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OK girls...I am about to become one of you officially!!! I am taking the deposit to the travel agent as soon as she gets me the amount with the travel insurance!! I am soo excited!!!!! We are on for January 15, 2011. This the date and travel booked I can now turn to other planning items. I sure hope the site selection is the hardest one because this one almost did me in.


Tomorrow I can order my dress. I have it all picked out after dress shopping with my mother in January.


I am so excited to share this journey with you all! Yay for us!!!



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We did the Strawberry package and had a total of 50 people including the bride and groom. The wedding was held on the beach in front of the colonial (in front of mariachi grill) and our reception was held in the mariachi grill (outdoor open air restaurant). Our reception was initially going to be on the beach, but it was too cold at night and had rained off and on during the week we were there, so we opted to have it inside, and by the amount of dancing we had, I am glad I did. We used the DJ from the resort and they did a good job.


My wedding photographers are from Florida and do travel, you should check them out if you are looking for photographers, they were awesome!!! Divine light photography dlweddings.com

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Hello ladies! Here is my review for our wedding at the Barcelo Maya Palace on April 14, 2010.




We had a direct flight from Canada to Cancun with Westjet Vacations. There aren't any closets on the Westjet planes, so I couldn't hang up my dress ( actually I had my wedding dress, TTD dress and FI's suit in one garment bag). So I had to lay it, folded in two, in the overhead compartment. I didn't have any problems doing this and it didn't wrinkle my dress all that much. The flight was great, only downside with Westjet is that they don't serve a meal and there's limited food to buy on the plane, so I would advise bringing snacks for the plane.


Cancun Airport / Customs


Once we arrived in Cancun, we got our luggage and then headed towards customs. The airport was really busy on that day, so it was a bit chaotic since there weren't really any distinct wait lines and people were cutting in line, but we finally made it to customs and didn't have any problems. I did bring a lot of wedding related stuff (Decorations, stuff for the welcome bags, etc.) with me. They did question me but once I said it was for my wedding, it was fine. We got the green light, so proceeded thru to find our bus. We finally got on the bus and headed to the resort, which is about 1.5 hours drive.


Check In


When I went up to the check in, they advised me that since I was Club Premium, I had to check in at the Club Premium Lounge. So we headed over there (right around the corner from the main reception desk) and checked in. We were served a glass of champagne immediately, which was a nice touch! I wasn't even aware that we were upgraded to Club Premium with our wedding package, so it was a nice surprise... it gives you access to the CP Lounge, free internet access, and discounts on purchases made at the resort boutiques. We were also upgraded to an ocean view room! Check in was quick and we headed back to the main lobby to grab our luggage. I then realized that one piece of our luggage was missing... we asked the bellman if he had seen it, but there was a bit of language barrier..he kept saying it just wasn't there... so I was freaking out a little bit, but in the end I went to see our Westjet Rep the next morning and he made a call and found my luggage.. so crisis averted! ;-)




The rooms at the Palace are BEAUTIFUL! They look exactly like in the pictures.. we did move rooms after the 1st night, from the 1st floor to a 3rd floor room. They looked exactly the same, but I found that on the 3rd floor, the room was a lot less damp/humid...they were very accomodating in our room request. My favourite part of the room was the bathroom... they are huge! And the rainfall shower was great... We actually got upgraded to a corner suite on our wedding day and for the rest of our stay.. if you can get your travel agent to negotiate this for you, I would highly recommend it! The corner suites are fantastic! You get a huge wrap around deck with 2 loungers and a hammock, a living room and a dining area, 2 bathrooms and a separate master bedroom... Since the resort wasn't at full occupancy, my travel agent was able to get this upgrade for us at no additional cost.. it made our wedding day and the rest of our stay that much more special. :-)




The resort is gorgeous. Everyone in our group kept telling me that it was the nicest resort they had ever stayed at, everyone was so impressed with the grounds, the room, the food. It is definitely a 5 star resort! The food at the buffet was great, you could always find something to eat...You would always see workers on the grounds taking care of landscaping, or cleaning up, etc. We hung out a lot at the pool area, which is one of the biggest pools I have ever seen!! The adult pool was also very nice, a lot quieter than the main pool if you were looking for a little quiet time.. :-) I really have no complaints about the resort and all of my guests loved it!

As for the a-la-carte restaurants, my favorites were the French restaurant and the Japanese. We had our welcome dinner at the French Restaurant (25 people), the food and service was great.. and the decor in there is fabulous! I gave everyone their welcome bags that night and all of my guests were so happy to receive them!




As part of the Strawberry Passion package, I got my hair and makeup done at the Spa. I gave the manicure and pedicure to my MOH and Bridesmaid. I had brought pictures with me to show the hairdresser how I wanted my hair. She did a great job with my hair (sorry I forgot her name!).. it wasn't exactly like the picture, but I actually liked what she did better than what I had showed her. And it lasted all night! She also did a great job with my makeup, I just told her to keep it natural looking, and that's exactly what she did. My girls really enjoyed their spa services too.. :-)


Wedding Coordinator


I had been dealing with Gabriella since August of last year, planning my wedding. The week before we left, she emailed me to say that unfortunately she was being sent to the USA and wouldn't be at the resort during my wedding week. So she turned me over to Victoria and assured me that she was well aware of everything we had already discussed. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't be able to meet Gabriella, but I knew that this was a possibility from reading previous reviews. We met with Victoria on Monday morning (wedding was Wednesday). She was very nice, and showed us the possible locations for our reception since I had already chosen the Gazebo for our ceremony. We ended up choosing the Coral beach for the reception. We chose our flowers, cake, and went over the last details. I also brought her the decorations I wanted placed on the reception table and the sashes/raffia fans for the ceremony chairs. I saw Victoria around the resort a couple times, and she would always smile and wave, or stop to ask how I was, which I thought was really sweet of her. Unfortunately, on our wedding day, it was very cloudy and it had been raining on and off the previous days. Victoria called me at 1:30pm that afternoon and told me I had to decide if we were going ahead with our outdoor ceremony/reception or if we were moving it inside... I really didn't know what to do, since we were still several hours away from our reception, that was starting at 7pm. So I asked if I could call her back since I had to think about it, and wanted to stall a little bit... it ended up that it started downpouring about 1/2 hour later, so there really wasn't any decision to be made, we were moving everything inside. It was fine in the end, since it was still really hot so I think everyone was more comfortable being in a banquet room with air conditioning anyways... and all that mattered at that point was that we were getting married.

Victoria told me that they had 120 weddings in April, and there were 6 weddings on the day we got married! So these ladies work really hard, they start at 8:30am in the morning and stay until 10-11pm at night.. so you get slow email responses, just try to be patient.. the closer you get to your date, the more frequent the correspondance will be. Overall, I was happy with the service I received from Victoria.




The ceremony was quick.. about 20 minutes I think. The judge was very good, and included a few personal details in the ceremony. However, I had given Gabriella, and confirmed with Victoria, a ceremony script that I wanted used/followed. One of my bridesmaids was supposed to do a reading during the ceremony.. the judge did not follow my script at all! I don't even think he had a copy of it... so I was a little disappointed about that. Also, after the vows are said, he asked each of us to say a few words to each other, which pretty much put us on the spot.. I think we each said something that made sense...I hope so anyways!!


We chose the violin for the live music and it was really beautiful. I would highly recommend it!




We had the reception in one of the banquet rooms, because of the rain, but they did a great job with decorating the table. It looked exactly as I had requested. For the menu, we had chosen the Tomato & Goat Cheese salad, Genovese Minestrone soup, Surf & Turf, and White chocolate & Raspberry Tiramisu. No complaints about the food, it was great! Our servers were also very attentive and my glass of champagne was always full! After a few speeches, we started dancing! We brought an Ipod Nano, and I had put the best man in charge of making sure the volume was ok and skipping thru my playlists when needed. We had a lot of fun, and everyone danced the night away! We were supposed to have the reception from 7pm-10pm, but Victoria gave us a free additonal 30 minutes, so we wrapped things up at 10:30pm and most people headed over to the lobby bar. I had a great time at my reception and I think everyone enjoyed themselves very much!




We brought an awesome photographer down with us, Joshua Albanese from Chicago. I actually shared him with another BDW bride (KimmyG). Josh was so much fun to work with! We had a TTD session, and he took pictures of us the entire wedding day (from like 11am to 11:30pm!) He is amazing and his pictures speak for themselves. I will post a few soon! I highly recommend him :-)


Overall, we had a great wedding and a great vacation week with close family and friends. I wish we had better weather, but you can't control that, so I realized that pretty quickly and just had to roll with it! I would definitely choose to do a destination wedding again, if given the choice, and would choose the Barcelo Palace in a heartbeat! If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask! I couldn't have planned this wedding without the help and advice of all you ladies!

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Future Mrs D - CONGRATS! Thanks for the review. 70 more days until my big day. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to your pics.

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I guess it's now Mrs. D rather than Future Mrs. D!!! Congratulations!


Did you have an option to have your reception dinner in one of the open air restaurants? As opposed to the banquet room? Sounds like you had an amazing time either way, but I'm a bit curious. wink.gif

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Originally Posted by buehler.allison View Post
I guess it's now Mrs. D rather than Future Mrs. D!!! Congratulations!

Did you have an option to have your reception dinner in one of the open air restaurants? As opposed to the banquet room? Sounds like you had an amazing time either way, but I'm a bit curious. wink.gif

No, we didn't have an option to use one of the open air restaurants instead... and believe me, my mom argued with Victoria trying to get one! But because there were 6 weddings that day, they were already being used by other brides, so I was out of luck.. but your wedding is what you make of it, I think..so even if the location wasn't what I had wanted, we made the best of it and still had a great time! :-)

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