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About KayRae

Profile Information

  • Location
    Lafayette, LA

Wedding Information

  • Wedding Date
    January 10, 2015
  • Wedding Location
    Secrets Maroma Beach, Riviera Maya
  1. January 10, 2015 at Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Maya. Photography by Sarani Estrada (Sarani Photography - www.saraniphotography.com)
  2. I'm not sure how much I spent all together per BM (I had 3) but I too got a little carried away lol. Mostly because I had such a long time to plan, or so it seems, and every time I came across something, or came up with an idea that I thought was "perfect", I had a hard time telling myself no. I ended up with a collection of things...jewelry set (necklace, bracelet, earrings), pearl barefoot sandals, monogrammed getting ready shirt, personalized dress hangers, beach bag with coordinating wet bikini bag and sarong, beach towel chair clips, personalized beach drink holder, and a few other little things. But altogether I would say around 200 at the most. Which they were definitely not expecting all of that and were very surprised and thankful for everything. I 100% agree with the other posts about how you shouldn't feel like you have to spend a certain dollar amount, or feel like you need to spend more because they are spending more to be a part of your wedding with travel expenses...after all, they are also getting a vacation in paradise in addition to being a part of your wedding And I always believe that it's the thought that counts the most, and I'm sure your BM's will love whatever it is that you decide to get them.
  3. We used Styling Trio in January. I know for certain that the BM hair and makeup (airbrush, false lashes) was 150, or 90 for either of the services. For me it was either 350 or 375, can't remember for sure. They came to the resort so had to also pay the resort’s external vendor fee for each stylist that came, 2 in our case. So comparing that to your rates, especially if that is who you want to use, sounds like you have a great deal.
  4. @@MissFrench Wow! 3 weeks away!!!! So excited for you! And yes the time will fly by! You already know my thoughts since we have discussed the issue before so probably not much help either. And I had the same experience as you watching Carlos' work, crying like a baby watching complete strangers get married, even those spoken only in Spanish, and that's how I knew that he was the one! But it was an easy decision for me because I was planning for video in the budget from the beginning and his prices were competitive if not cheaper than other quotes I received. We are almost 6 months out from our wedding and I personally love watching our videos quite often, including the full length film that we received a month and a half ago, even if that makes me seem a little crazy lol. Hopefully some other brides, past and future, will be able to give you some valuable insight to help you with your decision.
  5. @@acw271011 Thank you so much for the sweet comments!!
  6. @@Heidz1234 Congrats on your upcoming wedding! Let the planning fun begin! And thanks @@MissFrench for the shout out! I personally can't wait to see all of your planning and hard work put into action with some post wedding details & photos! I know it's going to be absolutely gorgeous! And getting so close So my husband and I were married at Secrets Maroma Beach in January and had a small wedding. Slightly bigger than what you mentioned, as we had 22 guests total, but still small generally speaking...mostly immediate family and a handful of our closest friends, with 6 of those guests making up our wedding party - 3 girls & 3 guys. I had always wanted a destination wedding and am so happy that we went through with it because it truly was perfect for us and what we ultimately wanted to for our wedding from the beginning...small, intimate setting with the most important people in our lives there with us, a beautiful location, a laid back yet elegant and romantic vibe, etc. I also wanted to be able to enjoy the typical elements of a wedding, including a fun reception, just done on a smaller scale, and in my opinion having a destination wedding seemed like the perfect solution. We had originally planned on having an at home reception post wedding but never really planned anything concrete before the wedding and afterwards we were perfectly content with the experience we shared with our family and friends in Mexico that we didn't feel it necessary to put on another party so to speak. I didn't start out knowing all the possibilities when planning a destination wedding and was concerned at first that there would be some key elements sacrificed by not having a wedding at home where it is easier to be more directly involved with the planning, more familiar with vendors, etc. But after spending many hours online doing my homework and checking out a wide variety of weddings at different venues I realized that I didn't have to limit myself to the options among the resort wedding packages, etc - which the elements most important to me personally that I thought I would have to compromise on was having a great photographer, videographer, and a particular style of wedding cake that I fell in love with. Boy was I wrong! Everyone involved in bringing our wedding dream to life and also capturing it for us to remember forever in our photos and video was absolutely amazing and exceeded all expectations. I also remember having a little concern about the energy level at the reception knowing the small size and the makeup of our guest list (not necessarily a big group of the clubbing party animal types lol, but neither are my husband and I). So of course the dance floor was not a jam packed dance party from beginning to end like you might experience with larger weddings but we still had a blast and tons of bad dance moves lol. I never felt like it became boring or yawn-inducing lol. I might have been the only one to actually stay on the dance floor the entire night (literally), but there was always a part of our group, if not most, with us cutting up at any given time. We used the DJ contracted through the resort which we had for the entire duration of the reception (4 hrs), which also included an MC that was great to help keep the flow of the reception at a steady pace and on track - starting with the announcements of the wedding party entrance and ours, dances, dinner, speeches, cake cutting, bouquet and garter tosses, last dance, etc. We used the resort's gazebo area by the main pool as our reception location which I think was the perfect size space for our small group. That's one thing that i would suggest is trying to find a reception location/space that better suits a smaller group so that way it will have a more intimate vibe that will help keep the energy up among the group rather than being spread out over this huge space that leaves a lot of room for distance between you and your guests. And also to have a more intimate seating plan for dinner that brings the group closer together - like maybe one long table instead of 2 or 3 smaller individual tables spaced far apart, etc. Our wedding package included cocktail hour after the ceremony, 3 hour reception with a seated dinner and open bar for up to 20 guests, so just had to pay for the extra head count over 20, and an additional hour for the open bar to extend the reception for an extra hour. Which still really seemed so short because we were having so much fun! So the point I guess I am trying to make is that whatever you want can be done to fit your vision, whether it involves 10, 15, or 20 + guests without having to compromise those elements you still want included regardless of the size of your guest list. I'm including the link to one of our wedding videos that you can check out if you'd like. If only interested in the reception clips you can just skip to the 2nd half/last 1/3 of it And if by some chance you (or any other reader) might have already watched it (since already posted previously in the SMB thread and my review of Carlos Gallardo - overkill I know sorry!!), I apologize for posting it again here. I know that it helped me at least to see other real destination weddings at different venues to get an idea of what to generally expect and also to see the possibilities for making it your very own dream come true I stalked the websites/blogs/FB pages of wedding photographers and videographers in the area that I had come across. So if you haven't yet that's one thing to consider checking out. Our wedding was definitely not extravagant or over the top, nor magazine perfect, but was perfect for us and turned out more beautiful than I ever could have imagined And I have no doubt that you will feel the same about your own amazingly perfect wedding after all is said and done, regardless of which direction your planning may lead you or how many are on the guest list, because after all... you are getting to marry the love of your life and that's what it's really all about! Best of luck to you and your FI!
  7. Hi! Congrats everyone on the upcoming weddings. Wish you all the best of luck!! I got married in January at Secrets Maroma Beach and this is the order that we did for our reception. Reception was 4 hours long (5:30-9:30, sunset at 5:30)... Started off with entrance/announcement of the wedding party and my husband and I. Went straight to 1st dance followed by father/daughter dance and then mother/son dance. Afterwards we sat for dinner. Speeches were done during the main course (best man, MOH, my father) . After dinner they opened up the dance floor for 3o min or so if I had to guess (hard to keep track of time), then did cake cutting. Then danced until around 8:30 and did the bouquet/garter toss (because photographer time was up at 830). And then danced afterwards till the end. I didn't really come up.with a timeline ahead of time, just kind of went with the flow and the MC did a great job of keeping everything moving.
  8. Hi! Congrats everyone on the upcoming weddings. Wish you all the best of luck!! I got married in January at Secrets Maroma Beach and this is the order that we did for our reception. Reception was 4 hours long (5:30-9:30, sunset at 5:30)... Started off with entrance/announcement of the wedding party and my husband and I. Went straight to 1st dance followed by father/daughter dance and then mother/son dance. Afterwards we sat for dinner. Speeches were done during the main course (best man, MOH, my father) . After dinner they opened up the dance floor for 3o min or so if I had to guess (hard to keep track of time), then did cake cutting. Then danced until around 8:30 and did the bouquet and garter toss (because photographer time was up at 830). And then danced afterwards till the end. We just went with the flow through according to the photographer time and also let the MC do his thing.
  9. @@yuniedo Thanks! & no problem! I will be sending you an email shortly with some info. I didn't even think to shop around but I think it is wise so that way you know what all your options are. I was too busy with school to think about doing any of the smart wedding planning things lol. Maybe @MissFrench can help you with some info from Mayan Florals because I believe she had contacted them.
  10. @@yuniedo And if you didn't already, you can check out our wedding videos (highlight and short film) that I posted in this forum or under my review for Carlos Gallardo (Gallardo Films). I don't think the seaweed took away much even when you do see it, at least in my opinion. I also put some photos in my gallery as well. What decor options were you looking into upgrading? I used planner 1 so could send you some price info via email if you'd like, just let me know We did wedding on the beach and reception at the Gazebo Terrace by the pool so not much help with offering any advice by experience for the reception on the beach but I like the idea!
  11. @@yuniedo I had no clue that mounds of seaweed could even be a possibility or something to be worried about until we showed up. We are yearly visitors to Destin, FL and have learned that certain times of the year are usually more prone to seaweed and/or jellyfish, some years worse than others, but usually predictable for the most part. So I just chalked up the seaweed at SMB to picking the wrong time of the year to have our wedding there and not having done my research on when "seaweed season" is at its prime. So yes I will admit that it was a little disappointing in some ways...even though we had never been before, there are of course all of the beautiful pictures out there of the immaculate white sand beach and clear as can be turquoise/jade colored water. And I agree with you that it was a little painful to watch how hard they were working to clean up the seaweed but seemed to be fighting a losing battle. But I will also say that even with the seaweed as it was I was more than in love with our entire SMB wedding experience. Yes, having the beach as pictured in all the Trip Advisor pics, etc. would have made for an even more beautiful experience for us and our guests, but I guess I am one of those that was realistic going into the whole "beach wedding" experience, knowing that you are really taking a chance with the whole planning process, and honestly was just happy that the sun was shining the entire day and we were able to have our ceremony on the beach and also the reception outside as originally planned. I had gone to grad school with a girl who had gotten married at SMB 1 and 1/2 years prior and although she was able to have her beach ceremony, late rain showers forced them to move their reception plans indoors. And probably another reason why I didn't let it phase me too much...I had set my photography must-have's radar on the abandoned villa next door from the get-go (one of the primary reasons I chose SMB as the "one"), more so than the beach itself, so I think it helped take the focus off of mother nature's seaweed invasion. Anyhow, the water still looked blue and the sand still white...enough for me at least lol...the only major drawback was the massive piles that had been created by trying to contain the seaweed, which ended up fairly close to the wedding gazebo on either side, assuming that the one to the right hand side of it was the farthest they could go with that pile since being at the edge of the property. But all in all I would say that sure it could have been a little more perfect, but I have no regrets and feel truly blessed that everything turned out as beautiful as it did, seaweed and all But hopefully it will be a thing of the past by the time your date rolls around!
  12. @@yuniedo Yay! So happy for you that you have finalized Secrets Maroma! I don't think they actually specified whether it had to be flameless candles or not and I never asked. In my contract with Planner 1 they charged for led flameless candles for the votives and larger ones for the lanterns. I'm pretty sure all the smaller ones were led but the lanterns had real candles in them. I liked the light they gave off but it seemed like they had all burned down kind of quickly, but long enough to get through dinner I guess. But it was so windy I don't think real candles would actually stay lit if not housed behind the glass of a lantern. Hope this helps!
  13. @@yuniedo My aunt who is a travel agent did all of our booking for us. We were married on Saturday January 10, 2015. We had 22 guests. About 1/2 booked 5 nights, arriving on the Wednesday with us and checked out on Monday when we did (since we were leaving from there to go on our honeymoon), and the other 1/2 booked 4 nights (Thurs-Mon). I have copied and pasted the nightly room rates that everyone paid. Since we booked at least 10 rooms for our group, my husband and I got our honeymoon suite for the 5 nights basically for free. These prices are with all other taxes, etc. included. We had to pay $1000 deposit to hold the block of rooms, which we did probably in March or April before the wedding and then everyone had until November to pay the entire balance for their rooms. Hope this helps! Room Type: Price Per Person Per Night Junior Suite ROH/Tropical View SGL * $350.96 Junior Suite ROH/Tropical View DBL * $304.22 Junior Suite ROH/Tropical View TPL * $301.99 Junior Suite Ocean View SGL * $366.06 Junior Suite Ocean View DBL * $319.31 Junior Suite Swim Out SGL * $381.16 Junior Suite Swim Out DBL * $334.42 Junior Suite Preferred Club Ocean View SGL * $714.86 Junior Suite Preferred Club Ocean View DBL * $357.43 Junior Suite Preferred Club Swim Out SGL * $747.95 Junior Suite Preferred Club Swim Out DBL * $373.98 Junior Suite Preferred Club Ocean Front SGL * $913.36 Junior Suite Preferred Club Ocean Front DBL * $456.68 Honeymoon Suite SGL * $1,216.85 Honeymoon Suite DBL * $608.42
  14. No I only paid the price they quoted me. I paid the deposit online through PayPal in advance. The trial for me was added on at the last minute once in Mexico and actually paid the balance for that online through PayPal as well after they came for the trial but before our wedding day. The remaining balance was paid in cash the day of the wedding but I assume that it could have been paid through PayPal as well if it would have been necessary. I guess it would have been nice to tip on top but unfortunately I didn't have any extra money.
  15. @@MissFrench Wish I could offer some advice on this one but for once don't have any 2 cents to throw in lol. We were planning on an AHR the entire time although we had never set a date or planned anything official ahead of time. And then once we got back home and I looked into planning it, I quickly realized how much it would cost to do the event justice and knowing that my husband and I would be taking on the entire costs, as I didn't set aside any of the wedding budget funds from my parents for the AHR, we both agreed on skipping it and saving our money. And honestly I wasn't bummed out about it at all because I feel that the experience we shared with everyone in Mexico was so special and perfect that I was/am perfectly content with our decision. It's only been 3 months but still no regrets yet. I hope someone may have some advice to offer that might help your planning a little easier! P.S. Almost forgot till now so will be getting back to you via email soon!
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