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MsShanta

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About MsShanta

  1. http://delsolphotography.com/gazebo-wedding-royal-playa-del-carmen-shanta-alexander/ This is the link to more photos
  2. Beautiful Wedding at The Royal w/lots of upgrades

    Pros: Beautiful resort, close to 5th Ave, Great Wedding
    Cons: Vendor fees, extra fees, non-communication with staff,
    Hello. My husband & I had the most incredible wedding at The Royal Playa Del Carmen. Even the little things that went wrong...were so minor, but I will mention them for future brides.   Travel Agent: We went with Liberty Travel... Bad Idea. Its just better to have your guests book on their own threw Expedia. My Agent never returned E-mails or Phone calls. This was the most stressful part for me planning wise. They also over charged a lot of guests. They said they will price match & they did, but added other charges. They were suppose to help me book guests, but I ended up having to book a lot of my guest, and find rates. My suggestion is to have your guests book on their own as early as possible.   Pre-Planning: Of course I expected some pre-planning issues, and their was alot. We started planning 14 months in advance. I planned to have about 60 guests, and ended up having 50. So we went with the Luxury Package, and figured we will just pay the difference. First I had Alejandra. She was great. She answered alot of Questions. She really helped out a lot & even threw in her own ideas. Than sadly they told me she moved on. Than I was assigned Sally... She was very unresponsive. Than I called complained & was assigned Ana. Ana was as amazing as Alejandra. She was very responsive both threw E-mail & on the phone. She also helped give alot of input. Than again sadly I was assigned another planner. I called & she said she would get back to me. After 2 weeks, I was assigned another Planner. Estella... She was just OK, but at this point most of our planning was done. My advise is to get everything in writing. Also ask alot of questions. My centerpieces were not on the planning page, but I sent pictures, and they made exactly what I wanted.    Airline: This has nothing to do with the Venue, but I had to add it. We flew AREOMEXICO. We were told by our Travel Agency (Liberty TRAVEL) that we were flying DELTA. So of course I had a fairly big dress, and 7 suitcases. We called Delta several times to ask their dress policies, carry-on polices, and luggage. We were told you are allowed 1 carry on & any extra check-in was $40 extra, also that we could put the dress in the Captains closet. This was no problem for us. We were told this several times by several agents. The day of we found out that we were flying Areomexico powered by Delta. Even our tickets said Delta & Areomexico was in little words on the bottom. Long story short... Each luggage was $150 per piece & not $40 like we planned. That sucked & hit our spending $$, but we had to pay it. They did not have a closet, so I had no choice, but to stuff my dress in an overhead bin, but it was fine.   On Site Planner: A month prior to our wedding we were assigned Anet. She was very good. We met up a few days before the wedding. She understood all my crazy requests. I drew pictures, and even gave her about 5 suitcases full of items, which she made sure everything went smoothly. So don't stress the pre-planning to much.   Resort: The resort was beautiful. Great location. Our Wedding was Thursday May 14. I guess its a busy time, because our resort sold out quick. We had guests stay at the Grand Porto Real. Some came by to visit. The Royal has VERY STRICT RULES against that. I had to meet guests in the lobby. They wouldn't let them go past. The resort even made me buy guest past for the day of the wedding for one of the bridesmaid that had to get ready in my room. The Grand Guests are ONLY allowed at The Royal for Wedding Events & only allowed in a half hour prior to the event. This was a huge issue & they really enforce it!  We had the Presidential Suit. I thought It would be nice for pictures, because upstairs has a deck & private pool. Also with so many people in & out we wanted a big room. The Presidential rooms are far away from the main resort. Also we thought with the best room we would have a good view. They are building a new resort right in front of those rooms so it completely blocks the ocean view. This didn't bother us, but it may bother some one else looking for that great room. My sister had a swim-up room & I felt her room was just as good as ours. Plus those rooms are close to the beach & everything else. Our room felt real secluded & far away from everything. By the way their still is alot of construction going on, which can be noisy. We also paid $5 per out of town bag to be delivered to our guests rooms. Asiana was the best restaurant. we ended up eating there a lot.     Welcome Drinks/ Rehearsal Dinner: We decided to have Welcome Drinks & a Rehearsal dinner hour in the Ballroom. The Ballroom looked ok. It's very old looking with out dated carpet. I cant image having any events here. They tried their best to decorate it. Anyway we had Welcome drink for $15pp for an hour. Again I had to Leave My Own Event to let people in from next store, because they didn't have The Royal Bracelets on. When I expressed how pissed off I was...They had someone at the door allowing people to my event. Which by the way those guests were walked to the event & when it was over they watched us like hawks to make sure they left. That was the only bad part. So instead of everyone enjoying the event... The strict policies was the talk of the night. So again if you have a big group, encourage them to stay at the Royal. I was assured it wouldn't happen the day of the wedding & if I did I didn't hear about it. On a positive note they provided us with music & a microphone (Which I had requested prior). They tried their best with the decor. We ordered a grooms cake. That was served at the rehearsal dinner.     Vendors: Del Sol & The Make UP Pros So I let The Royal know that I was using Del Sol Photography as my photographers. They were AMAZING!!! The pictures were great. I will write a vendor review for them later.   The make-up pros..My package included, hair & make-up, but at the last minute I gave to my mom, and decided to book the Make-up pros. The make-up pors did an Amazing job. My make-up & bridesmaids make-up was flawless. Now the day of the wedding Fernando & his hair dresser came to do out make-up. We had purchased guest passes for them. Prior to this I did not realize Hair & Make-up was a Vendor. The Resort called my room right away... Now Guest passes are $300 & the Vendor fee was $350.. so for me it was no big deal. The resort made such a big deal. They wanted me to go to the front desk to sign for the charge. I said NO, because I didn't want my husband to see me. He was down the hall at a friends room. Everything else they don't mind charging to the room, but today of all days I had to go down there??? So security came to my room... Had me sign, than went back downstairs & than let them up. This took over an hour. This caused me to be over a half hour late to my own wedding!!!!    Wedding Day: Besides that our Wedding Day was Amazing. Beyond anything we expected. Again I mentioning things that may bother other future Brides. We got the Luxury Package. This package included a massage, steam service, hair & Make up for Bride, Manicure, Men's Saver treatment (shave & haircut), a live musician for the ceremony, cocktail hour for 40ppl, reception for 40ppl, a private dinner, & 6pm check out. As I stated earlier I gave the hair, & make-up to my mom. To me it was just OK. It was worth getting outside service for that. The steam service... I didn't trust because they send out your items, and bring them to you on your wedding day. Which they brought my husbands the day of. When it was time for him to get ready he realized his jacket was missing. He called for over an hour. They finally brought it at 3:55 again out wedding started at 4, so that was not good.    Ceremony: Our ceremony was perfect. We had it at the Ocean Gazebo. Perfect, private location. You will have people watching, but I didn't mind. We chose a live Harpist. He was really good. I decided to walk down to my own music. I wanted the song to play out until the end, but they cut it off as soon as I got down the aisle which was fine. I brought my own aisle runner, and aisle decor. I did however ordered extra flowers for the aisle entrance & flowers for the post. It was worth it for me, because It looks real plain, with out it. I requested large cylinders with water that I saw in another picture. While walking down I noticed they were filled with sand, which was fine. They did that, because that day was extra windy & they didn't want the glass to break. That area was very windy, causing my long veil to fly everywhere. After a while my maid of honor just held the end of it. Now I read in other reviews that brides wore heels. The walkway is okay for that. You wont trip, however I did a test run the day prior & my heels fell threw the cracks of the gazebo, so to avoid any embarrassing moments, especially with a long dress, I wore 4 inch wedges. The same height as my heels.I ordered a few bags of flowers to be sprinkled for the aisle & most of them blew away.      Cocktail Hour: So the Mexican trio played at the cocktail hour. We decided to have that on the beach. We had a flip flop station that we provided for our guests. very cute idea & they were all gone. We didn't make our cocktail hour, due to pictures, but that was fine. The cocktail hour came with 3 appetizers. We had caviar, turkey meatballs, meat patties. We heard the meatballs were the favorite.   Reception: We wanted to give our guests a chance to freshen up, so we wanted our reception to start at 6:30, but again that would have been a $750 charge. So we just had it at 6, because I was a half hour late to the ceremony, it ended up closer to that time anyway. We had paid for an extra hour(Highly recommended). We went with the resorts DJ. He was great. The only thing was he said he would bring a bubble machine & didn't. Which no one noticed but us. We had upgraded to the light up dance floor, which was great. The only thing was for 50 guests, it was very small. We also ordered extra cold fire works. We had our reception in the Central Gardens & I'm so glad we did. The weather was perfect. Not to hot. Their was a nice breeze. People will look, but its very few. It felt very private. As windy as it was I could not imagine having it on the beach. We upgraded our centerpieces. I also brought my own menus, escort cards, table numbers. Now we did upgrade to a buffet. At first I did not want that, but your guest will only get 2 food choices, and you must know the choices prior to the wedding. It was such a great idea. We were having trouble with guest RSVPing so I cant imagine taking 50 food orders. Its not like the food is sitting out all day... the food is made for your day. We went with the Brunch Choice. Al thought I don't Know why it was called brunch it had no breakfast items. It had such a wide variety of foods, included beef, chicken, tuna, pork. Something for everyone. Also came with a cute dessert bar. Which I choose to make one of those cake a tres leche cake. We upgraded our wedding cake to a four tier cake. We had 4 different flavors. Which I'm gald we did. It made great pictures. It was nice they gave us the top layer the next day. We also had a photo booth through the resort. We also hired Fire Dancers through the resort. This was a big hit. They performed for a half hour. It was a surprise for everyone including my husband. Everyone couldn't stop talking about the fire dancers. The DJ handed out balloons. The waiters kept the drinks flowing. Over all It was an amazing wedding. Everyone said it was the best wedding they have ever been to.    Private Dinner: The next day we had a private dinner on the beach. It was a cute set up. The food was just ok. It was very windy. The decor was flying all over. Again we enjoyed ourselves, someone else may not like this. Its not private at all. We had a lot of people walking by kicking up sand. Even a few of our wedding guest saw us & said hi. Their is a small private gazebo by our room, that would have been a better choice for us & we saw a lot of couples eating their, but we wanted to do one thing on the beach. I'm sure alot of couple had & enjoyed their wedding on the beach... but between the wind, the people, all the sand, and even the distance to bathrooms, or even your room. I highly recommend the Gardens. They decorate it very nicely. It has such a different feel to it.    Check out: So as I said we had an amazing wedding... The last day annoyed us. With our package we had a 6pm checkout. We just wanted a day to relax, especially since we had a late flight going home. At 8am we had a phone call asking us when did we want the bell hop to get our bags. we said 4pm, being that we were being picked up a 4:30. Than someone called a few minutes later saying we had to leave at 12. I explained we just got married & had the late check out. That person said OK. At 9 am someone knocked to come get our bags... This really annoyed us. We told them the same thing, & they went away. 15 minutes later we got another phone call. AT this point I asked to speak to a manager. They said they could not confirm this until someone from the Wedding center came at 10am. SO at 9:55 someone else came in with a bill for our room charges. Than stated someone would be their at 11:30 to get our bags. This really annoyed us, so I went downstairs. When I did someone was their to confirm the late check out. At that point I was so annoyed. Than after that Someone still knocked on our door to get our bags. this was at 12pm. We sent them away & went to go eat. When we returned to got eat, around 1pm our keys to our rooms did not work. This was ridiculous at this point. So we had to go back to the front desk & get new keys. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but this was our only day to relax after running around all week. Plus we still had to pack. So it was frustrating being bothered so many times, and the front desk people blamed the other departments for not telling them.    Overall great wedding. I just would hope the resort would have better communication with their separate departments, and their sister resort. I would have changed a thing about our wedding, and felt all the upgrades were worth it. I hope this helps someome, because this site has helped me.     
  3. MsShanta

    Beautiful Pictures

    This is a review of:

    Del Sol Photography

    Beautiful Pictures

    Pros: Everything
    Cons: Nothing
    We loved our pictures from Del Sol. Melissa was our Photographer. She was pleasant & had great ideas. Here's the link to our pictures on their website.  http://delsolphotography.com/gazebo-wedding-royal-playa-del-carmen-shanta-alexander/      
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