By Terpgurl, · 2,051 Views · 14 Comments
I can’t believe it’s my turn to write my review. I felt like yesterday, I was reading them and trying to decide on a resort. I want to thank Tammy, past and current brides for all the support and wedding advice. I actually made some real friends out of this process. Shout out to JennW and Amara3CUS. I will be forever grateful to the BDW.com for helping me plan the most AMAZING wedding ever! I truly had the wedding of my dreams!
Disclaimer: I apologize for any mispellings or sentences that don’t make sense. I tried to be thorough as possible and got lazy about proofreading it. I really hope my review helps Moon Palace brides out there though
Date of Wedding: Sunday, May 29, 2011
# of Guests: 90 total including bride and groom (ages 1-75)
Travel Dates: Wednesday, May 25th – Wednesday, June 1st
Welcome Dinner: Bugambilias Terrace
Rehearsal Dinner: Caribbean Terrace
Ceremony: Immaculate Conception Chapel 4pm
Cocktail Hour: Chapel Gardens 5:30pm
Reception: Star Ballroom 7-11:30pm
Breakfast with Bride and Groom: Art Terrace
Room Block: Sunrise, section Toranga and Sandia
Miami Coordinator: Carilis Felipe then it was Lorena Bohorquez
Wedding Coordinator: Kalena
Flowers: Maya Diseno (Marvin)
DJ: JSAV (Carlos/Raul)
Videographer& Photobooth: Smile Kodak from Moon Palace
Décor: Zuniga (Katie)
Travel Agent: Teresa Stauring from Vacations for Less
Photographer: Ivan Luckie
Hair/Makeup: Doris (Nizuc salon)
The Moon Palace is absolutely breathtaking. I picked this resort blindly through a very detailed review from a bride on BDW.com. Her name was Vgirl. After reading her review and doing further research I selected this resort based on these criteria:
- The resort had a Catholic wedding chapel on site
- The vacation dollars
- The size and variety offered by the resort
- All the great wedding reviews I read
- Proximity to the airport
I got engaged in September 2010 and my DH and I knew we wanted to have a DW before we got engaged. We also wanted to get married Memorial Day weekend because DH and I started a tradition of traveling that weekend so we decided why not make it our wedding weekend as well!
Weather: The weather was perfect everyday we were theree until the wedding day. It was hot but not unbearable. There is quite a breeze throughout the resort which really helped. On the wedding day, it started to rain as I was getting ready. I was really sad because I thought we would have to move our cocktail hour and I would miss my carriage ride but with the carribbean it only lasted 15 minutes and dried up in no time! What was nice is the rain, made it less hot and it brought perfect weather for the wedding. It only rained 2x during the week we were there and was unnoticeble. Brides, don’t fret, rain will not ruin your wedding!
Miami Coordinator: Carilis, then Lorena (D+)
I was originally assigned Carilis and she was pretty good to work with. I had sent an email requesting a wedding date and with a few days we had everything set up. She advised me on locations and working with my travel agent to setup my wedding room block. Midway through the process I got assigned to Lorena. She was horrible! She never responded to emails and I never ever heard from her. I called, talked to her manager Lisa and still got nothing. Luckily, my guests did not book through the Miami office because I wouldn’t have had such a good turnout. Luckily for me, I was able to get ahold of Kalena about 5 months before the wedding and starting planning with her.
Travel Agent: Teresa Stauring from Vacations 4 Less (A+)
Teresa was absolutely a pleasure to work with. I found Teresa from Tammy on the BDW.com. Teresa, treated me and my guests like we were the only client. She assisted everyone with booking their stay, transportation and some airfare. She even accommodated our crazy changes up until 2 weeks before the wedding. Teresa’s rates at the time were cheaper than the resorts and I was able to still get the same promotions as if I booked through the Moon Palace. My family and friends are talking about returning next year and I know we will be contacting Teresa to plan our next trip.
Here is her contact information: Teresa Stauring @email@example.com
Wedding Package: Complimentary Package + add ons (A)
Hair Trial/Make-up/Bridal Updo ($135 vacation dollars)
Catholic Ceremony ($350)
Upgraded Cake ($280)
Mariachi Band ($580)
Dress Pressing/Suit Pressing ($59)
Event Setup ($65)
Video : 4 hours of video ($900 vacation dollars, $200 cash), extra dvd ($100) and shipping ($65)
Photobooth: 3 hours for photobooth, guestbook, props, and copies of pictures and videos ($850)
Upgraded Reception Menu to Lobster and Filet ($1740)
Private Transportation from cocktail to reception ($150 for 2 buses to transport guests from Nizuc to Sunrise)
Flower petals to toss ($140)
9 Day Passes ($792)
DJ and lighting ($1595)
Deco Cancun decorations ($3,235.65)
Caribbean Terrace for rehearsal ($500)
Wedding Coordinator: Kalena (A+++++++++++++++++++++)
Like everyone has said before me, Kalena is AMAZING. She is super organized, sweet, attentive and makes you feel like you’re the only bride. Communication at first was difficult but I just was organized and would email her a document of all my details. She would respond every few weeks and by the time I arrived she had every detailed I noted in one file. She did not miss a beat! Every event I had, she stopped by to check in on me. She gave me the wedding of my dreams and I am so happy that I had her help me on my special day. She even got me a nice room on the Moon Grand side the day of the wedding to get ready. The room was beautiful and I am so grateful she offered that to me and my girls.
Welcome Dinner: Bugambilias Terrace (A)
We had our welcome dinner on the Bugambilias Terrace. It was very nice and we selected the Mexican menu. Everyone enjoyed the food except we kept running out of guacamole. Since the location was not very close it took a bit for them to replenish the food. However, the drinks were flowing and our service staff was great! I think the location is nice but I don’t think there was anything special about it. I am glad we did our welcome dinner there though. I just used basic decor and Kaleana sent up hurricane candles free of charge.
Rehearsal Dinner: Caribbean Terrace (A+)
By the time I wanted to book the rehearsal dinner, most locations were taken. Since I had such a large party, Kalena told me her manager would offer me a deal to rent the Caribbean Terrace for a flat $500 fee since it’s usually $12/person and I was having about 75 guests for rehearsal. It was so worth it! The Terrace and view were so beautiful and my guests really enjoyed it. We pretty much had the whole terrace to ourselves but there was a small section they allowed outside guests to utilize. It was fine because we basically took over the whole area. I had originally selected the Tex Mex menu but after hearing it was not that great, I changed the menu to Cajun at my onsite wedding coordinator meeting and it was really good! Even after all the food we had at the rehearsal dinner, my guests ordered sushi from the bar after and did some sake bombs!
Carriage ride: (A+++++)
The carriage ride was absolutely amazing and a fairytale come true. I really felt like a princess and having that alone time with my dad was even more special. Kalena picked me up from my room and took me and my father in a golf cart to the carriage. The carriage took us around for about 10 minute so she could get the wedding party situated and going before she had me arrive. When I started seeing everyone in the chapel, I started balling. It was so nice to see all their stunned faces. I was crying until I arrived because at that point I was trying to figure out how to get down the carriage without falling down! It wasn’t so bad but with 4 inch shoes, it wasn’t that easy either. I am so glad it didn’t rain because I would have been devastated if I didn’t get my carriage ride.
Wedding Ceremony: Immaculate Conception Chapel
The chapel is gorgeous. It looks kind of small but somehow it fit all 90 of us. Kalena has put some extra chairs in the back to accomodate my guests. I had used Deco cancun to for the decor. They had provided the beautiful draping on the ceiling, the pew draping and I purchased flower petals from Kalena for the aisle. Without me eve asking, she add the bamboo runner which I really liked. The church was nicely air conditioned but I know the guys were still sweating in their suits.
Wedding Officiant: Father Benito (C)
Father Benito was quite the character. He was very nice but he was defintely the talk of the wedding. He went on and on and at times said some random and maybe even inappropriate things. We had told him we wanted to do our vows and he forgot to let us do that. He said Good morning and it was 4pm. He talked about how my DH and I might get shot and killed (forgot the exact context but when I heard shot, I am still in shock). He also thanked us for making our relationship legit and not just shacking up and he also talked about how our future is dependent on us and God. Us 95% and God 10% . . um isn’t that 105%? It seemed like Father Benito was kind of off. Also the kicker was in our meeting, he asked if he could pass around a collection basket at our wedding. I said absolutley not. Overall, I am happy I got married in a Catholic church but Father Benito is not your typical priest.
Cocktail Hour: Chapel Gardens (A+)
We had our cocktail hour right outside the chapel gardens. DH and I did not get to enjoy this since we both were taking pictures. We opted for the superior hor duerves and added a cheese board. Everyone said the food was great! Kalena setup some umbrellas since it was really sunny that day! We also got the mariachi band for cocktail and everyone really enjoyed it. I wished we were there for the cocktail but the pictures with the photographer took the whole time.
Wedding Reception: Star Ballroom
I had 4 sections of the Star Ballroom 5,6,7 and 8. The room was a great fit for 10 tables, a lounge setup, photobooth, dj area and cake area. The room was nicely decorated by Zuniga and the service was from the wait staff was impeccable. I was very back and forth on the menu selection but my mother said why not make it classy and upgrade to the Filet Mignon and Lobster thermidor. It was really good and our soup and salad we got the spinach and goat cheese salad and the cream of asparagus soup and it was really good. Dessert was ok, we asked for creme brulee but it was more of a custard or mousse wrapped in chocolate. The only issue we did run into was a broken glass was under my sister’s table and she cut her foot when she took her shoes off but overall it wasn’t too bad. We alerted the captain and he took care of it. Early on in the planning process, I had asked Kalena if I could have a small snack bar setup at the end of the night for my guests. It consisted of chicken fingers, fries and guacamole. It was a big hit! Everyone said the chicken fingers were so delicious! They looked really good but I didn’t eat because I was still full from dinner. But I know my guests all went for 2nd helpings.
We upgraded the cake since we had 90 guests. I selected vanilla with strawberries, chocolate and marble. I honestly don’t know if that’s what we got but everyone said the cake was good. I had a small taste when we cut the cake and I think I got a chocolate slice. It was ok, I am very picky when it comes to chocolate cake. Overall the cake was pretty and didn’t lean over! As for the bouquets around the cake, I asked Kalena to take those from the pew decoration from the ceremony.
Day after Breakfast: Art Terrace
We had a nice setup on the terrace outside of the Sunrise lobby. I opted for the American breakfast buffet. We didn’t have a full turnout since some people were hungover or they went on a tour with their vacation dollars. Nonetheless, I was glad I was able to utilize the unlimited events.
For the oot bags, I brought everything down in a big box instead of a suitcase becuase I didn’t want to have to lug that suitcase back. Our OOT bag consisted of welcome/wedding events postcard, sunscreen, petpo, advil, gatorade packets, bandaids, aloe, gum, and custom made koozies. For our OOT bags, we ordered the plain canvas bags for 99 cents each and my talented bridesmaid and I screenprinted 45 bags. It was alot of work but it was well worth it b/c everyone used the for the pool and beach. For the OOT items, I purchased most stuff in bulk from Amazon.com. For the sunscreen and aloe, I purchased them from Bed, Bath, and Beyond because it was cheaper than online. For the custom koozies, I got 100 for $80 and provided my own design and I got them from an Ebay seller: odysseycustomdesigns.
Nightlife: Swing Bar and Discoteca(A+)
Our group was a bunch of partiers! We kind of had a routine every night. We would go to dinner, have a few drinks in the Sunrise lobby bar, hit up the Swing bar then end the night dancing at the discoteca. To top things off we would all race back to our rooms for room service.
Flowers: Maya Diseno (Marvin) A-
Marvin was really easy to work with. He communicated timely and provided some great ideas after I told him my colors. I was really happy with my flowers and they held up very well. The reason for the A- is because like other brides warned, he is not on time. I had scheduled a 10am drop off and we confirmed this about 3x and we had to call him several times and he showed up at 11am. This was very annoying since I had my good friend and DH waiting. However, the flowers were beautiful and the savings I had with Marvin were well worth it! Here is what I ordered:
Bride bouquet (ivory Roses, white Asian lilies, white Calla lilies, white Ranunculus and Green Hydrangea): $110
MOH Bouquet (Fuchsia and orange Roses, green Mums and fuchsia Dahlias): $55
Bridesmaid bouquet (Fuchsia and orange Roses, green Mums, fuchsia and orange Gerbera Daisy ) $35*7
Junior Bridesmaid Bouquet (Smaller version of bridesmaid bouquet) $25
Flower girl pomander (Small flower pomanders with green Mums, fuchsia orchids) $25
Groom Boutinierre (Ivory Rose and green Hypericum berries) $10
Groomsmen Boutinierre(Orange Rose and green Hypericum berries) $10*8
Fathers Boutinierres (Green Dendrobium orchid and ivory Rose) $10*3
Mother’s Corsages (Wrist corsages for mothers with green Cymbidium orchid and ivory Roses, and ivory satin ribbon) $20*3
Usher’s Boutinierre (Fuchsia Rose and green Hypericum berries) $10*2
Flower petals for aisle 5 bags for $15/each
For the complimentary bouquet from the Moon Palace, I used it to decorate my sweetheart table and was going to use it throw but it was just too beautiful. It was very good quality and looking back, I should have saved the money and not gotten the bouquet from Marvin.
DJ: JSAV (Carlos/Raul) – B+
Communication with Jsav was good. I had worked with Carlos and 2 weeks before the wedding, he had left. Luckily for me I had cc’d everyone on the email so Raul picked everything up and took care of me. 2 days before the wedding I got to meet my dj whose name was Carlos too. He was very pleasant and took the time to learn the pronounciations of my wedding party’s name. He played music from my playlist and got my party going. He made all the necessary announcements but he is def not an MC, he did what he was told and there were some awkward pauses but overall I am glad I used the DJ. The lighting they provided was the color I wanted but at times I felt it was too pink. It kind of washed things out. It might have been my fault since I picked it but I wanted pin lighting on every curtain in my room. I had 8 lights total. If I knew it would have been so pink, I might have mixed it with white lights because some pictures taken by my guests were drowned in pink. Hopefully my photographer was able to capture the pictures in a natural lighting and the pink didn’t take over.
Videographer& Photobooth: Smile Kodak from Moon Palace (Lupita) (A)
The videographer was really nice, I forgot his name but he was with me the whole time. He even stayed an extra 15 minutes to let me cut the cake and toss the bouquet and garter. I think he enjoyed himself there and didn’t want to leave. Seems like he hit it off with Ivan because hey were always side by side. I can’t wait to receive the dvd in a couple of weeks.
Lupita was an absolute doll. She helped me with fixing my video package. I had booked my video back in January and at the time I was told I could use my vacation dollars. Then in April I find out its changed and I don’t have the documentation. I fought for it and finally I was able to use $900 of my vacations dollars and I paid the difference in cash.
I always wanted a photobooth but never seen it or heard if they had it in Cancun. I randomly asked Lupita about it and she said they had one! I rented it and I am so glad I did. My family and friends loved it and totally hammed it up. I used it as a guest book as well. The photos printed out 2 copies, one for the guest to keep as a keepsake and one for the photo guest book. I am glad I did 3 hours because it was used the whole time.
Décor: Zuniga (Katie) A
Katie was a pleasure to work with. Even up until a week before the wedding, I changed my centerpieces and she accommodated me. From Zuniga, we rented gold tiffany chivari chairs, lounge area, 9 centerpieces (5 short and 4 tall), a dance floor, draping for the Star Ballroom, draping for the chapel and pew decorations. Everything turned out beautifully; the only thing that bothered me was the dance floor. I rented a dance floor that would fit 30-100 guests. The floor was tiny! It could barely fit 40 people. I wish they would have based the size of the dance floor on the room size because the dance floor looked kind of odd within such a big room.
Photographer: Ivan Luckie (will provide grade once I receive the pics)
Communication with Ivan from the beginning was great. Very responsive and he let me break down the payments and his fee was the average of all the other photographers I talked to. Ivan arrived to the resort with his wife Anell and they were really nice. He spent the whole day taking pictures of us. From 12pm – 11:30pm. I can’t wait to see the final product because he has some great ideas. Since Ivan was an outside vendor, I paid for a night stay for him and his wife so they would not have any issues the day of the wedding. The only thing we wished he was able to do was get pics of the guys getting ready but since we were on 2 opposite sides of the resort, it was too hard for him to get both. Not his fault but I shoul have asked Kalena to provide a room for my groom nearby as well.
Hair/Makeup: Doris (Nizuc salon) (A+)
I absolutely loved Doris. From the trial to the day of, she impressed me with her work. She was very sweet and nice. I brought in pictures as examples and she knew exactly what I wanted. I was a little nervous for makeup since I didn’t have a trial but for the first time ever, I didn’t look like a drag queen. I brought my own makeup and lashes and she used a mix of mines and hers and it was perfect. The heat did mess with the lashes because by the end of the night, they were coming off. But my makeup stayed on really well and I was really impressed and felt really beautiful the day of my wedding.
Palace Rewards/Vacation Dollars: (A+)
The vacation dollars were awesome! My guests used them for the tequila gift boxes, spa, golf, private photo sessions, romantic lobster dinners, room upgrades and excursions. I don’t think one person left without using them all. If you talk to the right person, you could use the vacation dollars for the motorized sports. Also, if you got a nice person, they let you share your vacations dollars. The whole time my wedding party/guests were there we had no issues booking any excursions or spa.
Bridal Gown: My sister purchased my wedding gown as a gift to me. I had wedding dress shopped but I knew I didn’t want something too fancy since it was Mexico. I don’t remember how I found out that Limited sold wedding dresses but I found the perfect dress from there. It was reasonably priced and beautiful! I did alter the neckline to a sweetheart neckline and purchased a brooch from Amazon.com to add a little bling to my dress.
Groom/Groomsmen Suits: We purchased my DH’s suit and the groomsmen suit from Studiosuits.com. They are really nice suits if you order the right size. Here is my review that I previously wrote:
For the Groom’s and groomsmen ties, I purchased them from:
Bridesmaid dresses: We purchased the bridesmaid dresses as part of their wedding gifts. We ordered them from Jcrew. We had 3 different styles and let the girls choose which ones they wanted. The dress was made of a silk tricotine and it was very nice for the warm weather.
Flower Girl Dresses: I purchased the flower girl dresses from: http://www.mygirldress.com/flowergirldress-ca574-fu.html
The dresses were beautiful but it took awhile to arrive. About 4 weeks. I did have an issue with the bow color for the fuischa dresses. I wanted a coral sash but they sent me pink. They kept saying it was coral but at 3 weeks before the wedding, I wasn’t going to argue. We agreed to disagreed and moved on.
Random Decor/Items purchased:
Table Runners: I ordered 10 table runners, 5 fuchsia and 5 orange pintucked satin. I have 5 fuchsia ones for sale if anyone is interested. If you would like to purchase them new, I got them from efavormart.com
Favors: We were not planning on doing favors but with their keepsake photobooth picture, we thought it would be nice to have something else at the table. We ordered starfish wine stoppers from:
They were really nice. They came packaged in plastic with a thank you tag. I took off the plastic and tag and replaced it with my own Thank you sticker and everyone was really excited to get one.
Custom Hanger: Etsy.com Seller Twisted Words.com
I absolutely loved this hanger! It was beautiful and I can’t wait to see the professional pics of my dress hanging from it! My new last name was so long so I couldn’t do the typical Mrs. . . . but I am happy with how I used our first names anyways.
Personalized Makeup Bags for Bridesmaid Gifts: Etsy Seller
Besides their bridesmaid dresses, I wanted to get my bridesmaids other gifts to thank them for being apart of my day. I ordered them each personalized makeup bags in Hot Pink and coral. They loved them. I got them from this seller:
In addition to their bridesmaid dress and makeup bag, I also got them haviana flip flops, a beach coverup, custom made tanks by me and I filled their makeup bags with bridesmaid emergency kit items such as makeup remover, cotonelle wipes, brush, hair ties, mirror, chapstick and nail file.
Sorry for such the long review! I felt like I had to pay it forward since my wedding was decided after reading a very thorough review. I am really sad the wedding is over but I am happy to now be a wifey! Please don’t hesitate to PM me if you have any questions because I would love to help and I am actually going through planning withdrawl. Best of Luck to all the brides out there!
Here are some more pics: