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jennifandr5

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About jennifandr5

  1. Hi Girls, I haven’t been very active on this site but it was a huge resource for information while planning my wedding and thought I should give back by writing a review. My wedding was this month, 11/7/13. We had 25 guests and had the ceremony at gazebo 55 and the reception at Tucanes. We brought ALL and I mean ALL of our decorations (except the gazebo sheers and bamboo ceremony runner) and ended up with 4 additional suitcases of wedding stuff and my dress and his suit. Keep in mind that one of these suitcases was actually one of those huge plastic golf club bags which came in handy because we were able to bring tons of fragile items since it has a hard case. We were so worried/stressed about customs so we made copies of all the receipts (which was suggested on this site!) and printed pieces of paper that said “DESTINATION WEDDING DÉCOR, PLEASE BE GENTLE THANKS†and we stuck these in each suitcase that we were checking. Mostly we did this so that if customs opened our bags and wondered why we had 20 bottles of advil or 40 maracas they wouldn’t think it was shady. It turns out they did go through our bags at some point because my brooch bouquet that was wrapped in bubble wrap was re-wrapped and taped with tape that said “customs†on it- but either way they let everything through and even let one of our overweight bags through with no charge. Otherwise it can be more than $50 per bag so be sure to budget for that if you are bringing a lot of stuff. Pros -I have to say that having worked as a catering manger/event planner myself the wedding staff at the resort is awesome! They are very organized, professional and they followed all of my directions to a tee. We picked this resort b.c they do so many weddings and we were so happy with how it was done. Overall we really were pleased. However, there are obviously a few things that we can nitpick about but keep in mind if we were doing this over again we would not have chosen another resort and our wedding was absolutely wonderful!! -24 hour room service was a huge with our group! But on 2 separate occasions they just never showed up. No big deal we fell asleep anyway. -I may be partial but in my opinion gazebo 55 is the best ceremony spot and tucanes is the best for reception. The chapel is SOOOOO adorable too!! -although the food wasn’t that great (which I will get to later) the breakfasts were AWESOME. Loved the breakfasts. Room service, buffet and restaurants. Best meal of the day! -the spa services are fantastic!! Massages are great but I was seriously WOWED by how amazing the hair and makeup was. I absolutely loved it and I chose the spa package as one of my promos so they did my hair and makeup for free both for the night of the rehearsal dinner and the day of the wedding. My bridesmaids loved theirs too and they are picky! SO IMPRESSED!! Cons (but remember, overall we loved our wedding and our trip) 1.The wifi is very spotty and each guest needs to pay to have it (there are no free wifi areas on the resort) so it is very difficult to stay in touch with your guests. We did share our password with a few guests but it’s not really feasible to do this for your whole group. My suggestion would be to make an agenda ahead of time so people know where to meet and when, but if you decide to change something when you get there it can be tough to spread the word. Communication while at the resort was a big stresser for us and some guests got annoyed when we forgot to tell them we were changing something. 2. We were really disappointed with the fact that the resort does not make it easy to eat dinner with large groups. It’s impossible to reserve tables for more than 4 or 5 guests and it is such a bummer when you want to have a nice dinner with the ppl that travelled all that way. They should really be more accommodating of this since there are so many groups travelling together. 3. It was so hard to get dinner reservations in general- they say that you don’t need them but we were turned away so many times so if you are staying in casitas, make reservations for dinners on your first night for the whole time you are there. We didn’t do this and we wished we had L 4. The concierge is really useless and also gave us lectures for not making dinner reservations right away (we were busy with wedding stuff!). They tell you they will call you a cart to pick you up, but they don’t- they just know that one will be around soon so you end up waiting anyway. Also I asked 3 times for them to add a lamp to my room, (the casitas rooms are REALLY DARK and it was super annoying) they said they would send a lamp and never did. GRR 5. Food-let me preface this by saying that we live 40 minutes from NYC and have very high standards when it comes to food. We chose this resort in large part because we heard the food was amazing. I would say it is better than some other resorts but certainly wouldn’t say it was amazing by any stretch. The food at our rehearsal dinner was REALLY bad and the food at the wedding was ok but nothing special. *But as I mentioned above, they are awesome at breakfast! And the Mexican food is REALLY good (I mean come on- I should hope so) 6. The set up fee was $250 which was more than we expected (we did have a lot of décor but weren’t expecting it to be this high) they also charged us an additional $50 to hang lights and decorations across the ceiling of tucanes instead of just around the edges but this made a HUGE impact on the room and was totally worth it. So all in all it was $300 for set up. 7. They lost my cake toppers, and a bag with sunglasses and my ipod cord L but they returned almost everything else. 8. So as I mentioned we had our reception in tucanes and it started pouring ¾ of the way through. The DJ came up to me 3 or 4 times and told me that the roof was leaking onto his equipment and that they were going to have to end the party early. You would think this would have really made me mad but I honestly didn’t care b.c it was towards the end of the night and I was so happy that everything went smoothly that I told him it was fine. But the wedding coordinator was nowhere to be found so i thought they should probably have kept someone nearby to deal with it. In the end they ended up with a tarp and didn’t end early- not sure why- but I think a lot of people would have been really upset if this happened to them. Additional Tips: -We had our wedding on a Thursday so there weren’t many weddings going on that day which was a good thing. Fri-Sun there were so many going on at once but I don’t know if or how that affected each wedding. Plus we were eligible for more promotions since it was on a Thursday. -if you are planning to have the donkey at your cocktail hour (which we did and he was a HUGE HIT) remember that if it rains he can’t come- so check with the coordinator if there are certain locations where he can come rain or shine. -nobody told us November is rainy season! Wish someone would have mentioned that to us. We were only focused on hurricane season but check into rainy season too. - we hired an outside vendor for photos and a video so when I get that back towards the end of December I will send it out! I am not that great with checking this site so if anyone has any specific questions or wants to remind me to send the photos and video feel free to email me at jennifandr5@yahoo.com See some of my fave pics below. I included venue pics and some of the decor and my favorite little details! but I should get the professional photos and the video at the end of december. Also- the 9th photo down is an example of the instruction list i gave the wedding coordinators with photos. They said it was very helpful!
  2. 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!
  3. 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. 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 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 tufcanes? we have a lot of those but i am wondering if there are ample places to plug them in?? Thanks!!
  5. Hi @jackiep I am getting married on nov 7, gazebo 55 and tucanes with about 30 guests too! What are you doing for decor? you are talking about 2013 right?
  6. Hi Brides! Does anyone have any experience with bringing your own fabric to drape over the ceremony structure at gazebo 55? The Coordinator said the fabric needs to be 45ft x 5ft. I havent been able to find that online but i feel like i could buy it for less than the $200 rental fee. Is anyone here selling it? Thank you!
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