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Jill Conner

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About Jill Conner

  1. Jill Conner

    Our pictures are AMAZING. PERFECT. IN LOVE.

    Thank you! I do the same thing! You know you LOVED your photographer when you still follow them after your own wedding just to keep looking at pictures from other brides!
  2. 1. When you rented just the sound system, it included the music player, speakers, and microphone? And w/ your reception did they pack it all up right at 3 hours or is it a bit more flexible? Yes, that is all the sound system included. Well, the cords to attach everything together were also provided. We brought our personal iPad & iTouch loaded with music, but our guests also surprised us by bringing their own iPods as well. We asked a lot of questions about wifi (we were considering making a spotify playlist) before we left, but I never got a great answer. I'm glad we had our own music downloaded, because although there was wifi at the resort & at the Lobster House, it was spotty at best, and we all would have been really frustrated. That being said, if there was a song we really wanted, we were able to bring it up on youtube to play most of the time! We really had a very organic reception where our guests took over as DJs and we all got a little crazy. Here's some pics of the sound system, if it helps... Everyone picking out their songs... The speaker/microphone... the guy in the tan pants & white shirt is our friend... It was certainly nothing fancy, but it worked! As far as extending the reception, I believe Gloria said it was possible, but we didn't bother. We all just located to "the club" on the resort property, which was actually tons of fun and hilarious! I thought the reception sounded like it would be too short (prior to arriving in Mexico), but it ended up being the perfect amount of time in my opinion. I'm not really sure it would have been worth the $$ to extend our reception since we all had so much fun in the club! (And by "Club" this was also nothing TOO crazy or fancy... think RESORT club, not DOWNTOWN CANCUN club!). All our parents joined us, and then people went back to their rooms when they were ready for bed... 2. I have a bit of a shoe situation. My fiance is 6'7"...and I am not :-) I'm curious if you wore shoes or thought you could have managed wedges at the ceremony? If not, I could just go barefoot and my dress will be a bit long and then put on the shoes for the reception. I asked Gloria and she said they have "fabric like" aisle runners but nothing w/ any sturdiness. Is the sand packed or do you think you would have flopped on your face? I think you can see the "fabric like" runner in one of my pics above... no, it did not have any sturdiness to it. As far as shoes, I'll be honest, I'm not the best person to ask... sorry! I'm 5'10" and was pretty excited NOT to have to have shoes! I think I'd "flop on my face" in most heels! My husband is taller than me, but I was pumped about getting married with my toes in the sand! I know most of our guests wore shoes during the ceremony, but I don't remember specifics. Here is the best shoe shot I could find for you! I think my sister in law had some wedges on (third from the right)... I think most everyone was wearing flip-flops. Sorry! I actually had more of a problem with the breeze we had (which was WONDERFUL) because my dress was blowing and that was making me trip on it a little! Hope this helps!
  3. I originally wanted a "welcome dinner" (in lieu of a "rehearsal dinner") the evening before our wedding. Gloria said this would not be a problem, and the resort would be able to accommodate our 20 guests at one table in one of the restaurants... BUT we had to have a "set menu". I thought this sounded WAY too much like our actual reception dinner we would be having the next evening. We wanted our guests to be able to enjoy their time at the resort apart from our wedding, and we wanted to allow "free time"... we didn't want them to be scheduled every minute of every day! We decided just to pick a bar (we picked the Martini bar) and have everyone meet for a "welcome cocktail" the night before the wedding. Our guests did not all arrive in Mexico on the same day, so this was an excellent for everyone to get together prior to the big day! We each had a drink, and then went to the restaurant of our choice for the evening. We all met back at the bar after dinner. This was NOT something arranged by the resort. We just thought it would be a fun way to get everyone together. Of note, Gloria mentioned that the resort restaurants are not able to sit more than 6 to a table. One of the nights, at the Mexican Restaurant Agave, the hostess was able to put our party at two tables (one of 6 and one of 14). This was a HORRIBLE experience. It took almost two hours for us to get our food, the staff seemed overwhelmed, and I felt terrible since we'd originally been told this wasn't possible. The restaurant staff said they usually don't seat that large of a party because it is too difficult for their kitchen staff/wait staff/etc. I wish they would have told us we had to break-up our party/split our tables. SO, if you decided NOT to do a "welcome dinner", but one of the restaurants says they can seat you at one, large table... I would avoid this. It was still nice chatting with our friends and family for 2 hours... but we were all starving! As far as welcome bags, yes, I did make welcome bags for all our guests. Most of our guests were couples, so we had one bag per room. I bought these really nice North Face bags online (www.zappos.com)... the girls were using them as beach bags all week. I figured they weren't a complete piece of junk, so they could use them after the wedding. My sister-in-law actually uses hers as a diaper bag! Although I could have gotten some less-expensive custom bags, I didn't think anyone really would want a "Jill & Bryan's Wedding" tote after our big day! Our wedding colors were also orange, white, and tan - so this KIND of matched!? I got each of the girls a Tiffany's necklace with their initial (these girls are my best friends in the world, and I wanted to get them something special - if I had a traditional wedding they would have been my bridesmaids and I would have been buying them jewelry anyway!). www.tiffany.com Bryan got all the guys a pair of Frogskin Oakleys (BIG hit with the guys! - we picked out a different pair depending on what we thought each guy would like!). We also put these t-shirts in the bags for the guys (we're from Cleveland). And we had signs made for the doors (except they said BRYAN & JILL) @ this Etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/designedbyme?ref=seller_info We went for some big-ticket items in our "Welcome bags" because we didn't want to drag a bunch of CRAP to Mexico, and we didn't want to have our guests have to drag a lot of CRAP back home! We did however, provide, a small bottle of ibuprofen, a lint roller, hand sanitizer, a chapstick, tums, and a nail file in the bag as well. AND we had a schedule of events for the guests (this was EXTREMELY limited - we really didn't know what was going on ourselves! - it basically said where the wedding was, and that it started @5pm followed by the reception and cocktail hour. We also had a welcome letter. And finally, and this was probably the most helpful part... we had a blank list with all our guests names printed on it.... as our guests arrived, Bryan and I filled in each guest room number on ALL the sheets. This was a GIANT pain in the butt, but everyone knew which room all the other guests were staying. We were spread all over the resort, so it wasn't like we were all in one wing or something. It was extremely helpful! We hand delivered each of our welcome bags (rather than having them waiting in the rooms) because we thought it was more personal. Bryan and I had ONE suitcase with personal items, and a second suitcase with all our "extra stuff". We carried on the sunglasses and necklaces because we didn't want them to get lost. On our way home, we put the first suitcase inside the second (now empty) suitcase and checked one bag. In addition to the items for the welcome bags, we brought some additional things from home. We actually had an entire small carry-on bag full of hand-painted maracas (hilarious & wonderful!), http://www.etsy.com/shop/SusieSuesCuteDesigns?ref=seller_info wedding programs, seating cards for the dinner table, a thank you for the dinner plate, http://www.etsy.com/people/ImbueYouIDo the orange chair sashes (I got them at www.tableclothfactory.com - WAY cheaper than what the resort charges for them! One chair sash is included in the wedding package, but I wanted two... sigh! We also brought woven fans for our ceremony. Now I know this seems like A LOT... but we seriously had all our personal stuff (clothes) in one bag (checked), one bag of extra stuff (checked), a carry-on bag of maracas, sunglasses, and necklaces, and I carried on my dress. I think we were pretty light packers! Enough for now... I'm excited for you girls! Lots of good reading material on this site! (Also, I know I haven't written my formal review of JUAN NAVARRO yet, but again, can't stress enough how WONDERFUL he was!) Until next time... Oh yeah, real quick: one more thing: I DID NOT give ANY instruction to the resort staff on how to set anything up. They have done this 3 million times for weddings, so I gave them some creative freedom. The table centerpieces were provided with our package. The resort decided how to place the fans, programs, maracas, how to tie the chair sash's etc. It was actually really fun NOT planning all these details and being surprised myself how beautiful everything looked!!
  4. You'll have to ask the wedding coordinator for the options for cocktail hour. The available locations vary depending on the day of the week and the events the resort has planned. I had my wedding on a Friday, and I was given the options of the pier, Garibaldi Square, and the Foyer. I had my cocktail hour @ Garibaldi Square. I had read in previous posts that the foyer was HOT, and I wanted to be able to take pictures between the wedding & reception on the piers, so it was a process of elimination for me. Our guests actually ended up asking if they could end our cocktail hour early and go to the Lobster House (our reception site) because they were sweating to death in the square (apparently there was no air movement). I'm sure it might be possible to have cocktail hour on the beach... maybe not directly next to where the ceremony was held, but I'd say it's worth asking! In any case, the closer you can have the cocktail hour (and reception) to the water, the more likely you & your guests will be to have a breeze, and the more comfortable you will be! I have no idea what restaurant is closed on Saturdays, but the wedding coordinator should be able to provide this information. The location you choose will be yours for the night (closed to other guests at the resort), so you don't have to wait for other guests to finish eating. Our wedding ceremony was at the Beach Gazebo @ 5pm. Cocktail hour was from about 5:30 - 6:30pm, and then we all went to the Lobster House after that. Our photographer suggested we do all our "special dances" prior to dinner while the sun was still up (he said the lighting would be better), so that is what we all did. Then we sat down for dinner, had a few friends/family members give speeches/toasts. The resort did not "set up a dance floor" per se, but the tables were arranged so that there was a large open area that we turned into our dance floor (see pictures below). I would highly recommend the Lobster House if it is available. We had a great breeze during our entire reception, so there were no problems with the temperature. I guess I should also note our wedding was June 29th, 2012... right in the middle of Summer! I can't speak to the foyer, but if it was anything like Garibaldi Square everyone would have been miserable. Again, I heard in this forum that the foyer can be un-Godly HOT, but maybe one of the other ladies here can provide more insight. And ALL of the locations will be pretty private! No worries there! Happy planning & congratulations!!! Here are some pics (not professional, just from my friends). If you do need help with a photographer, I'd be happy to suggest JUAN NAVARRO!!! Above is a pic of the dance floor area just prior to dinner. You can see there is a huge area cleared of tables. We opted to have our friends DJ our wedding, so you can also see the speaker provided on the left (that is one of our guests in the tan pants & white shirt). You can also see the proximity of the bar to the dance floor (for when things got a little more crazy later in the night). Above is a picture of our dinner table. We had 20 guests at our wedding, and we opted to do one large table rather than 3 small round tables. My husband and I also sat at this table with our guests. Above is a pic from the "dance floor" later in the night!
  5. And here are a few from our Cenote Trash the Dress (the Monday morning following our wedding). Again, check out http://www.juanphotos.com/. Can't go wrong with Juan Navarro in our opinion!!! This stuff looks like it's from a magazine... seriously can't believe they're OUR wedding pictures?! Also, the best part is that the cenote was freshwater... so my dress isn't ruined AT ALL. After the shoot, I left hung the dress up to dry (my bridal shop told me not to "wring it out"), and it is FINE! The bridal shop told me that salt-water on the beach & sand (if we had done a traditional trash the dress) would have ruined the dress for sure, but since this was just a fresh-water dunk, nothing was ruined! My dress was made out of charmeuse satin with a lace over-lay. The leather from Bryan's belt bled onto his pants, but it was a recent suit from the Express, so he just bought a new pair of pants to go with the suit! This underwater smooch is my favorite
  6. I personally did not sue the in-house photographer because I also didn't like a lot of what I saw on their website. Gloria gave us the option of having pictures taken (similar to engagement pictures) with the in-house photographer at some point during our stay at the resort since pictures were included in our package, but we opted to spend the time with family & friends... the time was more important to us than more pictures at that point. Maybe they would have been fantastic, who knows. Also, as SunsetLove mentioned in a previous post, because we were using an outside photographer, VIP did not show up at our ceremony. We did; however, have VIP take our wedding video. This was included in our package, so we figured "why not". I will be honest, I wasn't expecting much when we picked up the DVD at the resort. I thought it was going to be just a regular video of the ceremony (something my Dad would shoot on a camcorder), and that was it. It was surprisingly nice! It was edited very nicely (the intro and end of the video), and the ceremony is in the middle. It was so nice to see little clips of my friends and family and my groom before the ceremony since I never got to see any of this. It was also set to the music that we had on our iPod for the ceremony, which was super-cute and unexpected! I was really happy with it, but again, and I had absolutely no expectations. We used Juan Navarro as our wedding photographer, and I can not recommend him enough! Juan and his staff were AMAZING. Very easy to communication with before, during, and after the ceremony. Very professional, fun, and AMAZING photographers. I haven't posted my formal review yet (sorry!!!!), but I have nothing but good things to say!!! We also did a "trash the dress" cenote session on the Monday morning following our Friday evening wedding, and I also can't speak highly enough of this! It was AMAZING. I stare at our pictures and I can't believe they're us! Crazy! My husband and I were saying the morning of the cenote TTD that we would be happy if the pictures were horrible because we had SO MUCH FUN that morning with Juan & his crew. Then we got our "sneak peek" of pictures, and holy crap (sorry if that is not PC) but they are beyond my wildest expectations!!! Please check out his work, again, we have nothing but good things to say: http://www.juanphotos.com/ Also, if you have a facebook account, I would find Juan and "friend him" or "like" his photography site. He is always posting pictures of the weddings he shoots, which was really fun for my husband and I to look at before our wedding. It's also another great way to get familiar with his work. I'll post a photo montage of us also, even though I kind of already had in a few other posts... sorry for anyone who gets tired of looking at us! hahahaha! Here's a few from the day of our wedding...
  7. I wore my hair up, and I think I would have been MISERABLE if it was down. I think another reader posted on it, but the WIND is also a problem as much (if not more) than the heat/humidity. Our ceremony at the beach gazebo had a WONDERFUL breeze, but had my hair been down and not so-well secured in my up-do (and mind you I did NOT want a "tight" up-do) I feel like it would have been blowing EVERYWHERE. I probably would have been fussing with it the entire ceremony. If you wear your hair down, I guess you'll just have to keep your fingers crossed @ the direction the wind is blowing, and hope your hair isn't in your face the entire time! I also did not wear a veil because I was concerned about what it would do in the wind... Later in the evening while we were having our crazy 20-person dance party I was also glad my hair was up, because I do feel it helped me stay cool at this point. I think overall I looked a lot less disheveled as night night wore on because my hair was up! That being said, you want to feel beautiful on your wedding day, so I would take all of this into consideration, but ultimately make sure you look like you've always dreamed. The spa will make you beautiful, so no worries! Sunset Love---> Your hair and make-up looked beautiful! I know I don't know you other than this blog (so I have no idea what you look like on a daily basis!), but I think your make-up looked amazing & natural & not like you were wearing too much at all! Isn't that so funny how you feel like you have so much on your face but it ends up looking so good in the pictures!?
  8. I'm not sure about the dinner choices. I heard that you can have two dinner choices, as long as you know who is having what before you arrive. We only had one dinner, the chicken, and everyone loved it. For some reason it almost seemed better than most of the dinners we ate at the resort restaurants all week, but maybe that was because I was starving and didn't have much to eat all day! ha! I showed my friends and family the meal lists prior to the wedding just to get a feel for what everyone thought "looked good", and then just picked what seemed like it would please everyone. Of note, we had some sort of Avocado soup with our meal... and I was NOT looking forward to having soup outside on a hot summer day, and the soup was AWESOME. Holy cow... everyone kept talking about how delicious it was! So if you're having trouble picking a soup, that's the one I would try! Just ask Gloria, but I'm pretty sure you can have a choice of two meals.
  9. Yes, I got my make-up and wedding done at the spa. My ceremony was @ 5pm, and Gloria suggested I start hair/make-up @ 1pm. A gentleman named Elias did both. I made a pinterest board of hair styles and make-up ideas, and brought an iPad to the spa (the resort wi-fi worked fine in the spa). Elias did not speak English well, which made me nervous because I didn't feel like we had a good dialogue about what I wanted my hair and make-up to look like, but I showed him quite a few pictures, so I didn't worry. My hair was SPOT ON what I wanted. Again, amazed! I bought this flower for my hair: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/82177162 from the ButterflyEnchantress shop on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/ButterflyEnchantress?ref=seller_info. I found the price to be AMAZING compared to what I was finding in the local bridal boutiques, and the quality amazed me. I wanted the flower to LOOK REAL (so I didn't order a hair piece with pearls, rhinestones, etc.), and I my family & friends didn't know it was fake until I told them. It was amazing. Can't recommend highly enough. You can purchase live flowers from the resort/florist for your bridal hair, but I would suggest against this as I heard they wilt badly, bruise, and are difficult to get to stay in your hair all night. I LOVED my makeup. It was a little scary because I was not facing a mirrow while Elias was putting on my make-up, but it worked okay in the end. I had told him I wanted LIGHT and NATURAL make-up. And I will be honest, it was NOT LIGHT, but I feel it looked very natural (especially in pictures). When I first saw myself, I thought "WOW, I have never worn this much make-up in my entire life", but it looked good. My friends and family kept telling me it looked good too, and I didn't think they would lie to me on my wedding day! I am SO HAPPY I decided to have my make-up done because it stayed on ALL NIGHT. For real. A lot of my friends look a little shiny in the pictures later in the night, and my skin looked flawless. Amazing. Would highly recommend. Just don't get too scared when it FEELS heavy... it won't look it! Also, they had really nice make-up @ the spa (M.A.C., smashbox, etc.). I did not have bridesmaids, so I didn't have anyone else getting their hair/make-up done with me. My mom wanted to do her own hair also. My mother-in-law had her hair & make-up done @ the spa; however, her appointment was made for 3pm. I would ask Gloria to advise you on times to have bridesmaids and other guests start. I'm inexperienced with this! While I was getting my hair and make-up done my mom and friends visited (poked in-and-out of the salon). The salon staff gave everyone a glass of champagne to drink, and had little snacks sitting out for everyone. Other than what I mentioned above, I didn't really have a real "timeline" on my wedding day (this type of thing tends to stress me!). I wanted the day to be "go with the flow" and organic. I floated around in the pool by the spa all morning with my friends and mom, and my fiance was over with his friends in the pool with the pool bar most of the morning. The only "mistake" I feel like I made was skipping lunch. Although there were snacks in the spa, I was really missing lunch, and then didn't eat until our wedding dinner. Like I said above, once I made it to my appointment for hair/make-up, I felt like I was having an "open house" with the rest of the girls visiting me. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, on of my friends wanted to do her hair and make-up herself, but did it IN the spa with me. She plugged in her personal curling iron/straightener and plugged them in right at the station next to me. They didn't mind at all. So if you want girls to get ready WITH you, but they don't want their hair or makeup professionally styled/applied, this is always an option too. This is one of the pictures I showed Elias (and then said I wanted the flower on the right side): This is my actual wedding hair (good work, right!?) & check out that Etsy site... the flower was seriously AMAZING Here are a couple pictures of the hair & make-up in natural light... I was super-happy... Finally, here is one of the pics of make-up that I showed Elias: And this is what my make-up still looked like pretty late in the night:
  10. Here is the pricing information I have from the 2012 weddings, I assume 2013 will be similar!? Bridal Bouquets: Bouquet: $60 (included in the complimentary package) Love: $90 (included in Love package) Gold: $110 (included in Gold package) There are also bridal bouquets for $170, $230, $270, which you can upgrade to. Of note, if you buy the Gold package, and upgrade to the $270 bouquet, you less the difference of the flowers included in the Gold package (basically saying you have a $110 worth of $$$ to put towards a bridal bouquet with the Gold package, so the flowers listed as $270 will actually be $160). If you buy the Love package, and want a Gold package bouquet, you pay the difference (basically you'll pay an extra $20 for the Gold bouquet vs. the bouquet that comes with the Love package). Does that makes sense? I picked flowers that didn't require an upgrade. Again, you can see my pictures above. For bridesmaids, there are 6 different categories of flowers: $45, $75, $90, $135, $190, $230. I didn't have bridesmaids, so I'm not sure about these. It doesn't appear that ANY are included in the wedding packages? I also never saw a catalog of bridesmaid flowers, so I can't speak to what they look like. I just had a general "cost sheet" for all things wedding! Hope this helps!
  11. Also, thank you Juan! You are too sweet! Bryan & I had an AMAZING time working with you and your staff! We have nothing but good things to say! Our wedding would not have been the same without you, and we will NEVER forget our morning session in the cenote! So beautiful! Ladies, if you are looking for a great photographer, please take a look at Juan Navarro's work. He was an absolute pleasure to work with, and his assistants were great. They were extremely professional, quick with communications, the pictures are BEAUTIFUL, and they were so much FUN! Our wedding would not have been the same without Juan and his crew We are forever grateful for the moments captured on our big day! Thanks again Juan!
  12. Our ceremony centerpiece was missing all together the day of our wedding! It was so beautiful we didn't even notice until we got home & were looking at pictures! Ha! Per Gloria, EVERYTHING used from the wedding ceremony is moved to the dinner table (I was bringing chair ribbons from home, so I wanted to ensure if I had 20 ribbons, and we had 20 guests the ribbons would be moved from the ceremony to the dinner, which they were!). I would consider asking again, because in my experience, the dinner centerpieces and ceremony centerpieces were interchangeable. That being said, I wouldn't worry about it too much, because everything will be so beautiful, it won't matter too much! Seriously, I didn't even know they were missing! Hilarious! I found pictures of flowers online that I liked (and didn't see anything that matched exactly in the Excellence catalog), and Gloria/the florist/resort were able to duplicate the bouquet PERFECTLY (see pictures below). In the catalogs I saw bouquets with both roses and lilies (but not these colors), so I figured "why not". Look at the picture I sent compared to the picture of my bouquet. It was spot-on. I couldn't have been more happy! I didn't give much direction with our dinner centerpieces... I just said, "make them match my bouquet". Same with the cake... I just told them to "make it match the bouquet". Gloria is fantastic, and the staff at the resort do many, many weddings. I think part of the fun of a destination wedding is giving up control and "going with the flow". I let them have some freedom with my decorating, as long as it was in the "orange/ivory/tan" theme, and it was PERFECT. Again, could not have been happier. Try not to stress Beautiful, right!? I'm not sure I would have wanted flowers blocking the amazing view! This is the picture I gave to Gloria... I didn't really "pick" from the Excellence catalog of flowers... and... This is what my flowers actually looked like! Pretty close, right!? I was so happy! Here's a shot with the "matching centerpieces". I'm not sure those were really a "choice" in the catalog either!? I brought the maracas and stationary from home. Of note, I only brought a "thank you" & a name card as stationary (we didn't have menu cards because I didn't finalize our menu in time), and when we sat down at the table, Gloria and the resort staff had somehow created matching menu cards that were inside each envelope! They were SO CUTE, and I was SO GLAD that I didn't pay to have them printed at home! It would have been another thing we would have had to drag down with us! Also, we brought the orange chair ribbons from home (I ordered them online for < $1/each). "Additional Decoration" was included as part of our package, and Gloria informed me this meant either: 1. Chair Ribbons or 2. Rose Petals for the aisle. I asked for additional chair ribbons (we had 2 ribbons on each chair: Champagne & Orange ribbons both @ the reception and the dinner). Hope this helps!
  13. I let the guests choose what they wanted to do about shoes... and they decided to do EVERYTHING (barefoot, closed-toe, flip-flops). We did NOT do a basket because it was something "extra" we did not want to drag down to Mexico. I went barefoot, and I took my shoes (flip-flops!) off right before the ceremony, and just left them with Gloria (the wedding coordinator) up by place where I started to walk down the aisle. Most of my guests, including the groom & my father flip-flops (nice leather or sperry; not Old Navy!). I think we had a couple of the guys wear closed toe shoes. I wouldn't stress about it too much... honestly, I got this question before we went to Mexico too, and I just said "do whatever you want, just remember, you're in sand! --- more for the ladies because heels would NOT be the best choice!). The guests all kind of chatted each other up once we got down to Mexico
  14. We had 30 guests at our wedding @ the end of June (only the 4 parents were older than 30), and we did NOT plan any excursions off the ERC property. Our wedding was on a Friday, and some of our guests arrived as late as Thursday, and left as early as Sunday. We wanted everyone to be able to relax & enjoy the resort, so we purposely did NOT pack the schedules. Although I think an excursion could have been fun, I'm not sure it would have been worth it for us because we had SO MUCH fun at the resort! Agree that you will be having some drinks during the day, which will wear you out earlier in the night than you think! We spent a lot of time around the pool bar! Yes, the resort "club" is only open until 1am, but I know I was never there that late! And I agree with Bondgirl, once all your family and friends are in the same place, you'll be surprised how good of friends everyone becomes! We all had SO MUCH fun together! It was crazy! We decided to skip a welcome dinner because we were told by the wedding coordinator that we would have to have a "set menu". She said if we went to a restaurant on our own, the biggest group they could accommodate would be 6 people/table. We thought the welcome dinner sounded too much like the actual reception dinner, and we wanted our friends and family to be able to enjoy the resort at their leisure. Once everyone was in Mexico the Thursday before our wedding, we had everyone meet at the Martini Mar for a "welcome cocktail" before dinner (this rounded up the troops so that we had a central meeting place). After that, everyone was to head to the restaurant of their choice, and then meet back up after dinner... well, we ALL headed to the Mexican restaurant! They said they would be able to seat us as a party of 6 and a party of 14, which we thought was great! It was like having a welcome dinner, but un-planned! ...then it took FOREVER to get our food... we are talking like 3+ hours. Drinks didn't come quickly either, but they did keep us loaded up on chips/guac/salsa. I talked to our waiter, and he apologized profusely saying that they "can't accomodate groups > 6 people unless there is a set menu". Sigh. I kind of wished they just would have broken our large group into smaller tables, but we did have a great time sitting with our friends and family that night. The staff was so gracious it was impossible to be mad!!! After this night, everyone kind of did their own thing for dinner, and then met-up afterwards for drinks. Bryan and I always picked a couple or a group to eat with each night, which was nice. So long story short, either book a welcome dinner with a set menu, or decide you're not doing it at all! And "welcome cocktails" are a great substitute! And seriously, don't stress... because everything will work out. I was actually glad that we "planned" as little as we did, because once we got to the resort, our "plans" kind of went out the window, and we just let things happen naturally! SO MUCH fun!! It was seriously perfect all week! I am so happy that we picked the ERC!!!
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