By 604bride2be, · 772 Views · 0 Comments
I am just so excited for each and every one of you who are next..... It was a perfect day for us.
We saw a lot of weddings happen too, and my family even talked to one brides family who didnt have the best experience - so I will tell you what we did and what we saw to hopefully help in any decision making!
First off, Jacki is fantastic. She's an Aussie and is straight to the point, I loved her. If you want something else and want to change anything - shes totally flexible. We met her the morning after we arrived, sat down, went through the day or what we wanted - then did a walk through the site to see exactly where reception locations.
We had the Dreams of Love Package. And it really was enough for us. We had 37 guests total at the wedding.Styling Trio did all our hair and makeup. They were efficient and did a great job. I did a hair trial two days before the wedding.
Sascha Gluck was our photographer. He showed up an hour early and stayed a bit late too as we ran over our time with speeches.
We did a walk through rehearsal the night before. I'd suggest doing this. WE timed the whole walk to one song, so i listened on my ipod while we all walked and then everyone know waht time to walk etc. Even if your group isnt walking to one song, id do rehearsal. It takes like 10 minutes.
Ceremony was at 3pm at the Gazebo. (we originally wanted it on the beach, set up columns but it was $300 and when we got there we didnt really see the point since the Gazebo was free, and everyone LOVED the gazebo - but evvvvvvvveryone gets married there. we were luckily the first couple out of that week to get married so we got lots of cheers and claps when we walked out of th hotel)
I wish we had the ceremony at 4 pm , only for the fact that we cut our photography session VERY short with the photographer because we were all sweating like pigs. In hindsight I wish we sucked it up, but my makeup was being wiped off and our hair was sweaty and it just wasnt pretty any more lol. SO i think if we had it at 4, with the sun setting and air cooling we could have lasted longer :( BUT oh well, we have lovely photos already and havent gotten any from our pro.
We did the symbolic ceremony (non legal) but no one knew the difference. Its basically a ceremony we would have at home, we even got to sign something like in a legal ceremony. Alejandro Monroy was the minister(hes provided by Dreams) ,and he was great however he didnt say the vows we chose. He gave me a list of like 8 to choose from, and we wanted the one about friendship and love..but he spoke the traditional one "to have and to hold" bla bloa. It was super disappointing but not a deal breaker. It was still a lovely ceremony.
We had requested a champagne toast on the beach, right after the ceremony but this didnt happen. I wasn't pleased about that. But again, in the moment you dont care!
Then guests went to Baraccuda Swing Bar for cocktail hour. We had appies and they set them up, and guests loved that. *Note other guests at teh hotel will be at the swing bar too. This one couple sat there forever with us, and someone kindly asked them to leave. They werent happy about it, but eventually left so it was just our group at the location. But for a smaller group, id say people will be there.
We ended up getting El Patio for the dinner. (and for those of you who have read my previous posts, i had requested it, then told we couldnt have it. But upon arriving Jacki told me they would do it for us). We paid the $750 and I'm telling you it was SOOOOOO worth it! The reception was amazing. I am so happy I didnt do it on the beach, It gets very windy at night and ALL of the weddingreceptions we saw (mind you this is february) that were on the beach didnt look that comfortable. Also, there are usualyl nightly shows. With music. And its loud, so some receptions had their music going and you can hear the music from the hotel going as well. If you want a slow song, the hotel might be playing dance music. So its not super private or intimate, (BUT, im not trying to talk anyone out of their dream just letting you know how it is!)
Our other choice was Oceana Restaurant - which is the adult pool side. It too is gorgeous BUT be warned the adult pool side stays pretty rowdy till about 6pm. Those old people stay in the pool and just drnk and "woopp woop" all day. So had we chose Oceana (or the location next to Oceana wihich is near the hot tub at the adult pool) we would have had drunken people partying while we were eating out meal. It wouldnt have been a wise choice.
At El Patio They have the windows wide open and fans going,. was it hot? Yeah a bit, but that's because we danced for hours. The service was fantastic and yhou really dont have to worry about a thing!!!!
We used a DJ, Dj Doreemix. For anyone contemplating DJ or not, PLEASE go with a DJ. It makes the reception. If you have a crowd that likes to dance, and will dance - a DJ is what you need. They were $800 for 5 hours - and they were there at 4pm setting up and didnt start till 6pm. They have the mic for the speeches too. They brought balloons, masks, glow sticks and set up lights and smoke machine and it just made the dance party even better. Our friends and family couldnt stop talking about how fun the reception was - and it was all thanks to the DJ's. They even had a fire show display that went off at the very end, right outside the reception location. It was AWESOME.
Put your money into reception location and a dj. you will not regret it!
One of the girls my family talked to said the hair and makeup crew from the hotel weren't very good, and they were not happy about it. But some people are pickier than others, so I'd do a trail and get out any reservations about your "look".
Hmm, what else.../:
I brought down my own fake flowers for the centerpieces and candles etc. They turned out fabulous and looked great. They assembled them all with our name tags, table tags and maracas. They did a great job!
Also, my bouquet was exactly what I wanted. :)
We got the cake for 20 people. and didnt get the bigger cake - and for anyone who has guests more than 20 people you dont need a bigger cake. they just want the $! the cake size was plenty big.