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Hi Ladies! I leave in 7 days! Can't believe it is finally here! Thanks to all brides for their help and very useful information!! I couldn't have ever done this without ya'll!!! My question now is, when we get to the resort, are there staff who can steam the wrinkles out of the dresshuh.gif I've had it pressed, but with the skirt being English net and lace/tulle, I know it will get wrinkled up on the flight, no way around it! If so, do they come to the room to do it, or will I have to send it outhuh.gif sad.gif

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Originally Posted by Daily2011 View Post
Hey Ladies, just checking in. Anyone making progress on photographers? Anyone know of anyone who has used Adrian or Victor Herrera?

Also I thought maybe it might make sense for us all to add our wedding dates to a list so we know who has a wedding next up coming. If you all think it is a good idea, add yours to the list in date order.

Christa (Daily2011) January 15, 2011 (January 11-18, 2011 trip)
Hi Christa- I'm getting married on October 16th and booked Victor for my photography. I've been tracking his blog and so far very happy with his work. There's a thread on this forum about Victor and Adrian. I haven't checked it in a while, but I think some Barcelo ladies had him booked in the June/July timeframe. I can't wait to see those pics!

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Originally Posted by NRLanders View Post
OMG... Ladies as I speak I am on the plane headed for Mexico. :-) I promise to come back with a very detailed review for you all. I am so excited! Wish me luck! Yay
Yay! Good luck, how exciting! Pics Pics Pics!!!!!

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Originally Posted by NRLanders View Post
OMG... Ladies as I speak I am on the plane headed for Mexico. :-) I promise to come back with a very detailed review for you all. I am so excited! Wish me luck! Yay
YIPPEEE!!! Congrats. I can't wait to hear all about it. pinkie.gif

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Originally Posted by BethBride1 View Post
Hey ladies, I just thought I would share my website with you all. There are some pictures of the resort for those of you who don't have any. Sorry, I meant to do this a while ago.

Rob & Beth - wedding website by mywedding.com
BethBride -- We are getting married 2 days after you, July 3!!!!! I'll see you there. How's your planning? pinkie.gif

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We just got back from our wedding trip (May 12- 19) and wanted to post a review because so many of the previous reviews were so helpful with my planning!

Check In:

We arrived at the resort on Wednesday 5/12 and left our luggage with the bellman for delivery and went to check in. Check in was smooth and we were assigned a king room that was spacious and very nice. In retrospect, I wish we would have taken our luggage with us to the room because we waited over 30 minutes for it to be delivered and finally gave up and headed to the buffet for lunch. When we returned the luggage had arrived so we put on our swim suits and hit the pool.

 

I had emailed Claudia a list of the confirmation numbers and room type requests for all of our guests three weeks before the wedding and I was a little disappointed because our groupâ€s rooms were pretty spread out (some in other buildings). She had mentioned these requests were subject to availability, and the resort was having a Sally Beauty Convention so it was pretty full, but the resort is huge so it was a long walk to some of our guestâ€s rooms.

 

Wedding Planning Meeting:

We received a call from Claudia that night and set up an appointment to meet with her the next day. We met her in the Palace lobby because they have a wedding coordinator office on the lower level of the Palace, but once we got there we found out it was being used, so she drove us over in the golf cart to the main wedding coordinator office near the spa. We had chosen the Strawberry Passion package and it was worth every penny! I had already confirmed the locations for the ceremony (gazebo), cocktail hour (terrace above the gazebo at the Palace), and reception (Coral Beach) with her before arriving. We choose the chair bow colors and picked flowers out of her book. We ended up purchasing 4 extra bridesmaids bouquets, 2 corsages for the moms, and 5 boutonnieres for the groomsmen and dads and it cost about $220 extra which I didnâ€t think was too bad. We picked a 1 tier vanilla cake that was included in the package and went with the standard centerpieces which ended up being rose petals around a clear votive holder with candles in them. We chose to have the violinist play for the ceremony and Claudia had a list of songs to pick from for the bridal party procession, brideâ€s entrance and exit. We also decided to go with the mariachi band for a 45 minute set after the reception dinner (had to pay $400 cash for that). We also had to pay $300 for the ministerâ€s fee in cash. Claudia also booked our couples massage, my manicure, pedicure, and makeup application appointment, as well as the hair appointments for my bridesmaids ($77 each) while we were there. My hair is short and there isnâ€t much that can be done with it, but I was able to give my hair appointment to one of my bridesmaids which was nice and saved me some money. During our appointment we also chose the food for the reception and cocktail hour. The whole appointment lasted about 45 minutes and after she drove us back to the front desk of the Palace to pay for everything.

 

Welcome Dinner:

As I mentioned above, about 3 weeks before leaving I sent Claudia a list with the final guest count and was able to have her book a welcome dinner on Friday night at Rodizio (the Brazilian restaurant). We had 32 guests and Claudia said that they could only make reservations at the a la cartes for up to 30, so I told her to book it for 30 people at 6:00pm and we just had 2 extra people show up. They were fine with that at the restaurant and we were seated in an area in the back of the restaurant with about 6 tables. The dinner was nice and service was great. Everyone had a great time.

Spa Appointments:

Our spa appointments were scheduled for Saturday morning before all the events. We arrived around 10:15 and were done around 12:15. My manicure and pedicure were great and they did a great job with the makeup application. I was sure to remind my bridesmaids who were getting their hair done to bring pictures of what they wanted their hair to look like and the stylists did a great job matching it. Everyone was so happy with the way their hair turned out. It cost $77/person for hair.

 

Photos:

My sister and I had made a trip to Cancun back in January and stayed at the Gran Melia hotel. While we were there we met the 2 resort photographers (Lupe Arguello and Agustin Bocci of Take It Photo, www.fototakeit.com ) who are a couple from Argentina, graduated from art school and have been in Mexico for a few months working as resort photographers at the Gran Melia. We had them do a mini photo shoot in January as gifts for our parents and we loved their work. I contacted Lupe to see if they were available to shoot our wedding and booked them as soon as they said yes. I had checked with Claudia to be sure that “our friends†could photograph the wedding if we booked them a hotel at the resort and she said yes. We ended up booking them 2 nights at the Beach for $130 total as part of the Happy Days promo at the Barcelo. We also paid for their transportation which was about $100. The photo package cost us $750 and included all photos on DVD and a slideshow set to music. The photographers arrived in our room around 1:30 to take photos of us getting ready. It was really nice to have 2 photographers since one worked with the girls and 1 with the guys. They were there taking photos non-stop from 1:30-10:30pm and covered us getting ready, the ceremony, champagne toast, group photos, a couples session, and the reception. They were great to work with, very professional and had great ideas for photos. The package didnâ€t cover any photo retouching, but that was fine by me. The next afternoon, we met with them and reviewed the slideshow dvd, I got a copy of the DVD with the photos on it and paid the photographers in cash. They made duplicate DVDs of each, so they dropped those off at the Palace Front desk that night. I am so happy we chose them- they were cheaper than the resort photographer, the package included more photos, and the photos were better quality than those I have seen from the resort photographer. Would definitely recommend them and use them again!!

 

Here is a link to the slideshow of our professional pics: Welcome to Kodak Gallery!

 

Ceremony:

Our ceremony was held at 4:00pm at the gazebo. Claudia picked us up around 3:55 and drove the girls over in the golf cart. The violinist was great- would definitely select this again. We had a non-legal wedding and chose to use a minister instead of the JP. Our minister was Santiago Carranza and the ceremony was in English. He did a great job and the ceremony was very touching. The resort staff did a great job keeping any bystanders to the side and the ceremony lasted about 15 minutes. It was really sunny and hot- everyone was sweating. After the ceremony, we walked back into the resort and had our champagne toast.

 

Cocktail Hour: 5:30-6:30pm

While we were having photos taken, we arranged a cocktail hour on the terrace above the gazebo for our guests. We had a playlist made up on our ipod and had a friend set it up and start the music. We chose the Mexican package, which was $14.50/person. Everyone said the food was delicious and the setup was great- apparently they made some watermelon drink that was really good. We never made it to the cocktail hour, so Iâ€ll have to take their word for it. This is one thing I may have cut out if I had done it again. The lobby bar is air conditioned and just as close and would have been fine for everyone to gather at for some drinks before the reception started.

 

Reception: 6:30-10:30pm

As soon as we arrived at the reception, the food service started. We chose the mixed green salad, lobster bisque, surf & turf, and strawberry cheesecake. Like many others have said, this was way too much food! Everything was delicious- especially the lobster. The steak was a little well done for my liking, but I heard many guests mention this was the best wedding food they ever had. The wait staff was so attentive, always coming over and asking if we needed more drinks. After dinner, we did our first dance, father-daughter and mother-son dances and the mariachi band came out. They were definitely well worth the price and got everyone up and dancing. That 45 minute set flew by!! The wait staff was great during this time too- bringing out too many tequila shots!! Our one server, Angeles, was amazing, and danced with us for a few songs! We loved her. We followed other brides advice and only went with the basic 1 tier cake (we chose white cake) that was included in the package and are glad we did- the only cake that got eaten was the piece when we cut the cake. From what I remember it wasnâ€t that great. Again, we used our ipod for music and that was fine. Iâ€m glad we didnâ€t spend the money on a DJ. At 9:30 Claudia came over and asked if we wanted to add an extra hour to the reception for $12/person and we did. The reception flew by and everyone had a great time- no complaints. Everyone was saying it was the best wedding theyâ€d ever been to. We had no problems with sand blowing around like so many have worried about. We did have a small fire ant problem near one of the tables, but Claudia came and sprayed them as soon as we mentioned it to her. After the reception, the wedding party headed to the Jaguar disco and we had a great time in the VIP lounge.

 

We are so lucky we had such a beautiful day- very sunny, no rain. From Sunday through Wednesday when we left it was overcast and rained all evening and night long. I felt so bad for anyone who might have had a wedding planned for those days.

 

Feel free to ask any questions!

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