Hard to believe we are back from our 16 day trip to the Barcelo. One thing to keep in mind if you are doing a summer wedding, the weather is unpredictable. Every day it said a 65% chance of rain. We did see two weddings rained out. However most days were rain free. It is a chance you take during the rainy season. I was checking about 5 different weather reports before the wedding. Luckily, the weather was on our side. Please feel free to write me with any questions. I know planning a destination wedding can be stressful. I hope to not leave anything out. Here it goes...
Welcome Bags: I ordered bags from Oriental Trading Company. I created an iron on. I made tags that said, "Thank you for coming to our wedding." Inside we put playing cards, notepads, beach balls, fans, sunblock, and after sun. I also included a letter. I've already posted pictures of the things that I made on another post.
Coordinator/Victoria: B+ Correspondence via email was incredibly slow and frustrating. She never answered my questions in regard to wedding sites and reception sites being confirmed. Like many have said before, once we were there and did our meeting all was fine. A couple of hiccups along the way, but, in no way ruined the day. I packed a funnel for the sand ceremony and she forgot to put it out. A spot for my father was not reserved and after he walked me down the isle, he had no where to sit. We did not do a rehearsal and my bridesmaids were not sure where to stand. Luckily my photographer directed us (not Victoria). My playlist for dinner was put on shuffle and that threw me off. I had certain songs for certain times. Not a big problem. She is not overly friendly, but, efficient enough. She was supposed to pick up my Ipod when she came back with petals for my flower girl. She did not return and I had music I wanted to play before the wedding. My sister ran it over to the Gazebo. It was 5 of six and she had not returned. So, I wondered if we should just walk over. Ran into Victoria in the hallway. Then we got into the cart and had a fun ride. A little bummed my music didn't get played, but, the saxophone player was great.
Check in: B -We did not receive a welcome drink (our guests however did). The front desk was kind of cold. No congratulations or smiles. We did get a nice room overlooking the pool. The rest of our guests were placed far away After we paid for our package we were upgraded premium.
Housekeeping: A- They did a nice job cleaning our room each day. After we paid for our package, they put a bottle of tequila and a fruit platter in our room. (Finally felt special) The wedding night they had a surprise for us as well.
Wedding: A- We were at the Palace Gazebo. It was set up beautifully. The weather turned out to be exactly what I had hoped for. The officiant was wonderful. He did ask us to say a few words. I thought I would be ready and I was stumped at what to say. My husband on the other hand shocked me and seemed prepared! The weather was HOT! The fans I made were getting a lot of use. The only problem was the funnel I packed for the sand ceremony was not put out. The kit I bought needed one. Claudia (our photographer) was quick to help. She made a funnel out of paper and saved the day!! Just a warning for those who love big dresses (like myself). It was a little hard to walk. My dress kind of stuck to my legs. I had no idea legs could sweat that much. I did pack my home reception dress. I did sneak away and changed. I was glad I did.
Photographer: A++++++ Claudia Rodriguez was fantastic. She brought two assistants and she knows what she is doing. She was beyond helpful. My husband got a bee sting and she was quick to help get the stinger out. We are not really comfortable at taking pictures and I think she found a way to bring out our best. She know the best places to go and how to maximize the sunlight.
Reception: A- Palmeras Beach. It was set up just as I had hoped. The service was fantastic. They had a special drink for us. We went with a blue and white color scheme and the drink matched! They made us fun shots in cute glasses. The dance floor seemed a bit smaller than I was expecting and had a bit of a dip in it. Mariachi came out as dessert was being served and they were great. Dinner was good as well. Many guests said it was their favorite meal for the entire trip. The head table's seemed to come out a little over done. We were also really cramped together. We did ask for tables of 6 and got tables of 8. That left a few people sitting alone. They did tell us were were running out of time. We paid for four hours. So, I skipped a few songs on my playlist. Only to learn we still had an hour. So, just keep a watch handy.
Cocktails: My guests were allowed about 3 drinks at the Carey Bar and were asked to leave if they were not staying at the Palace. Nobody was bothered by it.Iit was almost time to go anyway. I was under the impression they made exceptions for weddings. Thought we brought enough business to get that little perk
Hair & Makeup: Adrian! Don't think I need to say much more. His previous reviews continue to be true. He and his team were wonderful. They made me feel so special. I have very fine, almost shoulder length hair. His team were able to work with it! My mother and bridesmaid also had short hair and they were able to do an up do. I recommend showing them pictures of what you like and they will probably be able to create it. He is worth every penny. Do keep extra bobby pins in case some hair comes a little loose.