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About hammy0426

  1. Jacjade, one more tip...you could always trying calling the hotel directly and try to negotiate pricing directly with them. I know that one of my TA's called there and spoke with the group rates person and they were able to match the pricing that we got on bookit.com. It would stand to reason that they may be somewhat flexible in their rates if they are talking directly to you. Also, if you book directly through the hotel, they offer that free room for every 5 or 6 guest rooms booked (I know that another bride said that her TA did not end up honoring that deal but if you through the hotel, they may be able to honor it). Just an idea... I think that the reason that we had no problems with any of our rooms is because the WC has all the names of the guests and makes sure there are no issues.
  2. Hi ladies, even though I got married about one month ago...this site was my life line for so long that I can't help checking in every few days... There seems to be a lot of talk about a having a TA or not. although I did not have a good experience with my TA, I called a few different ones in the beginning and asked for quotes. I never hid it from them that I was shopping around and that seemed to help with pricing. I also did my own research on-line myself to see what pricing I could get on my own..ultimately I ended up not using a TA and booking on line and letting my guests book on-line themselves. TA might help if you have a larger party or if you are coming from another country like some of the brides, just keep your options open. I did not block out rooms for my party and unless you are having your wedding on a super busy week or a large group, I don't see why you would need to do so. I had guests booking on-line up to 3 weeks before the wedding and since you give the guests names to your WC before you arrive, we had no problems with the rooms even though the resort was at over 100% capacity. There was no way I could have fronted all that money for each guest room deposit in advance. All of the platinum room guests were all located in the 7000 building so we were close to each other and the non-platinums were on the other side of the resort. Not sure if it is necessary to block rooms for your party. Even if your party ends up in another building or on the non-platinum side, the resort is not very large and all the restaurants and bars are centrally located so we did not have any problems with gathering together.
  3. Carly, great pictures! doesn't it make you want to do it all over again when you look at the pictures...?
  4. Hi Jenn, I recently had my wedding there and had the Divine package also. I can't help with the appetizers because I busy getting pics taken and never got any. Most people said they were good but not enough -my guests only got 2-4 pieces each and I swear either Pilar or the wedding brochure told me that you get 7 pieces per person for the included 25 guests. this might not matter for most parties but we had a long break between the ceremony and the dinner and people were hungry. For the dinner, what ever you do, DO NOT order the beef carpacio! I don't know what it is like here in the states but it was like some gelatinous red goo on our plates -yuck. I think only 2 or 3 people ate it. we had the spinach ravioli for 2nd course and it was good -everyone liked it and ate it. It was served with a green basil/spinach cream sauce over the top. For the entrees, I let the guests "pre-order" what they wanted and supplied the entree count to Pilar before I left for NJ. I had the tuna and although it was overcooked, it still tasted good and everybody else liked the beef and the salmon. For the dessert, we had the almond thing and it was hard as a rock. Nobody ate it because we had cake and then the dancing started. I would recommend trying to substitute the dessert cause you already have one with the cake. If you wanted something light so people are not so full that they cannot eat the dinner, I know the Eternity package has a salad as an option and I wish I had thought about substituting the dessert with a different starter choice. Hope this helps Meg
  5. Primavera, it does seem that there is always a lot going on right before the wedding and it ends up with a lot of added stress. Don't worry, it will all work out. I left my turquoise chair sash's with Pilar. I know you said that you are having aqua and the turquoise color would be almost the same. I like there was 50 of them. I left 8 sand colored table runners. I also left 12 vases that were 9 inches tall, 12 vases that were 7 inches tall and 12 vases that were 4 inches tall (Pilar told me that 4 vases broke but I am not sure what sizes broke). I left 4 picture frames that I used for table numbers and also about 50 raffia fans that I used for the chairs for the ceremony. If you are going to use candles in the vases, I recommend ones that I found at DollarTree -I found oversized tealights that fit perfectly in the bottom of the 4 inch vases. Even being at Castaways which is outside, they stayed light. I wrapped the small and large vases with eyelet fabric and trimmed the bottoms with sand colored ribbon. the candle light flickered through the holes in the fabric. everything that I put on the vases was used with double-sided sticky tape so someone else could peel them off. The star of my vases were the ones that I spent the least amount of time on...in the middle vases, I put small starfish that I bought on line, filled the vase with water and put a waterproof light in the bottom which makes everything illuminated and magnified the size of the small starfish. Pilar put some of my crystal rocks on the bottom and a floating flower on top. It looked awesome, provided more light when it gets dark and looked great in pictures in too. Just trying to give you some ideas...
  6. jacqjade, hmmmm well my bookings were different than yours -long story about being first booked at another resort and then firing our travel agent...so we all booked around the same time through bookit as it was only about 3 months before the wedding! We had many different departure cities and we also had people staying from 5-10 days and arriving and leaving all different days. Because of all the drama with our bookings, I just told everyone to go to the site and book themselves. I did not block off rooms or talk to the hotel about at all. The resort was fully booked that week to the point that they were sending people to other resorts and we had no problem booking or getting into the resort. Sorry I can't be more help... I regret going through a travel agent to begin with at all. I was trying to make to seemless and stress=free for my guests but everyone wanted to search themselves for better pricing. (not that they could find better pricing than what we originally had because believe me, I searched long and hard to find the best rates for everyone). trying to coordinate everyone else's vacation was the most stressful part of my planning. I told my sister who is considering a DW that if she does it, to tell people the location and allow them to book themselves. A lot less stress! One hint for bookit is that some days they have "sales" on the resort pricing and it tells you there is only one day left...the sale will end but it came right back the following day for the same sale price.
  7. I used a fake flower in my hair but I think that a real one would be nice. You should research which flowers last better and keep their shape in the heat before you decide. If the one that you wanted to use ends up wilting in the heat then maybe fake would be better or switch what flower you would use.
  8. Irishdonna, your pricing sounds comparable and it is awesome to have a direct flight. Also great to have a one time price reduction option... I know it is hard to believe in the stage of planning the weeding but from what I found after planning the wedding and then having it, everything has a way of working itself out in the end. and if it doesn't...you will be so relaxed and happy while you are there, that you will not care. I am so excited for everyone because I know that you will have the absolute BEST time while you are there. sigh...I wish I could have my wedding and that week all over again.
  9. Kmart, I has the Devine package. the DJ did the announcing and first dance, etc prior to dinner being served. Then he put an auto music selection to play during dinner. The Dj and MC left during dinner and came back at the last course. Then the DJ hours began and we did cake cutting and then 3 hours of dancing. I am not sure what to suggest to Pilar about the extra DJ hour. I never even mentioned it to her as I did not think that would even be an option of a free DJ hour and I was not going to pay the extra $350 for one hour. Glad I had it because my family likes to dance and drink and we had so much fun. FYI: the DJ/MC brings colored lights to use and flash during dancing. FUN! and it looked great.
  10. Irishdonna, long story but I will make it as short as possible. I originally had a TA and my party was originally booked at another resort. Meanwhile my meddling aunt thought that she could get better pricing so you went to a different TA with about half my party. Annoying because the 2nd TA could not get close to the pricing that I had so I had to get involved with the 2nd TA also just so the rest of my party could have the same pricing. Part of the resort we were originally booked at blew-up and I did not feel comfortable going there anymore. We had already booked our flights. I decided on Now Jade and the 1st TA could not match the pricing I found on bookit.com. We canceled with her and got our deposits back and we booked directly through the website. The other half of my party with the 2nd TA could not give the deposit back if they canceled so I worked with her to match the pricing on bookit.com. That TA ended up calling the resort directly and getting them to match bookit's pricing for the group. This may help work for you if you can get your TA to call the resort directly.... This worked for myself and my party because we had people coming from many different places and arriving and departing on various days so we did not care about being all together on the same flight. Also, my now husband found the cheapest flights from Cheapo-Air.com. We originally found air from Syracuse NY to Cancun with one stop for only $390 round trip per person! but we had to fly out of Rochester so the mother-in-law did not have to fly alone and we found flights for $495 per person the next day. We booked our flights in Aug or Sep for February travel. We were all pretty flexible on travel dates so that we could get good pricing (hence people arriving anywhere from Wed to Sat and leaving Wed to Friday). The pricing for the airfare steadily increased for months but the rest of the party found ok pricing after Thanksgiving. Kind-of a guessing game and somewhat stressful to deal with but in the end I was happy that we did it because we ended up saving enough for us to stay at the resort 12 days instead of 10. Tip #4: It is AWESOME to have close family and friends celebrate the wedding but I highly recommend staying a few days after everyone leaves so that you and your new hubby can enjoy each other alone. With everybody there to celebrate your wedding, sometimes I felt obligated to have dinner with certain people or at certain restaurants so that we could spend enough time with each guest. Besides the actual wedding, the extra 4 days alone that we had was so nice and very relaxing. Highly recommend it.
  11. Hi jacqjade, I'm not sure if I am reading your question right but i did not end up using the Ipod for the reception. I thought that I would need to and had my sister make a "dinner play list" on her Ipod but the DJ just played some soft dinner music while we ate. I'm sure he would let you hook up your Ipod if you want to play your own songs but to me, it was just background music and I would rather have them chose instead of having myself or someone else get up to manage it. I had two people for the DJ service (both were included). One was the MC or head DJ and he did the announcing and then the DJ or assistant played and cued the music. When we arrived to the reception site, the MC announced the wedding party, we had our first dance, father/daughter dance and mother/son dance. then the MC/DJ played dinner music and left while we ate dinner. He came back right after dinner and he announced the cake cutting, did a bouquet toss and garter toss. Then he started his 3 hours of DJ music so I feel like I got a lot more time and service than I was expecting.
  12. I originally went through a TA but she had a difficult time matching the pricing we found on bookit.com. I ended up leaving her and booking on-line (we already had our flights booked long before separately). Our hotel only pricing ranged from $99 per night for non-preferred tropical view to $147 per night for preferred ocean front view. Booking flights can be tricky but we found ours cheapest during Aug and Sep for travel for Feb. Specifically, I checked flights for weeks on a daily basis and found that the pricing dropped a bit each day right after lunch and would go back up by the time I left for work. My party was arriving on different days and some from different locations so it worked for us because we could not travel together anyways.
  13. I originally only had the DJ for the 2 hrs that comes in the package. I had my sister come up with a dinner play list on her Ipod to play during dinner but the DJ was all set up when we got to the reception site. The MC announced the wedding party and we had the first dances to the music we chose. They played a set track of music during dinner on auto and then came back for the cake cutting. Then the 2 hrs of DJ started and Pilar gave us an extra DJ hour for free. I thought that the 3 full hours of music and dancing was the perfect amount of time. A lot of wedding parties travel to the Beach Bar or Sports Bar after the reception so that you can keep the party going. Also, if you have your cocktail hour at the Beach Bar, you can bring your Ipod and the bartender will hook it up so that you have music playing there also. The speakers at the bar go soft sometimes and the bartender said that it was because of the wind coming off the beach so its not the best sound system but better than renting the equipment or not having any music during cocktail hour.
  14. Sara, I thought that the flower bouquets were small. the brides bouquet is the size of most bridesmaids bouquets at home. I debated using parasols for the bridesmaids or beautiful Asian fans but I could not find any that I liked enough -I wanted something nicer for the girls than the less expensive ones I bought for the guests but could not find one that was nice enough or had the design that I liked. I ended up paying for two bridesmaids bouquets and they were pretty small and definitely not worth $65 but I wanted the flowers so I paid it. They were pretty, just small. A while back another bride mentioned a florist in Cancun or Playa Del Carmen that did her flowers for way less money and she was happy with them. I think it was a bit of a hassle with the resort for her but in the end I think Pilar agreed and told her that for the price she got, that she did not blame her for going with them. Maybe Lisa still has the info...
  15. Shannon, when I was researching Save the Dates, I saw a cute idea of sending a message in a bottle. At the time, it was too much money to spend for the Save the Dates and the plastic bottles looked somewhat cheap to me. but since you probably do not have too many bridesmaids, you could actually do it yourself; get nice glass bottles, write a personalized message to each bridesmaid on burnt edged paper, put a bit if sand, maybe some small seashells or items that have to do with your wedding color or theme. It would not be too expensive to send as long as you do not have too many bridesmaids to ask. Also saw a hint somewhere to tie a string around the message and hang it outside the bottle and stopper to easily pull it out. Also saw a tip to put a bit of coconut oil or maybe something that smells like the beach on the bottom of the stopper so that they can smell something that will remind them of the vacation to come...
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