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antonia321's Playa del Carmen / The Royal Playa del Carmen Wedding review! :)

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#1 antonia321

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    Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:48 PM

    March 29, 2008
    Ceremony @ Nuestra Se±ora del Carmen, Catholic Church
    The Royal Playa Del Carmen
    Cocktail @ Gazebo
    Reception @ Beach

    Choosing Playa del Carmen: I remember right after I got engaged, I knew I wanted a DW. Choosing a place was so overwhelming! I don’t think I could be happier with choosing this location for our wedding. It is such a fabulous yet completely charming town with a beautiful beach. We had close to 100 guests flying in from all over, the US – East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest, Canada, Europe, Philippines and Australia. I had expected most people to fly into Cancun airport, which they did. But were surprised to find that guests found deals flying into Cozumel and even Playa del Carmen airport… who knew?

    A handful of guests had been before and were excited for a reason to come back. But for most people, we picked a new vacation spot to explore and were very happy that we did! It was a beautiful place that was easy for people to get to from all over the world.

    Our guests also varied in range, from my 10 month year old niece to grandparents but majority of our guests were adults - our friends and family members. There were lots of things to do in the town for all ages, shopping, nightlife, eating, just walking around, and hanging out on the beach. Also, many close-by activities for day trips – diving, snorkeling, visiting ruins, swimming with dolphins, etc.

    Choosing The Royal Playa del Carmen/Real Resorts: How guilty did I feel for picking a 5 star resort for my wedding? And an all-inclusive, adults only one at that!! “Hi! Spend tons of money traveling then stay at this really expensive resort that I chose – oh and by the way, its high season!” I have to say that Real resorts were WONDERFUL working with us. We negotiated with them directly and got a great deal even though it was high season. They have three resorts walking distance from each other in Playa del Carmen. The Royal and The Gran Porto, which allow kids, are directly across from each other and next to each other on the beach. We offered our guests 3 different places to stay with various price ranges. While 75% of our guest stayed at The Royal with us, the option was there for those with tighter budgets or children.

    Location, location, location! I don’t think it gets any better than the Royal. It was just one block from 5th Avenue but still on the beautiful beach. People could easily meet up and be entertained. No cabs to the town, walking everywhere. I had a small group of guests staying at one of Palace resorts in their time share and they had to take a 20 minute cab ride each time to meet up with everyone.

    Nuestra Se±ora del Carmen, Catholic Church: Our ceremony was held here. It is a very beautiful, modern church right off 5th Avenue and about 6 blocks from The Royal. Black marble floors and open-air feel made the church need little decoration. If anyone wants more information on working with the church please PM me. My mom did most of the church dealings. My uncle is a Catholic priest so he flew in and married us. We didn’t use a local priest. Originally, we were going to play a CD for our music but there were issues with the sounds system. Anyway, one of our guests surprised us with musicians so we had live music in the end. The acoustics were wonderful.

    Traveling: We traveled with Delta from DC with a stop in Atlanta. I hand-carried my dress and also brought two boxes with 70 mini-lanterns. All the airline staff was so nice! I think as soon as they saw me carrying “the dress,” they knew I was a bride. They hung up my dress, gave us champagne and were very friendly. I also didn’t have any problems in customs in Cancun with the boxes. I said they were wedding favors and they let us through.

    Best Day Shuttle: We recommended this shuttle to our guests. We took it with no problem. Some guests had a great experience and some did not so I’m on the fence about recommending it. You might just take a cab.

    The Royal Playa del Carmen: Check-in was a breeze and we were greeted with cocktails, a welcome sign for our wedding group and our names flashing on the flat screen. All of our guests got their rooms, no over-booking with them, thank goodness! There were minimal problems, like not getting a king-size bed or rooms still being cleaned but they were accommodated quickly when addressed. A few guests arrived late due to airline issues and their rooms were given away, but they were upgraded when they arrived. Lucky them!

    WE LOVE THE RESORT!! We were treated like Royalty and the service was wonderful. And our guests had a blast!

    Rehearsal Dinner: We had a rehearsal dinner for about 50 people at The Albatros at the Gran Porto. They sectioned off a little area for us. Not super cozy but we saved money by not doing it outside of the resort like we had originally planned.

    Hair & Make-up @ The Spa Azul: My sister, aka, MOH booked our mani/pedis, hair & make-up trials and for the wedding day via e-mail in advance with the spa manager. I highly recommend this because the spa gets booked up. They did my hair beautifully but I ended up doing my own make-up. I didn’t really like how they did it but I wanted to try. – just a little side note for nervous brides, I did have a little breakdown while they did my hair, both times. I was getting nervous and emotional. The ladies at the spa are so used to it and were so nice. When the tears started coming, they brought in champagne, tissues, coffee, called my mom to come in… super sweet!

    Zulma Dominguez, WC: She was wonderful and super sweet. Even though the ceremony wasn’t at the resort, she was super helpful. She had our flowers delivered to the appropriate rooms and set up our video package. I wasn’t overly concerned about the centerpieces since it would be dark. I just wanted orange tropical flowers.

    Walter & Ivan, Reception Coordinators: We had been working with Walter via e-mail but he was out of town for the wedding. Ivan took very good care of us.

    The Wedding Day: The ceremony was at 4:30 and the Church wasn’t air-conditioned so it was warm for those in suits. They had fans blowing but I think it was cooler outside than inside. After the ceremony, a Mariachi Band was supposed to be outside the church playing music while we took pictures then be in our procession to the resort. The band ended up going to the wrong church. Luckily, one of my guests found a group of street musicians to be our musical accompaniment for our procession down 5th Avenue. That was probably one of the coolest experiences. People on the streets and in restaurants were clapping for us and saying “Felicidades!” and tourists were taking pictures. It was a lot of fun and super memorable for everyone!

    Cocktail in the Gazebo area: Beautifully set up. There was a full bar- they even had blenders - and lots of food, 4 cold apps and 4 hot apps. As you entered you were handed a signature drink. We had a table with name cards attached to mini-lanterns. We took pictures during this time but enough time for us to enjoy the cocktail, too.

    Reception on the beach: We had a shoe table when entering the reception area for people to take off their shoes if they wanted before entering into the sand. There was someone directing people to their seats. We did a buffet dinner, which I wanted for a social atmosphere and more time for dancing. The buffet offered a wide range of food and they even did a dessert table for us. It was impressive. They also made a great copy of a picture that I sent for our cake. We got the tres leches flavor and it was delicious.

    We had big dance floor as well as lounge furniture. My dad requested a podium for his speech and they had it there for him and on a platform, too!

    Lounge Furniture by Events & Wedding Cancun: It was definitely worth the expense and set such a cool scene to the reception. It was too windy for the bamboo centerpieces and green pillows to stay on the tables and furniture so we didn’t end up using them. If your reception is at night and is windy, you might want to hold off on those extras and save your money. The furniture was rarely used for lounging. We all ended up dancing and jumping on top of it!

    DJ - Carlos Martinez from Mannia Cancun: He was FABULOUS!! My DH is so particular about music and wanted certain music played at certain times. He even gave Carlos a list of “banned” songs. Carlos was perfection and his timing was spot on. He kept the party going and the dance floor was never empty. He worked with us on lighting needs and even got us our explosions. He also surprised us with tons of balloons to get the party started. We were worry-free music wise. Our guests loved him, too! HIGHLY recommend.

    Matt Adcock – del Sol Photography: Matt and his assistant Diego were AMAZING! Having a destination wedding, I really wanted first class pictures since many people would just be sharing our experience through them. WOW. Everyone has been raving about them. You really feel like you’re experiencing the day in the pictures while still being artistic and stunning images. I said it before and I will say it again - He is worth every penny and I really feel like he and Diego really went above and beyond what I expected. My only real complaint was there were hardly any pictures of my mom, which made me and my family a bit sad. She looked so beautiful that day. He gives you about 500 beautiful pictures but not all of my guests were in them. Part of me wished that we did take pictures with every table just to make sure we had everyone. Luckily, there were lots of camera happy people there to share photos to help fill in the gaps. I guess the most important thing was that my husband and I looked awesome. And we really did!!! :) YAY!!!

    Juan Alfredo Salcedo – Just Video: We booked these guys through the hotel and got the complete package. Initially, I was going to not get video and put the whole budget into photography but my older cousin convinced me otherwise. He said, the day will go by so fast and there is so much that you’ll miss. Hire a videographer, you won’t regret that you did but you’d regret it if you didn’t. The quality and editing isn’t the best and the songs were a little cheesy but I’m glad we did it! They captured everything! I’m laughing and crying during it. They shot all of my guests and also gave me more footage that I paid for. I got two DVDs just 4 days after.

    In Summary… I truly had the most wonderful experience of my life. My DH and I were so happy with our DW. We hope we get invited to one as fun as ours! I think guests might have even had a better time because they didn’t have the wedding nerves and hosting stress that we felt. There were little hiccups on the way, like the church sound system not working and Mariachi band not showing up. But guests stepped in to make sure that didn’t ruin anything for us. There is definitely more that I can say but all in all, I highly recommend The Royal!!! I’m envious of those about to take the plunge, good luck and let me know if I can help! Let me know if you need any contact info, too!

    If you haven’t seen it already, you can check out our slideshow! del Sol Photography Wedding Photojournalism

    #2 Ana


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    • 8,047 posts
    • Wedding Date:April 1, 2009
    • Wedding Location:Dreams Cabo
    • LocationToronto

    Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:26 PM

    Congratulations!! your pictures are incredible! you look so incredibly happy

    #3 JennyK

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    • 3,502 posts

      Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:38 PM

      Congrats! Your pics are gorgeous :):):)

      #4 h&a

      • Jr. Member
      • 321 posts

        Posted 29 April 2008 - 11:03 PM

        Thanks so much for your great review, Antonia! It's a great help for us Royal girls! Congrats again... you looked beautiful on your wedding day!

        #5 antonia321

        • Newbie
        • 122 posts

          Posted 29 April 2008 - 11:29 PM

          Originally Posted by heidi&alex
          Thanks so much for your great review, Antonia! It's a great help for us Royal girls! Congrats again... you looked beautiful on your wedding day!
          Heidi! Only a month to go! I'm so excited for you! also, I saw you're using del Sol photography. fyi - I didn't have to get them a day pass, I just added them to my reception guest list. Matt and Diego just went to the front desk asked for Ivan and they came in with no problems.

          Also, make Chef's Plate reservations soon after you arrive. It gets filled up fast and you have to reserve days in advance.

          Invite me to your wedding so I can go back! LOL!!

          #6 h&a

          • Jr. Member
          • 321 posts

            Posted 30 April 2008 - 12:00 AM

            Originally Posted by antonia321
            Heidi! Only a month to go! I'm so excited for you! also, I saw you're using del Sol photography. fyi - I didn't have to get them a day pass, I just added them to my reception guest list. Matt and Diego just went to the front desk asked for Ivan and they came in with no problems.

            Also, make Chef's Plate reservations soon after you arrive. It gets filled up fast and you have to reserve days in advance.

            Invite me to your wedding so I can go back! LOL!!
            Thanks so much for the tips! I know... only one more month... I'm getting so excited! BTW... you are totally invited! lol...

            #7 Kryztan

            • Member
            • 743 posts

              Posted 30 April 2008 - 12:05 AM

              Great review....Congrats

              #8 athena

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              • 76 posts

                Posted 30 April 2008 - 12:57 AM

                Thank you so much for taking the time to write a full review. I haven't found a lot of info about the weddings at the royal so it was really nice to see and read all about it. Your pictures are beatiful! Congrats again!!
                Our Wedding Photo Slideshow (Using Funever's Photos)

                My Royal Playa del Carmen Wedding Review - Very Long

                #9 bridetobe22

                • Newbie
                • 107 posts

                  Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:22 AM

                  Thank you so much for taking the time to write up the review. It is so helpful to those of us going through the planning stages. You looked so beautiful and your wedding and festivities looked like a dream. Congratulations and thank you!

                  #10 Kriswim

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 186 posts

                    Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:54 AM

                    That's a great review! Thanks so much!
                    **Shannon** 40 people BOOKED! (but only 23 made it b/c of the Swine flu Pandemic )

                    My Wedding Review: http://bestdestinati....-w-pics-43618/

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