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Gran Bahia Principe Akumal/Tulum/Coba - POST HERE!


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#7241 lgerry

lgerry
  • Jr. Member
  • 349 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 15, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Posted 24 July 2013 - 03:23 AM

Originally Posted by berg5080 

Hello everyone, I'm sorry for the delay in posting our review but we have been so busy since we came back from our wedding in May 2013.  Here is a quick synopsis of our experience & a couple of photos too.  Overall we had the most INCREDIBLE experience. First of all - regardless if you are getting married at Gran Bahia / just a guest - we absolutely loved the resort - the staff were incredible, the food amazing and we can't honestly fault the place in any way.

 

Here is a brief summary of our special day - 

 

Date - May 9th, 2013 16:00

Wedding Location - Akumal Beach 

Wedding reception - Dolce Vita

Photographer - Arecife (amazing!!)

Post-reception - 24 hour snack bar (no poolside reception - was amazing!)

Wedding coordinator - primary - Eugenia; secondary - Gina

Honeymoon - 2 nights in Cozumel (Coral Princess) 

 

The flow of the day - 

16:00 - ceremony - we also wrote our own vows & had 2 friends do a reading for us 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

which I recommend

16:30 - pictures (guests who aren't involved watch & drink champagne at a small beach hut)

16:45 - group picture & then toast (we also had our guest book out at this stage to act as a conversation piece)

17:30 - drinks at 24 hour snack bar

18:00 - dinner, speeches, cake etc.

20:00 - party time at 24 hour snack bar (own music playlist) - we considered going to the Tulum bar for dancing but were quite happy where we were. 

 

Many of you brides may get frustrated - as I did - before you arrive with the lack of communication. I can tell you that it is OK and normal from what I gather. I was quite nervous about our initial meeting as was worried that things wouldn't go as I wanted them to. I was wrong - Eugenia has this down to a T and was very helpful. The only snag I had was around the flowers. I had given extensive instructions about these in advance but I felt that she didn't have that with her when we met. There was only one issue on the day and that was with the corsages (they had pins vs wristbands). However this was quickly resolved by Gina so no really worry in the end. The flowers were gorgeous - especially my bouquet and my bridesmaids. 

 

I would highly recommend a 16:00 time for the wedding. I saw other brides who had theirs at 14:00 and there was a lot of waiting around after and people ended up having to have a snack in between so they didn't get too tipsy before the meal. Also this gave me more time to relax before my big day. The staff were very helpful to me and even obliged when I requested a bottle of champagne to my room - no extra charge either. 

 

The biggest suggestion I can give brides who are looking to keep costs down is to reconsider the poolside reception. My husband & I were unsure about this from the beginning. We didn't feel like it was good value for money. If you have a big group maybe it would be worth it but we only had 20 people. Here is what we did. We noticed that the poolside reception would likely be in front of dolce vita (where our dinner was) and that was literally beside the 24 hour snack bar. I was able to see that there was a small area around the side we could take over. We had asked all of our guests for 5 favourite songs they'd like us to play in advance of going to Mexico so we created a playlist of all the songs and loaded them onto an ipad. We purchased speakers for about 30 pounds before going too. Anyway after the meal, we headed to this area. I had bought a mix of decorations from the uk - very basic stuff (outdoor candles, colourful napkins etc) and we got that from our room. We then played our playlist, got drinks from the bar there and had a great time together. We had the option to go to one of the many bars to listen to live music and dance but we were having such a fun time, we just decided to stay where we were. It was almost like our own private party (right beside the pool) and saved us a lot of money. we didn't mind spending money but we thought it could be better spent. We ended up taking that money and spending more on our photos as well as a few more bottles of champagne for our guests as well as some nice gifts for them too.

 

Also I highly recommend coco bongos in playa for a girls night out. It was super fun. The guys went too but we all did our own thing before and then met at the end of the night. We were still fairly separate at coco bongos but it was a lot of fun - definitely something to do and see. 

 

The final suggestion I would give brides & grooms is to try & get away for a couple of nights. This was something I'm so happy my husband and I did. It is very tempting to just stay on the resort with all your guests after the wedding. Since it is a big resort (and lovely too) you could theoretically stay away for people for a couple of nights to get privacy. However the chances are that you will see them and it won't give you that same feeling of being on your own. All we did was find a hotel in Cozumel for a couple of nights. My husband used www.hotelscombined.com to book and got a good deal at a lovely hotel called Coral Princess. We took a taxi from gran bahia to playa del carmen which was quite cheap. Then we took the ferry over to cozumel - this goes every hour. There are 2 ferry firms so just buy a 1-way ticket so you are not stuck to one firm - there is no discount for a 2-way anyway. Cozumel was a perfect getaway - it's a lovely island. The sea is so aqua blue and the food was lovely. It was definitely a highlight for us. The way we justified doing this was that it was like an excursion.  we weren't able to do many other excursions but at least we had time to be together and we did do a snorkelling trip while we were there too. We know we'll be going back to this area again soon so we'll have time to go ziplining etc then. I'd love to go back to cozumel again too as it is really lovely. There are a lot of party areas there but we didn't really go down that road - it can be very quiet and relaxing too.

 

Anyway good luck to all of you who are getting married - it is a place I will never forget. We are so happy that we chose to have our special day here!!

 

Enjoy Miriam & Richy :) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations  Miriam & Richy...Your photos are beautiful!! Thanks for the review, and i'm so happy it turned out to be everything you wanted! :)

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#7242 HisFutureMrs

HisFutureMrs
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    Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:29 AM

    Sorry to hear that! The positive is that you will still be able to go, just that its a few months later. Try to focus on the good things in your life right now. I know that's easier said than done but it will help you keep your chin up.

    Thanks so much!!!

    #7243 JDubya

    JDubya
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    • 56 posts

      Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:19 AM

      Thanks for that, berg5080. My wedding in November is in the same place with Eugenia and follows almost exactly that time schedule. It's relieving to know you didn't feel rushed with photos and spending time with your guests and whatnot.



      #7244 berg5080

      berg5080
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        Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:30 AM

        Not at all - I found it quite relaxed. There were times where they tried to push the schedule - mainly before the actual wedding day when we were setting the times. However I was quite firm on sticking to the timings I wanted. They can be flexible if you let them know how certain things are important.  Also I would recommend making a running order for the photos so you don't forget any important shots you really want to take. We had one and I still forgot a couple. It just helps set the right expectations - you can give this to the groom or the best man to discuss with the photographer before the ceremony begins.

         

        Good luck - you will LOVE the resort & your wedding day xxx



        #7245 berg5080

        berg5080
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        • 53 posts

          Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:31 AM

          Originally Posted by JDubya View Post

          Thanks for that, berg5080. My wedding in November is in the same place with Eugenia and follows almost exactly that time schedule. It's relieving to know you didn't feel rushed with photos and spending time with your guests and whatnot.

          Not at all - I found it quite relaxed. There were times where they tried to push the schedule - mainly before the actual wedding day when we were setting the times. However I was quite firm on sticking to the timings I wanted. They can be flexible if you let them know how certain things are important.  Also I would recommend making a running order for the photos so you don't forget any important shots you really want to take. We had one and I still forgot a couple. It just helps set the right expectations - you can give this to the groom or the best man to discuss with the photographer before the ceremony begins.

           

          Good luck - you will LOVE the resort & your wedding day xxx



          #7246 futuremrswarner

          futuremrswarner
          • Jr. Member
          • 360 posts

            Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:56 PM

            Congrats Miriam! Sounds like you had an amazing wedding :)

            I was just wondering, do you remember the order of your ceremony? My friend is making some ceremony programs for me, and we want to know what the order of events are... Thanks in advance! :)



            #7247 leanne1

            leanne1
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            • 49 posts

              Posted 24 July 2013 - 06:43 PM

              Hi there congrats you both looked beautiful.

              I saw you said you had the reception at the 24hr snack bar? Does that serve alcohol and I have already booked the dj so I was wondering if we could have that area with the dj without having to pay for the private reception? Do you have any pics of that area please?

              Also I saw a past bride had said she paid $15 per photo with arrecife studios. Does anyone know the package prices please as we have a friend who is a photographer and she has offered her services for the whole day I am going to pay for her stay 5 or 7 nights which looks about 1200 so just wondering if this works out better. Would really appreciate your comments and opinions thanks ladies xxx



              #7248 MrsMoorsy

              MrsMoorsy
              • Newbie
              • 44 posts
              • Wedding Date:May 7, 2014
              • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe
              • LocationVancouver

              Posted 24 July 2013 - 06:55 PM


              Hi Everyone,
               
              My Fiance and I are getting married in May 2014 at the Gran Bahia Tulum and we are planning on bringing our own photographer with us as we have heard not such good things about Arecliffe. We are flying down our own photographer from Canada and wondering if we could share the cost of flying her down with another couple. Can someone help me find how to connect with someone flying in the same week? Thanks!


              #7249 berg5080

              berg5080
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              • 53 posts

                Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:30 AM

                Originally Posted by futuremrswarner View Post

                Congrats Miriam! Sounds like you had an amazing wedding :)

                I was just wondering, do you remember the order of your ceremony? My friend is making some ceremony programs for me, and we want to know what the order of events are... Thanks in advance! :)

                Hi,

                I would double check with the wedding coordinator. However ours went like this - 

                Guests meet at 24-hour snack bar

                Guests are seated & groom/best man stand in place

                Marching of bridesmaids/maid of honour

                Marching of bride & father/parents

                Formal ceremony - conducted in english & spanish

                Vows - we did our own

                Signing of the registrar

                Reading (optional)

                Final pronouncement of being man & wife

                Recessional (march out of aisle as husband & wife)

                Pictures / champagne toast

                Drinks

                Dinner reception

                 

                Hope that helps - again you should just check with them. If you want something different than I would just note that. We thought that the vows would be after the signing so I was a bit surprised on the day. Also a tip - you have to do fingerprints (another surprise for me) at the signing so get someone to bring a tissue since you need to be careful with your dress & your attire obviously.

                 

                Good luck, Miriam :) 



                #7250 berg5080

                berg5080
                • Newbie
                • 53 posts

                  Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:34 AM

                  Originally Posted by leanne1 View Post

                  Hi there congrats you both looked beautiful.

                  I saw you said you had the reception at the 24hr snack bar? Does that serve alcohol and I have already booked the dj so I was wondering if we could have that area with the dj without having to pay for the private reception? Do you have any pics of that area please?

                  Also I saw a past bride had said she paid $15 per photo with arrecife studios. Does anyone know the package prices please as we have a friend who is a photographer and she has offered her services for the whole day I am going to pay for her stay 5 or 7 nights which looks about 1200 so just wondering if this works out better. Would really appreciate your comments and opinions thanks ladies xxx

                  Hi

                  I don't have any photos that show off the snack bar. It is nothing special but it worked for us. I am not sure if they would let you setup the DJ there. If you've hired a DJ they probably have already reserved an area & I think that is part of the poolside deal. 

                   

                  For the photos, they have packages. I don't have the package prices as we only got a hard copy from memory. We got 40 digi photos in total so paid for 30 and it was about $700 for that. It is a lot but well worth it as they are very good. You just need to ask if you can have your friend do that as they may get a bit funny with you. if they are a guest than it should be OK. Depending on your initial package you should still be entitled to 10 digi photos of the ceremony as we would have gotten that as standard.






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