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Everything posted by jnitschke

  1. When you get to customs they have this random light button you push, so they're stopping people at random and not profiling... and if it lights up green you go through and if it comes up red then they check you. My husband pushed green and I pushed red... they were pretty good tho, brides go through all the time... seriously I think I spotted at least 5 wedding dresses while waiting in line. But, they checked all the bags anyway. for the dress they unzipped the bag, but didn't pull the dress out or man handle the dress in any way. My decor bag they just opened and looked a bit in it, waved the magic drug/explosive wand around inside, and the bag with the gifts and OOT bags they didn't seem to bother with checking at all. All in all they were very cordial and didn't seem to care that I had 15 identical bags or 5- 15 ft sheers and a bubble machine. So, I'd say don't worry about it. Although remember that when you travel out of the country you need to have prescription info with drugs and/or original packaging. So just in case we got stopped I didn't put advil or immodium into individual baggies... I was afraid they'd be curious about individually portioned out pills. They did at one point check all of my prescription bottles though to make sure they were legit prescriptions and that the vitamins I brought were really vitamins. Also... Change of shoes is totally a possibility. The ground in Tucanes is nice and flat, very heels appropriate. I know that I needed at least a bit of a heel to dance and feel dressed up. Wedges will still work, just be prepared not to walk on solid ground. I think wedges would also be fine if you had the wooden runner... with the walk to the runner while long, I don't think would matter if you were looking down the whole time watching your step. I'd keep the wedges and get the wooden runner personally, if I got my do over. Quote: Originally Posted by jennifandr5 Thank you so much for the reply! I really appreciate you taking the time its a shame about the heels since my fiance is like a foot taller than me. Maybe ill just be barefoot at the ceremony and cocktail hour and then i can wear them at tucanes afterwards. thats great info about airplane mode and wifi! i didnt know that. Allie thanks for your info too and the pictures!! Also- did you girls run into any trouble at customs? im so worried they are going to tell me i cant bring my decor through. any advice on that? Im actually using one of those large hard covered golf bag cases for most of the breakable items but its going to be huge!
  2. Jess, I loved working with Sarani. My photos were stunning. The one thing I wished I had spent more money on was more time with her. Here's a link to my post with some pictures from her. She has a pinterest page also with loads of pictures in it that she's done and a blog too. For weeks I was obsessed with looking at her stuff. All I can say is that she's fantastic and fun to work with. Quote: Originally Posted by Jess Ashley KC I am getting married January 18th at the El Dorado Royale and am looking for advice on photographers. I look at the approved vendors and don’t know how you are supposed to choose. Has anyone worked with any of these? Any good or bad reviews of them? Thanks
  3. Hey Jen, I know Allie said that the resort is too big for Walkie Talkies... but we got some long range ones and they worked fine. I actually could communicate from the La Isla pool to the Casitas Spa, which was on the far end of the Casitas. There were very few times we were that far apart though. Most of the time we were communicating from the pool to our room, like when we were getting ready for the welcome dinner and I didn't want my husband to see my make up and hair from the rehearsal updo..so he stayed at the pool until I radioed him that the coast was clear to come up. I found them useful.. other than that we just usually bumped into people we meant to find, plus you can leave messages for people on their room phones or with their concierge. To avoid cell phone charges just keep your phone on airplane mode... nothing will go through and you won't get any unexpected charges on your bill later. Plus, when it's on airplane mode you can still use WIFI, so if you want to call home you can use Skype or Facetime still. You only get 2 Wifi codes, so choose your devices carefully. I tried to talk them in to giving us one for each of our phones, my Husband's laptop and my IPad and they wouldn't do it for us. For shoes.. forget the heels. They pack the sand down, but by the time you get to it all of your guests, hotel crew, and your bridal party have walked on it. I think if you look back I put in a review pic that shoes my shoes in the sand. I was wearing 3 inch wedges and it looked like I was wearing flats they sank in so much, although in honesty that was in unpacked sand... but even with the wedges it was much harder to walk on the sand that I expected it to be. I was so afraid of tripping or twisting something that almost my entire walk down the aisle I was looking down. I only have 1 picture of me looking up during that walk. In fact my first words to my husband when we made it to the side walk after the processional was "Who's idea was this getting married on the beach thing!"... I was joking of course, since it was me and all I did for 2 years was talk about getting married on the beach.. and it was just funny me falling all over myself in the sand. I still think it's the most beautiful place on earth to have a ceremony... and I'd probably still pick the same gazebo if I had to do it again... I'd just do it in flats. I'd also warn your guests not to plan on heels for the ceremony and cocktail hour. I considered doing the lights at Tucanes, at the very end I scratched it for cost and space in my luggage... not to mention the weight they added. In all honesty I scratched the lights and the lanterns from my list of decorations...and I didn't miss them at all. The place is beautiful on it's own, it really doesn't need anything extra to make it beautiful. I tried too hard too make it seem "special", spent extra money that I didn't need to... if I could do it again I would scrap half of the stuff I added to dress the place up. Just my opinion... the one thing I did love were my tables set ups though...don't think I would cut anything from them. But I digress, here is what my WC sent me for a pic of the lights. When I asked him about bringing my own lights this is what he said ... granted this was December, the price may have increased since then... but feel free to say Alejandro quoted another bride $15. Here's what I asked him and his response: "For the Christmas lights, if I were to bring my own, would I also need extension cords? If so how many would you suggest. Is one strand of lights enough for a single pole, or would 2 be better. Christmas lights at this time of year are pretty inexpensive to buy, especially after Christmas when everything is 50% off. If you bring your own, there will be a charge of $15 USD per pole or set that you bring. I would suggest to bring at least 4 or 5 of them to cover the main poles of the Tucanes Palapa, this way we can make it look very nice and not that empty." Sorry for talking forever... but I hope it helps..... -Jen Quote: Originally Posted by jennifandr5 Hi Ladies, Does anyone have any advice on communicating at the resort with eachother? I know some people mentioned hey tell- but doesnt that use wifi? I know it was mentioned that the wifi is spotty so did anyone come up with a system that works if our guests dont want to pay for wifi? Also, if you turn off your cell data on your iphone then will the text messages still go through? Is that also based on wifi? And another question is about high heels in sand! We are having our ceremony at gazebo 55 and we will have the bamboo runner. Does anyone have any input on how difficult it is to walk in heels over there? We also have our cocktail hour right there too in the sand... Lastly, did anyone bring string lights for decor at tucanes? we have a lot of those but i am wondering if there are ample places to plug them in?? Thanks!!
  4. Quote: Originally Posted by bonom2d3 Thanks for the info! I love your setup! We're getting married at Gazebo 55, so we'll probably have them hanging over the sides and tied towards the bottom. Your sheers are setup beautifully. I asked our WC about them, and all I've been able to get out of her was the size and that she recommends "organza". A little more prying will probably get me farther :-) If you look through the past posts, somewhere in there I posted pictures that my WC had given me of different types of fabrics and what they look like on the gazebos.
  5. It was a high of 87degrees on our wedding day. Our ceremony was at 6 and the reception was at 7.... we weren't hot out at the beach at all because of the breeze... and it wasn't sweltering under Tucanes, but I was "swimming" in my wedding dress, which was a light chiffon dress... so I think a heavier dress might be a bit unbearable, just my opinion though. A couple of people were a bit hot while dancing... but, it wasn't a problem at all. There are bathrooms right next to Tucanes. Tucanes is directly behind La Isla, which has bathrooms facing Tucanes..so they are very close. No worries there. People also like Tucanes in that it was not far from our rooms in bldgs 6,7, and 8... so a couple people could run up to their room quickly when they needed something. Quote: Originally Posted by JenniferM
  6. The pier was open when we were there, but we weren't really given the option to have the reception there. I agree with Allie, the sandbags aren't an issue. Plus you can watch the fish that gather there from the pier. If you're thinking about setting up there though, make sure you consider wind when planning your centerpieces. If you get a windy day like we had certain centerpieces might not work. They do hang some curtainy drapes along the pier, but I wouldn't count on them to be much of a wind blocker. A nice thing about it would be that the air will move and it will be less hot than under Tucannes where we were. Also, the pier is pretty close to JoJos, so you might get a bit more foot traffic from other guests going by, but that might not really be an issue, people usually keep out of the private events. I liked the attention I got walking around all dressed up in my bridal gear. There's also the bathroom right near JoJos there, so that's a good thing to keep in mind too. I think the pier would be nice for a smaller group. It is more narrow than the other spaces, so I think maybe a single long table might be a nice set up on there...but that's just my opinion. They were in the process of remodeling JoJos when we left, so that whole area might be really nice now. If you look at Sarani's blog or pinterest boards she has lots of pictures she's done at EDR and she likes using the pier for some of the pics, I bet you could find some good pier shots on there too. Quote: Originally Posted by JenniferM
  7. This would not work at EDR, or at least I think it wouldn't. EDR is quite large and the resort it self is quite a distance away from the gates. At the gates they have a check in, and only vehicles on a list are permitted in and out of the gates. So, so they would not be able to meet you at the front lobby where other services come in and out.
  8. So I wanted to pass this on. My husband and I went to a Goo Goo Dolls concert last night and they played some stuff off of their new album, I didn't even know they had a new album out. But, we spent months trying to pick a song to dance to. This song is just perfect and I wanted to pass it on for someone... if not, it's just a really great song regardless. It's called Come To Me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m2R6CLkvyQ
  9. Another thing I did was include the name of the song, as I titled it i.e. "processional", into the actual ceremony script. So that the person cueing the music could follow along with the script and cue the songs at the appropriate time. That seemed to help.... until of course the officiant decided to wing the ending and cut out the entire ending of the ceremony I provided, so my recessional didn't play correctly- but otherwise it seemed to help and I would recommend doing that in addition to labeling the songs in your ipod.
  10. Here are a few photos of my ceremony set up, reception set up, and flowers to accompany my review from last month. I'll include a little explanation to go along with them to help future brides with their planning. This is a picture of my gazebo set up. I was and still am extremely unhappy with the way this looked. Gazebo 55 is very beautiful and secluded from the rest of the resort. I think it needs very little to dress it up. I recommend not doing too much to this location, and letting the natural beauty come through. We used 5 organza 50"x10yd sheers. I think for the way I wanted them to drape this was not a good fabric choice. I also they they did a just plain lousy job of hanging them, the charge for this set up was $200. I also don't like the organza because the ends look ratty. If I had them going to the ground and not flapping in the air up high, they probably would have looked better. We saw near by a gazebo with just plain white sheers and it looked elegant and gorgeous. Originally I though plain sheers would look.. well plain, but not so in person. Again, I tried to hard to dress the place up. For future brides, I would ask the wedding coordinator at what time your gazebo will be set up and have someone who knows you well go and check it out. maybe even take a photo of it to show you, perhaps have your wedding assistant accompany them. You will be too busy with getting ready to go yourself, but there is no reason why someone else can't go and scope it out. So that if you are dissatisfied you can have them change it. I would have given anything to have that done. I hate the way this looks and every picture from a distance, it always the first thing I think when I see it. That makes me a bit upset, seeing as the even made me very happy. .... you should also know that for all of my LOMAS complaints I have not been reimbursed anything and Lomas has been ignoring all communication from me. If you have a Lomas complaint from your wedding I suggest you get it taken care of before you leave the resort..... You can also see my chair hangers flapping in the wind. They were just ribbon and peacock feathers. While they looked pretty hanging on chairs in my house, they were too light to hang well in the wind. Using the starfish or something heavy like a shell, like other hangers I've seen, would probably help them hang better. Also, the wide white ribbon catches the wind very easily. My runner as you can see wouldn't lay flat and was like this for my entire walk down the aisle, something to hold it down probably would have helped this issue. It was so windy the any flower petals on the runner would have long blown away... and our bubbles were completely lost in the wind. The sand as you can see was raked, but not packed. It was completely torn up by the time I got to walking down the aisle. The runner did not help at all with walking across the sand. I highly recommend wearing flats for your walk down the aisle. Tucanes... and our reception set up. Now, while this set up was a great use of the space for such a small group, it was quiet and no one could talk to one another... making the dinner kind of boring... when we had our rehearsal dinner in La Isla we had one long table for the 13 of us and it was very friendly. We had a great time. I recommend not spreading your group out for the sake of the look of the venue and your table. I was too hung up on the aesthetics, although I did love the way it looked. For my tables, I brought my own table cloths, runners, tea lights, and votives. They set up 3 vases with flower petals and floating candles (which did not stay lit the entire night). I paid $180 for the centerpieces on the 3 tables, and an additional $50 for set up of my items. My total set up costs were $250 for both locations, these also included luminaries along the walk way and the pool, which sadly I don't have a good photograph of. sweetheart table for the two of us, and a clear vase to hold my bouquet, which was wholly unnecessary because my flowers had basically fallen apart completely by this point in the night. Also, the table cloth here was a round table cloth. The wedding planner wasn't sure it would work on the sweetheart table size, but I think it worked just fine. ***************** Speaking of flowers, here are some pics of my bouquet and my MOH's, you can see the weird evergreen filler, the painted orchids (Not true blue dendrobiums, DO NOT order the blue dendrobium orchids), the peacock feathers that I never asked for, and the awful plastic flower holders. $300 for my bouquet, $60 for my MOH's...again I never received any kind of refund for this. Also, here's a photo that Sarani took of the flowers that had fallen off my bouquet during the ceremony. If you compare the size of my bouquet in the rock picture you'll see that it ended up the same size as my MOH by the time we made it to the reception. Now.. I know this was a lot of complaining... but all in all I loved having my wedding at EDR and I love my husband... which I think you can tell in my photographs, which I loved. This is just a little helpful wisdom being passed on, so that other brides don't have the same mistakes as me.
  11. ok, so we just got some more photos from Sarani. I LOVE THEM!!!! No joke, picking just a few to print is going to be hard, right now I just want about 100 around the house. She gave us 472 photos in the 3 1/2 hours we were with her. Seeing these, I wish I had just spent the entire budget on getting her photos the whole day. Best money hands down. Plus, she sent along an 11x14" padded print as a thank you gift! Bonus! These are obviously just a few, I put about 100 on facebook. So if anyone really cares to see more here's a link to the album https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.453210464774940.1073741835.100002579708923&type=1&l=8d44bf64b5. One of my favorites, a bonus of getting married at EDR is that the location gives you locations to shoot at that other brides would have to do a TTD shoot to get, love my beach and on the rocks shots. I'm including this picture because I think it's a good shot of my hair and make up, both of which were done in the salon. If anyone is debating on using the salon and would like to see some more pictures of what it looked like, I have a few other really great shots that I can PM you. These pictures were so much harder to take than they look. Sarani says "Spin her around, no really your dress will look great spinning."... and flop in my wedges all over the sand, falling all over the place... but she was right, they are some of my favorite photos. To give you an idea of how much I sank down in the sand, here's a picture of our feet on the same beach as above... I'm wearing 3in wedges.
  12. Gail, I'm not sure what your fire place looks like layout wise. But there might be a big difference look wise if you put a vertical hanging print there vs. a horizontal. I'd take a piece of poster board or cardboard, cut it to the dimensions and hold it up both ways to see which will look better in the space. You might have a real preference between the two when you do. Here are my two favorites in each orientation. Personally #3 is my favorite of the two. I like things that are subtle as decoration, a reminder of what it is about without having a huge picture of my face on the wall. I have a picture from our engagement that is really similar to this shot and it's my favorite of our engagement photos for that reason. Either way I think all your photos are great... you might be able to crop a couple of these to fit the direction too... if say you're partial to a vertical picture but love the shot of you in #1 for instance. Wish my pictures would come in so that I could start playing with kind of stuff.
  13. one way around the outside vendor fee is to have them as a guest staying 3 nights as part of your party. I'm not sure how much your rates were that you got. But one option is to reserve a room for them instead, you might be able to save some money that way. Also, if you have someone going solo you could put them in that room too, which wouldn't be a problem since they aren't really staying in the room with you.. and you could save the person coming solo a bit of money too. When we were going to bring our own photographer that was how we were going to get around it. Since it cost way less to do that then to pay the fee.
  14. I wore a 3 inch wedge and I was amazed at how hard it was to walk in the sand. Forget the idea of heels, I think sandals is the only practical option or maybe flats. Todd wore converse chucks and barely had any sand in them after the ceremony. They said that they packed the sand but by the time I got to it you couldn't tell. We had a plain white runner and it was a waste of money. The wind blew it to the side and when it was flat it didn't help at all. Also I was so nervous about twisting something my entire walk down the aisle I was looking down. I regret that since I do t have any good photos of me looking up while walking down the aisle with my dad. I think for that reason having the wooden runner would have been worth it. Another thing w about walkin on the beach is that it's not a flat surface, so my dress that wa hemmed to just dust the ground still got walked on when I would shift and slide down in the sand. That wasn't so much a problem for the ceremony so much as our pictures on the beach before hand. For reference the words out of my mouth to Todd when we made it to the sidewalk adter our recessional was "who came up with this getting married on the beach idea?"... I was saying it to be funny because of how hard it was to walk and how for two years all I said was that I wanted a wedding on the beach.
  15. Oh.. and my MOH wanted me to pass this bit of info along. Her dress was a stretchy material, instead of the flowy kind. Her dress didn't wrinkle in transit and when she looked at other bridesmaids that had adorable flowy dresses on, she noticed they all spent the whole day holding their dresses down...a never ending battle with the wind. I guess there was one group doing photos on the beach when we walked by, and she noticed that the girls all looked really annoyed with trying to hold their dresses down. She was really glad then that she had on something tighter, since she didn't think about the wind once. She actually talks about it all the time... that and how since she gained some weight from all the good food the dress was still able to stretch to fit, that's just an extra good side effect... not unlike my loving having a lace up gown to adjust for a week of binging on amazing food.
  16. Thanks girls! I'll post some more of my favorites when I get them. I can't stress enough how much I loved having Sarani as our photographer. If anybody out there is on the fence with which to use I say go Sarani all the way, she's worth every penny. I love the idea of sunrise photos... I wish I had done a second photo session instead of wasting our money on a DJ... or paid for something fun and live entertainment... I also think If I could do it over again, I would have done dinner on the beach instead.. that would have been nice I think.. and memorable. Even with the wind, I saw some beach dinners that looked so nice. and Lindsey, you know I want to see all your photos, PM that link!... remember photos are wedding crack.. right now I can't get enough of them... have to live vicariously through you and the other brides until I get the rest of mine.
  17. Just got a preview, couple of teaser photos, of my professional pics.. thought I'd share with you girls. I'm addicted to them.. can't stop looking at them. I've also figured out that photos are the crack of the wedding world.... I'm already jonesin' for more. f
  18. Hey girls, Sarani gave me some preview photos from our wedding. I thought I'd share them with you.... I'm addicted, I can't stop looking at them.
  19. Oxana, it might be new. I noticed right before we left for our wedding that they started adding a considerable number of more musicians and acts to the choice lists. There might not be reviews, because no one has had a chance to review them yet. I don't remember seeing any harpists while I was there, so I can't say much one way or another to that. I say if you like it, then go with it. I think my reception might have been more fun with live performers to mix things up a bit.
  20. Jill, I feel like you and I had opposite stays... I loved my room and our stay at the resort and didn't have a single hiccup with the resort itself...but the wedding had one thing go wrong after another. I'm surprised about umbrella, when the rain first started they were handing them out left and right on the casita end of the resort. You would think it wouldn't have taken so long to get just the umbrella. As far as cleaning out your room, I'm sure that they had their hands full with cleaning to do... or so I imagine after see that video that was posted. It's still all very aggravating, having to wait on someone else and not being able to take things into your own hands. I'd keep on them for the free stay, after all the hassle you deserve at least that... and we can't wait to go back to enjoy things more. I understand the frustration of not being able to enjoy the casita perks. When they upgraded us, the very next day was rain and it continued raining... well the rest of the time we were there until we flew out. I also understand them not being able to upgrade you, we waited all day to find out what they were moving us to as a reimbursement for all our wedding mishaps. When we called around 1ish Urania told me that all the normal Castias were booked but they were still looking into it. That was how we ended up in a presidential, it was all that was available.. and I imagine that they can't tell a bride in tears about her wedding that there's nothing they can do, not when a lot of the presidential suites were open. It did seem like they're were hardly any people in our neighboring suites, but it was raining so I could be wrong. But, they also made a point of telling me that it wasn't really customary to upgrade to those suites. I'm really glad to hear your wedding didn't get rained out and that you had such a fun time at your rehearsal.
  21. Reading comments on the storm that went through Mexico this past week... feeling very lucky right now... Jill, did everything work OK for your wedding, this was only the day after it?.. hoping all is ok with you during the end of your stay. I'll be really interested to hear your story when you return. Be Safe!
  22. Totally... although traveling with that dress bag was a huge pain in the rear.. but... I was originally planning on trying to sell my dress... but the bottom of my dress was trashed.. pure black almost... so I'm probably not going to be able to sell it... but maybe a TTD next time.. it's not a bad idea... get Sarani to do them, she has awesome TTD pics.. out in the cenotes or in the jungle...very romantic looking.
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