By KerriCornell, · 1,172 Views · 0 Comments
Kerri & Nathan Brewster
Now Jade May 16th 2012
Eternity Wedding Package
We actually started to plan this wedding at the beginning of January and decided we wanted to get married sometime around April-May-June (which was only a few months away). I had owned my own travel business at one point and was very familiar with all inclusives. Originally we wanted Jamaica but the prices of flights and resorts were just too much to ask our family and friends to pay. (However, if you ever get the chance.... visit Sandals Antigua or Sandals Negril. Both are amazing resorts). I really liked the AMResorts (Zoetry, Secrets, Dreams, Now) in Mexico and decided we would look into that chain for our wedding. Since we were looking to book a date during prime wedding season, everything was full and fairly expensive.... and it was hard to get a response from anyone at the resorts. Pilar at Now Jade was one of the first to respond to me and had a few dates in May I could chose from. The prices were fair for our guests and so we booked! We had a total of 17 guests coming from Phoenix, Pittsburg, Philly, San Diego, Kentucky and Baltimore. All got similar prices and most used BookIt.com for their rooms.
Nathan and I arrived Friday afternoon, May 11th. We used Dream Days transportation and got our on private SUV. Totally worth it and our driver was friendly and fun! As soon as we got to the resort we were upgraded to the Preferred Ocean View Room which almost all brides are upgraded to if you go with the Devine or Eternity Package. The room was an excellent size and I loved the seperate living room/bedroom area as well as the large shower. There was also a jacuzzi on our balcony which we used quite a bit!
view from our room:
Saturday morning we ate at the buffet and checked out the gym. The gym was a disapointment as there were hardly any free weights and very crowded. We opted to go for a run along the beach instead which we ended up doing every morning. We had our pre-wedding meeting with Pilar at 11am so we rushed back to the room to finish our "arts and crafts" as we had some things to put together and take down to Pilar.
Nathan making poms for the wedding:
We brought all of our wedding "stuff" with us which included small lanterns for the table, coasters, napkins, poms, chair sashes, fans with personalized ribbons, candy jars with jellybeans in our wedding colors, and rose petals. Pilar went over our entire contract with us. We had the Eternity wedding package and upgraded to brown tiffany chairs as well as added a videographer. We decided to use the resort photographer for a Trash The Dress session since we hired Sascha Gluck for the wedding. We got to chose flowers and the florist came in to show some examples which was nice. It was a faily quick meeting and thats pretty much the last we spoke to Pilar till after the wedding.
Our guests arrived Monday May 14th and we all seemed to find each other around the pool area. We did set up a welcome dinner at Spice, the Asian Restuarant which was very good. They had to split us up into two tables since there were 19 of us total. You could get a reservation for 10 for free but every person there after was a charge of $20 per person (I think). It was well worth it as the wait for tables can be long at Now Jade and we had excellent service and everyone seemed pleased with their meals.
Half of our group at the Welcome Dinner:
Ceremony: Pergola @ 3:30pm
Cocktail Hour: The Mix Bar 4-6pm
Dinner: Tamarindo 7-9pm
We woke up that morning as usual and went for a run on the beach (great stress reliever) and then met everyone for breakfast at the buffet and then the group headed down to the beach. Hair/Makeup was at noon for myself and my maid of honor. Two other friends got spa treatments around the same time so we could all hang out together. During our time at the spa, my photographer Sascha Gluck came to greet me and let me know he was there and getting ready. He wasnt scheduled until 3pm so I was surprised to see him so early. These eased my fears as I had no clue how I would get a hold of him if he wasn't on time (more on Sascha later). My hair turned out very well...especially since I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted when I got there. The makeup was heavy but needed for the pictures. My maid of honor hated her makeup and redid it back in the room. Our appointments were at noon and I did not get back to my room till after 2:30! (Note to brides: make sure you schedule your appointments earlier than you think you need!)
I got back to my room and called everyone to let them know I was back and to head over for pictures. Sascha Gluck showed up shortly after and we continued getting ready. There was no instruction for Pilar or anyone at the wedding office on what was supposed to happen. I think this was the only frustrating part of the day. Little did we know the guys we walking around taking pictures (and shots) at every bar with the photographer's assistant and then all guests were meeting up at the lobby bar. Everyone in my room just sat around clueless until we got a phone call from Deisy (the new wedding coordinator) at 3:25pm to start making our way down.
My dress was a knock off from China (www.tbdress.com) and only $250. It was absolutely perfect and I am so glad I didn't waste money on an expensive dress to wear for just one day. My short reception dress was also from the same company in China.
The flowers were not exactly the color I wanted but they were good quality.
Our setup for the Pergola:
I was very particular about the ceremony as we are both Christians and wanted to write our own ceremony script. It was about 20 minutes long and included the hand blessing, prayers, a sand ceremony, and we wrote our own vows. The wedding officiant was difficult to understand and had a hard time reading the script. If this is a very important part to you, I would suggest finding your own officiant or asking a friend or family member to do it. I wish we had. (We got legally married 2 days before coming to Mexico as most brides on here seem to do).
...And just like that it was over!
All of our guests gathered around The Mix Bar (right next to the Pegola) for our cocktail reception. We stayed for about 30 minutes to do the toast and mingle with guest before heading down to the beach for photos. We had a ton of food which no one seemed to eat. However, our favorite bartender of the week, Darius happened to be working for our wedding. He is a gem and if you can get him, you won't be disapointed!!!!
Look for Darius!
Sascha Gluck: A+++++
He was by far the best investment made for our wedding. Sascha was extremely easy to work with and very friendly. He brought us down to the beach to do some pictures with family and friends. He then walked us over to the pier (passed the preferred side) to take some amazing shots. I only have one photo from him so far but once I get them all back I will post another review just on him. Here is our teaser photo:
A few more on the beach taken by friends:
Dinner at Tamarindo:
We decided not to do a reception dinner as we only had 17 guests attend. I asked Pilar if we could just make a reservation at one of the restaurants for our group. We ended up being VERY pleased with this decision. She sent me menus from a few of the restaurants and I had to pick the menu. We ended up with Tamarindo because of the fish option I wanted. It was a great choice as the restaurant happened to be closed that night and we had the whole place to ourselves (without actually having to book a private dinner). Pilar and her team went above and beyond using our decorations and favors. They even set up the sound system and plugged in my iPod and we did some dancing after dinner. We had a great time!
Trash The Dress:
The very next morning we had our TTD session with the resort photographers, AdventurePhotos. We had arranged before hand to be taken to an abandoned house on the Secrets Maroma property and they agreed. Anthony from AdventurePhotos was such a professional and arranged to drive us out there (approx 30min south of Now Jade). Although they were not as fun to work with as Sascha Gluck, they did get some amazing shots (but I think the location had everything to do with it). We did about 45 minutes inside the abandoned property and then went outside on the beach for a few more action water shots. We won't get the book of 25 photos back for another month or so, but I will share when we do. They looked amazing from the computer images we saw.
On Friday morning we took our remaining guests out to Puerto Morelos (the tiny little town in walking distance to Now Jade). We negotiated our own private snorkeling tour and then walked around town and ate the best fish tacos of our trip! I highly recommend walking, biking or taking a taxi into town. It was fun and a nice change of scenery.
Nathan and I left our friends and family Friday afternoon and headed up to Cancun for our honeymoon at Le Blanc Spa Resort. It was nice to change the scene for the honeymoon and if you can swing it, I recommend going to another resort for a few days.
In the end, Now Jade was a great place to host our wedding and all of our friends and family had a great time. The food was good at most places (we loved Spice and Tamarindo, the French restaurant was good but nothing spectacular. Most agreed the Italian was bad). The buffet was perfect for breakfast and room service was great for those late nights! Scores, the sports bar/club was a lot of fun but usually pretty dead on most nights, The Mix bar was tons of fun. Ask Darius to make you "happiness injections". Pilar and her team were outstanding. They work long hours and handle tons of weddings a week so be patient with coorespondence. Really, you could plan the entire thing once you got down there. There is no reason to stress months before a wedding! We planned the whole thing in 3 months and even that seemed like a long time. Most of all, try to sit back and enjoy the big day. It goes by in the blink of an eye!!!! I wish I could do it all over again :)