SunBride's insanely long DREAMS TULUM wedding review and pictures
Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:59 PM
Hello everyone, here is my insanely long review of my wedding experience! Itâ€™s very long so feel free to skip sections (many of you are probably only interested in the wedding stuff). The first part might be boring for some people but I thought it might be usefull for those in the process of choosing a resort and booking. Iâ€™ve divided it into 3 parts: Part 1 is a bunch of random information about the planning, Part 2 is a review of the resort, Part 3 is a review of the wedding.
BASIC INFORMATION :
I went to this resort with my immediate family for my wedding March 27th â€“ April 3rd 2007. We booked only 2 ½ months before the wedding (early January) through itravel2000.com and paid a price of 1500$ per person from Ottawa and 1600$ per person from Halifax (this was not a group rate, it was a regular â€œlast minuteâ€ rate).
PLANNING & BOOKING:
I had tried working with some travel agents in person but they were too slow getting back to me and the rates I was being quoted were higher than those I was seeing on itravel2000 and selloffvacations. Booking was stressful as I had to book all my guests at the same timebecause the agent could not guarantee that the price wouldnâ€™t change or that it wouldnâ€™t sell out. This would not be a problem if you are booking way in advance.
From the moment I started researching to the moment I booked was very stressful, as we wanted to also have a few friends join us, but they were teachers with very inflexible schedules (and teaching in 3 different provinces with 3 different spring breaks). The only way they could have all come was if we chose Christmas, but the price quotes I got from the travel agent for that were all well over 2000$ for a 4.5 or 5 star resort in Cancun or Mayan Riviera (some may have been cheaper, she only got the price for 7 different resorts as she had to put in a special request). The other element that made it stressful was doing research for people leaving from Winnipeg, Ottawa and Moncton/Halifax, because in choosing a resort I had to pick one which was in my price range (under 1800$) from all 3 cities (this would not have been a problem if booked way in advance, as in that case there is less difference between departure cities, but with â€œlast minuteâ€ travel the prices can vary a lot from different departure cities). In the end, the people from Winnipeg had to fly from Ottawa and buy separate tickets from Winnipeg to Ottawa because the prices from Winnipeg were 2300$.
We considered inviting extended family and friends (over 100 people) to the wedding but in the end decided not to for a few different reasons: First because it would have been much more stressful to plan for a big group (in fact it would have been impossible to plan the whole thing in 4 months, but we would have been willing to wait until the following winter), second because we knew there was no way to get our 3 closest friend couples to come (teachers in different provinces) and we knew it would be more hurtful to us to not have them there if it was a big wedding. Another important factor was that most resorts charge a large fee for having a dinner / reception after the wedding ceremony even though itâ€™s an all inclusive resort (they charge it as a service fee, and if you think about it it does make sense as itâ€™s not easy serving a large group of people all at once) and we didnâ€™t want to pay for a reception there as well as a reception at home when we got back.
CHOOSING A RESORT
I did a lot of research to choose the right resort for my wedding, using trip advisor, as well as the forums on Weddingbells, Canadian Bride, and bestdestinationwedding. I contacted many hotels for information on their wedding packages. Not very many offered a free wedding package, and so this was a big perk for me about Dreams Tulum.
The factors I considered when choosing my resort were (more or less in order of importance): price for trip, star rating of resort, trip advisor reviews & overall rating, price of wedding package, being allowed to bring an outside local photographer (some resorts force you to use the resort photographer), golf options, number of a-la-carte restaurants (and whether there was a limit per week), disco
Why we chose the Mayan Riviera
1) Lots of things to do (ruins, Xel-Ha, Xcaret, golf, etc)
2) Lots of good reviews of the area
3) Not crowded / party atmosphere like Cancun
4) We preferred going somewhere weâ€™d already been so weâ€™d know what to expect (hadnâ€™t been to the MR, but had been to Cancun with a day trip to Xel-Ha, so we had an idea)
Why I choose Dreams Tulum
1) One of the cheaper 5 star resorts
2) Free wedding package
3) Decent beach compared to some of the other cheap 5 star resorts
4) Good reviews on food, 6 a-la-carte restaurants (with no limit to number of visits per week)
5) Middle sized resort (I wrested with the advantage of being able to have alone time versus it being easy to find my family when I wanted. In the end the latter prevailed and in retrospect I'm very happy it did)
CONTACTING THE RESORT
When I contacted Dreams Tulum during my planning they had lots of availability for the different dates I was asking for, even though I was in touch with them only 2 ½ months before my wedding. The wedding coordinators sometimes answered my emails right away, sometimes it took a few days. On the day I booked, I wanted to confirm my wedding with them before booking our trip so I phoned them as I knew this would be faster.
In the beginning, the resortâ€™s wedding coordinators were pretty good at answering my questions about availability and other â€“ I usually received a reply within 1-3 days. However in the 2 months leading up to my wedding they became really awful at answering my emails. I probably sent about 15 very short emails in the last 2 months with various questions but did not receive any reply at all to a few of my questions, and those that I did receive a reply, it took 2-4 weeks, and even then it was usually only a half answer so I had to write back for clarification. I was annoyed at this, especially in the last month when I really wanted to get a few details in order. I thought I was being fair in not bombarding them with questions and leaving some of the stuff till we got there, but there were some things I really needed to know in advance (for example, what they have for decorations versus what I needed to bring myself).
WEDDING REQUIREMENTS & COSTS :
For a civil (legal) wedding in Mexico you need to be in the area for 4 business days before getting married, not counting the day you arrive, but counting the day of the wedding. For me they made an exception and counted the day I arrive, because I arrived Thursday and got married Tuesday, and if they had counted 4 full days I wouldnâ€™t have been able to get married till Wednesday, the night before we left. As a side note, the best day to arrive if you are doing a civil wedding is Monday, so that you can get married Friday, and have 2 full days after your wedding to relax.
For a civil ceremony only, you have to get a blood test done (person comes to the resort) which costs 150$ per couple (cash only, and itâ€™s better to have the exact amount as they donâ€™t always have change).
For the civil ceremony, all you need is your passport and the tourist card they give you at the airport, as long as you havenâ€™t been divorced. If youâ€™ve been divorced then you need additional paperwork. I loved the fact that I didnâ€™t have to get anything translated or certified, so there were no additional costs there.
The only required costs if you are taking the free wedding package is the 150$ for the blood test (civil wedding only) and 50$ for the transportation of the judge (both civil and ceremonial). So itâ€™s possible for the wedding to cost you only 200$!!!
You have the option of paying 100$ to have the marriage certificate apostilled, which some countries require. Then they mail it to you in 1-4 months. You can also do this once you get home (with the embassy) if you prefer. For Canada, there is no need to do this (I called Government of Ontario and this is what they told me) because there is no national marriage registry, each province only registers weddings that took place in that province, and there is no place to register weddings that took place out of province. So the wedding is legal, there is just no place and no need to register it.
I had planned all along to get Claudia Rodriguez to do my photos (claudiaphoto.com) and Dreams did not charge extra for an outside photographer. At the last minute before booking I decide to have a photographer from Canada travel with us for the week, because I found somebody who charged a reasonable price (travel expenses plus 800$) and had done a great job at two destination weddings in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. People thought I was crazy for bringing a photographer with us, but the price was overall going to be about the same as getting Claudia for 5 hours but I would have a photographer for the whole entire day AND she also did a trash the dress photo shoot for free the next day. She also took some other random pictures throughout the trip which was nice because I had to worry less about taking pictures and getting everyone in them (including myself). My photographer was Jodi Laundry (Daydreamphotography.com). I have not seen any of the photos yet; I will receive them in a few weeks and will post them then.
In the beginning I didnâ€™t even really want to pay the 380$ for the one hour video through the resort, so I was just going to get a family member to videotape the ceremony. After looking at a bunch of professional edited wedding videos online though I started to see how beautiful a wedding video could be, and realized that it was almost as important as photos, seeing as this is how you can see the whole ceremony, and have all the sounds recorded. I was hesitant about going with the resort videographer, Oscar video (Oscar Video - Cancun - Riviera Maya) because he only had one sample video on his website (I wanted to see more samples to have a better idea of what I was getting for my money). Also I heard that he gives a full length edited video before, during and after the ceremony (only before and after are edited, the ceremony is in full). Other videographers offered a 3-5 minute edited â€œhighlightsâ€ video which I thought would be more appropriate for showing at my â€œat home receptionsâ€ after the wedding. After much research I decided to go with Paul Schrank from PlayaWeddings (Playa Weddings - Videography in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya). For 800$ I got 2 hours of coverage (really 2.5 because even though I had the time start 45 minutes before the ceremony to give him time to get settled, he still showed up 30 minutes before that scheduled time) and I will receive a full length video of the ceremony with good quality sound (he brings a lapel mike, although he didnâ€™t need to use it because he could pick up the sound from the resortâ€™s microphone system) as well as a 3-5 minute â€œhighlightsâ€ video edited to one song. I like that I have both the full length video to watch ourselves and with family/friends who are interested, but also the short video to show at the receptions, and for people who donâ€™t want to sit through a 20-30 minute video.
TOUR OPERATOR â€“ AIR CANADA VACATIONS
I almost always travel Air Canada Vacations, I personally think they are the best tour operator, as their planes are more roomy and most importantly, their luggage allowance is very generous â€“ each person can bring 2 suitcases weighing 50 lbs each, so 100lbs total per person! Most other charter flights only allow 44lbs total per person. This was a huge bonus for us because just the two of us had 6 large pieces of luggage (one suitcase each of clothes, one suitcase of random vacation stuff, 2 suitcases of wedding stuff, and one golf bag) plus 4 carry-ons. I didnâ€™t have to pay anything extra since my parents only had one large suitcase each, so I was able to check-in two of the pieces under their names. Actually on the way there we checked-in as a group, so they just took the luggage as a group, on the way back though they said they wanted to check us in as couples or singles.
We got a private transfer (10 passenger van) from the airport to the hotel which was also an unexpected bonus â€“ I guess there was nobody else from our flight going to the area. This was a bonus seeing as the trip to Dreams Tulum is already long, and we didnâ€™t have to stop anywhere. It took us 1.5 hours exactly from the airport to the resort both times. The only bad thing is that the van only had room for approx 8-10 large pieces of luggage and maybe 10-15 smaller carry-ons. They had to pile the luggage in the trunk all the way to the roof, and this was VERY DANGEROUS because the luggage at the top was not held back at all, if we had been in an accident or if the driver had breaked really hard, all the luggage at the top would have flown forward and taken our heads off. My fianc© was really upset about this and thought it was completely unacceptable and that it would have been better to have a bus rather than a van for this reason. Not only was luggage pilled to the roof but also we had to have 4 pieces in the passenger part with us (along the sides) which was quite crowded. So while the private transfer was a bonus, really that van does not have space for 10 passengers and their luggage. Although my fianc© and I had 6 pieces, everybody else only had 1 large piece and one carry-on each. So in total for 10 people we had 14 large pieces, nowhere near the allowed limit of 2 large pieces each so we could have had up to 20 pieces in total (what would they have done then)
PART 2 â€“ The resort 9/10
The resort was fabulous â€“ the service was amazing, the food was great and everything was very clean. My only complaints about the resort, and these are important enough that if I was able to go back in time I might re-consider my choice, are the bad beach and the location.
Although everyone on trip advisor complains that the trip from the airport to the resort is long, it didnâ€™t bother us at all. Sure it took 1.5 hours without stops but it didnâ€™t bother us, many people slept. There is not much to see out the windows since you are on a highway with no nice view. The highway is fairly smooth except the speedbumbs every once in a while, I donâ€™t know why people on trip advisor complained of a bumpy ride.
The thing that did bother me about the location is the fact that we were so far from a city, like either Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Some people in my group would have liked to go into a city/town to do some shopping (especially since they got sunburnt badly on day 1 and then wanted to stay out of the sun for a few days). The only things nearby are the tulum ruins (5 minutes, 7$ taxi), Xel-Ha (10 minutes, 10$ taxi), and a few cenotes. Playa del Carmen is about 45 minutes and a 45$ cab ride away (you can go by collective for 2$, but I imagine it would take quite a bit longer than 45 minutes). In the future, I would choose a resort that is no more than 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen or at least a large town with shopping. My in-laws went to Tulum for shopping but they said there was very little in town and the prices were expensive (more expensive than in the 4 stores on the resort). But that is just their experience, I didnâ€™t go myself and maybe they didnâ€™t try hard enough to bargain.
ROOMS (Hacienda rooms 6/10, Dreams suites 9/10, Honeymoon suite 9.5/10 but based on my expectations of what a honeymoon suite should be 8/10)
I contacted the resort (Raul Irma is the rooms person, email@example.com) to see if me and my group would be upgraded from Deluxe rooms (i.e. the basic hacienda rooms) to Dreams Junior Suites gardenview. He was very prompt and polite in responding to my email and I was told that the wedding couple gets upgraded to a Dreams Junior Suites gardenview upon arrival, but the other guests do not, but that they could pay to upgrade at 50% off the regular cost of 40$ per night per room (because we are a wedding group) so a total cost of 140$ per room for one week (20$*7). The cost for upgrading to a Dreams Junior Suite oceanview was regular 60$ (30$ for wedding roups).
I wrote Raul back and asked if we could get oceanview and he said "I can't make any promises but I will try my best". When we checked in we were given Dreams Suite gardenview, I asked if oceanview was available and she said yes but that we would have to pay to upgrade, that the free upgrade was to gardenview. I showed her the email and said that "try my best" implied to me it would be free based on availability. So she asked me to come back in half an hour since Raul was gone for lunch, when we came back Raul came to talk to us and he was so so nice, came around from behind the counter to talk to us and shake our hands, and then said "I can give you the dreams suite oceanview as you would like, or if you prefer I can give you an oceanfront honemooon suite" (I couldn't believe it, I had to clarify that it was free, which it was). I was so excited I almost started to cry, although in the end I didn't find the honeymoon suite to be that much better than a regular Dreams Suite (honeymoon suite has double jacuzzi instead of single, bigger living room area, two balconies instead of one, a walk-in closet and then the fact that it was oceanfront rather than just oceanview). Although it was oceanfront, the seaside grill was actually a large part of the view (why I rated it 9.5 instead of 10) I was very impressed that they upgraded us all the way from a hacienda gardenview to a honeymoon suite, definitely unexpected! I probably would have been disappointed though if I had paid for the honeymoon suite instead of the Dreams suite since I didnâ€™t find the difference to be all that important (why my second rating of it is 8/10).
None of my family got free upgrades (although we went back to get our room, we overheard other guests getting them) and one person chose to pay the 20$ per night (140$ for a week) to upgrade to a dreams gardenview. The rest of my family thought that the hacienda rooms were fine, definitely not deluxe (more like what I would expect at a 3.5 star or 4 star resort) but nothing wrong with them at all (I don't understand how people on trip advisor say they are awful). The hacienda rooms are next to and behind the lobby, so about a 3-6 minute walk (depending on the building) from the beach and restaurants, versus the dreams rooms which run along both sides of the walkway from the lobby to the beach, so 0-3 minute walk to the beach depending on the building.
Paying for an upgrade directly to the resort is much cheaper than doing so in advance (at least with Air Canada Vacations). Air Canada Vacations was charging an extra 350$ PER PERSON (i.e 700$ PER ROOM!!!) to upgrade from the Deluxe rooms (the label â€œdeluxeâ€ is a bit misleading since it is the most basic room, hacienda style) to the Dreams Junior Suite Gardenview whereas the resort charges 40$ per night per room, so a total cost of 280$ PER ROOM for a week (and we got it half price since we were a wedding group). You can arrange the upgrade in advance (one of my guests did) to ensure availability, or wait until you get there and see if you get the free upgrade and if not pay for it.
I had also asked Raul one specific room have 2 beds because there were 2 guests rooming together who did not know eachother.
Some people had a few problems with their rooms, the people who upgraded to the Dreams suite had a patio door that didnâ€™t lock and an air-conditioner that didnâ€™t work (promptly fixed). My parents hacienda room had a patio door that didnâ€™t lock and they just moved them next door. My parents said they thought their air-conditioner wasnâ€™t quite strong enough â€“ itâ€™s quite hot in the hacienda section since it doesnâ€™t have the wind from the ocean, so probably just the air-conditioner couldnâ€™t keep up. They figure it was about 75 degrees in their room all week. In our honeymoon suite the air-conditioning was perfect (Iâ€™m gonna guess 73), except on the wedding day when we had the blinds open and there were 5 people in the room for a few hours, then it got a bit hot, especially in the bathroom.
The safe worked fine and was just large enough to fit my 15 inch laptop. I think one of my guests had a 17 inch laptop and said it fit but with some difficulty. We actually left our laptop out of the safe twice (while the room was cleaned) and it didnâ€™t get stolen.
I was very disappointed about the beach, it was very rocky, both along the shoreline and also in the water. I had read on trip advisor that the area around the trampoline was great but I thought this wasnâ€™t true, you still had to walk around big rocks to get the trampoline area, although directly around the trampoline and climbing rocks it was clear. I think actually that the best part of the beach is in front of the gazebo (just to the right of the trampoline).
The trampoline and the wall climbing structure were pretty fun. We only went swimming once (in part because of the crappy beach with lots of rock, in part because we were busy doing other stuff) and we had fun playing on these two things for almost an hour.
The sand is also rough. Itâ€™s made up of finely broken coral, so itâ€™s not powder soft. It actually hurt the feet to walk on! The closer you are to the water the better it is (right at the shoreline the sand is nice) but walking around the beach chair area without flipflops was a bit uncomfortable.
I had heard there was great snorkelling so we brought our equipment and went once and saw nothing! We swam out a small ways past the trampoline and over to the left but saw nothing. There was a guy right next to us who saw a sting ray, I donâ€™t know how we missed it. The water was quite cloudy too which isnâ€™t fun for snorkelling.
FOOD / RESTAURANTS 9.5/10
The food everywhere was great and the service was awesome. Even at the buffet they were good about refilling our orange juice and bringing us cutlery (we often joined some people from our group that already had a table and were eating, so the extra cutlery had been taken away but we always got some within a minute or two of sitting down). One night we had supper at the buffet as a group (10 people) and we were off to the side in a section with nobody else, and it felt like eating at a nice a-la-carte because it was candle-lit and not too loud and we got great service from our waiter (drink orders, clearing plates, etc). The service at the a-la cartes was very very good.
I had heard that other groups had trouble getting large tables but we were successful at getting a table for 10 people 3 times (Bordeau, Portofino and Seaside Grill). The first day my dad went over to Seaside grill when they opened at 6:30pm to ask for a table and they said they could accommodate us (putting 2 tables together) right away at 6:30pm. When we asked if we could go shower and come back in half an hour they said no, that it would be too busy, so we just ate right then at 6:30pm. On night 2 at 7 or 7:30pm we tried to get a table for 10 at Portofino but were told it was an hour and a half wait, same thing for Bordeau, so that was the night we just went to the buffet. After that every night we would get our table at 6:30pm and never had a problem or had to wait at all. We never tried again to get a table later than that so I donâ€™t know if it would have been a long wait or not. I personally prefer eating later but some people in my group prefer earlier and since we knew there was no problem getting tables for our large group at 6:30pm we just did that.
Almost everywhere you eat there is chips, salsa and guacamole which is something we really enjoyed, it was so delicious and a nice thing to have while waiting for your meal. We also ordered plates of this from the beach waiters. We also ordered club sandwiches and fries from the beach waiter too! I thought this was great. There is also a bbq set-up next to the Sugar Reef bar every day for lunch â€“ I never tried it but others did and said it was good. They had burgers one day, pork chops and flank steaks another (those steaks were good!).
We ordered room service twice and it came very quickly, maybe 15-20 minutes and was nice and hot.
My review of the restaurants one by one:
The buffet was pretty good as far as buffets go, i.e. it wasnâ€™t fabulous, but there were many delicious items as well as some bland or cold items (it didnâ€™t help that we always went for breakfast right as they closed at 11am). Breakfast was the same everyday but supper obviously changed. I never ate here for lunch so I donâ€™t know what it was. One night after eating at the a-la-carte I went to the buffet (later at night, during the show in the plaza) and got a big plate of dessert and brought it outside to the plaza, they didnâ€™t mind letting me leave with the plate. They had a white chocolate fondue with marshmellows to dip that night and it was delicious. As I already said I found the service very good for a buffet restaurant.
Seaside grill was very good, between our group everybody ordered different stuff and no complaints. I loved the chicken fillet mignon. The salmon was also very good but so small (only 3 bites!). Some people had steaks and said they were very good but not amazing (then again, our family eats only exceptionally good steak at home).
I only ate at El Patio for lunch, it was very good although service was a little slow for lunch but not that bad (maybe half an hour to get our meals).
Portofino was also very very good. We had a table in the wine cellar part of the restaurant, so we were all alone until much later when another table of people were seated there. I had the fettucine alfredo and I thought it was kinda bland and didnâ€™t have chicken in it. Somebody had the stuffed chicken and it was delicious, I should have taken that instead. Everybody else was also very happy with their meal. I had the double chocolate dessert (I think mousse) and it was delicious. The tiramisu was probably the best I had ever tasted. The service here was fabulous.
Bordeau was also very very good, except a few of us didnâ€™t like our appetizers that much (the salmon and the crab ones). But the meals were fabulous. The service here was exceptionally good, a step above all the other restaurants â€“ our meals arrived on silver platters with dome covers and we had a wait a minute or two for our waiter to gather up 4 more staff members so there were enough hands to pull all the domes off our plates (we were a table of 10 people) at the exact same time, revealing our dinners. We felt like we were eating at a restaurant that would normally cost 100-200$ per person.
I didnâ€™t eat at Himitsu but some people did and said it was very good. Himitsu and Gohan are in the same restaurant, in different sections, but you canâ€™t order food from one when eating at the other, they keep it completely separate.
I donâ€™t really like sushi but I still enjoyed our supper at Gohan. The sushis with cream cheese are a good choice for non-sushi eaters. My sister and another guest who eat sushi regularly said it was the best sushi they ever had. The service here was probably the poorest we had all week. It was quite slow (i.e. 15 minutes to get our drinks). The waiter seemed flustered (in the beginning he was the only one around, but there were only 3 small tables) and also had a slight problem communicating in english (I asked if I could get bread, since Iâ€™m not much of sushi problem, and there was a bit of a problem understanding if they had bread or not, but I ended up getting it). It wasnâ€™t that bad at all, but just not as good as the other restaurants.
The bar service was always good. We usually got our drinks from the beach waiters who come around frequently and are only too happy to serve you (they actually were disappointed the times we didnâ€™t order anything. Probably because we tipped them 1$ for almost every round of drinks they brought). My family was talking about it and we figure they donâ€™t make the drinks very strong because even after a few nobody felt any effect. A few times thought I did get a drink that was too strong, undrinkable for me. If you like your drinks strong just ask, and they will gladly make them stronger. My fianc© thought the Corona tasted a bit funny, not like back home, he personally didnâ€™t like it.
Our room was well cleaned every day. Some days we got turn down service, some days not, I didnâ€™t really care.
You can exchange travellers checks at the lobby (you need your passport). You can only get pesos for them, and they gave me 10.3 pesos per american dollar. The exchange rate was 10.3 whether you gave them american travellers cheques or cash (at banks it's a slightly worse rate for travellers cheques). The current rate right now (I just googled it) is 10.6, but that's the official rate, not the bank rate (which is always worse) so 10.3 is actually a fair rate I think.
You can pay for stuff everywhere with US dollars, but the rate stores and even taxis use is exactly 10 pesos, so you are better off exchanging your money at the hotel, although the difference is so minor it's not worth it, everyone just pays with US dollars. (i.e. shirt in store costs 120 pesos or 12 dollars, so you are actually better off taking your 12 dollars to the hotel lobby, and exchanging it at the rate of 10.3 you will get 123.6 pesos, then go pay for the shirt in pesos, and you have 3.6 pesos left. Totally not worth the hassle though). One time I had a taxi give me a very unfair rate, (taxis have set rates to go everywhere, but the set rate is in pesos, most of them us a 10 exchange rate to convert to US dollars if you want to pay US), the set rate to Tulum Ruins is 70 pesos, so should be 7$ and although we and our family all paid our taxis 7$ to get there, another taxi wanted 10$ to bring us back, so luckily I had pesos with me and just paid the 70 pesos instead.
Once I wanted change for a 20$ American bill and they didnâ€™t have enough small bills at the lobby counter to do it for me. I asked the bell boy (I had read elsewhere they are the ones to go to for change) but he didnâ€™t have any either. It wasnâ€™t a big problem, only happened to me once. Everybody in our group had brought lots of small bills (and lots of 1$ for tipping). I definitely recommend doing this (as a side note, at my bank I had to call 2 days before hand to order 100 1$ bills, they donâ€™t normally have that many on hand). At other resorts I have always been able to exchange large American bills for 1$ American bills at the lobby counter, but this is obviously not the case here (you may be able to do it sometimes, but I wouldnâ€™t count on it).
ENTERTAINMENT / THINGS TO DO 8/10
Every night there are movies on a big screen on the beach (they set-up beach chairs and have popcorn and the sound quality is good) as well as a show in the plaza, one night it was American Idol, one night the musical Greece, one night Mayan dancers, one night an â€œideal coupleâ€ contest. Sometimes they have shows in the disco, one night it was a hypnotist (I found him very annoying and the show not very good at all, so disappointed to have stayed up an hour later on the night before my wedding just to see it!) and another night a magician (either I missed it or it was cancelled, not sure). One night there was a big Mexican fiesta, they had a mechanical bull (they also had the bull another night too) and a buffet outside (the world caf© was closed for the event).
All in all, the entertainment was the best Iâ€™ve seen at any of the 4 resorts Iâ€™ve been to. That being said I was still bored and thought it could have been better (maybe Iâ€™m just difficult to please).
Desire, the disco, is very lame, there is never anyone there. My sister went Saturday night and it was empty (on a Saturday night!) she was pretty much the only one there with the staff (one of the staff told her that they are required to go there on Saturday and Wednesday evenings). My family went on the night of my wedding and it was also empty, we actually ended up leaving right away (more on that in the wedding section). The disco is set up with lots of comfortable chairs and small tables, with a fairly small elevated dance floor in one corner. If you have a large group, I can see that it would be fun because you could make your own party.
Nobody in our family did any of the daytime activities, except 2 people did the water aerobics and found it to be a good workout. The pool bar was sometimes loud but not non-stop all day. If you are on the beach in front of the pool bar itâ€™s obviously loud at the same times, but if you are a bit down the beach then you are fine and itâ€™s nice and quiet. The staff comes around before each activity trying to gather people to participate but they are not annoying about it at all and donâ€™t really try to convince you if you say no.
In terms of what to do off the resort, like I mentioned the only stuff that is close and a cheap cab ride is the Tulum Ruins, Xel Ha and some cenotes.
We went to Tulum Ruins on Saturday morning at 8am. Taxi is 7$ (well 70 pesos, most drivers will convert that to 7$ American, but one wanted 8$ and another 10$!) and entrance is 48 pesos (Iâ€™m pretty sure you need to pay in pesos, not American dollars). The ruins are open every day from 8am-5pm. There is no extra fee for professional camera but there is for videocamera. A guide costs 400 pesos (this is for 1-6 people, then slightlight higher for more people, for example 450 pesos for 7-9 people, etc). We didnâ€™t bother getting a guide since it would have been 45$ for our group of 8 people. It was already quite hot at 8am. We walked around half an hour to an hour then hit the beach. There is no washroom near the beach, so where your suit under your clothes, otherwise you can change behind a big rock with the help of a towel. As said many times before the beach here is absolutely stunning. There are no rocks in the water, the water is crystal clear and the waves are large. Everybody had a blast swimming, the half hour in the water is one of the highlights of our trip (especially getting our parents out there with us!). Everybody started getting ready to leave at 9:45am and my fiance and I were going to stay behind and enjoy the beach for a few hours, but within 10 minutes throngs of people (I mean 100) were filling the beach and so we ended up leaving with our family. Really, itâ€™s insane how this place fills up at 10am when the tour buses arrive. There must have been a 500-1000 people dropped off there right at 9:45 or 10am. You cannot take wedding pictures at the ruins (more on this below). If you walk in wearing your dress they make you take it off and put it in your locker.
Xel-Ha (pronounced Shell â€“ Ha) is a 10 minute, 10$ taxi ride from the hotel. Entrance is 75$ all inclusive (food, snorkelling equipment included, but does not include snuba, scuba or dolphin swim). They used to have a simple admission (no food or equipement) for approx half the price but they got rid of that. You can also buy your admission ticket at Tulum Ruins for 10% less (67,50$).
We had been before 3 years ago, and I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s because it was our 2nd time or because there was really less fish but I was a bit disappointed about the snorkelling. The water is very cloudy (Iâ€™m told from the salt-water mixing with the fresh water) and the only place where we saw lots and lots of fish was near the little bridge where people can throw food in. There was also lots of really big fish near the big bridge separating the park from the ocean. We saw fish elsewhere but not huge groups of them. For people who havenâ€™t snorkelled much youâ€™ll probably love it but for people who have snorkelled lots you may not find it that great.
The lazy river is really really slow, takes half an hour to go down the river part but then you are still far from the main part of the park and it can take another hour or so to get back! I pushed my mom in her tube back to the main part because we wanted to go eat, it must have taken almost half an hour of swimming and pushing! So donâ€™t bother unless you have lots of time.
The tarzan rope is awful, itâ€™s actually quite dangerous as the rope is in a small area so not much room to swing around and jump off. There are 2 other cliffs (which you go by when doing the lazy river) to jump off and these are much better than the tarzan rope.
There is no beach, if you walk all the way to the ocean it is a beautiful view of dark blue water with huge waves crashing on the rocks on the shore, and there are some hammocks to relax and have a nap. What a great way to end our day.
Overall the park is really beautiful and a definite must if youâ€™ve never been. I still enjoyed it the second time, but not nearly as much as the first so I donâ€™t really think it was worth going back but we still had a really fun day with the 3 family members who came with us (none of them had been).
Oh yeah, lastly, I bought a skirt from a store in Xel-Ha, it was marked at 30$ and I offered the lady 25$ (unsure whether they bargain or not at these stores) and she took my 25$ without a word and gave me the skirt, so obviously they do bargain a bit. Made me wish I had offered 20$!!!
And finally for the sunscreen, as most people know you need biodegreadable sunscreen. I had brought the Hawaiin Tropic one but had heard that they donâ€™t accept it. I could have used it anyways since there was nobody checking bottles. But since I had heard they didnâ€™t accept it I asked and sure enough they said itâ€™s not acceptable because it takes over a year to degrade whereas their brand degrades much faster. So they took my bottle for the day and asked how many people we were, I said 5 so they gave 5 samples of SPF 30 (you probably need 2 samples to do one adultâ€™s full body). At the end of the day you can go back and pick up your bottle, but I forgot mine there Their sunscreen goes on very white and is hard to rub in. In works very well but should still be re-applied regularly. We didnâ€™t reapply (we had none left) because I had read from other people that it worked amazingly well, and some of us burnt our shoulders a little (well we were in the water and sun from noon to 5pm).
Dos Ojos is a Cenote (pronounced SEE-NOTE-A) 5 minutes from Dreams Tulum, the taxi cost 15$ to get there (obviously ripped me off, even though I paid in pesos!) and 10$ to get back. This place is the same as â€œHidden Worldâ€ theme park. When I had asked the concierge about it she warned me that itâ€™s the same place, but if you enter through the theme park (owned by American company) you pay 75$, if you enter through the Dos Ojos entrance (locally operated) you pay 10$ (basic admission) or 30$ (equipment, guide and ride from entrance to the cenote). The entrances are about 1-2 minutes apart on the highway.
We brought our own equipment expecting to pay the cheap price (the concierge said it was 5$ but it was actually 10$) but itâ€™s a 2km walk to the actual Cenote from the entrance. You can take your taxi, but ours left as we were talking to the guy at the entrance and there was no others there (although we could have waited since they show up regularly). So you would have to tell your taxi to wait while you pay your 10$ entrance fee, then the taxi can drive you close to the cenote. Maybe the reason the taxi charged us more on the way there was because he thought he was brining us the whole way, I donâ€™t know. We decided to pay the 30$ per person to have a guide go with us, this includes getting a ride to the cenote, snorkelling equipment, and flashlights. The more expensive admission was definitely worth it. The flashlights are needed it you want to go a little deeper in the cave rather than stay at the entrance where there is daylight. We tried to bargain a bit on the price since we are 3 people sharing one guide and since we brought our own equipment but they wouldnâ€™t bargain, they said during busy season itâ€™s actually 40$ per person with equipment or 35$ without snorkelling equipement but that during less busy season itâ€™s 30$ with or without equipment.
We found the whole experience really cool. The water is fresh water (not salt water) and is a bit cold (75 degrees), the guy offered us wetsuits tops but we declined. You donâ€™t go that deep into the cave (itâ€™s not like a river which I hear some of the other cenotes are) but itâ€™s still really cool. We were there about an hour or two and definitely thought it was worth the 30$ per person.
PART 3: WEDDING 9.5/10
There were 2 other weddings during the week I was there, so 3 weddings in total in 7 days. I was surprised there werenâ€™t more, when I asked Landy she said November and December are very busy, January a bit less, February and March are pretty slow (I was shocked, this is when all the spring breaks are, February for universities and March for elementary/high school in Canda) and then April, May and June are very busy. The rest of the summer and the fall are not very busy she said.
The wedding was amazing. Although I had had some trouble getting answers to my questions by email, once I was so there Landy was great, she had a long list of questions to ask and took notes of all my answers and all my special requests.
We used the free package, and yet I was made to feel that we paid thousands of dollars to them because they worked so so hard to make things right. Landy worked really hard to get the gazebo decorated the way I wanted (a bit different than the normal way) and to get me flowers I liked (talked to the florist for like half an hour while I stood there saying what I wanted and didn't want based on the florists' ideas).
My family were all completely blown away by the service and how beautiful the wedding site was. Where I put less than a 10/10 I am really just being overly critical because I donâ€™t want to say everything was perfect.
SPECIAL REQUESTS 10/10
I had emailed her in advance asking questions about what flowers were available, about shells or flowers to decorate the aisle, and about decorating the gazebo differently then itâ€™s normally done (I had sent her pictures). I didnâ€™t really get complete answers beforehand but we worked it all our when I arrived. She did tell me that they didnâ€™t have enough material to do what I wanted with the gazebo, and that I could either bring my own or they could buy it and charge me for it. I brought my own and they didnâ€™t charge me anything to set it up, even though it took 2 guys an hour or two to decorate the gazebo!
I had seen a picture of starfish on the chair bows so I brought my own starfish to do this (packed them in 2 sturdy shoeboxes). I also brought a thin role of tulle for bows and Landy used it (she said they didnâ€™t have any bows the right color) to do the chair bows. They didnâ€™t charge me for the chair bows (I guess because they used my roll of tulle).
I requested either flowers with palm leaves or large shells (or flowers with palm leaves stuck inside large shells) to do the aisle. At the meeting Landy said she wasnâ€™t sure if they had enough large shells for that (I told her I woud like 8-10, i.e. 4 or 5 on each side) because they used to put people steal them after weddings! She talked to the florist about what they could do and I ended up getting palm leaf/flower arrangements similar to the photo I had shown her but without large shells holding them (they were held in place with some sort of block of sand in a box, buried under the sand so you couldnâ€™t see it). I didnâ€™t get charged for this, Landy considered it a substitute for the fact that I got simpler photos on the arch.
So all I paid was 150$ for the blood test (no tax added like I think the info booklet says) and 50$ judge's transportation. Both paid in cash with the proper change. The only other things I paid for was getting everyone's hair done (150$ + tip for 4 people, this is with the 15% wedding discount, which was applied to all 4 people since I was paying for all of them). Also Landy asked me for 5$ tip to pay the guy who set-up the speaker system and played our songs at the ceremony (no charge, just this 5$ "mandatory" tip). When I went to pick up my marriage certificate I tipped Landy 40$ for her services and 5$ each for the two men who set up the ceremony site. Even though we had some substitutes (no boutonnier for the groom, no flower arch on the gazebo, but we got two bags of petals and also flower arrangements for the aisle; and smaller flowers on the gazebo) and even though I asked for a more complicated gazebo decoration (I brought my own tulle for them to do this) they didn't charge me anything for the substitutes or the for the extra work to decorate the gazebo! They also didn't charge for me to change from vanilla or chocolate cake (included free) to Tres Leche, nor to have a small two tier cake (my request) instead of the small one tiered one I was suppose to get in the package. I got a flower bouquet different than the ones shown in the flower document Landy had sent me and didn't get charged extra for that either. I also requested that they have the beach cleaned around the gazebo (they always pick up garbage like straws in the sand, but I wanted the seaweed/coral raked up) and said I would pay the guys like 20$ each to clean it but Landy said I didn't have to pay. I couldn't believe they didn't charge me for any of this, it's the complete opposite of other people saying they were nickle and dimed for everything at other resorts.
I was really concerned about not getting flowers I liked so I ended up ordering natural touch silk flowers. didnâ€™t have time to make my bouquets so I just bought the stems from her and had them shipped to my aunt who is a florist and she made me my bouquet, groomâ€™s boutonnier, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 mothersâ€™ write corsages and a hair comb. I made the dadâ€™s boutonniers myself using starfish (spray painted white) and ribbon. The natural touch flowers look very real, my family were all shocked at how nice and real looking they were.
Since the bouquet and boutonnier were free in the package, I decided to take the bouquet anyways hoping it would be great. I didnâ€™t bother getting the boutonnier since I my husbandâ€™s aunt had made him one and I didnâ€™t want her to be disappointed if he didnâ€™t wear it.
I didnâ€™t like any of the bouquets in the book. I really wanted hibiscus, Landy said sheâ€™d talk to the florist. Landy got back to me the day before my wedding and said the florist said hibiscus wilt very quickly so they couldnâ€™t do that. So she got the florist on the phone and I was in her office at the same time and the florist kept suggesting stuff and I would say yes or no, and the florist was sending Landy pictures of her ideas by MSN. My only other idea other than hibiscus (I wanted something very tropical) was birds of paradise (the weird yellow/orange pokey things) and bromeliads (the light pink or bright red/fushia cone like flowers, which are actually a plant). So I requested that and got it mixed with fushia gerbers daisies and oriental lilies (which I hate but could have just pulled out, and did the next day). The bouquet was beautiful and I loved it once I pulled out the oriental lilies. But it was only delivered (by Landy) one hour before the ceremony, and by then my photographer had taken a ton of pictures with my fake bouquet, so I didnâ€™t want to change bouquets half way though my photos. Plus the fake bouquet was just as nice, some people would say nicer (although in my opinion less tropical looking). So I definitely recommend asking for your bouquet to come earlier! I know Landy gets them in the morning, she told me so (when explaining we couldnâ€™t get hibiscus because they wilt), and I saw the ones from another wedding when I was there at 1pm. I donâ€™t know why they wait so long to bring them to you.
I asked for 2 bags of petals, one for the aisle (they put them down on the aisle 2 minutes before you walk down. They blow away a little but not that much) and one bag to throw in the air for a picture. I think she said normally you get one bag free. I got the 2 bags free since I didnâ€™t take the boutonnier. One of my disappointments (so minor) was that the petals were deep red (kinda burgundy) rose petals, even though Landy knew I wanted all my flowers fushia pink. I think they always use the same rose petals for everything (including decorating your room at the end of the night). So if you want others make sure to specifically request them.
I didnâ€™t want the flower arch that they normally do on the gazebo (this comes free even with the free package), I thought it was too much. I gave Landy a picture I saw where there was just a small palm leaf with a few flowers on each side of the gazebo, so that is what she did.
As I mention above I also got palm leaf/flower arrangements for the aisle and I wasnâ€™t charged for this. Landy said it was because I didnâ€™t get the large gazebo arch but only small gazebo flowers so they were doing the aisle flowers for free.
I had booked the Caribbean Trio, but Landy said that was something more appropriate for after the ceremony, not during (i.e. itâ€™s not really walking down the aisle music) and since we only had 10 guests who would all be doing photos after the ceremony, I didnâ€™t want to pay 350$ for the Caribbean Trio (for 45 minutes) after the ceremony. She said we could get the â€œRomantic Trioâ€ instead, this is not in the info booklet, itâ€™s the same people but different style of music and instruments, she said itâ€™s more like serenading music and more appropriate for walking down the aisle. So we agreed to that for during the ceremony and a little bit after (since the set is 45 minutes, and the ceremony only about 20). But then we saw another wedding and they used the speaker system with Canon in D playing and the music was very beautiful and very clear so we cancelled the band (no charge, itâ€™s always booked last minute anyways). We did Canon in D for the entrance and exit (I would have preferred something different for the exit but we hadnâ€™t planned this in advance and didnâ€™t have much music with us) and then I gave her a french song we love burned on cd for during the signing of the certificate (â€œJe tâ€™aimais, je tâ€™aime, je tâ€™aimeraisâ€ by Francis Cabrel). We didnâ€™t have to pay for the speaker system, just a 5$ tip (requested by Landy) to the guy doing it. I was told he would play during the ceremony only, not afterwards, but I gave him 3 extra songs on the CD anyways to play after the ceremony, and he definitely played 2 of them, maybe all 3 (I only noticed the first two) while we were doing our toast.
PHOTO AND VIDEO (no rating yet)
Like I mentioned earlier we didnâ€™t get the resort photographer or videographer. We didnâ€™t get charged anything for using outside vendors. Our photographer was a guest at the resort. I guess we would have had to pay something for the videographerâ€™s drinks and food if he had stayed longer but he was only there 2.5 hours.
Having Jodi there to take photos all day was great, she was like an energizer bunny and just took an insane amount of photos. Then of course she took more the next morning for the trash the dress photo session! I had sent her lots of inspiration photos by email and she even printed them all on a few sheets of paper as a reference (how organized!). She also had lots of good ideas for poses. She gave lots of direction while taking the photos (I can still hear her voice in my head â€œ1, 2, 3â€¦.1,2,3â€¦.look at meâ€¦.look at eachotherâ€¦.kissâ€) which was great because weâ€™ve had bad experiences with photographers who didnâ€™t give enough direction and we donâ€™t know what looks good and didnâ€™t feel comfortable inventing our own poses. Even my fianc© who normally doesnâ€™t say much said after after she took a couple pictures on the first day of the trip â€œI love that she tells us what to doâ€. Jodi definitely takes her job very seriously and wants to do an amazing job. I can't wait to see how the photos turn out.
Iâ€™ll post more about these once we get the photos and video.
Me and my bridesmaids went to the salon to have our hair done at 9am. I had made my appointment in advance by contacting Carlos Osorio :firstname.lastname@example.org. But if you wait till you get there Landy or Sandra will book your appointment. It cost 45$ each for the updos, and I got a 15% wedding discount since I paid for all of them (Iâ€™m not sure if everyone gets the discount if they each pay their own). The salon info booklet said 45$ and up but Carlos had assured me by email it would be exactly 45$. We had 3 different stylists and it took 45 minutes total for us to be done and out of there! The appointments started right on time. We had planned 1.5-2 hours for the hair in case they were late and in case it took a long time (Iâ€™ve had updos before that take over an hour). My two bridesmaids had shorter hair so their updos were smaller but I have long hair so lots to curl and still only 45 minutes. I told them to put lots of hairspray and it held up pretty good all day. The only problem is my veil wasn't back from being steamed so I couldnâ€™t get her to put it in. I slipped it in myself later and it didnâ€™t stay well at all, it stayed for the ceremony but fell out like 20 times during pictures so I eventually gave up and took it out. Would have maybe been better if the hairstylist had put it in (so I recommended trying to get your stuff steamed and delivered back to you the day before!)
I was very happy with my hair even though it wasnâ€™t quite the same as my inspiration picture, it was close (as a side note, they have a bunch of hair books if ever you donâ€™t have an inspiration picture). I didnâ€™t think it was amazing beautiful (i.e. not 10/10) but my family did, and I was still very very happy. My bridesmaids were satisfied with theirs but not overly happy, probably because their hair is so short (less than shoulder length)
CLOTHES STEAMING / IRONING 8/10
The resort steamed my veil and dress and irnoned my husbandâ€™s suit and shirt for free as part of our package. They picked the stuff up around noon the day before our wedding and brought it back at 11am. I called Landy at 10am the day of the wedding when we didnâ€™t have it because I was ready to get dressed soon, but they came shortly after. As mentioned it would have been better to get the veil back sooner so that the hair stylist coud have put it in. Also when our clothes wasnâ€™t there by 10am, it wasnâ€™t fun to have to call Landy to make sure it would come soon.
TIMING OF THE DAY 10/10
I originally booked my ceremony time at 4pm based on the sun setting at 7pm (as it did last year on the same date) as I wanted 2 hours of good light after the ceremony for photos. But I found out 2 weeks before that sun set would be at 6pm because daylight savings time was only starting a few days later (it starts on the first Sunday in April, whereas in Canada and US it now starts on the 3rd Sunday in March). I contacted Sandra to switch my ceremony time to 3pm or 3:30pm but she said the judge wasnâ€™t available. I asked again at my meeting with Landy when we arrived and she said 3pm was available which was great. Looking back, it would have been really awful to have less time because I wanted lots of photos.
Here was my schedule for the day:
9am: hair appointments
11am: get dressed and do make-up
12pm: photos of me alone and with bridesmaids
1pm: photos of me with my family
2pm: photos of groom alone and with family
3pm: ceremony and toast
3:45pm â€“ 4:30pm: group pictures
4:30pm â€“ 6pm: pictures of bride and groom
The ceremony started only a few minutes late, I think like maybe 5-10 minutes.
3pm was a perfect ceremony time (based on 6pm sunset) because it gave us sufficient time for photos (although it wouldnâ€™t have hurt to have a little more time) but it wasnâ€™t too hot. The hottest time of day at the resort is from about 10am â€“ 2pm. The sun cools down a lot around 3pm as itâ€™s farther down in the sky.
Iâ€™m really happy that we left a lot of time for photos. Although it may seem like a lot it really wasnâ€™t, I couldnâ€™t believe how fast the time went by. It was so great to have a photographer there all day to take photos. Initially I planned on hair appointments being an hour later, but Jodi insisted that I allow more time for photos and I'm glad she did. Getting great photos requires lots of time, and also the fact that we weren't rushed made the day so relaxing.
The judge spoke Spanish and Landy translated (I thought her accent was less heavy than Sandraâ€™s. I heard Sandra translate another wedding and thought she was just a little bit harder to understand). There was a microphone so everybody could hear. The ceremony only lasted about 15-20 minutes (even though Landy had said 30). The only thing we added to the regular ceremony was our vows, we didnâ€™t write them ourselves because that would have been too stressful / too much pressure, I just looked online for some nice vows and combined a few different ones.
We scheduled our dinner for the seaside grill at 6pm. I chose this restaurant since it was open air and near the beach. There are a few mosquitoes around but not that bothersome.
We didn't have a private reception and it didn't matter, we had one long beautiful rectangular table for the 10 of us and it was perfect. They brought the chairs from the ceremony site (still decorated with bows) over to the restaurant. They meticulously set-up the table lining up each piece of silverware (my parents watched them do this while we were gone taking pictures). They set up a small table next to it with the cake.
The dinner and service was wonderful. Everybody was allowed to order from the menu since we were only 10 people. We got lots of champagne (they were very generous with this, we had gotten a bottle in our room the day we arrived, a bottle in our room the wedding day, a bottle for the toast and then more for dinner!). For dessert they asked if we wanted to order dessert on top of the wedding cake but we stuck with just the cake. It was tres leche and very delicious. There was way more than enough for 10 people, we only ate half of it.
I asked Landy to clarify the new policy related to renting out restaurants now that they have the ballrooms (Convention Center), and she said from now on the only restaurants than can be rented for a private reception are the seaside grill and El Patio. You can no longer do a private reception at the other a-la-cartes (Portofino, Bordeau, Himitsu, Gohan). The cost for the private reception at these two places is 700$ or 750$ (can't remember). If you have the Ultimate Wedding package you can also have your reception on the beach at no additional cost.
The only free option for groups larger than 10 (we were 10 so free at any restaurant) is the buffet. This is actually not a bad option, our whole group ate at the buffet the second night and we had a large table off to the side and it didn't feel like we were at the buffet at all, it was all candlelit and we got excellent service from the waiter for drinks and clearing plates.
For the 1st dance, we planned on going to the Disco but we got there and there was not one person, and we were only 10 people, so not enough to get a good crowd, and it was very dark and they had a disco ball going and it wasn't realloy a nice atmosphere for a first dance so since I could tell the parents were uncomfortable we just left and went to bed (I didn't care - we are currently taking dance lessons and will do a nice dance at our at home reception in a few weeks).
What I wish we had planned instead was just to take the ipod dock station from our room (you would require batteries to do this) and do our dance next to the pool, or even right in front of the lobby. I wouldn't have bothered asking Landy/Sandra's permission to do this, just get your group together there after dinner and do it! Both locations would have been beautiful for a first dance. I actually wanted to do this after we left teh disco but our parents were already walking back to their rooms and I didn't want to go chase them down to come back.
TRASH THE DRESS PHOTOS / PHOTOS AT TULUM RUINS
Oh yeah, one last thing, you can't take wedding pictures at the Tulum ruins! I got up at 6am the day after my wedding (it was our last day, otherwise obviously wouldn't have picked the morning after our wedding) and got all ready and went to the ruins at 8am in my dress and they wouldn't let us in! They told me to change so I put on my bathing suit (there is a washroom at the entrance) with the intention of chaning back to my dress when I got to the beach, and then when I got to the 2nd gate where they stamp your ticket they told me to put my dress in a locker! (it was in my beach bag, but they knew, all the employees saw me walk in wearing my dress) so we just got a refund and left. The employees were nice and polite about it but very firm about not letting me in with my dress on (even though we were practically the only ones there since they had just opened) I was so disappointed because the beach is so amazing and pictures from the look-out point near the beach and on the beach would have been spectacular. Plus it had taken a lot of dedication to get up at 6am and do my hair and make-up. So we just went back to the resort and did trash the dress photos there. If I was to do it over again, I would arrive at the ruins in normal clothes with my dress hiding in a bag, and then I would change on the beach (I had brought a sheet to hide behind so I could change into my bathing suit so we could swim after the p
Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:00 PM
and me riding the mechanical bull at the end of the night (this happened to be part of the entertainment that night)
Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:00 PM
Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:31 PM
Your pics are great and you look absolutley amazing! Congratulations!
Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:35 PM
Posted 05 April 2008 - 11:29 PM
Your pics are so pretty- I can't imagine what the pro pics will look like. You looked gorgeous- love the flowers and you dress, everything looked great.
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