By Haylinds, · 1,979 Views · 3 Comments
I'm am still in the planning stages with the Moon Palace and have 2 months to go until my big day!
I have been to the Moon Palace on 2 different occasions which is why I decided to have my wedding here. Vacationing as a guest and not having to worry about anything other than trying not to eat too much and not getting burned it was a great experience. I entirely regret not looking into other options or reading reviews so here is my experience to help you brides to be out there:
My fiance and I were engaged in Jan. 2015 and decided pretty early on that we wanted to do a beach wedding. His parents have a timeshare at the Moon Palace and we had a trip planned for March anyway so we thought it would be great to go ahead and get the ball rolling on reserving the Moon Palace for our wedding and then doing some on-sight planning while there.
First steps are to coordinate with our initial contact who was fairly communicative. They definitely push you to sign the contracts ASAP and get money down. He was very responsive to us, there were slight language barrier issues but all in all that was a good experience.
From there we were bumped to our Off-site Wedding Coordinator. This was and continues to be a horrible experience - I have read some people have had good experiences with theirs. I don't want to name names on a public forum but if you are serious about looking into this and want to know who not to use - send me a message. When we send an email there is a big lag time when we get a response and once we finally do it doesn't even answer half of what we need. For example, I am still waiting on a confirmation of my location, how much it will cost per chair during the reception, how many people the tables seat, and what exactly we can use our "points" towards. But don't worry, she was quick to introduce me to someone to decorate and spend more money at the resort. I was already somewhat turned off from my experience but had paid my down payment and felt like I couldn't back out. Since we were making a trip there anyway we wanted to meet with someone on-site to plan some things like menu and cake, etc. So we booked this through the off-site Coordinator to have cake tasting (we even specified the flavors). Once we got there they did have our appointment booked but had no information on cake tasting. We had to wait probably around an hour for them to get that together. I will say, the person who we met with on site was fantastic! Meeting with them in person calmed my nerves and made me feel better about everything.
We also met with the on site photographers they have (DreamArt Photography), they showed us beautiful pictures and told us we could even sacrifice an hour of our photography package to do a cenote shoot after - awesome!
Once I got back home the same old problems continued - lack of communication but I still had almost a year to plan so I just pushed my frustrations to the side and decided to deal with them closer to the date.
When my guests have tried to book their hotel rooms there are a few catches - the payment has to be paid in full at the time the reservation is made and they can only do it on 1 credit card. Was a little bit of a problem for my single friends sharing rooms so be sure to give guest the heads up on that! Outside of that, this part was pretty seamless - the website isn't the easiest to navigate for some people but nothing major.
So rooms are now all booked and I'm trying to finalize details. I followed up with DreamArt and they said that they can't do the cenote shoot that we had talked about in person - only a beach trash the dress. What what? Why the change from in person? Who knows - they are pretty eager to tell you what they want to hear to close a sale but not follow through. I was really looking forward to this so I was really disappointed. There wasn't much of a reason or explanation or apology - just a please sign this contract with the agreed times and rates. I still had questions and wanted to see examples of the beach shoot. He told me he would send them so I waited 2 weeks before finally following up. He provided them immediately once I followed up but that has been my experience with everyone - I get a lot of promises but then no communication. I noticed that he had the locations wrong that I had reserved on the invoice so I had to contact my Off Site Coordinator to verify I am even getting married where I thought I was getting married and 5 days later still waiting to hear back from her...
Long story short, the photography prices and communication made me look into other options before signing something - I am going to just suck it up and pay the vendor fee to be able to use someone. I founds someone who has been great so far, I am still getting a better deal (he is offering me 15% off to help with the vendor fee) AND I'm getting the Cenote shoot for less than what I would pay using DreamArt. He has been extremely helpful and communicative - Gonzalo Nunez - I highly recommend him! I also had a good experience with Melissa Mercado, she just couldn't do my day - amazing work on her website though and she was super responsive. She is from California so if you are planning from the states and don't speak Spanish it makes it a little easier to communicate.
In summary: I would never recommend the Moon Palace for a wedding. They try to nickle and dime you on everything - they charge extra even per chair for every guest you have over 30 ppl. Come on, these guest are pumping thousands of extra $ into the resort for being there for our wedding and we can't just provide extra chairs??? They make it nearly impossible to use offsite vendors (but trust me ladies, it is worth it to go offsite for these things - there are options, don't feel like you have to use everyone they recommend)! I'm hopeful once I actually get down there it will have a turn for the better but I am absolutely kicking myself for not doing more research first and looking into other options. I am also kicking myself for going with such an expensive resort that made it hard for a lot of my guests I wanted to be there to go - personal choices, I know, but regrets I want to pass along regardless.