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leahbecker

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About leahbecker

  1. Our wedding video came in. If you are looking for an exceptional videographer and a highly affordable rate - check out Gallardo Films. Here is our highlights reel: http://vimeo.com/68512940 Hope this gives you a better idea of the resort. Note - our wedding day, it rained so our outdoor venues changed. We were married at a ceremony in a private section of the lobby and had a banquet room for the reception.
  2. If you are looking for a fantastic photographer, I recommend Gonzalo Nunez. He is friendly, professional, responds quickly to requests, and his rate is very reasonable. He was absolutely amazing to work with on our wedding day (plus he really helped brighten our spirits on a damp wedding day) Here are a few shots from him...
  3. ggallo - Tips were really difficult for us. Here is what we did: We tipped our Photographer and Videographer a flat amount of $150 each (which they both seemed quite surprised with... I thought tips were customary for those services. May they are not?) We gave Ana a flat tip as well ($300) the day after the wedding and another $250 for her to split amongst the bartenders/servers at the wedding. 10 or 15% of our total OCT Wedding bill would have been a lot... and we felt these amounts were fair. The awkward thing and the ONLY downfall we had with the wedding was, at the end of our banquet, two servers approached my husband to ask "How was the service tonight?. " implying for gratuities. It was our intention to provide gratuities after the service not throughout the wedding, so I'm not sure if that was our fault or what... But I did feel that this was a slighlty inappropriate impression from the staff. And I was quite surprised because everone was so professional. (Also, we paid for three extra hours.. which is $10 per hour, per person and that added up. We were told the extra fee was to cover the cost of the bartenders/servers and we didn't know if the pricign including gratuities or now. My advice for tips - Leave something, but only what you are comfortable with. I think every bride/groom does something a bit different, but I promise you - the whole team will work very hard to give you your wedding of your dreams.
  4. Thanks friends! You will all love your wedding day, rain or shine! It's magical, romantic, and tons of fun! RToovey - We were not given a refund of any kind for the banquet room rather than the lobby terrace. Ana looks after settling the payment during your meeting with her the day after you arrive, so it's already paid and done for by the time the wedding rolls around. I think it is a fair question to ask her thought, if the same happens to you. Fingers crossed, the weather will be good though. The whole rain situation was yucky. It wasn't pouring but the entire day was overcast and it was drizzling all day long (luckily stopped for about an hour to get some pics on the beach - although we did hide under shelter mid photos when it came down again. lol.) Basically Ana told my husband 2 hours before the ceremony began that her staff will be setting up indoors for both the ceremony and the reception. The reception is set up about 6 hours early (and you can tell.. they do a beautiful job!), so we had to commit to the banquet room decision early. Given the forecast, it was a good choice.. I wouldn't wanna risk meals/sound equipment being damaged outside,not to mention guests being uncomfortable and running into the lobby to be dry and warm. It was the best option for us. The ceremony however, Ana was really flexible. 2 hours before the ceremony, she spoke with my husband and they agreed ceremony should be inside. When my aunt came and told me about this, I was dissapointed and had a little cry. Well, when Ana found out that I was upset, she did everything possible to move it back out to the lobby terrace. So they did.. moved everything outside again and hoped for clear skies. In fact, all of our guests were seated outside and the music was just starting, when my husband had to make the call to bring it back inside because the rain was coming again. I think the staff had it set up outside, then in, then outside, then back in again. Obviously, I didn't see all of this but Rob said the staff were terriffic and tried so hard to give us the wedding of our dreams. They brought bartending staff, activity staff, everyone was helping out to move chairs inside at the last minute... they were picking up our rose petals from the terrace to make it all look perfect. They litterally moved everything inside within minutes of me walking down the aisle. Ana always said - No problem! Everyone was happy to help. The RAYBANS - probably the biggest hit at the wedding. Believe it or not, we bought assorted colors off of ebay. I think they were shipped from China and each pair cost $0.68!! Highly recommend checking it out! And JessicaF - yes - they have blue sashes!
  5. Hi friends! I am back from the resort and had an absolutely wonderful wedding. Still waiting on photographer photos of the wedding day, but will share those when I receive them so you can get an idea for venues and set up. The resort is so fabulous. It’s split into 4 sections and 4 pools each that accommodates to a different crowd (kids, activity, swim up bar for more party action, and a quiet pool in the priveledge area for all guests). We had 71 people with us and this worked out great, because there was something for everyone. The restaurants were wonderful too. No reservations needed, but they hand out a buzzer to call you when your table is ready. I don’t think we ever waited more than ten minutes. Oh, and sometimes we went in and asked for a table of 16 – was never a problem in the a la cartes. We also did a girls night out at Coco Bongo’s in Playa (arranged through OCT) and had dinner in the buffet before hand, they gave us a private section of the buffet for 20 girls with our own servers. It was really nice (and no extra charge for the group dinners) Most days there is one wedding, our wedding day there was two. I actually never even saw the other bride or groom. The resort definitely caters to larger wedding groups because anyone we met at the resort was likely with a wedding group of 50+. Our wedding day was the only day on the trip that rained, so unfortunately we had to go with Plan B options. I thought this would be helpful to put all your minds at ease about what could possibly happen. We were supposed to have the ceremony and reception on the Lobby Terrace, but the ceremony was moved inside of the lobby in a sectioned off area with lots of windows. The reception was in the conference room. Ok, not exactly my plan but they worked out great! The ceremony was beautiful. Our colors were pink with some yellow. We went with pink bows on the chairs (no charge) and Ana surprised me with yellow daisy’s on each chair too. It looked so nice for an added touch. They offered champagne to all guests after the ceremony. Our paradise package included only 40 guests, so I thought I’d have to pay for the bottles to serve the other 31 guests – but they didn’t charge. We gave Ana a CD and our ipod with the playlist for ceremony. Their staff looked after the ceremony music and did a wonderful job. The reception was in a conference room on the priveledge side, which looks far better than the pictures I’ve seen of the room. So I was pleasantly surprised! Our guests actually said they loved it more because they could take off their shoes to dance and it felt more intimate.. everyone was together whereas with receptions we saw on the lobby terrace, many guests would go inside to the bar or to get away from some of the action. The conference room worked great for everyone to stay together. We booked the 3 hours paradise pkg and bought an extra 3 hours ($10 per person, per extra hour) and we are so glad we did. It was a full dance party with at least 50 people on the floor at all times. We were going to book a DJ but we heard he wasn’t very interactive and felt for $1200 for only 3 hours of service it wasn’t worth it.(PM me if you’d like details on DJ pricing). We gave Ana an Ipod with a play list of all our party music and they had a staff member manage the playlist for us. He was great. In fact, the service at the reception at the bar and with the servers was top notch. Ana also arranged for a Pink Signature Cocktail for our guests. Another awesome touch! Ana is very calm and will accommodate whatever is asked of her. She may take a while to respond to emails, but I guarantee that anything you want looked after – she will take care of as soon as you let her know once you arrive at the resort. Oh and she pressed my wedding gown for only $35!! Our meeting with her was the morning after we arrived and she answered every question we had. I felt like I was giving her tons of things to look after because we brought a lot of things with us and everything was ‘not a problem’. I gave her all our decorations the morning of the wedding with instructions.. she set it all out, took them all down, and returned them to our room in 2 days. She truly is fabulous! Oh and we handed out knock-off Rayban sunglasses as guest favors – they were such a hit. Our friends and family wore them at the reception and for the rest of the week! We also brought down 3 digital photo frames to plug in by our guest book/the bar. Ana took care of setting these out for us. It worked out to be more affordable than to rent a projector/screen to play a slide show. If any one has questions, please PM me. I’ll post photos as soon as I get them back from photographer. By the way, Gonzalo Nunez – was absolutely fabulous. As was our videographer – Carlos Gallardo! Highly recommend!!
  6. Thanks so much lbaker and congratulations to you!! We leave for our wedding there in 3 days. So excited and so grateful for all the helpful posts on this forum. Looking forwrad to reading your review
  7. Not to worry, I got my answer about pressing the dress. Looks like the resort can do for about $60 Thanks ladies for the PM's
  8. Hi all! I am leaving in 2 days and just wondering if anyone knows if the resort that steam/press my dress for me? Thanks.
  9. Thanks danitree.. one last DJ question. We have him booked for 3 hours (8:30 to 11:30 pm) for $550. Ana said we will have to pay additional hours because he needs to set up before the reception. Does that mean one additional hour for set up ($150) or would we need to pay 3 additional hours because our reception starts at 5:30? So I'm not sure if we have to pay for him from 5:30 onward, if we only want his services to start at 8:30 pm?
  10. Danitree- Your wedding sounds like it went off without a hitch! So wonderful to hear. I'm a bit dissapointed that the resort DJ (DJ Kano) was not very interactive. We have him booked for 3 hours during our reception next Saturday and we really hoped he would liven the party up. We made a playlist of only about 25 songs, just to give him ideas - but hopefully he will be able to have his own dance party recommendations. My fiance and I wanted someone to keep the crowd going, and it doesn't sound like he is very interactive, but my fiancee still feels the music transitions would be better with a DJ than an Ipod so we'll give the resort dj a chance too. Danitree - did you find his playlist to be okay?
  11. Danitree - thank you so much for the fabulous review and reassurance in Ana's great work once you arrived at the resort! I leave in seven days and not hearing back from Ana in 6 weeks had me nervous, but I feel much better knowing how wonderful everything worked out for you. Congratulations to you and your new husband!!
  12. MichaelCS - You can contact the Spa at the OCT by emailing: supervisor@etra-spas.com They will be glad to help you out.
  13. I have heard that off-resort photographers seem to be a bit better than the resort photographer (photopro I think?), but I never dealt with them myself so not sure. I have Gonzalo Nunez booked for a photographer and he has been professional and excellent to work with so far. I think his portfolio is fantastic and his prices are very good when I was shopping around. The resort will charge $300 for an outside vendor plus $80 per person day pass for outside photographers - i think it was worth it to hire off-resort for photography. Ana should be able to put you in touch with the resort photographer/videographer if you'd like more information
  14. Has any one else heard any feedback on the resort DJ? We have him booked for three hours through Ana ($550 for 3 hours, and $150 per additional hour - fyi) I read on this forum that his name is DJ Canjo and his email is direccion@cavmex.com.mx... so I sent an email to him and Ana with a list of about 25 songs that I'd like to suggest for the party. Any feedback on the dj or suggestions?
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