By shannonmarie, · 1,419 Views · 10 Comments
Wedding Date: June 14, 2013
Ceremony - Pergola
Cocktail Hour – Mix Bar
Reception – Castaways
Guest Count including bride and groom 62
Our wedding was amazing. It was everything I dreamed of! It totally exceeded my expectations!
The resort was beautiful, just like you see in pictures. Everything was gorgeous, everything was kept clean. I had to stop reading Trip Advisor the closer we got to leaving and I’m happy we did. Some people you just cannot please, I think most of the people are just crazy because I looked for some problems they complained about and could not find anything!
We booked Jr. Suite Tropical View and were upgraded to building 8 ocean view on the Preferred Side. Our room was very nice. But honestly I am not sure if paying to upgrade to the preferred side is worth the extra cost. My parents and a few of our other guest upgraded at $50 a night and were pretty disappointed. The regular rooms were just as nice as preferred side. Only difference being the bathroom was a tiny bit different. The preferred side had hot tubs on the balcony that are pretty dirty and most of the time the water was yellow so we never used it. The personalized check-in and check-out and access to the preferred lounge was a nice perk, but to me not worth the extra money. The upgraded mini-bar was a joke! You only get 2 mini bottles on your first day and that’s it! I suppose you could call to order more, but again, it’s just not worth it. The wi-fi was spotty in the rooms and you could only use one device at one time, wi-fi codes expired every 2 days so you had to go down and renew the code once it expired. The wi-fi in the lounge was very slow. Access to Mercure for breakfast was a nice change from the buffet, but again, not worth the extra cost. This is just my opinion, and most of our guest who paid to upgrade weren’t too impressed with the extra ‘perks’. Maybe for a little bit cheaper, but def not $50-$70 per day.
We arrived on Wednesday for our Friday symbolic ceremony. We took care of the ‘paperwork’ a few days before leaving for Cancun. We had our meeting with Deisy on Thursday. It was only about 30 minutes. I am a pretty simple person and we didn’t have many details to go over. I probably only corresponded with Pilar and Deisy maybe 4 times throughout this whole process. As every bride says, don’t worry!! Don’t email them with tons of questions when you are so far out from your wedding, they are SOOOO busy and they will take care of you when it’s your time.
As for décor, we brought chair sashes, table runners, escort cards, escort card sign, guest book, programs, fans, bubbles, table numbers, cake topper and menus. We also brought an ipod for the ceremony music (All of the ceremony music was played exactly as we requested it according to my husband (eeeek! it's so weird to say that!) I don't even remember the music! Only the recessional song. Along with the ipod, we gave a list of when to play each song. We had 4 songs while guest waited, 1 song for parents seated, and maid of honor/best man and then my song :) and a recessional.
We were having our reception in Castaways with 8 round tables and 1 sweetheart table. The only instructions we gave was make it look nice J and to have round tables 1, 2, 3 closest to the sweetheart table. And they delivered! J We used the resort photography. We had the divine package and added on extra photography for $850 (full coverage, which included, pre-ceremony, ceremony, post-ceremony and reception. If I could chose again, I would have just had her there for the first dances. We have so many candid shots from our guest that it wasn't really needed and we had way to many photos to chose from! We had Veronica and she came to the guys’ room about 4:15 and to my room around 4:30. I really like our photos even though they had such negative reviews on here. We decided to just use them and we are happy we did! We also had the included videography but we haven't received that yet. She did a great job. My sister and I did have our hair and make up done at the resort. Maria did mine, I loved my hair and make up, my sister also did but I can't remember who did hers. Everyone met at the lobby bar at 4:30 and I Deisy or Pilar came and got everyone (I’m not sure what time) and took everyone to the Pergola. Pilar came and got me, my parents and my sister (maid of honor) from my room around 5:05 and took us down to the ceremony. It was sooo exciting! Everything was just perfect!!! I got my bouquet and my sisters from the resort and also used the resort for reception centerpieces. The centerpieces were $65 each but worth it to us for the convenience. We did not want to bring a lot of luggage down with us. I thought the flowers were perfect. We used DJ Dorremix and they were great! They really kept the party going! We extended the reception an hour and that was $15 per person. I recommend this. A lot of people think it’s not worth it as you can just move the party to the disco, but I think when everyone moves locations, it kinda breaks up the vibes and it just isn’t the same. Most of you have heard my complaints about Castaways in the Jade thread and I honestly didn't mean to scare anyone! The reception was still awesome! It was just insanely hot! Keep in mind that our wedding was in June, so I'm not sure how it would be other months. Also, if you have a larger group, I wouldn't recommend it as your guest will be split up. We had 8 round tables, 4 on one side, dance floor in between and 4 on the other side. There are half walls that are separating these areas so it seems like the tables are isolated from one another. If you cannot all fit on one side, I would recommend another location. Besides the heat and table set up, Castaways is not a bad location.
Our dinner choices were as follows:
Salad: Mixed lettuce & spinach salad w/sweet spicy vinaigrette
Soup: Lobster Bisque
Entrée: Beef Fillet and Shrimp or Mahi Mahi and Scallops
Dessert: We opted out of the dessert option since we were having wedding cake and got 2 extra apps for cocktail hour
I provided them a list of how many of each entrée at each table and had it listed on everyone’s escort card. (a little pic of a cow or a fish J)
The food was delicious!
Since we had 62 people, we add 20 extra apps for cocktail hour (I think this was plenty but I am not sure since were weren’t there for most of it but folks said they kept bringing food out).
Everyone is always curious about price. Our total cost of the wedding (only including what was paid at the resort, this does not include travel, rings, attire, or anything else) was about $9,500. It does include Divine Package, extra meals, extended reception, extra apps for cocktail hour, centerpieces, set-up fee, DJ, photography, etc. The bulk of the budget came from having so many guest (and the extend reception, but worth it!) I'm honored that so many people came but it was just hard to grasp the extra cost! I would choose a DW at Now Jade again in a heartbeat! I believe DW's can cost more than some people think, but in the end, it's still cheaper than a local wedding!
I think that’s it.
Feel free to ask me any questions as I found out most of my information while planning by asking past brides on here as well. This website was a lifesaver during my planning! I may not be on here much so if I don’t respond, just send me and email… Shannon1@carolina.rr.com
Here are some pics:
**Sorry for all the pics!! I went a little picture crazy!**