Resort: Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Wedding Package: Symbolic
Ceremony: Akumal Hammocks 1pm
Dinner: Portofino, 5:30 PM
Reception: Arrecife Pool, 7:30-11 PM
Number of guests: 30
I am from Halifax, and booked through trip central, and would warn other Halifax brides not to book through their Bedford office, my TA was nothing short of awful!
Maria was my WC, she is wonderful, although there was three weeks before I received responses to some emails she always responded and was quick to book things and had everything ready for me. While I was at the resort I realized why she was delayed with the emails, she works SO hard!! There are weddings almost everyday and for mine she was there from 9am until at least 8pm!
The airport was quite busy when we landed which was a little chaotic, I had made luggage tags for all of our guests bags and this helped greatly as there were two buses from the plane to the airport, so by the time our group made it through the immigration line we had gathered everyone's luggage, customs were fine, three people hit the red button and their bags were opened, but it was quite quick actually. Once you leave the airport you are not permitted to reenter, so make sure your whole group goes together!
We arrived at the resort 5 hours later then expected, and the service was still excellent at 8 pm! We checked in at the golden lobby, and the drinks were flowing and the service was great. We were met there by Felix, who was very welcoming and informative. The entire group was in villa's 24 and 25 (a and b) which was perfect, very close to the jacuzzi pool where the poolside reception was!
We had originally booked table for a welcome dinner the first night there, but due to delays we arrived too late, however we talked to one of the ladies at the buffet that night and they fixed everything up for the next morning! We had three tables at the main buffet roped off, they were in a corner and quite private! They had even set up a table for me to lay all the OOT bags on before we handed them out. The breakfast was one of my favorite parts, we decorated the cups in the OOT bags with scrap booking stickers and everyone in our group really started getting to know each other, from there we went to the pool and spent the whole day as one big group, it was awesome!
Our room was wonderful, we were one the second floor and our room was clean and smelled great! my parents room on the first floor did smell a little musty, but it was hardly noticeable. We had fresh fruit, rode petals and a bottle of champagne in our room when we arrived.
Meeting with Maria
Our meeting time was scheduled for a time when we had prebooked an excursion, which was fine, we ended up meeting as soon as we arrived back to the hotel. The only problem was I was less prepared than I had planned to be and had nothing with me (cake topper, fabric, ribbon etc.). Maria had said to drop it off at the front desk by the morning. I had forgotten to mention I wanted my dress steamed during this meeting, and if you dont tell your WC then you basically cannot get this service. I had also forgotten to mention that I had fabric to hang over the hammocks. I put it in my bag of supplies but it did to get hung ( I was a little disappointed, but it still looked beautiful!). Please make sure you are prepared for this meeting, it is the only time you will be able to get a hold of the WC before the wedding, they are VERY busy!
The Wedding Day!!
My wedding was Amazing, exactly how I dreamed it would be! Maria really has things organized, and I had planned everythign beforehand, so it went very smoothly!
I actually seen these flowers in another brides pictures and completely fell in love with them, modified the brides bouquet and they were perfect! I love the bright orange against my bright blue bridesmaid dresses!
The great thing about the resort being so big, it is easy to avoid seeing the groom before the ceremony! I had breakfast at one of the smaller buffets and he ate at the main one. My hair appointment was at 9:00. My hair turned out great, not exactly how I wanted it, but I actually loved it anyway! My new sister in law was an esthetician and did my nails and makeup for the wedding! We ordered room service for lunch, but I was too nervous to eat! I just kept drinking alot of water! By 12:15 my bridesmaids and I were ready and took pictures for about 30 minutes before the tram arrived to take us to the ceremony.
We arrived at the beach and Maria and Diego were there to meet us, explained how things were going to go, when to walk, where to go etc.. The the music started and it was time to go!
Music - My husband brought my Iphone down with him and gave it to Maria when he arrived with a list of what to play when ( they were on their own playlist).
Bridesmaid walking down the aisle - I'm yours by the guitar tribute players (The Jason Mraz song with no lyrics)
Me and Dad walked down the aisle - Somewhere over the rainbow - Jason Castro
Sand ceremony - wonderful world - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
recessional - Lucky - Jason Mraz/ Colbie Caillat
The ceremony was beautiful! The minister did the same reading as by sister in law ( Make sure to tell Maria if you have a reading which one you are using). It didn't bother me though, everything was so beautiful!! Most of my guests cried! hehe.. we said our own vows and had a sand ceremony.. I brought blue sand frm home and used sand from the beach (able to sneak it back to canada too!)
We had fans on each of the chairs for the guests, but it is so windy there nobody used them!
In between the ceremony and dinner
Honestly I was dreading the 1 O'clock ceremony, worried that everyone would be bored with a long wait time in between, but it worked out perfectly for us.
After the ceremony we had a champagne toast and started taking pictures.
We took an hour and did pictures with each of our guests, and families. We also had our guests have their pictures taken with their own families, or of the couple, everyone really likes having a professional picture of them all dressed up!
this lasted about 45 minutes, at which point the tram came and took all the guests back to the lobby for a few drinks. The wedding party continued on to take pictures around the resort, eventually making our way to the coba lobby to join the rest of the guests.
It was about 2:30 when the guest arrived back to the coba lobby, and they all went back to their rooms to freshen up (It was REALLY HOT and almost all the guest showered and changed!) and then made their way back to the lobby for 3:30, during this time the wedding party was taking pictures. at 3:30 we pretty much had the lobby to ourselves and sat around having a few cocktails and mingling for a little while, at four my husband and I went to the hacienda and the lookout tower for more pictures of just us two, but the other guests chose to stay together at the lobby drinking and chatting (from what I heard it was quite fun, my sister and cousin are quite the story tellers, and entertained everyone fully)! An hour later the tram picked us up to take us to dinner!
We ate at the Portofino, and it was delicious!! We started with the appetizer buffet which was the best part, many people filled up on this and could barely eat the rest of the meal (me included). We had mushroom soup (really good as well) and then a choice of chicken gorgonzola or salmon which were both amazing! for desert we had an ice cream, and by the time we cut the cake literally nobody had a piece as they were all too full. (We had the three milk cake, and the next day we ate it, it was the best cake I have ever had!! )
During dinner guests would ring a bell and tell a story about either my husband or I to get us to kiss, however the layout does not lend well for speeches, they stood up on the statue thing in the middle of the floor, but for most it was hard to hear, we waited to say our speech at the reception with the microphone.
Amazing! if it is in your budget, do it! even with only 30 guests we all had a ball! We payed for the cheapest bar option and were served basically everything (no red or white wine.. only sparkling). I was worried about getting the party atmosphere going so I brought down sparklers, glow sticks and a ton of funky sunglasses for a photoshoot (big hit - we played I wear my sunglasses at night and every one was snapping pictures left right and center!) we were a little worried this would be tacky.. but it really got the party going, after that everyone was in the pool dancing!
We hired DJ Bijan, and it was not a hassle at all!! we emailed him to see if he was available, he was, sent him a deposit and a song list. He was willing to say/announce anything and he speaks perfect English! He was also $90 cheaper than the resort DJ (even with the guest pass!) He took requests from guests and was really wonderful!
At 11, everyone still wanted to party so we headed up to the hacienda, there was a band playing and so we danced some more and ended the night at the disco! After that My husband and I went back to the room, but all of the other guests went to the snack bar and ended up staying there until 4 in the morning!!
A few Downsides
We did not get our fabric or wedding certificate back, I went to the front desk twice and they could not get a hold of Maria, and said it was locked in her office and only she had the key.. even the morning I was leaving the still said there was nothing they could do! I emailed Maria and asked her to mail it and I still haven't received it, It isn't our real certificate but I still would really like to have it.
Four of our guests became quite Ill while we were there, possibly because of the food or water? I took two tums and a pepto every morning and it seems to work for me! Also drink alot of water!!
My best advice, do not let the little things ruin the big picture! Its your wedding day after all! Dig your toes in the sand during your ceremony, look at your husband to be and then out to the water! Its truly beautiful and goes way too quickly!