By SandRWedding, · 1,476 Views · 6 Comments
We used a TA and booked through Air Transat. We were able to book the wedding a year in advance (invitations were sent April 1, 2011 and we departed April 1, 2012). Considering the high time that we booked for, we got a pretty reasonable price. A couple of our guests chose to stay at the maya beach resort as they found the palace too costly, and went through a different TA. They ended up paying more than we did to stay at the palace. We were $1800 including GST for double occupancy. Our TA had booked a block of seats on the plane for us, but not everybody was together, and there were random people scattered throughout our group. Not a big deal, but would have been nice if we would of had the 4 rows that had been pre-booked for us. Haulilng the wedding dress was kind of a pain, I was very thankful that I did not have a big, heavy gown!! It would not have been too bad except there were 4 flights that had landed within about 15-20 minutes of one another in Cancun and it was a LONG wait to get through security at the airport. I have been to the cancun airport before, and I was shocked at how busy it was. And then nearly half of our guests got the red light and had to wait for further screening. We had private group transportation to and from the airport, and that was sooooo nice!! There was just 20 of us on the bus and no stops at other resorts. Thankfully I was able to put my gown in my moms suitcase for the trip home. My mom had also booked a limo (one of the SUV ones) to take us to the airport and back. It sure made travelling easy!!
We had our ceremony at 4pm on April 4 at the coral beach, a cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30 at the rooftop terrace and the reception from 7-10 at the coral beach. Our WC was Gabriela, and she was fabulous! Everything went perfectly and I was able to enjoy the day without worrying about a thing. So many of our guests commented that I was the happiest bride they had ever seen, I just had a huge smile on my face all day long and I give a lot of that credit to Gabriela and everyone else that made our day so perfect. We did not notice onlookers at all during the ceremony, the resort did an excellent job of keeping people away especially while the procession was taking place. In some of our pics of us walking down, you can see people watching from the coral grill, but we were completely oblivious to anybody being there but us. My cousin played the ukulele for the bridal party procession, they did a great job of getting him set up and ensuring that the sound was good before starting the procession. I had selected flowers that were of extra charge (orchids and something else....) and the resort did a great job of re-creating the bouquet. Quite a few people actually thought they were fake, including the photographer!!! I finally threw the bouquet out on Sunday. It did not wilt one bit until a couple of days after the wedding, I was quite impressed :)
Hair & Make Up
My sister and mother in-law had their hair and make up done at the spa, there were no issues with appointment times (Gabriela had also followed up with me to confirm that the appointments were correct) and they did a very good job. I hired Adrian for my hair and make up, and he also did my moms make up and one of my bridesmaids hair and make up. Adrian and Alex were FANTASTIC!! I could not have asked for anything more, they were so friendly and fun to be around and they are so talented!! They were worth every single penny and more!! Adrian even went to my husbands room and made him up a little bit, just to make sure that everything was perfect for our wedding. I can honestly say that at 3am my hair and make up looked just as good as when they first finished at 2 in the afternoon. My mom cried (a lot lol) through the entire ceremony and you could not tell, nothing ran or washed off! I had an allergic reaction to a sunscreen that my husband purchased, and I had a rash and bumps all over my face and neck and you could not tell at all. Like I said, the spa did a great job BUT Adrian and his team are in a league of their own!!
We hired Ivan Luckie as our photographer and I can honestly say that the $300 we paid to Kodak in order to have Ivan there was some of the best money we spent on our wedding. Kodak still showed up to photograph the ceremony (our package included pictures which is why) and the pictures were ok, but out of 150 pictures we had to look through them about 3 times to pick just 24 decent pictures. They also kind of get in the way of our hired photographer. I never once noticed Ivan or Anell through the ceremony, and hardly through the reception but I did notice the Kodak photographer. Our pictures from Kodak have Ivan and Anell in them, and it is hard to get good pics when there are so many photographers getting in the way. Kodak was asked to shoot the cocktail hour instead of the ceremony, but they ignored our request and now we have no pictures from the cocktail hour. Even when Ivan was shooting us in the room (getting ready) I hardly noticed him there. We can hardly wait to see our pictures from Ivan!! I told him what I wanted and let him run with it, he is so creative and was not shooting the same locations and poses as the other wedding pictures that I had seen of his that were done at the palace. My only wish through the entire wedding was that I would have liked to have more time with Ivan. My husband was very skeptikal to say the least about the whole photography business, he does not like to have his picture taken and makes a weird 'camera face' whenever there is a camera around him. Ivan made us both feel so comfortable and let our personalities come through in what we were doing. By the end of the day my husband was raving about him and is extremely excited for the pictures - and that says A LOT!!!!!! There was also a couple issues with the family....my husbands parents divorced about 15 years ago and have both moved on, but his mother still cannot be in the same place as his father. Doing the group shot turned out to be quite challenging when it should not have been. Ivan spoke privately to my husband and asked him how he wanted the two sets of parents handled and we avoided any further issues.
All of our guests were so impressed with the wedding. They said that it was by far the best wedding that they have ever been to, it exceeded everyones expectations. The judge did a fantastic job, the ceremony was funny, sweet and serious when appropriate. Very good especially being that neither one of us had ever met him. When I was walking down the aisle from the gazebo my husband had his back to me and I kept saying 'what is he looking at? Why isn't he looking at me??' but the judge made him turn his back and he wasn't allowed to look until he was told so lol. There were a lot of tears and even more laughter and we could not have asked for anything more. We would do it all over again in a second and not change a thing.
The resort is absolutely stunning!! We had no major issues while we were there. When we checked in, there was a mix up with names. My husbands brother ended up bringing somebody different than he originally booked, which was fine except that they changed my name instead of his guests name. This did not cause any major issues, but it did not get corrected. The entire week every time something was charged to the room or I used the internet cafe they had the wrong name. It was just more annoying than anything.
All of our rooms were very close together (there were 20 of us staying at the Palace), we were all in the building closest to the beach and on ground level, and we were facing the pool. At first I was not too impressed, but it actually ended up being very handy. We never did get upgraded to the club premium or whatever it is, the only thing that would have been nice was the wi-fi but it all worked out.
There were a few of us on the trip that ended up getting sick, about 6 of us that stayed at the palace, one at the maya beach and one that was at another resort completely. I do not think that it had anything to do with the resort, food or drinks.....I think it was a bug or virus as my husband ended up getting sick the day that we left and was still ill after being home for a couple of days.
All in all it was a great trip. I wish my husband and I had stayed for 10 days as the most time we spent together was our actual wedding day. We both had an absolute blast with our family and friends, and we are all talking about going back as a group for an anniversary trip :)