By BarbieBrideU, · 501 Views · 0 Comments
It’s been almost 3 months since our wedding so our review is a little late, but better late than never right!! Whatever I can do to help out future brides, as I know how stressful and overwhelming wedding planning can get!
So I’ll start from the beginning-
My husband and I booked about 10 months out to ensure we got good prices on our air travel. We booked through Cheaptickets.com which is, from what I’ve found one of the best sites for finding flights at a low cost. We chose not to do a room block for our guests because for one thing, we only had 22 guests, and secondly we would have had to out 10% down up front and we had guests pull out 3 weeks before the wedding! That would have been the LAST thing I wanted to deal with! Needless to say I checked out sites right after the invitations went out and Travelocity happened to have a sale on Dreams, which matched the price they had given me had we done the room block. So, it worked out.
We flew Alaska Airlines- I believe most of our guests did also. No complaints there. We got all of our cocktails for free during our flights so that was nice! Perks of getting married I guess! One of the groomsmen got his cologne and hair clippers stolen from his suitcase. Though we’re not sure it could have happened at LAX or in Mexico. But Alaska covered the loss and gave him vouchers for another flight. Pretty good customer service.
Arriving in PV was no problem. I would recommend making sure you fill out the forms they give you on the plane in flight so you can get in line right away at customs.
We had tons of bags which made me think- great, we’re a target! But the buttons really are at random, every 10 people I think? Both of us got a green light. I don’t know what we would have done had one of us got a red light. We had boxes of wedding décor which would have been such a pain to open!!! One strange part was after we went through customs we were walking and my husband snapped a pic of me. A man came up to him and told him he can’t take pictures there and told him to delete it, and had to stand over him and watch him delete the photo. So note to everyone no pictures in the airport I guess!! Bizarre.
Car service A
I booked a service for my husband and I through puertovallartatours.net. They were VERY specific when they sent us the instructions i.e- walk through the time share rooms DO NOT speak to anyone! And exactly what the person driving us would be wearing. It was such a commotion when we got there. Tons of people holding up signs. Out of nowhere a girl found us who was wearing the correct uniform and was like “come with me!” I don’t know HOW she knew we were who she was looking for but she went to a small room, and got the sign with our names and let us out the door to the car. Thankfully! I panicked for a second there! 2 of my bridesmaids and my family also booked this service and they arrived safely! So I would recommend them!
Since we could only book the service one way, we took taxis whenever we left the grounds, a total of 3 times. Dreams takes down your room number and the taxi number and driver’s name each time you leave. It’s a good safety precaution. Other than them driving pretty wildly- which is how they drive here in the states too!- no complaints. My husband speaks Spanish so that also helped!
As soon as we arrived we were greeted with a glass of champagne and a cool towel. This was great. It was so hot that day plus the air travel and car ride with no air conditioning. The men were so gracious, counted all of our bags, and gave us a ticket with our bag count.
Checking in was easy. The girl at the desk spoke perfect English. Once she signed us in we sat down with another woman who told us about the grounds, activities, etc. I could have done without this step. We only used the coupon for the bottle of wine that they gave us. Overall we were all very pleased with the service everywhere on the grounds.
My husband and I stayed in the old tower, because that’s where all of our guests stayed. We were on the penthouse level. The views were amazing! All of our guests loved coming up to our room and take pictures and hang out! While we didn’t go in the new tower at all so we have nothing to compare it to, I also know the old tower was recently renovated. We were very happy with our room- a little bit larger couldn’t have hurt!
After arriving and settling in we went to Rendezvous bar, which became the meeting place all weekend. It’s nice and relaxed with plenty of seating, though it has more of a restaurant feel than a bar.
After that we moved on to Barracuda Bar which is near the adult pool. It is small, but we had tons of fun. We met an older couple from Canada, they were a riot! We had a blast with them. My husband drunkenly invited them to our wedding. I’m glad they took it as a joke!!!
Marlin bar is on the beach. Each time we went to the beach we chose chairs directly in front of this bar. The service is great. Waiters walk around the beach and you get your drinks fast.
Manatees bar is a swim up bar at the main pool. This is where our guests spent the most time. We were on first name basis with all the bartenders. They were awesome. One, Miguel, was also the bartender for our wedding. He did a great job.
Desires Lounge became our go-to hang out. We went there every. night. The bartender was names Carlos- man, does he know how to have a good time!!!! He would blast the music and dance!!!! By our third night he knew what our fave drinks were and would make them and bring them to our table while we were dancing.
We came here twice- both times for breakfast. This is the only place I would say the service is so-so. Food is yummy though!!!
Barefoot Grill A
We only ate here when we were on the beach. Very basic dishes like quesadillas, etc. Very good.
Coco Café A
Wow the pastries here are to-die! We stopped in here a couple times for a quick treat and cappuccino.
We never actually ate here, but we looked around on our last day. It’s buffet style which isn’t my favorite. But there’s tons of different food which is probably why it was always packed there!
El Patio A+
I think this was our fave restaurant! We went there 4 times! The lobster & crab quesadilla appetizer was SOOOO amazing! I crave them to this day! There was also an appetizer- can’t remember the name- but it was a hot pot of melted cheese and tortillas. OMG wow so so SO good! We took our guests there the first day they arrived and the waiters got everyone drunk with this weird tequila shot we called the “chloroform shot” because they would put a sombrero and poncho on you, make you take the shot, then hold a napkin over your mouth and shake your head around! Weird right? But we are a fun group so everyone had fun. I didn’t do it though! It seemed to get you pretty tipsy!!! There’s a table for two outside and you can sit there if you buy a bottle of wine. So my husband and I did that one night. It was so romantic!
Every time we went there it was closed! So we never ate there L
Another fave! The night after our wedding was the last night for many of our friends so we had dinner in the wine cellar which was so fun! It was our own private room. We ordered all of the appetizers and shared them family style. I’m a vegetarian so I really liked all of their meatless appetizers! I don’t remember what my entrée was but I ordered this cream soup with truffles. WOW!!!!!! The best thing I’ve ever tasted!!!!!! I would come back for JUST that soup alone! We had a great time there.
Room service A+
Every time we ordered room service- be it for a 3am sandwich and fries or for 10 glasses of champagne on my wedding day, they were prompt, friendly, and courteous. Outstanding!
Mexican Fiesta Night A+
Friday night was the Mexican Fiesta on the beach. This doubled as our “rehearsal dinner” Fatima couldn’t be there for our rehearsal since she had an event going on. But I ran through the basics with the wedding party at the gazebo and it went fine. Most of our wedding party has been in weddings before. So it went quick.
Fatima reserved 2 tables for us. It was great! Tons of food- any Mexican dish you can think of! And they handed you a margarita on the way in. Loved it! Though I wish I hadn’t drank so many- I felt so bloated on my wedding day!!! :P
A balloon guy walked around and made us all funny hats. While he was pushy for tips he did a really good job and had us all cracking up!
We met with Fatima the morning after we arrived. It was a super quick meeting. I was up all night very ill. I’m not sure if it was the air travel, the excitement, the stress, the alcohol… or the combination! But felt terrible!! Thankfully my husband ordered me some pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) for breakfast and just like that I was alive!!
I’m kind of OCD, so I had made excel spreadsheets going over everything from where exactly every décor item would go and outlining everything we had talked about in emails leading up to that day. To say Fatima was thankful is probably an understatement. This woman coordinates hundreds of weddings a year!!! And of course, like every bride, I wanted my day to be beyond perfect. I knew I had to take it into my hands. The notes came in handy because she found me throughout the day and asked me questions about them. I would suggest doing something like this especially if you bring a lot of your own décor. Also outline what you want to be saved for you to keep.
Fatima was on top of everything and did a FANTASTIC job!!! My husband loved her too! He had no part in the wedding planning, but when he saw how amazing everything looked, and how well Fatima pulled it off- he was so grateful! I couldn’t have hand picked a better coordinator!
While I was happy with my hair and makeup (my hair didn’t QUITE turn out how I wanted) I was over all satisfied. I am sad to say I can’t remember the girl’s name. She was nice though! She had some difficulty getting my false eyelashes on. But one they were on, they STAYED! Which was a worry of mine- I’m a crier!
One of my bridesmaids was very unhappy with her hair. In fact she went back to her room and used her flat iron to fix it. Kind of disappointing. But the other girls were happy!
My husband and I also got a couple’s massage. It wasn’t the best massage I’ve had but it was relaxing.
Our photographer was Cristheel AKA Cris. We also met with her a couple days prior to look at some of her work and choose locations and poses we loved. She is very detail oriented and observant. We think she did an amazing job! Plus you can tell she has such a passion for this. It really shows!! She was great and our photos turned out amazing!
We had the Dreams of Love package, but paid and extra $500USD for all the pictures on a DVD. It’s worth it, for sure. That automatically upgraded us so we got the 50 page picture book too. Plus now we have ALL of the photos that were taken of our day!
We used an outside videographer, Diana (fotodiana.com) She was great with communication leading up to our wedding and matched our budget for us. She sent her brother on the day of. They were supposed to bring an assistant, but since I found out the morning of the wedding I didn’t have the extra person on our contract. Then they wouldn’t have gotten to eat? That would have been so sad! Diana completely understood and sent her brother by himself. He did a GREAT job. He did the entire wedding, and had the video ready on the morning of the day we were leaving. It’s about an hour and a half long. I love it so much! If a videographer is in your budget or you’re on the fence, DO IT. He got on tape what the photographer couldn’t capture. Love my wedding video!
We used DJ Staci (DJ Reventon) based off the reviews I had read from a couple other brides on BDW. I liked the survey she had on her site. Music was SUPER important to us. We have been to so many weddings where the dinner music is so bad or the dance music, or vice versa. I didn’t want to risk it using the DJ Dreams provides.
Staci was very nice and down to earth. We spoke on the phone and went over every detail. She also told me she was pregnant (if you try to book her now that’s a reason you may not be able to!) but barely showing and she wore a flowy dress. Overall she did a good job she made sure to come over a couple times during dinner and ask us when we wanted the dance music or speeches to start. The only complaint we had was when we was talking to my sister/maid of honor at the table near ours, she was asking who was set to give speeches and my sister said herself, and pointed out the best man, and my co maid of honor/ husband’s sister who was across the dance floor. My sister said “the one in the purple” which she was the only bridesmaid over there and Staci goes “the bigger girl?” When my husband heard that he got kind of sad. Of course she didn’t mean for us to hear it or get upset. We just thought there was a different way she could have tried to understand who was who. But, she played good music, stuck to the playlist, and all was fine!
Flowers (Wed Ideas F/ Flowers to Go A+)
This turned out to be my biggest headache. Once Dreams quoted me absolutely CRAZY prices for my orchids that I HAD to have, I decided I had to go with artificial- assuming all vendors would charge the same seeing as it was not a local flower. SUPER LONG story short I chose WedIdeas and they did a terrible job. From communication, to customer service, they were horrendous. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. I placed my order 10 months prior and I don’t think they started on my order until the month they were supposed to ship to me. The boutonnieres weren’t even orchids- nothing looked like how it is pictured on their site, and they don’t allow returns- even on my pew decorations that they completely screwed up on. I was able to return “non arranged” flowers, which they “never received”. Such con artists. I have proof they were delivered but I never got a refund. I am sad to say that I spent over $600 with them and only used my bouquet (which was pretty) and the 5 bridesmaid’s bouquets (they were so ugly and sparse!!!!) When I think of all that wasted money I want to throw up! But hey- lesson learned that’s why I’m trying to warn other brides! DO NOT USE WEDIDEAS! IT’S NOT WORTH IT!
I guess you are wondering who did all the flowers I had to replace. My shining beacon of hope, Flowers T Go Vallarta. I got in touch with them only 5 weeks before my wedding to clean up the mess WedIdeas left me with. They totally pulled through! Even my last minute additions! Their prices were awesome too! My ONE regret is wishing I would have listened to my instincts and got rid of WedIdeas from the beginning. I just can’t believe a company that is supposed to cater to brides could take such advantage of them!
Dreams did however do the corsages for my Jr Bridesmaid and our moms. They were purple lilies with a white rose. They were gorgeous!
Our wedding ceremony was held at the gazebo. It was a long walk from the elevators to the gazebo- that we all had to walk! I liked it, but all my bridesmaids were petrified they were going to fall! Lots of people gathered on the beach and side to see the ceremony- which I didn’t even notice. My sister thought it was funny though. The staff did a good job of sectioning off that area during, however one shirtless guy got through somehow. And he’s in the background of one of the pics when I’m walking up the aisle. UGH!
Cocktails/Reception was at Las Palmas Terrace which is right above the gazebo. It’s a small area, but since we only had 22 guests I took advantage of the space we had and chose to have the dance floor in the center of the guest tables and a separate lounge area. I think we sat in the lounge chairs for about 1 minute! But at least they looked pretty!! Plus I rather everyone be up dancing than lounging!
We also had the chocolate fountain which the guests loved. The food was great too! And our bartender would make trays of shots and bring them to the dance floor for everyone! Awesome!
Let me know if you have any questions or anything I can help with!
Overall I am very happy with my choice in Dreams PV. I wouldn’t have changed a thing (other than the flower debacle which was NOT Dreams’ fault!) My wedding day was a dream!!! We are beyond thankful and happy for everything. We can’t wait to return for our anniversary!!!!
We love Dreams!