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About ashley822

  1. We paid $1146.00 extra for the Seaside Grill. They quoted us this before we even gave a total number of guests so I'm still not completely sure where this came from haha. My understanding was to close a restaurant is it the $35/pp + the 15% auto grat/pp + 11% fee/pp. Then I thought there was maybe a minimum number of people they charged for (such as 30 guests) but I am really not sure where the number came from. It ALMOST worked out for our 25 guest number but since we had our hearts set on that location after seeing pictures and not being thrilled with the other options, we didn't have too many other extras so we just said fine and agreed to book it
  2. We paid $1146.00 extra for the Seaside Grill. They quoted us this before we even gave a total number of guests so I'm still not completely sure where this came from haha. My understanding was to close a restaurant is it the $35/pp + the 15% auto grat/pp + 11% fee/pp. Then I thought there was maybe a minimum number of people they charged for (such as 30 guests) but I am really not sure where the number came from. It ALMOST worked out for our 25 guest number but since we had our hearts set on that location after seeing pictures and not being thrilled with the other options, we didn't have too many other extras so we just said fine and agreed to book it
  3. My first contact was with Evangelina as she was the wedding manager and then I was assigned one of the specific coordinators at a little past the 3 month mark. Since I understand Evangelina is gone now, I'm guessing they are just running a little behind assigning the upcoming weddings. A few times my TA was able to get a hold of them before I could - I think they have a relationship with the group department down there. We were able to have the buffet no problem. We just told them we were interested in that over the plated dinners and Gina sent me attachments with all of the buffet options. They all sounded good and our food was delicious. The guest number was no issue at all so hopefully it won't be for you either. We actually had a "welcome cocktail hour" the night before where we used the sound system. We had one of our friend make a beachy/love song playlist and we just put our ipod on and it worked out great. For our wedding day cocktail hour, the mariachi band got held up in Cancun and showed up 45 minutes into our cocktail hour (I actually didn't notice there was no music until about 15 minutes prior to them showing up - there is so much going on and everyone is talking and having fun anyway!). They ended up showing up and we got extra time added on to our cocktail hour but it was totally fine without music before they were there, too. The dance floor was another thing I was torn on because it was a lot of money - it was $580 I believe. I loved the way it was used in the setup in the Seaside because it was at the center of everything. There is a nice big area of floor people can dance and that is why were originally going to skip it, but then we also saw great reviews and photos so we got it. We are pretty simple and didn't have too many flowers/decorations around the restaurant so I loved the extra colors and ambiance the lights on the dance floor gave off. We had one younger guest (3 yr old) who LOVED the lights and the changing colors. It was worth it in my opinion only because it was a little nicer to dance on than the concrete floor and it really brought everyone out to have fun and dance, but I def think the Seaside Grill would be fine without it, too.
  4. I know how frustrated you feel! But after reading all reviews and getting my questions answered from girls on here, it was actually way more helpful than the actual wedding planners because the communication is so choppy and delayed! I did not have anything but my times and locations 3 months before our wedding either. They told me they would send over all the info, choices, etc... at the 3 month mark. I luckily got it from a girl on here so I knew basically what I wanted (menu options, cake, etc...) but I did have to email them twice asking for the documents and help planning at the 3 month mark. We still got everything done and decided on. You can also change pretty much anything you want while there! We actually did not have to request or pay for a microphone for our ceremony. They just had one there waiting for us. We did, however, rent the sound system for the ceremony so I'm not sure if that's why they had the microphone there for us. The DJ ran the sound system for us at the ceremony. The officiant read the script for our sand ceremony but I'm sure if you'd like someone else to read it, they can. We ALSO did not have our cocktail location confirmed with our original times and locations. We ended up going with the Jacuzzi location but the day of our wedding, it looked like rain so they moved us to outside the entrance of the Desires nightclub. This location was awesome and it was also covered by a clear glass ceiling but you get the outdoor feel at the same time (it ended up not raining but I still liked this location better). I loved both the location and the cocktail hour. We used the mariachi band for this part of the night but I think even a sound system with iPod would be fine. I think guests would most likely hang out at the Lobby Bar if you decided not to use the cocktail hour - especially since you are having a small number of guests. We have 25 people total so it sounds pretty similar to us Our guests actually hung out at the lobby bar between the ceremony and "official" cocktail hour because I spaced out the times so there would be time for our couple photo session and time for us to enjoy the cocktail hour. It worked out great and when the cocktail set up was ready, Gina and Jorge went to the lobby to get all our guests If you were offered and confirmed the Seaside Grill for your reception, it is closed down for your event. We ALSO had our reception at the Seaside haha. And like I said, we ended up with 25 people total and we fit perfectly. A few more people could have even fit. It was the perfect venue for the size. We had the DJ - we also couldn't decide if it was worth it since we were only having a small number of people but then we thought "well, it is our WEDDING so we don't want to regret or miss out on anything." We ended up having the DJ, dance floor, and buffet style set up for our menu and it all fit in the Seaside Grill along with all our tables. Since there won't be other people in the restaurant, the DJ will just be there for your guys and he will announce everything (cake cutting, introduce you, dances, anything you want really!). If you do decide to go with the DJ, you will meet him beforehand and go over everything when you get down there. For us, it helped keep our party on track and moved through the speeches and dinner nicely so we had more time for the party. We didn't add on anytime so we ended up having about 1 1/2 hours for dancing and surprisingly every single one of our guests was on the dance floor so we were so happy we splurged for the DJ cost, dance floor, and everything. Hope this helps and if you have any other questions, I might be able to help since it sounds like we had similar locations and guest count! Good luck!! It will all be worth the stress in the end!
  5. We actually just got them from a House of Brides store. My sister (MOH) and I searched online for styles and we found this Bari Jay website and loved these dresses for a beach wedding. Here's the link: http://barijay.com/style.php?style=230 They have a store locator so you can put in your zip and any bridal store that carries this brand comes up! Ours were the Seamist color
  6. I think the chances are good if your ceremony location is the North Beach and there are not a lot of weddings on the same day (but I'm not sure how you would find that out). We were there in a peak season in January and ended up getting upgraded to the Presidental just for the day. We didn't even ask and we had actually booked a Preferred Club Oceanview. We were upgraded to a Honeymoon suite right when we checked in and then the day before our wedding Gina called our room and left a message that there was a room available for the night for the groom (which we didn't really care about) but she could not get the Presidental Suite like she had tried to. We didn't even know she was trying for us and we hadn't asked about it. We stopped by the wedding office the morning of our wedding after breakfast to tell her the room the groom was going to be getting ready in so she could tell the photographer and that's when she told us if we wanted to go get the key to the Presidental Suite from the front desk we could! We were super surprised and so excited! So it really seems like a last minute decision based on how full the hotel is, what they are using the room for, etc...(Gina later told us that that is the room they use to show the hotel for prospective guests, groups, etc...) so hopefully everything will work out and you will be able to have it! We didn't know til literally a few hours before our ceremony so don't lose hope!
  7. Thanks girls! We did get the Presidental Suite but I think it was partly because they took my dress out of our room for the steaming service we didn't order and somehow stained it, partly because we were the only wedding that day and partly because our ceremony was 10 feet away on the North Beach haha - either way, it was soooo nice! I wish I could go back every day, too! I wish we could use our anniversary nights sooner than on our actual anniversary!
  8. Hi! We used a travel agent to book. I highly recommend it - it was so nice and easy! The rates we got were still a little higher because it was peak travel time in the winter but here are the rates we ended up getting through our travel agent. There was also a Book 5 Rooms, Get 1 Free deal going on so we ended up getting the credits for 2 free rooms. I'm not sure if they have that all the times for groups but it's definitely something worth looking into! Following are the rates we can offer over the travel period of January 2 - February 1, 2013. Keep in mind that dates do fall over the peak travel season and will be higher than the Spring/Summer/Fall rates. Rates are quoted "per person per night" including all taxes/fees. Premium Deluxe Tropical & Garden View: $200.00 per person based on double / $247.00 per night single / $199.00 per person per night triple Premium Deluxe Ocean View: $210.00 per person based on double / $257.00 per night single / $209.00 per person pernight triple Premium Deluxe with Plunge Pool: $230.00 per person based on double / $276.00 per night single / $229.00 per person per night triple Preferred Club Premium Ocean View w/Jacuzzi: $240.00 per person based on double / $286.00 per night single / $239.00 per person per night triple Preferred Club Premium Ocean View w/Jacuzzi & Plunge Pool: $260.00 per person based on double / $308.00 per night single / $259.00 per person per night triple Preferred Club Ocean Front Honeymoon Suite: $280.00 per person based on double / $560.00 per night single
  9. Hey girls! We just got our slideshow link from Adventure Photos! I know some people have been asking about other photographers with Adventure (other than Anel) and I wanted to share our slideshow because we had Francisco as our photographer. He was awesome, really nice, and I think the pics turned out great - even though it rained as our ceremony was supposed to be starting! Here's the link: http://100113papp.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/ I know I was curious while we were waiting for our photos so in case anyone else wants to know about timing...we didn't have time to go through and choose our photos while we were there because they told us it would take a few hours and we couldn't fit it it. So after we got home, they sent us a link about 1 1/2 weeks after our wedding date. From there, we sent in the selection and had our slideshow 4 days later. They said our CD will be here within 2 weeks and the photo book within 6 weeks Our locations in the slideshow are the North Beach (ceremony), terrace outside entrance of Desires (cocktail hour), and Seaside Grill (reception).
  10. It's connected to the Desires Club. In the back by the bar in the actual club, there will be doors leading out to it on the right. So basically, they will have to walk through the Desires Club to get out there. I would maybe just say for your location "in (or through) the Desires Club" because if your cocktail party is fairly early in the evening/afternoon, there will not be any guests in the Desires Club and there will definitely just be wedding staff in there or outside of it to direct your guests, especially if you're still taking pictures. They are there for you and won't let your guests get lost!
  11. Hey Emily - so soon! You're going to have so much fun! We were just there in the beginning of Jan so hopefully some of the answers Lorena gives you will be the same ones Gina gave us while we were there! Centerpieces: Yes, you can use the same flowers from your bridesmaids as centerpieces if you'd like. I would tell Lorena during your meeting - write it down, put it on an excel that you're bringing, anything to remember because during the meeting you go over EVERYTHING and it's easy to forget little details . Then I would try to remember after the ceremony or group pictures with the wedding party if the bouquets are going to be a part of the pics, to just ask Lorena or Jorge to wait the few minutes and then give the bouquets to either one of them. Even if the girls give the flowers to Jorge at the cocktail hour (he will be there the whole time - he's awesome), I'm sure they could still get it all set up the way you want - they are really good and Jorge is on top of everything! Lanterns: They are $10 each - I knew exactly how many I wanted from counting in other pictures I had seen and told my coordinator at the meeting. Otherwise, they will probably just quote you a price based on the amount the usually put on a the long strand so if the number is 20 it will be $200. Bouts: Yes, you can trade out one of the corsages for another bout. As long as they are in the same "category," they will let you trade stuff. For example, flowers can be traded for flowers but say you didn't want the massages and you wanted extra pictures, that's not possible since they are all different vendors/categories. Hope that makes sense! haha Flower girl: One bag is plenty. They are big bags. My flower girl was dumping them the minute she left the room we walked out of and she had enough. Don't bring fake ones unless you want to show them for a color match because the fake ones are not allowed due to the nature/protected area that resort is located. What Gina told us is that the little fake petals are bad for the birds - they eat them off the ground and then die so I guess they don't want to be cleaning up dead birds Dinner: For the timeline you make and give to them, just stress that would like the most time for dancing. We wanted the same thing. We had less people and we did the buffet to make it go quicker, but we did not add the extra hour. I think you will be fine. Are you getting the DJ? He really helps keep everything in order when it comes to the timeline of the reception and acts as the MC. If you are having him, make sure you print out a copy of the timeline you decide on or you can even change it there when you go over it with him - he knows what's on it and what not to leave off We started our speeches RIGHT when the last table sat down from getting their food so people could eat and listen to speeches and it would conserve time. I'm not sure about the plated dinners but I'm sure if you ask when you could fit things in, they will have suggestions. Also, we had the DJ fade out the father/daughter and mother/son dance songs when the songs hit 3 min because some slow songs are long and we wanted to have the nice dances but we didn't think we needed to be up there for 10 min when everyone else could be dancing! haha It sounded great and he did an awesome job. Our photographer actually gave us some suggestions on how to get the most party time and he said that some people do their first dance right away because everyone is already sitting down and that's when you get introduced anyway. I thought this sounded like a good idea but my groom wasn't too into it so we did our first dance after the speeches, then we cut the cake right after that and as the waiters were passing out cake and everyone was eating dessert, we put in the father/daughter and mother/son dance. That way, there was still a little break from 3 individual, slow dances in a row. Alcohol: Everything is included here. They have the nicer selection of alcohol underneath the bars rather than on the top shelf - we discovered this like day 3 into our trip - after the wedding haha so just be sure to ask! For example, our group has some vodka drinkers and they have just about every flavor of Absolute out in view but they have Grey Goose underneath. I thought their selection was pretty good and our group likes to party some I was nervous since we have never been to an all inclusive before and had heard stories like it's just well liquor included and everything else is more but that's not the case here. Some of the things they had were Bacardi, another good spiced rum in place of Captain Morgan's, Jack Daniels, Ketel One, Jose, 1800, Beefeater, CC. For beer they have Corona, Corona Light, Bud Light, Budweiser (I think), Modela Especial. If you ask if they have something, they will tell you if they have it or offer you things. Hope this helps somewhat! I only answered what I had experience from your questions (we didn't get lights under the table or extra flowers on the hoopa). Everything will be great when you get there and it seems like you are pretty much ready with still a few weeks left!
  12. The first picture is the Desires Terrace which like Savs said is right outside and before the entrance to Desires and the other restaurants in that location. The second picture I noticed while we were in the actual Desires club. There are two different doors actual leading out to this area from inside the club but it was never opened during the night or for any events I saw there. I THINK they used to call this area the Desires terrace but have started using the first area. To get to the second picture location, you would have to actually go through the club and it is located about the kid center so this could be a reason they don't use it. Should also mention the first picture location (Desires Terrace) is actually covered. There is a clear glass ceiling above those beams so they are able to use this area in case of rain. They moved our cocktail hour here from a Jacuzzi location because there was a 40% chance of rain and it was really nice!
  13. It it located up the stairs (2 sets of stairs) outside of the lobby next to the Portofino restaurant. It's above the Himitsu restaurant but most of the restaurants are in the lobby (El Patio, Bordeuax) or around the same area outside of it (the buffet, Himitsu, Portofino, Desires) so they are fairly easy to find. There will workers everywhere around to ask and if it is an event for your wedding, there will def be someone to help direct everyone!
  14. Hopefully she will change out the chairs for you! We just asked Gina (our coordinator) when we had our meeting with her when we got there really nicely and told he we already brought sashes and hated the brown chairs It seems like it always looks a little different, but the way they set it up for us was basically a head table in front of the dance floor (in front of the pillars inside the restaurant). We only had 2 other tables of 8 people each which were the square Seaside tables they had pushed together. These 2 tables were on the opposite side of the restaurant and outside of the pillars. Also, if you are bringing table clothes or table runners, be sure to bring extra since these tables get pretty long when they push them together. I noticed at least 2 tables runners put together on our table. I'm not sure if it will help, but here is a picture of the dance floor with our table in front of it (the pic was taken from one of the other tables that was outside of the pillars set up at an angle): I will upload our slideshow with the real photos when we get it, but we didn't have time to choose photos while we were there so we are choosing them now!
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