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Tracysab

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About Tracysab

  1. They made the place cards for the buffet table. The lanterns were a joint effort. I showed them to Pilar in our initial meeting and we went to the bamboo room to look around and figure out how to hang them. The ceiling is really high in there-but that fan looking structure in the middle of the room hangs down from the highest point in the ceiling. All the lanterns were hung from that structure at varying lengths. I think she ended up using about 15 of them.
  2. Hi girls-haven't posted in awhile but I just got some sample pics from Ivan Luckie (2 months later). I know there are a bunch of you using him-so here are some of my favorites he took from the wedding. As far as picture quality-I would definitely recommend him-just be prepared to wait. Per his contract-he has 60 days to give you your pics-and he delivered mine on exactly day 60...just food for thought. A lot of the pics show the inside of the bamboo room for our reception-so you can kind of see the setup (way the tables were done and how they hung the paper lanterns).
  3. mlawhead- I laughed out loud when I read your post about the romantic dinner because we had the same exact experience. Same thing-wind was crazy-and kept knocking things over and blowing out the tiki torches. Before they even brought the first course-I asked our waitor to move the dinner to our room. We couldn't even see what we were going to eat! But yeah-the wind is definitely a factor-but it's something that just can't be planned for. We were in Mexico 2 weeks-and the whole week of the wedding-it was crazy windy-but then for our honeymoon-it was pretty tame most days. Our actual ceremony on the pergola was super windy-but it was still beautiful. My suggestion would be to have your hair up though! Mine was down and kept flying in my face. If I were to do it all over again-I would have it pulled back in a low loose bun or an updo or something so you don't have to worry about it.
  4. If you do the buffet for a private reception-the additional cost per person over 25 is the same as if you were doing the seated dinner. I know it seems like the buffet option should be cheaper-but in reality-the buffet has a ton more food options. Our buffet extended the whole back wall of the bamboo room. And the food was excellent. Also-the menu's for the buffet are very different than the menu options for the seated dinner. There are about 6 different variations-and I was allowed to pick one and mix and match a few items from others. If you want to see them-just email me at tsabrsula@gmail.com and I will send you a hard copy of it. If you are going to have close to 50 people-I would recommend this option just because it's hard to choose a standard meal for everyone with that many guests. Also-I know she says you have to have 50 for the buffet-but if you have slightly less-I don't think she would have any problem with it.
  5. I had 3 different sizes of lanterns - 12 inch, 10 inch and 8 inch.
  6. Here are a few questions scattered around that I don't think I answer yet: Shipping Decorations - I didn't ship anything. I'm just too paranoid to do that-I'd be worrying constantly if everything got there. My parents, aunt and maid of honror helped with taking on some extra carry on bags. With that-we were able to get everything there. DJ - The resort DJ is named Alex Martinez and his email is this: alex@avsc.com.mx I did not meet with him before hand but we corresponded through email a few times and he was very quick with his responses. You can bring your own music (we brought a cd with the first dance, father/daughter, mother/groom kinds of things-and then another cd of fun songs I wanted him to play throughout). I thought he did a really great job with everything. Cake Cutting Knives - I did not bring anything for the cake cutting. They supplied the typical silver cutting/servings knives. The cake wasn't that big a deal to me-so I thought what they had was perfectly fine-but if it's important to you-you can definitely bring them.
  7. The wedding was mostly paid for when we got there. The outstanding balance was paid by credit card. As far as just tourist stuff-everyone takes US dollars or credit cards. I didn't use any travellers checks-but I'm sure you could use those too. The only downside to using cash is that they will typically give you change in peso's. And that's all good as long as you intend to use them. I just tried to carry smaller bills so that I wouldn't get a ton of change in peso's back. I used all the peso's I had left over to leave tips for the maids, bell boys, etc.
  8. Amy- I know my dad tipped Pilar but I have no idea how much-sorry! Chair Sashes - if you want your chair sashes back-you have to tell Pilar-otherwise she will try to keep them...lol. Since we were using them for our reception back in Houston-we had to ge them back. I know my mom still has them. I'll ask her what she's planning on doing with them or if she doesn't mind getting rid of them. Waiters - slow at the beginning. They had wine on hand for the dinner-but when it came to the reception after that-they definitely could have been faster. My husband said something to them about keeping the drinks full and that seemed to help. If you are worried about it-talk to Pilar and see if she can have an extra person working the wedding. Hotel Transfer - Both ways are included - from the airport and back. Since we were staying in Playa-they even took us to our second hotel instead of back to the airport. I'm not sure about adding the extra guests to the car. It's a big SUV-so I don't have any doubt you could fit 2 more people in there. I would just ask Pilar or Ana if it's ok first so they don't charge you for it.
  9. Lisa- You can set up the tables as either rectangular or round in the bamboo room. Specify round if that is what you want because I think they will default to rectangle if you don't tell her one way or the other. Head table-our table was set up in front of the buffet facing the ocean. The picture on the previous page with the response about the lanterns shows it the best. My maid of honor standing in the center of the room facing us with her back to the ocean. We are standing up right behind our table and in front of the buffet. Hope that helps! And yes-the lights in the room were dimmed and they had backlighting illuminating the bamboo around the wall. I think it would look great with or without the string lights.
  10. Picture of the sign for a private event:
  11. Lisa Continued...lol 2. Terrace outside of bamboo room. Yes-there is a terrace that wraps around the room-but that part is not part of the private reception. However, it's at the end of the walkway to the beach-so no guests other than your wedding group are likely to walk all the way down there in the evening. There are a few tables and chairs. I think it would be fine to bring your own decoration. You'll have to ask Pilar exactly how many there are. I'm not positive because I didn't go out there that much. I know a lot of my guests would go out there to chat and smoke, etc... 3. Wait staff - There is no private bar in the bamboo room. We had 2 or 3 waiters and they were somewhat slow in the beginning. My husband went and chatted with one of them to make sure that everyone had full drinks and that seemed to help. Also-the blue bar is right next to the room-so I think we had some guests going out there when they went to smoke. I didn't notice it at all (my drink was always full...lol)-but that's what the hubby just told me. 4. Welcome Dinner Charge - Yes- we paid the $22 per person to have the a la cart. However, that does not guarantee you that the restaurant will be private to your party. They only to promise to have a section reserved for you. For the private party-they usually charge $500 (in addition to the $22 per person). That is why I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out that they reserved the whole thing for us. 5. Welcome Bags-we had beach bags full of goodies for all of our guests-but we did not have them put in each room before the arrival. We just had too many people coming on different days and times-it would have been too hard. I do think they would do this for you if you asked though. We ended up meeting up with all of our guests in the lobby the night before the welcome dinner to pass them out. 6. Ceremony Songs-I had 8 song that I designated as seating/waiting songs. They played those until the wedding party was ready to get started. I have no idea how many they played-I just put enough songs on there so they wouldn't run out. I had 1 song designated for my grandparents, both mom, and bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to. The song was slightly longer than needed-so the music guy faded it out so that it wasn't an abrupt stop. He did the same for my song walking down the aisle. I didn't need the whole song-so it was lighly faded out. 7. Video - The videographer was superfast. We stayed at a resort in playa del carmen for our honeymoon and he delivered it himself to our new resort about 4 days after the wedding. 8. We did not get the massages but we attempted the dinner on the beach. Unfortunately, it was super windy so the tiki torches kept blowing out! Not so romantic! So we asked the waiter if he could do it in our room and they accomodated us. The food was awesome and they even had some singers come in during the main course to sing for us. 9. Hot Tub - could work depending on where your room is. Our room was oceanview-but it was also facing one of the main walkways for the hotel. I'm sure there are more private rooms for some hot tub fun-ours just wasn't one of them. I don't think you could do the curtain-but you could try! 10. I don't remember the cake number-just that it was white with some kind of orange flowers on it. They ended up using different flowers to match the ones I already had. I got the marble with chocolate filling I think. Honestly, the only bite of cake I ate was when we cut it and fed it to each other-it was decent. We paid for the extra 25 people-but if I were to do it again and still have the buffet (which has desserts on it already) - i would just get the cake to feed 25. 11. Cocktail Hour - No signature drink. There were several tables-some that were lower and sit down to seat 4-with no coverings. Also a few bar level cocktail tables for people to stand around. Those had some white linens on them tied around the middle part. Everyone seemed to enjoy the cocktail hour alot. 12. Signs - Yes! They had very nice signs in front of the events that would have the name of the bride and groom and then say "Private Party" on it. 13. Our reception was scheduled to go from 7-11. It ended up starting around 6:30 though. The dj stayed until about 11:15-so almost an hour later than what we paid for. 14. Hair and makeup - I did not use the spa. My hairdresser and good friend was at the wedding so she did my hair. I hired Adrian Guerra to do the makeup for me, my bridesmaids, mom and mother in law (as a surprise). I found Adrian on this forum and he was fantastic! His initial quotes are kind of high-but he will work with your budget-especially if you have multiple people. 15. Excursions - we didn't do any until our honeymoon. I had wanted to plan something for our guests if they were interested-but I spent so much time running around making sure everyone was ok that I never did. Also-with a big group-it kind of turns into a 24 hour hotel party. I don't think anyone even wanted to leave the resort! 16. Ironing Sashes - I paid the $1 for each. There was just too much going on to have to worry about doing that the night before the wedding. 17. After Party - I know a lot of my guests headed to the sports bar afterwards (we spent a lot of late nights there before the wedding) - but my husband and I didn't. I, unfortunately, had a little too much to drink and did not eat practically anything the whole wedding day-so needless to say-it was time to go back to the room! lol 18. Coco Bongo - We didn't go out in cancun while we were there-but we have been to coco bongo on a previous trip and had a blast! Ok-hope that helps!!!!
  12. Ok Lisa- 1. Bamboo room lanterns - The laterns were in the center circle of the room-see pic below. There were about 15 of them hung at varying lengths:
  13. Ok-flowers at the reception. We paid for the devine centerpieces at each table. Those were done separately-but they brought the flowers from the pergola into the reception after the ceremony was over and stuck them around the buffet and cake. Here's a pic of one of the tables at the reception. As you can see-the buffet lined the whole back wall-and you can see some of the flowers from the pergola on the table right behind the buffet.
  14. Here is my review!!! Finally! Sorry it took so long-we got back last Thursday and then had an at home reception Saturday night so I just haven't had any time to sit down and write this. It might get pretty long-but I want to give you guys as much detail as possible from start to finish. Just some starter info-we booked the Devine wedding package-but were able to change a few things around. Also-we had 48 guests. Upon arrival-our package included a private transfer to the hotel. The only thing I will note here is that when you get outside of the airport-there are a million people swarming around you trying to get you to go with their company. The private transfer NOW Jade sets up is with the hotel transfers. It is to the left right after you walk outside. This was confusing for awhile-and we called the hotel and thought they weren’t there yet-just a little confusing. But the car itself was very nice once we found it. When we got to the hotel-we were greeted by Ana-one of the wedding coordinators. She was there to tell me that Pilar was busy with a wedding that afternoon but would like to meet with me first thing in the morning in the lobby. Great-no worries! They took us straight to the preferred side of the resort for check in-I guess all bride/grooms are upgraded to this side. They had our room ready immediately. I know a few of our guests had to wait for their rooms because they arrived really early-but they were able to leave their bags at the front and enjoy food and drinks. There are NO wristbands…woohoo! I hate those things. The resort itself is beautiful. Very clean-nice beach-super clear blue water. We spent most of the time in the pools-both of the main pools had swim up bars-the only exception being the infiniti pool in front of the beach. We didn’t have any trouble with reserving chairs or anything like that-but it was also late October-so I’m not sure how it is during a busy season. The rooms were more modern and much larger than other places I have stayed. The bathrooms were huge and each room had a separate living area that you could shut off from the bedroom. The outdoor Jacuzzi in our room was cool-but offered very little privacy so it’s not very practical. The best part of the resort was the food. I would give it a 9 out of 10! The favorite among our guests was Las Olas-the open air restaurant by the beach and pool. The seafood there was amazing. Even the buffet was really good for breakfast and lunch. We never ate there for dinner though. Ok-back to wedding stuff. Met with Pilar the next morning (2 days before wedding) to give her all the stuff I brought and discuss any last changes. She had detailed notes of everything we had already discussed so that was very comforting. She took me on a tour of all the wedding sites and I ended up changing our reception from Las Olas to the Bamboo room. Las Olas is still nice-but it’s kind of hard to fit a big group in there because it has dividers that kind of separate the restaurant into 3 sections. The bamboo room has full length windows that look out to the beach-and it has sitting areas right outside the door so people can go outside if they like. Rehearsal/Welcome Dinner: We had a rehearsal with Pilar and my parents and wedding party before the welcome dinner at the pergola. It only took about 15 minutes-Pilar went through all our notes and had everything arranged. Afterwards-I had a welcome dinner at the Italian a la cart restaurant for all my guests. I did not pay for it to be private (extra $500) – but since we had 50 people – they made it private anyway. I didn’t know this until we showed up and all the tables were laid out perfectly to seat only my guests in the restaurant. It was a very pleasant surprise. The room was beautifully decorated-and they put a head table in the front and tables of 8 all around us. I had also made menu’s that Pilar took earlier and she had them folded into the napkins at each place setting. My only negative for this dinner was that I had picked the four cheese lasagna as the main course-and I was not very impressed with it. I know a lot of our guests ate there the first night they were there and raved about it-but the lasagna itself was probably my least favorite meal I had there. It was super super cheesy-and very rich. Anyway-we had the room for a full 2 hours-plenty of time. Wedding Day: I saw Pilar in the morning and she was already busy getting things prepared for our 5pm ceremony. It looked like there might be rain so we discussed alternatives-but she assured me that they would wait till the last second to switch things if needed. Ceremony: When I first turned the corner to see the pergola-it was amazing! The standard décor is the white flowy drapery around each side and 2 flower arrangements on the front columns. I had told Pilar that I wanted all the flowers to be bright tropical colors (pink, orange, purple, yellow, etc). All of the flowers-including mine and the bridesmaids bouquets were beautiful and fresh. In addition to the 2 column arrangements-I added another arrangement to the top center of the pergola. One little thing about the boutonnieres – I had bright pink roses for the guys and I guess they were pretty heavy. They kept falling over because she just used a little bitty pin to put them on. I would recommend having her add pins to keep them in place. For the walkway-you can have a red or white runner. We chose white to go with the other colors. I brought my own chair sashes-they were apple green and went perfectly with everything. I also made fan programs that were placed across each of the chairs before the guests sat. We had a cd of music we wanted played for the ceremony. They had it set up in the back and had speakers around both sides of the guests. The sound of the music was perfect. You could hear it clearly (us and probably that whole half of the resort…lol). She made sure to have it faded in and out from song to song depending on what was going on. The minister also had a microphone so all our guests could hear everything. I was very impressed with him overall. He spoke very well and said some very lovely, subtly religious things. The only thing I was kind of bummed about was that we had told Pilar we wanted to say our own special thoughts to each other before our vows-he forgot that (or pilar forgot to tell him). No biggie-but if it’s very important to you-make sure she knows. Cocktail Hour: We booked the blue bar for the cocktail hour. It is the perfect location in my opinion. It over looks the ocean and is right down the stairs from the pergola. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of info on this because we were talking pictures the whole. We had the Caribbean trio playing during it-and they sounded good from afar. Also-all the guests said the hor deorves were very good. Reception: The reception was in the bamboo room. They had curtains pulled across the side of it and just the one side overlooking the ocean was left open. The lights were dimmed and it was very intimate. I had brought paper lanterns which were hung from this big fan sculpture looking thing on the ceiling. They were all different heights and had little flickering lights in them which added to the ambiance. The buffet was set up along the whole back wall. It was very tastefully done and thoughtfully laid out. The dj was in the opposite corner. When you walked in-there was a small table to the left that had seating cards in shells that I had brought. Also on there was a signature platter I had brought and a frame with a picture of my 2 dogs holding signs that said “Just Marriedâ€. She arranged everything exactly how it was in my head. I had assigned seating (which I recommend for big groups-it helps with the confusion when people are looking for tables-and so no one gets left out). The table numbers were on the back of their name card and I had matching table numbers. The tables were laid around the 3 sides of the room (looking towards the water) with a big space left in the middle for dancing. I also brought a menu that listed all the buffet options-and same as the welcome dinner-she had them tucked perfectly into the napkin at each place setting. The chair sashes from the ceremony were brought in and put on the chairs at the reception. There were also matching table runners (that I brought) on each table. The centerpieces were beautiful. They used the same flowers from the bouquets and outside-and put them in the short wide circular vases. The inside of the vase had large green leaves wrapped around all the stems to make it look like the flowers were just floating (note-she did not charge me any extra for these centerpieces-you just have to give her some idea of what you want). She also brought in the flowers from the pergola and had them laid out on tables around the buffet and by the cake. My only complaint about the reception was that the room got rather hot while the food was in there on the burners. If you have a seated dinner-I don’t think this would be an issue. But if you have the buffet-I would have them crank the air way down to compensate for it. We had them remove the food from the room once it seemed everyone was done and it was much more comfortable. The DJ was great! I used the resort dj and emailed him a schedule of how I wanted things to go before hand. I also brought 2 cds – one with the specific songs for the first dance, father/daughter, etc. The other had just a random sampling of fun songs that I wanted him to play throughout the night. Per my instructions (which were pretty specific) – he announced the wedding party and us at the beginning. He also made announcements for all the other important moments (bouquet toss, cake cutting, etc). Just be specific in your request and he will follow it exactly. I had no problem with the resort dj at all. Also-we paid to keep him for an extra 2 hours…but I think he even stayed longer than that because the party was still going. Side note about the reception-the food was fantastic! We chose the Mexican buffet and switched out about 5 of the foods for things from some of the other menu options. It was probably one of my most favorite meals of the week. Also-the waiters were very prompt with the drinks. The actual wedding cake was decent-nothing extraordinary-but they did dress up the table it was sitting on with the bridesmaid flowers and some from the pergola. I actually preferred the desserts with the buffet-the mini pecan pie squares were awesome! One more thing that I didn’t mention before-the video we got from the resort videographer was really good. He really had some great angles and views of our ceremony with the beach in the background. He also did a little fun video after the ceremony of us doing all our pictures and stuff on the beach. Some of it was kind of cheesy-but it was actually very well done. Ok-I think that is about it! I know this was super long-but there just aren’t very many reviews for this place yet so I wanted to give as much info as possible. Let me know if you have any questions! I will post pictures as soon as I get them back from Ivan Luckie.
  15. I think that is right 82turtles. There is only 1 buffet-but it is pretty big-I would assume they could block off the back part of it for you-it's a little more secluded.
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