By dyerseve19, · 956 Views · 1 Comment
Guests attending: 22
Budget: $15,000, Spent: $16,700
Pre Wedding Planning: A
Francisco Roman was our assigned wedding planner, and he did a fantastic job. He helped us arrange for a small wedding group rate that didn’t require a contract, as well as planning every last detail of our event. One thing to note about all of the vendors in this area, communication back and forth by email is much slower than we are used to in the US. The JW was no exception, but you shouldn’t worry. Once the wedding drew closer, emails were much more frequent and Frank had all of the details well in hand.
The flight, arrival, and customs went pretty smooth even though we packed our favors in a box and checked as luggage. We bought a moving box from the office supply store and packed all of our welcome bags and some of our wedding decorations. We then wrapped the box and created a handle with shipping wrap. We were a little concerned customs would have an issue with it, but it was a great option for shipping our favors and welcome bags. We decided to rent a car at Hertz and we had Gold member reservation already set up. The rental pick up was a nightmare, while it takes only a few minutes in the US, plan on at least an hour from the time you arrive at Hertz in Cancun until you get your vehicle. Also note that if you forgo the comprehensive insurance, you’ll have to agree to a $2000-3000 USD hold on your credit card for the rental. Pick up and drop off is horribly inefficient.
Check-in Process: A-
Initial check in was a breeze at the JW. While my fiance went to park the car (free self parking is included), I checked us in. There were no issues with the reservation, though they did not have us listed as a wedding couple in the reservation. Also, we were supposed to have gotten an upgraded room as per our wedding package, but this did not happen either. It’s possible there was no availability as it was spring break. All, in all it was a very easy process.
Menu Tasting: A
Many couples visit their chosen locations ahead of time for scouting and menu tasting. We were unable to do that, so we opted to have our menu tasting just after arriving to the resort. Even though it would have been too late to change anything, we wanted to see what were were going to be getting. The chef and pastry chef came out and explained all of our selections in exquisite detail. The taste was superb and the hotel serving staff put us at ease that all would go fantastically. During the tasting we met up with Frank, our wedding coordinator to go over last minute details. He had all of our emails and was more than prepared for our event.
Pre-Wedding Dinner: B-
My mother in law wanted to host a pre wedding dinner, so we selected Gustino. While the decor is elegant and the menu is sophisticated Italian, the food was bland and the service even blander. We had a party of 11, and the restaurant was mostly empty. Our servers seemed uninterested in the service and when the food came out it was pretty boring. Nothing really wrong with it, just boring and nothing special.
The beach was very nice and fairly well maintained. The sand is a coarser grain, but the hotel did a good job of keeping the area clean. There were lots of beach loungers and umbrellas and there always seemed to be empty ones to choose from.
Hair/Make-up: A+ I had my hair and make up trial at the salon at the JW, a few days before with Margarita. She was a miracle worker! I’m so glad I decided to get the trial done at the salon instead of in the US. I brought her a picture of a hairstyle I liked and she created a masterpiece adding her own special touches. She started working on my hair and makeup at about 2pm and was just about finished with all at 4:15. She even worked with the florist on flowers for my hair and finding a vase for my bouquet. Once I was done, I went to my room with my mom and she helped me into my dress and jewelry.
My mom, mother in law, sister in law and niece all had their hair and makeup done by the staff of the hotel, and they were all beautiful.
Ceremony (5:30pm Beach): A
The ceremony set up was spectacular. The hotel staff made sure that all of our props (sand ceremony, vow cards etc) were beautifully arranged and the chairs were perfectly placed. We had an officiant that was fine but could have been better. We wrote out our ceremony completely so we had exactly what we wanted said.
Cocktail Party (6 pm Beach): A
Although we missed the party, our guests could not stop raving the bartender, hors d’eurves and mexican trio that we’d contracted through the hotel. We were having our pictures taken during this time.
Reception (7 pm Beach): A+
The reception set-up was gorgeous! We chose a seated dinner with three different meal options (Fish, Beef and Chicken) and it was the amazing. Everyone was raving about it even days after the wedding. We had our dance first, followed by speeches, then cutting the cake, and then dinner and dancing! Everything was great! The cake was the best wedding cake we’d ever tasted. If you do have your dancing on the beach, get a small wooden dance floor. This was a last minute addition and well worth it. Dancing in the sand would have been impossible.
Photographer: A+ We chose Juan Navarro from Juan Photos and he was fantastic to work with. We’ve just received our proofs and they are beautiful. We also did a post wedding honeymoon shoot with him instead of trash the dress and the photos were awesome. He’s super creative and his assistant Arturo was great to work with as well. We’ll see what the photo book looks like when we get it but I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.
DJ: A+ We chose DJ Mannia and they were fantastic to work with as well. They sent us a list ahead of time to go over our music likes and dislikes, along with specific songs we wanted played or not played. They followed our specs to a tee. The DJ was very chill, which is what we wanted and his English was perfect. They had a couple of cold fireworks that they lit, and it was a really nice touch.
Florist: A+ JW had us work with Blossom Wedding and Events and they were spectacular. Laura and her team really understood our style and what effect we wanted to accomplish. They did the bouquet/boutonniere, the floral arch, petal runner, cake flowers and reception centerpieces. We were able to work with her on our budget and she guided us on flowers that were a good balance of exotic and less costly ones. All in all, she made the wedding decor spectacular