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Destination Wedding Resort Reviews
Dreams Rivera Cancun Resorts and Spa

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57%
39%
4%
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Detailed Ratings

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(Rated 4.6 stars with 28 reviews)
Rated #2 of 79 Cancun on BDW
About:
The luxurious Dreams Riviera Cancun takes its personality from its incredible location — just 30 minutes from the “hot” excitement of Cancun yet right on the “cool” Caribbean close to Playa del Carmen and many other of the Mayan Riviera’s most sought after sights. Most importantly, it is an enchanting wonderland where families, couples, singles and friends enjoy all the pleasures and privileges of Unlimited-Luxury® where everything is included.

Member Reviews

tlwarren

By tlwarren, · 1 Comment

Pros: Beautiful resort, great food, amazing party
Cons: Confusing planning process, expensive
We got married on May 24th on the North Beach with our reception at the Seaside Grill. I may be a little biased, but it was the best wedding ever! We had several other guests say the same thing. I will try and hit the important categories of our experience...   Planning - This was the worst part of our whole Dreams experience. The information packets they send you are poorly organized with conflicting information throughout. I knew that we wouldn't speak with a wedding coordinator until 3 months out, but we needed to have some information (for printing invitations especially) sooner than they wanted to give it to us. We were not overly concerned with the minor details of the wedding, but this process was still extremely frustrating. Our wedding coordinator was Maira, and she was awesome, but the system they have set up for the planning process is not good. We sent the same Word document back and forth 20 times, changing font color to indicate changes made. Needless to say, it quickly turned into a sloppy, 25 page document. In the end, Maira pulled off everything we asked for, so we can't complain about the planning process too much.    The Resort - Absolutely beautiful!!! Pictures don't do it justice. We literally walked around the resort in awe for the first day. Staff was super friendly and the rooms are gorgeous. We liked the rooms better than at Secrets where we honeymooned, which was supposed to be even more luxurious than Dreams. We were upgraded to Premier Club by our TA which was very nice, but I don't know if I would pay for it if we went back.   Restaurants - Overall, the food was good, and at times it was fantastic. Buffet food will never be amazing wherever you go, so take the time for sit down meals. Service at restaurants was hit or miss, but we were never in a hurry anyway. If you go to the nicer restaurants like Portofino and Bordeaux, you will not be disappointed! The Mexican restaurant was our least favorite, ironically. The dress code at the nice restaurants was frustrating because it was SO hot and humid to expect men to wear pants. Men could not wear dress shorts, but women could wear cheap sundresses bordering on pool cover-ups... didn't make a lot of sense. Plan accordingly, and make sure to pass the word on to your guests!   Beach - We loved the beach! There is a nice strip of aqua water before it turns dark blue above the reef, and the water is sooo warm.There was some seaweed, but they work hard to pick it up. If a pristine white beach and turquoise water with no seaweed are your absolute top priorities, then you should go to Maroma beach. But every one of our guests was perfectly satisfied with the beach at Dreams. Free kayak and hobie cat rentals are another plus!   Pools - The pool areas were great and drink service was fast. There are 3 pools, but most people hang out in the main pool with the swim up bar. There is a really shallow pool that is great for little kids, or playing ping pong. The third pool is where they did most of the entertainment... dance contests, paddle board balance acts, water aerobics etc. The entertainment staff is awesome; they work so hard and really get people to have a good time without being too pushy to the ones who don't want to participate.   Bars - There are plenty of places to get a drink at Dreams, and most of the bartenders were super friendly and knowledgeable. They were great about refilling the tumblers we made for people (and rinsing them off in between drinks!) and making drink suggestions when you ran out of ideas. We really wished there was a better place to hang out after dinner, however. A lot of our guests would like to hang out drinking until 2 am, but aren't into the whole night club scene. The night club was nice to have, but it was pretty cheesy and very loud. The lobby bar was beautiful and the hookahs were a nice touch, but it was so hot and full of mosquitoes that we would find ourselves moving down to the pool area to cool off. Drinks, cool air, and conversation were all we wanted, but you could only have 2 of those things at a time.   Welcome cocktail hour - We had a welcome cocktail reception on the beach the day that the majority of our guests arrived, and this was a big hit. We had cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and played a "get to know each other Bingo game". Everyone really enjoyed this private event, and the Bingo game was a lot of fun. We weren't sure how Bingo would go over, but everyone was super in to it and talked to people they had never met. By the time the wedding came around, all our friends and family had met each other. It's nice to get those ice breakers out of the way early. The service was great and hors d'oeuvres very tasty! We just wish it lasted another hour.   Rehearsal - We had a quick rehearsal on the beach the day before the wedding followed by a rehearsal dinner in the wine cellar. I highly recommend spending money on this touch! We had 24 people at a private 5 (or 7? I can't remember) course dinner, and it was amazing. The food was phenomenal. Guests could pick their main course, but we pre-selected the other courses. The service was so good, I swear there were ghost ninjas refilling our wine glasses. It was very nice to spend this quality time with our immediate family and wedding party. The restaurants are not that great at accommodating large groups, so this was great to have a reservation and private room. Everyone was super impressed with this meal!   The big day - My husband got a separate room the night before which was included in our Ultimate Package. They actually gave him a room with a plunge pool, which was super cool considering we weren't totally convinced there would even be an available room for him. My mom, four bridesmaids, MIL, and I all got ready in our room. That is probably the the most people getting ready you'd want in one standard room before upgrading to a suite of some sort. We had our hair and make up done by the spa and paid extra for them to come to the room. We negotiated the fee to $150 for them to come to the room, on top of the $150 per person for hair and makeup. This was ridiculously expensive in my opinion, but they did a great job on everyone! I was very nervous about using these services, as I have experienced horrible hair and makeup at a cousin's destination wedding. I couldn't be happier with how everyone turned out though. Those girls were fast! I'd say everyone's hair took an average of 25 minutes each, and we all have A LOT of hair. I would highly recommend updos for everyone, because there is a 90% chance it will at least be breezy on your wedding day. People who didn't have their hair up have messed up hair in most of our pictures. Also, there is probably a 95% chance it will be hot/humid on your wedding day, and you don't want sweaty hair sticking to your neck and face.   Ceremony - We saw several weddings during our 8 days at Dreams, and the North Beach is by far the most beautiful and private location for a ceremony. 6 pm was a great time, as it was not too hot and the lighting was amazing. We had a legal ceremony because we didn't want to go through all the trouble of bringing 64 people to Mexico for just a symbolic ceremony. You don't have a lot of say in the script for a legal ceremony, but the justice of the peace did a beautiful job! His English was great and it was the perfect blend of funny and sappy. I'm really glad we chose the legal ceremony. They brought out a glass of champagne for every single guest after the ceremony, and we got a great group picture in front of the hoopa! It was so beautiful, don't bother spending much extra money decorating. We paid for flowers on the hoopa, and bows and starfish for just the aisle chairs. NO ONE is going to remember the lanterns or whatever else they want to charge a crazy amount of money to rent. The location is beautiful on its own.   Cocktail hour - While we took pictures, our guests headed to the cocktail hour at the jacuzzi. Although we weren't present, everyone had great things to say about it. The mariachi band was part of our package and people thought that was a nice touch. I can tell from pictures that people had a great time visiting and doing shots, getting ready for the party!   Reception - The Seaside Grill was an amazing place for the reception; I wouldn't have it any other location. It was the perfect size for around 65 people. We used their DJ, dance floor, photo booth, and cartoonist. I would highly recommend all of those except the dance floor. It was small and very uneven. We would have been better off dancing on the concrete floor of the restaurant. The DJ played everything we asked him to and allowed guests to request songs. The photo booth girls were great! They had a wide array of props and helped to put together our "photo booth guest scrap book". We loved looking through the scrap book our guests created with photo booth photos, stickers, and markers that we brought. The food and service was phenomenal during dinner! We had the gold menu and everything was so good. I wish we didn't get a cake, because dinner came with creme brulee and the cake cutting really just cut into the party time. Again, we hardly paid for any decoration upgrades. I think we had basic centerpieces and that's it. The restaurant is beautiful on its own. People are going to remember how good the party was, not what your table cloths looked like. Our reception ended at 11, which was WAY too early! We were so sad when they announced the last song, it felt like the party had just started. Most people headed to the club after, but the party momentum definitely took a hit. We still had another 2 hours of fun, but it would have been awesome if the reception was longer.    Adventure Photography - We just took the basic photography package that came with Dreams Ultimate because we brought our own photographer to take pictures for 4 days. The 50 pictures we got of the ceremony were AMAZING. They sure have the lighting figured out because their pictures were even better than our photographer's. They are very expensive, but I promise you won't be disappointed by their work. We also got a photobook in the mail just last week that is lovely. We should be getting a 15 minute video of the ceremony, but that has yet to arrive.    We still can't stop talking about how great of a time we had during our 8 day stay at Dreams. All of our wedding guests feel the same way. Some of our guests are world travelers and/or frequent all-inclusive patrons, and they couldn't believe how nice this resort was. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is because of the disorganized planning process and the cost of our wedding. They never seemed to acknowledge the fact that we were bringing them $100,000+ worth of business; they nickel-and-dimed us for EVERYTHING. I guess they are so popular they don't have to comp anything, but some of the charges were worthy of laughing out loud. $700 for a bubble machine during our first dance, $3 PER napkin to have any color other than white, and $600 for some fabric on the ceiling of the Seaside Grill were some of those charges we just had to pass up. For the amount of money we spent, I would expect a flawless experience.    Overall, our wedding was everything we could ever hope for; truly it was the best day ever! We can't wait for a big anniversary to renew our vows and have a big party all over again! Please feel free to message me with questions! I relied heavily on this site to navigate the wedding planning process.
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jenna85

By jenna85, · 1 Comment

Pros: The resort itself and its service
Cons: Buffet food
We had our wedding on January 23, 2016 with a total of 58 people in our party. We booked our stay through Vacations for Less with Teresa Stauring. Our TA is absolutely wonderful and definitely helpful with all the booking needs we had. We stayed for 7 nights while some guests stayed between 4-7 nights. Everybody loved the resort and definitely had a wonderful time.

The front desk staff were absolutely wonderful. I would definitely like to mention Maria from the frontdesk with all her assistance. We originally booked 3 nights in an ocean view, 2 nights master suite (getting ready room for the bridal party) and 2 nights back to the ocean view premium delux. We were able to upgrade our entire stay in the master suite preferred club which definitely made it more convenient for us. It prevented us from switching back and forth with rooms. Maria tried her very best to accommodate our needs and assisted us in getting a best deal possible.

Olga from the housekeeping department kept our room nice and neat the whole time. We see her everyday and she never fails to greet us and inquire whether we would want some cleaning in our room. The person refilling and keeping our fridge stock is not always keeping our mini bar stocked. I asked room service if they can bring us some orange juice since me and my now husband are both sick at the time, they said they can only deliver the juice if we order food so sometimes we are forced to just order something to get some orange juice and water. The room service food is a hit or miss sometimes. There are times that the hot food is cold and cold food is warm, like salads would be soggy. But it's a good go to food whenever we are hungry and we're too tired to get dressed and walk to a restaurant.

The preferred club service is nice. I do love the little appetizers and snacks they have available there. We didn't really use this service very much as to most of our needs were taken care of by the main frontdesk.

The best restaurant is the Italian. Everything else such as the French, Japanese, Oceana, and Seaside are really good as well. These restaurants makes it seem like I am not in an all inclusive resort with the service and the quality of food. Their portions are perfect enough to start with an appetizer, get an entree, and still be able to try some dessert. There's only quite a handful of dessert I liked from all the restaurant. Try to avoid peak times because they can go on an hour waits especially if you have a big party. My least favorite restaurant is the world cafe buffet. I often find their food not so appetizing and somewhat makes this place really an all inclusive resort. Although, the wait staff there is always very nice. A few of the waitstaff in the oceana and seaside grill could be a little rude but then again I kinda get it when our party gets a little too drunk and needy.

The pool and waitstaff by the pool are always nice and friendly. The resort is very well maintained and is always nice and clean.

Going into our wedding day. I had an outside vendor Styling Trio do our hair and makeup. They are amazing! I honestly love everything about them. I do wish that they can become one of their preferred vendor because out of all the services we received, I think they were the best in fulfilling everything they promised. I've never had my hair and makeup done and have it nailed in one application. I'm very picky and particular with how I want my hair and makeup and looking at the photos from the DRC spa, I did find their service overpriced and I don't find their quality that great. I do think some of their makeup are done too much and looks cakey. We also hired an outside photographer, Sarani photography. We used adventure photos for a family photoshoot since I had a photo package included with the ultimate wedding package I have. I believe his name was Arturo, he was nice but it felt like we were rushed when we did our photoshoot at the beach the day before the wedding. The photos turned out nice though but it didn't look or feel as fun as how we had it a year ago in Cabo during my sister's wedding.

Our wedding coordinator Maira Gomez is amazing. She came to my room with the bridal bouquet and they were beautiful. I wanted a more brighter blue but I'm still happy with how it turned out. I highly suggest getting the master suite for a big bridal party. There's was 8 of us total getting our hair and makeup done and our room was perfect. We were a little late in starting the ceremony. We were trying to take some more getting ready photos and we did kinda loss track of time.

The ceremony. The gazebo was absolutely beautiful. The minister did a great job the ceremony. The floral arch was beautiful and how the blue mason jars and the coral flowers pop the colors of the gazebo. The only thing I was disappointed was the rose petal aisle. I specifically asked Maira to make sure that I have a very full rose petal aisle. But it didn't look as full as I wanted it. I wanted more petals like you can't see the floor but petals but that didn't happen. The rose petal rain was a joke. I wish I just asked for our guests to throw the petals as we were walking out rather than the machine they were using for the rose petal rain. It wasn't blowing as many petals as I envisioned it. So our exit didn't look as exciting as I wanted it.

The cocktail hour had the mariachi band that played for 45 minutes. The food from the cocktail hour were all delicious. I asked for some papel picado to go brighten the cocktail hour location and had the Mexican theme in it but the wind blew them away and they had to take them down. After the mariachi band played, this caused confusion to my guests and thought that the cocktail hour has ended. So they all were trying to go to the reception but it wasn't ready and even the reception itself was also delayed due to finishing touches they had to do.

The reception was held in the ballroom and it was supposed to start at 7PM. We didn't get started till almost 7:20PM and it also caused for some of my bridal party to disappear because they were misinformed that the reception won't be ready till 8PM. I wish they could be coordinated the transition from the cocktail hour to the reception better. I wish someone was coordinating during the cocktail hour assisting our guests to stay there until the ballroom hall was ready.
The design was so very beautiful. Maira did an outstanding job with executing what I wanted for the reception. We had a beautiful sweetheart table and the tables and chairs and center pieces came together beautifully. The only thing is that we had asked for a couple of confetti shoots, and it seems like we only had one during the end of our first dance. It would've been nice if we had the 2 shots we paid for one during the middle of our dance and one at the end. DJ Mauricio played some of our song selection but he played his song selections over what we wanted. We understand that there's not enough time to play all the songs we wanted, but we'd rather hear the songs we selected than Ke$ha, or Taylor Swift or some other random dance song we didn't want. We had the Caribbean buffet with the salad menu from the BBQ buffet. We were very disappointed with the quality of our food and the taste. The food looked soggy and not very appetizing. The fried chicken looked like a tiny chicken with one bone, kinda hard to explain, and the salad were all wet looking. We wish we actually stocked to the plated menu perhaps the quality and looks would be better. Our wedding cake didn't look as nice as how I wanted it. From what I understand, I asked for a 3-tiered cake with flowers and blue ribbons that I provided. There wasn't enough flowers in it. The taste of the cake was very dry. The fondant cake was so hard it took us awhile to cut through the cake. We honestly didn't even eat the cake because it didn't taste very good. It's a little disappointing when I paid extra amount for a better looking and hoping for a better tasting cake. We had the photo booth. It pretty much looked like they took over the entrance table and set up a camera and props. A lot of our guests wasn't able to take photos and their complaint is that they get photo bombers behind them since its so out in the open. Since we started our reception late, they did let us stay a little longer during our reception. Altogether we still had a great time during the reception.

Our room during the wedding night were cleaned with a sash at the door that says "honeymoon". They had a bottle of champagne and fruit tray waiting for us, rose petals and bubble bath in the tub, and our bed made with some fresh robes waiting. It was very neat but we were so exhausted that we didn't even drink the champagne or use the tub.

The following day, the wedding department left our luggage with all the stuff we brought for the wedding in it. They gave us a survey to fill our and few other instructions but we were so busy I didn't even get to read the paper till we got back from our vacation.

I would rate our whole experience 4/5. Not everything was perfect but it still turned out beautifully. I couldn't thank Maira Gomez enough for making all of this happen. The wedding staff and her worked as a team and helped out our dream wedding together. There were a few things that were out of her control such as being too windy, or what the DJ would play during our wedding, or how our cake would taste and look. We're still beyond grateful for all the work she did for us. Do we truly feel that we got what we paid for, not so much. We are just glad we are able to have our family and friends, enjoy the event and each other's company. Even though it wasn't a perfect wedding day, we are still glad that we got a beautiful wedding.
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We got married this past June at Dreams Rivera Cancun and it was absolutely everything I could have ever wanted- and was so incredibly stress free!! Our rehearsal dinner was at the Mexican restaurant (semi-private) and our ceremony/reception was on the beach. Claudia did an amazing job with everything. There wasn't one thing I would change about our whole experience. :)
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pddcmc

By pddcmc, · 1 Comment

Pros: Gorgeous resort and accommodations. Beautiful Ceremony!
Cons: Wedding Coordinator
We had the Dreams of Love Wedding package on April 17th with the ceremony at 5:30 pm on the North Beach, cocktail at the Jacuzzi, and reception at the deck.   Travel: We flew with Apple vacations/Frontier Air. We had no problem taking our wedding outfits on the plane (the biggest pain was carrying it through the airport!) We got a private overhead compartment to lay our clothes down in. No problem with customs. We were over-weight with all three pieces of luggage, but when we checked our bags, the person at the counter let it “slide” because it was for our wedding (I think wearing a “Bride” shirt helped  ;)).   Arrival: We arrived to DRC and we were greeted with cool towels that smelled amazing.  We were then taken to the preferred club to check-in and provided champagne. Our wedding coordinator met us there and walked us to the wedding office (more on that later). In the room we had a flower arrangement, champagne, and fruit, and a welcome letter waiting for us. We were in room 1551, which had an AMAZING view with the largest deck in the building. The view from our balcony   Pre-wedding meeting: Our meeting with Maira (wedding coordinator) occurred immediately after checking in. I will say this – I was extremely disappointed. Maira did not have the most current Wedding Planner form (I should have trusted my instincts and brought a print out, but in an email she told me she would take care of it), so that made things a little challenging. But, I remained calm and positive, until… we started discussing the events of the wedding day. She said, “You didn’t tell me you were having a first look.” *Um, what?!* We had corresponded several times about this. So, by then I started to panic a little because it became apparent that she was not with it. Also, in an email, she told me she would cancel the bridal appointment with the spa (I hired outside stylists), well she didn’t. So, in the meeting I had to remind her of this. She then wrote herself a note to cancel the appointment. Unfortunately, the day of the wedding, the spa called my room and said that I was 9 minutes late for my appointment! Luckily, my MOH had answered the phone and let them know that the coordinator was supposed to contact them the previous day. During the pre-wedding meeting, my fiancé also noticed that the WC was not on the ball, which says a lot because he is a very calm, easy-going guy. What I am trying to say is this proves that I was not over-reacting. Basically, I had my MOH and girl friends take charge – the day went perfectly. I honestly think that Maira was new, and her English is rather lacking. Luckily, my husband's first language is Spanish, so he did quite a bit of explaining and clarification. I will say that anyone who has Claudia is very lucky. She helped us with our pre-wedding appointment when Maira was having trouble.   Rehearsal: Rehearsal was at 5:30 pm the following day. This was fantastic because it was the same time as our actual ceremony. So, I was able to see what the sun and temperature would be like. Well, it was PERFECT. The sun was just behind a building, some there was some shade and a light breeze. After the rehearsal, Maira informed us that she forgot to order frames for the table numbers. Although, in retrospect, this is a minor detail, it was still unsettling that there was another thing that she had dropped the ball on. Luckily, she got it taken care of.   Complimentary Room: Husband checked-in to his complimentary room @ 3pm on Thursday and was required to check-out on Friday @ 12pm. He got ready in a friend’s room. No problems here.    The Best Moments: I was VERY happy with my hair and make-up, as well as my MOH and mother’s looks. I do recommend them, but I will say that I had a few communication issues with Martina at the beginning, but everything worked out wonderfully. For a little more detail, see my review under the Vendor Reviews section.    WEDDING DAY – The Best Moments: Natacha (hair) and Caral (make-up) arrived 12:30. They were so sweet and fast! My mom, MOH, and I were finished by 3 pm, which was perfect. It gave us enough time to just relax and visit with each other. Del Sol Photography: Debora arrived to my room at 4 pm and her assistant (Jorge) went to my husband’s room for getting ready photos. Debora was FANTASTIC!!! I have yet to see photos, but she was so fun, outgoing, and full of life. In fact, even my guests commented on how great she was! For more info, see my review under Vendor Reviews.   Getting ready robe from etsy - it photographed very well and was very comfortable!   Ceremony: We had a symbolic ceremony (legal wedding at home before). We had a man who was very nice, but did have a heavy Mexican accent that made it a little hard to follow what he was saying. On the plus side, we had a bilingual ceremony, so it worked out. However, I did feel like he didn’t read our preferred ceremony script before the actual ceremony. Oh well.
My husband’s cousin and uncle performed the processional. It was PHENOMENAL. They played “A Love Idea” by Mark Knopfler. Jose walked down the aisle playing this piece on his violin and Uncle Gus played the accompaniment on the electronic piano on the left side. Our guests tossed mini beach balls as we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. Décor: I brought fans, mini beach balls that were in two baskets, a chalk board, and starfish garland. The resort decorated the arch with white and coral. Honestly, the fans were not needed. There was a nice breeze blowing and the ceremony time we had chosen was perfect – it was not hot at all and the sun was not in our eyes. But, it was a nice touch for color because we didn't have chair bows (I can't stand them). The sound system we brought was PERFECT – everyone could hear without a problem (best $150 I have ever spent). I didn't upgrade my bouquet, but I thought it was beautiful. And, man, that sucker was heavy!! Yes, there was quite a bit of seaweed on the beach. But, the resort tries to keep it clean. The thing is, it's the season for the seaweed to get washed up...but it's the ocean, what do you expect? lol   Cocktail Hour: We didn’t get to enjoy too much of this, but of what food I had, it was delicious! My only complaint is that the cocktail was held at the South Jacuzzi... our ceremony was on the North Beach and the Reception was on the Deck, right next to the North Beach. Really, it's not a big deal..it was just a little confusing to everyone as to where to go.   Reception: We were on the deck and it was gorgeous. We had the Mexican Buffet and the food was amazing…The best food all week. There was food featured that wasn't available at any of the restaurants. We brought the cake topper and we had a marble cake. You can't take the cake home with you or back to your room because it's sitting out for so long. Rather than pay for an extra hour of reception dancing, we went to the disco and danced. This was fun because I went in my dress and people were so nice and complimentary   B).  
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Pros: Food, Music, details, flowers, it was all great.
Cons: Leading up to the big event you might feel you are being neglected by the slower communication. Don't worry though your day will be AMAZING.
Ladies, let me start by saying what an amazing time I had over the 5 days that we spent at Dreams Rivera Cancun.  My husband and I started out search last year and had just a short list of criteria for our perfect wedding location.  We wanted a smaller resort that had really good food.  That was it!  Boy did this resort pay off.  The entire resort is is just 2 or 3 long buildings with the main entrance housing all of the entertainment and restaurants (for the most part)  There is just one central pool area so you can easily scan to see where your family and friends are.  The food was also amazing.   Every detail of our actual wedding ceremony was perfect!  I could not have planned it better myself.  All details are worked out with your wedding coordinator prior to your arrival.  You are assigned a wedding coordinator as soon as your put down your deposit and sign the contracts.  Something to be mindful of though is that your coordinator is working on several weddings every day of every week.  So they most likely will not be very responsive until about 3 months before your actual wedding date.  Don't stress about that though.   You can gather as much info as you'd like up until those 3 months and then really start working with her to make sure they have all the details.  And let me tell you ladies, MY DAY was PERFECT.  Every detail, color, flower, and music that I dreamed of was taken care of.  Even small details that I would have never thought of.  It was great!   We went back and forth on the music that we went with, but ended up with the DJ choice.  The music was great throughout the night and our guests even commented on how great the music selection was.  It was a great party.  They even busted out balloons that we did a limbo dance to.  They also played some tequila song that they brought out a bottle of tequila and poured down everyone's mouths.  It was great.
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DWB2B2014

By DWB2B2014, · 16 Comments

Pros: Wedding coordinator, food, organization, spa, cake, service, etc
Cons: allergies
Review of Dreams Riviera Cancun   So happy I chose this resort!   Wedding Date: Jan 28, 2014   When we arrived at the resort, it was interesting to say the least. We had 3 vans of private transportation and ours was the first to arrive. I got out of the van and was immediately offered a cold towel and my dress and all my wedding decorations in them put onto a cart. My fiancé (at the time) was mentioning how someone was video taping us. I did not see this but assumed it must have something to do with the fact that we were getting married there. Started to feel uncomfortable and wanted to follow the bellhop with my wedding stuffs. The bellman brings me back to the towel guy (who refused to look at me and had his hat really low) once again, and again I refuse only interested in following my dress. We go to check in and we had to wait a moment (apparently) to go to the premium check-in. I went back to stand by my belongings while waiting. The towel guy was now standing next to my luggage in his full outfit and he removes his hat. It takes a minute until I realize it is my cousin from Holland! And my other cousin was the creepy video taper. The reason I’m including this in my review is to show how far the resort will go for making your wedding week special. Apparently my wedding coordinator Claudia and the bellhops had arranged the whole surprise including the bellhop outfit! The rest of the check in process was smooth and we did get greeted with champagne.   That night we put together our welcome bags and had them ready to be sent out. But since it was 2pm we decided to do this in the morning. I thought having name tags on them would have been enough. I had to write down what rooms everyone was in and how many bags / room. Future brides should do this in advance and save yourself some time. It costed $3 / room for deliveries and some rooms had 2 bags. They were delivered about 3 hours after I dropped them off, worked great!   I had a wedding planner via my travel agency so I do not have any comments on communication with the resort as I never had to do that. I worked on all the planning with my wedding planner from home. She sent in all the information to Claudia and I finally got to meet with her the day before the wedding for the first time and this freaked me out. Can she really pull everything off in less than 24 hours? The answer is yes! So I head to the wedding planning office (45 minutes late for my meeting as my excursion ran late) hoping everything would be alright. It was very smooth process. She had all the information and we just reviewed it. Everything seemed good. I met with the minister and I did start to panic a little as they did not have the right color of sand for the sand ceremony. They had confirmed they had it so I didn’t bring my own but it was dark blue, not the light turquoise blue that matched everything else. I was upset but it wasn’t the end of the world.  Since she was in on the cousin surprise, she had already adjusted my seating charts etc to allow for the 2 of them.   That night we did the rehearsal walk thru. Claudia clearly instructed what the plan was and made suggestions of who should go when and sit wear. I am not a bride that had it all planned out. Procession was never on my mind. Bridesmaids and groomsmen right? Well there was a bit more to it. J She was great. Once we completed the walk thru she recommended that we head to El Patio as they should be able to accommodate all of us. I did not book a restaurant as I couldn’t fathom paying for it when the food was included. We did get in and filled 3 tables all next to each other so this was great. I swear that the waiter we had that night was brand new. It took forever for service and they did not understand that almonds are nuts. My husband has a tree nut allergy. We mentioned this to the waiter but he still brought out  salad with almonds on it and even went as far to say that its not a nut its almonds. I recommend anyone going with allergies to write it out on a card clearly in English and Spanish so that you can communicate it clearly. For all the other restaurants and for our wedding they were very good about the allergies, even having my husband meet with the cook to determine the replacement menu options. That was the only night we did not have top notch service. We did go back to El Patio closer to the end of the week and the service was amazing. All the food was amazing at this resort.   Ok day of the wedding. My husband was given the free room for the night so we did not sleep together. I stayed in our master suite and I highly recommend booking it. Video of the same room: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-zIeE3MQ9A It has a giant closet when you first walk in and a huge separate livingroom and kitchen from the bedroom. You can actually close these sliding doors between the living room and bedroom an you can access the patio from both rooms. From the bedroom I could overlook the gazebo so I could see what was happening and see the setup etc. So neat to watch everything you planned for finally come together. I brought down my own chair sashes, table overlays, placecard holders, chargers, and wooden “Bride/Groom”) signs. It was all taken care of and I had nothing to worry about.   Spa appointment was good.  Claudia brought me champagne and calmed my nerves. The lady that did my hair didn’t want to use the make up that I brought which was a concern but turned our ok. My 3 bridesmaids also got their hair done there as well and they all looked amazing. I was concerned my makeup was a bit dark but it turned out ok in the end. I just don’t normally wear makeup so for me it was soooo much.   We did also do the couples massage, and I did a facial both of which I absolutely loved. They were included in the wedding/honeymoon package.   We are then all in my mastersuite getting ready when Claudia comes by and tells me how the minister went out (somewhere in less than 24 hours) and bought 4 more colors of blue sand for me to choose from!! I was so happy and relieved as this was the only thing I was concerned about.  She also brought up the bouquets (mine, 3 bridesmaids) which were beautiful but mine was extremely heavy! I had no idea flowers could weigh so much! J   Ok so ceremony was perfect. Everything as planned and as Claudia instructed. They will do whatever you want. We used the Gazebo at 3:30 pm which was perfect for late January. We did our champagne toast at the gazebo and took pictures. I did not use the resort photographer. I got the ultimate wedding package and the resort photographer was included so we used him to shoot our mock cocktail hour at Barracudas bar. We hired an outside vendor (Dean Sanderson weddings)  and he was absolutely amazing. The sparkler work was great and he gave so much insight into what would look good in shots. We got over 400 pictures from him corrected and they are gorgeous. Hard to believe  it is us in those shots! Here is a link to some of the pictures. There are some of the reception setup, cake, etc. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153824407590338.1073741825.512685337&type=1&l=b01e9da25c     So as I mentioned, we decided not do the cocktail hour as in the wedding package. We decided to have everyone hang out at Barracudas so they were close for the wedding pictures and it is also right next to South Beach so it made for a perfect transition.  The Mexican Trio played there and it was fantastic. Everyone really enjoyed the swings too J. We then took all of our pictures in the perfect sunset light.   Onto the reception. Wow was it ever amazing. We extended our reception and I totally recommend this. I don’t know how you could do it in less time with everything that needs to happen and still have time to enjoy yourself. It was from 5:30 – 11pm. We started speeches during dinner and it was perfect.  The decorations were exactly as I wanted them, my cake was amazing and the music was great. We had Mauricio and had no issues what-so-ever. The power did go out 3 times but it just added to the whole party. We called it super slow strobe lights, they fixed it right away and extended the reception to make up for it. We were supposed to finish at 10:30pm. The bartender and the waiters were big hits! Every 5 minutes they would come around with another round of shots. Something different every time. I totally didn’t think I would be able to catch up to the guests as they were sitting at the bar waiting for this as we did pictures but I was wrong. They also put out the chair on the middle of the dance floor and poured tequila down our throats, still not sure how they got my mom to do that but hey! Sadly it ended all too soon. Mauricio played our last dance song and I knew it was over, or wait, was it? He planned one more song for us afterwards to cap the night off. It was great. My wedding ended with 5 of our guests streaking naked into the ocean. Now that’s crazy! The majority of us moved to Desires after and it was a blast. Honestly nothing to worry about with this resort.   We did the breakfast in bed with the mimosas but it doesn’t really seem much different that pre ordering room service. It was still nice though. The private dinner on the beach was absolutely fantastic! Tiki torches, private, amazing food, personal servers, need I say more? I cannot say the same of the Excellence which is where we had our honeymoon the following week. We wish we would of stayed at dreams. If dreams had rooms with rooftop private pools I would never need to look anywhere else ever again. :)   We loved this resort and so did our guests. This is the only time we have been to a place where many of the guests say they will actually come back. Its not too big so finding people isn’t terrible. The food was great and the staff so friendly and helpful. We can’t wait to go back for our 1 year anniversary.     Happy planning!                          
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JBarks

By JBarks, · 9 Comments

Pros: Wedding Coordinator, Flowers, Organization, Photography, Food.... pretty much everything!
Cons: Expensive DJ service
When we first arrived at the resort, my fiancée and I were immediately whisked away to the preferred club lobby to check in. Right away we had drinks of our choice delivered to us and we sat down to go over our package with Natalia at the concierge, who is amazing – I was calling her my fairy godmother. Any question or request we had of her, she made happen, plus some, in most cases. Without our asking, she started looking for our room upgrade options, saying it didn’t look like anything would be available until the next day, but to come see her in a few hours. She also called the wedding office, and while we were still sitting there, our wedding coordinator Ayahamint came running in. She was so excited and friendly, and gave us big hugs. It was great to put a face with the name. She asked us to come to her office in a few hours to go over all of the wedding stuff. Excellent first impressions at this point! Since our rooms were not ready, we went down to the Seaside grill for lunch, where we had a delicious three course meal, which was dangerously accompanied with a giant shot of tequila per course, thanks to crazy Orlando who is so much fun, and loves delivering shots!   After lunch, a walk around the property, and a couple drinks at the swing bar, we headed back to the preferred club concierge to see if our room was ready. Not only was the room ready, but Natalia had spoken with her manager and somehow managed to get us our upgraded room right away! We were so excited. We had booked a preferred club room, and were upgraded to a Master Suite on the fourth floor of building two. Our room was so big, and sat at the very end of the building, so we were literally right above the beach with a completely unobstructed view. It sounds so cliché, but I actually felt like I was dreaming it was so perfect. The view was stunning with the sun coming up dead centre of our balcony view each morning. There was a bottle of champagne on ice with flutes and some fruit on our bedside table. The bed was massive and the nicest bed I’ve ever slept in – we’re literally calling the resort this week to find out the brand of bed and buying one here. I was so sad to leave it. The shower is huge and such perfect pressure. I absolutely loved showering at this resort. The bath products are refreshed as quickly as you need them to be, and they are spa quality. I never had to use my own products – in fact, I’d recommend not bringing body wash, shampoo, sunscreen, or conditioner – one less thing to pack! The rooms were cleaned at least twice a day and to an impeccable quality. Each night they turn your bed down, and leave you local chocolates and the program for the next day which is cute and helpful.   When we went down to our meeting with Ayahamint, we saw a sign that said ‘Welcome Brian and Jamie’ – really cute touch. I’d toured this resort before, so knew what to expect, but the wedding office is beautiful and so professional. Same quality as anything you’d find in a North American city. The planners are all really friendly and willing to help, even if your coordinator isn’t around. Like many brides, I felt unnerved at times throughout the year when I wouldn’t receive responses to my emails etc. But we ended up just buying a couple phone cards and calling the resort to talk to our coordinator directly, and always got a fast response. But really, we knew communication was going to be limited before we went down, so I tried not to email if I didn’t have to, and just more gathered my research from websites like this. But honestly, you don’t need the communication before you go down for the most part – yes you need a few answers, but after that, just relax, they 100% have it covered more than you can even imagine once you’re down there. We sat down with Aya for about an hour – she had champagne delivered to us, and we talked through the budget planner and the wedding planner packages. I had made up extremely detailed packages for her and I with every detail, cost, decoration, etc. which she took for reference, but really the budget planner and wedding planner is almost everything they go off of. So put a lot of care and time into those items, and you don’t really need anything else! Aya was so calm and knowledgeable, I felt completely relaxed and at ease that she had everything covered and I could stop thinking about it and start my vacation! I left her with a suitcase of my decorations and she was good to go.   At the end of our meeting she introduced us to DJ Jorge who was doing our wedding, and we only had to chat with him for about 5 minutes because I’d sent him our list of ‘must play’s and he seemed to just want to give us a solid party, so we felt good about that. We popped by the photography office that night to meet Anel and just fill out her form about timing for the wedding day, which was again quick and easy. The next day, we met the officiant Linda in the wedding office and she was great. We sat with her for about ½ an hour and she had us choose from a number of different wedding programs so that it matched us as a couple. We were very happy with the selections we ended up with. She was cute enough to even ask what our wedding colours were so that she could match her shirt.   I did very little related to the wedding for the next few days, until the night before the wedding. I didn’t book an official rehearsal dinner because I thought it was fairly expensive considering you’re sitting with regular guests, eating off the regular menu, etc. so I spoke with the concierge in the preferred club lobby who called and set up a meeting with myself and the Manager of Bordeaux. He offered me the wine cellar but for the price of $600 worth of wine, which I wasn’t interested in the night before the wedding. I asked if there was another option without additional cost, and he made a note in the Mexican restaurant book that we would need two tables for a total of 17 people, and he said they would accommodate us as long as we took a seating right at 6 pm. We arrived at 6 pm and it was perfect, two tables right next to each other to accommodate our entire party, for no extra cost. The only little hiccups were that we’d been asked to lay out our wedding clothes the morning before the wedding for it to be steamed, but I noticed it was still not gone by dinner. I went down to the wedding department to let them know, and they made a few quick calls, and it was gone within the hour. The clothes were returned around 11 am on the day of the wedding, and they looked perfect. The other thing was that Anel the photographer called the day before the wedding saying she couldn’t do our photography anymore, and that Santiago would be doing it instead. I was a little panicked because the wedding package had specifically mentioned Anel, but there was nothing I could do about it and she said he was professional so I went with it (more on that later!)   They gave my husband the option of a free room the night before the wedding so we didn’t sleep together, or a room the next day to get ready for the wedding in. He chose the night before and he got a great room to himself, and I got to stretch out in the giant bed J   The morning of the wedding I ordered room service for breakfast, met up with my husband to be and headed down to the wedding department to drop off our ipod and some last decorations, and to inform Aya we’d had one guest show up as a surprise, and that we needed to add him to the seating chart and for dinner etc. She took care of this no problem. We didn’t realize until later that we’d already paid our bill by this point, so she didn’t even charge me what would have been the roughly $75 (cocktail hour/dinner/one extra hour of bar) for him. She assured me everything was ready to go, and said the flowers would be delivered to my room one hour before the ceremony, and that she would come get me when it was time to go.   We went down to the spa for noon to get our hair and makeup done – they were able to do me, my Mum, my aunt, and my MOH all at once which was great. I showed my stylist pictures from home and she got right to work. They brought me champagne to my chair, and I just prayed for the hair to turn out. Not only did I love my hair, she did a better job than my trial I’d had at home. She did my make up in no time flat. I showed her a picture of what I’d like and that I wanted it to look natural, and again, phenomenal job. All the other ladies I was with were just as positive about their hair, so seriously, no worries to anyone getting their hair done at the resort salon, you’re in good hands!   We went back to the room and ordered some room service and neatened up for Santiago to arrive for photos. He did the boys pictures in their room first (only about 20 minutes), then came to see us around 330 pm.  He knew what kinds of shots he wanted so got right to work, then took more of us girls while they got me in my dress. He got lots of different angles and light, giving us lots to choose from in the end. Aya and the flowers arrived at about 415. The flowers were awesome – not EXACTLY like my picture, but very very close and equally beautiful.   Aya had been downstairs to meet the boys and parents and told them where they needed to be to get started, then she came and got myself, my maid of honour, my dad, and step dad and led us down to the ground floor. She hid us behind a blind spot on the building so our guests couldn’t see us, then we listened for our music and she motioned us through. It was soooo nerve wracking and exciting. I loved it. That was probably my favorite memory of the whole week and wedding.   The ceremony location looked beyond what I had hoped for – not only did I have the big floral corsages on the gazebo, and my chair bows tied exactly as I’d asked, but Aya had decided to line the aisle with our reception centrepieces. It looked stunning, and lush, and so rich. I highly recommend that look to any other brides with short centrepieces! The volume of the music was perfect and Jorge the Facilities Manager was all over having the songs stop, start, and fade at the right times. Once we were up at the front, Linda the officiant was great about instructing us on what to do next. One of my favorite things, and something my guests loved too, is she stood at the end of the aisle, and had us face out to her and the guests throughout the ceremony. I loved it because it gave me lots of time to take in everything that was happening and look at the décor and my guests. And our guests felt so much more included in the ceremony. As for privacy, this is totally not a private location, but they ensure hotel guests don’t come near the ceremony or interfere at all. And I actually liked looking out and seeing these people watching us, smiling, waving, some crying. It was like everyone was there for us, and feeling our happiness and excitement. I thought it was really cool.   After the ceremony Santiago took some quick family shots, but was concerned we were losing light for couples shots, so we sent everyone off to cocktail hour and hurried down to the beach for pictures. I didn’t get all of the pictures I had hoped for, but it was totally because our ceremony was a little too late (430 pm on Jan 28) and it was almost dark by the time we were done. But Santiago and Charlie (videographer from the wedding dept) gave us instructions for poses and pictures and we had a lot of fun, actually capturing some really neat shots at sunset.   After it got dark, we went up to the Desires terrace for cocktail hour. I was taking pictures when everyone made their way over to Desires, but was told that guests were not escorted or directed there as I was told they would be. Everyone figured it out, but it would have been nice to have some sort of guide. Everyone was eating and drinking, and the Mariachi band was in full swing. The bartender immediately came over to me with a signature cocktail (champagne with apple) that I noticed other people drinking as well, so it looks like Aya arranged for a free signature drink as well, because we didn’t pay for that, but it was an awesome surprise and very yummy. The Desires terrace was a really cool spot for the cocktail hour and had great seating, but if I were to do it over, I’d probably have held it by the hot tub because they make those areas look really nice too, and logistically, its not so much back and forth walking.   After cocktail hour, everyone made their way to the reception on the pool deck. It was stunning. All of the décor I’d brought, along with all of the flowers (reused from the ceremony), and centrepieces, and lighting/lanterns came together amazing, especially with the lit up infinity pool as the backdrop. It was more than I’d imagined. We sat at the sweetheart table with the big red king chairs, and they arranged the guest tables in a semi circle around us, so everyone was almost equally close to our table which I loved. We decided not to get the light up dance floor because it looked small and I didn’t want guests to feel constricted. But the wedding staff had laid down what looked like a wood dance floor in the middle of the all the tables and it worked out perfectly. The cake was just like the picture I’d provided, and Aya had added some flower accents which totally finished the look, even though I hadn’t asked or paid for them. Just another little touch they took care of. We played our ipod for the first hour during dinner (the technician knew when to fade the songs for speeches etc.). We had the plated dinner, offering three menu items to guests (submitted these selections one month before the wedding). The service was excellent, and I loved the food although there was SO much of it! Everything was timed really nicely, and the servers were extra attentive to my husband and I.   When DJ Jorge came after the first hour, he turned off my dinner playlist and started playing his own stuff which we didn’t like, so we had our MC ask him to put our ipod back on until the dance party began, and he did right away.   Santiago took pictures of the speeches and dinner, and let us know that he had to leave at one point, so we made sure to get in the first dance before he left.   The party was awesome with Jorge choosing excellent party songs, the lighting perfect, and everyone dancing. One of the bartenders set up a chair in the middle of the dance floor and started pouring tequila shots (which were more like 5 tequila shots!) right into people’s mouths. Believe it or not, our guests were lining up for it haha. The only sad thing is that the reception could only go until 11 pm which came SO fast. I felt like everything was just warming up and he was putting on the last song. I again, didn’t like the last choice of song, so he quickly faded his out and put on something we liked better which I appreciated. They are quite strict about the 11 pm shutdown though – we all started chanting ‘one more song’ thinking that might have the right affect, but Jorge gave us a look that said there was no way that was happening haha. While Jorge did a really good job, $300/hour for a DJ is very expensive, and had I known how skilled the equipment and audio technician is that comes with the sound system rental ($180/hour), I would have just made my own playlist on ipod (I like controlling the music) for the whole night and just had him play my music. His system could fade songs expertly and had great sound. Definitely would have saved some cash!   Since it was still early, almost all of our guests (52) headed to the disco. It was a lot of fun because so many of our group went, as well as another BD bride who’d had her ceremony an hour before mine. So we had a huge dance party with all the wedding guests, and the two girls in wedding dresses in the center. Lots of fun!   We went back to the room after the disco shut down, and our door had a honeymoon banner across it. When we went inside there were rose petals all on the floor leading to the bed and the inside Jacuzzi which had tealights set up all around it. There was a beautiful flower arrangement on the bedside table, in addition to a similar one that was brought to our room the night before the wedding – I believe these were all from the resort. There was also another bottle of champagne on ice. There was a congratulatory letter from staff on our bed, which would have been cute, except that it was for another couple. So I guess someone else got our letter lol.   I had prearranged our breakfast in bed with mimosas with concierge the day before the wedding, and our breakfast showed up on schedule the next morning. It was nice to enjoy it relaxing in bed. As we were eating breakfast, all of our wedding decorations, including all of the flowers were delivered to our room. We got up and went down to the spa for our free massages (half from wedding package, half from honeymoon package). The spa is beautiful and so peaceful.  Your masseuse gets you your locker and robe and then escorts you to one of the little huts for your massage. My masseuse was a tiny little lady but she had power! I had to ask her to lighten up a little lol, but she was great, and it was a lovely massage. After the massages, we enjoyed the different steam rooms, showers and pools. If I didn’t have a resort full of guests waiting for me, I could have stayed their all day. They have beautiful comfy beds and sitting areas with snacks, and teas and waters, so you could be there all day. Next time, I’m taking a book and not coming out until dinner!   That night we’d booked our ‘romantic dinner on the beach’ which we thought would be in the little huts draped with fabric near the seafood restaurant where other romantic dinners were being held, but ours was the next level, with candles leading a path down on to the beach where a little structure with beautiful draping had been set up with a table for two. There were rose petals and candles on the table and they’d carved a heart in the sand with our initials. The menu was set, and while it was different then what I’d normally order, was very good. The most amazing thing was the two servers had been assigned to us alone, one for each of us! They would run over to fill our glasses if we’d even taken two sips, and would sometimes stand 20 feet or so back of the table letting us eat, but being ready for anything we could possibly need. It was unbelievable service. As we finished our after dinner coffees, it started to rain a little, and next thing we knew, our servers were running down to us with umbrellas just as the downpour began. Amazing timing. A really special experience overall.   A couple days later we saw Santiago and he told us to come by the photography office to see our pictures and choose the 150 included in our package. They have a great office with big mac screens, and you can flip through all your pictures choosing the ones you like best. We were totally blown away by our pictures. There is something to be said for using an on site photographer that knows the best places for pictures and the best lighting, because they work in those conditions all the time. I’ve had many people say our pictures are the best they’ve ever seen. The sky in our beach pictures looks like a fake backdrop its so stunning. I was nearly in tears having to say no to some of the pictures, I loved them all so much. One note for brides – the wedding package specifically mentions Anel for some reason, but there are four professional photographers with Adventure Photos. While I’m sure Anel would have done a good job, we were in love with Santiago’s work and think it really worked out for the best. Here is his facebook page with some pictures from our wedding (Jamie and Brian). https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santiago-Gabay-Photography/160623994092947 Or his website http://www.santigabay.com/ One thing I didn’t love about the photography was we asked about getting more than the 150 pictures included in our package because we loved them all so much, and were told it would be $17 more for EACH image we wanted. I thought that was super expensive and kind of dumb because the photo editing/work had already been done – it wouldn’t  have been any more work for them to give us more, but I guess that’s the policy at the resort.   Overall, this resort is so perfect for weddings. It’s a great size so that you don’t have to travel too far to track down guests and we found the central pool and lobby areas made for great gathering spaces that brought our varied group together. The food was awesome with amazing selection. The drinks were great, with the top shelf stuff always available, just make sure to specify. The disco isn’t the best I’ve ever been to, but if you get a crowd in there, it’s as great party because the DJ does an awesome job, as well as the bartenders. The service at this resort is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced – everyone is so positive and always goes the extra mile. I don’t know that the preferred club would be worth the money if it was just a regular vacation, but for the wedding, we found them a huge help with the little extras and definitely worth the cash. Our room was beautiful, but our guests with regular rooms were equally nice, just a smaller version. Most rooms have some sort of ocean view. I was worried about this hotel being over run with kids but that was never a problem. The beach has beautiful fine sand, and we never had a problem getting a chair at the beach, pool, or in the lobby. I could go into every detail, but really it comes down to, I have no complaints and my expectations were exceeded in every way. We plan to return for our first anniversary next January.  In my regular life, I am very much a Type A person who stresses over every details, but I went into this wedding with a relaxed attitude, and just wanting to have fun, and when I arrived and so how well taken care of everything was, I literally dropped any stress I was carrying and just went with the flow. That is the key to having the best day – don’t get caught up in little details (although those were amazing too), just enjoy your friends, family, husband, and the beautiful surroundings.  
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Pros: Dreams is beautiful and accommodating, great for families, fantastic service, made the best memories of our life!!
Cons: Communication was delayed the last week before the wedding, A few guests got very sick, room service at night was 2+hrs some nights
Hello to all Brides and Grooms! My husband Josh and I got married in the beautiful Mayan Riviera, at Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa on May 7, 2013. We were there for 14 days from May 4-18. We went down to Mexico the year before our wedding and booked appointments to look at a few of the resorts, all of them were so amazing in different ways. On the day we first got to the DRC, it was stunning - breathtaking! We knew right away that's where we would get married. It had all the service and details that we wanted, without compromising anything!! The beach was incredible, well groomed. The restaurants were delicious and had a wide variety of selection on the menus (our favourite was Himastu the Japanese cuisine was unreal! We tried almost everything on the menu, we ate there 7-8 times in 14 days!) 24-hr room service is a must for a wedding; however, some nights we ordered around midnight and it took until 2 am to get our food! When there were late weddings going on, we were not happy about that. Other than a few people getting "bad stomachs" on our trip, everything else went without a hitch! The pools were gorgeous, rooms clean and spacious, the grounds were pristine. All the staff were fantastic, especially the house keepers on our floor, they were all sooo sweet!! We got upgraded to a honeymoon suit once we checked in, which was incredible! Two hot tubs, on in the room and one on the balcony! We had an ocean view that was heaven!! When we laid in bed it's all that we could see, so relaxing to wake up to the sound of the waves. There was lots to do in the day time, with fitness classes, water sports, pool entertainment, we spent a day painting ceramics on the beach - one of our favourite days! At night, there was cinco de mayo themed night, live entertainment, vendors around the pools, a disco and lots of other fun things. We had PERFECT weather for the two weeks aside from our last day, an hour before we were leaving a wind storm came in for 10 minutes haha! The spa services were great, I got my hair and make-up for my wedding and we had a spa session that was included with our wedding package! Fantastic!! Sooo tropical and relaxing! We loved it!   The few negatives were that we did not getting a response from Lorena within the last few weeks before coming down, which I needed measurements to be able to buy a few things to bring with me, that I never heard back and couldn't get. Once we got there and sat down with her, we went through all the options and from there on, it was effortless!! A few of the guests got bad stomach illness, and it's hard to say exactly what from, since travelling to a new place can cause irritation from different food and water (we drink only bottled water and don't brush with the tap water). All the food appeared to be cooked properly and served in a clean environment. We would order room service around 12-2 am and it would take over 2 hours some nights!   Other than those few things, we have talked to our guests and those are the only main complaints, and most of them said they WILL be back or would come back to DRC!! We would without a doubt return!!   Our wedding day was perfect, it was a seamless day. Gorgeous weather, decorations were beyond perfect!! Everything was better than we imagined!! We had Del Sol Photography (Jonathan and Melissa) shoot our wedding day, they were incredible!! They captured all our favourite moments and best memories!! We HIGHLY Recommend Del Sol Photography and Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa!!   Good Luck, and Congrats to all the future Brides & Grooms! <3 
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JustNoelle

By JustNoelle, · 1 Comment

Pros: Wedding coordinator; Stunning resort; Great food; Great Staff
Cons: Try to “nickel and dime” for everything; Beach is not that great
First, let me say that our wedding at Dreams was absolutely AMAZING!!

[b]Email Communication:[/b]
Our wedding coordinator was Lorena and to be honest with you, I did not have any issues with not getting email responses like the other brides. Maybe it’s because I only emailed her 5-6 times. But when I did email her, I would email her a long list of questions/comments that I’d accumulate over weeks/months. The longest response time was about 3 weeks which was expected because she does have to speak to different vendors. I rather her do research, then for her to answer my questions with, “I’ll have to get back to you” or “I’ll send you a quote when I get it”. So, the email communication was fine for me. I also took about 4 months to complete my ‘Wedding Planning Form’ to make sure I was sure about everything and included tons of photo examples.

[b]Arrival (Wednesday):[/b]
I was disappointed with the preferred club (VIP) check-in. We had to wait quite awhile to be seen and during that time, we were not greeted with champagne or anything. We actually saw the waiter hand family champagne (they came in after us) and I asked my husband to go to the bar and order us some. Our room was not ready until after 3:00 pm; which was disappointing because I had planned to make our welcome bags as soon as we got there, so we could hand them out at our welcome dinner. Anyway, we had booked the Preferred Club Master suite and it was amazing. I realize that the next upgrade is the Presidential Suite but we had 42 guests stay at the resort, they could’ve at least offered us an upgrade.

[b]Meetings (still Wednesday):[/b]
We met with our officiant Linda first. She is such a doll; very prepared and professional. We confirmed all of our ceremony script pretty swiftly and easily.

Our next meeting was with DJ Mauricio. That was also pretty easy. He SEEMED to know what we wanted and expected (I’ll get to that later).

Lastly, we met with our wedding coordinator, Lorena. She is so efficient! She had all of our emails already printed and ready to go. We had our suitcase filled with wedding décor ready for her as well. The flowers were ridiculously priced. So we ended up putting up a little bit of a haggle for that. As well as, our photographer. We booked Melissa from Del Sol and Debora was her assistant. They wanted to charge us for (2) external vendor fees + (2) dinners. Crazy… I know! Anyway, we ended having to cut our meeting short (which was already 2 hours long) to get ready for the Welcome Dinner.

[b]Welcome Dinner:[/b]
We had our Welcome Dinner at Portofino’s Restaurant at 6:00 pm. It was a bit of confusion and miscommunication because all of my guests were already informed that the dinner will be at 7:00 pm. During our meeting with Lorena, she informed us that we had to move it up to 6:00 pm in order to reserve the restaurant. I thought that was B.S. because we actually paid for our guests (28 of us) and we could at least have been able to pick our time. For all that, I should’ve just told my guests to meet at the restaurant before it opened… It would’ve definitely saved us $$$. Anyway, by the time we left her office and attempted to spread the word (we literally had to pull some of our guests out of the pool/beach to tell them to get ready); I already knew that this was not going to be a good night. Majority of my guests got there an hour late. However, the manager was very accommodating and understanding but after 7 he told us he had to pull apart one of the long tables. So, as my tardy guests were strolling in, they had to be seated elsewhere because there was no room for them at our tables. The food was not that good to me there either. It could’ve been my nerves or the whole crazy situation but we definitely did not go back to Portofino’s our entire stay. Also, because we were using Del Sol, we requested to have photos taken at the dinner. Anel from Adventure Photos came to take our photos. She also asked Phil and I to step outside to take some intimate couple shots I thought that was neat [font=wingdings]J[/font]. I looked tried as heck in the photos with huge bags under my eyes but I definitely LOVED the photographs.
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[b]Wedding Day (Getting Ready):[/b]
My hair appointment was at 2:00 pm at the spa. It went pretty well. The only thing I didn’t like was that I had to come to the spa with my hair washed and blown. Apparently, they only style the hair. I wanted loose curls but by the time I arrived at the ceremony, all of my curls dropped (that dawn humidity). My cousin/bridesmaid is a makeup artist so she did mine and my mother’s makeup. She did an AMAZING job [font=wingdings]J[/font].
Lorena and another wedding coordinator came into my room to drop off our bouquets. They both had huge smiles on their faces and she explained that everyone was going crazy over our bouquets (we had a peacock themed wedding). I was uber excited when I saw that she got me the flowers that I wanted… I actually jumped up and gave her a hug (I guess the fighting I explained earlier really worked lol).

[b]Ceremony (North Beach):[/b]
Our ceremony was at North Beach at 6:00 pm. Of course, due to my tardy family, the ceremony didn’t start until about 6:20. I definitely had about 3 breakdowns on the way to the ceremony because of that. Anyway, I was in awe with how BEAUTIFUL the ceremony set up was!! I had brought the fabric for the chuppah, the program cards and had our maracas delivered and everything was placed perfectly. The ceremony went off without a hitch. We did not have a rehearsal but Linda and Lorena was there to very discreetly tell us what to do. It did help that we had PERFECT weather (40% chance of thunderstorms my butt lol). It was not too hot and not too cloudy. I am so grateful. The next day it poured on someone’s wedding on the beach… I was so sad for them [font=wingdings]L[/font].
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[b]Cocktail Hour (North Jacuzzi):[/b]
We had our cocktail hour at North Jacuzzi. We missed most of it taking photos and wrapping up our video but we got to enjoy the last 10 minutes. Our guests seemed to enjoy it and also the mariachi band. I also requested to have a signature drink, our “Something Blue”. Everyone said that was the best drink at the resort lol. We didn’t get to try any of the food but I also heard they were good.

[b]Reception (Pool Deck):[/b]
We had our reception on the Pool Deck. My mouth nearly dropped when we saw the space. Everything was PERFECT!! They did everything and more that we had asked for. We brought our own table overlays, napkins, table numbers, tented menu cards and escort cards (thanks Rebecca from Rebecca Allurements), sand tray, Map guestbook, peacock feathers, lanterns… Etsy was definitely my best friend. The set up was beyond our expectations. Everyone can’t stop complementing us on the décor and creativeness. Lol It’s funny because when we told our guests that our reception was on the pool deck, they looked at us like we had two heads and were crazy. It showed them huh?! Lol.
Any who, we went right into our first dance after being announced. We danced to Adorn by Miguel [font=wingdings]J[/font]. The only thing that I am kicking myself for, is forgetting to ask for the fireworks around our dance floor during our first dance. That is something I really wanted so I can’t believe I forgot to ask. Oh well… I hope all the brides reading this put that on their checklist if they want it.
The wait staff was amazing. I was very clear that I did not want the dinner take up the majority of our party time (especially being that we were a ½ hour behind schedule. They really worked hard to have all courses out and taken back swiftly. The food was great! I think it was the best food at the resort. We chose the stuffed ravioli for our appetizer… So tasty. And we gave our guests (3) options of chicken, beef or fish. I had the chicken which was finger-licking good and my husband had the fish which was also good. The strawberry tulip ice cream desert was so good. I was disappointed that they took it away so quickly when we stepped away from our table. (Oh well… we did asked them to rush the dinner lol). We had a 3-tier tres leche wedding cake… Also good. We had one whole layer left and I was also disappointed they did not send any of it back to our room. Yes… I am a greedy! [font=wingdings]J[/font] Lol
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P.S.
We got back to our room with a trail of rose petals leading up to our bed and on our bed. There was also roses, candles and in scents surrounding our Jacuzzi. Yes… Very romantic!! We loved it!

[b]DJ:[/b]
As stated above, DJ Mauricio sat with us to discuss our expectations and music choices. I actually had my sisters/MOHs create a detail song and playlist of the type of music we wanted to hear and dance to.

Side note: My family is of Jamaican decent. You may be wondering… Why’d we choose Mexico? Because two of my cousins already had destination weddings in Jamaica and we wanted to be “different”. Besides, we have always wanted to visit Mexico and so did our families.

Any who, so we had very specific genre of music requests (i.e. Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Dance). He definitely got the Pop, Dance and some Hip Hop correct but definitely did not know how to mix the reggae and dancehall. He played a Bob Marley in the middle of the dance segment. Disappointed was not even the word. Our guests kept sitting back down so he will play something like the Cha Cha Slide to get everyone back up. I had guests tell me that they kept on going up to him to requests songs but he did not take their requests. Of course, my biggest critics aka my sisters were frustrated. Anyway, we made the best of it and continued to dance even though it was not the best. I definitely did not let that stress me or ruin my night.

[b]Day After Wedding:[/b]
We scheduled our “romantic breakfast in bed” (which came with our wedding package but was the same as regular room service). Oh well… the thought that count.

After we ate, we headed to the spa for our 80 min Swedish massage and a 25 min exfoliating treatment. OMG amazing!!!... The most relaxed and refreshed I’ve been in about a year and a half (since wedding planning). We definitely enjoyed our spa treatments. The spa itself is gorgeous. We did not want to go back to the “general population” lol.

Later, we were scheduled to have our “romantic dinner on the beach”. We arrived at Oceana and were seated by our personal hostess. We literally sat down, got 3 photos together and next thing you know is that we heard loud thunder. Then in a split second, it poured down on us…no fair warning (Again… I felt so bad for that other wedding). Our hostess ran back to help us get off the beach. But it was too late… We were soaked in a matter of seconds. So everyone was crammed in Oceana waiting for the rain to let up. Our hostess asked if we wanted to be moved to the lounge chair area (they also set up private dinners there at night); we said okay and it worked out perfectly. We were dry and we still had our romantic private dinner. It also helped that our waiter was hilarious.
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[b]The Resort:[/b]
We definitely had an amazing 11 days at the resort. We visited every restaurant (Himitsu, Oceana and Bordeaux were our favorites). Housekeeping was great and the turn-down service was also good. Room service was also very good. Hubby and I were definitely taking advantage of the 24-hour room service. The nightly entertainment was pretty good. We especially loved the drum/fire show. The beach is not the best. There were plenty of seaweed but the resort really made an effort to try to clean it up every few hours.
P.S.
I ended up meeting the General Manager of the hotel and he was so nice. He kissed and hugged us goodbye when we were leaving.

[b]Excursions:[/b]
We rented a van to go shopping in Playa Del Carmen for 3 hours on Sunday ($180… I know, ridiculous!) but we had a blast on the 5[sup]th[/sup] avenue strip. Monday, we booked a group excursion to Tulum (Mayan Ruins) & Xel-Ha. It was blazing hot but everyone enjoyed themselves. Tuesday, we met with our Del Sol photographer, Debora, to shoot our Cenote + Beach TTD. The cenote they took us to was amazing! And we had a ball with Debora, Ruben and Duncan (the assistants) and Alberto (the driver). Definitely a great experience! Hubby and I also booked Xplor Fuego (Its Xplor but at night… 5:30 – 11:00 pm) and Dolphin Discovery in Isla Mujeres. Both were excellent!

We think we had the best honeymoon ever… We just can’t stop talking about all that we did and experienced.

*Overall, we had a FANTASTIC wedding and the best time of our lives at Dreams Riviera. I call it our Dreams dream wedding and honeymoon! We don’t regret anything and would do it again in a heartbeat. I’ll definitely recommend Dreams Riviera Cancun resort to anyone.

[b]4 THUMBS US FROM US!! [/b][b][font=wingdings]J[/font][/b]
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Judany

By Judany, · 2 Comments

Pros: Wedding staff will do what you need, attentive when you arrive.
Cons: Hotel food and rooms were not the best.
Check In: We arrived around 11am on a Thursday from our flight and we were greeted with champagne.  They then whisked us off to the preferred lobby for check in. My parents stayed in the regular checkin and had a room immediately.  Our honeymoon suite was not ready, they instructed us to return at 1pm.  We then were greeted by Vucko, who was awesome!  He told us about the resort and signed us up for a marketing event for referrals after we had some light breakfast of course.  We were to enter into a raffle and receive a gift as incentive to attend. I was searching for my parents room since they were checked in immediately, unfortunately I couldn’t find the room! Lol  In any case when I was returning to the lobby a bell hop let me know our room was ready!  It was about 12pm.  I was surprised he remembered who I was.    Room Review: I was a bit disappointed in the honeymoon suite 2501 as I was under the impression the honeymoon suite was what they call the master suite.  The honeymoon suite is an oversized regular American hotel room.  It did have a love seat and coffee table but it lacked any wow factor, the room itself.  The bathroom was closed off (as compared to the standard rooms).  They did have a jacuzzi inside and outside on the balcony.  The view on the other hand was amazing!  We did have issues with the AC, it didn’t go lower than 74 degrees.  I’m from Jersey that is hot!  We complained when we arrived, on the third day they came up and said it was working.  Some of our other guests had the same issue, while other guests rooms were freezing.  I believe they regulate the room temperature to save on energy costs.  Any who on my wedding day it went up to 77 degrees and the men were working on it for a while then left without saying a word.  It was the wedding day so I let it be.  The next day I complained again, they came back and were working on draining the AC unit. After a couple of hours they left and I had to call again to find out what was going on.  Finally they switched us to another room one floor down 2401 (on Monday 4 days later).  This room wasn’t that much better until later on in the week.    I spoke to one of our neighbors in a master suite and they said they had the same issue.  They were in the other building and their room was at 85 degrees.  They definitely have issues with the AC.   Meeting with Wedding Staff: After we settled we met with Gina our wedding coordinator.  We went over all the wedding details and made slight changes.  We were to have our wedding rehearsal the next afternoon as not all my wedding party was at the resort as of yet.  We then met with Jorge our DJ from AVI.  He was great and understood exactly what we wanted for the music.  This was a brief meeting.  At this point we were exhausted (we were up since 2:30AM) so we skipped out on meeting the photographer Anel.  Anel did give us a call later on that night to confirm some details.   Wedding rehearsal went great with Gina.  I had my friend marry us so we didn’t use the hotels officiant/minister.  We only rehearsed the ceremony with Gina.  After she left we did a little rehearsal for the reception entrance on the pool deck.   Wedding:  I got my hair and makeup done at the hotel spa.  I had really long curly hair (down to my behind) and cut it before the trip because I know not everyone can deal with my hair.  Good thing I did because the stylist said my hair was really long (I cut a little longer than shoulder length) lol.  I showed her some pictures of the hairstyle I wanted and she did an ok job.  Again my hair is really curly and most stylists don’t know how to handle.  She straighten my hair slightly to work with it.  With the make up she did a great job, I let her know I wanted a natural look and it was great. My mother also got her hair and makeup done and they did a good job.   I hung out in the room, ordered room service and ate lunch with my mother until the wedding party arrived.  Gina delivered our flowers during this time.  The photographer went to the grooms room first to take photos, then made her way to my room for photos.  I haven’t received the slideshow yet but should get it soon. I told Anel to take her time as my husband didn’t want to sit during our vacation to pick out photos. I received the photo link about two weeks after I returned (about 3 ½ weeks after the wedding) due to the storm and they didn’t have internet.  Anel took photos until Gina went up to get us as everything was ready to get started a bit before 4pm.  We had our ceremony on the North Beach and it was a good choice.  Not many people on that side of the beach as the beach bar is on the South Beach.    Ceremony was perfect, I did mess up a bit on the vows and exchanging of rings but I’m just a spaz.  It came out cute on the video.   After the ceremony we took family photos and wedding party photos.  Our cocktail hour didn’t start until 6pm so our family hung out at the bar while myself and the hubby took photos around the resort.  We returned for the cocktail hour at the center beach and to my surprise they made us a signature drink.  I don’t know what it was but it was interesting.  The food for the cocktail hour was good, the favorite was the tempura shrimp.  We had the mariachi band playing and some people took pictures with them.   It was supper windy the whole time and it was drizzling off and on throughout the day.  When we went to begin the reception it started drizzling and the staff started discussing back up plans.  I wasn’t too worried as I knew it would stop but Jorge the DJ said he couldn’t play music while it was raining this way.  The hubby wanted to go inside and I didn’t want to as I didn’t go to Mexico to have a wedding in a ballroom lol.  They provided us with some back up plans and we decided to do our entrance, eat dinner (Caribbean buffet was good) and then decide.  By the time we were going to begin our entrance they told us the ballroom was ready for us.  At that point it stopped raining and we continued with the reception outside on the pool deck.   DJ was great and followed my instructions on the music.  The dance floor was full most of the night.  Anel commented that she thought it was great that everyone was dancing.  My little one fell asleep during the reception but as soon as her favorite song came on (Scream & Shout by Will.I.Am and Britney) she woke up and started dancing.   When reception was over most of my guests were tired and went to their rooms.  Some others went to the after party at Desirees Lounge.   Overall the wedding was great, staff was amazing and I was 100% satisfied.  More than I had expected.    Restaurants:  I went to most of the restaurants in the hotel as I stayed for 10 days.  Our favorite was the French restaurant Bordeaux.  We went there twice but the first time was better than the second time.  We also ordered room service several times, they do take some time to get to your room but overall not bad.  The buffet was our least favorite, the first time we went for dinner it was bad, the other time it wasn’t so bad.  Breakfast is good at the World Café buffet.  We didn’t go to the Himitsu (hibachi restaurant) as we didn’t want to make reservations but some of my guests went and thought it was good.  Some of my guests did get sick during the trip, in particular after they ate at El Patio.  I ate there too the same night but didn’t get sick so IDK if it was the food itself, I thought it was good.  Overall the food was good.  My guests travel a lot and they said they have had better.  I have been Secrets Capri before and the food was better there.   Drinks: As in all resorts they skimp out on the alcohol but if you give a good tip and ask for double they do provide.  As a preferred guest we were able to enjoy our favorite Grey Goose and Jack Daniels in the preferred lobby, but in the other bars they would give Absolut and Jameson which is not the same!  I think bring it up to one of the workers there but they acted like I had two heads because they are suppose to serve the same drinks everyone, which was not the case.   Overall if I had to do it again I would have my wedding here and then go to Secrets for my honeymoon.
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BettyT

By BettyT, · 1 Comment

Pros: Beautiful venue and beach, wedding day went perfectly
Cons: Poor email communication during the last month leading up to the wedding.
Wedding: May 20th, 2013; Coordinator: Lorena Ceremony (symbolic): Gazebo, 5:30pm Reception: South Beach, 8:00pm Ultimate Wedding Package Guests: 30 adults, 8 kids Price: Approx. $4000 USD for Wedding excl. photography.   Accommodation value: We paid approximately $1500 CAD per person (flight, hotel, all inclusive meal plan incl. taxes).  We got a group discount through Westjet Vacations.  I thought the resort was worth the price we paid.  We were automatically upgraded from the garden view room to the preferred club status with an ocean view room. The room was beautiful and had an amazing view.  The service at the resort was excellent.  Check-in process went well, no issues here.   The al a carte restaurants were decent.  Our favourite was the French restaurant "Bordeaux".  The food was delicious and the service was impeccable.  We were really surprised at how great of service we received both nights we ate there.  Highly recommend this restaurant. The Italian restaurant, and Oceana were good as well.  We didn't get a chance to try the Japanese and Mexican restaurant.  We heard they weren't that great anyway.  The buffet breakfast was ok.  The fruit station and fresh fruit juices were probably the best part of the buffet (huge selection).  The buffet breakfast was practically the same every day so it was easy to get sick of the food after a couple of days.  About 2/3 of our guests got sick after a few days.  Not sure if it was the raw food selections or dairy that did us in but we did get sick.  No food poisoning though.  I think the food just didn't agree with some of us.  Overall, for all inclusive, the food was average to good.   The nightly entertainment was ok.  Some shows were better than others.  The more enjoyable ones were the hip hop/break dancing performances and the fire and drum show.     Wedding Value: My wedding coordinator was Lorena.  She was very nice and easy to work with and coordinated our wedding day perfectly.  We met her the night we arrived and went over all of the details and dropped off our decorations with her.  Communication prior to arriving at the resort with her was good at first but then became very slow to no responses the month prior to the wedding.  But once we arrived at the resort, everything went off without a hitch.  Although, we were told there was a charge for setting up the decorations (tying the chair bows, name cards and party favours) we brought from home, Lorena ended up waiving the fee for us (we didn't even ask for it to be waived, so it was really nice of her to do this).   We cashed in our cocktail hour and put it towards our dinner ($400 value).  Since we were having a late dinner at 8pm, the kids were going to eat at the buffet prior to our dinner so we opted to not order them food since it costed $30 per kid for a kids meal (chicken nuggets, macaroni, etc.), which we didn't think was worth the price either.  Lorena ended up feeding the kids for free! It was her gift to us.     I forget what material my dress was made of but I guess it was hard to get the wrinkles out.  Unfortunately, the steaming offered at the resort was unable to get the wrinkles out. As I watched the lady steam my dress, it looked as if it was getting worse and my dress was just getting wetter.  The humidity there may have contributed to it as well.  Nonetheless, there wasn't anything that could be done and I wasn't overly upset about it and it was unnoticeable in photos anyway. I think if the material was satin or chiffon, there would have been no issues.       I did my own hair and make-up so I don't have any reviews for the services offered at the resort.  You are allowed to transfer your hair and make-up services to someone else if you choose not to use it for yourself or you can use it for another day.  Otherwise, you will lose it.  It is not transferable money-wise.  The humidity at this location is extreme.  If your hair doesn't hold curls normally, it will definitely not hold here no matter what products you use.  My hair tends to hold curls relatively well.  I did my hair half way up with curls and the curls didn't last more than an hour.  It was extremely humid and fairly windy as we were close to the ocean.  With the combination of the wind and humidity, my hair went wavy/straight very quickly.  My make-up however, held up very well! I used a face primer underneath my make-up and eye shadow primer as well.  Finished off with a little powder and it lasted all night. It's so humid that it's hard to wear a lot of face make up anyway so be prepared to wear less and definitely wear fake eyelashes!!   I had my ceremony at the Gazebo. I still think this is the best location for a ceremony.  The photos in my opinion are much nicer at the gazebo. It has more of a wow factor. My ceremony was much later in the day so there wasn't much people lounging around watching my wedding.  Thankfully! It was relatively private.  The beach locations for ceremony were nestled between lounge chairs/straw umbrellas, which didn't seem as nice to me (looked kind of crowded/cramped too) and you have people in the lounge chairs watching your wedding and sitting quite close to your guests too.  That's what I saw for one of the weddings there.  For dinner, we had it on the beach.  I was so worried that it wasn't a good location because a couple of nights prior to the wedding, it was extremely windy that the sand was blowing into your face! I definitely didn't want to be eating sand for dinner. Luckily, on my wedding day...the wind was very calm:) If the weather cooperates, the beach is the best location for dinner in my opinion. The pool deck is also a great location as well but you need a minimum of 50 guests to have that location or if it's not taken on the day of your wedding, then you can have this location.     My bouquet was beautiful! Lorena dropped it off in my room shortly before the ceremony started.  We brought our own music on a CD.  The entire ceremony, and dinner reception went flawlessly.  I used the mariachi band for the dinner instead.  They were fantastic! Everyone enjoyed the band.  I was worried that it might be too quiet after the band finished since they're there for only 45 min.  But, having no music afterwards was just fine.  We didn't have a dancing crowd so we opted out of having a DJ and dance floor.  The ocean noise was very calming and it worked out well for us.  We had a very simple wedding - just a dinner with family and close friends.  We had the tres leche cake.  By the time we finished dinner, most people were too full for cake.  Everyone still had a piece but there was half the cake left! Just a tip, if you have 30 people, you only need a cake for 15.  I think they assume everyone will have two very large slices.  The cake was delicious though.  I brought fake orchid flowers for the cake and it looked real once they were placed on the cake.     We had menu #3 from the ultimate wedding package.  The dinner was good but a bit too rich for some of us.  Some of the dishes were very creamy/buttery. If you like rich food, you'll love the dinner.  Dinner service was excellent.    Wedding photography: we used Juan Navarro.  He doesn't work for the resort but he's an approved vendor so we didn't have to pay any fees.  Apparently, this resort doesn't allow outside vendors but there seems to be a few outside vendors that they do allow but won't tell you this unless you ask.  I haven't received any photos yet so I don't have much comment on Juan but he was nice to work with.  My only regret is that I wish I had him take photos during the dinner because they just sat there while we ate.  I only paid for 5 hours service so basically lost an hour during dinner.  It would have been nice to get some group photos during dinner as the courses came out a bit slow.  We used our Adventures photography session (30 min.) on another day.  We took some casual photos around the resort.  I forget the name of the photographer we had but he wasn't that great.  I'm glad we used an outside photographer.     Overall, we had a fantastic wedding experience at the Dreams Riviera Cancun and would recommend this resort to others who are planning to get married here.      
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Rach0636

By Rach0636, · 3 Comments

Pros: Wedding Coordinator, photographer
Cons: DJ
Here is my wedding review finally!! Sorry it is really long! Please anyone let me know if you have any questions. My email is Rach0636@aol.com   Check-in Process: So when we first arrived in Mexico it was so gorgeous out! Since we went through an amazing travel agent, we got picked up by private transportation and had a couple guys holding up a big sign in the shape of a heart with Robert and I’s picture blown up on it and it said “Mr. and Mrs. Wahl.” It was so cute I felt like a celebrity. We then got champagne and chocolates and had a private bus take us to the hotel. When we got there, we were dropped off and then immediately whisked away to the preferred club check-in. I had always just assumed that the preferred club check-in would be in the lobby, but it wasn’t at all. It’s a ways from the lobby and you have to use your room key to get in and out. A lot of people have said that preferred club wasn’t worth it but I TOTALLY disagree! It was totally worth it.  We got more champagne, found out we had been upgraded to a honeymoon suite right on the ocean compliments from our travel agent again, and the service was wonderful. We were then told to hang out for about 10 minutes until Gina came to talk to us. She did and that took no time at all and then we were set free to explore and get something to eat and drink. Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we left our luggage with the concierge and were told to check back a couple hours later. We did, and our luggage had already been delivered. All in all, the check-in process was super easy and relaxing.   Restaurants: There are so many restaurants to choose from that we didn’t even get to try everything. We ate at the buffet a good # of times because there was never a wait and you could go whenever you wanted. Their breakfast was average, but their lunch and dinner are great. Tons of options for everyone. We ate at the Japanese restaurant the most. It is sooo good! They also have two hibachi tables that you can reserve, but you have to literally get in line no later than 4:30pm (They open at 5) to put your name down. We did this once and It was a lot of fun. We didn’t get a chance to try the Italian restaurant or the Mexican restaurant. We ate at both the seaside grill and oceana (both are in the pool area) and the food was ok at both. Last, there is the pool side grill, which mainly just serves pizza, hot dogs (really good!) and hamburgers. Every now and then they have a special that they serve as well. I will say we also took advantage of the free room service for food!   Bars/Nightlife: One thing I liked about this resort compared to others I have been to is that they have a lot of different options as to where to get drinks! They have the swim up bar in the infinity pool, there is a bar next to the pool side grill, there is another bar on the south side of the beach (the swing bar! Also have the strongest drinks!) Then there is the bar in the lobby which is nice because it is half inside and half outside. The view of the forest is amazing from here as well. All of the bars close by 5 or 6 except for the lobby bar. This is where most of the nightlife is because they are open until 2am. They always have a live band and then there is always a nightly themed show right on the stairs of the lobby as well. Last, there is Desires night club which is above the Japanese restaurant. We didn’t go in there much. It was either dead, or really packed and SUPER loud. We did hang out on the desires terrace a lot though (right outside desires).   Pools/Beach: The pools were nice. There is a kiddie pool which is by far the warmest, an adult only pool which is freezing, and then the infinity pool which is perfect temperature and where we hung out most of the time.  The beach was definitely my favorite place to hang out when the sun was shining. It’s the least crowded and much more relaxing because there aren’t a lot of kids around. That was one thing that I would have done differently if I didn’t have nieces and nephews traveling with us, I would have gone to an adults only resort because there were a TON of kids everywhere.  I love kids, but it definitely makes it a little less relaxing when there is constant screaming going on. We also played a ton of beach volleyball which was so much fun!   Rehearsal Dinner: So we originally were not going to do a rehearsal dinner because we thought it was crazy to have to pay an insane amount when everything is all inclusive anyway… When we first checked-in at the preferred club, one of the concierge told us about how we could rent out this “wine cellar” that was in the middle of the French and Italian restaurants. You didn’t have to pay for it, but the catch was that you had to spend $800 in wine. We said ok and made the reservation the next day with the manager at the Italian restaurant and just told everyone when and where to show up. We figured with 25 people and a lot of wine drinkers in our group, that we could easily spend that much. We had our own private waiters, a big menu to choose from. I actually have no clue how much money was actually spent on wine, so I have to wonder how much they hold you to spending $800.   Wedding day! Hair/Make-up: We started with our hair appointments at 11am. It was me, my mom, two sisters, and niece. I had two other bridesmaids that decided to do their own hair early on, but then definitely regretted it that day because they were frantically trying to do something with their hair with everything else going on. It was pretty windy so we all did updos, which I would definitely recommend. I forget who I had do my hair, but all I did was show her a quick picture and she did it EXACTLY like I wanted and super quick. She also did my makeup and everything looked perfect except for she went a little dramatic on the eye shadow, so I ended up blending it a little more later on. Everyone else loved their hair as well. They definitely know what they are doing. I was surprised while in the spa by my travel agent showing up unannounced! I was so shocked that she was there all the way from Kansas City. I guess she was in the area for business and she wanted to surprise me. She brought me a gift and everything and was there all the way through the wedding to make sure nothing went wrong.   Getting ready: We all went back to my room to finish getting ready (Me, my mom, 4 bridesmaids, and flower girl). This part was very frustrating. We were hungry and didn’t have time to go eat anywhere so we wanted to order room service. They gave us the hardest time because apparently you “can’t order room service for more than 4 people.” We also tried to order 2 bottles of champagne as well, which you think would be no problem when you are getting ready for your wedding. Wrong. My sister had to talk to 4 different people, each telling us that they cannot deliver bottles. So she went all the way down to the concierge who told her to go back to her room and call a specific person, which she did and then was told again the exact same thing. She ended up talking to a concierge manager and in the end got very mean but ended up getting her way. It was ridiculous! BTW I had no problem whatsoever with the steaming service that the hotel provided. They did my dress perfectly and the even did all of my groomsmen outfits as well. The photographer had been at the boys’ room doing photos for about 45 minutes and then came over to my room to do photos as well for about an hour. At the same time, Gina came by and dropped off all of my bouquets, flowers, etc. and also informed me that my travel agent had upgraded our tables and chairs for the reception free of cost to us! Gina then came back about 45 minutes later and said it was time to head down to the wedding.   Ceremony (3:30pm Gazebo): The ceremony came and went so fast! Linda the officiant was great. She made sure everything ran smoothly. The DJ played all the correct songs, except he forgot to start my bridal party song until halfway through! Honestly, it went by so fast, I barely remember it! 3:30pm ended up being the perfect time for the ceremony because we had perfect lighting still for photos and it didn’t get dark until right when the reception starter. After we were done, everyone was handed champagne to toast and we started to do a couple photos in front of the gazebo.  Then everyone moved down to the beach to do more photos and then while we went up to the lobby area to finish photos, everyone hung out at the swing bar. We decided not to do a cocktail hour and used the money toward extra food for the reception and the paper lantern poles. So glad we did this.   Reception (5:30pm Pool Deck) The reception set-up was gorgeous! We chose the Caribbean buffet and it was the most amazing food that we had had the whole time we were there. Everyone was raving about it even days after the wedding. We had dinner first, followed by speeches, then first dances, cut the cake, and then partied the rest! Everything was great until about 8:30pm it started to sprinkle rain… and IMMEDIATELY the DJ told us he was done and closed up shop! I was so disappointed because it stopped raining about 5 minutes later and he was gone….. We had originally paid for an extra hour of the reception and an extra hour for the DJ so later on, I asked Gina and she refunded us for that amount. This was the only part that I was super disappointed about because we were all having a great time and then all of a sudden we were cut off :/ So we all went up to desires and hung out on the terrace but it wasn’t the same.   Photographer: We had Alina from Adventure Photos and she was amazing! Super nice and made us always feel very comfortable the entire time. She also did our trash the dress 2 days after the wedding and she was amazing then as well. It was definitely a difficult photo-shoot because it was SO windy that morning on the beach and I had sand in my eyes, in my hair, all over my body and it was almost torture but I am glad we did it cuz I love the photos. With the wedding and the TTD shoot, she took over 700 photos so the day before we left, we had to pick out 236 which were included in our package, and we wanted some extra so we had to pay for them. They charge you SO much for extra photos so choose carefully!   DJ: I would say the DJ was my least favorite part of the whole experience. When we originally met with Mauricio a few days prior to the wedding, he had all of my emails, and all of our songs downloaded which was nice, but he was very impersonable and never smiled. He played good music at the reception and even took requests but the second he felt a sprinkle of rain, he was outta there and I was not happy about that at all. My advice to anyone else that has him do their reception, talk to him beforehand and make an agreement on what to do if it starts to rain.   Our Travel Agent: I couldn’t praise her service enough. If anyone is interested, her name is Denise Canon, her website is http://essence.travelconceptskc.com/ and her email is journey@travelconceptskc.com . She did so many extras for us it was amazing.   Here is my slideshow again: http://280113wahl.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/#/wahl1/   I also have a ton more pictures if you want to request me on Facebook under Rachel Wahl
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ashley822

By ashley822, · 1 Comment

Pros: wedding staff, rooms, service
Cons: steaming (dress) service - DO NOT USE
Wedding: January 10, 2013; Coordinator: Gina Welcome Cocktail Hour (Private): Barracuda Beach; 6:30pm (Jan 9 - night before wedding) Ceremony (symbolic): North Beach, 3:30pm Cocktail Hour: Desires Terrace, 5:00pm Reception: Seaside Grill, 6:30pm Ultimate Wedding Package & Extra Photo Package using Adventure Photos (on-site photographers) Guests: 23 adults, 1 infant (2 yr old)   We had the best time at DRC and wish we could go back or had spent more time there! My review is long so if anyone has any specific questions, just let me know! This site helped me so much to get ready for our wedding so I’m glad to help anyone else! It’s hard not to stress beforehand but once you get there the coordinators and Jose are always available by your room phone if you have a quick question or in their office! We didn’t decide on Dreams until August and we knew we wanted a winter getaway wedding and I refused to risk going during hurricane season so there were only a few select dates available when we finally decided on DRC. It ended up working our perfectly and we were even the only wedding on our day! On a Saturday, we did see 3 weddings and 2 were at the same time on the beach – just in different sections, so if this is something you are worried about, you might want to ask about other weddings/locations before setting a date. After finally deciding on the resort, we did all of our planning in 5 months which included the holidays! Not the best time to plan a wedding J but it all worked out and I am hoping to post a planning blog shortly. Again, feel free to let me know if you have any questions!   Travel Agent We worked with Vacations For Less – I had sent an inquiry through this website looking for travel agent help and they wrote back right away and were the most helpful/best rates we had compared. I’m SO glad we went with them because they were great and helped all our guests whenever needed! My emails were answered sometimes within minutes and she even helped booked a last minute guest about a week before the trip! She also suggested the transfer company to use and we were able to book and pay for all our guests since we didn’t want them to worry about it since they were spending so much already to come down.   Flight – Travelling with wedding dress Our flight ended up being delayed and very full (so much as they were making people check their carry-ons which obv made me nervous since mine was my dress). I had gone up to the counter to ask about space in the flight attendant closet about an hour before our flight and ending up talking to a rude lady who told me there was nothing she could do since we somehow ended up in boarding group 7 (last people on the plane). But as soon as they started boarding priority seating/first class, we both went up and asked a different lady explaining it was a wedding dress and she took us right up to the door, scanned our tickets and we were one of the first ones on the flight. The flight attendant let me put my dress in the closet, and then a woman in 1st class even said I could put it above her and she wouldn’t let anyone else put stuff there! It ended up being fine in the closet! We did get stopped in customs when we got there because it was just the 2 of us and my FI had 3 large   Transfers We used private transfers through Cancun Transfers after they were recommended by our travel agent and everything worked out great! They even called the hotel (our room since we booked everyone) to confirm in the morning how many people were getting picked up and when. If anyone else it using this company, it might be helpful to know that they wear red/maroon shirts – it was difficult to spot the first guy since there are about 50 guys in white shirts waiting to pick up people at the airport but after we sent an email home, everyone found them easily!   Check-In We arrived on Monday (3 days before our wedding on Thursday) and had booked a Preferred Club Ocean View. When we got out of our transfer, we were immediately greeted, bags taken, and escorted through the lobby and given a mini-tour on the way to the preferred club for check-in. We didn’t have to wait at all to check in and our travel agent (we think!) had upgraded us to an oceanfront Honeymoon Suite! When Natalia (guest services) showed us our room on the map we were so excited it was on the very end of the building actually looking over the North Beach where our ceremony was going to be! After going through the paper work, she told us someone would be down in a few minutes to take us to our room so she showed us to the preferred club bar and we got to sit down and relax with a drink for about 3 min before someone was there to show us to our room. He continued our tour and when we got to our room, all of our bags were waiting for us!   Guest Check-Ins None of our guests had to wait to check in, even though most were not in the preferred rooms. All received champagne and towels upon arrival and most luggage was at the rooms immediately (only two had to call for it). And almost all of our guests got upgraded and all received at least ocean-view rooms or preferred ocean-view, even if they booked garden view! We think this may have happened due to a large company event arriving the Friday after our wedding, but it worked out great for our group! We met almost all of our guests in the lobby when they arrived since most days there were 6-8 people arriving at one time. The lobby was nice to hang out and we were also able to give them their OOT bags right away – I was worried about having them delivered to the rooms because we had an itinerary that included an event for Wednesday night and some guests didn’t arrive until Wed afternoon.   Meeting with Gina (our coordinator) We arrived on Monday afternoon and had previously set up a meeting time with Gina for 9:30am on Tuesday. On Monday, we ate lunch at the Seaside Grill to check it out in person since this is where we were having our reception. I had wanted 2 lanterns in each opening since Seaside is a circle and we counted the openings so we could budget in how much the extra cost was going to be! There are 12 openings if anyone is a spaz like me J so they cost us $240 ($10/lantern). We went to our meeting and brought with chair sashes (efavormart.com), table runners (efavormart.com), maracas we used for place cards/favors (amols.com), and ribbon for the cake (JoAnn Fabrics). The only pictures I had printed out were the cake, centerpieces, and an example photo I found of the Seaside Grill using the white covered chairs because I was previously told we had to use the brown ones in the restaurant. Eva (weddings manager) was actually in the office at the time of our meeting and Gina asked her if we could use the white chairs and told her how many people we had, Gina ended up telling us maybe and that she would see what she could do. I didn’t bring a flower girl basket and was going to call home to have someone pick one up, but Gina showed me a little wicker basket and said she would decorate it with our color ribbon – it turned out cute and was delivered to the room we were getting ready in with the flowers in it before the ceremony! We ended up upgrading to the Ultimate Package for the mariachi band at our wedding day cocktail hour and for the 50 extra photos. After we met with Gina, we were going to meet with DJ Mauricio but he was with another couple who seemed like they were going to take quite a while so we asked if we could come back the next day and we planned to meet with him at 3pm on Wednesday. When we left the wedding office, we walked down to the photography place and had not set up a meeting time or specific photographer. We were greeted by Frank (Francisco) who told us he would be our photographer and went over the details of the day with us. He is super nice and we didn’t know yet at this time where the groom was going to be getting ready so he said we could just give him a call. Gina called him the next day for us and he was at the right place at the right time J They have one computer in the office (that we saw) and sometimes an entire wall of items that brides bring down so they have a ton of stuff to do which I think is a reason the email responses sometime take a long time. They also have to coordinate with every single department or vendor (guest services if you are getting upgrades, the flower company they order from, food & beverage department for locations and times, etc…). It is frustrating sometimes during planning but once you are there, you and your wedding and events are their number one priority.   The Bad Part… Everything about our trip and wedding was absolutely amazing! But there was one (ok, two) things that went wrong with one major hiccup and that was the steaming service at the hotel which put me in a terrible mood for one of the nights we were there. I believe the wedding packages come with service for the gown and groom outfits – either way, when we met with Gina, we had said no to the service since the guys were just going to iron their own clothes and my dress was not supposed to be steamed because of the material and I was VERY careful bringing it down there. It looked perfect when we got there so I hung it in a closet in the 2 bags my bridal shop had given me. On Tuesday night, we got back to our room with some family and the closet with my dress in it was open – and my dress was GONE! I had not let this thing out of my sight since I left my house so you can imagine how I felt! As I was calling down to whoever I could get on the phone, my sister found the dress hanging/wrapped in the white curtains around the bed – right in the middle of the room – but the groom didn’t see so no big deal. But when we took a closer look, the smooth front of my dress had a huge crease in it and there were actual black numbers on the front of my dress! It looked like they had rubbed off of something else but there was a clear 456 on my dress in two spots right on the front! SO DO NOT USE THE STEAMING SERVICE WHATEVER YOU DO!!! In the end, I had 4 workers & 3 family members in my room the next morning, and after them telling me they would wash my dress with soap and water (don’t think so – thought it would get worse), I tried it on and luckily the numbers were faint enough and below the boob line so they were kind of tucked under and the crease we were able to kind of work out… Gina told me someone had to request the service and since she did not and we did not, she thought MAYBE room service had seen the dress and called. We don’t know what happened but whatever you do, I wouldn’t recommend the steaming service there. We ended up getting some extras like the Presidential Suite the day of the wedding to get ready in and walk out from, the white chairs in the Seaside, an extra 30 min on our cocktail hour, and free anniversary nights even though we only stayed 6 nights…but I had a heart attack for one entire night so I would just have your dress prepared before you go and put some do not disturb signs on the closet it’s in or something haha   Welcome Cocktail Hour (Private) We had a private cocktail hour at the Barracuda Beach (next to beach bar) the night before the wedding. It was important for my MIL to have some sort of rehearsal/welcome party/get-together so Gina gave me a list of options including a private dinner ($35/pp), dinner reservations ($15/pp), or private cocktail hour ($20/pp). We wanted something more informal where everyone could socialize so we decided on the cocktail hour. Our options were limited since there was a conference in some of the bar areas we would have liked to have it and also El Patio was closed that night due to it being “Mexican Night” by the pool – if you are interested in a restaurant for an event, I HIGHLY suggest contacting them beforehand because Gina knew weeks in advance that El Patio would not be open this specific Wednesday. We ended up choosing a beach location which they assured would be well lit since it would be completely dark by 6:30pm in January. And it was! For no extra charge, there were light up posts in the beach and stand up mini-lantern type lights along with flameless candles on all the tables. There were also lights under the tall tables which we happened to notice while we were hanging out at the beach bar earlier in the day while they were setting up. We saw them digging holes in the sand and then realized later that they were connecting electricity to all the tables. It was very lit up and very nice – everyone loved it.  We also rented the sound system for this and emailed one of our friends to make a wedding/beachy playlist at the last minute – it worked great! She also only ended up charging us $15/pp and the price of the sound system which included a technician. Note: it was very windy on the beach, VERY windy – they said it was unusual and because of a storm further north but everyone had a great time! Our servers were Luis and Ricardo and they were AMAZING! They were our same servers for our reception and they were awesome! We literally planned everything about this event (other than the location) after arriving and during our meeting with Gina. She suggested the sound system for music which we are so happy we got, they decorated the tables and appetizer buffet area in our colors and used little centerpieces, and they even had trays of fun drinks waiting to hand out as everyone arrived! Here's some pics to try and help show the lighting and setup - it is directly next to the beach bar which you can see in one of the pics:       Wedding Day   Spa My 2 bridesmaids and I all had hair and make-up appointments at the spa at 11:30am. This was plenty of time and we were all done by 1pm. There are only 3 chairs in one room so if you have more people and/or you all want to go together, you might want to start earlier. I could not find any prices before the spa confirmed with me so if anyone is curious, my hair & make-up was included in the package but each girl was $120 which we didn’t think was bad for both hair styling and make-up. I had Ana and she was awesome! I brought a pic for my hair and she did it exactly the same. I forgot to tell Gina I had wanted real flowers for my hair during our meeting, but luckily we were using flowers for our cake topper and Ana called Gina who came down to the spa right away with an orchid branch she had ordered for the cake and took a few off for my hair! They are available for whatever you need while you are there!   Getting Ready We were upgraded to the Presidential Suite only for the day of the wedding to get ready in and walk directly down the stairs of the suite to the ceremony – it was AMAZING!! The room was incredible and we ordered some room service and just hung out until the photographer came at 2:30pm. We were even able to watch them set up the ceremony because it was literally right outside the room!   Photography We used Adventure Photos (the on-site resort photography company and our photographer was Frank (Francisco). He was awesome! So nice and the pictures we have seen so far have looked awesome! He went to the groom’s room/party first at 2pm, then came to the girls at 2:30pm to capture the dress, jewelry, getting ready, etc.. We had the Ultimate Package and also upgraded for day-long coverage including 6 hours and 100 more photos. We ended up paying $150 extra for one additional hour because I wanted the events spaced out some so we had the photographer from 2pm-9pm and 150 pics included in our packages combined, along with the slideshow and photo book. I have a list of all the photo upgrade packages available (through Adventure Photo) if anyone would like it! Here is the link to our slideshow: http://100113papp.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/   Ceremony Our ceremony was on the North Beach at 3:30pm. I was in the bedroom of the suite taking photos about 5 minutes before the ceremony when I looked out the window and it was POURING! It had been the nicest, clearest, sunniest day so far before this. All of our guests were able to gather in the suite/on the covered patio since it came out of nowhere and the staff was able to move fast enough to cover all the chairs. Gina and Jorge came into the room and told us we were going to wait for the ceremony because they thought it would pass. But since both our cocktail hour and reception were planned to be outside, they suggested we make some decisions. I obv didn’t want to do this without the groom so they said I could wait for the reception decision until after the ceremony. It stopped raining so the ceremony started then a huge surge of water came up from the ocean high enough to reach everyone! Luckily it was right before I was going to come down, but it did knock out the DJ’s electricity for a min – they were able to move fast enough and everything was up and running right away! They really plan for everything haha. Mauricio did come to our ceremony and run the sound system for us.   Cocktail Hour Before the ceremony, Gina & Jorge suggested we move the cocktail hour since it was supposed to start at 5pm. I had no problem with this since my heart wasn’t set on the North Jacuzzi where we had planned. They moved us to Desires Terrace and I was so happy because this is where I had wanted it but it wasn’t offered! It was awesome! We had a long break in between the ceremony at 3:30pm and cocktail hour at 5pm because I wanted time for photos but also wanted to enjoy the cocktail hour and most people said they had missed it while they were taking photos. It worked out great since our ceremony was delayed a few minutes and we ended up joining everyone around 5:10pm. Our guests went to the lobby bar in between and Gina was there to direct them where to go since our itineraries had the Jacuzzi location on them. We upgraded to the Ultimate Package for the mariachi band but around 5:30pm, we noticed there was no music whatsoever! I guess they had already told the groom the band was late but we were still a little upset because we had upgraded mostly for them! Turns out they were stuck in Cancun because it was down-pouring there so it could have been worse J They showed up around 5:50pm but they let our cocktail hour go until 6:30 and they played the entire time! It worked out great since our reception wasn’t supposed to start until 6:30pm anyway because they needed time to set EVERYTHING up in the Seaside after clearing it from lunch.   Reception We decided to keep our reception in the Seaside Grill even after Gina and Jorge told us there was a 40% chance of rain and explained that they wouldn’t be able to move the food, DJ, or dance floor quickly if it did start raining. I am SO glad my FI decided to risk it because my heart was set on Seaside Grill and it was perfect! It didn’t rain at all, there was still some wind from the ocean so it wasn’t too hot in there and we fit perfectly! They even had the white covered chairs like I really wanted! There isn’t any room to put the furniture from the restaurant like they said, especially with the buffet, DJ, dance floor, etc…but they moved it all out for us & it was perfect! They still used the tables but had the white linens with our table runners over them so they looked fine!     Gina had told me our reception couldn’t start until 7pm in Seaside because they need enough time to clear out everyone and everything from lunch (I believe it is open until 5 or 5:30pm). She finally said they could probably have it ready around 6:30pm but it might be 6:45pm…not a big deal to us. But this was another reason I had wanted to space out the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception a little bit more and it worked perfectly! As soon as Seaside was ready, Gina & Jorge came up to the Desires terrace and led everyone down to the restaurant. Jorge even helped everyone find their place cards – he was awesome!! He stayed the entire reception and made sure everyone was good. He was there for all parts of our wedding and even the cocktail hour the night before. I was contemplating on whether to spend the extra money on the dance floor, and I’m so glad we did! It was awesome! Everyone was dancing and the lights on it were so cool! The flower girl LOVED the lights haha. You could have the middle of the seaside grill just open but the plain floor just wouldn’t have been the same for us. We only had 24 guests including the 2 year and literally every person was on that dance floor! It was well worth it.   Food & Cake Like I said earlier, our servers were awesome! We had Luis & Ricardo for our private cocktail hour the night before, our wedding day cocktail, and our reception and they were on top of everything! Everyone always had drinks and shots and cake and everything they could have needed! We did choose the BBQ Buffet because we thought there was more variety and we wanted a shorter dinner so there would be more time for dancing. The food was awesome and there was so much of it! Def something for everyone! We only had 24 people total and getting the buffet was no problem – we just asked and Gina said yes right away via email. We got the Mexican Tres Leche Cake and everyone was raving about it – even when we got home yesterday! I brought a picture and the specific ribbon color I wanted to Gina at our meeting and our cake turned out beautiful! Since I brought real touch bouquets, she ordered white orchids for our cake (and hair) at no extra cost since you can trade out within the same category.   DJ Mauricio was AMAZING!!!! He is sooo worth the cost. We met with him on Wednesday afternoon, mostly because we had ZERO music picked out for our ceremony and Gina said he could give us some suggestions. He did! He played a ton of suggestions and let us choose, made a list to make sure we covered the entire ceremony and then showed up to manage the sound system for the ceremony with all the suggestions we had picked out with him! I hadn’t sent him a list of our reception songs until about 1 ½ weeks before our wedding and when we met with him, he had our 3 songs all downloaded (first dance, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance). Those were the only songs we brought with us and we didn’t even need to! We also had a list of some artists and songs we liked for dinner/dancing and the music at the reception was awesome! He had EVERYONE dancing! From the 2 yr old to the 65 yr olds…it was so much fun! He took some requests we had told him we liked and then some requests from the bridesmaids – he even asks if you want to take requests! Haha I guess if you want to stick to a strict playlist you can say no? He was incredible – one of our friends even said she wondered if he would come up to Chicago to do her wedding this summer! We went through our reception timeline when we met with him and he did everything right on key – it was perfect! He kept the party going and even faded out the father/daughter and mother/son dances after 2 minutes each because we wanted more time for the party music! Haha   After Party We did not add any time onto our reception, but we had checked out Desires the night before so we knew we would have fun if we went there. Maybe it was the time of year, but the Desires Club was packed! I know some reviews have said it was never busy but it was jammed the night of our wedding – it got so crowded later in the night that we left and went to the suite to party. Also, the websites and brochures say Desires closes at 1pm, but that place never closed when we were there. We were sometimes there until 2 or 3am and it was still going so I guess if it is a busy time of year or busy night, they stay open? Justo the bartender is awesome & the rainbow shots are so fun! The DJ in the club even downloaded songs we requested if he didn’t have them! We thought about getting a party bus/van to Cancun or Playa one night to go out since we had read some reviews about the lacking nightlife at the hotel, but I am glad we didn’t!   Restaurants El Patio: The only restaurant we ate dinner at was El Patio because as more and more of our guests arrived, they all wanted to try it because of the fun atmosphere! The waiters are so much fun and will put sombreros on you, give you crazy tequila shots, and even put on a fire show for a coffee dessert! We went there one night with a group of 9 and were able to be seated right away around 7pm. Oceana: We ate here a couple times for breakfast and lunch. They have mostly seafood or French toast/pancakes for breakfast but you can ask them for almost anything or substitutions on menu items and they’re happy to do it. Since you can literally walk down into the pool from this restaurant and see the infinity pool overlooking the beach, it really gets you ready and excited for the day!     Lunch here is good – they have good fish tacos or little chicken or beef and pepper roll ups which they call burritos J Seaside: Only ate here once for lunch and they have a selection of sandwiches, nachos, less seafood type food than the Oceana side but I’m pretty sure you can order from either menu at the restaurants since they share a kitchen. Room Service: Nice selection, quick service, and again, if you ask them for something, I’m pretty sure they will make it and bring it up to you. The wedding night, they brought us all a bunch of nachos, rolled up tacos, and sandwiches with beers and whatever else we wanted at 1am! They are always very nice, too!   Bars Lobby Bar: nice place to meet and hang out – day or night. Very open with a nice breeze coming through and live music on most nights. This is the only place I ever saw a drink menu if anyone is interested in some of the fun drinks they have there. Swim-up Bar: was very busy one day due to a huge work group arriving but otherwise usually fairly easy to get a drink. Pool Bar: a couple days we were there they brought out some tables with coconuts and cut them open right there and served “Coco Locos” in them with whatever alcohol you wanted. Everyone in our group loved this! Beach Bar: Really fun place to hang out with funny bartenders! Only open until 6pm and it would be awesome if it was open later – looks like maybe in the summer it is or it used to be because there are lights in it but they never turn them on L Desires: Fun place to hang out late night, weekend nights were REALLY busy. We went here to keep the party going after our reception. Has a good size dance floor, pool table, places to sit, and TV’s. Preferred Club lounge: Seemed really hot inside but had nice TV’s to watch sports (there were NFL playoffs on while we were there). Never a lot of people in it so easy to get a drink and grab a small snack.   I’m sure I left stuff out so again, just let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them if I can! I will also post the link to my slideshow when I get it!
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Savs1027

By Savs1027, · 3 Comments

Pros: photographer, resort, wedding coordinator,
Cons: alot of kids
Ok, Here's my full review... I have no idea how to organize this. I want to make sure I touch on everything about the hotel and wedding so I think I'm going to organize this by days. I'll just go day by day and if you have any questions just let me know!! I'll make sure to check back for awhile to answer anything!    Thursday -  we flew United and they would not let me hang my dress up. The flight attendant was rude (which they will be getting a letter about) and I had to lay my dress down in the overhead compartment. Luckily the other flight attendance let me close the overhead once my dress was in there so no one else would put bags in it. Customs was easy! There were 6 of us without about 20 bags and no one got stopped! The hotel was about 20 minutes away from the airport. Check in was a bit unorganized. My husband, me, and my parents were in preferred club, and my sister and brother were in regular rooms... they were checked in before us being in a regular room. We originally booked a preferred club ocean view for 3 nights and then the master suite for 5 nights because the hotel said the master suites were full. My parents booked a honeymoon suite just to have extra room. We go to check in and they upgrade my parents to a master suite and us to a honeymoon suite. My parents ended up letting us have their master suite for the whole trip so we wouldn't have to change rooms and they just took our honeymoon suite. The ladies at the desk understood and changed all the reservations and said it was fine but I think it confused the rest of the hotel because we got things in our room with my parents last name and their room got honeymooned. It was fine, ours did too, but it was kind of funny. I highly recommend getting the master suite!! It was nice to have the extra room for getting ready and we would all gather in there during the week so it was nice to have the sitting area and table too. A note about the rooms you might want to tell your guests - if they are set on having an ocean view, they need to book a preferred club. One of our groomsmen and his wife who also used this as their honeymoon because they just got married, booked a regular ocean view room. They were on the 2nd floor and you could not see the ocean at all. They didn't want to complain so I went and complained and they wouldn't move them because that was considered an "ocean view" room. Their door was also broken and they still wouldn't move them. So, i think they give higher priority to the preferred club guests. Another note about preferred club and what you get - the wifi sucks. But you can go in the preferred club lounge and use the computer for free and print. It was nice to do this since we were there for 9 days. Other than that, you basically just get priority over the other guests when it comes to room selections. We had dinner in the buffet this night and it was not very good. It was pretty empty and they were able to sit about 10 of us easily together. I am a picky eater, but everyone said it wasn't very good. We didn't go back there for lunch or dinner the rest of the trip.    Friday - We ordered room service for breakfast - excellent! We were supposed to meet with Lorena at 10am for our appointment so we went to the wedding office with all of our stuff and she had no record of our meeting appt. I confirmed this with her several times! She had scheduled a rehearsal for the same time so she told us to come back in 20 minutes. We went to the lobby and waited and then went back to meet her. The meeting with her was fast and I felt like she was really rushing it. Luckily I had everything all picked out. But I had asked for examples of stuff and she didn't have any. So, I would have a good idea of what you want before you arrive. She didn't write anything down which really worried me. I had specific requests as far as table assignments and how many chairs at each table. She just kept saying Ok, no problem, but wasn't writing any of it down. After the meeting with her, we met with the DJ. Most of you know I was worried about this because he had been MIA for the last month and I didn't know if he had our music list. He was very nice but I could tell something was off. He was very quiet. he had our music already downloaded and made special notes about what we wanted. I felt good with him after meeting with him. We met with Linda after that and she was super nice and organized and we made our picks for the ceremony and we were done. As we were leaving the wedding office I confirmed with Lorena that our rehearsal was scheduled for Sunday at 11am (the time/date that SHE told me over email.) She looked confused and asked if we could do it Saturday because she is off on Sundays. She said she would come on sunday if she had to but asked if we could change it. 2 of the groomsmen had booked excursions and they had to change it to sunday because of this. It ended up not being a big deal, but was frustrating because she was the one who scheduled it on sunday. We had lunch at Oceana which was good and accomodated a large table. We had dinner at El Patio that night which was excellent and there was no wait but they will not accomodate large parties with out the reservation through the wedding coordinator. We had 13 people and we had to sit 9 and 4. The tables were close together though. We went to Desire after dinner and there were 2 other weddings that day and they were all there so it was good party! Saturday -  Breakfast at the buffet which was very good!! We had the rehearsal with Lorena which was quick and easy. We went to meet Anel after the rehearsal and I knew after meeting her she would be great! We had lunch at Barefoot Grill which had really good food.  We planned our "welcome Party" for this night in the lobby bar and it didn't exactly go as I had planned, but I think it could work. Everyone ended up leaving to go eat dinner so it just wasn't what I had imagined in my head.  We ate dinner at Portofino this night and it was excellent too! But it's very small. If you want to have a dinner at one of the restaurants I would recommend going through the wedding coordinator. We had to sit 9 and 4 again. They had a Mexican night set up around the pools with shops which was nice since we didn't leave the resort at all. There were 2 wedding receptions going on this night (one on the pool deck and one on the terrace) and we could hear all the music from our room. It was good for us because we sat on our balcony with all our friends and drank champagne and had a free party, but for a family I could see how this could be a major problem! They delivered my dress and suit this night to us. John answered the door and there was my dress not in the bag hanging there for him to see. Luckily he didn't see much but I'm just wondering why they did that...    Sunday - This was our only free day before the wedding and nothing really exciting to write about! Breakfast at Seaside grill was just ok. Lunch at barefoot grill, good again. They didn't tell us this when we checked in, but someone else told us that you can make reservations at Himitsu for the hibachi tables. We got there around 4:45 and we were first in line for them to start at 5pm. There is 6:30, 8, and 9:30 seatings. And there are only 2 tables. So, if you want to do the hibachi tables, get there early for reservations! That's what we had for dinner that night and it was pretty good and a good show. It wasn't anything different than what we have here in Houston. John was able to check in to his separate room this night.    Monday - Wedding Day!  We had our hair and makeup appointments at 10am. Perla did my hair and makeup and she was awesome!! I loved it all! Everyone loved their hair and makeup so I think whoever does it you'll be safe with! Anel started with the guys at 1 and then came to us around 1:30. She was amazing to work with and made everything so comfortable. I got nervous because our flowers weren't there yet it was already 3:00. They delivered mine so Anel could do some pictures of them and then she left to go take pictures of the ceremony set up. I LOVED the flowers. They were way better than what I had expected. I brought my own ribbon and they didn't use the ribbon on the corsages or bouts. They used an ugly pink/gold ribbon. It wasn't anything anyone noticed but still frustrating. I also wasn't thrilled with the bouts and corsages. They were just pink roses... I thought they would be something to match the bouquets better. But really the bouquets were the biggest thing and I loved them!!! Lorena came and got us and everyone went down to the ceremony site and my, my mom and dad waited around the corner since it was at the gazebo. We waited for quite awhile and later my husband told me that the DJ was late and then the sound system didn't work. So non of the music played that I had picked to have while guests were arriving. strike 1 for the DJ... Other than that, the ceremony went smoothly. I'm glad we opted for the fake cocktail hour at the beach bar. We went to the beach to take pictures and everyone followed us to watch and the mariachi band was playing there so if we would have paid for a cocktail hour, no one would have been there! Everyone loved the mariachi band! The videographer that was included in the package was there (who I had no contact with before the wedding) and he was very friendly! Right after the ceremony Jorge came and told us he would come and get everyone for the reception so that's what we told everyone. He never came (that I know of) so everyone was really confused about where they were supposed to be. John and I finally had to tell everyone to go sit down. It was all kind of confusing.... No was telling us what to do as far as the introductions go. We just stood and waited and waited until we heard the DJ start calling our names. We had told the DJ that we would be introduced and then to go straight in to our first dance because we didn't want to stand there awkwardly having to dance to our introduction song (neither of us are dancers! haha) Well the music just went on and on awkwardly and then finally we did our first dance. strike 2... So after our first dance, my dad was supposed to pray and then dinner start. Well, the DJ forgot to announce that he was going to pray (which he needed the mic) for and told me and john to get dinner. It was just all a big mess and confusion... strike 3. The dinner was excellent! Some people said it was the best food they had the whole time they were there. We went with the Mexican buffet - so good! But there was SO much food. They could have cut everything in half probably and still had plenty. There were waiters for every table and they would bring your food back to the table for you. And they were great about drinks as well. We told the DJ that once everyone was seated from getting their food we would start the toasts. Well, people were done eating and starting to get their desserts and he hadn't announced the toasts yet. This is when we realized that Mauricio wasn't there any more and it was just 2 random guys. John went and asked them about the toasts and he just handed John the mic... strike 4. I was so angry at this point. We were not going to introduce our own speeches. So he went back over there and told them to introduce it and they did.... After the toasts one of the random guys came over to us and asked if we were ready for our cake cutting, which if he would have had the itenerary from the actual DJ he would have known that was next. Anyway, we did the cake cutting. We had 1 layer tres leches, 1 layer Vanilla and everyone said it was really good! Some even said the best wedding cake they had ever had. And I was really happy with the way it looked too. After the cake cutting we started the dancing and in the first song it started sprinkling. They came and asked if we wanted to move but we said it was ok and we kept dancing. Well, then it started pouring down rain. Jorge and the food manager (I can't remember his name but he was so nice and helpful) came and said they would move us inside and for everyone to move to the lobby. We all ran to the lobby and they got one of the ballrooms set up for us. I was so disappointed!!! I cried. The only thing they moved to the ballroom was the DJ and a bar. They set up bar tables and moved our centerpieces in there but that was it. All the money we had spent on decorations, the lighting, etc was kind of a waste. :( Lorena, Jorge, and the food manager made sure everything got inside and to the wedding office. They were all great. So, we finished the night in the ballroom and they gave us an extra hour. The stand in DJ did good. He followed our song list and took requests. Anel left at some point in there so she could go ahead and start uploading the pictures since she was only scheduled until 8:30. She sent in Santiago, who was also very kind and great to work with and he stayed until around 9:15. They extended us until about 9:30. Everyone had a blast, even with moving to the ballroom. I was really sad when we had to move, but after seeing that Anel captured everything in our pictures, I was ok. And, everyone still said it was the best wedding they'd ever been to. We went to Desire after the reception, but there was nothing going on. They were playing the Jets game which was good because all of my husbands family is from NY and are die hard Jets fans so we just hung out there with them for awhile then went to bed! They had our room "honeymooned" when we got back with rose petals everywhere.    Tuesday - We had our trash the dress with Anel at 9am. I highly recommend this! It was so much fun! After the trash the dress, we went up to our room and I went straight to the shower and planned on just turning the water on and running it over me for awhile to make sure all the sand was off, but we had no water! There was no electricity or water for awhile this day. So I just took my dress off and hung it in the shower until there was water. So since there was no water we just put on our swimsuits and went and ate lunch and then went to the spa to ask about our spa treatments we get with the packages. We got the 25 minute massage and the facial that were included with the honeymoon package that day. Excellent!! Everyone in the spa was so nice and all the ladies who did the treatments were great. We ate with my husbands family at Portofino this night and we had to wait an hour and a half for 9 people to sit together. That was even showing up right at 6pm when they opened to put our name on the list. Again, if you want to have a welcome dinner/party or rehearsal dinner, I highly recommend doing it through the wedding coordinators.    Wednesday - We scheduled our "romantic breakfast in bed" that came with the honeymoon package. Standard room service breakfast. But still very good! No other things to note this day   Thursday -  Had another spa treatment - the full body scrub that comes with the ultimate wedding package. Great again! We went to the wedding office to ask Lorena about the video from the videographer and we happened to run in to Anel and she told us our pictures were ready. We ended up going back to the photo place with her and she showed us our slide show and then we went through all of our pictures and picked which ones we wanted. We got 250 with our package but there was no way we could narrow it down to that. So, we ended up paying for 50 extra pictures. We had to pay $500 for those!!! That's where they know how to take your $! That was even with a "discount" But I loved the pictures and I knew I would regret not getting all of them so it was worth it to me. Anel was so awesome!!! Her pictures were way better than I had pictured or dreamed. If you can reserve her for your wedding, do it!! She was by far the best vendor we worked with. We dinner at El Patio again which was great again!    Friday-  We went to drop off some stuff to Lorena that we didn't want to take home with us and our wedding video was ready so we took it back to our room to watch it. I had heard some bad things about the videographer service on here so I had very low expectations, but I am thrilled with our video!! it is great quality and there is only one cheesy part in there that I would cut out. haha. So overall, I am very pleased with that service! Then we checked out of our room and headed to the airport. We had a big UH OH  and lost John's immigration paper so PLEASE make sure y'all keep up with that!! It is a very long story, but because of that we ended up missing our flight and that was the last flight to Houston that day. We had to find a random hotel in downtown Cancun for the night and leave the next morning. It was crazy. So please make sure y'all keep that immigration form!!   Overall, I am so pleased with how our wedding turned out. The DJ was really only complaint and from what it sounds like they are starting to assign weddings to another DJ, so maybe there is something going on with Mauricio from Visual Sound. But, in the big picture, I doubt anyone else noticed that there was an issue with him except me and John. And it rained :( But the pictures still captured everything and we have those memories. And there ended up being a rainbow earlier in the day for our pictures which was amazing! DRC overall was a great resort. There were a few complaints from guests - the internet, the water pressure and temperature consistency in the showers, and the power going out several times, but other than that, everyone had a blast and said it was one of the best vacations they had ever been on! And the food was the best I've ever had at an all inclusive resort! The drinks were strong as well. You never had to ask for extra shots like I've had to do at some all inclusives. One thing I noticed, there were alot of kids. I don't know if it was the time of year we went, but there were ALOT! We won't be going back to Dreams until we have a family because of this. The Explorers club takes over 2 of the pools during the day with kid music and the infinity pool is so crowded with tons of kids swimming. You can't just stand there without kids hitting you under the water or being splashed. If you have a family, this is a great resort and we will be returning once we have kids!! But while it's just us, we'll do an adults only next time.    Here is the link to our slideshow again: http://171212ryan.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/#/ryan/
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AArrival Date: December 5, 2012 Wedding Date: December 7, 2012 Number of Guests: 20 Heaven on Earth!! Our wedding couldn't have been any more perfect! We used Wendy Hicks with Wright Ravel and everything with our transfers, hotels, flights, etc. was incredibly smooth. she is a true professional made our trip and wedding and all of our guests' experiences easy and fantastic. I highly recommend her! Flight: To start out, we flew business class on a direct flight on American- we upgraded at the last minute because we were so stressed out and it was so worth it. Besides the food, celebratory champagne and extra space- there were four other brides on our flight and because we got to board first, my dress was placed in the closet and didn't get wrinkled like the others (and two of them had to go into an overhead bin- the bride was NOT happy about that). Transfers: Olympus was great, with the exception of the hassling at the wedding hotel, Olympus was very professional and gave us a private van for our transfer to Dreams Riviera. The ride from our honeymoon back to the airport was fast and just as great as the transfer to Dreams. Hotel: we had an ocean view room and it was amazing- we were very pleased with the accommodations. It was so nice, clean and the room was always restocked in the afternoon. The maids did a great job cleaning and the day after our wedding put a "honeymoon" banner and scattered rose petals and tea lights around the room and bath tub. It was so pretty so i called the front desk the next morning to request that they not sweep the petals and take the candles away. When the maid came and cleaned the next day, she started taking them away and when I asked her about keeping them, she left the candles and actually put out fresh rose petals for us! The service is remarkable! All of the waiters, bartenders, maids, etc were great and made our stay and our guests' stays memorable. The restaurants were really yummy- I'm a food snob and I really liked everything- there is so much to choose from, everyone will be able to find something they like. Even the picky eaters! The only cons we could think of were there were a lot of kids around (but for some reason that it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would), one night the entertainment at night as really loud and as a light sleeper I couldn't fall asleep until 1:00am when the concert stopped, and eating with large groups, especially trying to reserve tables for breakfast at the World Cafe, was difficult. Wedding: Lorena and I had communicated some, but I hadn't turned in my wedding planner to her until about 30 days before our wedding. I was a little nervous a out how things would turn out, but as other brides have said- they do this ALL year long and have it down to a science. Case in point: my now husband and I were having dinner the night we arrived at the hotel (2 nights before our wedding) and we started chatting with an older couple sitting near us- they said they had been there for one week and had already seen 13 weddings!! They said that they watched most of them being set up and for us not to worry if 20 minutes before our ceremony there was nothing there because about 10-15 minutes before the wedding is scheduled to begin, it's like a colony of ants that come and everything is up and looking perfect like it had been there all day! Lol. Because I'm picky about table linens, I brought my own custom runner along with some tissue poms and 16 votive candles and led tea lights with me. I bought the runner and poms from sellers on Etsy. When we arrived we met with Lorena and Linda (the minister)- we finalized our vows, picked out our cake, picked the two songs for our ceremony, pick our appetizers and finalized the details on the decorations and set up. i made sure i brought photos of what I wanted the table to look like ( i did a mock up of the table decor before i left) and brought all of our email communication printed in a notebook, which really helped. It took us just over an hour and we were done to go enjoy the beach! They really know what they are doing, so don't worry if you cannot make a decision until you get there and they will take care of you to make sure you day is everything you and your fiancé hopes it will be. Rehearsal: We followed the advice of other brides before us and just showed up at El Patio with our group of 16 at 6:00 sharp- it worked out just fine and the dinner was great! We then headed to the lobby bar for more drinks and stories/toasts afterward. Photos: we used Anel at Adventure and she was amazing- we have only seen a sneak peak so far, but we are happy. She is very creative and got a bunch of different types of shots of me, my husband and I and our families. The salon did a fabulous job- I was a little worried, but Perla did the whole 'copy the photo exactly' hairdo and 'make your makeup look natural but a prettier version of yourself' perfectly. She was great! I brought a couple of photos of my hair and gave her no directions on my makeup- I only brought some self-adhesive fake lashes and my makeup bag just in case. I have to say, I was VERY impressed! My sister and I thought they did an amazing job. I used all of their makeup (and I'm used to using Lancôme, so I was worried about their makeup), which lasted all night, except my liquid eyeliner (just because) and I had her do an extra coat of mascara with my mascara (because I wanted a little more- I'm from Texas and we use A LOT of mascara) ;-) We had our ceremony on the North Beach- it seemed more private and it was beautiful. All of our guests loved Linda the minister- we got the microphone and I'm glad we did ( we decided to go for it when we met with them two days prior to the wedding) because it made it easier to speak and to hear. It was a little windy even though the wind was only about 5 mph- so take everyone's advice and have your hair put up or at least out of your face. :-) Cocktail hour: at the north Jacuzzi area. It was a great location even though I was skeptical at first. We had 20 people and it was perfect- not to small but not too big- would have even worked if we had had 30 people. It is a very private space, which my husband and I liked. Everyone had a great time eating and drinking. We missed the first 30 minutes of it taking photos, but we got to sample some of the appetizers and have a drink before moving on to the reception. We had the silver package and chose the egg roll, empanadas, chicken satay for the hot appetizers, and the mushroom in puff pastry and salmon roll for the cold appetizers- all of them were really good. Our guests liked them all and said that the salmon roll was just okay. Since we had the silver package, we didn't opt to pay extra for the trio for the cocktail hour. We didn't miss it (and neither did our guests) it was such a short time, if you're looking to save, that would be a good place to do it. Reception: Now for our favorite part and the best surprise of the evening! We had our reception on the South beach and it as even more amazing than I would have dreamed or hoped! I feel like receptions on the beach get a bad rap, but TRUST ME- they are awesome! We had a large rectangular table set up and it was magical hearing the waves crash and it being just, you, your guests, the waves and the stars. You see, in Mexico in December, there are so many stars out- more than I have ever seen- and it makes it so beautiful to be on the beach at night and away Fromm all of the restaurants and other weddings and guests at the hotel. It was very intimate and we felt like the only group at the hotel. So awesome!! We had the Caribbean buffet and it was delicious- especially the ribs, kabobs, crab avocados and the desserts table. Needless to say we were stuffed when it was over! We didn't have a dance floor, DJ, musicians or sound system. I wished we had programmed an IPOD for the reception but we had such a small group so were we're talking throughout the whole dinner. The cake was so delicious too- we did the basic cake - vanilla flavor. It was one of the moistest and yummiest cakes I have ever had- we couldn't eat it all, so we had the concierge bring it to our group dinner at Bordeaux the next night. Since I was on a budget, I did have them add a texture to the cake to give it a little more personality and that was done at no charge ( I verified this with Lorena about a week before our wedding). Bottom line- Lorena and the rest of the wedding staff- especially Jorge- do a magnificent job- so sit back, relax and let them carry out your vision for your dream wedding! We tipped them and made sure we could come back the next day to pick up our decorations- they made our special day so memorable! Don't stress and know everything will turn out great!! And if you have ANY doubts about Dreams, don't- it is amazing, the pools are nice (and one is heated which is so important in December!), the food is delicious and such a variety to choose from, there is a coffee bar open all day and most of the night (so addictive- I miss it so much now...), the beach is beautiful and is easily walked (we walked to Puerto Morelos one day) and the staff is fantastic. Our guests loved it as well and were very happy that we chose it even though neither my husband nor I had ever been to that part of Mexico and weren't quite sure we would love the resort. We miss it so much and can't wait to go back because it is heaven!!!
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Cbert22

By Cbert22, · 0 Comments

Hello Ladies,   I got married at Dreams on 11/30 and i have to say that it far surpassed all of my expectations! Having a destination wedding and choosing Dreams were the best decisions we ever made and you will NOT regret it!! Below is a brief review. Please feel free to email me directly if you have any questions as I was not able to get too detailed here and there are plenty of things I have left out. I know how hard it is to plan this so I am happy to help in any way I can, although I may not be checking this forum much anymore. cbert22@hotmail.com subject line: Question regarding wedding at Dreams   Arrival Date 11/28 Wedding Date 11/30 45 guests/ 47 total attendees   Welcome Dinner: Seaside Grill I ended up paying the 15 per person to have the welcome dinner. It was totally worth it in my opinion. We just felt like we should have another event planned for all of our guests since they had travelled from so far to be there. We had the restaurant all to ourselves and it was wonderful. The food and service was great and we used this time to give out our welcome bags. I highly recommend doing this if you are able. It was also a great was to have our guests mingle ahead of time so they already were aquainted prior to the wedding   Ceremony: Time/Location- 3:30pm @ North Beach Best location as far as privacy goes. There was still a few beach goers that stayed and watched but it was nothing compared to some of the other weddings i saw at the gazebo and south beach. They set up beautifully and the backdrop was gorgeous. I stayed in the Presidential suite the night before the wedding with some of my bridesmaids which was perfect as we literally walked out the sliding doors to the ceremony. It also allowed for ample space and great pictures.   Cocktail Hour: Time/Location- 4:30-5:30pm @ Desires Terrace We were off taking pictures for most of the time so we missed the cocktail hour. We showed up for the last 15mins. It’s a very nice location but it does get a little stuffy We got the Caribbean Trio and they were fabulous (so i heard). Everyone enjoyed them   Reception: Time/Location- 6:30-10:30p @ South Beach I LOVED this location!!! I had my heart set on the pool deck from the very beginning but it was booked on my date so i had to go with the south beach. Even when i got there and saw how beautiful the deck was i was mildly depressed. I even started second guessing myself as to why I didn’t change my date. But the moment i saw my reception set up i was beyond thrilled! It was beyond my wildest dreams. They did an amazing job with the set up and our group felt totally secluded. It was perfect!! We had the Caribbean Buffett with some modifications to account for vegan guests. It was delicious. The staff was amazing and our guests were impressed by the level of service all around. Also, I didn’t pay for any lighting at all and the set up they did was amazing. Save your money!!!!    Hair/Makeup: ANA  She was amazing!!! I was super concerned with getting my makeup done by a total stranger so before i left i went to Nars cosmetics here in LA  and had a two hour make up session/tutorial and bought all new makeup. When i went for my trial with Ana at Dreams the day before the wedding i showed her the makeup and explained what i could remember from my trial in LA (which was not much) and then i let her at it. She finished in 15mins and it looked even better than my previous trial. She did an amazing job on my hair as well. Definitely recommend her!!   Wedding Coordinator: Gina Gina was amazing. Knowing that i only had one day to meet with everyone (since i was only in town the day before the wedding) she set up meetings with everyone for us. We just arrived at the wedding office at 10am and then the different folks rotated to meet with us. Gina was on top of everything and she really tried to help out wherever she could.   Photography: Frank (Adventures) This was one of the biggest highlights of the entire experience. As you know, most of the reviews on this site are for Anel, so I was dead set on having her shoot our wedding. I had been bugging her from the beginning asking if she could shoot my wedding but she was unable to commit to me since she wasn’t sure of her schedule. When we finally met with her the day of the wedding she informed me that she was not going to be able to shoot us. I was devastated at the time since I had no info on any of the other photographers, however Frank far exceeded any expectations i could have had. My wedding pictures are breathtaking. He creates the most magical set ups and his photos are truly pieces of art. We also did the Trash the Dress with Frank which was by far the best decision we made. We opted to pay an additional fee to shoot the photos at a fresh water cave near Playa Del Carmen. The pictures are out of this world amazing. It was a lot of work and not the most comfortable experience, but the pictures i now have are priceless. Frank has an amazing eye and is a pleasure to be around.  I cannot recommend Frank or the Trash the Dress session enough.   DJ: Cesar Cesar was great. We did provide him with a bunch of music that we wanted played but he also filled in the gaps with great choices. Everyone danced and had a great time. He also threw in the dance floor for free since we ended up adding an extra hour to the reception which was amazing!!   Overall, I had the most amazing wedding ever!! I would not change a thing!!! All of my guests have told me that it was the best wedding they had ever attended (which is all i ever wanted :) ). Dreams was the perfect choice for us and I can’t wait to go back there!!!!   Good luck to all you future brides. You are going to have the time of your lives....I’m jealous :)   
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Shellbee

By Shellbee, · 1 Comment

Hi Ladies!   I had my wedding at Dreams Riviera Cancun and it was AMAZING!! All of my guests (48ppl) said it was the BEST wedding they had ever been to. This thread helped me SO much when I was planning my wedding so I wanted to put it out there that if anyone had any questions please feel free to contact me on here or you can email me @ xshellbee@gmail.com. My wedding cooridinator was Lorena and she was AMAZING. I had a lot of trouble getting a hold of her up until the couple of weeks before the wedding... but just know, you are TOP priority when you are there for your wedding and they will make sure your wedding is perfect. This resort gets and A++!!!!! ALL of my guests felt like VIP the whole week we were there.   DJ: As i was planning my wedding, i did not seen any reviews on here about the in house DJ (Cesar Mauricio Neri Salazar from Visual Sound) so i was going to put together a playlist on my Ipod and rent the sound system....litterally a week before i was leaving for our wedding we decided we were going to chance it and get the DJ.... SO GLAD WE DID IT! HE WAS AMAZING. A DJ either makes or breaks your reception.... he MADE it!! the dance floor was filled ALL NIGHT and he played great music and even took requests. I seriously can not say enough good things about this guy. He played everything from Frank Sinatra to Rihanna to Kenny Chesney. Yes, he was a little pricey, but ladies do yourself a favor and spend the money because you and your guests will LOVE him.   PHOTOGRAPHY: The team of photographers from Adventure Photos (the in house photographers) we also AMAZING. Anel was my main contact and she was so easy to work with and really knew her stuff! Here's a link to my online slideshow if anyone would like to check it out. http://300812larkins.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/ and a few pics are attached. DO THE TRASH THE DRESS!!! We got in the ocean and in the pool in my chiffon wedding dress... i let it dry in my room and you would never even know i got in the water or rolled in the sand with it on. Looks as good as new.   Again, my wedding was perfect so I would love to answer any specific questions/concerns any of you might have about your wedding/reception/resort/service/accomidations/party favors/etc.... i was in the same boat as you once and this thread helped me so much!
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RollerBride

By RollerBride, · 6 Comments

A *this is pretty long but I just wanted to help out anyone else who might be planning a wedding at DRC. It's not easy planning an event somewhere that you have never been. Please feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer* Length of trip: August 1- August 10, 2012 Wedding Date: Saturday August 4th, 2012 Ceremony: North Beach Cocktail: Desires Lounge Reception: Pool Deck/Seaside Grill Wedding Coordinator: Evangelina -> Yamina -> Lorena Photos: Anel, Adventure Photos Number of guests: 29 Wedding package: Ultimate + photo package #3      We had an amazing trip and couldn't be happier with having chosen Dreams Riviera Cancun. We are super easy going and pretty low maintenance. and the planning of the wedding was pretty stress-free for me (i did the majority of planning-the husband had a few requests here and there). One of the main reasons we chose DRC, was because we had been to a wedding at Dreams Tulum the year before, and we felt we knew what we would be getting by going with another Dreams resort. We got what we hoped for and more! My husband has asked that i do not post our slide show on here, so I will respect his wishes. I will post a few pics though :) We were pretty busy the first 2 days we arrived but we managed to swim and have drinks and have fun in between meetings and what not. After that, we were able to relax, even with a Hurricane!   Wednesday August 1    We  landed in Cancun at about 3:30pm. We had 4 suitcases. My carry-on was a garment bag with my wedding dress. My dress was folded in half, then half again. As you will see below, my dress wasn't poofy and didn't have much detail, so I wan't worried that folding it woud damgeit. I had no issues with that.My husband was stopped in customs because one of his suitcases had about 35 mini-tubes of sunscreen in it. They asked him about it. i had the receipt for it. They searched the suitcase and let us go. no biggie at all.    About half of our guests arrived this day also. We had a preferred club room with the plunge pool (the plunge pool was one of like, 2 requests of my husband). We booked it for more than 7 nights, so we also got the Honeymoon Package included. Check in was easy. We got to the room and there was a bottle of 'pagne for us. I immediately finished assembling our OOT bags. They were a hit! they were mesh bags from Oriental Trading, a personalized beer koozie, a personalized plastic cup with lid and straw, Emergen C, Imodium, Advil, an itinerary for guests and a list of attendees (name, how we know them and where they were from). The only thing I wish I could have added is bug spray! Or OFF wipes. The bug bites were brutal and I felt bad because some people got bit real bad. That resort gift shop sold OFF for $16.00 and most of us ended up buying some.            Here is the itinerary template i made up. i had different versions for various family members, MOH, etc.We included our room number so guests could find us. and we also opted to put the table numbers of our guests on the itineraries. i was afraid that place cards would blow away on the pool deck. I think this worked out well. no one seemed to forget their table number and they could pick their seat at the table.            We took a walk around the resort and found most of our guests, gave them their OOT bag, ate dinner at the buffet set up on the pool terrace that night and then went to Desires.   Thursday August 2nd    Our first stop after breakfast was to set a meeting with Anel. I tried to set this up prior to our arrival, but she told us to just stop in when we arrived to set up a meeting. Santiago was there and he gave us a time.    Our second stop was a meeting with Lorena at the Business Center. We set up these next 2 meetings a few months in advance. It was so good to finally meet her. She's really nice. We initially had chosen the Love wedding package. The first thing Lorena mentioned was upgrading to the Ultimate package. At first i was like, "oh here we go with the up selling....", but it turned out that due to our guest count dropping by about 10 people and items we had added on (centerpieces, mariachi), that it would be more cost effective because those items are included in the Ultimate package. We ended up saving a few hundred dollars! it was great! and of course i felt bad for thinking my previous thoughts. I had brought all my spreadsheets i created with my notes, printouts of our dinner menu for the table, chair sashes, cake topper, table numbers with stands to hold them and we covered EVERYTHING. With the exception of date, time and locations, we would have been able to change anything else we wanted. it was a good meeting and we got even more excited for the wedding.    We grabbed coffee and hung out with guests. We also headed to the lobby and paid for half of the wedding. then we headed back to the Business center and met with Mauricio (DJ). He had emailed us a spreadsheet to complete about a month before our trip. We brought that and went over it with him. We also brought a flash drive with some specific songs we wanted to hear at various parts of the reception. He was really nice and thorough.    Right when we finished with Mauricio, Anel came in to meet with us. We went over the time line of our wedding day, specific shots we wanted. It was quick meeting which was great. She was also really nice.    The rest of our guests arrived this day. we tried to find them throughout the day to give them their bags and their itineraries. We had scheduled a Meet & Greet for all our guests at Rendezvous  (Lobby Bar) this night. Any guests who had not received their OOT bag with itinerary, we called their room and left them a message to be in the lobby at 8pm. We did not reserved this area. It worked out perfect. Some nights the lobby is packed with activities, but we lucked out. it was pretty empty except for us. Everyone met, mingled and had a blast!   Friday August 3rd   I scheduled mani/pedis for myself, MOH, my grand-mom, mom and future mother in law. i had booked this reservation a few months in advance with William at the spa. He was there at the desk when we arrived. He was also very nice. It was a good experience. I also received 15% off with our wedding package, so that was nice :)    We purchased 2 full day resort passes for our best man and his wife. we coordinated this with Lorena. We had no issues with this. We paid the balance of our wedding on this day. we used a debit card. no issues.    Our wedding rehearsal was at the North beach at 3pm. Linda, our officiant was there with Lorena. It was quick and easy. I'll be honest, this area is no more private than the gazebo. There are beach huts with guests lounging on the perimeter of your ceremony.    Kip and I checked into our extra room for the groom. He wanted to use the plunge pool all day on the day of the wedding, so our extra room was actually the Bride's room, lol.    Friday night we had reserved a table for 20 people at Himitsu. We paid for this. It was not private, which we were aware of an did not mind. We had 2 big table to ourselves in the rear of the restaurant so it seemed pretty private. It was great and I'm glad we did it. Our families had the chance to be alone and talk and really get to bond over dinner.  We we able to order off the regular menu. They brought us all Sangrias as soon as we arrived. We distributed our wedding party gifts.    Saturday August 4th-WEDDING DAY, OMG!   I didn't sleep well the night before and was really restless :/ I wandered around, went to the beach, went in the infinity pool with some gfs. then i went to my room and showered.    Our ceremony was at 4pm. I made hair and makeup appointments for me and my MOH for 12:00pm. I had an idea of what I wanted, found it in their book of hairstyles and Ana did it. I brought a picture for my make up and she did a great job on that also. Again, I'll be honest....i don't wear alot of makeup normally or do much to my hair....and i don't really enjoy having it done lol. i got back to the room and kind of panicked. i felt like i had too much make up on and my hair felt like a helmet :/ I had a corona, some GFs came to my room and assured me i looked great.     Anel went to the groom's room at about 2:45pm and did pics with him.         She came to my room at about 3:00pm and did pics with us girls.                               Anel left us at about 3:30-3:45 to go take photos of the beach and our guests arriving.    Lorena came to my room for me, my dad and MOH at about 3:55 and guided us through everything. The ceremony was great. and quick, which was good because it was SO HOT!!!!! Linda (officiant)was great also. I really liked her presence. tiny issue: she had thought we wrote our own vows (which we didn't), so she gave us some vows to repeat on the fly.    There were still people in the beach huts all around us watching, but they remained quiet and respectful.                  We did photos with Anel all around the resort from about 4:30-5:15. She was soo nice and friendly and FUNNY! We really enjoyed her.   Then me and Kip went back to our room to cool off before the cocktail hour. It was nice to take a few minutes with him and just breathe a sigh of relief. We were so relaxed after that.    We did our cocktail hour at Desires. It was the coldest place at the resort and i do not regret that decision for a second! its not the fanciest place at the resort, but it suited us to a tee! The appetizers were good. The mariachi trio was soo awesome. and funny. Everyone LOVED them! They were the other request of my husband. a plunge pool and a mariachi trio. he's pretty easy to please :)    Our reception started on the pool deck at 6:30pm. Half of the pool deck was under construction and blocked off, which was kind of a bummer and was kind of an eyesore, but all in all, didn't effect us. Also, the infinity pool is RIGHT behind the pool deck, so this spot is not private. Again, we didn't mind but i figured I'd mention this so other people knew what to expect.  We had our fist dance and everyone in the pool was hanging over the pools edge watching. I'm just glad everyone was respectful and some people in the pool even started slow dancing with us.            As we started dinner and the clouds started coming in and the wind picked up. the staff kept saying "it will not rain, it will not rain"....we were getting weary. By the middle of the 3rd course the wind was pretty crazy (the food was amazing, by the way-the asparagus soup was ridiculous!). we looked around and more than half our guests had their sunglasses on...at dusk. They had sand in their eyes and food. i turned to kip and said "we have to do something". Lorena had left us at the beginning of the reception and left Jorge to assist us with everything until the end. Kip asked Jorge if we could move and the next thing i knew, we were migrating to the Seaside grill. All our guests were so happy with this and that made us happy. everyone kept asking me if i was OK, as if my night was ruined, lol. i told them i was fine and just wanted to dance!    Mauricio had set up the dance floor for us on the deck (we did not pay extra for this), so when we moved to the Seaside grill, we lost the dance floor and about 30 min of music while he moved. The staff served the rest of the food, then made a makeshift dance floor and we had a blast. Some of my gfs mentioned they had made requests to the DJ and they were not played. He only played about 1 or 2 of the songs we provided him on the flash drive. But we did enjoy the music he played and like i said, we did lose about 30 min of music in the shuffle of things so we attributed to missing out on songs because of that.    When we got back to our room that night, the sand from our sand ceremony and our cake topper were in the room for us.   Sunday August 5th    Anel  tagged us in a picture! it was such a tease! i ran around showing everyone!       Monday August 6th    Our wedding DVD was ready for us in the wedding office. we watched it immediately and it was really nice. We hadn't really planned on having a DVD, but when we switched to the Ultimate package it was included and i'm glad we have it. i can watch it anytime now! the sound is great! the quality is great!   Tuesday August 7th Hurricane Ernesto. heh   Wednesday August 8th    We stopped in to see Anel in the afternoon and asked when we could come by to go through our photos. She told us probably the next day. We went to dinner that night and when we got back to our room at about 9:00pm, she had emailed us and said they were ready and we could come by that same night! we went right over to the photo office (open until 10pm)! Santiago was there and was really helpful. We went through them all and got done by about 10:15pm. He told us our photo book would be ready the next night at 9pm.   Thursday August 9th   Sure enough! We had our romantic dinner on the beach on this night (included with the honeymoon package). After dinner, we stopped by the photo office and picked up our photo book and CD with all the photos. i must have flipped though it 857395 times that night. It came out very nice.    We also did a couples massage and body scrub at the spa on this morning-also included in the Honeymoon package (as well as another bottle of 'pagne). it was great! so relaxing.       I asked my husband if he had any advice to offer you all also. he said "mention the wi fi". It wasn't that great. We had it included with the preferred club room. and yes, it wasn't great, but honestly, we didn't need it THAT much either.      Well, that about sums it up. i pouted all day yesterday because I did not want to leave. We got our slideshow link today! it included some pictures that we had not chosen because we could only choose 150 our of 350 photos. they worked fast on everything! i hope this helps some brides in the future. DRC is a great location for a wedding. I actually only saw 1 other wedding while we were there I think, even though there were more than that- so weddings do not run the resort at all. Again, feel free to ask me any questions or to clarify anything i wrote.   happy planning!!!      
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Katie Beth

By Katie Beth, · 10 Comments

Pros: service,food,wedding services
Cons: sea grass,chairs,dress code
A Since I lived by this blog for the last year I figured I would return the favor by sharing my details with the brides to be. All year I read "don't worry when you get there it will be fine" and man I wished I listened bc it was way better than I could have dreamed! We are a group of 40 New Yorkers who vacation pretty regularly so we have high expectations.   My WC was Lorena (I got switched to her from Yamina like 3 weeks before). I got the Ultimate package and stayed for 10 days from July 3-13. My ceremony was at 6 at the gazebo which i had the garden chairs with bows on the ailse, teal and yellow rose petals and a teal ribbon on the gazebo which was def worth it bc it made it look unique from its everyday look, cocktail hour at 7 with the Mexican Trio (which people raved about but sadly I was taking pics and missed it) on the beach (looking back I would have had it at the jacuzzi but it was still super great on the beach) and my recpetion was from 8-11 on the beach which was great! Looking back I wish I paid for the extra hour bc everyone was having so much fun, but after we all went up to the "club" desires and continued our party till 1 am anyway....here's some details that I hope help someone like me a few weeks ago!   Arrival/Check-in: I had read reviews about the road leading to the resort being very bumpy and it def was scary. We heard from numerous taxi drivers that there was a major flood about a year ago that destroyed the road and the Mexican government feels the resorts in that area should fix it and vice versa. Either way the people who travel on that road often clearly knew how to maneuver. Once we got there we were greeted with a glass of champagne and a cold towel. At first I thought it was bc we were the bride and groom, but all my guests had that same treatment. The lobby is gorgeous and they always have fruit, water and champagne set up to help yourself. We were brought to the Preferred Lounge and told that they had arranged to upgrade us to Preferred status, which was what we were hoping. With that came some perks like free Wifi, a bigger room with more privacy, def nicer robes, towels and slippers and access to the Preferred Lounge which you can only get into with a key. The lounge had computers and printers, its own mini buffet which was nice because when we wanted to escape or just grab food quickly we could go in there, and the bar which had top shelf alcohol. The only thing I kinda regret was the decision we made about switching rooms. We had booked a plunge pool, but if we took the up grade it was a second floor room with a balcony overlooking the beach (which was an incredible view) and an outdoor hot tub. We took the upgrade and were happy with the bigger room and def happy to have more privacy, but someone of our friends got rooms with the plunge pool and we def would have enjoyed it. Either way we were in all of their pools at night so we didn't really miss out. Two of my friends had rooms with pools that were secluded, my brother however had a room with a pool at a main walkway and it was funny to walk down and see them in their pool. I def would not have wanted to chance being in such a public spot. Another thing about check in was the long talk they try to give you into going to meeting for time shares. They don't call it time shares, but that's what they are trying to sell. The woman was nice but clearly trying to get you to set up an appointment. When you first arrive that's the last thing you want to do....she didn't talk to everyone at check in, but she obviously knew who to target as our family or older couples got it, but our single friends did not.   Room: When we got to our room they had it decorated with a honeymoon banner on the door, had rose petals and candles in the jazzui and had romantic music playing. All of the rooms I was in were beautiful. They came in a few times a day to service the room: to clean it, restock the mini bar, which always had Coronas which Mike, my husband, was thrilled about, to do turn down service and deliver the newsletter for the next day and they weather. Everyone was very friendly and extremely hard working. Any time we asked anyone for anything the response was "it's a pleasure." We had to call the front desk one night at around 2 am bc we thought our AC was broken. They sent someone up in less then 10 minutes who realized our balcony door wasnt closed all the way and thats why the AC wasnt on....pretty silly but at 2 am he was super nice about it. The AC was not as strong as we would have liked it as we both like to sleep really cold. The first few days it didnt seem cold enough, but a s the week went on it seemed to work better....or we just got better at making sure the back door was closed. The next day of our vacation they delivered a bottle of champagne to our room with a letter congratulating us on our upcoming wedding. They also posted our wedding and honeymoon in their daily newsletter, which our guests thought was really cool.   Wedding Coordinator: My WC was switched a few weeks before my arrival, which obviously sent me into a panic. I myself had read so many blogs and reviews from brides who said dont stress once you get there it will be great and they were right. We met with Lorena the evening we arrived and after 5 minutes of talking to her and seeing their office I knew everything would be perfect. She had all of my information and we went through everything to double check the details. She set up our appointments to meet with the minister and dj, both of whom I had also been in contact with prior. Everyone who we worked with was amazing. You can really tell that they take pride in their work and know what they are doing. Anything we asked for we got and everyone was wanted us to enjoy our day. Lorena told us their would be a wedding the next day at the wedding gazebo at 4 that we could watch to get a sense of everything. The next day there were 3 weddings all pretty close in time and you would have never know n! We were obviously stalking them all out (which we joked with some of the brides and offered them to do the same to ours which they did too. It was nice to have people to swap stories with and hear calming advice). All of the weddings we saw were beautiful...from very small and casual to over the top. Linda the minister met with us to go over which poems, vowes and opening/closing statements we wanted. She had a lot to choose from, but since I had emailed her ahead of time I had pretty much already read through them before hand which helped. We confirmed our wedding colors so she knew what to wear to match. The DJ was a concern of mine but after I took one look at him I knew we were in good hands. He already had our ceremony songs and recpetion songs for entrance, cake, first dance, flower/garter toss already downloaded and we just confirmed them. My version of Here Comes the Bride was different and he said he could easily plug in our Ipad at the ceremony and play mine which tunr ed out fine. The minute he said he liked Calvin Harris and David Guetta I breathed easy :)   Food/Restaurants: We were traveling with close to 40 people with varying vacation experience. Some are annual resort people while others it was their first time out of the country. Food/sickness were a main worry of mine. The food at this resort is by far the best food I have ever seen at any vacation I have ever been to, and all of my vacation-going guest said the same thing. We could not believe how incredible the food was...even the buffet. The service everywhere was perfect. The people that work at this resort are the nicest and friendliest people I have ever encountered....and again I have been to tons of all inclusive resorts. Some of our guests on the first night double checked with us that it was all free because they couldnt believe it. We ate in every restaurant and after 10 days probably ate most of the menus and could not find anything we werent impressed with. From the buffet to the sushi all the food was fantastic. Since almost every night we ate with a large group of people we did have to wait some nights, but they give you a buzzer so you can go where ever you want. Most places were able to have us all sit together or at least close by. One thing is the resort is very strict with the dress code, which even after us warning people they were not prepared with. Some men literally wore the same pair of pants every night to eat and then changed. Even the buffet made men go back if they had on tank tops. While some might have been annoyed, I appreciated it because I hate when your on vacation sitting next to some half naked person in a bathing suit. It keeps the tone a little more upscale which I always like. The French place for example did offer one of our cousins a pair of emergency pants they had because he didnt have any. They also allowed my 9 year old cousin in which I was glad about bc its adults only. We had a Welcome Dinner the night before our wedding at El Patio, the mexican place, and when we arrived they had tables set up with my welcome bags for guests and the entire center of the resurant was revered for our guests. Our photographer met us there and took family shots and group pics. The waiters announced when my father in law was going to make a speech and were extremely helpful. We did get a little loud and the manger did ask us to tone it down as we were disturbing other guests....but at that point no one seemed to care and the manager dealt with us....lol. They also make paella everyday at 1 which everyone was addicted to. Thankfully no one got sick or had any stomach issues!   Beach/Pool: This was one area I was prepared not the be thrilled with. Since the resort is close to a major coral reef (which was beautiful for snorkeling) the beach had a lot of sea grass and the water was not as clear as I would have liked for a vacation. We all still enjoyed the ocean, but it was not the best I have seen. The resort has a truck that goes about 3 times a day to pick up excess sea grass off the beach to keep it clean. There isnt really much more they can do. Had it just had been Mike and I there for 10 days it prob would have bothered us more bc we love the beach over the pool, but since we had such a large crowd we were in the infinity pool at the swim up bar most of the time. The pools are really great, but it would be nice if one pool was adults only. The place wasn't packed with kids, which as a traveling group of mostly teachers we were happy about that. The main pool had tons of rafts to float on, there was a shallow pool for kids and another shallow pool wit h ping pong tables set up so you could stand in the water and play. Then there was another pool by the main entertainment stage with basketball hoops and a volley ball net. They had tons of pool activities.
We played a lot of beach volley ball on the beach and everyone was super nice and we literally played for hours. They also have a cool bar on the beach with swings they we all hung out at while playing volleyball. Everyone who worked there was super fun and nice. At once point Mike asked one of the landscapers to cut him down 2 coconuts, which he was happy to climb the tree and do, and we took them to the beach bar to have them opened and made into drinks. The bartender was happy to do it and even kept one coconut in the cooler for us for later. One negative about the pools is people reserving chairs and never using them. The resort says they remove stuff after 30 min but they dont. Most resorts give you a towel card and you can only get one towel at a time, which this resort does not. That being said you could get 10 towels and lay them out for friends and decide to go to the beach instead and just get new towels....after a few days we just moved towels ourselves which wasnt a problem.   Wedding Day: Perfect! Everyone said it was by far the best wedding they ever went to...even people whop went to destination weddings before. My MOH and I went to the spa to get our hair and make up done, which was beautiful. I was worried about that part but they did a great job and worked very hard to make us happy. I didnt even use the pitcure I brought bc I used one from their books. The resort gave Mike a complimentary room the night before and day of to get ready in and so the photographer could take pics of the guys getting ready. The wedding coordinator came to my room to help me get ready and to keep in touch with the man in mike's room and the man at our wedding site to make sure everything was ready before we came down. The DJ played the songs we planned and the weather was perfect. The food was fantastic and the DJ played all our songs and took requests from people.It went way too fast!   Excursions: Mike and his friends rented jet skis one afternoon which they said was great (from the water sports desk). My brother also kayaked and my cousins and I did the snorkeling tour, which was ok...lots to look at with the reef but not too many fish. It was easier to do it there then get on a bus and go an hour away. We also did Coco Bongo in Cancun Sat night through Olympus. Since we had about 13 people we only had to pay for one of us which was good. We got the deal with a table and transportation for about 65$. The reps met us there and walked us into the club, which was so over crowded it almost wasnt worth it. Our table also was coincidentally "double booked" and some of us had an arguement with the group trying to move in on our table. Our waiter apologized and said it was only a party of 4, however it was really a party of 12.....this really pissed off some of our guests and the heat and overcrowding of the place was just too much for some people. The show/performers ar e insanely good, but it's hard to enjoy the show. Many of us pushed through the crowd to a small bar they had off to the side which wasnt as crowded...but they charged for drinks. At that point many of us didnt care about the money. Olympus came and picked us up at 3 to return....but they were very clear that if we were late they would leave wo us...which is a nerve racking thought.   Bride/Groom Perks: Since we got the Ultimate package we were able to get a lot of great perks....aside from my hair and make up for the wedding day, we got a couples massage for 50 minutes. I am a spa junkie and I must say the therapist was incredible! It was by far one of the best massages I got and everyone else who went said the same. We also got the Honeymoon package since our stay was more than 7 days....this gave us another free massage and a romantic lobster/steak dinner on the beach with our own private butler. It was fantastic! Right on the beach with tiki torches and a candle lite walkway for us to walk down. The lobster was huge and we were very impressed. We had also gotten 200$ in resort credits for being a preferred club guest which we used for an upgraded bottle of wine. (These could also be used at the spa and cigar shop). Upon return from our dinner our room was decorated with rose petals and candles. Talk about getting spoiled! We also get free nights next year for our anniversary at any Dreams resort which is pretty awesome.   Photographer: Frank from Adventure Photos He was great and took us off the resort to a beautiful location for our trash the dress photo shoot. The pictures were so worth spending about 6 hours with him and a partner shooting. If you are interested in seeing them I have them on Facebook if you want to friend me( Katie Esposito or mscarnacchio@aol.com my settings might be super private bc Im a teacher so if you cant friend me let me know and Ill friend you). People were so impressed with the pictures and the speed of us getting them before we left. Our package included 250 from the welcome dinner, spa, getting ready, ceremony, bridal party shoot and reception. He gave us all our trash the dress pics on the side so they didnt have to get counted in the 250. We ended up getting in total 411 pics for a little extra but he gave us a good price. Pics last forever so its one thing i dont mind spending on. We also get an album with 80-100 pics in about 5 weeks. Their work is real ly beautiful. Many of my friends are into photography and they were very impressed and sad he lives in Mexico and they cant hire him for their occasions. My only regret was at the reception I was dancing so much that I didnt stop to take family pics. We have one group shot on the beach and tons of party pics.   Overall I heard not one complaint from anyone...everyone was so impressed with the resort and are all signing up to come back with us next year for our anniversary...lol. Every other bride I talked to there had the same story...it was perfect...
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Hi Brides,   I am getting married (shortly) in DRC and had a few questions.     The wedding coordinator sent over photos of flowers/centerpieces options but more than half of the photos show dead flowers (and these are photos that they send out to people!), what has your experience been with the flowers? Any recommendations? Has anyone used an outside florist in Cancun?   We have gift bags for all of our guests and I was informed that the front desk "would not hold them" but could deliver them to everyones room for $3/bag- did anyone else have this problem? We have a lot of people coming and I feel as though we are seriously being nickle and dimed!   Originally, when we spoke to someone at the hotel regarding "our" room we were told that we can be upgraded to a Honeymoon suite or something along those lines- now we have a bill for thousands of dollars for our upcoming stay- was anyone else promised or received a free room or room upgrade?   Lastly, since we are having a very large destination wedding a lot of the guests wanted to make dinner reservations for groups of 10-20 people (a lot of family members that haven't seen one another in years).  The hotel is telling the guests that they have to pay a per person fee if they want to go to dinner together- this is making me absolutely LIVID, did anyone else have a similar experience? I feel terrible because people are spending so much money to be there in the first place and now an "all-inclusive" hotel is telling them that they have to pay to sit down to dinner together.   Please let me know if you had a similar experience, or if you could offer some advice. Thanks! Lana
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Pros: Food, Beach, Sun, Groom :)
Cons: Email Communication :(
Hello! My groom- no, husband!- and I just returned from Dreams Riviera Cancun for our wedding and it was PERFECT. The roller coaster ride of wedding planning included some excitement, nervousness, aggravation and anxiety; in the end, everything was perfect and in the days since my wedding, I have said several times like a broken record: there is absolutely NOTHING I would have changed! The day, the resort, and the wedding was perfect. I'll tell you all about it!   Location: Dreams Riviera Cancun Wedding Package: Dreams of Love Price: $2199 Deposit: $500 Travel Dates: 3/24/12-3/31/12 Wedding Date: 3/26/12 @ 5 PM Wedding Ceremony Location: BEACH! Ceremony Type: Symbolic (so we didn't have to arrive in advance, do blood-work, etc.) Reception Location: BEACH! Room Category Booked: Preferred Club Ocean View w/ Jacuzzi ($3400 total for 2 people, 7 nights booked approx 6 months in advance- AAA discount of 10% applied, additional discount of $1000 for other guests in our group booking rooms through Dreams group package discounts, so total of $2400 for Honeymoon Suite for 7 nights during peak spring-break season...not bad!)  Room Category Upgrade (FREE w/ Package): Honeymoon Suite- Room 1501 Color Scheme: Black/White/Orange (only after originally purchasing for a Green & White wedding...)        FIRST: Wedding Planning w/ Dreams I originally emailed to see if my date was available and Ana became my coordinator. She was cordial, but hard to reach. Sometimes it would take her several days to respond to me. Then, all of a sudden one day, an email came from one "Evangelina" stating that she was to be my new wedding planner and asking me to let her know what my selections were. I panicked- did they not have any of my info? Luckily for me, everything I picked was still set for my day (March 26th, 2012.) I wanted to get married AND have my reception on the beach and it was "no problemo!" Soon after, ANOTHER wedding planner emailed me stating that she was taking over- this time, it was Yamina. She was just as nice as the other two but again I panicked, because this email came only a few months prior to my wedding and I worried that they didn't have me on the books. Yamina reassured me everything was fine and we emailed back and forth up until my day. She progressively got better at responding as my date drew nearer, and eventually she was emailing me back the same day (a couple of weeks prior to my wedding, that is!) However, I had to ask lots of questions- there was not a 'checklist' for planning my day and as things occurred to me (such as, how do we rehearse? Is there a rehearsal dinner? Do we bring sand or a candle?) Luckily, she was responsive close to my arrival and we got everything hammered out. There were times, though, 9-12 months out from my wedding, that responses would take weeks and it was extremely frustrating!      Wedding Planning on MY OWN: I bought my dress at the Nordstrom bridal suite and they treated me like a queen. Recommend it. They also dressed the moms and my Groom. Other bridal shops were excessively pricey for the type of dress I was looking for (think: beach casual, not beach princess, but still long and flowy.) Groomsmen wore Tommy Bahama embroidered shirts (photo below) and bridesmaids picked their dresses from Banana Republic- WAY cheaper than a chiffon dress of my choice that they'd never wear again but hey, it's up to the bride! I flip-flopped on my color scheme about ten times prior to my wedding, ordering two sets of chair sashes when I changed my mind! Yes, the resort WILL let you bring your own decor- just ASK them how much certain things will cost. Originally I was thinking of a colored carpet to walk down, and colored fabric on the gazebo (beach wedding comes with a Chuppah and white fabric decor, white carpet aisle.) I was told it'd be over $200 for them to decorate with different colored fabric- so I said NO WAY and stuck with white. I planned to dress the chairs up with colored bows instead. The resort was going to charge me $5 a piece so I found a bundle of 25 on Amazon for $18 total, free shipping. Better deal (and like I said, I have two color sets because I was so indecisive!) I decided the week of my wedding I also wanted colored table runners for the reception and luminaries as table decor, but shipping transit times were not going to be practical so I told Yamina the runner color that I wanted and she made it happen, for $20. Not a bad deal. I went without luminaries, but was at Big Lots picking up sunscreen the DAY BEFORE I was supposed to leave for our wedding, and they had HUGE baskets of starfish (not tacky looking, surprisingly!) so I bought two of them to bring along for table decor at the reception. The wedding came with seashells along the aisle and I used the bridal bouquet that came with my DREAMS OF LOVE package in exchange for a centerpiece to use during the ceremony (since I made a brooch bouquet at home ahead of time using family heirlooms.) Again, exchanging things was no problem, just make sure you ask and clarify if there is a cost or not. Some things they were not flexible on but with a little courteous prodding I was able to get the perfect package. I got my bridesmaid's flowers from The Wedding Petal shop on Etsy, she sent me photo proofs and tweaked until my heart was content but after getting them, and having already made my own brooch bouquet from scratch, I wondered if I could have done it myself for less expense (the answer is yes.) She also sent me an unexpected hair piece, which I wouldn't have picked out but wound up wearing on wedding day! So if you aren't into DIY I recommend combing through Etsy for some fun stuff.            CEREMONY & RECEPTION: We chose to get married on the beach, and not on the pool deck under the gazebo. After viewing SEVERAL weddings during our week there, we couldn't be happier with our choice. We were accidentally in the middle of a pool-deck gazebo wedding our first day there, in our swimming suits and pushing our stroller through someone's wedding procession- it's in the thick of things, right on the pool deck, and we didn't even notice we were in the way (PS I feel terrible about it! But we weren't the only ones who walked through.) Other people were tanning in pool chairs and gawking while weddings were going on all week long, so it's just a matter of what your preferences are and what you get worked up about, personally I wouldn't have been thrilled about that but the pool deck weddings were undoubtedly beautiful also and some people don't want to be in the sand. Again, the weddings were absolutely gorgeous, but don't have any illusions about the level of privacy. You don't see it in the pictures, but it is not secluded AT ALL. They make people who are in the way move, however, but still there are tanners and families all around and plenty of people to witness your special moment. For our day, the wind was non-existent (okay, there was a small breeze) so blowing sand was not an issue for our beach wedding but I can see where others may be concerned about that. It's all up to the experience you want to have, we loved the beach and knew we wanted to be married with our toes in the sand, and it was a surprise bonus that it was totally secluded down there (North Beach wedding, South Beach reception for those of you looking at planning.) They decorated some tables in the beach area for the cocktail hour after the wedding, served champagne when we got down the aisle, and lined the procession aisle with huge conch seashells and starfish. It was more perfect than I could have pictured.     We had a 'soundsystem' for the ceremony (a technician pushed play on our iPod basically) and we walked down the aisle to 'This Must be the Place' by the Talking Heads. The long instrumental in the beginning was enough to get the 4 bridesmaids and groomsmen down the aisle, and just as I was walking down the chorus started. It was absolutely amazing, sound quality was perfect, and it wasn't too noisy or too quiet. They played Grateful Dead's 'Scarlet Begonias' at the kiss and as we walked back down the aisle, and that was also perfect. I was hesitant about paying $180 for the ceremony sound (that's the going rate per hour, so we basically paid $90 each for 2 songs!) but I was glad we did it, it really set the moment for us. We also only paid for one hour of soundsystem for the reception, and had our guests bring their iPhones and iPod's down with playlists. They wound up staying for 3 hours (without us paying extra!) I think they were enjoying our party enough to stay, we had some outrageous and inappropriate music and our group was fun. Maybe that's why they stayed, who knows!   We also had the buffet. Not on purpose- apparently you only get that if you have 40+ people, but Yamina said that it works better for beach receptions and we weren't opposed. We had 24 people in attendance, and chose the Caribbean buffet. It was sensational- seriously, one of the best meals of the week- and EVERYONE raved. We opted for a 2-tier wedding cake (stupid for 24 people!) and it was a mistake- the cake was great but the buffet came with dessert so people were just eating that, and I don't think anyone even noticed we had cake until my husband shoved it in my face! We bought a plain white, upright starfish cake topper from Amazon for $30 and literally it was on the cake for 30 seconds (the cake was brought out- wasn't at our ceremony the whole time- and as soon it was brought out we cut it. If you wanted the timing differently you could probably ask, for us it didn't matter but we were remiss that we paid $180 to 'upgrade' a cake that nobody ate- or noticed.)    PHOTOGRAPHY: Since the Love package included only 36 wedding photos, we were in a pinch. To upgrade to a better package with what we wanted (including more photos), it was going to be $1000+... I was very upset about this because it would stand to reason that you'd just pay the difference, but I guess that the resort holds the trump card here. So, I found Photos In Cancun (via this blog) and decided to reach out. I got a great price on a package, paid less than I would have through the resort and got unlimited photos. Now I just had to figure out how to use the photos in my package, since the resort wouldn't give me credit for something else in my wedding package. I worked with Yamina, and she allowed me to have Adventure Photo take family photos on a separate day in lieu of using the photographer for my wedding. I told her that Derek and Lorena, the photographers for Photos In Cancun, were friends and guests at my wedding who would be using day passes and taking photos. There are no restrictions on guests bringing photo equipment, so I paid their day fees and we were all set. Adventure Photos did an excellent job of taking photos later on during our session and I was SUPER pleased, but there was no way I was willing to pony up and pay for the package that I wanted through them. I wouldn't recommend this solution for everyone, though, because on the day of the wedding the front desk said they were full and not giving out any more day passes, and I almost didn't get my photographers in! I had to work with Yamina to have her personally get them in. It was scary, I thought for a moment there that I'd have no wedding photos.    TRAVELING: I worked with a travel agent to a very small extent- she only helped a couple of my guests, but the rest found great deals through Travelocity or Orbitz at the last minute. My family and I booked through the resort directly, since it was too far in advance for other discount websites and we wanted to take advantage of the AAA discount. There were no problems at check-in for anyone, and since we all had rooms in different categories we weren't 'together' anyway (but the resort is surprisingly small, so walking from one building to the next to connect with guests was a breeze.) Bringing much of my own decor was no problem either- my husband and I had 6 suitcases between the two of us (YIKES!) and we paid dearly for the bags on US Airways, but there was no issue in customs. Part of the reason our bags were so full was because we brought OOT (out of town) bags for our guests that included customized tumblers, tote bags, sunscreens, etc. My groom also contributed to the baggage, as he insisted on having these huge bubba keg cups for his guys (since he thought the tumblers were girly.) So our bags were mostly cups! We survived, paid the fees, and flowers and cups alike made it to Mexico with no problems or damages.    SALON: I had hair appointments for all of my bridesmaids. My hair and makeup came with my package. I was super pleased with everything; none of us knew what we wanted going in, so we all just looked at photobooks. It was kind of funny, because two of my bridesmaids picked the exact same hair-do (it was the "Carrie Underwood," in case you were wondering) and it looked totally different on each of them. But all of us looked great! I put some of my own makeup on back in the room (lip-gloss, extra eyeshadow since theirs was pretty matte and I wanted a little more of a 'beach look.) The products they used were mostly some off-brand, which wasn't a huge deal but I had just gone out and bought a ton of stuff for the big event and was a little bummed that the products they used weren't slightly better. I think they used a MAC blush and that was the only thing I recognized. My skin is SUPER sensitive and I break out easily, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered taking notice of the products, but I suspect that some brides may be wondering. I brought my Clarisonic with to Mexico and managed to avoid a humidity-and-alcohol related breakout while on vacation, so if you're thinking of something to bring that will help you then I recommend that FOR SURE.    That's it for my review! If you're doing research on the hotel, be sure to check Trip Advisor. The place was great, food AMAZING and beach was perfect and never crowded (not bad for a "spring break" week!) I'll be sure to post more pictures, for some reason I think I have maxed out here because none are going up but I will post links to slideshows when available. Let me know if you have any questions!                 
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JimC

By JimC, · 1 Comment

Pros: Great Service, always "It's a pleasure.."
Cons: very few
Hello all, while I haven’t been posting I have been reading and enjoying all the conversations, the helpful hints and the sage advice. We were married on October 5, 2011 on the North Beach at DRC. Our journey began last October when we were engaged in Cozumel on October 15, 2010 and decided at that time to get married on the Riviera Mayan. A destination wedding sounded like the thing to do. Albeit, neither of us new anything about how to plan or arrange a destination wedding. We thought we would pick a resort and tell all our friends to get on a travel booking site and book their trip. Well the logistics of that didn’t work out too well. We then attended a number of local events and trade shows to get a sense of what we should be doing. (I would encourage everyone to do this.)  My first piece of advice would be to get the help of a local wedding coordinator. We had an outstanding experience with our Wedding Designer, Ms. Danielle Cicci, from Blue Petal Weddings. From our first meeting with Danielle in late January 2011 things were moving. We had planned to do some site visits in February to choose our wedding resort and Danielle arranged our itinerary, had a car pick us up and built in some time for us to enjoy Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding area. She arranged for us to visit 6 or 7 resorts, DRC being the 1stwe saw and our final choice. She was the main contact with the wedding coordinator at DRC, Yamina. Relationships are so important when you are planning a destination wedding and having a local wedding designer who has a relationship with the wedding coordinator at the resort really helps. I’m certain we would not have gotten what we did in the time that we did, with very little frustration, without Danielle’s involvement.  There is so much to do for a destination wedding, over and above the wedding package you choose. Danielle dealt with the resort for us and she was able to negotiate almost everything we wanted. Since 1 site visit wasn’t enough.. LOL..we went back again in June 2011 & rented a condo in Playa. We collected some wedding favors from local stores and spent a full day at DRC on a day pass. This really sold us on the decision we made. Our experience with the wedding coordinators at DRC was also outstanding. All the little things we worried about were all taken care of. You will meet with your W/C and walk through all the details a couple of days before your wedding. We brought 2 suit cases full of wedding favors, chair sashes, parasols, fans, music CD’s we made for our guests, to name a few of the items. Yamina took down all the details on how and where we wanted things placed. You will certainly meet Jorge. He is the man that runs the show and I mean it. This guy sets up for at least 1 wedding a day and in our case had to move our Cocktail set up and Reception set up from outside to inside, within an hour. Yes we did get rain….even with all our detailed planning, it happens but what a job they did at the resort. Jorge always has a smile on his face and is always busy but will take the time to stop and say Hola. Both he and Yamina made us feel very relaxed as the day approached and during our special day. Jorge was around the entire day and night to make sure everything was right. Both he and Yamina definitely excel in making your experience special. The set up inside was amazing (not what we had planned but certainly made up for the disappointment we felt after all our planning) Both Yamina and Jorge made our day very special. With their detail to service and empathy for our situation; we had planned a Jacuzzi Cocktail Hour and the Reception on the patio by the infinity pool but that was not what was in the cards for us. We chose the BBQ Buffet and our guests said the food was incredible. Our guests had an amazing time, the lighted dance floor was set up. We had DJ Mauricio for the music & he was great.  I sent Mauricio a list of songs a couple of weeks before we arrived, he responded within 2 hours, and played the most important songs on our list. During the reception you could see him looking at the crowd to get a sense of what to play. The dance floor was packed all night, what a party! We had no regrets about booking with DJ Mauricio. Please keep in mind that the resort has other events planned and could conflict with your big day. We had planned to have our reception on the deck in front of the infinity pool and later found out that had it not been raining the resort had planned a Mexican night on the other side of the pool with a buffet for all the resort guests with DJ music and live entertainment (we witnessed it the next Wednesday night). This certainly would have impacted our reception. So ask the question, “What events does the resort have planned the day and night of your big day?” We will finish by saying that between Blue Petal Weddings, DRC with Yamina and Jorge, and our friends and family, this was our picture perfect day. Here is the link to our DRC wedding slideshow.. Thank all of you who posted on this site, it really helped us plan and set expectations....   http://web.mac.com/vallarta_adventure2/SlideshowsDRERC/CRAIGWED/   Joanne and Jim
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jEMME

By jEMME, · 8 Comments

Pros: Constant entertainment, Clean, New
Cons: None
Hello everyone, I just got married at DRC on Monday (10-17-11).  Like most of you, I planned my wedding through emails and stalking this website for pointers and tips. First thing is first - DO NOT STRESS/PANIC. I know this is hard to say, but I was in the same boat as many of you guys. Everything was perfect. It was our "Dreams" Wedding.   PLANNING PHASE: I think that through this phase I went through 3 separate wedding planners. We went with the Ultimate Wedding package. We sent them a deposit (which was cashed immediately upon recpt) and heard nothing back from them for a couple months. We booked the wedding 11 months before the wedding date (Nov 10'). We went through a travel agent because we had 86 people total.  Eighty-six people flew from Philadelphia/surrounding areas. 65 people stayed from Sat-Wed, 19 people stayed from Sat-Sat, and 2 people used guest passes the day of the wedding (they won a trip to Mexico and were staying at a different resort. In the beginning I was angry about the turnaround time of the email responses from the wedding coordinators. But, in the last 2 weeks prior to the wedding, the email reply was within the hour.   I know the resort states that they do not allow outside vendors, ETC.  Being a former DJ and having Dj'd numerous weddings; I know music makes/breaks a reception. The resort was allowing me to bring my own DJ (from Philadelphia) as a paid guest. After doing the math of the $300/hr. house DJ, it was only going to be about $150 more to bring (airfare/hotel) my own (2 nights/3 days). However, the family friend DJ had passport issues 13 days before the wedding. At this point, I was having a breakdown with no DJ for the wedding. I was very hesitant to use the house DJ (if he was even available with this short of notice). I emailed Gina, the WC, she promptly responded with the contact info for the house DJ Maraucio Neri.  He also promptly got back to me and was available for the date.   Originally, we were just going to go with the free 50 photos that comes with the Ultimate package (to cut down costs). A week before the wedding, I changed my mind and once again contacted Gina in a panic to get a photographer for the wedding.  I then contacted Anel from the company associated with the resort (contact info given by Gina). She promptly emailed me back and answered all my questions with a quick response. We went with Photo package #3 for $999. This covered pics of hair/makeup at the Salon, guys getting ready, ceremony, pics from cocktail hour, couple pics, then reception pics (announcements/first dances/speeches/cake cutting).   As for the flowers, I made my own bridesmaid bouquets from artificial flowers. My wedding colors were pink and orange. I had a maid of honor and 3 bridesmaids. Two of my friends wore pink dresses and 2 in orange dresses. The bridesmaids that wore pink each had a bouquet with 4 orange gerbera daisies and a pink gerbera daisy in the middle. The bridesmaids that wore orange each had a bouquet of 4 pink gerbera daisy and an orange gerbera in the middle. I put them in a duffle bag and brought it in a carry one bag. The total price was approx. $60 for materials, which was the starting price of bridesmaid bouquet from the resort (which consisted of one flower).  They turned out perfect and you could not even tell they were fake when compared to my gorgeous fresh Bridal bouquet (included in the ultimate package). They also give you two wrist corsages (perfect for the mother of the bride and mother of the groom) and two boutonnieres (perfect for the groom and best man).  In the initial email after they recv'd the deposit, they emailed me a bunch of attachments for bridal bouquet/bridesmaid flower/centerpiece flower choices.  After the selection of the bridal bouquet and the centerpiece for the ceremony table (included in the Ultimate package) - I told them to use only pink and orange flowers. They looked amazing! We did not use any flowers for the archway of the gazebo or anything extra. The natural setting and decor of the hotel is amazing in itself. Plus for the money that they charge - it is not worth it.   For the decor at the reception (which was on the pool deck), we brought/made our own centerpieces for the table and seating cards. We had 9 tables that sat 10 at each table. They formed a semi-circle around us (we sat at a sweetheart table). Our centerpieces consisted of 9 cylinder vases ($2) filled water.  Each vase consisted of a submergible light (12 for $20), plastic pink/orange tropical flower ($2), and a floating candle ($1). All items were bought from Michael's. To scatter around the vases, we bought a bunch of shells/colored starfish/fishing net/seahorses/crabs from Orientaltrading.com. Also, I refused to pay $6/person for colored napkins for the place setting. I contacted a local catering hall and they let me rent 50 pink and 50 orange cloth napkins for only $30. I brought all decorations as carry-on because of the glass and the weight of the napkins. For the seating, I made my own beach chairs from cardstock paper with pink and orange designs (used a curling iron to do so). I typed the name/table number, and cut it into a towel shape, then glued it to the chair. We covered the styrofoam sheets that we brought with actual sand, the scattered mini shells, palm trees, the chairs, and cocktail umbrellas around creating a beach scene. The resort provided the actual table numbers for the tables with stands.  I brought all of my decorations as carry-ons because of the glass vases and the weight of the napkins.   ARRIVAL AT RESORT: We arrived on Sat, 2 days before the wedding (along with the other 84 wedding guests).  We had arranged prior through email to meet with Gina the WC at 1:00.  We did not arrive at the resort until around 2:00.  All 86 of use were greeted with a glass of champagne and fresh fruit.  Once we checked in, they upgraded us to the preferred club. They also gave us 5 free prefer room upgrades to give to guests. We upgraded both sets of parents, the best man, and the maid of honor. What a nice surprise!  When we got to our room (2201), our luggage was already in there (minus my dress) with a bottle of Champagne on ice.  We then met with Gina in the business center to go over everything that we discussed through email and pay for the wedding. We made a few minor changes (downgraded the amount of extra cake). The package comes with cake for 20, we only added 20 more slices. We then paid for the wedding and met with DJ Mauricio Neri in the business center. Beforehand (at home) I made a cd that had the wedding party entrance songs, first couple dance, father-daughter song, mother-son song, cake cutting song it. He then wrote down the names of the wedding party for announcements, we went over the types of music to be played and music NOT to be played (line dances, etc.). The music Nazi that I am, I brought 3 iPods and a CD for him if needed. He is able to download any song if needed during the reception and can play off of any iPod, mp3 player etc. After meeting with him I felt much more comfortable - I was nervous with all of the sketchy reviews. We did not do a welcome/rehearsal dinner, but instead told everyone to meet in the lobby around 6 for drinks. The lobby is the best place because of how open it is if you have a large party. The first two days were monsoons, literally. The umbrellas that are provided throughout the resort were all blowing inside out. The wind was soooo strong. The beaches were covered in seaweed. And the weather was not due to change. My wedding was set for 4:30 ceremony at the gazebo, 5:30 cocktail hour at Desires Terrace, and 6:30 reception on the pool deck. All of which would have to be changed if the weather remained crappy!    DAY OF WEDDING: The weather was completely sunny and not a cloud in the sky! I brought the decorations to Gina in the business center around 10am and went over in detail of how I wanted the centerpieces/seating arrangements constructed. I gave her the heart vase and sand needed for the sand ceremony. I also gave her all of the bridesmaid’s bouquets. We had to let them know if we wanted to keep the reception on the pool deck no later than 1pm.  Gina and her excellent assistant Jorge kept insisting to move it inside into one of the 3 halls they have.  They said that if it starts to rain before or during that it will take a long time to move inside and that we will have to excuse the appearance of the inside hall.    - GETTING READY My hair/makeup appt. was at 1:00 at the SPA. Three of my bridesmaids, mother-of-bride, and grandmother all had our hair/makeup done at the SPA. I did not have a trial or even discuss the style until I was seated in her chair. I simply showed a picture off of my cell phone and she worked her magic. Everyone's hair/makeup was beautiful. I forgot to bring my hairpiece to the salon with me. My mom went back to room to grab it, where my dress was supposed to be hanging (steamed and pressed covered in the Ultimate package). My dress was still not in the room. I called Gina in a panic from the salon; she immediately came over to the SPA stating that they could not find my dress! My dress was put into bridal storage immediately after check in. After 20 mins, Gina returned with my hairpiece and took my dress herself to get steamed and pressed. The photographer arrived towards the end of the hair and beginning of makeup to start taking pics approx. 2 hours before wedding. She then went to take pictures of the guys getting ready in my husband’s complimentary room they gave him the night before the wedding (included in Ultimate package). After the SPA, Gina met me back at the room with the Bridal/bridesmaid bouquets layed out on the bed. The photographer returned to my room approx. 1 hr. before the ceremony and took amazing shot of my shoes/jewelry/and us getting ready. 5 mins before the ceremony we were escorted down by Gina.   - THE CEREMONY at the Gazebo at 4:30pm The ceremony start time was perfect, it gave our guest plenty of time to enjoy the morning and early afternoon to do what they wanted and me to get all of my running around and last minute things done. We asked the guests to arrive approx. 20 mins early by word of mouth the day prior. I had given Gina a CD with ceremony music that consisted of 7-8 songs to be played while guests arrived. These songs were string quartet versions of songs that we liked for processional songs (ex. Weezer, Coldplay, Elton John, Adele, The Killers, Pearl Jam all purchased from iTunes), the song I wanted to walk into (Canon in D major), and the exit song (just Breathe by Pearl Jam). We brought our own artificial rose petals from home for the flower girl (my daughter), but we were unable to use them because of the risk of injury to the birds. Instead we used pink and orange feathers that I bought ($1/bag) for people to put in their hair.  The music was perfect! They had seating around the gazebo for 90 people. We did not go with chair sashes. There was no need. They put down a decorative isle runner lined with nice shells. There was staff that had the walkways blocked so that no one could interrupt while the wedding party was entering. We did not use the minister that they provided. We had a friend just read a ceremony script that I put built from a thread from this website called "share your ceremony script." That thread was a life saver. We did the sand ceremony which was nicely set up on the table along with a centerpiece (included with the Ultimate package). After watching other ceremonies throughout the week, I recommend preparing your own script and your own minister. It was hard to understand the words from the provided minister (due to the lang. barrier).  We did a brief mini rehearsal in the corridor just prior to walking out. The ceremony lasted approx. 20-25 mins. They had champagne ready for everyone after the recessional. They continued to play the songs from the CD while we took pics with guests. The photographer then called everyone down to the beach for a group shot of all of our guests. We then continued to take family/friends shots. Gina then escorted the guests to cocktail hour.   - COCKTAIL HOUR at Desires Terrace at 5:30pm The guests where at cocktail hour while we continued to take couple pics on the beach which took about 45 mins, which was perfect during sunset. We had the Mariachi trio band (included with Ultimate package) play during happy hour.  While walking to the happy hour, I ran into Gina and asked her if she could place some tiki torches around the pool deck.  We got to happy hour with only 15 mins left, missing the trio, but everyone raved over them.  By the time we got there, there were no appetizers left (TIP - get someone to put a plate aside for you and your hubby - we were starving by that point). The guests were then escorted to the pool deck by Gina. The only thing I would of done different was to have the cocktail hour where you have your reception. This way you will not lose any time with your guests going from one place to another. Plus you and get your slower music over with because the DJ will already be set up and everyone will know where they are sitting.   - THE RECEPTION at the Pool Deck at 6:30pm Just prior to the bridal party entrance, the DJ went over the pronunciations of names. To our surprise, he gave us the lit dance floor at NO COST! In the wedding guide, they charge you $800 for that alone. They also gave us the tiki torches for nothing. For those of you that are worried about lighting for the pool deck at night, don't. They dig huge holes on the beach where they run electricity and have 4 huge light towers aimed on the deck. They set and break these down every day for weddings. They provide a huge decorative ship and elegant surf board decor. There is no need to buy under the table lights/or the paper lights. There is plenty of lighting between the pillars/simple candle centerpieces/the blue lit infinity pool in the background/and the lit dance floor. DJ Mauricio was perfect with the music, playing oldies and newer soft songs. After the speeches and cake, he opened up the dance floor playing everything I had asked. He had the dance floor packed from the first song. The guests ranged from 87yo to 25yo, with the majority 25-35yo. I did not have to go up to him once to change a song or anything. He even played an extra 30 mins at no extra cost. He even gave us the mic for everyone to sing the last song. All 90 of us were on the dance floor passing around the mic singing Piano man!. The wait staff was phenomenal, they give the bride and groom and individual wait staff to get drinks for them all night long. The food was amazing. The weather and the atmosphere was perfect. After the reception, everyone headed back to Desires (where the DJ starts music at 10pm - perfect timing!). The party continued till 1:00am when Desires closed. All of the decorations were assembled perfectly by Gina and her team.   Once back in our room, our door was covered with a "honeymoon" banner. There were rose petals that led from the front door to the bed and the Jacuzzi bathtub filled with rose petals and candles. There was a bottle of champagne and two glasses with fresh fruit. Very very nice!!   The next day, the cloth napkins along with the rest of the decorations were packed nicely into the suitcases and delivered to our room. The next day all of our guests raved and were so grateful to be a part of our wedding. Many people said that they would never go to any other all-inclusive resort again. Not one person had anything bad to say. We went to Coco Bongo that night with everyone on a luxury bus arranged though the hotel. Coco Bongo was amazing! Google it - it is something that is a must see show in Cancun!   Two days after the wedding there was a DVD of the wedding ceremony/photo shoot with my ceremony music on it next to the TV. The 30 min video (included in the Ultimate package) is amazing - They did a phenomenal job capturing the moment and fading the important words from the ceremony and vows in with music. I've already watched it 4 times and have cried every time!   We took advantage of the couples massage and romantic dinner on the beach that came included in the Ultimate wedding package. Both of us never had massages before. They were amazing and not awkward. You get full use of the spa "facilities" (steam room/sauna/spa pools). The romantic dinner was very private and excellent, we upgraded to the lobster (best and biggest lobster we ever had) - way worth the $50 upgrade. Service was fabulous - they make you feel like a king and queen.   Before we left today, I met with the Photographer (Santiago, "Santi" for short) to go through the photos he took of the wedding day. He took a total of 338 photos. I got photo package #3. From them I had to choose 150 for the online slideshow and HD Photo CD. That was the hardest part to do, all of the pictures were amazing. I was able to get it down to 200 pics. I then inquired as to how much it would be to purchase the rest. After laughing in his face when he told me $500 for the extra 50, I somehow convinced him that around 50 of them were pics of decor and food and that no one is going to order these shots from him. Therefore he included them at no extra cost! They told me that in approx. 5-6 weeks I will receive my 80 page hardback photo book with HD pics in the mail. The wanted me to pic 80 pics from the book. I got them to keep all the pics, simply putting 2-3 pics on some pages! Along with the HD Photo CD, you get a copyright letter giving you the rights to these pictures so you can print them anywhere. (8x10 etc.).  Earlier today, they already emailed me the online slideshow. The pics area amazing, so colorful and clear.    All in all, I made the best decision with this resort - its cleanliness, newness, polite and courteous wait staff was amazing.  The grounds of the resort are meticulously maintained, the food in all of the restaurants was delicious - even the room service at 2am! The fridge in your room along with everyone else’s is always stocked with coke/diet coke/sprite/bottled water/and bottles of ice cold corona! The resort has an excellent "entertainment team" - they have events starting at 8am until 1am. While we were there, we saw a Circus, Drum/Fire show, romantic singer in lobby, Carnival, shot riffles in the shooting range, played poker etc. They even have a photographer that goes around with exotic birds/animals for pictures.  Friends and family that are avid travelers swore that they would never go to any other all-inclusive resort again!!! I cannot wait to return for my honeymoon in 1 year. We are currently “honeymooning” at Secreats Silversands (Adults only sister resort to Dreams Resorts), which is nowhere as nice as DRC – I wish we never left!!!   Hope this review was helpful!!! Just relax – everything turns out perfect. Remember, this resort is basically a wedding factory (about 3 weddings per day) – they have the process down pat. And for those of you whose wedding is months away – don’t freak out when the wedding coordinator is not e-mailing you back right away – she is too busy trying to calm and relax the bride who’s wedding is tom and run the 3 weddings she has today! Just put the wedding date in the subject line. GOOD LUCK to all future brides!   Link to the online slideshow provided with your photo package: http://web.mac.com/vallarta_adventure2/SlideshowsDRERC/CATALINEWED/  
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Keine Dennis

By Keine Dennis, · 3 Comments

Pros: Everything is beautiful at this property
Cons: None that I can think of
Hi brides and grooms,   I hvae just got back from this property and took LOTS! of photos, feel free to view my albums. Locations, rooms, restaurant and PLAN B!  ENJOY !
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Rick949

By Rick949, · 22 Comments

Pros: Everything
Cons: None
Why we chose a Destination Weddings?
After I asked my girlfriend for her hand in marriage and she said yes we started looking at local venues in our hometown Orange County, California. We put our guest lists together which came out to be approximately 180 people and our only time frame was within a 1 week period because my girlfriend (now Wifey) is a full time nursing student and her semester break was our only opportunity. We started shopping around for about 3 months quickly discovering that the wedding in our area would end up costing around 15-25,000 dollars after all is said and done - we could have opted to do a much smaller wedding here but that would probably offend a lot of our people because they would not be invited. Having the full scale wedding would also leave us with nothing left in terms of money for a honeymoon and wifey would have to start her next semester the following Monday. We tried finding venues at lower costs being on Friday nights or Sundays. We looked at Palm Springs and the locations further away and it seemed like no matter what we liked there was always a problem. It came to a point when we realized we were trying too hard to please and accommodate everyone else that we lost sight of what matters and what matters is us and our closest people.

Option A vs. Option B
Option A:  Spend 15-$25,000 for a 5 hour Wedding Event - No honeymoon or downtime - She goes back to school and I go back to work 2 days later.
Option B - Make it weeklong Vacation/Wedding with massages, excursions, champagne, entertainment with close friends and family, good food and drinks and spend closer to $10,000 TOTAL

No Brainer - We picked option B  

Why Dreams Riviera Cancun?
When we decided to do a destination wedding, we wanted to make sure that we chose the best resort for our friends and family. We also wanted to choose a venue that is safe and fun for kids as well since my three nieces would be attending and two of them were our flower girls. After looking at every resort Cancun has to offer along with the various wedding packages we chose DRC and we chose well. The distance from the airport being 20-25 mins. away made it easier on our guests and the hotel had so many food options that there would be something for everyone.

Booking Rooms / Travel Agent
When we first reserved our wedding date with Dreams, they recommended Denise Canon from Travel Concepts to handle all of our guests bookings and plans. We contacted her and started our journey together which turned out to be the best thing that could have of happened for us. Denise handled everything! from providing our guests with discounted rates and all of the pertinent information for their specific travel plans and requirements. This made our wedding planning easier so that our guests wouldn't bother us with all their questions and concerns. She packaged all of the airport transfers and vital information for everyone and then provided us a complete layout of all our guests arrival and departure times. When you book groups of people their reservations lend itself towards getting your room discounted. Denise helped us acquire that discount as she is a Dreams specialist and has an upstanding relationship with the Dreams resorts. She often visits the resort and knows just about everything there is to know about Dreams and DRC.

Our #1 Wedding Coordinator
After we experienced Denise's awesomeness as our Travel Agent we took another step and hired her as our Wedding Coordinator. Her experience with Dreams once again proved to be invaluable. She acted as a liaison for us in terms of communicating to the Dreams wedding department all of our wishes and help masterfully concoct our wedding into a blissful event for all of us ~ a lifetime of memories is priceless and without her support I don't believe we could have pulled it off nearly as good. She answered all of our questions and concerns prior to leaving and gave us a summary of what we had discussed and decided on so that there wouldn't be any confusion when we arrived.

For more information about Denise Canon and Travel Concepts here is a link http://essence.travelconceptskc.com/

The Wedding Package
Among the three weddings packages we chose the "Ultimate Package" which gave us some of the extra perks such as a couples massage (50 mins) which was fantastic and well worth it. The Spa was very clean and a great way to kick off our first day. We also had more options on the menu to choose from in terms of hors d'oeuvres and dinner.

Georgina (Gina) was our on site wedding coordinator and Jorge was also the wedding facilitator/coordinator (the man!) and I have to say - they did an awesome job! The attention to detail and consideration was outstanding as they were with us the whole time overseeing the execution. Everything went to plan and they were working with me and my family from beginning to end. Since we hired Denise to solidify our wishes all we really had to do was review with them and dial in the final details and pay. We had the option to have our Cocktail hour at various locations throughout the resort and you can also choose where to have your reception too. Georgina walked around the resort with us to get a close look at how everything would play out and discuss our time line.

•Very important $: I wish someone else told me about this before I paid for the wedding. Once you have locked down all of the items for your wedding, be sure to review the itemized list carefully. If possible try and have them charge you based on your homeland currency if that option is available. My credit card charged me $170 for being charged in pesos as a foreign currency fee. You will pay for your wedding ahead of time. Also let your Credit Card company know that you will be using your card in Mexico so that they don't think its identity theft.   Here is a picture of our Dreams Wedding Team Starting from the right is Georgina our on-site wedding coordinator, Linda the Dreams Minister, Jorge the Wedding Director/Facilitator and "The Man!" - the videographer (im so sorry I didnt get his name) and the last guy on the left is the Sounsystem technician (again, I didnt get his name im so sorry)  


Decoration and OOT bag transportation
I originally purchased 2 crates from Target thinking that this would be the best way to bring down our decorations and OOT bags supplies - but Denise my TA/WC advised me against it because it may present a problem when passing through customs. When traveling to Mexico you are required to declare things that cost a certain amount of money (I forget but I think its anything over $2000) If I were to bring down these crates it would look somewhat suspicious… so on the same day of our plane flight I ran over to Target and picked up 2 of these suitcases which are really neat. they have a hard exterior shell and also can spin 360? on the wheels. Luckily when we got into Cancun and through customs they did notice all of the maracas and asked me how much everything cost… I said $200 dollars and that was good enough.. no need for further inspection.    

We brought down:
Purple and Blue Votive's for table decor from party city http://www.partycity.com/search.do?query=votives
Purple maracas for each guests at Amols http://www.amols.com/
Starfish for seating from Michaels
Electric tea light candle  from Target (this is a good idea if you plan on having your reception outside)
Cake Topper
Glow in the dark bracelets for the girls kiddie table
and all of the OOT bag contents for assembly at the resort


OOT Bags Delivery (Out of Town Gift bags)
We brought down custom assembled gift bags which were delivered on time for the most part, there were a couple of people who got there bags late but got them nonetheless. Since each bag was custom arranged by us we made sure to tag each bag with the name of our guest and arrival time. They charged us $3 per bag which was well worth it when they guests were delivered their bag of goodies. Everyone loved how much effort we put into them and complimented us so many many times.

The OOT bags themselves were purchased at Target and all of the other items randomly at Walmart, $1 dollar stores, Target - we had lotions, aloe, lip balms, insect repellent, candles, keychains, blue bracelets for women, hand sanitizers and custom made T-shirts. We decorated the bags with ribbon of our wedding colors and printed out 3 page Welcome letter, who's who Wedding Party sheet, The Meet & Greet invitation.

   




  The Spa The Ultimate Package includes a couples massage - don't miss out on this and be sure to schedule it as soon as you can. The massages were out of this world and the Private spa is awesome with private pools, hot tubs, cold dips, teas, exotic showers and fountains.. you won't regret it.  
         
  Rehearsal Dinner
We had our dinner at El Patio, which turned out to be a problem when we arrived. We were told that we had reservations for 13 people but when we arrived they had no idea. These restaurants are not readily equipped to handle large groups but they pulled some tables together and the dinner turned out to be successful. The food was good and our server was making it real fun bringing shots of tequila and all kinds of plates of food… it was a festive event along with the all female mariachi band that performed in the restaurant. After dinner we went out to the lobby for our pre-planned "Meet & Greet" for everyone who was not part of the wedding party to mingle and get to know each other before the big day.

If you plan on having your rehearsal dinner at El Patio - be sure to get there as soon as they open - most people don't eat until later in the evening and the best opportunity for them to accommodate you would be at that time.    






 

 

 

Hair & Make up
My Wife had her make up and hair done at the Dreams Spa - but before going down there she visited Yana Beauty Hair & Make-up specialist (From the show Wedding Day Makeover) who went over styles and make up with her. She taught her techniques and gave her a list of make-up to buy especially for hot and humid conditions, She also took pictures of the hairstyle and makeup application to bring down to Dreams as well. I think she looked fantastic and the only complaint I think she has was that the curls in her hair began to lose their shape from the beginning of the wedding which probably has to do with the heat and humidity. She also recommends that you should give yourself ample time to get treated at the spa. Her appointment was at 2:00 and that was a good time.

Wedding Dress and Men's Attire
My wife purchased her dress from David's Bridal in the destination wedding dress section
http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_Strapless-Faille-with-Sweetheart-Draped-Bodice-CT326_Bridal-Gowns-Shop-By-Style-Destination
and wore shoes by Jimmy Choo (like OMG Jimmy Choo!) http://us.jimmychoo.com/en/us/crown/invt/247crowngfa/
The men in the wedding party all wore shirts and pants from Tommy Bahama which worked out well because it was really important that all of use kept cool and comfortable. Tommy B has a chain of stores so my brothers were able to goto the stores in LA, Father in-law in San Diego and me Newport Beach.      

Our Ceremony
We chose to have our ceremony at the gazebo at 6pm, this unique gazebo is one of the reasons why we chose this resort because the backdrop just above the ocean horizon was very neat and with an extra fee we added tooling along the top which really gave it our own unique signature. We also rented the purple chair bows to match. The chairs were removed from the ceremony area later and used again at the reception as well as the gazebo tooling which was re-used at the entrance of the reception. I have read on other reviews that the brides didn't like that the ceremony wasn't so private being that the gazebo is right next to the pool. The staff does a good job of removing the lounge chairs nearby and keeping people at a distance… but that doesn't stop the looky-loo's from gathering once the music begins. We actually had a lot of fun with it and felt popular as people surrounding us became part of our special day.

When the minister asked for everyone to stand for the bride's entrance all the people around stood up as well! it was very fun for me to look out see random people getting emotionally drawn in and taking photos. I even saw one girl crying in joy… a complete stranger! too funny!… we loved the attention! Our total guest count was 22 - 8 of which were in the wedding party standing there with us at the gazebo - so the remaining 14 people who were seated weren't that many but with all the looky-loo's it felt so much bigger. The actual ceremony itself was conducted by Linda who read the script, led us in our sand ceremony (sand ceremony sand and bottle provided by Dreams) and fed us the lines of our vows. Linda is an American, speaks flawless English and our families enjoyed her spirit. The ceremony was non-denominational one but it was quite moving and meaningful for both of us and our guests.. it's definitely a respectable ceremony.

*If you plan on having the AV sound system for your ceremony you will need to provide him a CD of the songs you would like to play.. here was our list:
Song #1 While guests are gathering and sitting: Jason Mraz, Lucky (featuring Colbie Caillat)
Song #2 Groom's Entrance: Jason Mraz, Im Yours
Song #3 Groomsmen and bridesmaids and flower girls entrance: Jack Johnson, Better Together
Song #4 Bride's Entrance: Guitar Songs Music, Album: Cannon Guitar: Song Canin in D - Pachelbel (from itunes)
Song #5 After Kiss Marriage Announcement: Somewhere over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwi, Album: Alone in IZ World

*If I were to do it again, I might have started the wedding at 5:30 instead of 6:00 to allow for a bit more sunlight for our photos. Be sure to check the time of sunset for the time of year you have your wedding. Here is a handy tool http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=923





  Cocktail Hour
In consideration of the heat (August) we wanted our guests to cool down before coming back outside for the reception, so we chose the Desires Lounge for our cocktail hour because it is indoors with AC. They sat eating and drinking while the Mexican Trio mariachi did their 45 minute set while my wife and I were taking photos around the resort. We didn't get to see the show or have any food but everyone told us that the mariachi band was very entertaining  and the food was good.

See some video http://www.youtube.com/user/gary3000#p/a/u/1/lSxkWXfRw2k

Reception
We were so fortunate to have our reception in the Seaside Grill restaurant which is located next to the infinity pool. Typically they charge for a restaurant to be shut down for special occasions but luckily for us there was no extra charge! We have to thank Denise Canon for helping us obtain that location. We paid extra to have the inside decorated with paper lanterns and other decor and it was perfect for our small group. The design pattern of the cement and rocks gave us space for a dance floor and we didn't really need to rent one.

In terms of dinner we were able to get the Caribbean Buffet (Thanks to Denise) - This particular buffet is only offered to groups over 30 people - but with Denise's help they made an exception for us and the food was very good. There were several salads, ribs, chicken, Caribbean rice, veggies, kabobs and a giant desert stand - there was so much food I cant remember everything but they were all laid out in a buffet line - there was something for everyone. When the female guests finished putting food on their plates there were waiters there to carry the plate back to their table for them. The service was excellent and classy, waiting on us for everything. They gave is so many drinks that between my wife and I we had 8 different drinks on our table at once. There was one waiter who stood behind each table servicing everyones needs. I made it a point to go around and tip all the staff members who were involved. Since the reception was at the Seaside Grill all of the drinks came from the bar right there.

If there is one thing that didn't go as planned it was the cake decoration - We wanted to have a cake with a purple ribbon around the base and orchids on top but what we ended up getting was this average looking cake - which tasted good but in terms of decor it wasn't there. To be quite honest with you I believe we even paid for the extra cost of decorating but since we were having such a good time I didn't want to have to go back to the office the next morning and complain and try and get money back… Everything else went so well I just didn't want to spoil it.

* I should note that the outside rim of the Seaside grill is uncovered - if it were to rain the tables where our guests sat and the buffet would have gotten rained on. Just before the wedding began both Georgina and Jorge came to my dressing room and warned me that this could occur in which case they would disassemble everything and move the party to their ballroom. At this point they gave me the option to change my mind for the reception site but I went with my instinct and moved forward with the risk of getting rained on - They had me sign a waiver to approve that.. it was a little bit nerve racking just before the wedding but I understand they need to cover their end in terms of legality. I would highly suggest to others that they take the weather into consideration. We were extremely lucky on our wedding night because we had a nice cool breeze, all of the nights prior to the wedding were very hot and humid…crazy enough the night after our wedding without warning it rained hard at 9pm. This is a very tropical location and it can come and go without any warning.

   

    Entertainment
We rented the AV sound system for the ceremony and the 1st hour of the reception so that my brother (best man and MC) can introduce us to our guests… as soon as we walked in we triggered our 1st dance song together (Can't Help Falling in Love by UB40)  and then immediately following was the Mother/Groom • Bride/Father dances (spanish guitar, autumn leaves by manuel granada) followed by speeches/toasts. We didn't contract the AV sound guy any longer than that, because we didn't feel that our crowd was the dancing kind of crowd. We didn't continue his service past this point - but he did return later for the Fire dancers music and I know we didn't pay for that because we had already paid for the wedding ahead of time.

During our reception we also hired the Caribbean Trio to come in and play music while our guests ate - it provided a very nice backdrop under Seaside Grill Palapa. Their performance was just right - not too loud or theatrical but soft and subtle allowing our guests to still engage in conversation.

   

Lastly and my favorite we ended the evening with the climax ~ FireDancers! We had them do their performance over the water bridge which crossed over the shallow kiddie pool. They were only supposed to do a 15 minute show but they went on much longer (felt like 30 mins). There were 4 of them - 3 men and one woman and it was truly a spectacle as the fire reflected off the water while we all watched from the Seaside Grill. Everyone was thoroughly impressed and it offered our guests a big bang for their last night at the resort. The music they danced to was so loud and the spectacle was so neat we started getting attention from the looky-loo's as they sat around the pool watching the show.   Check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=akms-dOxycw      
After the wedding the remaining party-goers all made their way to the Desires lounge which was playing dance music - we practically had the place to ourselves and gave us that party time to put a cap on the night! My Wifey likes to boogie ya know! When we returned to our room we had a Honeymoon door banner on our front door and rose petals covering the floors, surrounding the jacuzzi with tea lights and a rose petals heart shape on the bed. They also gave us another bottle of Champagne!      

Photography
We hired La Luna Photography (sister company of Del Sol) to shoot our photos - They did an amazing job taking over 2,500 photos in the photojournalistic style we love so much. The resort did charge me for an extra entrance fee for both of them but it was well worth it. Jonathan was the lead photographer with assistant photographer Melissa - their professionalism was outstanding and worked extremely well with all of our guests. The dynamic duo was really impressive. In the end we received a DVD disc with just over 300 photos in high resolution.

La Luna provides us with their slideshow link below but that doesn't show all of the photos - there are many more.

Click here to see our Slideshow provided by La Luna

Click here to see my full Review of  La Luna Photography

August Weather
Hot and Humid for the most part, August (summer) is not the recommended time to be in Cancun but this is all we had available since my wife is a full time nursing student her semester break was only for one week. It's hard to predict if/when it will rain or how hot it will actually be.. it's a roll of the dice and it was my greatest concern the entire time from when we first booked to the day of… Thankfully it worked out!

All in all the week long gathering of our friends and family turned out to be fantastic almost like a feel good movie - everybody bonded with each other, going out on excursions together, playing board games on the beach, enjoying lunches by the pool, having drinks in the infinity pool, dinner etc… it was truly a dream come true, it really could not have been any more perfect. One of our guests told us "It was the best wedding they have ever been to" and "it was the wedding of a lifetime" - There could have been so many things that could have gone wrong. All of our hard work and preparation paid off and we have to be thankful to everyone from the top to bottom.              
Lastly! We got our Waterford Crystal glasses (Valued at $60) - be sure to check back with your Dreams Wedding coordinator to obtain these and also get the information you need to get your honeymoon return validated. I have to say… I really cant imagine drinking out of these but they are a cute "Nice to have's"




General Resort Review
We had room #2501 which was the Honeymoon Suite - its was spacious and had two hot tubs - one located in between the bathroom and bedroom and the other was on the patio. When we first arrived there was a bottle of champagne and some fruit there welcoming us :)                 Food was good! We didn't get a chance to try the Japanese but everything else was great - there was so much food and bars all over the place it was plentiful. We would be laying around the infinity pool and the chefs would walk around holding a trays of food and serve us - sushi, kabobs and fruits.. and drinks. In one instance we ordered some drinks by the Swing bar just before taking a snorkel trip. The waiter remembered the drinks we ordered before we left and 2 hours later when we arrived back he came walking out to meet us on the beach with the 2 new drinks the same as we ordered before…. Now that's Service!

Just around the pools there were 3 bars available and at least 6 different food stations - it was more than I have ever seen at any resort. It was all good and everyone working there would smile and be so eager to serve. As for the restaurants (besides the buffet) were relatively small and if you came at the peak of evening you would in fact have to wait. If you arrive early they would take you or if there is some kind of event on the deck (Mexican night, Caribbean night)  If you had to wait they offer you a pager and you can relax in the lobby until it your table is ready… and thats just fine because the lobby is right there and they always seem to have great music playing.

Our favorite was the Seaside Grill for lunch - the Wan Tons, Shrimp Ceviche and Seared Tuna were phenomenal! We hit that place almost everyday. Good luck trying to get the Paella - people wait around for it and it goes quick. We never had the opportunity as our primary reason to be there wasn't to eat.      

Entertainment
There was plenty of entertainment and they provide everyone daily printed itineraries to tell you whats going on, Some of our guests saw the fire and drum show and we saw plenty of musicians in the lobby every night. One night we were approached by a magician who did some amazing tricks. One night they had reggae band which was really good…  check out my video. Also they setup stands where vendors sell stuff which is nice because they bring the shopping to you. My Aunts were doing the Aqua Aerobics and they also had a poker game going on around the pool. If you look for the entertainment you will find it. Be sure to keep up with itinerary because the entertainment won't come looking for you.








Pools
The infinity pool was exceptional, the water was warm and soft. There were a lot of kids all around, even in the infinity pool but it really didn't bother us even when they were splashing around by the bar. It's a family resort and this was expected. If you don't like kids, don't come here.  





Room Jacuzzi's
We used them a few times - the water filled up fast and the jets worked very well. The only criticism I have about them is that the size of them are very cozy for two people. I am 5'6" and my wife is 5'2" - if we were taller/bigger people it might not be so comfortable. The last night we stayed there I had my back up against one of the suction outlets and when i got up and I had a bunch of hickeys patterned like the suction… it was kind of funny but didn't hurt at all… I was completely unaware of it until my wife saw it.    

The Lobby
As I mentioned before there was always good entertainment but if I had one criticism is that it gets really hot. I am not sure but at times it just didn't feel like the heat was escaping even though the ceilings are so high with fans circulating. It was the last week of August and technically still summer which is expected but as soon as you step outside the lobby it cools down. In the end we would still go there and enjoy it.    


General Advice
The hotel does seem to lack some shade - be sure to throw on good sunblock and keep cool in the pools. I am very white (day glow Casper) and I always wore sunscreen. I never got burned and always stayed cool

Bug Spray - Yes. Bring it. You will need it as the hotel is next to the Yucatan Jungle.

If anyone is interested DRC has a live webcam you can see the pool and beach here
http://www.dreamsresorts.com/drerc/webcam.html   So that's a wrap on my review... feel free to email me if you have any questions.. For all the future couples getting married at Dreams Riviera Cancun.. I hope this review finds you and helps you with your journey.      
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