Hi Brides! I just got back from my wedding and am pasting my trip advisor review below. Hate to be the bearer of bad news and wish each of you the best of luck!! I was told that Yanin my wedding planner was actually fired for ruining not just my wedding but several others last week.
***DO NOT GET MARRIED HERE!!!!!!***
I got married here on Sunday June 5 and ours was the ONLY wedding that day so there really is no reason for it to have been such a disaster. We brought in 96 guests and everyone stayed for 4 - 9 nights so they definitely made a ton of money off of our guests stay, our welcome party, and our wedding day - so to be treated the way we were is absolutely appalling. This resort is clearly too new and incompetent to host weddings.
WEDDING PLANNER - Yanin Arteaga
- We planned our wedding in 9 months and originally had Luzdary as our planner. We were able to meet her in person when we came for a site visit over labor day and she was very warm, friendly, and seemed excited to help us pan our big day. A couple months later, we were transferred to Yanin Arteaga and things were terrible from then on
- Yanin would take at least 2 weeks to reply to our emails, and she never once answered each question in our email (even though we numbered them and made them as clear as possible!)
- She never explained to us when she needed our menu selections, decor etc...so we missed several deadlines just waiting on responses from her
- There is a spreadsheet of costs that she asked us to fill out and update throughout the planning process, and each time she emailed us back with her feedback, it would be a blank spreadsheet so we had to keep reconciling and filling it out to find the changes that she made
- We had many guests that needed specialty meals (vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, kids meals etc...) and Yanin never told us how to specify which guest needed which meal so we ended up just buying stickers to put on their seating cards - When the day came, NOBODY GOT THE CORRECT MEAL!
- We did not hear from Yanin for an entire month before our wedding and we still had 12 outstanding questions! My anxiety was so high during the whole planning process!
- One of our family members was supposed to get an upgraded room and the resort gave the upgrade to the wrong guest. They never tried to fix the situation or apologize for their mistake. The resort was only at 70% capacity so they had plenty of rooms they could have upgraded the correct guest to but refused.
MEETING OUR WEDDING PLANNER
- We had a meeting scheduled months in advance to meet Yanin for the first time face-to-face on June 2 to go over all questions and details. She emailed us June 1 saying she needed to move the meeting an hour earlier to 9am instead of 10am. No big deal, at this point we were just anxious to meet her and finally hear from her.
- She showed up to the meeting at 9:40am. No apology for being late. No apology for ignoring us for a month. No "congratulations!” Nothing. All she cared about was us paying our final balance.
- I printed and emailed her a detailed timeline of how I wanted the entire wedding day to be (she had this months in advance too) and she assured us that everything would be taken care of. She kept telling us not to worry.
- I asked her if I needed to stay back to help clean up our decorations after the reception to make sure we got all of them back and she assured us that SHE would take care of the clean up and would put all of our decorations into the suitcase that we gave her and deliver it to our room the next day. This never happened – not only did she not stay back to gather all of our décor, but she then lost all of our decorations AND lost our suitcase! For 3 days after our wedding she kept telling us the suitcase was on its way to our room…then she finally admitted she lost it the day before we checked out. To rectify the situation, she tried to give us an old ratty SMALL suitcase that belonged to another wedding couple. RIDICULOUS! Again – no apology from her.
- Yanin misquoted me on my bridal bouquet and told me the cost would be $215. When we arrived for our meeting she then told us it would actually be $350!!! And that it was too late to do anything about it. I already thought $215 was too much to be spending! At this point with her bad attitude, we just decided to let it go and pay the $350
- We finalized all decoration details, our welcome party, and she assured us she would be there with us at the welcome party as well as all day on the wedding day. We left the meeting feeling a little less anxious and stayed positive that everything we were told would actually happen...silly us to have trusted our planner and the resort. Please see below:
PRIVATE WELCOME PARTY – not private at all!!!
- This was supposed to be on a private area on the beach but it rained - we of course do not blame the resort for this, however, their lack of communication and back up plan completely ruined this for us!
- Yanin was supposed to meet all 96 of us at the lobby bar and she of course was late. She finally showed up after the Groom had to contact reception and get other staff to hunt her down.
- We were taken to the Lizo Mexican restaurant for the open bar and appetizers but we had no idea whether the Private Fire Show that we spent $1200 on would still be happening. Again - Yanin disappeared. It is ridiculous that she did not have an assistant or anyone to stay behind with guests to keep us informed of the plan.
- The groom gave a welcome toast thanking all of our guests for being here for us and we left out the announcement about the fire show bc we were clueless on where Yanin was so then our guests started leaving the party...
- The groom FINALLY found Yanin (again he was running all over the resort trying to hunt her down when he should have been enjoying our welcome party) We were told the fire show would now be in the Theater so we had to guide our own guests to the Theater to start the show. This consisted of us calling/texting and running around trying to get our guests who went back to their rooms already to come back out (what a mess!!!)
- None of the staff moved our open bar drinks OR the food we paid for our guests to continue to enjoy
- Yanin was nowhere to be found and there were no signs showing that this event was private so MANY other resort guests came in and enjoyed the fire show that we paid for. Random guests were sitting throughout in between our guests, in laws, family members etc…
- I made a hair and makeup trial appointment for the day before the wedding and was promised that the same woman doing my trial would also do my wedding day services. I show up to find out the main lady who does bridal hair/makeup was not working that day so they gave me someone new named Lucy. I asked Lucy if she knew how to contour my face and she said yes…but then she proceeded to add dark brown makeup down the center of my nose and connecting my mouth with triangles. My girlfriend had to tell her that she was doing it wrong and that she was supposed to HIGHLIGHT those areas, NOT make them darker. Lucy then asked my friend to google how to contour to show her a picture of how to do it. At that point, my face makeup had already been wiped off by Lucy 3 times as she attempted to put makeup on me so I just told her I would do it myself. I immediately cancelled my wedding day Makeup appointment and had to do it myself with my friend.
- Bridal Hair: My hair was ok. I ended up keeping it down with loose beach curls so it is hard to mess that up. I do think they did not spray it very well bc my hair was completely straight after an hour but I think I mostly blame humidity for that
- Bridesmaid Hair: I treated my bridesmaids to up-dos on the wedding day and even though we showed the spa the same picture of how we wanted it, each girls hair came out in different beehives and a few of them fell shortly after so we had to fix them for each other with our own bobby pins.
- After spending $1,000 on everyone’s appointments at the spa on the wedding day, we expected a LOT better
- Our wedding package included 24 digital photos and a video of our wedding ceremony. Even though we hired outside photographers and videographers, we figured we would at least use the free services that came with our package and we heard that another bride was able to use it for the welcome party but when we asked they said we had to use it on the wedding day. The resort is not willing to do brides ANY favors…despite spending $20k on a wedding!
- We just got home from Mexico and were excited to watch our ceremony video only to realize they gave us the WRONG WEDDING!! So…if any bride out there got my video by mistake, please message me and we can trade. Thank GOODNESS we hired our own videographer.
WEDDING DAY LOGISTICS – Yanin was nowhere to be found!!!
- The groom had to run around all day starting at 10am to find out the rain plan since it was obvious that a storm was coming yet we weren’t told anything by Yanin
- Groom again had to go to reception and ask other staff members to find our wedding planner
- Our first look was scheduled for 3PM and our bouquets were supposed to be delivered to our room by Noon. Well when 3:30PM hit and we still DID NOT HAVE ANY BOUQUETS, my sister-in-law had to go hunt down the planner. My cousin-in-law even helped us track her down and told us he saw the planner pushing a cart of our bouquets and DROPPED THEM ON THE FLOOR. They arrived wilted and crushed.
- Our Ceremony was scheduled for 5:30PM at the outdoor Stone Gazebo and we finally heard from Yanin at 4PM that the ceremony would still be held at the Gazebo
- It started pouring rain at 4:30PM so that was a bad call on the wedding planners part
- Again, we do not blame the resort for the pouring rain, but they knew all day that it would rain so it is unacceptable that our Ceremony was delayed 2 hours! Especially bc all that they had to move from the Stone Gazebo were the chairs, lanterns and stones. It’s not like we had TONS of decorations set up since we planned to use the beach scenery
- All 96 of us were left stranded at the lobby bar for 2 hours with Yanin nowhere in sight. We had no idea if the wedding was completely cancelled or not. Finally at 7:15, a staff member told a few of our guests to move to the ballroom, which required a short walk outside – they did not have enough umbrellas!!
- When the ceremony was finally starting we learned that there were not enough chairs for our guests, even though we prepaid $7 per chair PLUS an extra $2 moving fee per chair
- The AC was also not on and it was VERY HOT AND HUMID inside
- The ceiling was also leaking water on our guests that were seated
- Yanin also forgot to reserve the front row for the Groom’s parents
- Yanin forgot the aisle runner and stone decorations
- Yanin forgot to move our floral centerpieces into the ballroom with high tables for decoration – we basically got stuffed into a hideous dark, hot, humid room with a beautiful “exit” sign above our heads that made it into every picture. Where were the curtains on the walls that we ordered?!?!
- The cocktail hour also did not have any AC after we reminded them the day before and several guests walked back to the hotel to ask them to turn the AC on
- Yanin forgot to set up our polaroid guestbook and I had to hunt her down and ask her to set it up 30 minutes into our cocktail hour
- The musical trio band that we hired never showed up to the cocktail hour and Yanin had no updates for us. She didn’t even play any other background music for us or help rectify the situation
- All of our appetizers were ice cold, stale and hard…it was clear that despite everything starting 2 hours late, the kitchen never REMADE fresh food for our guests. This means the food was cooked at 5:30 and just sat outside until our cocktail hour started at 8PM.
- Yanin promised that she would make an announcement a few minutes before cocktail hour ended so that I could get a group picture of all of our guests – she of course FORGOT to do this even after I reminded her the day before
- The bathroom facilities had 3 inches of water flooded so none of our guests could use the restrooms during the ceremony, cocktail AND reception.
- Reception timeline was not followed at all. I had to keep reminding the DJ and staff of our timeline. At one point I went to find Yanin to ask her to bring out the wedding cake and I found her dancing behind the DJ booth while wearing the glow sticks that I BROUGHT FOR OUR GUESTS! Glad she was having a good time instead of facilitating the reception…ridiculous.
- They finally brought the cake out and Jon and I did the cake cutting pictures, but then they NEVER SERVED CAKE, COFFEE OR TEA! It wasn’t until Midnight that I noticed the cake was still sitting in the front of the room uncut!! I found out later that our guests just assumed it was a fake cake since nobody served it. I was so upset that we paid for cake for 100 people and nobody got a slice! So I asked them to deliver the cake to our room and I planned to hand it out to our guests the next morning. They assured us they would deliver the cake…IT NEVER CAME. They also lost our cake topper that we customized from home.
- Specialty meals: None of our guests got the correct specialty meal (vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free, kids meal) We saw one guest who was supposed to have a vegetarian meal and all she was served was Mashed potatoes and 3 slivers of vegetables. The staff basically removed the steak and scallops from the main meal and served the remaining sides as “vegetarian meal”!!!
- Yanin forgot to bring out the photo props that we brought for the polaroid guestbook
- Yanin forgot the balloons that we ordered for the DJ to pass our during the dancing part of the reception
- The entrance to the reception was leaking water onto guests from the ceiling
WEDDING NIGHT/SPECIAL SERVICES
- Yanin forgot to inform reception to put a “Just Married” sign outside of our door the morning after our wedding like we saw other guests have on their doors. Our groomsman, my husband and myself had to ask reception on 3 different occasions and we finally got our sign 3 days later
- Yanin forgot to order our romantic turndown service on the wedding night and instead we came back to a filthy room without anything special. We were treated like regular guests for our entire stay – she never made us feel special or excited about our wedding day. She should NOT be in the wedding planning business
- Due to the lack of Air Conditioning for all of our wedding events, this led to our uncle collapsing in the middle of our reception and having to be carried out by our groomsmen and wedding guests. Yanin and Medical assistance was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND! Our guests had to rush through 3 inches of the flooded bathroom to get wet towels to try to bring our uncle back to consciousness – it was such a scary time!!! In the moment we all thought he had a stroke.
- Yanin finally showed up and we were yelling to her to get help…and she just froze and stood there. Did not make a single move. So our groomsman had to run all the way across the street to the main lobby and frantically yell for an ambulance. So much time had passed before my uncle got any medical assistance. I absolutely blame the resort for not only CAUSING my uncle to faint but for their lack of response in making his condition worse.
- We had 3 guests staying at another resort that would be attending our wedding, and we prepaid the $150 cost per person, yet when the guests arrived on the wedding day, the resort tried to charge them $150 per person! Thankfully our guest called my father-in-law and he was able to set them straight – otherwise they would have been paid twice and we would have never known!
- Beware – this is a money hungry resort and they have no problem double charging guests!!!
AFTER WEDDING MEETINGS
- After our wedding disaster, we scheduled a meeting with Yanin’s boss – Barbara. Barbara was kind and was the first apology we heard after everything so that was a nice change of pace. She did not try to deny all of the things that went wrong, however the only compensation she offered us was….wait for it…..”2 free night stay during our NEXT VISIT” W.T.F. That doesn’t even cover the wedding cake that we never received!!! Not to mention the $1000 we spent on wilted bouquets, or chairs that were never delivered, or the fire show that was NOT PRIVATE. We told her that wasn’t enough so she said she would call corporate and for us to come back 4 hours later. When we came back, her answer was the same – all they can offer is 2 free nights the next time we come back.
- Barbara also informed us that Yanin was fired and that we would never have to communicate with her again.
- So…naturally my husband and I caused a scene and told her we would never come back and announced that nobody should get married here! Thankfully we did this because several other brides approached us throughout the day letting us know that their weddings were also ruined that weekend. One bride had Yanin and another had Viviana. So I can only assume all of their wedding planners are awful and make promises they can’t keep.
- Then to add salt to our wound, they lost all of our wedding decorations including the expensive suitcase that they were stored in!!! As compensation, they tried to give us a small old suitcase….I can only assume that this was a suitcase from another couple that they previously lost.
- We were disgusted that after all that went wrong on our wedding day, not a single staff member called us the next day to apologize, check in or at the very least see how our uncle was recovering.
- Wedding Cake was never delivered to our room so we literally just paid for something that never saw the light of day.
For those brides who have upcoming weddings already scheduled, my best advice is the following:
1. Do NOT pay for all fees up front. Try to reserve some of the funds until they prove that your wedding will be a success.
2. DO NOT give them your wedding decorations. Had I known they would lose mine, I would have asked a family member to help with decorations on the day of.
3. Assign someone from your wedding party to hunt down your planner on the wedding day so that the bride and groom can focus on getting themselves ready and to relieve stress bc I guarantee you that your planner will not be available to you.