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About HNeal

  • Birthday 10/17/1980

Profile Information

  • Location
    New York

Wedding Information

  • Wedding Date
    August 21, 2014
  • Wedding Location
    Excellence Riviera Cancun
  1. @@Tinti123 It can get pretty warm. I think that Las Olas is actually your best option for a small group. How many are in your group? We had 30 and had cocktails at Las Olas and the reception in the Lobster House (they only allow that on Fridays). Las Olas is so pretty b/c it's right on the beach and the breeze is beautiful! I would suggest bringing string lights for them to hang for you.
  2. @@victoriasalv I shared a link with you on Facebook. It's the album from my custom design on the Maracas Mexico Facebook page. You can see the designs up close there. I made my appointment with the spa through email. I did have a 5pm ceremony.
  3. @victorisalv That is such a cute idea with the key cards and I wished I had done it. Our group spent so much time at the pool it would have been nice to have something to put that kind of stuff in. As far as the papel picado...I did think it was worth it to get it customized! The resort gives you all of the decorations back to you so I was able to cut off a few of the flags that I plan to frame. They are just so pretty. I went with their recommendation and purchased 40 meters of the papel picado which was plenty paired with paper lanterns. My fiancé did utilize the Groom room. We had dinner and then separated. He went with his friends and I went back to the room and had a night cap with my sister and best friend. I was soooo anxious with excitement! I started my day at 9:30am and didn't have one moment alone. I think I would have lost my mind if I was alone! I met my sister and best friend at the spa where we had mani pedi appointments. Amazing!!!! After that we ordered lunch to my room. My hair and makeup appointment started at noon. I was having "getting ready pics" so I needed all the big stuff done by 3:30. My mother, aunt, and cousin joined us at that time. The day went sooo fast. Just a tip...I'm sure I said this before...I called housekeeping the night before and requested that they clean my room while I was at the spa. Typically they don't come until 4ish. This way my room was picture perfect when my photographer arrived.
  4. @@kathryn78 I went to Maracas Mexico for my Maracas as well. They custom designed and hand painted them to match my stationary. They were gorgeous! The best thing is that they are a company in Mexico so they ship them directly to the resort and no need to deal with the stress of customs! They also created some beautiful papel picado for me. Maracas Mexico has a Facebook page and a website. They have detailed pics on their page. My maracas cost $7 each. That included them customizing the design. Here is a pic of the papel picado... Sorry...I just love showing off my pics! The pink lanterns I got from Michaels. The papel picado was reasonably priced and a great addition. The resort charged me a $60 decoration fee to hang the lanterns and papel picado. I think it was worth it. The mason jars were from the resort. They were actually a surprise. My mother made the burlap and lace table runner and when I gave them to Jessica during our meeting I just asked that she use vases that would match. They chose to use the mason jars and decorated them with the lace and twine. It was a great touch! Especially with the simplicity of the white flowers. @@victoriasalv Just an idea...If you are thinking of getting guests something that they can put their room key card in it is a good one! Not sure if anyone else had this issue but we had to go to the front desk multiple times throughout the week to have our cards reactivated. Believe me...this is the furthest from a complaint b/c that is literally the only thing that went wrong all week! They did say that they think we kept getting locked out of our room b/c the card was being de-activated from either a cell phone or other credit cards.
  5. @@kathryn78 I didn't like the centerpieces that were offered to me either. I had the Gold Package and had 2 large centerpieces included. I asked Jessica if I could have multiple small centerpieces instead of the two large ones and keep it the same price. I was not charged any additional fee for renting since I basically swapped. I requested iris flowers and she put them in mason jars which perfectly matched the look I was going for. Below is a pic of what they did. I was going for simple. I did bring my own table runner, candles, and lanterns. I didn't like the bouquet either. I just requested specific flowers and colors and they turned out gorgeous! I did small Welcome Bags with an Itinerary for the week, lip balm, shout wipes and different little things.
  6. I used the instrumental version of "To make you feel my love". I used instrumental versions of every song during the ceremony except for when we walked out after the ceremony. Which was to "Sweet Pea".
  7. I created a "ceremony playlist" on my iPhone. I had 15 mins worth of music for when guests gathered at the ceremony site, I had one song for me and the girls to walk down the aisle (cannon d in steel drums). It was perfect. I figured we would all walk to same song for a smoother feel. Jessica also had me choose a song for when we sign the documents (which takes more time than expected) and I had a final song for when we walked back up the aisle. Jessica came to my room before the ceremony And took my phone. I went over which song was for what and she handled it exactly as I wanted. I put my sister in charge of getting the phone back which Jesaica gave to her at the conclusion of the ceremony. It's worrisome b/c Jessica is so casual about it but is really goes very smoothly. There was no hesitation or gaps in the ceremony. Hope that helps!
  8. @@hapykat The mosquito situation is strange. I think it depends on the time of year. We were there the end of August for a week. We had no issues at all for most of the week. Not one single mosquito. My reception was in the Lobster House and nothing. However the last night we were there we had dinner in the Lobster House and got attacked! Two of our guests stayed a few days after us and it seemed like from that night forward the mosquitoes were horrible. We went prepared for this though so as soon as I put on bug spray it was fine.
  9. @@upstatekj I actually was initially planning to do a photo booth and just did not get around to it. By the time it came down to putting that together I was so overwhelmed and had soooo many things I was already packing so I let the idea go. I would say there is plenty of room at the Lobster House to set up a table for a photo booth. I do not have any ideas for background though. I was planning to set it up as my guest sign in table and have different props and a polaroid camera. That way the guests could take fun and silly pics. I was going to have a pen and glue sticks with a book for guests to glue the pics into and write messages. I was planning to use that as my guest book. I was not going to have any particular background. I think you could probably do it without the background and let guests get creative on their own. They have lots of fun props at Michaels that would easily fit in your suitcase. For my guest book I instead collected postcards while we were in Mexico. I had guests write little messages on the back of the postcards and just drop them into the card basket. It was fun to read what everyone had to say the next morning. @@Giocivs88 and @@Wrathwitch Congrats ladies on your upcoming weddings. I was married at ERC last August and it was amazing! Do not worry about a thing! It will go smooth. And Giocivs88 you are not too late! You really can't nail too many details down with Jessica until it gets closer to your date anyway so you are right on time! Let me know if you have any questions (I come on this site from time to time b/c I am still getting over the depression that my wedding is over!). Also check out wedding pics. I posted some in a gallery in my profile.
  10. I loved the shot glasses and so did the guests! Here are a couple pics of them... I did provide Jessica with photos of what I liked but with the centerpieces it was difficult b/c I could not find a pic of exactly what I wanted. I did a lot of detailed explaining of what I wanted and Jessica made it happen. I provided the candles b/c I wanted a lot of them all over the table. The wind did not blow them out but the fan did. Not all of them just few. Jessica provided mason jars for the flowers and the shot glasses. In addition to the candles I brought a table runner and the name tags for the table.
  11. Vincent Guihard from Lucidum Photography was amazing!
  12. @@Sabes44 and @@hapykat I did have assigned seating for my long table. I was required to b/c I had two entree choices. My entrees were: #1 Grilled Pork Loin with fine herb encrusted sea bass with pasilla sauce, roasted garlic herb potatoes and fresh vegetables #2 Pecan crusted mahi mahi fillet combined with a spinach, mushroom, ricotta cheese and seafood stuffed chicken breast, served with a lobster sauce, grilled vegetables and roasted garlic mashed potatoes I made Jessica a seating chart that outlined who was sitting where and the meal they chose. As you can see from the choices the meals are more like a feast so I think we would have been ok with only 1 entree choice. I think it would have helped the food come out a little smoother from the kitchen if we only had one entree. The kitchen in the Lobster House is very small. The great think about a seating chart though is that I go to have fun escort cards! I had a shot of tequila at each seat with a lime on top. There was a flag sticking out of each lime with the guests name. It was a fun was to kick off the reception! The food was very good. I would recommend the ceasar salad and the avocado soup. They were both soo good! And the Tres Leches cake was amazing! The extra decor in the Gold Package allows you to have both rose petals down and the star fish down the also aisle. It includes an extra centerpiece. I opted to not have a centerpiece at the ceremony (it really is not needed if on the beach) so that Jessica could do the centerpieces I wanted at reception for no extra cost.
  13. I am writing this response to every one b/c I cannot remember who asked what. For those of you trying to decide about Las Olas don't even worry. Las Olas is absolutely beautiful, with a cool breeze, and great atmosphere. It is perfect for a group not big enough for the Lobster House. My wedding was on a Friday night and I still had to meet the requirement of 35 guests. They will not confirm your location until 2 months out. In the end when I was 2 months away Jessica confirmed the Lobster House and made an exception and allowed me to only have 28 guests. It was the perfect space. We had a DJ. For those torn between DJ or no DJ I would say it was worth it! The DJ was great and we all had such a blast dancing....no matter how hot and sweaty we were. I wanted to wear my gown all night as well but am so glad that in the end I brought a back up reception dress. I made it until after dinner, danced a few songs and was a mess, so I changed. It worked out. Someone asked about decor. I did not put lights inside my lanterns. There are already lantern hung in the Lobster House so the paper lanterns I brought were really for just a pop of color. I had several small mason jars of white irises down the center of my table. I did not bring the jar and I did not have to pay extra. I told Jessica what I wanted and just told her to make it an equivalent cost of the Gold Package centerpiece. I had to pay $60 for them to hang the papel picado and lanterns but is was so worth it. They put the rest of my decor out for free. I brought candles, lanterns for tables, and guest/card basket. They set it up exactly how I had pictured. The pier is very windy and there is not escape from the sun. Keep that in mind. Also the set up for the ceremony is a little awkward depending on how many guests you have b/c they can only fit two chairs on each side of the aisle. However...I have to say that the pier is amazingly breathtaking and made for some incredible pics. If your ok with the sun and have a small party it may work. It really is the most beautiful location. I was not able to do that b/c we had 28 guests and 1 was in a wheel chair. Someone mentioned they have a guest with a wheel chair. My sister in law is in a wheel chair. She would not have made it out to the pier. I had my ceremony at the beach and it was less sand to have to travel on. With that said she was able to get out to the ceremony site without her wheelchair b/c it was a short distance to travel. I am so excited for you ladies that still have your weddings to plan. Let me know if you have any questions!
  14. @@JenniferH114 @@Sabes44 They did hang the decorations although it was a $60 charge.
  15. @@Crystal17 You will be so happy with Maracas Mexico!! I ordered 50 meters (approx 165 feet). To be honest I had no idea how much to order. When I was ordering they told me that is how much most brides order so I just went with that! It worked out. I did have pink (in three different shades) balls hanging. Those were from Micheals Craft Store. Martha Stewart brand. I bought two boxes and there were plenty to space out between the papel picado. I went back and forth between the pier and las Olas for cocktail hour as well. Really the thing that helped with our decision was the weather. We figured that during the end of August (even at 5:30pm) we would want the shade. When is your wedding again? The pier is gorgeous and when we were there we saw it set up for other events and it looked really pretty. We just thought it would be too hot! As far as appetizers and drinks during cocktail hour I not really sure. I know they served a mango martini b/c I was handed one when we walked in. I did not see much of the food. It seemed that since there was a signature cocktail (not by our choosing but good anyway) our guests didn't realize they could order other options. I didn't see much food passed but I was only there for a short time and when I was there I was hugging and thankimg everyone. I did see waiters passing trays of food I just never had a chance to actually taste it!
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