By meaghenr, · 2,292 Views · 10 Comments
Hello future Now Jade brides. Sorry in advance for the novel I am about to write. lol. I figured I should include as much information as I could think of, to help future/potential Now Jade brides. This website was an absolute godsend. I seriously don't know how people had destination weddings before this site.
We chose Now Jade based on the reviews on this website. It was not an easy decision given all of the options out there, but we are so happy we chose Now Jade for our January 29, 2015 wedding. We had 55 guests, and they all gave rave reviews of the resort.
Check-in/Rooms: My aunt was the first to arrive, and quickly confirmed for us with the concierge that we were getting upgraded to the preferred side. We arrived pretty late on Friday, January 23 (after midnight), so we weren't checked in at the preferred lounge, but that was ok. The check in process was very quick, and we were greeted with refreshments. A bottle of champagne was waiting for us in our room. We had a room overlooking the main garden with a view of the ocean and a hot tub outside on our patio. Some of our guests asked us if they should switch/upgrade their tropical view rooms to ocean view rooms and we told them not to. Our guests rarely spent anytime in their rooms and they were glad they didn't switch. For us, being on the preferred side was wonderful. We had some privacy from the rest of our group, as there were only a few other family members on the preferred side. The preferred lounge is closest to the adult pool, where we spent each day as we had no children in our wedding party/group. It was great to be able to pop into the p-lounge to grab some early morning cappuccino's for our group. At night, it was great to be able to pop in for their top shelf liquor.
On-site wedding meeting: We had our meeting with Ariadna the first full day we were there. She reviewed our wedding form, line by line, to ensure that everything was correct. One thing I will note is that an attempt was made to charge us $150 per person for our hair stylists. Luckily, I had print-outs of all my wedding emails and was able to show her that I was already told the cost was $65 per person. It seems like the resort continues to change/update pricing, so futures brides, bring all of your quotes/emails with you so they will honour their stated pricing. Other than this one issue, Ariadna was fabulous while we were down there.
Day tours/trips: Some of our guests (and us) went on the half day Tulum tour. Given that we spent 8 days at Now Jade, it was nice to go off site. Some of our guests also either walked or took a $10 cab ride to Puerto Moreles - they said they enjoyed visiting the little fishing town.
Food: the options are Now Jade are incredible. I did not eat at the buffet for dinner once. The steak at the French restaurant (Mercure) and at the Mediterranean restaurant (Cin Cin) was so delicious. We also went to Capers (Italian) twice and to Spice (Japanese). Our guests told us that this was the best selection as far as resort restaurants that they have experienced. The resort also offers room service - which we used a few times. The delivery ranged from 20 to 40 minutes for us, although one guest told us their wait time was upwards of an hour and a half. I guess it depends on what time you order.
Rehearsal: we had our rehearsal dinner for 25 people at Capers the night before the wedding. We did an actual rehearsal/walk-thru with our wedding coordinator, Ariadna. If you are considering doing a rehearsal dinner that is not private, you should note that the dinner is amongst other resort guests. My husband (!) and I were planning on doing speeches at the rehearsal dinner and had to cut them short because the restaurant was so loud and we felt bad yelling our speeches with the other resort guests present. If I had known that was going to happen, I would have asked about the other options (other than Capers). I'm not sure if having the dinner at another location would have changed this at all.
Resort Spa: the Divine wedding package came with bridal hair and makeup. I decided to hire MVP Hair and Makeup for the actual wedding, so I chose to use the package hair and makeup for the rehearsal dinner. I will say that there was a marked difference between my services from the resort and my services with MVP. The lady at the resort was so sweet, so I feel bad posting this, but the makeup was not good - I had to take the eye makeup off. I was very glad I chose MVP to do my hair/makeup for the wedding.
MVP Hair and Makeup: hair and makeup was unbelievable! I did not pay the extra $$ to have Melissa perform my services. She sent two stylists for my hair and makeup trial, and they exceeded expectations. The one comment I will make is that they didn't really speak English. Luckily I had a Spanish speaking friend at the wedding, otherwise, I am not sure that they would have been able to understand what I wanted. Unless you have photo of EXACTLY what you want or a Spanish speaking guest, then I'd either pay the extra money to have Melissa come, or have her ensure that she will send English speaking stylists.
Wedding Day: my mom and my aunt surprised me by renting the Governor's Suite for the day of/night of the wedding. It was massive and was a great place to get ready with my bridesmaids/mother/aunt, etc. We ordered lunch up to the room about 2 hours early to make sure it arrived for 12:30 (our ceremony was at 4pm). The suite was gorgeous and had panoramic views of the ocean. We all got ready and were greeted by our photographer, Sascha Gluck, at about 230pm. We proceeded with "Getting ready" photos. At about 3:55pm, Ariadna called to tell us that we were ready to go. We met her by the preferred lounge, and walked over to the Pergola for the ceremony. We had my uncle play the guitar for the processional and it was so beautiful. The ceremony was perfect and everything ran so smoothly. I thought there had to be one hiccup that day, and there was honestly not one.
Wedding Location: We chose the Pergola and were SO happy we did. The beach weddings take place right where the adult pool (and swim up bar) are located. Everyday at about 4pm, there were loads of people in the pool, having cocktails. There was zero privacy for those weddings and on a few occasions, the staff had to come to "shhhushh" the people in the pool. If you are looking for privacy, and don't want drunk adults in their bathing suits watching your wedding/in your photos, don't choose the beach option.
Decorations: we brought absolutely EVERYTHING with us. It made sense at the time. lol. Although lugging four massive suitcases plus my dress and his wedding suit through the airport was .... interesting. We brought the following:
- blue chair bows and table runners (Etsy)
- personalized pink and blue chocolates (the Knot wedding shop)
- personalized pink fans (the Knot)
- pink straws for cocktail hour (Michaels)
- personalized pink/blue napkins and coasters for cocktail hour (the Knot)
- glass votives for the tables/entranceway (Michaels)
- pink candle holders and candles for tables (got them at the Dollarstore and spray painted them pink)
- pink flower pedals (Michaels)
- programs, menus, table numbers, tented name cards, flat name cards
- card box and sign
- blue and pink paper lanterns (the Knot)
- frames of family members who have passed
- circular glass vases (Dollar store, $3 each- we brought down 6 in total for our circular tables - we had 6 people take one each - they were bubble wrapped and were easy-ish to transport. We left these down there. I asked the resort how much it would cost to rent these and was told it would be $40 plus per vase. No thanks!
- floating candles (Michaels)
I could not justify spending $5.00 per chair bow when I could buy them for 0.80 cents a piece and they were packaged so well they barely took up any room in our luggage. Same goes for vases, paper lanterns, etc.
OOT Bags: these were such a hit! We included the following items:
- pink and blue sunglasses
- wedding week programs
- key chains/bottle openers with thermometer
- "Wedding week survival kit" - advil, tums, pepto pills, bandaids, tide sink pods, nail file, kleenex
Cocktail hour/reception: We had our cocktail hour at the Mix Bar from 5 to 6pm and used the 45 minute guitarist set at this time. My hubby and I weren't there for the cocktail hour - but we heard the apps were great and that everyone had a good time. Our signature cocktail was a blue lagoon tequila margarita. Our reception was held in the Bamboo Room. It was perfect for the size of our wedding group. If the group was any larger (60 plus), I think it would be too tight of a location. I had my bridesmaids set up the tables for the reception - I wanted to ensure that it was set up exactly how I wanted it. As ridiculous as it may sound, I also didn't want to fork over another $50 to the resort to do this set up. I was charged "extra fees" ($40 plus 16% tax) for EACH of the following: 1) hanging paper lanterns, 2) for putting the chair bows on the chairs at the ceremony and 3) for moving the chair bows from the ceremony chairs to the reception chairs. I tried to push back on this with Ariadna - that these charges were never quoted to me or included in any of the pricing sent to me, but she wouldn't give me a break.
We also paid 2 extra hours for our reception - we didn't want to rush through dinner and speeches to give people dance/party time. To us, this was worth it. We hired DJ Disco Movil, and he was fabulous. Even with the vendor fee ($350 plus tax), he still cost less for 5 hours of dj service than the resort dj would have charged us for only 3 hours. Also, since we added 2 extra hours for the reception, the resort gave us our own bar, free of charge.
After the reception ended at 1130, we told everyone to grab the beers in their mini fridges or to grab drinks at the lobby bar, and come up to our Governor's Suite. It was definitely after-party central!
Resort Photographer/Videographer: these were included in our Divine Wedding package. We used the photographer for our rehearsal dinner. He was....ok. The photos were very staged, but still nice. I am glad I went with an outside photographer for the wedding. I posted a review for Sascha Gluck on this site. We used the videographer for the wedding, despite my better judgment. I read reviews that said that the videographer was in the way of the photographer and that certainly happened with me. If you chose to have a videographer, tell him/her that your photographer is in charge, and if he/she says move, to move out of the way.
Concluding remarks: All in all, the resort is breathtaking and so clean. The staff go over and above to make sure that you have everything you need. The wedding coordinators know what they are doing, and will stay through to the end of your reception to make sure that everything is perfect and you have everything you need. My wedding day was so perfect. It went by so fast, but I just telling myself to breathe and to take it all in.
I have a TON of photos if any wants to see anything. If so, private message me your email address and I will send you whatever you would like to see.
Good luck with the rest of your planning and congratulations!!