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Bride2b10 - I arrive Tuesday, June 29. Our flight gets in at 715pm, so we will be arriving at the resort pretty late. I'm super excited. What day is your wedding?

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Bride2b10 ~ I'd love to meet up with you and hear all about it. Sounds great!!!!!!!


I'd like to schedule a few dinners with my wedding party and/or family. How many specialty dinners do you get now while you are there? Was it hard to schedule your dinners with larger groups? What restaurants do you suggest? My guests are at the Tropical. My almost hubby and I are staying at the Palace.

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Originally Posted by bride2b10 View Post

Diamondpooch - were you not getting married this year? I thought you were right before me but maybe I am confused :)
Ya, I was. You're not losing your mind. We pushed it back a year. Bunch of family drama over the holidays. No worries though! What's a year when we're gonna be together a lot longer than that!

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Hi Ladies,


I'm wondering if anyone has ever had or is going to be having their wedding reception around the Palace Pool? It seems as though everyone is having their receptions either in a Grill or on the beach, is the pool area even an option?


Also, does anyone have a list or pricing for the hors d'oeuvres?


Thanks Ladies

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Originally Posted by JoanneIreland View Post
Oh diamondpooch that would have been great but we can't do late May as our best man has another wedding at the end of May that he needs to be home for. But thank you so much for the offer!
So how did it work getting a photographer from home? Do you pay all expenses for them and their partner? On top of that is there still a high charge for services?
Hi joanne, definitely continue your search. There are alot of great local photographers down there that have reasonable packages. IMO, anyway, more reasonable than paying to fly them down.

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Hello ladies! We got married at the Palace 5-22. I can not even begin to describe how perfect our wedding was at Barceló. I would not be able to say that without this site. We had a few glitches during our wedding week but nothing to ruin our time. As promised I have a VERY detailed review! I am really sorry it is so long. I just have a lot to say.




We had a successful flight from Atlanta to Cancun. There was a total of 7 of us that left together. When we got on our flight my mom asked the stewardess if they had a place for my dress and she told my mom to follow her so she could hang it up in their closet. We had one hanging bag that held both my dresses, my moms dress, and my mother-in-laws dress. When we arrived in Mexico one of the stewardess was holding the dresses for us when we walked by.



The ride didn’t seem that long. We arrived at Barceló around 1:00pm. The resort is absolutely breath taking. I was in awe. We checked in, got our wrist bands, and had our welcome drinks. Our rooms were actually ready so we took our bags to the room and enjoyed a few hours looking around. I got a little worried because I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to track down my wedding coordinator or if she would find me. We went back to our room around 4 and there was a bottle of tequila, a plate of small deserts, and a phone message waiting for us when we got back. The message was from my wedding coordinator Xhail who said we had an appointment at 11:00am the following day and to meet her at the Palace lobby. I was so relieved and enjoyed the rest of the day.


Meeting with Wedding Coordinator

We had a legal ceremony and I remember reading from a previous post about having our witness with us for the beginning of the meeting so I asked our 4 witnesses (our parents) to meet us at the lobby and bring their passports. Xhail was a little late but and we were confused about how to find her since I did not know what she looked like. I had my husband go to the front desk and ask around but they just said she would be there soon. She finally got there and asked about our witnesses and if they had their passports. Luckily everyone was there and prepared or else it would have been a huge headache trying to find everyone. It took about 10 minutes to do all the pre-legal paperwork. My dad was so funny because he was taking pictures of everyone signing the paperwork and he started crying when it got to his turn. We had to tell him it wasn’t the official document yet. Haha This is where the 1st glitch came. Xhail said there might be a problem with mine and my dad’s tourist cards. When we went through customs the guy ripped them too hard and tore the edges off of both of our cards. She said they were really strict and may not accept our cards. I was of course freaking out. I was thinking that we may not be able to be legally married. Xhail said she would figure it out and let us know. It all worked out and there was no problem. Still it was enough to worry me to death. After everyone signed she said the witnesses could go and she took me and my husband in her golf cart to first see our reception site and then to her office. Xhail and I worked on a spreadsheet for months so everything was basically already planned but she wanted to finalize all the decisions. The meeting was no longer than an hour long. (too long for my husband if you ask him). The meeting went really well and I did not worry about anything for the next few days. I was able to sit back, relax, and welcome all our guest who arrived on different days.


Blood Work

We went to the medical office after the meeting with Xhail. It cost $180 cash for our blood test. The nurse was so sweet. She did a great job. It was painless and we were in and out in 30 minutes.


Welcome Bags

Ughh if I could go back I would not have put too much thought into the bags. They were such a pain and waste of money. They took up so much room in our luggage and we actually divided all our bag fillers and gifts in all our families luggage so we wouldn’t have any problem at customs for bringing stuff in bulk into the country. We didn’t have any problems with customs. Once we got our luggage to the room we put the bags together and took them to the front desk and had them give them to our guest when they checked in. Our guests loved them and thought they were a nice touch. We got big beach bags from Wal-Mart for $3.00 filled them up with rafts, playing cards, hand sanitizer, Pepto-Bismol, Advil, chap stick, tissues, gum, trial mix, pool balls, a personalized do not

disturb door hanger, and a straw fan. Even though our guest loved the idea of the bags no one used anything. I was kind of bummed. I guess they were more for show.


Welcome Dinner

During our meeting with Xhail she handed me a piece of paper that said we had reservations at 6:00 at the Brazilian restaurant for 21 people for our welcome dinner. I was sooooo happy and relieved. I wanted to give her a big hug when I found out. The welcome dinner was one thing I was so worried about because she never really would answer my questions about it through emails. I had no idea what we were going to do. So when she said we had reservations I was so excited. Here is where glitch #2 comes in. We asked everyone to meet at the Palace lobby bar around 5:30 Friday night and we all walked down together to the Brazilian restaurant. Once we got there they said we did not have reservations. I told myself I was not going to be the one to worry about it and left my husband in charge. Everyone was enjoying themselves in the restaurant lobby and was clueless that we apparently did not have reservations for dinner. After my husband and his father chewed several people out they let all 21 of us in. When we walked in there was maybe 15 other people in the restaurant. I had no idea why they made such a big deal about it. They were not able to fit all of us at one table but were able to put us in the same area. I did not care at this point I just wanted to get everyone in and start dinner. The dinner was a success with no other problems. Everyone enjoyed their dinner and we told the wedding party to meet us back to the lobby afterwards.


Bachelor/Bachelorette party

My husband and I did not have bachelor and bachelorette parties in the states before our trip so everyone wanted to get together and go out before the wedding. We decided to go to Coco Bongo in Playa del Carmen. We got a taxi for 12 people for $10 per couple. We had an AMAZING time. My maid of honor got me a bride-to-be sash and crown that I wore into the club. I felt really silly but it was fun. Everyone had an amazing time. One of the bartenders came up to our group handed me a veil and flowers and my husband a top hat and jacket. They turned the lights completely off, put a spot light on us, played the here comes the bride song, and held out a plate that had a fake cake with two shots on top. It was so funny and really unexpected. Apparently one of our groomsmen had been plotting the whole night for them to do something special for us. It was an unforgettable night and everyone had an amazing time. I had to cut everyone off around 2:00am and reminded everyone we had a wedding to be at the following day. Haha everyone behaved themselves once the bride spoke. Ha!


Wedding Day!

My husband spent the night with his best man and I stayed by myself the night before the wedding. I really needed that quiet and alone time. I planned on sleeping in and relaxing but my phone in the room rang every 5 minutes.



I meet up with my 3 bridesmaids, my mom, and my mother-in-law and we all went to our appointments at the spa around 1:00 on Saturday. I paid for my bridesmaids to get their hair done as one of their gifts.



PERFECT! I wanted a curly messy up do. I brought 2 pictures with me and she looked at them for 2 seconds and said ok and did an amazing job. I was naturally worried at first because I didn’t do a run through first but it was absolutely perfect. She finished and I asked her if I could have flowers put in my hair (since it was included in my package). She asked if I had them. I was worried that I had to ask for them from Xhail first but she just said hold on and had Xhail deliver them to the salon. I LOVED my hair! Make sure you have something in mind when you go. They all do such a great job. Keep in mind that they just do styling unless you pay extra for shampoo and blow-dry.



PERFECT! The lady who did my makeup was named Eli. She was so sweet and did a great job. I was worried about what kind of makeup they would have so I went a few days before we left for Mexico and bought a bunch of makeup that I liked. She brought over this big basket of makeup to start and that is when I just handed her my makeup. She had no problem with it. I peaked into the makeup she had and was not crazy with any of it. The colors were so bright. I wear little makeup and I was worried I was going to look like a clown if I didn’t bring my own makeup. But after seeing how great of a job she did I know I would have been happy with their makeup.



We decided to do our massages on Monday. (2 days after the wedding) We had our appointment at 11:00 at the spa for our couples massage. It was amazing. They did such a great job. My husband had never had a massage before and he would not stop talking about how wonderful it was.


1 Hour Before Ceremony FREAKOUT- Glitch #3

I got a call from Xhail earlier in the day telling me I had to decide whether I wanted to risk getting rained on at Playa Azul or being safe and moving the reception to a banquet room. I was really upset because you are paying more in the Strawberry Passions package for an out door reception location. I did not want to move my reception site inside and not get refunded. And plus I had my heart set on having my reception at Playa Azul for months. I was told by Xhail that there was a 95% chance of rain that evening. I was freaking out all day. I called my husband and asked him to figure out where she was getting her forecast from because online it said there was a 30% chance of isolated rain. I pretty much made up my mind that I wanted to chance it and continue with the plans and have the reception outside. 1 hour before our ceremony Xhail calls me again. She says it is going to rain and she wants to move the reception site. I was sooooo upset. I told her that the sky was clear and I had my heart set on that location. While on the phone she kept putting the phone down and talking to someone in Spanish. She was so persistent with me that I move my reception indoors. She then said we could do it in one of the restaurants at the Beach. At this point I was so upset. I didn’t know how many ways I could say No. I asked her if we could please have it outside as planned and chance it. She got really quiet and then said sure but I would have to sign a piece of paper saying it was my decision to have it outside even though I knew it would rain. So I said fine whatever I need to do. I know she was trying to look out for me and make sure my reception didn’t get ruined in the rain but I also had a suspicion that they may have double booked the reception site because I ran into 4 other brides that day. Needless to say we had the reception site outside and it did not rain 1 single drop! I am just so happy I stuck with my gut feeling and went with it. Don’t let anyone try and talk you out of what you truly want.




Octavio Montes

I can not say enough good things about Octavio. He was wonderful. He was lying in the sand, rolling around, doing whatever he could do to get the perfect shot. We felt so comfortable with him. After he took the pictures he wanted he always asked if I had any ideas. After the wedding we met with him at the Palace lobby and he took us in his car to a nearby cenote for our trash the dress session. It was such an amazing experience. My husband and I both think it was one of the most memorable parts of our trip. I would highly recommend trying a cenote for trash the dress pictures.



Coral Beach

Our ceremony was absolutely beautiful. It went by so fast. I don’t remember anything that was said. We had a violinist play while everyone was being seated and while the bridesmaids walked out. I never asked them what would be played and they actually played “When a Man Loves a Woman” which sounded so pretty. Then my Dad and I walked out to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It was perfect. We didn’t have anyone standing around watching. It was so private.


Cocktail Hour

We had a cocktail hour that took place on one of the Palace rooftop terraces. My husband and I didn’t get to enjoy it at all because we were busy taking pictures. Everyone said they enjoyed it but I think this is one thing we could have done without. We only had a party of 20 and they could have easily spent time at the Palace lobby bar and would have been happy with it. We just didn’t want people going off to their room and having to track them down to go to the reception site.



We had our reception at Playa Azul. It was PERFECT! The hotel trolley came and picked up all 20 of us and took us to the reception location. Taking the trolley was definitely a great touch to the wedding. When we got there we all walked to the beautiful covered reception site. I was told by everyone how beautiful it was and how it was they best reception site they have ever been to or could have ever imagined. Dinner was served immediately. We had shrimp salad, asparagus soup, surf and tuft, and strawberry cheesecake. I didn’t hear any complaints about dinner. Everyone said it was all wonderful. We bough maracas for everyone and put a tag on it that said “Shake for a kiss.” Our guests loved them. I haven’t kissed my husband so much before. Haha After dinner we had the father daughter dance, then the mother and son dance, then the bride and groom 1st dance. Right after our first dance the mariachi band came out. They were sooooo much fun and worth every penny!!! We were debating whether to have a DJ or the Mariachi band and in the end we are sooo happy we went with the mariachi band. They were fantastic. Everyone started dancing once they started playing. It was so funny because we had guys line up on one side and the girls line up on the other side and one by one we would dance as couples down the middle to the mariachi band playing. Once the band left we cut our wedding cake which was pineapple and it was absolutely to die for. We only got 1 tier and half of it was not even touched. Everyone was so full from dinner. The servers were great. At the end of the night they were bringing out bottles of tequila and giving shot to everyone. We had the best time and Playa Azul was an absolute dream for our reception.


Sorry for the length and all the errors. Please let me know if you have any questions. I wish all you brides the best of luck!!!!!!


I will post pictures soon!

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Thanks for the review! So excited to read all these! Glad you stuck with your gut and didn't let them move your reception. Think how angry you would have been if u had moved! Funny that they asked you to sign a piece of paper relinquishing them of responsibility if it were to rain! I'm sure they were just looking out for you though. I'm glad you had a great wedding! Thanks for the info on coco bongo. Might have to check that out!

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