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About leigh2011

  1. I believe a rehearsal with the wedding coordinator, but not the officiant, the day before is free - the timing will depend on any weddings planned for the day before yours. Many brides do not pay for a rehearsal dinner because the restaurants at the resort are free. You simply have to try and get enough space for your whole group at a restaurant - so there could be a significant wait involved. I chose to pay the $246 to ensure that a table was set up and waiting for us. The $246 covered 13 adults and 3 small kids - so the price was probably ~$17 per adult. We had the rehearsal early enough (we finished right as the restaurants were opening) that we probably didn't need to pay for the dinner. When I asked for the rehearsal dinner, Claudia gave me the choice of HImitsu or the seafood restaurant. After looking at the menus, I chose Himitsu. I think the only chance you have for candles staying lit is if they are inside some sort of cylinder that protects then from the wind.
  2. In November of 2011 (disclaimer in case prices have changed) the DJ was $933 for 3 hours and the light-up dance floor was $756. We selected the Ultimate package and were happy we did so. We had a total of 27 adults and 3 small kids at the wedding, so we paid the extra for the 7 adults and 3 kids for both the reception and the cocktail hour. I really liked having the cocktail hour with the Mexican Trio (included in the package). We actually took most of our bride and groom photos before the ceremony, so we actually attended our cocktail hour. I also really enjoyed the reception - we danced the whole time. Here is a break-down of the resort related costs for our wedding (note that we brought our own photographer): Rehearsal + dinner = $246 Wedding Package = $2799 Sound System for Ceremony = $200 Extra Guests at Reception = $514 (7 adults + 3 kids) Extra Guests at Cocktail hour = $279 (7 adults + 3 kids) Extra Champagne for Toast = $40 Rose Petals = $22 Gazebo Decor/Centerpieces = $0 (free as trade for photography) MOH bouquet = $0 (free as trade for corsages and bout’s) DJ (for 3 hours) = $933 Dance floor (lights up) = $756 Upgraded Cake(3-tier) = $150 Hair & Makeup (MOH, MOB, MOG) = $289 (using 15% discount from wedding pkg) TOTAL = $6228
  3. My wedding was 27 people, so I am not sure if you consider that to be comparably small. I had the DJ and lighted dance floor and I would say about 15 of the 27 people were out dancing and I felt the money was well spent. However, if I had 15 and I only felt that 7 or so would dance, then it might not have worth the money. The light up dance floor is an extravagance that is not really needed. If I had to choose between DJ or lighted dance floor, I would go with DJ. I did have the sound system for the ceremony and I think it was helpful to make sure guests could hear the ceremony over the crashing waves. One thing that I would consider trading out is the videographer - but that is because I would much rather look at still photos of myself than a video of myself (I embarrass myself on video ). I think we have watched the DVD of our ceremony twice, and I couldn't even tell you where it is right now. Hope that helps a bit....
  4. It has been so long that I have forgotten which airline! But I am guessing it was Continental because we went through Houston. They did nothing to help me with my dress when I carried it on. So I just folded over my dress bag and put it on top of carry-on bags in the overhead. I think the main thing is to make sure your dress is on top of any other baggage. But your dress will be steamed by the resort to remove any wrinkles, so as long as your dress is placed on top of other things then it won't get damaged. None of the airline staff (at check-in or at the gate) even looked at my dress twice. I think as long as it fits into a standard wedding dress bag, then they likely won't care.
  5. I had the gazebo decoration (4 corsages, 1 on each post) and had 4 tables at the reception. So Claudia removed the corsages from the gazebo and put them on the tables as centerpieces while we were at the cocktail hour. Using expensive flowers more than once! If you click on my album for the wedding in my signature, you will see good pictures of the corsages on the gazebo and then see them on tables at the reception (in the background of pictures).
  6. I also did the 4-hr reception with the DJ (resort's DJ) and he was the one that determined when those first dance, cake cutting, etc things would happen. I gave him the list of music and he dealt with fitting in those reception events into the dinner service. We had the cocktail hour and with the Mariachi Trio play during that time. As I was paying for the DJ at the reception, I figured the Trio would give the cocktail hour a different vibe.
  7. I did my wedding at sunset (see pictures in my signature below), but we did a first look so we had a few hours to take pictures before the ceremony.
  8. I would definitely recommend working with a travel agent when dealing with a group booking like most wedding parties. My travel agent was able to get the group contract with Dreams (there was a special going at the time for book 5 rooms get a 6th free) and take payments from individual guests. My guests had the option of booking flights with the travel agent or booking those separately online. This website was started by a group of travel agents, so you are encouraged to use one of them for your wedding needs (of course they are experts). I clicked on a banner and was connected with an agent that was very familiar with Dreams Cancun. I don't believe there is a problem with using a different travel agent, but discussing them too much or advertising for them on the forum could be a problem. I actually brought a photographer with me from the US and used the free 6th room to cover his costs. Some photographers from the US charge their travel costs on top of their typical wedding fees. However, other photographers (because I paid for a ticket for his wife and paid for them to stay 5 nights - but remember the room was free for both of them) see the wedding trip as a bit of a vacation for them and give you a discount on the photography costs after you pay for their travel.
  9. Hi ladies - I posted back in 2011 about my plans to do a first look at my November 2011 wedding (under the name clgriffi7). I loved that we did the first look because it gave us a solid 2 hours to get pictures before the ceremony (including the family photos) so we had time during the cocktail hour to get a few dramatic twilight shots and then actually attend our cocktail hour (check out the albums in my signature if you would like). There is no way we could have taken photos at so many locations around the resort without doing a first look. I came back to this thread today because I just worked a local wedding show with my wedding photographer this past weekend and many of the brides were interested in the first look photos in my album. I realized I never posted my photos here so I wanted to show you all the way they were displayed in my album: (this is a double page spread)
  10. Congratulations Kelly! The pictures you posted are beautiful. I love the shot of the bouquet and your eyes...such a cool photo to have.
  11. Dreams provided lighting for the reception - though I am not sure if it was part of the wedding package or if they came with the DJ. Maybe a bride that didn't have a DJ can add their experience (I presume it is part of the wedding package, not the DJ - but I wouldn't want to steer you wrong). We had our reception out on Himitsu beach and there was one (possibly 2, but I can't be sure) stand with 4 bright lights. If you look at the "Dreams Cancun Wedding" album in my signature, you will see some pictures of the reception - that should give you an idea of how bright it was. I thought it was just right - enough light to eat your meal comfortably, but dark enough on the periphery to remind you that you are outside at night. Side note: my photographer brought external flashes on stands to help provide fill light during photos. With the light provided by the resort's light stands being directional, anyone taking pictures will need to be careful to get good lighting.
  12. The dual ceremony possibility for destination weddings (legal at home and then symbolic at your destination) was perfect for wearing two types of wedding dresses. The traditional Chinese dress that I ordered online was of good quality, I just needed to take it to a local tailor to get it fitted around the waist - so I would recommend that retailer. One issue we had with the double happiness symbol on our wedding items was with the koozies. The base for the koozie was navy blue and the symbol was in white. Apparently my now mother-in-law thought that the navy blue was too close to black and traditionally the double-happiness symbol with black means death. So if you use the double-happiness symbol just make sure you pay attention to all of the potential pitfalls! But I hope the usage of the symbol on all of the stationary made my in-laws feel included in the whole event.
  13. That is the Barracuda Bar - it has bar top on 4 sides, with one of the sides having swings instead of bar stools (cute for pictures!).
  14. Unfortunately I didn't see any receptions at either restaurant during my stay. Both restaurants have indoor and outdoor areas - such that if they were to set you up outside it could feel a bit more private. The first picture below is of a bar between the lagoon and the beach, but behind it is the Oceana restaurant (sorry I didn't take a better picture). On the right side (with the white tables and chairs) is the outdoor seating. The second picture is the patio area of Himitsu restaurant overlooking Himitsu beach. One thing to check might be if there will be another reception on your night at Himitsu beach as it would literally be taking place very very close. Hope this helps a bit...
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