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More pictures of our weeding plus the last part of my review!



We chose Portofino and luckily any guest had been there as part of the a la carte options yet, so it was a new experience for everybody. We didnâ€t have a private reception because our group was small and we didnâ€t want to spend more neither.

THE PORTOFINO HAS A REALLY NICE ATMOSPHERE,THE STARTER BAR ARE ONE THE BEST OF ALL THE A LA CARTE and our meal was fantastic. We had mushroom soup, either salmon or chicken for main and dessert wedding cake. We chose the cheesecake and it was delicious!

The restaurant donâ€t take bookings until 6pm so your meal will be semiprivate. Some people did speeches as well there.

After that we went to the bar in the AKUMAL PREMIER LOBBY that has live music and outdoor seating area plus it was close to our rooms so I took a chance to change my shoes!!

We sat down for drinks and although we hadnâ€t planned doing first dances and all that(we are not that type of couple)our guest chatted the singer and she called us inside to have a dance in front of tons of guests from the hotel! It was fun and they all gave us an applause at the end!.

We planned originally to go to the disco but since we started so early that day by 11pm most of the guest  were ready to go home.


My husband suit is from Marks and Spencer and the shirt Hugo Boss.

In my case, I am former fashion designer and very crafty. The only thing about having a DW that didnâ€t like was that you know you wonâ€t be able to DIY any of the deco or carry with you much luggage. So I decided to bring the only piece of DIY I could: my dress.

I wanted something light, different, with a certain Latin touch to reflect my background and didnâ€t want to take a second mortgage to afford it. Plus I wanted something that  would blend with the hotel and the wedding feeling. Not right at the beach, barefoot but not like taken out of a Disney fairy tale.(Although I totally respect everybodyâ€s choices in wedding dresses)

It was made of cotton batiste but with an inner corselette to give me shape and with lots of broderie and lace trim.It wasnâ€t prefect perfectand I finished the night before leaving  but I loved it and felt really comfy in it.

My shoes are from Coast, in England. And I loved them although they killed my feet the whole day.

I did my own hair, imperfectly but decently. The prices in the spa are silly.85ussd for wedding hair when you get colour and cut for that price over here .I washed it and put a mask for 3 hours the night before and blow-dried it. And the next morning put some hot rollers for a few hours. My advice to you: if one of your guest can do hair you are better off than with the spa, because you will try it several times and know what to expect. If you do it yourself, donâ€t do like me that got new hot rollers and didnâ€t try them before hand until that very morning!.

We booked both mums as a present so they had their hair done and to be honest it wasnâ€t anything spectacular.

I did my make up as well. I wanted something really simple and natural. I put on a tinted moisturizer from Estee lauder that changes shade to match your own, great if you sunburn a lot. And I had some bronzer as blusher plus plenty of white eye shadow and some violet eyeliner, waterproof mascara and pink lipstick and lip gloss on top.

My advice to you regarding your bridal beauty(after all it is your day)

-Get some Bobbi brown blot papers(I think thatâ€s the name)my sister gave me a few and they were great because they take the sweat out of you face but not the foundation.

-Take a comb or brush down the ceremony with all the beauty products one of your bridesmaid will carry for you. My hair got blown away in some many directions during the ceremony and photos. In fact I regret not having it up in a half ponytail. ITS VERY BREEZY DOWN THE GAZEBO AND THE BEACH

-If you marry down the beach, get somebody to carry a small bottle of water and a towel for you. I had to go and wash my feet inside the tequila restaurant because my shoes wouldnâ€t fit back after being barefoot at the beach. And couldnâ€t  arrive at my drinks reception barefoot neither!

-Whatever foundation you use(you will have such a lovely golden tan that you wonâ€t need much anyway)buy it with SPF. We got really sunburned that day. Specially standing for the Mayan blessing. I had spf moisturizer but my partner forgot to put some on his head and got a really bad sunburn.

-Take to your holiday the best suntan lotion you can afford and be careful with the sun(I felt 30 protection wasnâ€t high enough). I barely exposed myself and yet I got really burned. Brides looking like prawns in the pictures are not very attractive, ja, ja.

-Take plenty of good hair masks, serums, etc. The sun, sea and pool can wreak havoc with your hair. I did a mask on mine every other night.

-If you choose to have a natural flower in your hair be advised it doesnâ€t have any pin or clip and although I had a clip my flower blew away after the first ceremony. Thanks I had bought also a nice artificial pink one that I put for the dinner party. Fresh flowers will wilt so fast in that weather.


We had 10 free pics as part of our wedding pack. When we met with the WC the first day a lady from the ARRECIFE STUDIO joined later to talk about prices, etc. We had been sent the list by Maria in advance and had a budget for photos.

The lady was very pushy and not having another option for photos we agreed a certain pack with her (73 pics in total of both ceremonies plus after at the beach. I didnâ€t want any pictures of me getting ready because as you can imagine I was very emotional and just wanted to have a moment with my family)We walked away rather worried. Thank God all that disappear when we saw the final product: Amazing!!!

We asked our guest not to take any photos during the ceremony(ies)since we hate seeing pictures of the bride arriving and everybody is taking pictures of her. We wanted them to enjoy what we planned for so long and to be there with us. Diego our photographer was so grateful for that since he could move around us clicking and clicking without interfering with the ceremony or being bother by amateur guests.

HE IS AN AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHER. He will tell how to pose and stand. Also we were worried the light will be to harsh at that time of the day but he took a flash to mellowed it bit.

We met him the day after and watch a presentation of 250 photos of which we ended up buying 115.It was so difficult to choose, they were all great, I promise.

My advice to you: budget for more pictures, you will want more than what you think. And donâ€t worry, this guys are real professionals. Perhaps they are still missing the press other DW photographers have thatâ€s why people are still not sure about them. They have a Facebook page for you to look at pictures although it hasnâ€t been updated since October, shame.

One more piece of advice

I hope this was helpful and not too long. If you are still reading and the moderators of the forum havenâ€t kicked me out for the length of this yet, please allow me a humble piece of advice:

DONâ€T WORRY ABOUT DETAILS. They will be sorted for you.

And if you get marry at the gazebo(I suppose itâ€s the same for the other location)just before you get to walk down the “aisle†you will hide behind some plants. When you WC tells you to start walking, just take a second to take a deep breath and look at the beautiful blue sky and that gorgeous gazebo with all the people you love waiting for you. Trust me, that image will stay in your heart forever and it will make every effort of the planning process worthwhile.

Thanks for reading and once more thanks for all you advice.

Let me know if I can help at all.

Lots of hugs

Happy planning!!





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thanks for a fantastic review you looked absolutely beautiful, your dress is amazing must have felt so good to wear something unique, i have had my dress designed and made too and love that it will be a totally me :0)


just over 4 weeks till we fly and  excited is a understatement!!


i to had Karla and now have Maria -thank you for the reassurance i understand they are very busy and I'm sure they will have everything in place for all us brides once we are there!


thanks again for all you info- wishing you and your husband the very best xx xx



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I just want to say that I didn't know the first thing about planning a destination wedding and this forum was the best find EVER!! A HUGE thank you to all the girls on here who share their ideas, reviews, pics, and excitement. I can't believe I'm now the one writing a review on here. I did a quick review but I thought I would add some more specific information to answer some questions you might have (especially for those brides in the early stages of planning)


RESORT - First of all, you will not be sorry you chose this resort. It is gorgeous and there is so much to do!! My hubby and I were there for a week with our family and friends and than we stayed another week to honeymoon. We stayed at the Tulum hotel. You can visit each hotel and hang out for the day in their pools and lay on the beach, try the different buffets and lobby bars, do some shopping at the Hacienda, or take advantage of the 1 hr freebies like bike riding, snorkelling, and taking out a catamaran. We had 65 guests join us for our wedding with no complaints and most said they would return again. The buffets were really good but the a la carte restaurants were amazing! Our favorites were Mikado (Coba), Dolce Vita (Akumal), Don Pablo (Tulum), Le Gourment (Coba), and our guests said the Arlequin was really good too. Our entire group was upgraded to Club Diamond which was great! There is a pool for CD guests only so we pretty much had the pool to ourselves everyday and the bartender was awesome! We kept him very busy with our mugs. haha


Wedding Coordinator (Akumal) -  As I said before Eugenia was amazing! We arrived on a Sunday and met with Eugenia and Arrecife Studios the following morning. I was a little worried about not having a rehearsal but she assured me she would tell us what to do and everything would be great and she was right! She had all the pictures I had emailed her of how I wanted the arch decorated, my flowers, and wedding cake and they were more amazing than I ever thought they could be. I brought down material for the arch, japanese LED lanterns for the reception, sea shells to decorate the cake, a starfish and wooden "I DO" to decorate the cake table, and a cake topper (which my hubby forget to bring over..oh well). You just give her everything and she takes care of it all. :-)


SPA - You already know my hair experience wasn't the best but they did do a great job with my make-up and all my BM's looked beautiful. 


Ceremony - We got married at the Akumal hammocks beach location at 4pm. They picked our guests up at 3pm in the Tulum lobby to take them to our wedding site at Akumal beach. My BM's, my parents, and I went with the photographers. The drive over was fun and exciting and the breeze felt great! haha  I brought 10 metres each of my two wedding colors (aqua/turquoise and lime) and paid extra for 3 large bouquets to hold up the material and decorate the arch, flower petals for the sand aisle (hehe), and the BM's bouquets and boutinneres. I brought 30 minutes worth of music to play while people were being seated and waiting. My BM walked down the aisle to "Somewhere over the Rainbow" by Israel K. and my parents walked me down to "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. We danced down the aisle to "Say Hey I Love You" by MIchael Franti, Our guests were dancing as we went down the aisle. It was awesome! The minister was also fantastic. He spoke English very well and was so sincere with his words like he knew us. It was a beautiful ceremony. We brought the wording for our sand ceremony and blessing of the hands.


Dinner/Reception - While we were getting our pictures taken our guests just had a few drinks at the lobby and snack bar until the Whitesands Poolside bar was set up for our dinner and reception from 6-11pm with DJ Bob. Our photographers took my hubby and I to the Hacienda to get pics taken before the dinner. It was definitey a tight squeeze for time but well worth it! We were introduced as Mr and Mrs Jones to "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D and the Boyz and danced a few seconds before going into our first dance "From LA to Rome" by Chester See. Than it was time to eat,,,,we had the BBQ buffet and the food was delicious!! We had soft music playing in the background during the dinner and the mic was open for speeches. DJ Bob messed up my father/daughter dance which totally pissed me off but we just laughed it off. We wanted to get the reception started by dancing to ":Footloose" and than he started playing a slow song in the middle of it and than that was it. I thought "OK maybe he will go back to Footloose but he didn't. Anyway, I grabbed the mic and told everyone to join my Dad and I on the dance floor. He played Footloose again and my dad and I started it off dancing in the middle of a huge circle, It was a blast!! I danced all night!! If you are debating on whether or not to have a poolside reception I would highly recommend it. It is worth every penny! You are going to be at the lobby bar and disco on other nights, This is your wedding so if you have some extra money spend it on a reception, SO MUCH FUN!!


Photography/Videographer - My best piece of advice would be to budget more for pictures. We definitely went over our budget for pictures. We were going to do a TTD session but I couldn't handle anymore pictures after the wedding and we already had our Hacidena pictures which were different and unique. We LOVE our DVD slideshow, It is so professionaly done and includes all the songs from our ceremony. As I said before, the video is a great keepsake but I would be happy with just the DVD slideshow.


Copy and paste this link below to see our pictures. You can view the slideshow and press the arrow to speed it up. haha You will see how our ceremony location was decorated and get a sense of how the dinner and reception is set up:




Hope this information helps you in planning your special day. It was such an amazing experience. I can't even describe how overwhelming it was walking down the aisle. It was so beautiful!! I am so happy I had a destination wedding! :-)


Mrs. Tara Jones :-)













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SPOSA....you looked gorgeous! My family actually saw you before you walked up the aisle. At dinner that night, they were all talking about this beautiful bride they saw getting married at the gazebo with "pink flowers on her dress". They LOVED your dress and how unique it was. Wish I would have seen you. CONGRATS!!!  

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Wow Abbie! I loved, loved, LOVED your pictures! You looked beautiful! And your colour scheme was amazing- nicely done! Where did you get those beautiful bridesmaids necklaces (and the matching starfish in your bouquet-- nice touch)?! I have been searching everywhere for something like that!


Sposa- your dress was awesome! You made that yourself?!


I am so excited to get there- leaving 15 days from today!

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Hello Ladies...this is awesome all the reviews...i am getting married in Nov so a bit more to wait for me....someone posted that the w/c emailed pictures of the bouquets...does anyone have this info i like to see what i have to pick from...


thanks very much

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Hey, havent been on here for a while.....two amazing reviews and lovely pics......which is what i've been worried about!! So nice to hear ppl's reviews as i feel very in the dark planning a DW.


I am in the very early stages of planning for our wedding in Jan 2012. Haven't had any replies for the resort yet....shall i just keep sending ideas of what we want?? Our biggest problem so far, is my partner wants to wear a shirt, with waistcoat and cravat, but we are really struggling to find somewhere where we can buy them as hiring is too expensive (for the two weeks hol and few days either side to collect and return). Any advise anyone????? we live in the UK.  Also, just windered about flowers.....how do you pick these??

really appreciate everyones advise from here , Jemma


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Hi Abbey 32

some of my family saw your wedding that day.It was the day after ours.they came back to me and said we saw this lovely beach wedding with all the women dress in tourquise and it looked beautiful.

The pictures are great as well.

Are we lucky or what to have married in a such an amazing place?



For the rest of ladies in the early stages of planning...keep reading this thread there is lot of info.trip advisor has lots of pictures as well.

you will see that everything falls into place bit by bit.For us the worst part was to choose the hotel since we were afraid people were going to spend a small fortune and not like or find activities to do,etc.After that everyhting was details.


by the way,myWC showed me some bouquet  pictures when i was already there.I have to say they werent great and a bit dated.If you are into flowers a lot and your bouquet means a lot for you i would take some pictures with you and they may be able copy them.Blogs like the BRIDES CAFE have lots of inspiration.


Good luck to all of you!



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Oh my gosh...Great reviews, thank you so much ladies.


Tara- Where did you get your fabric? Did you pack it in you suitcase? it must have been heavy- I leave in 7 days so its probly to late- but your hammocks set up was so beautiful I want to do the same thing in my colours



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