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About BethAnne

  1. LindsayMichelle... Thanks! They tried to do this to me too when they changed the rule, but i fought it and said it was already decided upon that we were using Juan Navarro and we had already put a deposit down on him... she ended up "checking with her manager" and said because it was a previously accepted deal they would honor it... I think you should try to fight it too if you can- its worth a shot!!
  2. Alright girls.. here goes nothing! My REVIEW of destination wedding @ Dreams Riviera Cancun- Sorry if its so long!! Traveled from 1/15/11- 1/22/11 Wedding on 1/17/11 First, I'd like to say that I've been checking this forum pretty much daily for the past 8 months, and its been a big part of helping us out with alot of things for our destination wedding and resort. Its been great. I've been reading alot of stuff lately about the frustrations with the whole Dorremix thing and all kinds of small details that brides are fretting over (and I can't judge because I was so one of them too!) If it means anything to any bride out there, I truly believe a large chunk of the things we worry and obsess over completely fall away or become obsolete when you get to the resort and have your wedding there. Things just sort of snap into focus, you're in vacation mode, and its absolutely gorgeous there!! You might find yourself looking around thinking, was I really obsessing over chair sashes and centerpieces and stuff? Anyways... FLIGHT/TRAVEL AGENT Used a local travel agent to book Apple Vacation package, resort and our wedding package.We flew USA 3000- very small plane and they sorta pack you in like sardines, but we made it! They have no room for hanging/storing a dress so i had to lay it over luggage in the overhead bin. All of the Apple reps we dealt with and the transportation to and from resort were awesome and knowledgeable- no problems here. Theres a deal right now for certain bookings made after oct 2010 or something that you get 400$ in resort credits, but its kinda shady and isn't really what they make it out to be. Dreams lets you use only 40$ per person per visit not to be combined, only on massages- no other service in salon or spa. Theres tons of restrictions and stuff- so its not like the $400 free resort money they make it out to be. Just watch out for this. ROOM/CHECK IN We had originially booked the pref club ocean view room, but a few months before changed our mind and booked the honeymoon suite, we wanted it to be special, and also at the time I didn't trust any of the wedding coordinators we were dealing with, the contract stated Paradise package was free only if you booked honeymoon suite room or higher for 7 nights.. but the website and travel agent stated preferred club ocean view room or higher, and we just didn't want to take the chance of being charged so much extra. Information was conflicting everywhere. Check-in was smooth and fast, we were escorted to preferred club to check in- greeted with ice cold champagne (good champagne) we were given a pager (it was 12:30pm at this time- check in at 3pm) and only waited 15 minutes and room was ready. We got a honeymoon suite on the far south end of the property 2nd floor, overlooking the palapas and a fascinating view of the beach. There were privacy walls installed on the outdoor terrace so you don't see your neighbors, it was amazing-I was upset that we didn't get an upgrade to the master suite but honestly it wasn't necessary. It was gorgeous, spacious, clean and well taken care of- and the hot tub on the terrace was just awesome, we used it almost every night when it got a little chilly. Room 1201- I honestly think this was the most amazing view on the property. Beach/pools/grounds These far exceeded our expectations. The grounds were amazing, always a worker out fixing something or doing little cosmetic touches. When it rained, within seconds they were out squiging the walkways so people didn't slip and fall.The place at night, something out of a movie to me.. it was gorgeous. The beach was great, always cleaned up, not alot of seaweed or debris- the ocean was a little rocky in spots, but nowhere near enough to not enjoy a dip- we went in several times- it was great. 4 pools- one was the activity pool (which we participated in water volleyball-super fun!) the kiddy pool, and two main pools- all were great, kids pretty much stayed in the kiddy pool, and the main pools were heated. We always wanted to swim at night, but it was unclear whether pools were open or not... signs list no hours, but the brochure in your room says "we advise against swimming after closing because the pools are being treated" but no one could ever say when they closed... but it wasn't a major concern. We used to two main jacuzzi's every night- which were great- could have been hotter for my personal preference, but relaxing for sure. One or two nights late, like after 10pm, there were a group of small kids jumping and playing and being obnoxious in the jacuzzi with no parents around.. even though signs clearly state no kids allowed in jacuzzi- we didn't see any staff taking care of the issue- but again not a huge deal. RESTARAUNTS/BARS Wasnt sure exactly what to expect, as this was my first time at an All Inclusive, but I was surprised. The only bad food we experienced here was at the french restaraunt..the steaks were pretty horrible. Other than that.. great. Very small portions, so we doubled up on lots of stuff, or ordered several courses. The world cafe had great breakfast selections, and decent lunch buffet. Be careful though, I got extremely sick one night we were there- they have a pasta bar where the sauces sit out, not refridgerated, until you order it and then they make it. I got the alfredo sauce not even thinking it had been sitting out so long.... I was violoently sick for an entire night, almost needed to go to the resort Dr. Room service was good.We had a great experience at the hibatchi restaraunt, fried ice cream balls for desert were outta this world, and the Tepanyaki Dinners were amazing! Italian and Mexican were great also. We ate at seaside grill almost every day for lunch- which was awesome (Shrimp tacos, burritos, chicken wings, and BLT!) We never waited at all.. maybe that was because the resort was at 60% capacity while we were there. They do randomly close down a restaraunt for dinner here and there, thats just how they operate i guess. Bars were great... waiters always coming around at beach and pool getting you drinks. Drinks seems strong to me, never watered down like i've heard some people day. The lobby bar ended up being our favorite, theres some nice guys workings there, they are open late, and theres usually singers and bands playing at night, and its just gorgeous scenery there at night. Jose makes the best Frozen Amaretto Sours. =) WEDDING COORDINATOR like most brides on here im sure, I was frustrated and at my wits end with how the communication was going during the planning. We had Veronica, who was the 3rd coordinator to handle our wedding. We were slightly disappointed she didn't work to get us a room upgrade, but in the end it was no big deal. We met with her on the day we arrived, and I came prepared with every single e-mail printed out and papers and conversations we had written down, i was prepared to have to fight our case lol, but I was surprised. She was very upbeat and happy and professional, seemed to genuinely want our wedding to be great. Gave her our sand ceremony stuff, a homemade centerpiece for the table under beach altar, an ipod with our ceremony songs, and a copy of our personalized ceremony script and vows- and she took care of the rest. We had a smaller more intimate group for my wedding, so it was me and my husband and 6 guests- so I didn't even think about bringing down extra decor or chair sashes or any of the that stuff, it wasn't necessary and the scenery there is all you really need anyways. Also with Veronica we took care of the day passes for our guests staying at other resorts and also the day pass for Juan Navarro, our photographer. Overall, I think she knows what she's doing and is a genuinely nice and honest person. She was semi-organized, but still had all our stuff written down, our wedding day went down pretty successfully without any major problems.Veronica was acutally the one who calmed me down when she was walking me with my parents to our waiting spot- she gave me like a 30 second pep talk... i dont even remember what she said, but it made me feel better! To other brides having bigger weddings and receptions here, I'd definately plan your own decor because their prices are INSANE, and don''t count on using ANYTHING previous brides have left... theres one storage room in their office which isnt very big, and the only stuff in it was decor for that days weddings and the next days weddings. She made a comment about throwing alot of stuff away because they have nowhere to put it. Which is true because we went to El Patio for dinner after ceremony- and she had my homemade centerpiece delivered to our table and also i had made my maid of honor a homemade bouquet (which was gorgeous, and i spent alot of time on it) the next morning we realized we left both on the table the night before so we went right to Veronica who said the managers at El Patio threw everything away except for the glass vase the centerpiece was in. I was so upset =( WEDDING DAY It was pretty great lounging on the beach and playing in the ocean on the morning of my wedding. If I were at home, i'd be spazzing out all day and it wouldn't be pretty. Due to their capacity, they let us have the complimentary room for the groom on the day of the wedding to be used up until 4pm (the time of our ceremony) so that was good, I got ready in our room and we didn't have to see each other. They were supposed to pick up my dress and his shirt saturday to be pressed and said it would be ready by monday- of course no one ever came and we had to get in touch with Veronica.. she said she'd have a rush put on it and that they'd pick it up monday morning (the day of my wedding!) and promised to have it done in time. So after reading what other brides have went through on here of course I started to freak out- but really they came back a few hours later with my dress looking better than it did after it was pressed here in the U.S. They hung it up and put a sheet over it, just incase the groom came in and saw it. My flowers were delivered, gorgeous and exactly what I expected, but unfortunately were already wilting and browning halfway through our ceremony- they didn't last long. Everyone we came in contact with who were delivering stuff and helping with our wedding day were very pleasant and saying congrats seniorita!! over and over again. It was pretty great. SPA- Now- i'm a licensed hairstylist and have been doing hair for 8 years... and i also specialize in Bridal Parties.. so usually im the one of the other side of the chair doing brides hair- but for some reason I got this bright idea that I wanted to feel pampered and not mess with it myself on my wedding day- also, its hard to do an updo on yourself. I have to say it was a complete disaster!! i brought pictures of what i wanted and the woman spoke well enough english to understand me, so im not sure what went wrong, she even said she does several of the brides that come through there- i was ripping out bobby pins in the elevator on the way up to my room so i could try to fix it, but there was no time, so i ended up wearing it down and somewhat curly- but due to the humidity it fell sorta flat and for pictures, my lord it was awful, it was so windy and my hair kept blowing in my face and sticking to my lipgloss when i was trying to say my vows! lol so all in all i regret making the decision to have the spa do my hair, but i could just be extra picky because i do hair and I'm experienced with it- I dunno I've seen pictures of other brides coming out of there looking amazing. Other brides may have an extremely great experience, who knows? The day prior to the wedding i had a french manicure at the spa, which was great and looked great, but only lasted a few hours before it chipped. CEREMONY The music tech did everything pretty much just as we specified. the sound quality wasn't too great though, sorta sounded like a radio, and even with the microphones, it was sorta still hard to hear. We had a non-legal ceremony and brought our own ceremony script we wrote, and our own sand ceremony stuff. Officiant spoke english, but she had a super strong accent, so it was hard to understand what she was saying. But she did follow it word for word and was professional about it. Our ceremony was on the beach, on the south end by the palapas...they moved some boats out of the way...it was very quiet over there and I think much more private than the gazebo would be.I saw a couple weddings at the gazebo there, and people just congregate by it in their bathing suits and stare, watching your wedding like their one of your guests.. i dunno just takes away some of the intimacy for me, and its tacky. The beach was just an awesome romantic spot to get married- and in our opinion doesnt need much extra decor at all. the beach as backdrop and the white linens on the altar with our simple home made centerpiece- it was awesome. They had a guard blocking people from walking through our wedding too, which I thought was really generous of them. They had cold champagne waiting when the ceremony was over. CAKE- We chose the tres leches cake, we were excited because all the reviews of this cake were so great. They had it delivered to El Patio where we were having dinner, they brought it out after we ate and we got to cut it and all that- it wasn't that great at all unfortunately, and our guests agreed. It was very plain and not sweet, kinda tasted like cardboard. We had them pass the cake out to all the other guests and staff in the restaraunt because we didn't want it, we would have thrown it away. We didn't choose any specially decorated cake or bring any decor or topper for the cake, so they just did their thing- it was white with a few red carnations on the top- boring, but still looked cute. DINNER El Patio was great, and they treated our group awesome- helped us with the menu choices and brought out a few extras. Even though we weren't having a separate private reception we didn't feel we were treated any different.. I mean why pay all the extra when we only have 6 guests, and we're all paying for the all inclusive anyways? Plus we're having an at-home reception this weekend in my hometown with 150 guests, so that'll be fun! We were kinda the star of the show at the restaraunt, and it was great. We're glad we did it this way. After dinner we hung out in the lobby bar area and there happened to be a band playing that night, my dad requested a song and an announcement from them and they agreed- so they announced our wedding over the loud speaker and played a song that we had our first dance to, right in front of all the other guests! they were clapping and hollaring. It was sweet and romantic and sorta completed our wedding day. =) When we came up to the room they had champagne and glasses, and fruit, and little petit fours deserts on a plate, with rose petals and candles in the shape of a heart on the floor in front of the bed, along with the honeymoon banner on our door. It was a nice touch. PHOTOGRAPHER Juan Navarro. He and his assistants were great, totally passionate about what they do, and didn't stop clicking the camera the ENTIRE time we were with them. All three of them were off hiding in bushes and behind stuff to try and get the best shots at the best angles. They were rolling in the sand and not thinking about anything around them other than us and their cameras. It was the best decision we could have made. We havn't gotten all of our photos back yet, but they showed us several in their cameras and i know we don't need to worry- I felt the ceremony and day went by a little too fast and worry there are moments I will forget, or moments I missed, but I feel having his work we'll be able to look back on our day for years to come and relive every moment of it. Thats memories you can't put a price on. Plus, you get SO much more than you get with the resort photo packages. Love this guys work. PACKAGE Unfortunately we weren't too happy with this. The website states in the paradise package the honeymoon package is included, so Veronica put me in touch with concierge who I emailed prior to our arrival to schedule the romantic dinner on the beach and all the rest of the stuff. She emailed me back and said yes it was all included and helped us schedule it. Well friday night, 2 hours before our dinner on the beach they called our room and said "we called wedding department and they say this isn't included in your package- and it will be $200 if you still want to have it" I tried explaining I had emails stating it was included and scheduled, but they would'nt hear it- just said pay us $200 if you still want to do it. We just cancelled it and went about our business. Sorta ridiculous. Also, when we went to check out the concierge said we owed an additional 200$ but couldn't tell us why.. then printed up some sheet that said it was for day passes and sound system, but we already had taken care of that in cash with Veronica..he said we can't let you leave till you pay this and our bus was waiting to take us to the airport, so we didn't wanna be late. We tried to fight it, but had to just pay it anyways. He got on the phone and claimed he was trying to get a hold of Veronica on her cell phone, but who knows. basically we paid twice for things because the wedding department doesnt communicate with concierge about payments and stuff. We're currently trying to straighten this out with Veronica, but again still waiting for an e-mail response. OVERALL Things went great. I think its a great place to have a destination wedding, if not just a relaxing vacation even still. I just think it may not be right for every bride.. only because if you're one to want to plan out every little detail and want things very specific, then I think you'd end up disappointed. They kind of fly by the seat of their pants here, but still get it done in the end.I can go with the flow a little more easily, so thats why i'm pretty pleased in the end. I think before with Ana running things they were just packing way too much in with not enough time or help and bad things were happening.. i think now with Veronica and the others they will straighten things out so that they have more time to give one on one attention to brides, and have a more consistant streamlined process to follow with weddings. I was a different person while here, completely relaxed and taking all of it in. All of our guests were so psyched about just how great the place was, and were in a good mood to just be on vacation.. so I dont think they were expecting quite the luxury experience us brides THINK it has to be. The place is stunning, and it was literally like i checked out of reality for a week, and hated to come back. I hope all future brides can enjoy it this much, and also maybe not fret so much over all the tiny details, that in the end don't contribute much to the big picture. Good luck!!!.. any questions I can answer you can PM me =)
  3. Ladies.. I am here!!! If there is any way i can put any of your minds at ease then this post is worth it. I had every worry imaginable for the past year about this trip and the wedding. When we stepped foot on the property here we were amazed..truly blown away! Everyone we came in contact with has been extremely nice and offering their help with anything you need.We are in a honeymoon suite at the very south edge of the propery, right out over the palapas- its very quiet and private (even on the outdoor terrace with the hot tub-which we used last night and it was awesome!) the view is absolutely outstanding..the beds are comfortable.. and we had the BEST sleep of our lives..sounds of the waves crashing in and the breeze at night. they are at 55% capacity right now...we havnt waited long for anything yet. We met with veronica our coordinator, and after having had 3 coordinators throughout the last 7 months and everything getting messed up' the meeting went great. The email correspondance was poor at best, and the they were always cold and to the point with their e-mails' almost not personable at all but when we got here and met face to face..she was awesome..professional...extrememly organized- had all our stuff in her files.. and genuinely seemed to care about us having a great trip and wedding. The wedding is tomorrow, so i cant wait to see how it all plays out..hopefully as well as it has been so far. Weve visited the spa, the beach, the pool, the world cafe, seaside grill, the lobby bar, saw two other weddings and receptions and a bunch of stuff...we have yet to be disappointed with anything yet. Its amazing here.. cant think of a better place to have your destination wedding! try to worry less all of you future brides.. if at all possible... i think you will love it!!! beth anne
  4. Omg! i can't believe its so close now. We leave at 3am sat morning for the airport. We'll be there in time to probly see your wedding Volosikj! Good luck and hope the day goes smooth. I'm praying they give us a complimentary room upgrade when we get there...we'd absolutely love the master suite. Me and the fiance plan on stopping by the lounge for computer access a few times while were there to check up on family back here.. so i'll hop on here..if theres any questions brides are dying to ask- let me know- i'll try my best to answer!! <3
  5. I would... I mean literally i've had 3 different coordinators already throughout my 6 month planning process.. and i know several other brides on here have had the same situation. Not only were they not able to keep things on record correctly when it was just one coordinator.. every time they left and a new one took over they'd send an e-mail with all the WRONG information.. it was like the slate was wiped clean and they were starting over. I literally have a binder- i printed every confirmation # and every conversation i had with the different coordinators and its going with me so i have proof of everything that was said and approved to me.. i'm sure all other brides and myself are being prepared, and NOT about to let them pull a fast one on you and ruin the wedding day, or charge you WAY more than what they originally quoted.. Ok so i was rambling =) Long story short.. print all the emails and forms and questionnaires..cover your butt =)
  6. Yeah- from what I was told the chuppah is included, and includes the standard white tulle fabric wraps, but no flowers or decor.. that is all extra. Im just going with the chuppah drapped in white, since its included, and the beach is already a fantasitc backdrop anyways! Leaving in 4 days!! =)
  7. One more thing in regards to your pics.. what room were you staying in? Looks pretty big and nice! =) 10 days till I get on a plane to marry my best friend!... <3
  8. OMG! congrats =) Your pics are amazing =) I am curious if you got your hair done at the spa? It is gorgeous!! And i am looking for examples they've done, because i am a little nervous about whether or not i should trust them with mine!! Thanks Beth Anne <3 leaving in 16 days!! <3
  9. Ladies..for thoses recently married here..wondering if you can tell all of girls if this happened on your trip-- I heard that you're only given one room key at DRC- which would be really inconvenient since me and FH will be coming and going at different times and such... Let us know if you can! <3 leaving in 25 days!!
  10. Hi ladies... I just had to show someone!! My real touch flowers approval pics came today, they're being shipped out tomorrow.. I kinda love 'em.. what do you think?
  11. OK girls..after weeks of no reply after Maria said she was leaving.. I get an email today from a Veronica Chi Pan and Lisbeth who are helping coordinate my wedding...anyone heard of these ladies, or is anyone communicating with them yet? Again they have all my wedding information down wrong, and are asking me beginning stage questions on stuff thats already been planned and agreed upon between myself and the previous coordinators. This is kind of shady.. and I'm really worried about it =(
  12. I can totally relate. The entire process has been this way. I've sent about 4 or 5 emails in the past 3-4 weeks since i got the message Maria Magdalena was leaving her position (this will now be a third coordinator i've had to explain everything to) and i've gotten nothing, nothing at all. I've even e-mail the resorts main e-mail address (concierge desk) wanting an answer, or advice on who to talk to now that we've had 2 coordinators quit on us already. We leave in 48 days, and communication has been shotty at best, and her reply's indicate she hasnt written anything down correctly that we've already talked about. I kinda feel silly getting all excited and packin all my stuff and getting my dress ready to go, when we might get there and find out were not even getting our wedding! =( Trying to breathe deeply here...
  13. OMG. I could just scream right now! Sure enough she is leaving, i sent her an email this morning. I started planning with Ana, then she left and everything was all screwed up and then Maria Magdalena made all these promises and said she wouldn't change things and blah blah, now SHE'S leaving too! Its bad enough they never seem to know whats going on when they e-mail you back- but now our (and other brides too) plans have been in two sets of hands, and now a 3rd!! We leave in exactly two months, and I'm not feeling at all confident that they'll pull it off without some sort of disaster. I even have a small wedding- and im still freaking out! How is this fair? Everyone's being told different things and no one will truly know how it will go till they get off the plane and into the resort. Am I the only one freaking out here? lol =(
  14. Check out Juan Navarro's website, he takes some amazing pics and I have him booked for my wedding in Jan. I check the site every day, and have yet to see any pics I havn't loved. =)
  15. I say definately what feels right to you, but my personal opinion is that the mystery and the excitement of the months of planning building up to the day brings alot of emotion and surprise to the table when you finally meet at the alter. I feel it makes the day more memorable. =)