Hi Brides, My wedding was on Feb 2, 2015 at the Barcelo Maya resort on the beach near the Colonial hotels; all of my guests stayed in the Tropical building. Get club premium, you get much closer to the pool/ocean. I had the perfect two room suite on the 3rd (top) floor. No one gets an ocean view (a few Palace suites do) due to palm trees blocking.
Yes the time change to now East Coast time happened in the middle of my trip. An added undo stress to let all 25 guests know to change their watches and hotel clocks while there. But it worked out and everyone was on time. All my guests had a wonderful time while there and would all go back.
The Wedding ceremony was on the beach at 4:00pmET, cocktail hour next to the site from 4:30-5:30 (with apps) and dinner began at 5:30 just steps away at the newly remodeled Captain Morgan grill. It is all outside, but the grill has a great open platform area with light palm trees ($5 a tree fee) and a nearby restroom. It was not dark until we were finishing dessert and cutting the cake. The food was much better than in any of the al a carte restaurants, it was worth the price.
Tania D was my wedding coordinator and she was FANTASTIC, I can’t say enough about how everything went super smooth and was perfect due to her attention to details. At first you may be nervous when you get email replies weeks later, but once there you are #1. Each coordinator has only one wedding assigned a day (typically 8-10 a month). I literary gave her a suit case full of table décor the afternoon of, for the dinner table (one gigantic rectangle for all of us) with fast directions, she did it all – include making sure a bottle of wine I brought for myself was chilled and given directly to me at dinner.
The SPA is another treasured asset. I did the Strawberry package which included hair and make-up; I was anticipating the worst (pony tail with curls and blue eye shadow) and received the best hair up-do ever, and a magazine ready make up application (with all MAC products). As a 42 yr-old bride, it takes a lot to wow me, I’ve learned good service is a blessing.
My photographer was a family friend and they turned out gorgeous since all around the resort is colorful foliage for great backgrounds, not to mention the blue Caribbean water! We took pictures from 12:30-2 to get the best light; and not to leave our party for pics. I’m working on a YouTube video of the still pictures and ceremony video ++, I’ll share the link here once complete.