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About HoustonBride10/31/10

  1. One more thing in the OOT bags that I forgot to mention -- great idea that my guests really liked, wanted to share: we asked every guest to send us a song they'd like to hear at our reception (no further details so some guests sent us dance songs, some were romantic) and we burned a CD for everyone and included it in their OOT bag with a really cute picture of us on the label. It was super easy, affordable, and fast -- downloaded the songs from iTunes, burned the discs, printed out a playlist to go in the bags, and bought CD stickers at Office Max. That also helped shape the music we played at dinner and after for dancing.
  2. Sorry if I was confusing -- the 50lbs wasn't just decorations, it was also OOT bag stuff... For decoration, we had those pom poms hanging above the table (you can get them in all colors -- SO pretty, very clean and slightly whimsical - and if your reception is outside they'll sway in the wind... it was perfect - I got them here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/prosttothehost?ref=seller_info, all of the name place holders (they were also day of the dead themed) each weighed about 2lbs, name place cards, the cake topper, 20 sets of maracas with personalized ribbons for the cocktail hour. For centerpieces, we did flowers and they were stunning... again, I am super specific (annoying) and Yamina delivered and then some, she is fabulous. The table was very clean and elegant and still fun... private message me your email address if you'd like some photos. My maid of honor saw the table before I did and I could hear her gasp from about 10 feet behind her. I wanted to keep the ceremony really elegant so I ordered the Tiffany chairs in brown, and used just the white curtain chuppah on the beach... it was very simple and really turned out well in photos... no distractions - just us, the water, and the sunset. I had petals on the sand to walk on, but skipped the cream aisle runner (went barefoot). We didn't use seashells or any of the other decorations that were offered to us. The OOT bags filled out the other part of the suitcase and tipped the scales - everything was super light individually, but together it all adds up quickly. In each OOT bag we did a waterproof disposable camera (we had the guests give them back to us for us to develop, such great shots!), sunscreen (a must -- most people ran out and it costs $25 for a small bottle at the resort -- bring two bottles for yourself - couldn't believe the hubby and I went through our own giant bottle in 4 days!), aloe vera, shout stain stick, lint roller, advil, pepto, a day of the dead 8oz flask, a personalized magnet (they were heavy!) http://www.etsy.com/shop/lterrill9 and some pictures from our legal wedding. And I had gifts for my officiant and maid of honor. It was all worth it - almost everyone used most of the stuff, but the biggest hits were the camera and the individual and personalized stuff like the flasks and the magnets. If you are cutting back forget the toiletries -- make it personal and unique would be my advice! Regarding the cake, I'd the fruit part for at least one layer if you like it! As I previously wrote, we did cake first (before dinner, on the Spice Terrace) on high cocktail rounds - every table got slices of all three layers, and everyone gathered around and tasted them all and argued over which ones were better... you can't take the top one home through customs, so I figured we should all enjoy it! The monkey drinks are actually made of cored out pineapples. The faces are made of pineapples and limes - the whole thing is completely edible! They cost extra for each guest, but well worth it -- and they tasted delicious! They are only given out at noon at the Sol Bar, and they only make about 30 (the line starts around 11:45am) so I wanted to make sure that everyone had one. Luckily, no one in my party (they were there 4 days before the wedding) had even seen them around the resort until the wedding - it was such a big hit! Hope that helps!
  3. Hi brides! Well, I’m back and absolutely miserable at home having returned from the best weddingmoon EVER! So here is my review: everything you've read is true – Yamina is absolutely awesome and will make your wedding amazingly fantastic. I am very particular and had a lot of specific requests and she accommodated everything wonderfully. I read people saying the same thing before getting there but was still nervous – NO NEED – trust – from a VERY specific bride! The resort: absolutely stunning and spectacular. We were in the Excellence Club in room #8354 and I really can’t imagine a better room/view/location. Looks over the lazy river, hammocks, Lobster House & The Grill, the swim up bar, I could see the wedding gazebo, etc. basically ALL of the action from bed – and best of all – 180 degree clear blue ocean view, including from the Jacuzzi tub! There are bars around every corner – we barely touched the liquor in our room (regular rooms come with beer and juice, Excellence Club rooms have full bottles of liquor too), so unless the view and the upgraded bath products are super important to you, being in a regular room would be just fine – I’ll probably do that next time. That said, the Excellence Club was very nice (quick snacks, check email) and the private section of the beach was awesome… not because it’s more private or has a different view, but because it has its own dedicated wait staff that learned our names and were just extra lovely. The food: We ate at Agave (Mexican), Toscana (Italian) twice, the Grill House (steak house), and Chez Isabelle (French) twice. We were there for a full 7 nights and were so pleased with Chez Isabelle and Toscana that we had to go back! Agave was pretty disappointing – our entire party agreed – it was good but not phenomenal. I had better fajitas from room service. (Room service is fantastic – you must get it at least once!), DELICOUS. PS, as everyone says, I consider myself a foodie, but everyone’s palette is varied. The food at the wedding was – far and away – the best meal, but overall I’d give the food a B++ for an all-inclusive. Really top notch. As for Spice, Barcelona & The Flavor Market – I have such fantastic favorites at home in those genres, that the menus weren’t that appealing… but I’m sure they were delicious. The wedding: amazing, perfect, amazing. We did the gold package and all of our guests had a ball. The cake was great – I had three different layers: chocolate with raspberry filling, chocolate with vanilla filling, and strawberry with fresh strawberries – the strawberry layer was the best. We used the beach location (I wanted a beach wedding, not a wedding with a beach view) and no one had a hard time hearing us over the waves whatsoever. The only reason we used the mics was for the video. We were married right at sunset – 5pm – and it was absolutely perfect. We had a guitarist play at the ceremony which was just beautiful - music before and after, totally worth the extra $$ - really heightened the atmosphere. We did an early reveal which I loved and would absolutely recommend – took photos around the resort and next door at the villa before we lost light, then held the ceremony at sunset. I asked my oldest friend to officiate (we did a legal ceremony in Houston – the idea of giving blood at a resort just felt weird to me) and it was perfect. We completely wrote our own ceremony and each read our own vows. It was very intimate and personal… tear fest! We held the cocktail hour in the x-lounge, which was a bit dark (very dim and romantic lighting), but the food was fantastic and the location was ideal. For the passed hors d'oeuvres we did a mix of items from the gold and silver menus – selected our favorites, and – based on having seen the photos off of TripAdvisor – I had requested Monkey Drinks for all of our guests! Everyone had a set of maracas tied with a ribbon with our name and wedding date) and everyone had a blast dancing to the mariachi band (they were AMAZING) and the cutest photos with the monkey drinks! My goal for the cocktail hour was fun! Everyone let loose – lost their shoes and had a ball with the maracas. We had the reception on Spice Terrace – absolutely beautiful. Because I believe that dessert should be served first (in general), we did the cake right after the cocktail hour! People had already munched at the X-Lounge, and it was a fun way to start the reception – champagne toasts, cake for all (on high cocktail rounds), then everyone sat down to dinner. The four course meal was insane (again, all of our favorites) and the staff took such good care of us – Edgar headed the wait staff at the reception and he was amazing (we knew him from the Lobster House at lunch from a few days prior) and so helpful. You didn’t even finish your glass before it was refilled, etc. We had a small party (14) so I requested that we were all at one table together which provided the really close and intimate feeling I wanted for the reception. We brought down our own iHome stereo and danced on the terrace for a bit until the parents went to bed, then went down to the beach to stare at the stars. Overall, it was positively perfect. My goal going in was to be really present and enjoy every instant and miraculously I achieved just that! The ceremony was all white and very romantic, cocktail hour was super fun and a little crazy, and the dinner/reception was intimate and lovely. We were married on 10/31/10 and started out envisioning a Halloween theme, which soon evolved into a Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead theme (such a beautiful holiday commemorating deceased loved one – we made that a big part of our ceremony for our grandparents). We tied the theme throughout the trip – from the OOT bags (everyone got a different Dia De Los Muertos flask and a personalized magnet among the other typical OOT items), to the place cards & holders, cake topper, invitation stamps, etc. Etsy is a gem! A few photos below of some of the goodies I used: Other gold package items: we had a couples hydrotherapy treatment followed by a Swedish massage… amazing! The spa is fabulous in general, and my hair and makeup were absolutely perfect. I brought down my own stuff, and she used a mix of both of our stuff. Bring a photo, the look was dead on. Four of us got mani/pedis together, and I thought they did a great job. Please keep in mind – being in salt water and chlorine isn’t ideal for nails, but even after a week (and 4 days after the wedding on the beach on the lazy river) my nails are just now starting to look worse for wear. We also did the “romantic cocktail cruise†which was so fabulous – just you and your hubby on a boat around the ocean with a bottle of champagne… we were back in time for dinner and it was such a lovely little treat. The special “breakfast in bed†was room service (the you pre-ordered) and mimosas – you could totally have gotten that all from a call to room service, but it was very nice just the same. The romantic meal at a restaurant is pretty simple – you get a special card and just go to the restaurant of your choice and they give you a full bottle of wine (you can order it by the glass, and anything else you’d like to drink anyway) and your table was covered with rose petals and napkins in the shape of swans. I really enjoyed these little extras – you will too – but still would have had an amazing time without them. So I’ve been raving… here are the things I didn’t love love love: My bouquet – it was beautiful, but the resort’s florist was unable to get the imported flowers I wanted (peonies, dahlias, etc) so that was a bit disappointing (Yamina had warned me about this in advance) but it still came out beautifully. As I mentioned before, Agave wasn’t the greatest meal, but the décor more than made up for the only good – not great – food. The Michael Jackson show… I know I’m going to get slaughtered here for this, but it was… eh. So so. It’s a dead on impersonation and that’s amazing (ps, I am a HUGE MJ fan), but the backup dancers were sloppy and it just felt really contrived. Maybe our group just wasn’t drunk enough yet? So that was the end of the shows for us – after dinner and assorted bars, our group made a habit of heading down the beach for some night swimming and star gazing which I HIGHLY recommend. Yamina was the standout – she was really shocked by the amount of stuff we brought down for decoration (49.5 lbs in each suitcase!), and did the most amazing and creative job executing and adding to my dream. She is a rarity – someone who is in exactly the right profession - she is a bride’s DREAM and I couldn’t possibly ever thank her enough for everything, or rave strongly enough to you all about her! Our guests said it was the most fun they had ever had at a wedding – I couldn’t agree more (I hope all brides feel this way about their own wedding!) and can’t wait to go back for our first anniversary (or sooner). Please let me know if you have any specific questions – I can email you individual pics of everything - and best wishes to all the to-be brides – you won’t regret the EPM for an instant!
  4. We fly down tomorrow -- hope the wedding is beautiful and perfect in every way, can't wait to here all about it!!
  5. Oh no I AM SO SORRY Daisy!! But don't let this spoil your special day! Maybe beautiful lace and silk ribbons off the crutches, and tie the same ones on your bouquet?
  6. WOW! So soon!! Please come back here after and give us a detailed review! Â How many guests are you having? Are you doing one of the packages? How exciting!!! Â
  7. I am doing a beach wedding - just found some really cute flats to wear that I might just kick off when I hit the sand! Â I really hope they make an exception for your wedding for the kids to come over...please keep me posted -- so far I've told everyone that anyone under 18 isn't allowed on property. Â
  8. Hey Daisy! We are doing both the reception and cocktail hour -- the gold package -- I really wanted a mariachi band (at the cocktail hour) and all of these upgrades, so financially that was smarter than all of my add-on's. Haven't been able to nail down my flower, cake and location choices yet -- so many choices - eek! Â Does anyone know what the evening shows are Fri-Sun? I know Thursday is the fabulous Michael Jackson impersonator... trying to get some options together for my guests - most will be there Thursday through Monday. Â Â
  9. Great clarification, thanks! Yes, 10/31 at 5pm is my date - when is yours? Â I am getting really excited -- 15 guests so far! (I was expecting 6 so that's a real shock for me!) Â
  10. Â Hi there, I am also planning on bringing my own playlist for the dinner (we're have a guitarist for the ceremony), but I believe that if you use the resort's sound system there is a $500 charge... just wanted to make sure you were aware. Maybe there is no charge for the sound system for the ceremony but there is for the reception? Just wanted to make sure you aren't hit with an unexpected charge at the end of your stay... I am planning to bring my own ipod speakers to avoid that fee.
  11. Hi all, Anyone know if we can bring sparklers in our checked luggage into Mexico? Thanks!
  12. Does anyone know if we can travel with sparklers to Mexico? Thanks!
  13. Quote: Originally Posted by Snickers I believe the decor was that of the hotel. We will be doing a long table as well and that terrace is huge by the way so no problems there. I don't think noise would be an issue as well due to the way it faces. I never got bit when we went. If you don't want to wear repellant, which I won't be doing either, pin a dryer sheet on you somewhere as that keeps the buggies away!!! Great suggestion -- that works? I'll throw one inside of my dress somewhere!
  14. Quote: Originally Posted by Snickers Spice Terrace is really nice. We saw it done up for a wedding when we were last there as it is covered and it is a good backup wedding venue. They really did a beautiful job in the decor of it. I am just hoping the rain holds off on my wedding day as I really want my gazebo wedding! Rain is good luck... but I'm hoping to avoid it as well! When you saw that wedding at Spice Terrace did the wedding party add decor of their own? Is anyone planning to bring anything other than stuff for the table? I am worried about bugs/noise/weather... I want the reception to feel really intimate and personal - I’m not doing separate tables for the dinner, for example, putting us all together at one long one for that reason. Do you think that’s achievable in that spot? Did you ever have a problem with the bugs? I have horrible reactions to mosquitoes (bites blow up into huge welts... UGLY), and bug spray and my wedding day don’t really go together!
  15. Quote: Originally Posted by HoustonBride10/31/10 Hi Rebecca, Just emailed you - please let me know if you don't receive it shortly. Can you please let me (and I'm sure others on here know) why you aren't interested in Spice? I've never been to the resort, so any suggestions/advice a seasoned traveler can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Okay - this wedding stuff is making me absolutely CRAZY! So sorry, I didn't read your post correctly... so glad that you never made it there, instead of disliking the place! Phew!