By TarynZ, · 1,598 Views · 1 Comment
We had our wedding at Moon Palace on 11/13/16. Our experience with the venue and staff was amazing throughout our process from initial planning to our wedding day! I relied a lot on reviews for my wedding planning so I will try to be as informative as possible.
I will start off by saying that I was probably a unique bride in that I wasn’t too excited about planning a wedding. I wanted to keep it as simple and easy for my future groom and I as possible. I bring this up because we both had a laid back approach to the planning process so perhaps that is why we didn’t experience the same stress others did. Our planners were very quick to respond and provide the answers to our questions (more detail on that below.)
We also utilized a travel agency to assist with the resort selection and guest travel. For any bride planning a destination wedding, this is a MUST! It takes a lot off your plate and saves you from answering questions from all of your guests regarding coordination and avoids awkward conversations regarding payments.
Off-site Coordinator: Once we signed a contract with Moon Palace, we were assigned an off-site coordinator. This is someone located state side (I believe Miami) that handles your wedding coordinating up until about 2-4 weeks before the trip. We worked with Susana and she was wonderful! We received an email with outlining some information needed and a request to set up a meeting. The phone call was very brief and she answered a few of our questions regarding what was needed from us at the time. We were provided several pamphlets for the services and packages available. All of the resort policies are clearly outlined in the contract and the important ones are reiterated several times via email throughout the planning process. Pay attention to these and you will avoid any of the frustrating situations other brides have run into. Susana was so helpful and most of the time responded to our emails in the same business day. If she had to outreach to others for answers, the most we waited was 1-2 business days. It was amazing! To keep communication easy, you are provided a subject line that identifies your specific wedding. We always utilized that and bulleted out our questions. Susana would respond in the same organized format which made finding answers throughout the coordinating super convenient. About 3 weeks before we left for Mexico, Susana introduced via email to our on-site coordinator who handled the finalizing of our plans.
On-site Coordinator: Monica was our coordinator located at the resort. She was just as amazing as Susana. She was well informed of our plans and confirmed some things via email. The coordinators utilize an event order that outlines all the services/charges associated with your wedding. Thoroughly review it each time it is updated and you will be required to sign-off upon payment. We had one meeting with Monica the day after we arrived at Moon Palace. It was a brief 40 minute meeting. She and I met in a private room so she could ask questions about my dress before it was bagged and sent off for pressing and delivery on our wedding day. The rest of the time was spent doing one final review of the event order. So easy!! We also left the welcome bags for our guests with Monica so she could coordinate the delivery to their rooms. We can’t say enough great things about Monica, she was so sweet, attentive and really on top of things. I had no stress the day of our wedding because we knew we were in good hands.
Resort: We stayed at the Nizuc resort in an ocean front room. Nizuc is located in the middle of the other two resorts which is convenient. You can walk to Sunrise or Grand but they also offer shuttles for the times you prefer a ride. The pool at Nizuc was fantastic, so much to do we hardly spent any time on the beach. The entertainment staff keeps you busy with games, exercise and friendly competitions. Once our guests arrived, we were going non-stop all day swimming and partaking in all the fun. As an all-inclusive resort, tipping is not expected. However, the waitstaff at the pools work their tails off! Our group would tip them periodically throughout the day and it was much appreciated. We had several amazing servers and Luis Correa at the Nizuc pool was one of the best. We saw him several times throughout our stay and he took great care of our friends. Everyone is still talking about how fun and great he is!
Ceremony: We had our ceremony on the beach and stuck with the basic (included) package. The décor in our opinion was beautiful enough and we also had the added bonus of the beachfront backdrop!
Cocktail Hour/Reception: These took place on the Tucan terrace/garden. We selected this location after stumbling upon a YouTube video that gave a tour of all the location options. The garden and terrace overlook the beach and are right above where the ceremony was held. We opted for the buffet dinner as we were advised keeping plated dinners warm at a beach front location is a challenge. This was a great choice as our guests loved being able to eat all of the available options. Guadalupe was our bartender and he was phenomenal! Our guests were never without a drink or shot and he was laughing and enjoying our celebration with us all.
Photographer: We opted to utilize an external vendor (MTM-Moments that Matter) for our photography/videography services. We were well aware of the $800 external vendor fee and it was well worth it. Please note, the contract also states that if you have a guest staying at the resort who takes professional pictures there is an external vendor fee of $400. If you plan on bringing a photographer with you, you will still have to pay a fee.
DJ: Initially we were only provided one DJ option through the resort (JSAV.) Those package prices were very high in our opinion so I asked Susana if any other options were available. She provided us with a package and pricelist from PSAV. This option was much more affordable and they turned out to be great! We filled out a questionnaire that outlined specific song choices. We also provided a list of songs we wanted to hear during cocktail hour, dinner and dancing…it worked out perfectly! Our guests even took over the microphone for a while and did some karaoke.
Flowers: With the wedding package, I received a free bridal bouquet. However, I had a bouquet made with Real Touch flowers and brooches from an Etsy shop so I would have a permanent keepsake. I was able to substitute the bridal bouquet for 4 smaller bouquets for my bridesmaids.
Gamma: We used Gamma for a few upgrades to our cocktail hour and reception. We didn’t do anything extravagant but the added touches made a big difference. Gamma did a fantastic job getting everything set up. We selected lounge furniture for cocktail hour. For the dinner, we upgraded the chairs, had color coordinated table overlays/napkins and string globe lanterns. The photographer loved the extra lighting, he said it would make for amazing photographs.
Centerpieces: We designed our own centerpieces at home and packed them up in carry-on luggage. Some family members quickly put out the décor prior to the ceremony and everything was stunning. Much more affordable and tailored to our taste!
Overall, we can’t say enough good things about Moon Palace. All of our guests had the time of their lives…and can’t stop talking about it and the desire to go back again. The resort is beautiful, offers endless activities and food options. This is truly an all-inclusive resort that does not limit to house brand alcohol or hours in which room service is available. Everyone we interacted with from start to finish was kind and dedicated to ensuring everyone’s stay exceeded their expectations. Our wedding is full of our most cherished memories and we can’t thank Moon Palace enough for making it a success.
For any brides considering Moon Palace, feel free to outreach with any questions!
A few tips:
-Bring small bills to tip, as I mentioned we offered the waitstaff/bartenders $5-$20 now and again. Especially on the days we had our large group at the pool.
-Restaurants don't take reservations. However, the hibachi restaurant will take a reservation if you walk over when they open at 4:45 and put your name in. Unfortunately, we found this secret out at the end of trip and were never able to coordinate the group eating there together.
-Upon check-in, you will go through a whirlwind of information at the reception area. They will try to book you for "tour" of the facility but this is really a timeshare sales pitch.
-For airport transfers, specify that you are going to Moon Palace and identify the specific lobby (Sunrise, Grand or Nizuc.)