Anyone have suggestions? Thanks in advance Andrea and Dave
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