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#7251 claruickie

claruickie
  • Jr. Member
  • 225 posts
  • Wedding Date:June 20, 2013
  • Wedding Location:Tulum Gazebo @ Bahia Principe Mayan Riveria , Mexico
  • LocationAberdeen SCOTLAND

Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:58 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

 

Great photos and review - I have still to do mine and you've set a high standard LOL.

 

We were pretty much the same as you, worried about communication via email but everything was 100% perfect when we had our wedding meeting with Jasmin when we arrived.  Also when we met with Erica and Martin of Arrecife Photographers, any concern washed away from the minute we sat and went through our thoughts on photos etc. a zillion percent delighted with our photos and DVD - yes changed my mind 4 days before the wedding 

 

We were also married at 4pm too - great to chill in the morning and take time getting ready  Kirstin x 

Attached Files



#7252 claruickie

claruickie
  • Jr. Member
  • 225 posts
  • Wedding Date:June 20, 2013
  • Wedding Location:Tulum Gazebo @ Bahia Principe Mayan Riveria , Mexico
  • LocationAberdeen SCOTLAND

Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:24 AM

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by leanne1 

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 Leanne

attached are 2 photos 

No  287 is the area of the snack bar that Miriam is referring to, you can see on the far right of the photo the tops of the hammock area on the beach.   

No 283 has the hammock area on the beach, to the far left is the sheltered area where guests meet prior to taking seat at wedding the snack bar is behind that.

The snack bar is 24 hour snacks - cooked as you order them and alcohol. 

 

We used Arrecife for our photos and love each and everyone of them - money well spent and cheaper than the UK for the 2000 that we have!  

 

From threads on here as long as your photographer is a guest booked with you there will be no charge for a day pass but you must advise your WC that you will have one with you. 

 

Hope this helps, good luck with your planning Kirstin xx

Attached Files



#7253 leanne1

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    Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:39 AM

    Hi Kristen

     

    You all looked beautiful. So happy you had a lovely day. Do you mind me asking what you paid for your photos did they do reception pics or just ceremony. I am really undecided weather to pay for my friend to come and do them. I think the photos are very important  aswell. It is going to cost about a 1000 dollars to bring her for the week?

    I just got a message today from Jazmin saying the new prices etc will be out in October time. Because I booked the date in 2013 will I pay these prices or will I be paying the 2014 package prices? 

    Thanks Ladies.

    Also I would love to know which restaurant you thought was the best x



    #7254 leanne1

    leanne1
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      Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:23 PM

      Hi ladies sorry to keep asking lots of questions but for all those march april brides I am getting a bit nervous cause we haven't booked yet the travel agent keeps telling us to wait and the cheapest so far is 7500 for 2 weeks for all 4 of us 2 adults 2 children from Toronto. Is this good what sort of prices have you been quoted



      #7255 nic817

      nic817
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        Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:38 AM

        We

        Hi ladies sorry to keep asking lots of questions but for all those march april brides I am getting a bit nervous cause we haven't booked yet the travel agent keeps telling us to wait and the cheapest so far is 7500 for 2 weeks for all 4 of us 2 adults 2 children from Toronto. Is this good what sort of prices have you been quoted

        We booked ours at end of January and it's 1750 a person (taxes inc). We are going on march break though, so it's always expensive!

        #7256 nic817

        nic817
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        • 81 posts

          Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:38 AM

          That's march 8-15 from Toronto

          #7257 nic817

          nic817
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            Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:23 AM

            Does anyone know if it's possible to light lanterns on the beach on the evening of the wedding? The ones that float up in the air?

            #7258 claruickie

            claruickie
            • Jr. Member
            • 225 posts
            • Wedding Date:June 20, 2013
            • Wedding Location:Tulum Gazebo @ Bahia Principe Mayan Riveria , Mexico
            • LocationAberdeen SCOTLAND

            Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:56 AM

             

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by nic817 

            Does anyone know if it's possible to light lanterns on the beach on the evening of the wedding? The ones that float up in the air?

            Hi

             

            They are not permitted.

             

            Personally I don't agree with them and raise these same points on many occasions at home in the UK.  They may well be pretty but they are very dangerous to animals and would ask people to think of animal-friendly ways to celebrate instead.


            From marine life, wild animals, live stock these Chinese Sky Lanterns can cause horrific injuries and even death.  Swallowing parts, through entanglement or collision, 

            This is a link to a site that will explain more. http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/helpandadvice/chineselanterns

             

            Kirstin x

             

             


            #7259 claruickie

            claruickie
            • Jr. Member
            • 225 posts
            • Wedding Date:June 20, 2013
            • Wedding Location:Tulum Gazebo @ Bahia Principe Mayan Riveria , Mexico
            • LocationAberdeen SCOTLAND

            Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:18 AM

            Originally Posted by MrsMoorsy 
             

            Welcome to this site and congratulations on your upcoming wedding and the planning.

             

            We were married on 20 June this year at  Tulum Gazebo  - 21 of us travelled from Aberdeen, Scotland  and it was AMAZING.  After reading so much about Arrecife we went with our gut instinct (just because someone else didn't like a film/restaurant doesn't mean you will be the same) and have to say had no issues with them.  To begin with we were concerned we didn't get a reply as fast as we would have liked but that's the nature of the business and they deal with weddings in date order.  As our date got closer we were in touch with them confirming the package we wanted and provided a schedule of all the photos we wanted taken.   We love all our photos and yes they were costly but compared to wedding photography prices at home a bargain for what we got.   When we had our meeting before the wedding to confirm everything we then decided to get a DVD, we opted for the wedding highlights version so its 25 minutes long and well worth the money and thinking back cannot believe we were not going to have one.

             

            Below are  a few great thread/links that will assist with everything in planning your wedding, any questions ask away and you will get plenty responses - past brides, future bride with the same queries, vendors - everyone is so helpful and supportive.

             

            If you haven't added your wedding date to that thread I would do so, you can then see other brides getting married at the same time and can contact them regarding sharing the price of a photographer.

             

            Arrecife Studio Mexico, WEG

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/products/arrecife-studio-mexico-weg

             

            Anyone used Arrecife Photography at Gran Bahia Principe Tulum/Akumal/Coba

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/63142/anyone-used-arrecife-photography-at-gran-bahia-principe-tulum-akumal-coba

             

            This is their website address http://www.arrecifestudio.com and if you are n Facebook look them up as they have one too - it has photos, videos and feedback from brides and guests that had photo sessions at the hotel.

             

            Post Your Wedding Date

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/9132/post-your-wedding-date/630

             

            If you go onto the thread/link, ensure you go to the bottom of the thread then copy and paste it then enter your wedding date and the name of the hotel / location.  That way all other brides can see who is getting married dates close to them.

             

            It is handy too as some brides have then shared cost of flying photographers down rather than using Arrecife the onsite photographers or local ones (you then have to pay a visitors day pass)

             

            OFFICIAL Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Thread

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/75549/official-gran-bahia-principe-riviera-maya-thread

             

            Urgent Help Required  - Documents required for wedding at Gran Bahia Principe Mexico

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/84571/urgent-help-required-documents-required-for-wedding-at-gran-bahia-principe-mexico

            Anyone have their entire playlist?

            http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/t/42149/anyone-have-their-entire-playlist/250

             

             Happy planning, if you have any questions just holler 

             

            Kirstin x 

             

             

             



            #7260 claruickie

            claruickie
            • Jr. Member
            • 225 posts
            • Wedding Date:June 20, 2013
            • Wedding Location:Tulum Gazebo @ Bahia Principe Mayan Riveria , Mexico
            • LocationAberdeen SCOTLAND

            Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:19 AM

            Originally Posted by leanne1 

            Hi Kristen

             

            You all looked beautiful. So happy you had a lovely day. Do you mind me asking what you paid for your photos did they do reception pics or just ceremony. I am really undecided weather to pay for my friend to come and do them. I think the photos are very important  aswell. It is going to cost about a 1000 dollars to bring her for the week?

            I just got a message today from Jazmin saying the new prices etc will be out in October time. Because I booked the date in 2013 will I pay these prices or will I be paying the 2014 package prices? 

            Thanks Ladies.

            Also I would love to know which restaurant you thought was the best x

            Hi Leanne






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