By missqueens, · 1,846 Views · 1 Comment
I got married at the Moon Dance Cliffs on October 20, 2012 and It was ABSOLUTELY the best! The staff at Moon Dance all go out of their way to ensure that your every need is met and that you and your guests will pleased. While I was planning, I think I searched for every review and photo of the venue that I could find. So, I apologize for the length of this review, but I'm trying to be as specific as possible (with pictures!)
Some background: We were originally planning a wedding in NYC and had picked out our dream location (a Manhattan loft). However, as the planning went on, it became more and more clear that the Loft wedding of my dreams would be financially out of reach. Luckily, I DID have the good sense to hire a NY wedding planner (Michelle Flores of Flore Events). When my Fiancee and I decided to switch to a destination wedding, Michelle helped made the transition quite easy.
I first heard of the Moon Dance when a friend of my (now) Husband got married there in 2011. The photos were absolutely gorgeous, so I started to do some research. Michelle and I read Everything we could find about the resort and contacted their Chicago office for rates. Luckily, at the time that we booked, and set an October, 2012 date.
When planning a DW, one of the hardest parts is dealing with your guests' travel accommodations. I will be forever indebted to Michelle who is ALSO a travel agent. She handled the guests' details including rooms, flights, transfers, etc. Working closely with Kim of MoonDance, all of our guests travel needs were met.
As Soon as I booked, I began to contact Kerry,Moon Dance''s wedding planner. She could NOT have been nicer and easier to work with. I only communicated with her through email for 10 months, yet I came to trust her judgment completely. She was very quick about answering my questions, making suggestions and keeping me on track. During the planning, I worked mostly with Michelle and Kerry to create a wedding weekend of events.
Wedding Coordinator/Travel Agent: Flore Events
Flowers: Floral Fantasy
Cake: Cakes by Noika
DJ: DJ Kavan Stuart
Photography: Brian Nejedley
Moon Dance upgrades the Bride and Groom to its One Bedroom Poinciana Villa. It is GORGEOUS and sits rights by the water. Clyde was our butler and he was WONDERFUL! He was courteous and helpful and so very nice! He also makes the BEST rum punch at the resort and made Gallons of it for us!
The villa contains a TRULY fully stocked bar, so our room became the party spot each night!
The colors of our wedding were Black and White with a Touch of Red. The look we were going for was simple and elegant. I wanted more candles than flowers. I also wanted the flowers to be red with a sprinkling of petals. We brought our own damask table runners,pomanders,
red charger plates and napkin rings. Rose Williams of Floral Fantasy was a joy to work with. I had a general idea of what I wanted and had a budget in mind. She immediately understood my vision and came back with great ideas.
I found vendor reviews on BDW for cakes and started to look at Cakes by Noida.Once I found her on Facebook, I was VERY impressed by her portfolio. The prices were also reasonable. The hardest decision was which cake to choose. We chose a chocolate layer and a vanilla layer and they were absolutely delicious! ( I purchased plain monogram letters for the cake topper and "blinged" them out with crystals)
Our guests are STILL raving about the food at the Moon Dance. I've read a few reviews that said that the service is slow and the choices are limited. I didn't find that to be the case at ALL. We never had to wait very long for food or service and the menu options are All fabulous!
For the reception, three choices are included in the buffet option. We upgraded to 4 choices so that we could have the Surf and Turf (lobster and steak). This counts as two choices. We also had the Escovitched Snapper and the Oxtail. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT food. During the reception, I told my husband that I think the snapper was the best piece of fish that I'd ever eaten in my life! The presentation was Gorgeous and everyone left satisfied.
The cocktail hour food was Also Great and Beautifully presented.
We did consider getting the Fire Dancer, but decided against it. We did hire the steel drum bank offered through Moon Dance. They were absolutely awesome for the cocktail hour! Our guests were surprised and found it to add just the perfect Island vibe.
At the reception, DJ Kavan was really good. Unfortunately, we hadn't had much opportunity to talk to him prior to the reception, but, he knew Exactly what to do to make the party fun!
I CANNOT Say ENOUGH about Brian! He was Beyond Wonderful. I perused his website (www.briandesign.com) and immediately loved his work. He was very easy to work with and was a JOY all day. Once I saw our photos, I was Amazed! He was never in the way nor was he intrusive. Yet, his photographs made it clear that he was Everywhere!! I've added a few here to demonstrate how Fabulous Brian is!
The ONLY Wedding drama:
On the day of the wedding, the sky was crystal clear. The ceremony was Flawless and went by with great weather. However, as we were taking photos during the cocktail hour, a Menacing cloud quickly approached. The reception was set up at Annie's restaurant right by the cliffs. However, by the time we got ready to do our entrance, the lightening and thunder were Constant. After a Brief consultation between Michelle and Kerry, it was decided that Everything would be moved BEFORE the rain came.
As my new husband and I had some quiet time and drinks in the Sports Bar, they moved everything to the open air lobby. Once we entered, you would NEVER have known it was a lobby. It truly became a beautiful reception venue and we danced the night away! The entire transition took (maybe) 15 minutes. My guests, who were just happy NOT to get caught in the rain, had a few more drinks and chilled out. Here are pics of the Annie's set up, then the Lobby set up:
We had a personalized Goodie bag delivered to each guest. It had our wedding itinerary in the form of a mini travel magazine. The mag also had our welcome letter, a personalized crossword puzzle, information about Negril and info on the wedding party. The Bag also had Lots of SNACKS (cookies, chips, candy, nuts, etc.) We find that as good as an all inclusive option is, you will still want a few snacks! These were a big hit with our guests.
Our Final extra was to end the night with a Chinese lantern ceremony. Each guest wrote a wish or said a prayer for Us, then launched the lanterns into the sky! The pics of this didn't show how Gorgeous it was. It was a GREAT ending to a Beautiful day.
So, That's My review. My guests, my Husband and I had the most fabulous wedding weekend! We laughed, we relaxed, we had a great time. BTW, I left the parasol below with the hotel because I thought the next bride may be able to use it. (Just ask Kerry). If you have ANY doubts about Moon Dance, get rid of them! It is a Perfect venue for a destination wedding!