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About saraandjon

  1. I got my hair done at noon for a 6:30 ceremony. I know that sounds kinda crazy, but it worked perfectly. I wanted to have time to get ready with my bridesmaids and not be rushed and I wanted to do a first look and take lots of pics before the ceremony. It took exactly 2 hours for my hair and makeup. If you don't plan on any pictures before the ceremony, you probably could get your hair done at 2:00 or 2:30 or so and be on time!
  2. Ditto- our photog was a friend from home and we sat her as a guest, DJ stayed at his booth all night, and we ended up hand-delivering most of the OOT bags (we actually werent done filling them when a lot of guests got there so we ended up just bringing them later that night...woops ) 21aholden- Did we have the same dress? Looks beautiful on you! Love your pics!
  3. I also forgot to mention in my review that we got the classic bridal cake (its called something like that) and it tasted phenomenal! I was worried about that too
  4. HERE IS MY REVIEW!! I POSTED ON THE REVIEW PAGE TOO!! I was married at Now Jade on 6/11/11. I will try to be as honest, detailed, and helpful in this review as I can! We had 51 guests (50 adults and 1 child). We had our ceremony on the beach and reception at Castaways (Las Olas). We arrived on Tuesday and our wedding was Saturday. It was amazing and I would do it again in a second. Our guests had a blast and almost every detail was exactly how I had dreamt it. Check out our sneak peak of wedding pictures: http://brookeallisonphoto.com/blog/sara-jon-mayan-riviera-mexico-destination-wedding-photographer Pre-wedding Experience: This is the hardest part of being a destination bride! You really have to trust that everything will come together in the end, and it will! Ana was my wedding coordinator and sometimes she would email me back the same day, but sometimes she would take weeks! Sometimes, due to the language barrier, she would not really answer my questions. When you get there and see how hard they work for each brides wedding you will understand why. There were weddings almost every day during the week I was there. My advice is to be as organized as possible, and email her one question at a time. Give her time to respond, but if there is something you MUST know right away, then call and talk to her on the phone. What I brought with me: I brought OOT bags (first aid kits, mini sun screen, mini aloe, flip flops, personalized mugs, decks of cards, etc,) and bigger beach bags (some as OOT bags plus beach towels and pashminas) for my 5 bridesmaids. I brought bubbles, fans, and programs for the ceremony, and a sand ceremony kit. I brought labels for table numbers (that I stuck on wine bottles) and mini maracas that I used for escort cards. Timeline at the resort: We had an initial meeting with Ana on Tuesday afternoon where we went over the entire wedding in detail. I was originally going to have my ceremony at the far end of the beach and my cocktail hour on the pool deck, but I changed my location on the beach to the preferred side and the location of my cocktail hour to the Mix Beach Bar. I gave her my suitcase full of goodies and picked flowers, cake, etc. We also set up a meeting to taste appetizers the next day. We ordered an extra centerpiece for her to bring us the next day too, which was nice so that I could see the flowers and we had it in our room all week and it looked really pretty. On Friday we had a rehearsal around 2pm, and a wecome dinner on Friday night. On Saturday, our ceremony was at 6:30 on the beach, cocktail hour at 7:15 at Mix Beach Bar, and reception at 8pm at Castaways. The Resort: The resort is soooo beautiful! If you haven’t been there, do not worry! You will be impressed. The ride to the resort and the surrounding area are not that pretty, but once you are in the lobby you will feel that you are in paradise. The town of peurto morelos is really cute. I definitely recommend checking it out. The food at the resort is great- I liked Spice, Mercure, and Italian in that order. The only restaurant I didn’t like was Tamorindo, where the food was just ok and the service was slow. For lunch the ceasar salad at Castaways is great and the food at the buffet is good. I loved the buffet for breakfast. Don’t forget to get a Frozen Bailey’s at the coffee shop, I had one every day. I don’t think that any of our guests got sick, but the food is definitely different there so your stomach may feel a little off, I recommend just eating small meals at a time. The service at the resort is amazing. Everyone is so nice and they work so hard! Wedding Rehearsal: The rehearsal was a little bit disorganized but worth the time (only took 15-20 minutes) to get all of the kinks out. That way the wedding party knew exactly where to stand and the ceremony was flawless. Ana will direct you as far as timing and walking down the aisle for the actual wedding so don’t worry! Friday night: Welcome Dinner - AWESOME! We originally were going to have our welcome dinner at the Carnivale Buffet, but my dad had the idea of having a bar-b-que instead. They charged us 30$/person, but the amount the wedding itself cost actually was UNDER BUDGET(!) so we splurged and it was SO worth it! We planned the BBQ for the garden area, but it looked like it might rain so we moved it to the Mix Beach Bar so we would be kinda covered. This actually worked out perfectly. We got there and they had blue margaritas waiting for us (that matched the bar and looked really cute). They grilled flank steak, chicken, and salmon. I thought the salmon was amazing, my husband (J) thought that the chicken was amazing. You really couldn’t go wrong. They also put out guacamole, caprese salad, other salads, other sides, it was honestly more food than we all could ever possibly have eaten! And they put out a whole beautiful display of desserts that were out of this world! I don’t even think we asked for all of this, but it was wonderful! We had the Carribean Trio play 2 sets. They were sooooo good. Everyone was up and dancing, so when the trio was done we plugged in an Ipod and continued the party. This was sooooo much fun! Hair and Makeup at the Spa: A+++++++ Ask for Angel, he is a miracle worker. This was one thing that I was VERY nervous about! I was going to do a trial but I didn’t want to spend the time or the money once I got down there so I just risked it. The spa is actually in a governer’s suite right now because there was a fire in the actual spa a few months ago. I thought this was great because it is beautiful and there is a beautiful view. I almost think they should just keep it there! I ended up getting a mani/pedi on Friday morning because my nails were chipping from the pool/ocean and they did great. It probably would have been smarter to get a gel manicure before I went, but the mani/pedi was only $59 (not bad for a resort I thought since I pay like $45 at home) and I forget the girl’s name who did it but she was great. She didn’t speak a lot of English but they came out really good. On Saturday I went to the Spa at noon to get my makeup and hair done. This was 6 ½ hours before my ceremony, but I brought a photographer down and knew I wanted a lot of pictures before the ceremony and I also wanted to spend time getting ready with my bridesmaids. I timed it perfectly. Angel took about 2 hours to do my hair and makeup. I usually wear minimal makeup (neutral eyeshadow, eyeliner, bronzer, lip gloss), and I don’t know what he did but it was absolutely phenominal and it stayed on all day and night! If you know what you want your hair to look like, bring pictures, and I’m sure he can do anything. I didn’t really know what I wanted and he didn’t do what I explained to him but after seeing what he did with my makeup I just trusted him. I have never gotten so many compliments in my life. Everyone loved it and it was amazing! I wanted to take him home to do my hair and my makeup every day. I can’t even explain how much I loved it! My cousin is a hairdresser and she did my bridesmaids hair and makeup. I’m so glad she was there to help because I think it would have taken forever and been really expensive if we all did it at the spa, and if she wasn’t there knowing my friends they would all have ponytails! She did great, so I gave here and her boyfriend the free couple’s massage that came with our wedding package as a gift and they LOVED that too. In fact, everyone who got massages at the spa loved them! Ceremony: A+ The ceremony was on the beach, on the preferred side. I will warn you that people in the preferred pool will watch and cheer for you but they were great. They were not obnoxious or inappropriate, just really having fun! We did the civil ceremony, and our minister was Roxana. We got married at home (with just us and our parents) before going to Mexico because we are Jewish and wanted a Rabbi to marry us, and we didn’t want to deal with all of the Mexico paperwork. Roxana is great- she has 2 different templates you can choose from- one is love based and one is religion based. I actually have a copy of each in my email, so message me if you want them. She can then mold either one and tailor it exactly how you want it. We made some changes to hers and it was great! Her vows were also amazing. I loved them, but you are welcome to say your own vows. Her english is pretty good too. The decorations were unbelievable. We got chivari chairs (in white) because I don’t love the chair bows. I also told Ana that I would rather not have flowers at the ceremony and have an extra centerpiece at the reception (just because I was trying to save money and I figured the beach was pretty anyway). She said ok and ended up giving us the flowers anyway at no charge and it was sooooo beautiful! We also had the guitarist for ceremony music which I recommend. He was great! Cocktail Hour at the Mix Beach Bar- B I am giving this a B because of some behind the scenes problems we had, but I definitely still recommend it as a cocktail hour venue! When got there around 7:15 and there was a party before us that was still there…my parents were very upset about this. I think that I was in la-la-land after the ceremony and it didn’t bother me as much, but looking back it definitely would have been nicer if the venue was just ready for us. For food, we tasted a bunch of appetizers and ended up ordering steak skewers, fish croquets (great), spinach quiche (they even made it without ham for me, and it was great!), 2 kinds of ceviche (so cute in these little edible cups), and I forget what else. The food was all very good! My dad also ordered a carving station, which we paid extra for but they never brought forks and knives to go with it so no one could eat it. By the time they brought the forks and knives cocktail hour was almost over and my dad was really upset. They ended up extending the cocktail hour to about 8:30 or 9:00, and by that time we were all hungry and ready for dinner so the timing didn’t work out as perfectly as I wanted. My dad got his money back for the carving station too since they kinda screwed up. Otherwise, this was perfect. They had peach and strawberry daquaris waiting for us (matching my pink color theme) and Ana put out the pink and grey cocktail napkins that I brought with me. We had the mariachi band play 2 sets and they were hysterical! I loved them, definitely something different to have at a Mexican wedding! FYI, It can get kinda buggy at night on the Mix Beach Bar so bring some spray for your guests to all share! Wedding Reception at Castaways- A- The room looked soooooo beautiful! Trust me, Ana does an amazing job! We had 7 tables set up on the ocean side of the room and the DJ set up in the middle. The ONLY problem that we had was that it was REALLY HOT in the room. I didn’t want an inside reception since we were in Mexico and all, but it was a little bit uncomfortable during dinner. My dad had actually asked for them to rent fans from a place in Cancun and put them around the room and they did not do this. I would make sure they do. Other than that, it was perfect. We had a salad to start, then lobster bisque (some of the waiters there call it lobster “biscuit†which I thought was funny), sorbet, choice of steak or tuna (both with mashed potatoes and shrimp), and then chocolate soufflé for dessert. All of the food was great. Some people thought that the tuna was cooked more than they would have liked (they wanted it rare and it was cooked through) but I loved mine and everyone loved their steak. The chocolate soufflé tasted great, but maybe could have been slightly warmer. The set up and room for dancing was perfect! I would definitely pick Castaways again, but I would try to come up with a solution for the heat. Flowers- A This is something that I was VERY worried about because I had heard from other brides that the flowers at the resort were not that great. NOT TRUE! I loved mine! I was so worried that I ordered an extra centerpiece to my room to make sure they would be ok. They were great! My bouquet was huge, too! They were so pretty! Ana also only charged $65 per centerpiece (I think), which was much less than I was expecting! The bridesmaid bouquets were definitely smaller but appropriate and they looked great! DJ- AMAZING I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome our DJ was. I don’t remember his name but he was with AVI solutions. I gave my fiancé the task of making a play/no play list and picking out important songs and emailing the DJ before we went down. He never did (why do guys have such an aversion to planning??) I was so worried, but he had every song we wanted, even random ones for our first dance and father daughter dance and every song that my friends requested throughout the night. And he was just awesome. I have never been to a wedding in the states with as good of a DJ! Photographer We flew our photographer down from CT. She was amazing. I attached some of her pictures that she has edited so far. We didn’t use the resort photographer, instead we had 2 hours of videographer. We haven’t received our video yet…I’ll update you guys when I get it! PM me if you would like to see some of the pictures that our guests took…some are posted on facebook and I can add you as a friend. Also feel free to ask any questions!
  5. I'm leaving for Mexico in 5 days, and I'm feeling very nervous this morning. I feel like half of the stuff that Ana and I have talked about and agreed upon she has forgotten about and we have regressed to 6 months ago! I'm trying not to worry and hoping we can get it all figured out when we get to Mexico!
  6. Quick question for those who have already gotten married: Are the reception tables 8 person each?
  7. I'm 2 months away today and I'm getting REALLY nervous! Have you guys heard anything about the civil ceremonies? We wanted to do a sand ceremony and have some family members do readings. Are they able to accomodate?
  8. We are having our ceremony at 6:30 on the beach and our reception at 8pm in Las Olas...can't wait to see you in Mexico in a few months!
  9. Have any of you past brides used the florist for centerpieces? Can you tell me which one you got and what the quality was? Are the big and beautiful or smaller than you expected? Same for bouquets...I remember a while back a bride said that she thought the bouquets were small...has this been the same recently? Thanks...I'm about 3 months out now! Getting excited!
  10. Hammy, How man guests did you have? I am planning on using Castaways (Las Olas?) for the reception too! You looked beautiful! Congrats!
  11. Do you guy think there is a way to get cornhole (bags) boards to Now Jade? My guests would LOVE this (we play all of the time at home) and I think these boards are so cute! If we could figure out a way for the resort the get them all of our guests could use them while they are in Mexico? http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/photogallery/molly-and-ken#slide_14
  12. Hi Wendy, Thanks so much for offering to help. I actually have a travel agent that can pricematch as well. The problem is that the price in general seems to have increased greatly over the last few months. I know the prices in Riviera Maya have been known to fluctuate, but I'm not sure if I should tell my family/friends to hold off until the prices come down or to book now before they get any higher! Do you think they will come back down? Thanks for your help! Sara
  13. This is slightly off-topic, but have your guests been booking and getting good prices? It seems like the cost of a total trip to the resort has gone up substantially over the last few months. Has anyone else noticed this? Do you guys think it fluctuates and will go back down?
  14. Hey Girls, I wanted to go back to the flower discussion for a second. Ana told me that I absolutely could NOT bring in an outside florist. Ally- did you book your date before the change in management? I hope that I can, since I actually do want a lot of flowers but the resort florist prices are OUT OF CONTROL! Also, thanks so much for the review Ally! I would love to see some pictures whenever you get a chance! Sara
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