Review of wedding coordinator and event staff at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa - Puerto Morelos.
Wedding date: March 22, 2014
Package: Ultimate Wedding Package
Guest Count: 54
Rehearsal Dinner: El Patio (beautiful setting, great food, and great service)
Ceremony: North Beach (very private, highly recommend it)
Ceremony time: 4pm was perfect for a March wedding.
Cocktail hour: Jacuzzi
Reservations: Third party travel agency
Claudia Solis was our wedding coordinator. She made the wedding planning and executing process seamless and more enjoyable. She was very professional, quick to respond, and fair when it came to negotiations. She has a ton of experience and works with hundreds of brides every year, yet she made sure I felt like I was her only client. She took notice of every detail and request I sent her through screenshots and pictures. She was patient and answered all of my questions for a period of about 5 months. Even on the weekends. She was wonderful at giving me her professional advice on wedding logistics, decorations, favors etc.
When we booked our wedding with Dreams, I sent Claudia my wedding vision of everything I wanted and the end result was more than I ever imagined. She found vendors that could provide what I was asking for and would send me pictures of the different options and prices. There was a lot of trial and error - or me changing my mind back and forth. But she was always understanding and flexible. One thing I really appreciated of her is that she is honest and sets the right expectations. She communicates every detail that you need to know. There are no hidden fees you are not aware of.
She scheduled our first meeting with her and the staff involved on Tuesday before the Saturday wedding. Unbelievably, in about 3-4 hours we tasted and finalized the rehearsal dinner menu, cocktail Hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and reception menu. We also met our cake chef and food chef assigned to our wedding. This was done at the World Café in between meals. We selected the Mexican Buffet and everyone loved it. After that, we finalized all the wedding details with her in her office. We went over decorations, logistics, timing etc. I took two suitcases full of stuff from the U.S. Without fail, Claudia made sure everything was set up as requested the day of the wedding. That included chair sashes, table runners, table names, favors, place settings, signs, flutes, etc.
After our meeting with Claudia, we met with the video staff for the slide show played at the reception. They asked for the drive to download it to their laptop. Don’t rely on wifi at Dreams, it barely works. We also met with Mauricio our DJ. Claudia was with us the whole time reminding us of the order of events and when things were scheduled to happen. I’m glad she was in charge because by the time we got to México I had forgotten most of the details I sent her. Later we met with Adventures Photos to sign the form for the rehearsal dinner pictures and wedding videography.
The day before the wedding, Claudia scheduled an actual rehearsal on the beach where the ceremony was going to be held at. She was punctual and patient with my guests. She told us what to do, where to go, and when. It made the ceremony flow smoothly. Everyone commented on how much the rehearsal helped them feel better about their role and what to expect. I highly recommend it! Especially if you have kids in your bridal party.
The day of the wedding, she was checking up on me making sure everything was going on time. She brought our bouquets and took the boutonnieres to my husband’s room. She had champagne delivered to our rooms while we were getting ready. (The champagne was included in the package) I’m sure she did a whole lot more that I didn’t see. All I know is that everything was taken care of; our guests were seated and everything was ready for me to just walk down the aisle. After the ceremony she helped guide the guests to the cocktail hour. I also saw her help set up for the reception while we were taking pictures on the beach. She stayed through the whole event until the very end. She made sure all my stuff was sent to our room before she left.
I would like to mention Gorge. He is part of the Dreams wedding team. He was very nice and helpful as well. They all carry walkie-talkies and communicate among themselves throughout the event. When Claudia was with me and my dad in my room before we walked to the ceremony, Gorge was on the beach guiding my guests. The Dreams wedding team is very well coordinated and extremely good at what they do. I think I read somewhere that Dreams holds around 450 weddings a year; this converts them into a wedding factory. They set up, pick up, serve, and carry everything in minutes. Claudia and her team made our dream wedding come true in so many ways. I definitely recommend this resort to have your wedding at. The event staff was very professional, courteous, and polite. They all did a wonderful job. I will post a separate review of our experience during our stay at Dreams on Trip advisor. I will point out; this resort was perfect to hold our wedding. The service outside of the event, didn’t meet our expectations. The resort landscape is beautiful and everywhere you look is clean.
The reviews about Mauricio in the forums are pretty accurate. He does seem a little bit disengaged and not interested in meeting with you. He kept checking his phone during our meeting with him. We didn’t have a set list of songs to play. The reason we were paying for a DJ is so that he could handle all the music based on the genres and artists we gave him. We did list a few "do not play" songs, yet he still played them at the reception. Overall he did okay. I will give him credit for following the timeline to the dot (or maybe it was because Claudia, our coordinator, was next to him the whole time). He made the toast, speeches, dances and other announcements when asked to do so. My brothers commented that he wouldn’t play their song requests unless they got ok from me. Over all he played good songs. My guests were on that light up dance floor pretty quickly when the music started. And the old song I asked him not to play got the older folks off their seats so at the end of the day it all turned out okay. To me it was worth it having him MC and DJ than assigning a guest to the task. If the resort didn’t charge a fee for having external vendors, I definitely would have contracted one of those outside DJ’s that bring props and balloons for the same price or less.
All of the food Dreams served at our events was delicious. Everyone loved El Patio, the seafood Hors d'oeuvres at the Cocktail hour, and Mexican buffet at the reception.
Cake and Dessert:
The cake didn’t look well-made. We paid extra to have colored icing, but it still looked white. The decorations on the cake looked like they just threw them on last minute. The candy pearls were falling off and overall, just didn’t look good. The tres leches wasn’t as moist and delicious as the tres leches they serve at the coffee shop onsite. I will note, the cake they display at the reception is not the cake that will be served. It is a fake cake made of styrofoam covered in icing. They do this to prevent it from melting or having sand, bugs, leaves or whatever else the wind blows. They serve cake from the kitchen after you cut the small piece that’s real (For picture’s sake).The dessert items that come with the Mexican buffet menu were cold and chewy. I recommend going with desserts that require refrigeration until they are served. The pastries like the churros got dried out pretty quickly by the wind.
Adventure Photos Review:
We used Adventure Photos for the rehearsal dinner (photos) and Wedding day (video). We hired an external photographer for wedding day pictures. I am extremely impressed with Adventure Photos’ work, level of professionalism, and speed in getting the pictures/video to us after the events. Claudia Labastida was fun to work with on our wedding day. She is great at what she does; she captured the most important moments and details. I continue to get compliments from friends and family about how professional the video looks. Make sure you give her your preferred songs to play as background music on your video or they will select them for you.
Other services we used:
· Preparation and ironing of our wedding day attire. My dress and his suit were delivered the morning of the event. They were careful and perfectly ironed.
· Complimentary room for the groom the night before the wedding. He checked in at 3pm the night before wedding. We reserved it with Claudia, not the front desk. Note: For anything that has to do with wedding, go through your coordinator. Front desk has no idea why you are there. Or at least that’s the impression we got.
· Bridal Hairstyling. They did my hair for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. I liked my hair both days. The spa has a private bridal room for the bride only. It was relaxing being away from everyone for that hour. The beauticians are personable and know how to work with all types of hair. All the girls got their hair and nails done there. Only my step mom got her make up done and I think it looked good.
· Live Mexican music trio (1 set, during cocktail hour) – my family and friends enjoyed them and said it definitely made the cocktail hour more entertaining while they waited for us to get our pictures taken.
Feel free to send me a message with any questions you may have. I can also e-mail you the link to our rehearsal dinner and wedding day pictures. This forum was definitely helpful for me when I was going through the planning process. Warm wishes for you and remember to enjoy every minute of wedding planning! You only get to do it once.