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novbride

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About novbride

  1. Hello! We got married in November 2011, but are going back to Playa for an anniversary trip next week. I haven't been on this site for a while and decided to check it out again tonight I cannot say enough about how amazing our wedding at Playacar Palace was. I have tons of pictures and a huge review posted under the old Playacar forum. My sister was married at Vallarta Palace two years before us, which is why I decided on Palace. Both hotels are fantastic. (Vallarta Palace is a Hard Rock now, so I'm guessing the atmosphere is a little different). The Palace staff was unbelievable and a year later, our guests are still talking about how fun it was. Our anniversary was 11/4 and a bunch of our friends had Facebook status updates about wishing they were back at Playacar Palace posted that day! Feel free to email me if you would like a link to pictures or have any questions! Tiffany ps - If you don't already have a wedding planner, my sister and I used the same one. Our guests loved her and her services are free for the couple. I think they are paid commission by the hotels. She was very organized and detailed - which I loved - since I'm super detailed! And, I never felt pressured. I'd be happy to send you her name and contact info.
  2. Hi Ladies! I've been super busy with work lately, so I haven't been on this site for a while. I forgot all about it, until we started planning our next trip to Playacar We are thinking about going back in November! If anyone has questions or wants to see pictures, please feel free to PM me. I have tons of pictures, but don't want to post them all publicly. If you want to see a super funny clip from our wedding, the link is below. Don't worry - it won't happen to you - I just have that kind of luck... But, I'm glad it happened because it certainly made the wedding unforgettable! (FYI - none of this video was shot by Playacar Palace photographers. It was all taken by family members.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bAk6AFRT2M
  3. I added a couple more pics that show the la villa suite to the photo link I posted earlier. I also added a close up of the updo. Our photographer is from Iowa, where we live.
  4. I think the main bars are open until midnight? Don't worry too much about that! Trust me - if your guests are drinkers, like mine were - most won't know how to pace themselves... They will pass out before midnight... If they happen to last all night and the bars close before they are done drinking, grab some beer from your fridge in the room and meet down on the beach. Or, go out on 5th Ave.
  5. Rosa did my hair and I loved it! I did my own make up, so I can't comment on that. I can post a better shot of my hair. I'd request Rosa - the other girls were good, but in my opinion, Rosa was better.
  6. Hi Lola! I have 40 of the crinkle taffetta chair bows and 26 table runners (actually, make that 24. 2 have stains that might now come out.) I'm waiting to see if one of my friends wants to buy these, but if not, I will let you know. (I didn't use chair bows at my reception at home. Didn't want to pay for 175 of them. So I only used them for the head table.) I wonder if they'd let you exchange yours? Before I placed my big order, I ordered a bunch of samples. That is how I figured out the taffetta crinkle was my favorite. I loved the taffetta because it doesn't matter if its wrinkled. It is supposed to look that way! Great for traveling. My reception was Friday, Nov 25th, so when I get the pictures back from my photographer, I can show you other items in this color that I'll be selling. Not sure how many Bridesmaids you have or if you already have dresses, but the 3 bridesmaids dresses will be for sales as a set. None are altered and they are sizes: 8, 10 and 10. The villa suite has a/c - loved it. Much needed after a super hot wedding. I can't remember how long they told us we could stay up there for. The night of our reception, the Brazilian dancers had a show and most of the guests went to it. The rest of us went to the lobby bar and hooked the ipod dock up for another dance party of our own.
  7. I got a few more shots from our photographer. She took thousands of pictures, so I won't post them all as I get them, but I will continue to post pictures that relate to the questions everyone is asking. She has not given me any of the Cielo Bar yet, but I will post those when I get them. I posted a few notes about where I ordered items from and how much they cost. There are some really easy ways to save and decorations are one of them! https://picasaweb.google.com/tiffanyscally/PhotosForBDWAndAAH?authkey=Gv1sRgCK3Kv8OCqK7NnwE&feat=email Just another reminder - please don't reproduce these in any way. They are copyrighted. I love my photographer and don't want to break rules.
  8. In the wedding terrace, the walk was very short - I'd guess 15-20 seconds? I came in to Canon in D and they let it play a little while before I walked in. They are really good about fading the music in and out. They had to do it several times. My flowergirl had a meltdown before the wedding, so they faded the music out and back in to start the ceremony. We did the Cielo Terrace for our cocktail hour and loved it. I should have my pics back this week and I'll post some of the cocktail hour so you can see the location. (All of the locations are beautiful - you can't go wrong!)
  9. I have a Bose ipod dock that I won a few years ago. We just used that and didn't pay a set up fee. If you are having your events on the beach, you'll need to buy one that is battery operated. We did this, but returned it when we moved our reception from the beach to La Villa. For the speeches, we didn't use mics. We didn't do dances in Mexico, we are saving these for the reception. Make sure you make play lists ahead of time. We screwed up on this one. Luckily, we had a playlist from my bach party that everyone liked. Make a playlist for during dinner, too. Thankfully, my amazing photographer saved us on this one. She has wedding playlists on her iphone - apparently we aren't the only couple that forgot this! She popped her phone on our ipod dock and saved the day! In the wedding terrace, the hotel played music for the guests while they waited. It was kind of cheesy, but I loved it I didn't know about it until I watched our video. They played the titanic song, kenny g and some other random stuff. It was cute.
  10. Thank you! The chair sashes are from www.tableclothfactory.com. I think they were $1.79 each if I remember right. Much cheaper than the hotel charge. I steamed them at home and packed them flat and they were fine. They aren't super high quality, but I'm only using them twice, so I didn't care. I ordered one each of two colors and three fabrics as samples, before I placed the big order. (I ordered enough table runners for the at home reception, too.) You can sell them on craigslist after your wedding and/or reception and get some of your money back. Even after I told the Palace Photographer several times via email that I would not need her services, she still tried to sell me her services during the planning meeting at the hotel. I just stuck to my guns and said we are doing our own photography. She also wanted to sell video services. I told her we just bought a brand new camera and tripod and would be doing our own photography. I felt bad, but I had already told her no via email. It wasn't high pressure by any means, just a little awkward. (This was not Wilma, it was someone else.) If you are doing your own video - go to Best Buy and buy the Dynex all purpose Tripod that extends to 60". http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dynex%26%23153%3B+-+60%22+Universal+Tripod/8241048.p?id=1168044601803&skuId=8241048&st=dynex%20tripod&cp=1&lp=1 Totally worth the $40. The video is perfect with no shaky hands. (Learned this from my sister also. Her video is so shaky you can't even watch it.) Are you bringing a photographer from home or trying to hire one in Mexico. If you haven't already - call your local photographers and ask if they are interested. I was amazed how many photogs in my area were dying for a vacation. Mine gave a huge discount! You have the same advantage I did - your is towards the end of wedding season, so they are ready for a break! My photographer stayed at the hotel with us. Her assistant stayed at a different resort and bought the day pass. She actually bought 2 day passes. One for the night of the rehearsal and one for the day of the wedding. I should have my pics this week, so I'll post some more that have good views of the reception areas.
  11. Sorry yunric - just saw your message! You are very welcome. I hope my post helps everyone relax and feel good about choosing Playacar. I was really nervous because my sister's wedding at Vallarta Palace was so amazing and I felt like she set the bar so high! We are only a year apart and are friends with the same group, so our friends went to both resorts! As far as the photographer - ours was our "guest." Since you aren't allowed to hire outside photographers, your photographer either has to buy a day pass or stay at the resort. Our photographer happens to have a sister-in-law that is also a photographer, so they both came! One stayed at the resort, one stayed at another hotel and paid for the $88 guest pass. The hotel never once questioned any of it. And they had to know that both women were photographers because they had backpacks full of camera equipment. I fell in love with a local photographers work and contacted her about doing our reception. We talked for a long time and she mentioned that she would love to go to Mexico. I was dying for her to come with but I couldn't afford it! So, I figured out what I could cut from my budget and gave her the max amount I could afford to spend (including the cost of flight and hotel.) She was willing to take a much lower amount because she also wanted to go to Mexico and wanted the photographs to use on her website, blog at wedding fairs, etc. Don't skimp on photography! After the wedding is over - the photography is one of the only things you get to keep! My sister did and totally regrets it. I cut out the wedding cake for the reception - my uncle is a chef and volunteered to make cupcakes. I'm using very cheap centerpieces. Dollar Tree has nice clear, round vases for $1 each. I have 26 tables and I'm spending less than $100 on centerpieces. We are borrowing sand from the golf course by our house for the vases and putting candles and shells in. We will take the sand back! We didn't hire a florist. We are just doing a beach themed centerpiece. I might stop by Trader Joe's the morning of the reception and buy some cheap flowers if I feel like it. I looked at Sol photography. They do amazing work, but their packages start at $3200 for 3 hours. Our photographer did ours for just a tad more than Sol, but she was there for the rehearsal dinner, 12 hours on the wedding day, took photos of each couple as our thank you present and set up a "photobooth" area at the reception so the guests could get their pictures taken with sombreros, panchos, maracas, etc. That also included our engagement pictures and 5 hours at the reception at home. I really recommend hiring the photographer you love. Anyone can buy a nice, expensive camera - but the pictures won't compare that the work of an experienced photographer.
  12. Sorry - still learning how to use this forum That post above was for reeses. This one is for trw26. I did have trouble booking the reception area. Mercedes was very slow in responding to my emails. I think part of the problem is that so many brides wait until the last minute, that they are forced to reply to the brides closest to their wedding date first. I plan way in advance because I hate having a huge list of to-dos. I'd rather get it done and check it off the list. So, Mercedes would take a while to respond. By the time she finally responded, the "free" reception areas were already booked. (The free ones are the solariums and the cielo bar. By free, I mean no set up fee.) I was ticked because I had been trying to reserve them for over a month. My wedding planner (independent planner - not a Palace Planner) was able to negotiate the set up fee with them since it wasn't really my fault she didn't respond. No matter where you have your reception, it will be beautiful. The Solariums are beautiful because the trees have ropes of lights wrapped around them and its very romantic. The Ceilo Bar has a fantastic view and is very close to the lobby. The beach is obviously pretty, but can be very windy. I'm not sure I'd like a beach dinner because of the wind. La Villa Suite is awesome because it's air conditioned. We were ROASTING after the ceremony, so we loved the air conditioning! The sun beats in on the Wedding Terrace at 2:00 pm, so we were on fire. It was still amazing, even if we were sweating Speaking of air conditioning - the morning of your wedding day - crank the air in whichever room you are in. People will be in and out of the room, which lets the air out.
  13. Thank you so much for the compliment! By the way - I had my hair done at the spa and used my resort credit, so it was free! Rosa did my hair and I loved her! I tipped her $20 - I hope that was enough. I figured that was 20% of what the regular cost was and since I loved my hair, I was very happy to tip her! I didn't get a practice updo, because I wanted to use my credits for the couples massage Make sure you get this - its amazing! We brought our own ipod dock and they were sooooo cool about letting us use it. We used it almost every night. One of the first nights, we went out to the pool bar, asked the bartender to plug it in and had a dance party! Other couples that weren't from our group joined us and it was so much fun. It started pouring rain and the bartender got out a huge garbage bag to cover the ipod dock from the rain and let us all crowd into the end of the bar until the rain stopped. Another night, we hooked the ipod doc up in the lobby bar and had a dance off. As long as you ask nicely and are respectful, they will let you do just about anything! I had to keep turning it down though, because every time someone turned on a new song, they would turn the volume up. They even let us play the Iowa Fight Song Saturday afternoon after the Hawkeyes beat Michigan. They just hooked my friends iphone up to their sound system at the bar. In my opinion, if you have a good playlist and an ipod dock, a DJ is unnecessary.
  14. The link below is to see some of the pictures. Please keep in mind, these are copyrighted pictures. I love our photographer and don't want to break the rules, so please don't reuse these in any way. These are the only ones we have so far, but they do a good job showing the colors and beauty of the wedding terrace. https://picasaweb.google.com/tiffanyscally/WeddingPicsByAmy?authkey=Gv1sRgCKjCgY_Xkcrz7wE&feat=email# Also - I forgot to add this above. Tipping is not required, but the service is so great, they deserve it. We took $100 in $1 bills and $100 in $5 bills with us to tip. (I knew to take small bills, because my sister got married at Vallarta Palace and I ran out of small bills on the first day.) I wish we would have taken $300. We ran out towards the end and had to use the ATM. We were there 9 days. If you want to take really great pictures on 5th Ave, also be prepared to tip. The guy in the 6th picture expects tips - we have him a $5 because we took lots of pictures with him. In the 5th picture, I asked the little boys if I could jump on their trampoline and they said no! I asked nicely, said por favor and offered them a couple bucks and they let us We also went to a bar with swings and tipped the bartender for letting our wedding party pose on his swings, even though we didn't buy a drink. We tipped the band more because we took a ton of pictures with them with our wedding party and just as a couple.
  15. Playacar Palace was the best decision ever! To all of you that are having your weddings there in 2012 - you will be blown away by the beauty and the service. I seriously can't put into words how amazing it was. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. We were married 11-4-11 in the Wedding Terrace. I will post pictures as I get them from my photographer. We had 44 adults, ages 24-60 and one child, 18 mos. The majority of the guests were +/- 30. Nobody wanted to go home. The last week of Facebook status updates has been full of our guests talking about how much they miss Playacar Palace. My husband's parents are long time KC Chiefs season ticket holders and are considering cancelling the tickets so we can make this an annual trip. Don't worry about the "wedding planners" you have to deal with via email. I had Mercedes and she took forever to respond. When you get to the resort, you'll work with Wilma. Wilma is absolutely fantastic. She is professional, efficient and incredibly kind. Oh - and very experienced and patient with large groups of people that aren't following directions because they've taken full advantage of the top shelf tequila shots She took care of every, single detail and made it perfect. As for the staff...WOW... The word "no" is not in their vocabulary. Anything you or your guests want... "My pleasure." Not only did the waitresses and bartenders know our names, they knew our drinks! And, what we liked and didn't like. They even remembered that I don't like salt on the lime with my tequila shot. Watch out though! They get you a new drink before you are even done with the one you have in your hand. This caused a few of our guests to go to sleep early. And by go to sleep early, I mean pass out The guys that work at the swim up bar are a blast! They are so nice and seem to truly enjoy their jobs. Carlos was our favorite. Besides the fact that he treated us like royalty, he loved my niece (the 18 month old and flowergirl) and would hold her and teach her to say "hola!" He even held her and rocked her when she was crying. It melted my heart. We had unlimited events due to booking 100+ rooms, but only used two. I wanted the guests to be able to relax and not be on a schedule. We did a cocktail hour the night before the wedding and a private dinner after the wedding ceremony. We had a 2:00 pm wedding and a 5:00 dinner. The guests were on their own between the ceremony and dinner. They were fine with this! They all went to the outside bar and drank and mingled until dinner. The reason for the two hours in between was we wanted ample time to take pictures up and down 5th ave and the beach. (We paid to bring our own photographer because photos were absolutely the most important thing for me. I cut from a lot of areas to bring our own and it was worth every penny.) For the reception dinner, we had the Caribbean Buffet - they added potatoes to the menu because hubby doesn't like rice. The food was the best meal we had all week. They just opened a 5th floor reception room "La Villa Suite," which is where we had our reception. Once again, amazing... There is a set up fee for this location. It's worth it! I loved the privacy of the Wedding Terrace and La Villa Suite. We had our cocktail hour on the Cielo bar - it was also beautiful, but not as private. It was funny though, when some lady accidentally joined us for a welcome cocktail, then realized it was a private party We didn't upgrade the wedding package or cake. We got the chocolate, heart shaped shell cake and it was so good. I wish we could have taken the rest home to freeze! The only decorations I brought with were 40 chair sashes and 10 table runners from www.tableclothfactory.com and the vases for the sand ceremony. (Bought the vases at Target for $1.99/each for small ones and $2.99 for the big one. The wedding themed ones online are a rip off.) I saw other weddings that week that upgraded the packages. It was pretty, but I don't think it was worth paying or using the resort credit on. The complimentary is just as pretty. Do not believe any of the bad reviews you see on Trip Advisor. Some people just complain about everything. Take it from me - I travel for work and stay in hotels all across the country every week. This is by far the best service you'll find. The rooms are immaculate, the food is great and the service is just unbelievable.
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