Hey ladies! We got back from our wedding at the resort last Saturday, and holy crap, it was amazing! Here's some info:
We got married at the Tulum gazebo and our coordinator was Jazmin. Two weeks prior I had tried to get ahold of her for some last minute questions but she didn't reply. When we met with her she apologized and said she got all of them and read them but wasn't able to reply (?? weird). Anyway, all was fine. We arrived on Saturday and met with her on Monday at Tulum, but we were actually staying in the Royal Golden part of Akumal.
The resort is beautiful - huge but there's lots to do. We had 60 guests come with us and we thought we would be running into them all the time but it was actually difficult to find people, even though we were all in the same part of Akumal. They upgraded our room to an oceanview (looking onto the Akumal wedding location actually) and we got gold wrist bands but they weren't really clear as to what they entitled us to other than identifying us as a bride and groom.
Back to the wedding stuff - our meeting with Jazmin was about an hour and she confirmed every single details with us and then signed the contract. She has tons of notes written in our file from emails I had sent to her over the past year when we started planning. Everything was exactly as we had expected.
The wedding was on the Wednesday at 2pm. They had a private trolley come and pick up all of our guests at 1:20 at the lobby of Akumal. (Jazmin gave us a printout of all the wedding details to give to each guest - very helpful. I wouldn't recommend bringing programs for this reason, unless you are concerned with how they look). A separate golf cart that fit 7 people came to pick up me, my 4 bridesmaids, flower girl and photographer (who we flew in) at 1:45 and took us right to the gazebo at Tulum. When we arrived, all the guests were seated and they were playing the CD of music we had brought for when the guests were there (Vitamin String Quartet - amazing and many guests raved about this music!). Jazmin was there with another coordinator, along with a guy running the music and the minister. They started playing the music for the bridesmaid right away and when it was my turn to walk, they switched it promptly to the appropriate song. The gazebo walkway is paved so you can wear any kind of shoes - I wore wedge sandals and my maids wore heels, all work fine for that location but I would recommend flip flops for afterwards if you are doing pics in the sand.
We did the symbolic ceremony and it lasted about 20 mins. Jazmin did a very quick "rehearsal" with the groom and groomsmen/ parents before I had arrived so they all knew what to do, but none of us girls did. It doesn't matter though because everything runs smoothly - they really know what they are doing at this resort! Even though it was symbolic, they had us sign a certificate and we needed two witnesses for this as well. The ceremony is done right up under the gazebo but your guests sit outside in the sun - it was super hot but I think people expect this.
After the ceremony we did pics and a private trolley came to take our guests back to Akumal at 3pm. Many of them just went into Tequlia restaurant to cool off and get drinks, as it is right beside the gazebo. Our dinner was at 5:30pm at Dolce Vita back in Akumal. We didn't do a seating plan so guests sat wherever they chose at our designated tables. The meal was delicious - caprese salad, minestrone soup, tartufo chicken or shrimp (also tortellini for vegetarians). We originally ordered the 3 milks cake because we had read great reviews, but Jazmin said the pastry chef in Akumal doesn't make the 3 milks very good, so she recommended switching. We chose vanilla and it was delicious - just a plain, white, round cake, but they set it off to the side with a cake knife if you want to do pics of cake cutting. We only ordered one but many people were still able to have a slice of it. We had MC's that did a few icebreaker things in the restaurant and one maid did a speech in there, but I would not recommend this if you have a large group. Some of our tables that were further back couldn't hear them.
Our poolside reception started at 7:30 right outside Dolce Vita. It was set up beautifully - about 4-5 high tables covered in white linens and enough chairs for the guests, also covered in white. They wrapped white lights around the trees as well. We started with speeches and then got into the dancing part. We brought our ipad down with our own playlist. We purchased the app "Wedding DJ" for $5 and it was worth it. It lets your separate your first dance, father-daughter dance and you can also fade the songs for the rest of the night so there isn't an awkward pause at the end of the songs. There was a sound guy there who had plugged in our ipad (it's an AUX cord where the headphones go) and he even added a few sound bits where it was appropriate and paused the song during "Sweet Caroline" so everyone could do the "BA BA BA" part, lol. It was great actually. We paid for just the basic bar but they served everything and we had two bartenders looking after us. The rain location was going to be the 24 hour snack bar, which is all covered by a white tent but no walls. That would have been nice as well, but thankfully we didn't need it.
The crew arrived at 10:30 promptly to take everything down, unfortuantely. We were having such a great time, but it's very loud so I can see why they shut everything down at 10:30. Afterward our guests went over to the snack bar, which was literally steps from where we were, for more drinks. Many of us ended up catching the trolley to the disco after, which was a lot of fun. Just make sure you bring your wristband if you cut it off - they weren't going to let me and my husband in but I had the wristbands in my purse.
I should say we went back to our room before going to the disco and they had run a bubble bath and put rose petals all over the bed and floor. It was really nice to come back to! They workers there are so fantastic. We did a TTD session at sunrise the next morning and my dress got filthy. I left a $20 for the maid to say thanks for all her hard work that week and she cleaned a lot of the dirt off my dress. It was amazing! Very nice people there.
I think I have covered probably more than I need to, but if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Like every other bride had said, do not stress if they dont reply to your emails. They know what they are doing and your day will be absolutely amazing!