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About ceecee2014

  1. Since I'm going to Cuba, we're giving our guests a bottle of rum (expect for the kids, who will get something else). I'm not doing OOT bags and I honestly can't imagine anyone would care. I'd say you are fine on just giving OOT bags to the wedding party and maracas as favors. I don't think anyone would expect more than that.
  2. Ohh, I love your hair! It's so beautiful. I had trouble logging in for a few days due to the site updates - it also seems like ever minute of my day is taken up lately. I am beginning to freak out... a bit! Mostly because I think I should be freaking out more? I am finally picking up my dress (post-alterations) next weekend (woohoo). So that's one big thing out of the way. I bought my dress at Cabaret Vintage, actually this dress. It's even better looking in person and I am so glad that I went to Cabaret. Tao, the owner, is one of the warmest people I've ever met. The weird part, for me, is that we have to decide on so many things down in Cuba, so I just have to let it go..... Which is strange, leading up to a wedding, to have so much up in the air. I'm getting used to it though and just going with the flow. I still need to email Sabina and see what she suggests for speeches (the when and where element). I'm still curious about dinner too (we won't be having the lobster either, as I've heard mixed reviews... I also have quite a few guests who are partial to Northern Atlantic Lobster over Caribbean/Spiney Lobster, so not sure that it would be worth it), but it seems that I'll have to figure that out down there (mostly making sure my guests with allergies, vegetarians, are accommodated, but Sabina reassured me that we can figure things out). Do you know if you are going to get married in the Garden or on the beach? We're leaning towards the Garden, because it seems quieter and I think we can play our own music during the ceremony, but we've decided not make the final decision when we get down there. I'm also not sure what to do in place of a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner - obviously, everyone has been to weddings before, so it's not a big deal, but we're limited by our options since we can't rent out a dinner place for everyone. Are you doing anything? Is it necessary? I suppose this is something I should have thought about more than a month away... The Catamaran Cruise sounds like fun, how are you organizing that?! I'm not sure if that would work for some of our guests (can babies go - somehow I feel that could end badly). For our gifts, we are just planning on giving everyone a nice bottle of Havana Rum (well, the kiddios will get a different present). Now, let's keep our fingers-crossed for great weather in January.
  3. I guess you're right, best get pictures while there is still lots of light outside... which, in January, isn't very long. Do you have any idea what the menu for the dinner is like?! Do our guests just pick something during the dinner? I realize I don't know much about how dinner will actually work.
  4. Ahh, thanks for the breakdown... Wait, does this mean I miss cocktail hour?! Someone will have to carry my drink along the beach for me.
  5. We just had our wedding website and almost everyone booked through our travel agency (paying was their 'RSVP' pretty much). We had a few that made their own arrangements (fine with me) and asked that they be sure to let us know if they were coming. We then had to send their details (names, arrival dates, airline, etc) to the resort! Easy as can be... well, mostly. A few little glitches here and there, but all in all, so relaxing. We had a guest or two that put down a deposit but then changed their mind and couldn't come and we've had others who originally told us no, who have had their plans change and can now join us. I didn't really find the RSVP cards useful at all. But that's just me... Our guests will get a menu for dinner, so we don't need to give the restaurant meal choices or anything of that nature. Since we're going to Cuba, I think we'll just give everyone a nice bottle of rum as a gift (well, different treats for the kids). I'm happy to say that I am still feeling pretty carefree! So glad that we are having a destination wedding. Our vibe is casual and relaxed, so I want to enjoy every minute.
  6. Thanks for all of the feedback! I did see that review (it was so helpful) and it looked like a great wedding, so I am just assuming ours will be like this as well!! At this point, all I can do is go with the flow. Sorry, I wasn't very clear - the restaurant will be reserved for sure, but once upon a time, we were told that for $750 (for 30 ppl, then +$25 for each additional person) we could have the restaurant to ourselves (and no one else would be there), but I guess this has changed. I was happy to pay the extra money, but it's not an option anymore. I assume that we'll at least have semi-privacy... I hope! Do you know much about the cocktail party after the ceremony how that works?! Or is that just to entertain people during photos? I was also thinking about the possibility of speeches after the ceremony, for similar reasons to your FI, but you make great points (our time in the sun is limited, so best get the photos started!!!). Would love to see any photos that you have from the photographer, just to get an idea. Thankfully I have some friends with great cameras of their own, so at the very least, we can use their photos. Like you, I want pictures of the ceremony, but also of different combos of family and friends. If you come up with any ideas for the speeches, let me know! I guess I can just see what Sabina suggests. TGIF, indeed!!!
  7. I'm also wondering about the photographer. I've heard a few people saw that the photographer was good, but I haven't seen any pictures before. Fingers-crossed, I guess. Unfortunately, I was just told that you can't reserve the restaurant for your group anymore, even if you pay extra - which we were originally told we could (as long as we had enough people). I was a little disappointed to find that out, but, I guess we'll just make it work. Trying to figure out how and where to do speeches now. I guess I can just see what Sabina suggests.
  8. Sorry for the slow reply, I haven't checked this site in a while. Our wedding is January 14th. I've heard great things about Sabina (and the Blau in general, mostly about how accommodating and relaxed they are - which is great because I am fairly low-key). Happy to hear that you have great things to say about her as well! I do need to get in touch with her fairly soon, as I have some vegetarians coming with me, so I want to be sure that for the wedding dinner there is plenty of food that they can eat, though I understand that they do have quite a few options. When will you be down there?!
  9. I'll be getting a little before you, Jackie! I still need to get in touch with Sabina though for the details. I've heard great things about her which is awesome. It's nice to have another Blau Bride to connect with.
  10. I didn't even bother with proper RSVP's because I figured people could tell me that they were coming until they were blue in the face, but until they'd put down a payment for the trip, they weren't official. My travel agent just lets us know when someone as booked - so our RSVP was contacting our travel agent OR letting us know if they were booking independently. We've just passed the deadline for our held spaces and most people who said they are coming have booked. We have another 10 or so, that haven't said that they will book soon(ish) - but of course, from now on, the seats are open to the public, so it really depends on whether there is space on the plane and at the resort. I've just let it go - if people want to join us, they'll come. It not, I understand. It's made the entire process so much less stressful. That being said, we've already met our minimum number to reserve the restaurant privately, so it's much easier to add guests in the coming months.
  11. Not sure if this helps... But a few visuals for you. We saw a few weddings being held at the gazebo and on the beach, but we didn't stick around to watch (we wanted to give everyone their privacy). Las Dunas is a big resort, so there is lots of room to walk around. Most weddings we saw seemed to hang out in the lobby area(s) and had waiters bringing them drinks (everyone seemed to be having a great time, for what it's worth). The Gazebo It's absolutely beautiful, but limited for space (I think it would maybe hold 30 people or so, standing). It's also off the boardwalk to the beach, but when we saw weddings being held there, there weren't that many people standing around watching.. which is nice. But perhaps not ideal if your guests need seats for if you have a larger group. On the beach:
  12. I have and I am going to the Blau. It seems really relaxed, which will suit us and our guests just fine! The Wedding Coordinator at the Blau, Sabina, is awesome. She often responds to emails within hours. It's wild. I've heard so many horror stories about people having challenges hearing back from their resorts, but it's been really easy to work with them! It's not as flashy as some other places, but I think it's going to be such a blast. I'll be sure to provide a detailed review when I'm back, so share with any others who might be interested in the Blau as well.
  13. Has anyone been to this resort recently?! It has such good reviews and we are torn between the Blau (we have great price quotes) and the Iberostar Laguna Azul. Would love to hear from anyone who has been to the Blau for a wedding.
  14. While I didn't get married here, I did end up getting engaged at this resort! My partner and I traveled here at the end of March 2013 and we really loved it. I honestly don't understand the negative reviews on TripAdvisor. - Beach is beautiful. Lots of room for walking (we love to walk). It seems to go on forever and it's truly fabulous. It can be wavy with 'red flag' days, but we actually had more of blast jumping in the waves. The calm days were a bit duller. Though weak swimmers should be very careful.... The sand dunes are lovely though and stretch out so far. - We absolutely spied many weddings and everyone seemed happy. The gazebo by the beach if rather small though and people pass by it to go to the beach. It's really pretty though, so the backdrop is incredible. I can try to post a picture if I can figure out how! There is no space for sitting though, which could be an issue. It wouldn't probably only hold 30 people or so. - Staff was lovely! Again, we were surprised that anyone would have anything bad to say about the staff at this resort. They literally couldn't do enough for us. Manuel (who works in the larger buffet - to the left hand side when you walk in the main door) is the nicest man. He even randomly gave us bottles of champagne... for no reason. Truly, all of the staff was kind to us. The only thing that really bothered us was the behaviour of other guests who were rude to the staff. I think some people like to fly south and walk around pretending to be a bigshot. They take out there everyday frustrations on the staff in Cuba, just because they can. Just relax and enjoy the ride. Don't sweat the small stuff and you'll have a great time. - I saw a lot of flowers being prepared for weddings and they always looked great. There are lots of beautiful flowers on this resort and the garden is well-maintained. - It's a large resort with a family section and a adults-only section. Fantastic pools and lots of bars. We stayed in a superior suite near the adult pool and it was perfect. Our maid was the sweetest. Anyone who complains about having to walk 'too far' must be incredibly out of shape or lazy. It's not far at all! And they do have carts for older people and those who, for medical reasons, cannot walk far. Any healthy adult who complains is just pathetic. - Cayo Santa Maria isn't really near anything. It's all resorts, but if you like relaxing, it's the place for you. We also went on the day trip into Santa Clara and Remedios and had a fantastic time. Our tour guide, Adriana, was fabulous. I would recommend that trip if you like culture, history, and learning a bit more about Cuba. - The little things. At the end of the day you can either enjoy yourself, or complain about little things... We actually brought our own towels from home because we had heard horror stories about Cuba (it was our first time when we went). When we first went to the adult pool area to get our towels for the week, the gentleman told us they hadn't quite arrived yet... Fair enough, it opens at 10:00 a.m. and it was like, 10:02 a.m. We just shrugged and went to get a drink. We came back 1/2 an hour later and the towels where there. We never bothered to exchange them all week because that just seemed silly. While we were sitting around by the adult pool we watched people who would started waiting for the towels at 9;30 a.m. They would stomp around and pout. Then, at 10:00 a.m., when the towels weren't ready, they would cause a scene... I mean, really?! Calm down. You're in Cuba! Just wait it out and everything will be fine - but some people just like to complain, I think. - Food was pretty good. There was lots of choice at the buffet and we never got sick. We felt great. Selection was really good, actually, for a buffet. - I would recommend the Las Dunas in a heartbeat. For our wedding we are looking at Varadero, to try something new and because we like the idea of being closer to Havana for our guests, but Las Dunas is a nice place, so don't worry when you read horror stories on TripAdvisor... Some people are just not cutout for Cuba! - When we went on our trip to Santa Clara, we stopped by many other resorts and were so happy with our choice of Las Dunas. Other guests complained about things like water shortages, no hot water, etc, which was never an issue for us. Hope this helps!
  15. Has anyone been to this resort recently? I am considering it for my wedding in January 2014. We have a great price quoted and the reviews are very positive on TripAdvisor. I just can't find many people writing about their experiences here. We would likely have anywhere from 30-50 people and though the basic package is extremely cheap (only $350 for eveything, including appetizers, cocktail hour, and dinner in a semi-private), I would like to have a few extras and will happily pay.... For instance, I would love a private space, if possible, and also a space to have a reception afterwards with hanging out and dancing. Is this possible?! Right now it's been the Blau and the Lagua Azul. Any feedback would be awesome. Thanks so much!
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