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About AmandaLei

  1. Hello Ladies! I received a few of my photos from my November 2013 wedding and wanted to share along with my review and tips. So here goes.... RESORT We had been to the Grand Sunset Princess a year prior to our wedding and absolutely loved it. It caters to many different types of people and it being a 5 star and fairly reasonably priced it was perfect for all. We stayed in the Yucatan Platinum Swim Up Suites. This is 100% worth the upgrade. Free room service, top shelf drinks, and peace and quiet when you need it. Food was good but recommended to book the a la carte's pretty soon after arrival. One thing you will ALWAYS hear about this resort is the people. They are so kind and friendly. Anything you need - they jump to make it happen. PACKAGE/LOCATION/TIME We did the Infinity Package with a Symbolic Ceremony. My husband and I decided to forego the requirements in Mexico to get married and instead did the deed at our City Hall a week prior. This made things much easier! We still had a wedding certificate to sign during our ceremony and already being married didn't take away from emotions that day. We decided to go with the Sunset Gazebo and reception at the Chill Out Lounge on the beach. This was great because everything was located in one area. It was beautiful and WAY more private than the Riviera Gazebo and other beach weddings we saw during our stay. Truthfully though, if you are anything like me I was so focused on my husband that I had tunnel vision and wouldn't have noticed if there were other tourists watching. I really preferred the simplicity of the gazebo set up. We had eaten during our previous stay at the Chill Out Lounge and was blown away. If you get a chance, pay the extra fee and eat here one night with your fiancee. Well worth the price and a nice break from the a la carte's. For the reception you must pay for a minimum of 40 guests at $100 bucks a person. We had 39 so it was no big deal. Timing was really important to me as we wanted to have sunset photos. Our Ceremony started at 4:30pm, Cocktail hour at 5pm and Dinner at 6pm. It worked out PERFECTLY! WEDDING COORDINATOR Guillermo was our WC and he was amazing. He was very attentive and so excited for our wedding. Emma, who originally took on our wedding, was there for support. Guillermo was very thorough and made every effort to make things perfect. SPA/HAIR I don't want to scare anyone off with this next part so I want to preface this by saying I work for Aveda and am constantly surrounded by professional high end products and services as well as expert hairdressers. 2 of my bridesmaids got their hair done here along with a few other guests (everyone else was done by my sister who is also a hairstylist). 3 others received a massage including myself. Upon arrival I signed the service tickets and was quoted much more than what I was originally quoted which was a little annoying but got over. My massage was wonderful and just what I needed to calm down on a busy day. The hair done here was ok. To me everyone's do looked a little outdated. The way they curl hair is by spraying with hairspray prior to curling the hair resulting in a hard looking curl. Obviously they do this to make sure the hair holds during the hot/humid weather but it resulted in a look from the early 90's. My bridesmaids looked amazingly beautiful and the hair didn't take away from this. I had just overheard some of the people who got it done there be not super loving their look. Make up was gorgeous and on all other accounts we had a good experience. FLOWERS So I had a flowers issue. I decided to not go with flowers from the resort and special ordered them from a women on Etsy names Alexisgracedesigns. 4 weeks prior to my wedding she disappeared with my $150 deposit. I am still working on getting this back. This obviously sucked and was a huge weight on my shoulders. Thankfully, Katy HK of Love&Lace let me rent her beautiful real touch bouquet. I had decided to get small bouquets from the resort for the girls but that plan fell through. Guillermo was more upset about this than I. And my bridesmaids really didn't care. Overall I'm happy with what happened. I really did not like any of the options the resort gave and though I had a bad experience with flowers, by ordering real touch you get the exact ones you want. DECORATIONS I got my decorations from Katy HK (whom you can find on this forum). She is wonderful, fantastic and I don't know what I would have done without her. I am awaiting more photos that show the decor so I can share with all of you. She is a Canadian living in Playa Del Carmen and has the most beautiful items. Antique lanterns, vases, bottles, lights, runners, etc. Amazing! We met her at Walmart in Playa and it was a pleasure working with her. PICK UP FOR WEDDING There was another wedding that day at 4pm. My party and I were supposed to be picked up at 4:15pm so at 4:30pm we caught the shuttle with 2 other people in it who did not mind making a bit of a detour Normally, I would not have cared about this - but I programmed the entire music playlist (preceremony, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner & dancing) and was worried this was going to shift some things. All in all, not a big deal. DJ Even though I made the whole playlist we paid to have a DJ. It was just easier and no one had to worry about it. He looked really bored during the night but i felt confident there would be no issues. CEREMONY DECOR We decided to forgo the red carpet as well as flowers for the gazebo. We used christmas lights to be strung up on each side of the gazebo. it was simple but beautiful and I am so glad we did this. The timing for the lights were perfect. I did not have wedding agenda's but instead had raton fans I purchased from Chinatown. I purchased champagne ribbon from Michaels and made tags as seen above. CEREMONY It was awesome. So beautiful and honestly - magical. The location was so serene and relaxing. We decided to read our own vows which was really nice and emotional. People were crying all over the place - and it made for some great photos. Immediately following the ceremony we were given 2 glasses of champagne and so was the entire wedding! This was very unexpected and a wonderful surprise. PHOTOGRAPHER We had a photographer friend attend the wedding and I am so happy he did. It was great having someone we know. We were really not into having cheesy photographs done (not that there is anything wrong with that). With that said, we frequented the photography shop at the resort and saw that they did a great job. The photographers took a lot of photos of our group during our stay and many people purchased the photos from them They were great. DINNER I hear this from a lot of brides that they don't eat too much during their reception. I was the same. There was just so much going on and so much adrenaline that I could have too much. EVERYONE said they loved the meal. There was 2 types of steak, fish, lots of veggies, potatoes, salads, desserts. Everyone had nothing but good things to say. I was presented in a buffet style but was still elegant and awesome. CAKE We got the vanilla cake and it was delicious. My friend is a cake designer from NY so I had her bring the cake topper and she made beautiful sugar flowers to add to it. it was perfect. Or as Guillermo would say "perfecto". AFTERPARTY We had the restaurant until 10pm. We had the choice of having it to 11pm for extra money but decided to head back to the open gallery area where they having live music then headed to the disco after. We retired pretty early. OVERALL We had an amazing time. The location, the friends, the family, EVERYTHING was just so beautiful and we had an amazing wedding. I couldn't have asked for more. Even though there were a few little hiccups ultimately I didn't care - I am pretty laid back and was just so happy to be celebrating our marriage with our closest friends and family. This trip was the greatest week of my life. One BIG tip to brides.... we were SO busy. We almost didn't book a honeymoon after but are so glad we did. We booked 3 nights at the Ladera Resort in St. Lucia. We had family coming and going all the time during the week at GSP and were running around a lot. Make sure that you take time out for yourself to soak up all the wonderful things you are celebrating To get to St. Lucia we had to fly to Miami and stay overnight but if you are looking for a quiet relaxing vacation - the island of St. Lucia is literally paradise on earth. The Ladera resort is heaven! Hope this helps ladies!
  2. Hello everyone! Just returned from our wedding at the Grand Sunset Princess and our honeymoon in St. Lucia last week. I will be posting a more in depth review once the photos come in but wanted to let all of you know this was a beautiful wedding. Guillermo the WC was amazing and I couldn't be more happy as to how everything turned out. Will post more soon!
  3. Photos from our week at the Grand Sunset Princess | November 2013
  4. Can't wait to hear all about it!! Have a great rest of your vacation!!
  5. Congrats!! We also chose the chill out lounge and will be gettin married this November!!! I would suggest you check out MrsHK's links. She is a Canadian that lives in Playa Del Carmen and rents out adorable decor with a cool antique-y feel. Just search her and you will be able to see some of the items. I will be posting a detailed review on here after our wedding and will let you know how everything goes
  6. The fabric comes with the rental of the sunset gazebo. The flower decorations on the gazebo may be included in your package depending upon which one you get. I kind of like the look of the gazebo without the decorations as seen here: http://www.weareyourphotogs.com/5322/we-are-jen-jean-claude-pt-1 These pictures are some of the bet I have seen of the location. It really gives you a good idea of the event space. If you rent the sound system I believe there is an option for an iPod dock but they suggest you back up your playlist on cd just in case. We are getting married in November and we chose this location with reception at the chill out lounge. We have been to this resort and absolutely loved it. The chill out lounge is worth the extra money if you are havin trouble deciding.
  7. Hello! Initially we were planning on the royalty package to include all of the extras but it turns out you will save more money by going with the minimum lowest package and then building it to suit your needs. Sorry that was a typo by me. The chill out lounge reception is $100 per person with a minimum of 40 people. The riviera gazebo is quite public. It's not right in the middle of the resort but is close to one of the beach bars. It is very beautiful though. I actually did not see the sunset gazebo (where we are getting married) but I know it is much more private. Hope that helps!
  8. Hi Ladies! Congratulations! I am doing a symbolic wedding and getting married at Toronto City Hall just before the wedding. We are so excited. We have stayed at this resort back in October and are familiar with the gazebos and the chill out lounge. We chose the Sunset Gazebo because its a little more private and is close to the Chill Out Lounge. We ate at the Chill Out Lounge when we vacationed there and it was an amazing meal. The location is really beautiful and will make for an intimate reception. I was a bit hesitant with having to select the buffet option at the Chill Out Lounge but have read from some previous brides that it is really good - so my fingers are crossed. The price of the Chill Out Lounge is $100 per person. I believe you have to have a minimum of 40 guests. If you have under that you would just have to pay for $40. We are getting the lit up dance floor and the sound system but i don't think we need a DJ. Not sure about the dessert yet. Have you ladies decided on photographers? Here is another blog post of photos from a similar wedding. They are amazing! http://www.weareyourphotogs.com/5322/we-are-jen-jean-claude-pt-1
  9. Your photos are fantastic Shelbi! I have a few questions for you: 1. When was the date of your wedding and at what time? I am getting married in November about an hour before sunset so we can get some beautiful sunset photos (much like you have). 2. Did you go with an officiant through the hotel or did you have your own? 3. Where did you get your maracas from? Thanks so much!
  10. We will be just before you BG2013. We are getting married Nov 8. Chill out lounge and sunset gazebo booked. We are also getting married in Toronto before the trip to avoid the hassles of having the legal ceremony there. congrats on booking your wedding there!
  11. Getting married in the Sunset Gazebo with reception at the Chill Out Lounge November 8, 2013!! So incredibly excited. The feedback on here has been great and really helpful! Question - anyone know how much the lit up dance floor is that goes on the beach?
  12. My peach champagne sapphire from Eidel Precious on Etsy. So in love!
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