all right, ladies, I'm back! and it was so much fun - everything was exactly what I'd wanted. it was my third time to the Royal and I can't wait to go back.
it's going to take some time to compile all the thoughts I have floating around, but if you have any questions (mainly about the experience of being there), please don't hesitate to reach out, either on here or via PM. I'll stay in touch over the coming months and will continue to check in here, as long as things don't get too crazy with the house we're building.
the wedding planners are true professionals. I understand the frustration of people not getting back to you but just know that it all will be worked out, the royal staff is SUPER accomodating, and they really help you once you're there. they are swamped because they're working on as many as 10 weddings per day. it sucks when yours isn't the priority, but when you're there, you are, and you won't have to worry about a thing. it's the downside of destination weddings, but if you can make it through, it's all worth it. even when I was at the resort, I only saw my consultant (Denys) for about 20 - 30 mins, although honestly, that was all we needed and I didn't want to take time from my vacation and guests. we reviewed the details, she asked a few questions, and everything was executed flawlessly.
few other things I would have done differently:
* take time to unpack. we switched rooms the day of the wedding (NIGHTMARE!! but our own fault), and I spent our entire vacation searching for things. when you get there, agree to meet with your guests later the same day and take some time for yourselves to enjoy being there and organize all your things to make it all easier.
* if you're a type A planner, don't forget the Xanax. there was an element of stress with everyone there that had me running room to room to coordinate, and I was just a bit freaked out about all that was going on. it's A LOT, even just to talk to people for several days prior to the biggest day of your life. I frequently woke up in the middle of the night for no particular reason and was kind of running as soon as the sun was up. net/net, it's not necessarily the world's most relaxing time, but I am really glad I had all that time with everyone. it's one of the things I wanted most out of our wedding.
* we did the world's greatest day trip to Tulum with Yuca Treks. it was a private tour (they can accomodate up to 12 people), and just my immediate family opted to go. the stress level was lower because we were away from most of the guests, and it was soooo nice to get out and see something unique to the area. we visited the ruins, snorkeled in a cenote, and spent time at one of the most gorgeous beaches I've ever seen. initially, I was concerned about spending 8am - 4pm out of the resort, and although it caused me to lose an entire day prior to the wedding, I wouldn't have traded it for the world. people rave about Yuca Treks on TripAdvisor, and I can completely understand why. I'd strongly recommend it if you're considering an excursion (or even just a break for the family). seriously one of the best things we did. http://www.yucatreks.com/
also, there wasn't a single drop of rain in our 10 days at the resort. I think the crazy weather patterns ended with April. fingers crossed for everyone whose weddings are coming up!!
I'll save my more resort-specific points for reviews, both here and on TripAdvisor. again, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions. best of luck! in the end, it's all worth it. : )