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Rachel's Las Caletas Review/ Wedding Recap

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As all the brides before me have commented, LC truly is beautiful and the perfect site to be married. The day of the wedding, the whole wedding party, my mom and my hairdresser departed our hotel a little after 7am for the long drive to the marina. We paid our port fees and entered the marina to have our bags checked. There was a little bit confusion (at least on our part) about the mini bottles of tequila. Many people began speaking in Spanish and other authorities were called over. No one told us what the problem was and we were worried our favors would be confiscated. Thankfully, they then asked us to follow them over to the Vallarta Adventures little building. They turned over our tequila to Allan (the cruise director) and he would be in charge of them until arriving in LC. I simply thought sweet, once less thing to carry!


Allan then escorted us over to the dock and told us to sit and relax until they found out which dock we would be using. It was around 8:15 at this point and he said the boat would depart at 9am. Everyone then began to give me a bunch of crap for getting them there so early but honestly, Nicole told me to be there at 8:15. So we waited awhile (and by the way, it’s kinda cold at this point so pack some extra clothes.) A guy (not Allan) then came over and told us we were in the wrong spot and guided us over to another area. Confused, we followed him since he worked for Vallarta Adventures. We then waited in a different area and Allan spotted us and came over and told us that we were not suppose to move from the area that he left us. He then asked us to go back but we told him that some other dude guided us there. He told us we could remain where we were then.


We then watched other people boarding a Vallarta Adventure boat and my mom began to worry that they forgot us. I told her it was ok and it was probably another tour- since they have many. I secretly worried a little too though because the marina was packed full of people. Two cruise ships were unloading and various other tours were being guided one way or another. It was all very confusing. Finally, Allan told us to follow him and as we walked toward the boat, Kelley came running up and introduced herself. She promptly grabbed my dress from my FI and lugged all our other bags onto the boat. When she took my dress I was so relieved. Traveling with a wedding dress is definitely not fun! She told us we could sit anywhere on the boat, but by that time, the boat was pretty full from their earlier pick up in Nuevo Vallarta I believe. We went to the top of the boat and found a little corner at the front that had mats down to sit on. We all sat on the mats relieved to finally be on the boat. Although the sailing was pretty easy, I think sitting on the actual floor made it seem less rocky. No one got seasick on the way there thankfully.


About the midway point, Kelley came up to ask if we needed anything and enquired if any of us wanted massages. I was tempted but since I was so sick I was scared that it would make me worse since massages supposedly release toxins. We all declined and just enjoyed the fresh air on our faces.


We made a small stop at our resort to pick up some more passengers. Again, everyone gave me a ton of shit for making them leave the resort at 7am when we could have been picked up by the catamaran around 9:30am. I had no idea this was even an option so if you stay in south Mismaloya, ask Kelley or Nicole if this is a possibility. It would save on taxi fares and time!


When we finally reached Las Caletas, we were the last passengers to exit the boat. Kelley asked us to wait for her to guide us to the bridal casita. Thankfully it wasn’t a long wait since we all had to use the restroom at this point. She promptly guided us to the casita. I hope none of you are slow walkers because Kelley and Nicole both walk FAST! They are so used to the terrain and stairs they effortlessly glide around. I was so sick I felt breathless climbing all those stairs and I was so happy we could stop at the half way point to use the restrooms. I had no idea the bridal casita would be so high up- I think Kelley said it was like 85 steps. I am terrified of stairs- I fall down them all the time. When I noticed how many stairs we climbed I began to panic, afraid I would fall down them once in my dress.


Kelley gave us a tour of the bridal casita and wow, it’s so beautiful and so unique. I loved the little bungalow feel and the bed was so soft. I was tempted to just stay up there all afternoon but I didn’t. We all decided to go down to the beach and after the walk down the stairs, I realized this was THE stairs I would be walking down to go to the wedding. Again, I became so terrified of falling. I don’t know what it is, but put me around stairs, I become a clumsy mess. I get so worked up I either slip and catch myself or completely fall. I don’t know what the issue is. I only slipped going down the stairs to the beach and Steve caught me.


Since we were late arrivals to the beach, we had a hard time finding some chairs to relax in. We found three available ones and everyone else just sat on their beach towels in the sand. I relaxed, reading a book for most of the time, but had to escape the sun because it was too hot and the last thing I wanted was a bad tan line for the dress.


We went up to the hammocks to relax and noticed they just started a cooking lesson. To be honest, I really could care less about what they were cooking since I never cook. I just wanted the chips and guacamole because I was starving. I was so happy we had lunch soon after. Kelley showed us our private table and told me Nicole would be here shortly. The food was great. Although I had a bad cold, my taste buds were still intact and I enjoyed every last morsel. I wasn’t too fond of the desserts, but after two weeks in Mexico, I found I didn’t really enjoy any of the desserts. No offense to LC- I just don’t like tres leches apparently.


Nicole came up and greeted me and I recognized her right away from the forum pictures. She chit chatted for a bit and told me she would be up at the casita to go over small details around 2pm. She told me that my photog, Elizabeth Lloyd was scheduled to arrive around 3pm. With that news, I decided to retreat to the casita to rest for a bit. However, once I arrived up there I realized 9 people needed to get ready and I didn’t want to short myself getting ready time. I immediately jumped in the shower and just blow dried my hair so I could rest for a bit until it was time to get it done. Unfortunately, there were only 4 towels so I slightly snickered at those that had to double up on the towel usage. Perks of being a bride I suppose. I asked Nicole for more towels, but I’m not sure if we ever got them.


Nicole came up around 2 as promised and we went over some minor details since I didn’t do a site visit prior to the wedding. There really wasn’t much to decide so I just gave her everything I packed with me. Sadly, my mom had a suitcase she was in charge of and we realized we forgot it. It had the pashminas (my favors for the ladies) and 16 cute little tealights I had purchased. Nicole tried calling my father at the hotel to ask him to bring it but she wasn’t able to get a hold of him. My mom felt horrible, but I reassured her it was no big deal. After all, I scorched a hole in my dress the day before trying to “steam” out some wrinkles with an iron. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I only teared up over that, so if I wasn’t going to cry about a hole in THE DRESS then I certainly wasn’t going to cry on my wedding day about some pashminas and tealights.


Nicole informed me that Beth had arrived early and she would be up soon. I decided I didn’t want those getting ready shots of me without makeup so I quickly put on some foundation. Haha I’m so vain but honestly, I don’t need pictures of my dark circles and uneven skin recorded forever in my wedding pictures. Beth arrived, bringing with her a second photog which was completely unexpected. I didn’t know I would have a second so I was pleasantly surprised. She told me he would be documenting the guys’ getting ready shots.


Speaking of which- my FI and his best man came over early with us. I really enjoyed spending some last minutes with him, but when it came down to getting ready time, they were kind of in the way. The casita is so open, that it was hard for some of the ladies to try to get ready while maintaining some modesty. We kicked them out of the casita at some point and they were a little perturbed. My FI wanted to take a nap and rest but had no place to do it. Unfortunately, the hammock is in partial/full sun so it’s kinda hot to rest in that. We worked it out though and I’m still happy they came over early. I just want to warn anyone in case they plan on doing the same. It can become a little cramped and the boys may become a little cranky if you send them down the stairs a couple times for errands. Haha


The getting ready part was fun. I love getting ready for special occasions and this just happened to be the most special of occasions. I put my make up on while my maid of honor got her hair done by our hairdresser/friend. (Luckily, I’ve become such good friends with my hairdresser she was thrilled to be invited to the wedding and offered to do our hair for free!) I then got my hair down. I wish I had packed a mirror because I didn’t really know what it looked like. I tried using a compact but it was too hard to see. I just relied on everyone telling me what looked good.


Everyone finished getting ready and Nicole came up and whisked everyone but my mom and bridesmaids away. Beth then spent time taking shots of us pre-wedding. Nicole came up again and Beth and my mom left with her leaving my bridesmaids and me alone. Nicole told me she would be back in 10 mins for us. I sat in casita sipping champagne and willing my nerves away. You know, in hindsight it was so silly. FI and I were married 2 months before our ceremony in Vegas, so it wasn’t like I was nervous about making the ultimate commitment- I had already done that! I had nothing to be nervous over, but yet I sat there giggling with my BMs about how many butterflies I had in my stomach. They reassured me that they were nervous too so I wasn’t being silly. I felt silly, but a little school girlish as well. It took me back to the times when we had just begun dating and we were so nervous to say the things we really meant to say but the relationship was so new, we weren’t sure to take that next step. All that build up and anticipation had finally gotten to me.


Nicole came RUNNING up the steps to get us (good Lord girls- she is in shape. I can’t believe how many times a day she runs up those stairs. I had to take breaks getting up them and here she was running.) She told us everyone was set and to hurry down the steps. My BMs took off after her and I slowly but surely made my way down. Like hell I was going to run down the steps and fall. It was my wedding day- everyone waits for the bride. I finally caught up with everyone and Nicole told us to crouch down because we were going to see the guys walk one of the paths below us. Sure enough, there they went and my heart seriously lurched in my chest. I couldn’t believe this was the moment I would walk down the isle.


We sat crouched for awhile so no one could see us and I heard the music begin. Funny enough, it was the wrong song. Nicole frantically began speaking in Spanish in her radio and the song faded and next the bridal entrance song came up. Wrong song again. I sat giggling because I couldn’t do anything else. Nicole apologized profusely and began talking in her radio again. Next our recessional began to play which was suppose to be a joke. We picked Another One Bites the Dust. Oh the irony. Here I sat waiting to walk down the aisle and Another One Bites the Dust is playing. Nicole began to whisper-yell into her radio and finally the bridal march came on again. Nicole just had my BM begin to walk even though they were suppose to walk to a different song than me. I had chosen Somewhere over the Rainbow for them and Bittersweet Symphony for me. I’m not sure where the confusion lied and I don’t know what I could have done differently. I had named the songs in my IPod- prelude, processional, bridal entrance, and recessional and gave a list to Nicole that listed the songs in the order they were to go.


In all honesty, I really don’t care about the mix up. It wasn’t a big deal and it provided me a moment to laugh with my BMs before walking down the aisle. I think she felt really bad though but I reassured her a music mix up was actually good luck. My parents’ wedding had a mic go out and it kept screeching while the singers were singing a song.


Finally, Nicole motioned for me to go and I carefully walked down the final steps by myself and my dad greeted me at the sand. He was nervous too I think because he whispered “Who picked this shitty music?” Haha who says that to their daughter while walking down the aisle. I laughed, of course. Before I even reached the chairs I realized EVERYONE was crying. My BMs were bawling, the moms, every woman in the there. It was pretty funny and I even blurted out about half way down “Why’s everyone crying?”


I reached Brad, the minister, and my nervous little FI and got the “nice to meet you” from Brad. The ceremony began and my nervousness got even worse. I looked at FI and I could tell he was nervous. He would look at me and then look away because I think he was trying not to cry. His eyes were all teary and it was just so precious. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. Brad was great and his ceremony is beautiful. When saying the vows, he speaks so low and both FI and I struggled to hear him. FI asked him to repeat a few times and I simply said whatever I thought he said. I think I may have said a few things wrong because as I was saying my vows at one point I realized I didn’t make sense. It didn’t matter- my voice was croaky and I doubt half the people could hear/understand me anyways. I barely had a voice left at that point. We finished up- did our kiss and walked back down to “Another One Bites the Dust” laughing the whole way.


Beth gathered us up and asked if we wanted a group shot. I said yes since we only had about 20 people at the wedding. Half way through I wish I would have said no. No one had the sense of urgency like I did and I wanted to yell out “Move your asses people! Limited daylight here.” Beth did her best encouraging everyone into spots without seeming bitchy. FI’s mom was like strolling along the beach line collecting rocks/shells. WTF? I whispered to FI to tell his mom to get on the ball and he called for her to quickly join us. If anyone has a big group, please note that it may be hard to get a group shot quickly. The ceremony just ended and naturally everyone wants to hug/ talk to each other while the bride fidgets because she and the photographer are the only people aware of the diminishing sunlight.


Picture time stressed me out more than anything. It wasn’t Beth’s fault. It was the slow moving family members and the FI and best man who couldn’t stop goofing off with each other. My patience wore thin and I could hear Beth getting a little frustrated with the boys too. After another stern mini-lecture from me, they shaped up and we got the ball rolling and snapped pictures right and left. Beth was quick and efficient. I think the photos will be pretty.


Dinner was great- the food superb. The waitstaff never left a drink unfilled. Nicole kept me up to date on time always letting us know we were on scheduled and always asked if we would like to switch to dancing or if we were ready to cut the cake, etc. I only programmed my Ipod for 1.5 hrs for dinner. I forgot about cocktail hour so the songs repeated themselves through dinner and finally Nicole switched to some Latin music they had on hand. No one probably noticed- I didn’t. She actually told me haha.


We then did a quick cake cutting. I didn’t really like the cake- it was too moist for me. Even Steve didn’t like it and he eats anything. We both only ate the small bite we fed each other. I liked the cake but I noticed there were some purple flowers on it and I was like “Where did those come from?” All in all, it wasn’t that big of a deal but I only wanted to note it in case another bride would find it a huge deal. I specified flower color in early emails, but it was probably my fault for not meeting with Nicole prior to the wedding to recap small details. Again, I didn’t really care much- I just noticed. I would hate for a future bride that is a little more specific about details than I was to get upset.


We then did the first dance, which Nicole announced for us. We quickly moved onto normal dancing. I sat wondering when the fire dancers would come and they came during our last 20 mins at LC. They were great and holy crap is that fire hot! I was petrified having them swing the fire around us. Everyone loved them though. Totally worth the money and I got a great “told you so” moment because Steve didn’t want them to begin with. I stuck to my guns and in the end, he said they were awesome. Ha!


The boat ride back was surprisingly faster than the boat ride there. They got us back in 28 mins. The cruise director timed it! It was so windy and everyone just drank tequila and danced. It was fun! I had made a list of songs to play on the boat but I never gave my ipod to the cruise director. They just played music and I never thought twice about it. They tried to mix up the hip hop with Latin music and most people wouldn’t dance as much to the Latin so they would play the hip hop again. They totally read the crowd- plus all the guys working on the boat were younger guys- I think they liked watching all the girlies shake their bums.


We got off the boat and caught taxis home. My dad arranged for 5 taxis to take us all back and promised the winning driver a big tip. Now let me tell you- this is an excursion in itself! Everyone was half drunk and the taxis drove like maniacs. It’s a long drive from the marina to south Mismaloya and I said a lot of prayers. Steve kept encouraging our taxi to pass on blind corners and I was screaming, literally screaming, at the driver to stop. My dad’s taxi won the race- go figure and his driver was hysterical. He was out front of our hotel at like 12am shouting “I’m Fernando- the taxi driving champion.” He as so proud of himself. Thankfully, we got that on tape. It was one of the highlights of the night.

Highlights - For those that did not want to read all my babbling (I don’t blame you.)

1. Remind BM to pack underwear. The boat ride home is windy.


2. Ask Brad, the minister, to speak up if you are deaf like me. Otherwise you ask him to repeat himself a lot or you just end up shooting the vows from the hip.


3. Don’t get a really bad cold on your wedding day. It’s hard as hell to walk up steps when you get out of breath easily and you sound like a toad during the ceremony.


4. Pack everything for the wedding the night before. Then repack. Pack a travel mirror so you can see your hair once it's done. Don’t rely on others to bring stuff for you unless you plan on remembering to remind them to remember to pack what they need to. That’s a lot of remembering to remind! It’s a lot to think about the day of, so just do it yourself.


5. Meet with Nicole or Kelley prior to the wedding to hash out small details. If a site visit isn’t something you are up for a few days prior, make arrangements to meet them at the hotel. If I could do it over, would I still meet with them? No, all though some things were a bit off, I didn’t care. It was lovely and we all had a great experience. Only noting in case a future bride finds herself in a fit over the wrong bouquet, wrong cake flowers or wrong ceremony music. It’s still beautiful, but if you have a vision, make sure you double check that the wires weren’t crossed during the several months of planning.


6. Use the capiz curtains I left for the chuppah. It was beautiful and I hope other LC brides will like them!


7. Don’t get wrapped up on the small details. It goes by so quickly that you won’t even notice half the stuff. The best part is smiling at your honey knowing he’s yours forever and spending some quality time with your loved ones on the happiest of days. All other details are trivial.


8. Hire the fire dancers. They are awesome and who can really say they had fire dancers at their wedding? Only us DW brides. It’s icing on the cake for sure!


9. Ask your taxis to race you home after arriving at the marina. It’s an unforgettable experience.

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Now for some pics- I know that's what you are all here for!


The boat:

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The crew:

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The newly promoted cruise director on the far right. Allan in the middle with the beanie on.


The first sighting of LC:

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The beach were it all goes down:

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The other half- where Rhythms of the Night does their dinner:

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This means you finally made it:

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Nice Review!


I'm so glad you had a beautiful day, sounds like a lot of fun!


And I hear you about not being able to hear and understand the vows, there was a couple of times I didn't know what I was repeating and it made no sense, but it gave us a good laugh!

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Edited- added others I had on the LC thread.

boat ride back-

remind your BM to pack panties. It gets windy....hehe

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My mom and sister shakin it at the front of the boat.


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Cruise director called us to the front for an honorary tequila shot toast. Don't mind my awesome outfit. It was cold! I also dumped my tequila over the side of the boat when no one was looking. No thank you!

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