Rachel, yes, it's the ballroom! I had wanted the ballroom because I wanted to party till 1 in the morning...and this wasn't allowed anywhere else. 11pm is too early for my crew. And in the end, the ballroom was perfect because it started to rain, about 30mins after my ceremony! So here's my review little by little, or else it'll never get done!
Overall: Dreams was the perfect place! My family had a blast, I had 85 total guests, including 9 kids under 12 years old. The Seaside Grill had the best steak we had EVER tasted, I mean, better than Ruth & Chris', def high quality. The service was phenomenal, which I thought was the norm in Mexico, but turns out it's only Dreams! On honeymoon, we went to Tulum and then to Excellence Riviera Maya, which was 5 star all inclusive. We felt the restaurants were better at Dreams hands down! We heard so much about breakfast at Excellence, and when we got there, all we could think about was how much we missed Dreams and world cafe. Oceana was fabulous too and a family favorite. I also loved Himitsu, though don't go in there expecting authentic sushi...it's def the mexican version. Delicous nonetheless. It was laid back and the beach was by far the best we saw! We went to Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Riviera Maya. None had a nicer beach than Dreams! Only Tulum came close, near the ruins, but still not so much a wading type of beach, more like a ride the waves beach there.
Wedding coordinator: I had Cecilia, who happened to do my wedding on her birthday! She was FANTASTIC!!!! I mean, I cannot rave enough! She was dealing with all 85 guests, my demanding parents, and trying to organize our large wedding party along with many vendors. She pulled through in every way. She kept checking in on me and I saw her behind the scenes the whole day making sure everything ran smoothly. She did an A+++++++++ job all the way.
Wedding vendor: I had Julieta wedding florist, who I raved about in the past for her amazing prices and great communication skills. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that you get what you paid for. Had I been a little more uptight about things, she would have ruined my wedding! She failed on EVERY front. I had paid her to decorate the gazebo, FAIL. Her sorry job looked like crap, it would have looked better with nothing at all. Paid for a 12 piece mariachi. FAIL. Only 8 showed up and played for 2hrs instead of the contracted 3hrs. Paid for the ballroom to be decorated. She showed me professional pictures of ballrooms she had done. All lies, I do not believe for one second any of those photos were hers! She charged me $400 for lighting that she never put up, $800 for draping that she never put up, and $400 for a white shiny dancefloor. This was the absolute worse! She put up these blocks of white painted unfinished wood with raw sharp edges, in a long skinny formation that looked like a landing strip! It was so horrible that I would have rather kept the rug, but by the time I saw it, the guests were already seated! I'll post pictures soon, but it was sooooo horrible. Had this happened here in the USA, I would have sued her for lying and straight out robbery and deception. On top of everything, after the wedding, she "lost" her cellphone and "went out of town" so she could never communicate with me regarding what she had done. Anyway, I wish I could delete previous messages where I recommended her. Good communication definitely does not mean good work in the end. I should have paid Dreams' high prices, everything they did for me was quality work in the end. Here's a pic of the horrid dancefloor:
Bouquet: By Dreams. Better than anything I could have imagined! I was really vague and asked for a "colorful bouquet with calla lilies". Cecilia pulled through and gave me this gorgeous bouquet with calla lilies and fuschia and blue flowers, my wedding colors! It was so amazing! Same for the boutonnieres and corsages, all fantastic! We also got the sweetheart table centerpiece included in the package, here's a pic:
Ceremony: We were running late because my makeup got there late, and I really wanted to do the first look on the pier. We ran back from that and the ceremony started 1hr later than we had stated! It was fine because our guests were hanging out in the terrace with drinks and taking pics. We had mariachi live for music, and it was great! We had the sound system and my brother officiated. We wrote our own thing since it was symbolic. It was perfect (see pics on my prev post) and lasted about 30mins. After that, everyone just went to the terrace and had drinks, and the Tower provided free evening snacks every night so we didn't even pay for cocktail hour. With 85 guests, it would have cost me another $2k to do cocktail so we skipped it and I'm glad we did! We all got free drinks and food anyway and people thought that it was a real cocktail hour! lol. Here's a pic of our place cards, custom made shot glasses!
Reception: We had the mariachi lead the wedding party into the reception hall, it was quite a scene, everyone loved this detail. I had given Cecilia a million details to do: chair sashes, napkins, table numbers, seating charts, guestbook table with framed pics. It was a ton of work and she pulled through with everything! Even put our seating chart on this really nice stand. The ballroom was pretty bare and not the prettiest place, but we had a blast and partied until we got kicked out at 2am! There was 1 waiter per table, and they were great, they even danced with us! They kept coming around the dancefloor with trays of shots which kept the party going, and our guests kept choo-choo training around in a conga line, at one point there were 60+ people in a conga line and 2 waiters were shooting shots into the mouths of each person in the conga line! (there's a pic of this on my photog's website). It was great!