Summary: On-Site Wedding Coordinator: Karen...amazing Wedding Date: Thursday January 23rd Wedding Week: January 19-23 Room Block: Sunrise Side Rehearsal/Welcome Dinner: Sunday @5:00pm at the Chapel Gardens (beside the chapel in Nizuc)
Ceremony: 4:00 p.m. – Caribbean Beach
Reception: 5:00-11:00 - Caribbean Terrace (on top of restaurant @ Moon Grand) Professional Photographers- Sol from Del Sol Photography (outside vendor) Guests: Bride & Groom + 56 plus 3 infants 3 toddlers
Colours: I love the look of all white, so most things we stuck with that and added a bit of blue and gold in there, I wasn’t too picky about being too perfect with the colour of blue, so it varied from thing to thing lol
Contact with Wedding Coordinators: I knew going in that dealing with the resort for wedding planning could be stressful. I found it super easy and fun. I guess because I knew response time may be slow, it never bothered me when I waited no more than a week for a response. I am fairly easy going so this never stressed me out! I started dealing with Alejandra who was great, she answered any questions I had and had everything I wanted on my file when I was turned over to my on-site coordinator Karen. Karen was amazing, she did way more than I ever expected and not once did I ever feel like I was being pushed to upgrade anything. We met with Karen and she had a lot of suggestions and helped us organize the processional and our aunt who was doing the ceremony for us. These are thing I hadn’t even thought about but she was on top of! I expected that she would just make sure that everything on my file was correct and that was it but no, she was truly like having a real Wedding Planner. When we arrived she already had the shipment from Maraca Mexico, so I handed her our seating chart, guest book and votive candles and she handled everything. The day of the wedding she started early with the decorators, DJ and photographers to set everything up. Came and got us, arranged us and sent us down the aisle. She then escorted everyone to the Reception location, let us know when we should get started with dinner ect, and then she was fabulous and helped set up for us to smash our Piñatas. Karen was there until long after we left the reception taking down and packing up my decorations. I can’t say it enough, she was really amazing and beyond what I had expected on my on-site planner!!
We had our welcome dinner for the night that we arrived. It was a touch hectic because of all the trouble we had checking in and getting rooms but I am still glad we did this. The resort is huge and overwhelming at first (especially when your travel agent screws up and has everyone scattered) so getting everyone together that first night to regroup was great. I made no decisions on the welcome dinner other than time and what menu, Karen arranged everything else and I think everyone was very impressed with how nice it was. We had it at the Chapel Garden, beside the chapel in the Nizuc side. There must have just been a wedding there the day or so before because there were incredible flowers lining the bridges (of course I told everyone I did that lol). This location was beautiful and nice and private!
The girls surprised me with a bachelorette party at the resort with all the ladies. We just hung out in Sunrise lobby for a bit and the servers were great. Then we moved to Sky Bar which was really pretty and finally moved on to Noir, the nightclub, which was an amazing time! They make you pay for any of the premium liquor here which is kind of annoying but at that point in the night no one cared too much! It was great to have that right at the resort, no need to leave!
On this I debated back and forth but in the end decided to go with the complimentary package because we knew or ceremony would be short and then we would move to the reception for the remainder of the night. I didn’t want to spend all that money making the ceremony beautiful when it would be used for such a short time, so I focused our budget on the reception. The Ceremony was still really pretty and I’m happy we went this way! All we added were our Maracas and our Fans to each chair. It did add a bit of colour which was nice.
We did have 58 guests so we had to pay 126$ for extra chairs on the beach.
We had or Ceremony on Caribbean beach. I was super surprised when I showed up on the day and it was not like the beach entrances in the other sections of the resort. Instead of a raised path with steps down to the beach we were hidden from the ceremony location and had to walk down a beautiful path to get there. I was so so so happy with this! It made for a super long walk down the aisle but it was so much nicer than everyone seeing us waiting to walk down!
TIP: Because of how this beach location is set up I would tell ladies that the horse and carriage may not be worth it because you won’t be making any kind of grand entrance on it, no one will see!
Zuniga (Deco Cancun): I contacted Zuniga directly to get information on what they had to offer. Originally I was planning on keeping it simple and going with one of the package options for tables but once I got Zuniga’s catalogue and say their acrylic table options I was in love! I am not a linens type girl so this was made for me. When I started pricing everything out, it was actually cheaper to go with Zuniga’s tables and chairs and arrange my own centrepieces; it was also so much more “me” that the little extra effort involved was so worth it! They were really easy to work with and made it so easy to go this route!
The one thing I decided to bring with me instead of renting were votive candle holders and candles, they added a little to the table decor but with the wind we had that night they didn’t stay lit so in the end probably not worth the $ or the effort.
In the end I got 6 acrylic tables with 60 chiavari chairs in silver, four lycra towers to frame a dance floor and set up of my papel picado for a total of $2030
I contacted Marvin at Maya Floral after several previous brides recommended him and I could not have been happier with the result. I first contacted him for quotes on bouquets, I sent him a few pictures and told him which flowers I loved, ranunculus and anemones, and he send me back prices that I thought were very reasonable, $230 for brides and $75 for bridesmaids. He did sometimes take a second nudge email to get a response, but I didn’t find that frustrating, I knew things take time. When I decided on the acrylic tables from Zuniga I had to start thinking about centerpieces so I went about googling “tall all white wedding centerpieces” and found a few I loved. I sent Marvin my favorite on a whim assuming that I would never be able to afford it but shockingly enough he did a mock up of my idea, that was amazing, and the price was only $155 per, this included three tall vases with candles per table as well (these ones actually stayed lit). That may sound expensive, and it was more than I initially thought I would spend, but man they were spectacular and I only had six tables so why not get exactly what I dreamed I would never get! Here in Canada where I live I am sure something like that would be at least triple the price! (Zuniga’s quote on flowers was almost 3X)
I don’t have any good photos of the bouquets but they were amazing! I made a bit of a mistake and ordered one too many bridesmaid bouquets, so I wish I would have put that money into making the tree i actually needed a touch larger but oh well silly mistake!
Originally we paid to have a day pass for Marvin because he had to actually come and set up the centerpieces but at the final meeting with Karen so informed us that they actually didn’t require it so that came off of our total. Nice surprise!
I thought my bridesmaids looked beautiful and simple in their off white dresses and flowers! Jewelry from etsy and local vendor in Belize for barefoot sandals.
Groomsmen looked great in their grey pants and suspenders from RW&co. We opted for no boutonnieres which I think was a good choice!
My Necklace was from J.Crew.
We eventually decided to take the risk and instead of paying for a DJ to just rent the equipment. For $697 we got the equipment rental from 5-11. I was surprised to see that there were two technicians from PSAV there the whole night. They were not DJs but they would turn it up or move a speaker or change the song if someone asked! We made our own playlist using the “WeddingDJ” app for my phone. We had a dinner playlist of mostly John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Bruno Mars ect. And a Dance playlist of a ton of “top requested dance songs of 2013”. In the end I think this was a great decision, we had fun and danced all night (till 11pm lol) and didn’t miss not having a DJ at all.. bullet dodged (i was worried about this one!)
This was one of the first vendors I found and I loved their stuff. I had my order placed before I had Moon Palace booked! I was slightly worried wiring money to Mexcio but everything turned our great and Blanca and Omar are great to deal with. From them I got 100ft of Papel Picado for $83 CND and 56 custom maracas $490, 28 fans $140, and “I Do” Pinatas $179 and shipping $78 for a total of $1015. Again I could have fount maracas cheaper but these were beautifully hand painted and custom so I thought they were worth it! My guests also loved them and the Pinatas were so much fun I am so happy we did that!
From previous photos you can see the reception set up. I loved this location. I think it fit our group pf 60 perfectly, not too small and crowded and not too big that it looked silly. The views were awesome, but the sun set behind the building so don’t expect to see that over the ocean, wrong direction.
My only minor complaint is that other people kind of crashed our wedding. No location is 100% private but I think maybe because the location is normally a bar people felt it was ok to come and steal the palapa area while the wedding was on. I did know they only blocked half of the terrace off but it seemed like the people were in our area! I don’t think this would have bothered me as much if i wasn’t the one paying to have the bar open. I kind of thought, either I pay to have the bar open and only my guests get the service, or, I don’t pay to have the bar open and anyone can use it. It just seemed to make more sense at the welcome dinner because the bar and service was exclusively for us not for anyone who wanted it. This totally didn’t affect my night just in retrospect seems a bit odd.
For the Welcome Dinner we had the BBQ Buffet, and It was pretty good. Everyone raved about the fish and the cheesecake. For the Wedding Dinner we had the Tex Mex buffet and it was ok, not horrible, not great, just ok. The potatoes were awesome though later in the night as snack food for all the drunk partiers J
My mom, Sister, Cousin, my Mother-in-law and Myself all got our hair done at the Sunrise salon. I loved my sister and moms hair a lot. My hair was a touch too “done” for me but really pretty. My cousin’s was the same but we calmed the curls down a bit and it was perfect. I thought they did an awesome job for us just walking in and saying “please do our hair”! A hair trial might be a good option for more security! J
Deep Life Divers:
So my husband thought I was completely nuts but the morning of our wedding I planned a Bull Shark dive with Deep Life Divers, an amazing dive company! This made for one absolutely amazing day; Bull sharks in the morning, beautiful wedding in the afternoon! If you’re in Mexico and love diving, Eduardo at Deep Life is your man. This is one of the best dive shops I have dove with and I’ve been quite a few spectacular places to dive!
I had originally chose to work with Juan from Del Sol Photography but a week or so before i left for Mexico they called to let me know Juan was no longer working with them. I was a tad panicked until they told me i would be getting Sol to replace him. Sol was super great to work with, so easy and nice and creative. I am not the type to enjoy having photos taken or to pose for the camera so she had her work cut out for her! I am super anxiously awaiting the photos, I am sure with how amazing she is, she even made us look great J
To have the photographers come to the resort (outside vendors) I had to pay a $97 day pass fee for each photographer as well as $160 non group guests fee so that they could have dinner! A bit pricey in my opinion but since I have returned I have heard they have changed their rules on this so I will consider myself lucky!
The Resort Overall:
I am so happy with my choice to go to Moon Palace for our wedding. It was perfect for everyone, the older couples that like the higher end, the younger ones that can’t afford super high end, families with teens or babies, people who wanted to be busy doing different thing or those that wanted to relax and do nothing. It really is the resort for everyone!
Check In was actually horrible. I’m not certain if this was Air Transat’s fault (they messed up the whole travel portion of the vacation) or the resorts. We were checked in very last in our group, sort of annoying with a screaming baby, there was absolutely nothing special done for us as the bride and groom bringing 60ppl to the resort. We were told we were not allowed to check in because in my rush to leave in the morning I mistakenly left my paperwork in the car back in Toronto. I was told without that paper I couldn’t check in or I would have to pay again...what a joke, I had not only already paid for my stay but the majority of my wedding, and they said they had no way of knowing I was coming without that sheet of paper, I don’t think so. Eventually and thankful for technology I connected to the bad Wifi connection and emailed them the paperwork I was given so they could print the oh so important piece of paper. This just added to a very long day of travel and frustration. I then asked if there were any suites available because we really would have appreciated a separate room for the baby but without any hesitation were promptly told no, even when I said I would pay for it. Even more frustrating was finding out a couple that checked in not long after us was given a complete upgrade to presidential suite (most of which were 100% vacant our whole trip) and it wasn’t even their wedding. Thankfully once we got into our room after another long wait (we were the only ones in the group in that section that had to wait for a room) everything relaxed and we had no more frustrations!
We booked an Ocean View room and even though it was beautiful, I am not sure the extra money was worth it. Our guests with Resort View rooms had just as nice of a view as we did. The room was a decent size with a nice large balcony overlooking the ocean and the gardens between us and the next building. Nice and quiet and so beautiful!
I was worried about the cribs that the resort would have so I lugged by travel crib down but I was very happy with what the resort provided, Im sure if my little guy, 20 months, wanted to climb out he could have but it was nice and comfy so he had no troubles sleeping! It was essentially a Pack-and-Play but with a nice thick mattress, not the normal thin hard ones.
I was slightly worried about choosing Moon Palace because of all the negative reviews on the beach but I have come to realize some people are crazy lol. The beach is absolutely perfect white sand. They did have a small line of seaweed on the beach that was cleaned up every morning (my sons favorite part of the day). Obviously by the end of the day there would be some beach on the beach but I am not sure how that would affect you sitting on the beach. It is not like the beach is only a foot wide and there is no avoiding it, the beach is huge. I can see however that if you want to swim in the ocean this isn’t the best area but any time we wanted a dip to cool down there is a sandbar you can walk out too which is pretty neat and no seaweed at all!
Because we chose Caribbean Terrace for our reception and cocktail hour we had to pay a set up fee per person of $12 and $6 for a total of $1080.
Three extra hours of reception was $60 per table per hour. We had 6 tables for three extra hours so we paid $1080.
Since the update I can not for the life of me figure out how to get photos on to this thread. I have managed to get them into an album so this is the link to check it out!
I hope this helps some people in their planning, this site helped me so much so I hope to return the favour! Just msg me if you have any questions!!!