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About b21fly

  1. Hi all- I recently returned from my wedding/honeymoon at Grand Riviera Princess/Sunset and wanted to share my amazing experience! First off, as others have said, the resort is absolutely beautiful! Starting with the lobby, continuing through the landscaping, to the statues, the rooms and pools, all the way to the beach! We lucked out and had amazing weather throughout our entire trip- we heard there had been several days of rain just before we arrived, but we did not experience that at all which was really fortunate. Guillermo was our wedding coordinator and leading up to the wedding, my husband handled all of the correspondence with him. There were a few misunderstandings throughout the process (particularly related to the beach party we wanted to have after dinner) but a few weeks before we left for Mexico, we had received emails with all of our choices and we had paid for all of our selections. When we checked in to the resort on Monday 9/23, we received a folder that contained information about our wedding along with the appointment time set for our meeting with Guillermo, which happened to be the next morning. During that meeting, we were super pleased and impressed as Guillermo had all of our selections correct and he even remembered a minor detail we had emailed him about. During this meeting, Guillermo took us on a tour of the resort to show us the Sunset wedding gazebo, the backup ceremony location in case of rain, our location options for our beach open bar/party in the evening, the backup indoor location for the open bar/party, and the restaurant we selected for our dinner (La Vaqueri). It was a very hot day so we were happy to have Guillermo drive us around in the golf cart for this tour J During this meeting, we were also able to add on flowers for our parents (for our Dads we chose the same boutonniere that my husband was having, and then wrist corsages with the same flowers for our Moms). I also confirmed the salon hair appointment times for myself, my Mom, Mother in law, sister in law for the wedding day. After this meeting, we were feeling really good about things! And Guillermo didn’t disappoint- he was there every step of the way on the wedding day- including meeting the ladies at the spa for our hair appointments and giving us a ride back to our rooms after the hair appointment. Our ceremony was at the Sunset gazebo 4pm at and it turned out beautiful- while it was very hot and sunny that day, there was a nice breeze during and after the ceremony which made all the difference in keeping everyone comfortable. We had a symbolic ceremony and the officiant did a great job incorporating some details he learned about us from my husband prior to the ceremony. We used the resort photographer Lillo (for the bronze package) who was extremely efficient in taking all of the group photos right away and then the photos of just us. He did a great job and we love the pictures (a few are attached). After the photos, we all headed to the Sports bar for some drinks before our dinner at La Vaqueri. The dinner was great- good service and very tasty food. We did have two vegetarians who were able to get a pasta dish instead of the T-bone steak the rest of us had. Dinner ran a bit long, so it was immediately time to head to our beach party where we had an open bar and a DJ. Again, Guillermo was there to give us all a ride from the restaurant down to the beach. During the pre-wedding meeting, we were given two choices for the location of our beach party- either the area near the Riviera gazebo or the area near the beach bar. We opted for the Riviera gazebo area and it turned out perfect- the whole area was well lit with the DJ set up in the gazebo itself, the bar set up a bit away from the gazebo, chairs surrounding an open area for dancing, and a table with our cake (2 pics taken by my brother are attached). The DJ and bartender were great and the two hours flew by. As others have mentioned, going with 3 hours might be a good idea to consider. However, most of our guests were happy to continue the party at the sports bar and then the disco after the beach party finished. In terms of wedding costs, we went with the infinity package ($800) and added on a cake for 20 people ($120) and a 2 hour beach party with international open bar ($640 for 20 people at $32 per person) and a DJ ($570). This combination of items was something I read about on this blog from other brides- thanks Jovn28 and Smiles33! The additional expenses we incurred were for the extra flowers ($80- 2 wrist corsages for our moms at $25 each and 2 boutonnieres for our dads at $15 each) and the photos- we originally selected the bronze photo package ($550 for 30 photos) but ended up spending another $300 to get more photos as we couldn't narrow down to just 30. We were really pleased with the resort photographer, and were able to get the printed photos just a few hours later the day of our appointment. The one thing we didn't love was the process for reviewing/selecting the photos- this is handled during an appointment with the photographer in the photo/gift shop just as if you were buying the photos taken by the resort, so it’s not very private. Speaking of which, there are other resort photographers who walk around all day/night offering to take photos of you which is nice, but each photo is pretty pricey (if buying just one, it costs $20 with some discounts for purchasing multiple photos). A few other tips: · -The swim up rooms are awesome! We were very close to one of the popular pools (and pool bar!) which was really fun! Being able to swim at night was awesome too! -If -If you are doing “out of townâ€/welcome bags for your guests, consider including a reusable cup/mug as several of our guests ended up buying “bubba kegs†from the resort gift shop, and they were pretty pricey (~$35 USD each). The resort provides drinks in either small glasses (for the indoor bars/lounges) or plastic cups for outdoor/pool bars, but both types of glasses are on the small side. Not really a problem since you can always get another, but some of our guests wanted a bigger cup so they wouldn't have to refill as often. · -If you are interested in using the free shuttle to Playa De Carmen, make sure to head up to the concierge desk in the main lobby to reserve your spot a day (or 2) prior to when you want to go- during our stay, the shuttle tended to book up each day and needed to be booked a day in advance. The Concierge told me she had a line of people waiting to sign up usually around 7:30am, and the shuttle was often booked by 8am. We ended up taking a taxi into town since the shuttle was booked and we wanted to get some things for our out of town bags- it cost $20 USD each way for the taxi. · -If you are interested in booking the a la carte restaurants for multiple rooms, make sure you know the room numbers and plan out a few days in advance. My family and I enjoyed the a la carte restaurants, particularly Las Olas (seafood), La fondue, La Vaqueri (steak house), and Miso (oriental). · -Don’t be afraid to book your trips without a travel agent- my husband and I acted as the travel agent for our family members and were able to get some great deals through Expedia. While it added a bit of stress for us, it really was worth it financially for our guests. Let me know if you have any questions about the wedding or resort in general- I know how helpful it was to be able to ask questions prior to arriving at the resort, and happy planning to all -Mrs. Brown
  2. Hi ladies! I am at the resort right now- my wedding was yesterday and it was amazing!!! The resort is absolutely beautiful and our wedding coordinator had everything planned exactly as we requested and expected! I will post a full review when I get home next week, with pictures from resort photographer happy planning to all!!
  3. Nice- I checked out the FB page and the custom painted maracas look awesome! Do you mind sharing how much they cost?
  4. Thanks for the response, MrsHK! I would prefer to buy the maracas in Mexico, since that will cut down on luggage Any suggestions for places to go/things to see in Playa?
  5. Hi again Smiles33, A few more questions for you: How did you get from the airport to resort? And did you arrange this travel prior to arriving in Mexico? How did you pack your wedding dress? Did you do any shopping in Playa Del Carmen? If so, how were the shops? Do you by any chance remember seeing maracas? I would like to buy maracas for the wedding ceremony/reception (based on some very cute ideas from this forum!) and am contemplating between buying online now versus waiting until I get to Mexico...wondering if you shopped and found any for a good price...
  6. Thanks for the additional info, Smiles33! A few more questions for you: What time was your ceremony? And then what time did you schedule your hair and make up appointment for? Did you feel like you had enough time? Did you have the 'shuttle' pick you up and take you to the ceremony site? I am glad to hear your group was set apart for the dinner- we will have a group of 20 (including us) so our set up will be similar to yours I would think. I really like your OOT bag ideas and am thinking about something similar
  7. Just realized you posted about your OOT bags earlier...I will take another look at your earlier posts
  8. Beautiful pictures- thank you for sharing!! I am so happy to hear you liked La Vaqueira as that is where we are planning to have our wedding dinner! And, we also have a few vegetarians that I have been worried about. Did you need to tell the wedding coordinator that you would have vegetarians far in advance, and before you arrived at the resort? My wedding plan sounds very similar to yours, so I hope you don't mind answering more questions: Which wedding package did you go with? It looks like your entire group has champagne glasses, so I am wondering if you did the princess package that includes the champagne toast? I am debating between the princess and the infinity package right now...if I go with infinity (primarily due to suggestions found on this forum), I would add a one hour cocktail hour after the ceremony... How long did your ceremony last? During your dinner, was your group separated from other diners in the restaurant? How were drinks handled during the dinner- did you need to go to a nearby bar, or did they serve you at your tables? When/where did you eat your cake? Did you give out any favors or extra decorations? Since you were inside for your cocktail reception, how did they set that up? Did you have any music? I am getting very excited for my wedding and hearing your review, along with the last few others on this forum, has been really helpful!
  9. Hi Smiles33- thanks for sharing info about your wedding, it sounds amazing! I am getting married at GSP in September of this year and am planning on the two hour cocktail reception, getting my hair done at resort salon, and hiring the resort photographer. Would you mind sharing photos of your wedding? Also, which restaurant did you have dinner in for the wedding?
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