By mrscollins, · 2,502 Views · 9 Comments
I’m going to focus on the wedding portion of our stay because all of the lovely reviews that you’ve read on TripAdvisor about the resort are all true. It’s truly beautiful, the food is delicious, and the staff are wonderful. This review will be split into three: the good, the bad, and Emy (the terrible). I’m going to start with the worst and go to the best, so please read it all if you do. I write this 6 months after so any animosity and frustration that we once had are gone, but I would hate other brides to go through any of the same things because I didn’t write a review.
Rehearsal Dinner: Originally Tucan area outside, COMPLETELY CANCELED BY STAFF (read in section about Emy)
Ceremony: Originally Tucan Gazebo, moved to Chapel due to rain.
Reception: Nizuc Ballroom
TIPS THAT WE WERE NOT TOLD UPON BOOKING:
-Know that your transfer (cab) from/to the airport is not included in the price for you or your guests. Our planner gave us information for Trafictours (www.trafictours.com) and they were fantastic.
-If you are planning to upgrade your room with the group package so that you end up with the Conceirge room, know that it does not include the couple’s massage that the Concierge room comes with. No one ever expressed that to us even though that was the only difference in rooms.
Emy (our Wedding Coordinator at the resort): AWFUL. If they assign you her, PLEASE request someone else. Before even arriving at the resort, I had to BEG her for an appointment to meet and give her decorations/ etc. Here is what happened with our rehearsal dinner and wedding day due to her:
The morning of the rehearsal dinner, I got a call from Emy telling me that she wanted to move the event inside because of the possibility of rain that night. My husband and I decided that we still wanted to give it a shot outside, and she told us that in making that decision the private event would be cancelled if it did rain (which we completely understood). Thirty minutes before the rehearsal was supposed to start, I received a call from Emy's assistant saying that they were canceling the event because it “looked like it was going to rain.” I understood and asked her to please make a reservation at any restaurant in the Nizuc section as a substitute, something I know has been done for other weddings. She refused, because "they can only make reservations for up to 30 people." We had 36 people. She said that there was nothing that she could do and that we were on our own. No one in the entire wedding department made ANY effort to help us in any way and my husband and I were left scrambling the night before our wedding. It was also strange that Emy had assured us that she would attend our rehearsal, yet she was nowhere to be found (and hadn’t even bothered to call us herself to let us know the rehearsal had been canceled). The ONLY reason she ended up stopping by was because our officiant, who is the head of security with The Four Seasons resorts, got on the phone with her and told her that it was absolutely unacceptable that she was leaving a bride and groom without any help the day before their wedding. For the record, it never rained that night.
The day of the wedding, I never heard anything from Emy or from her assistant leading up to our ceremony. I am still baffled by this. Due to the weather conditions, our ceremony was switched from the Tucan Gazebo to the Catholic chapel. Emy never bothered to tell me. The only reason I found out is that our photographers (one was with the guests/groom and one with me) had walkie-talkies and communicated the change of location to me. Emy never reached out to me about it. I didn’t even see her assistant until literally MINUTES before walking down the aisle. I didn't see Emy until after the ceremony. (Our room by the way was about 50 yards from the chapel. It would have taken the most MINIMAL amount of effort to communicate these things to me in any way).
At the reception, Emy left within minutes of us arriving. Then, we were told they ran out of food- surprising since they knew exactly how many people you were providing food for. My mother had to beg them to bring more. Somehow between the time we had given Emy our cake toppers and our reception, they were destroyed. They looked fine shoved all the way into the cake and then the staff tried to throw them away afterward, as well as my bouquet, both of which I told Emy I wanted returned to me the following day. I still can’t figure out why she wasn’t there to take care of any problems that arose, isn’t that the entire point of a coordinator?
The day after the wedding, the things that Emy said she would bring to us (our suitcase, my bouquet, our iPods, our cake toppers, and a cork from the champagne) were nowhere to be seen and we could not reach her. The day after that, we called a few times and finally in the late afternoon were able to get in touch with her. When I asked when our belongings would be brought back to our room, she told me that she had more important weddings going on (literally) and that she wouldn't bring them. I reminded her that she was already a day late on returning everything and was ultimately able to convince her to have her assistant leave our belongings at the front desk in Nizuc where we were staying. We received a plastic bag containing a soaking wet bouquet, “a” champagne cork and our ipods with chargers. The bouquet was smashed and brown and our iPods were destroyed from all the water they were left soaking in.
Needless to say, our experience with the weddings department from the moment we arrived was absolutely horrible. I couldn't have been more disappointed. We could not believe the lack of professionalism and the lack of interest/ care about our wedding day from Emy. So, again, if you get her, please request someone else. I had read so many great reviews about how the coordinators go above and beyond that I was absolutely shocked with her.
1) The DJ service provided by JSAV. We paid for a “DJ”, a dance floor, uplighting around the room, music setup for our ipod, a microphone, and two light trees. The light trees were never present. We were told that we should hire the DJ as someone to make introductions and keep everything running smoothly so we paid extra for him. Veronica from JSAV was not at our appointment with our Coordinator on site so we had to set up a separate appointment. We assumed that our DJ would be in attendance but he was not. She assured us that the form that we filled out would be followed exactly by him. We brought an ipod and the form said the names of each person for entrances and what song should be played. Everything was listed VERY clearly both on the form (which we typed just for clarity) as well listed exactly the same as on the ipod. We also brought a backup ipod and CD with all of the music just in case he had any issues. Right from the beginning, he got the songs wrong for the entrances and my maid of honor had to run up and fix it (thus entering twice) so that my husband and I would at least enter to the correct song. He introduced us not as “Mr & Mrs. Collins” but simply said “Now, Collins” with literally the least amount of enthusiam one could muster. All of our music was then listed on the ipod for Cocktail hour/ Dinner/ Father Daughter Dance/ Dancing and somehow he managed to not get any of it right or in the correct order that we had so carefully planned and listed for him. He ended up playing three songs multiple times and you could hear the ipod ‘clicking’ through the songs. My husband spent almost the entire night up there telling him what to do. The worst part of all of this, though, was that we had paid for the service of having him there and the entire time he was leaning back in his chair with his feet up ON THE TABLE. We contacted JSAV about the issue and didn’t hear back until we also contacted Moon Palace. JSAV never gave us a solution, but Moon Palace graciously took care of it for us. STAY AWAY FROM THEM.
2) My hair and makeup. First, know that if you’re not staying at Sunrise, I was told that they only have hair and makeup people there. It was a bit frustrating to have to travel back and forth and make appointments so early just to make sure we had enough time. She did my hair first and while it didn’t turn out anything like the photo, it was very pretty. My makeup, however, was disastrous. She did it turned away from the mirror and said at one point, “your eyes are red” and I thought ‘how strange’ until she turned me around and I saw that she had done the base of my eyeshadow in red and the top in yellow. I’m extremely fair skinned with blonde hair so those colors could not have looked any worse on a person, and I had brought several example photos to show her. I had also brought fake eyelashes with me and she literally glued my real top lashes to my bottom ones. She had to pick them apart with a tiny wooden stick. Watching my bridesmaids go through the same thing, I said it was time to go so that we could at least get back to the room and salvage what we could. So, we all ended up doing our own hair/ makeup the day of.
THE GOOD (FINALLY!):
1) Abril (booking coordinator with Moon Palace): She was responsive, sweet, and great to work with. & Brenda (before the resort coordinator): Absolutely fantastic. I wish she had been on site because she was the best person that we worked with at the resort.
2) USE CARLOS GALLARDO FOR YOUR VIDEOGRAPHY! He is not only one of the best wedding videographers that I’ve seen (and I’m in the business), he is also a wonderful human being and his pricing is fantastic. http://gallardofilms.com/blog/. We paid the day guest fee to get him and his second videographer into the resort.
3) Our photographer, Natalie from Reminisce Photography. She’s a destination wedding photographer based out of NYC and her work is absolutely STUNNING. Even though our day poured rain, all of our photos truly capture our relationship and how much fun everyone had.
http://reminisce-photos.com/. We got her a room so we did not have to pay the day fee.
4) Marvin with Maya Floral. He was very quick to respond and was right on time to deliver our flowers. He even helped me when we switched our entire color scheme to choose new flowers and combined two of his examples into one for our bridesmaid’s bouquets. They were absolutely beautiful. http://www.mayafloral.com/
5) The confetti canon. We didn’t tell any of our guests about it and it was an amazing entrance! We only needed one and one shot to get the effect and great pictures!
A WRAP UP:
Moon Palace is a beautiful resort, and all of our guests had a wonderful time. Though we had to fight for several months for it, Moon Palace did in the end come back and help to compensate us for all of our frustrations. That won’t ever fix the fact that our wedding day was pretty disastrous, but there is nothing that we can do to change that. I would highly recommend using Moon Palace as your venue for a destination wedding, but hiring outside vendors for everything else that you need. I am so glad that we spent the extra money on photos and video so that I have something to cherish and can remember the good moments from the day instead of the bad that stick in your brain when you’ve gone through what we went through. And, if you’ve already booked vendors inside of Moon Palace, my best advice is to take a deep breath and let everything go. Even with the pouring rain and all of the disasters, we got an entire week with our families to adventure with, reminisce, and celebrate our union as man and wife. I hope that this helps just one of you out there and I wish you all beautiful and wonderful wedding days of your own!