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Hello Ladies! 

 

Any one with an upcoming wedding? How is your planning going? I am one day shy from the one month mark! 

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I’ve been back about a week now from our wedding…so I guess it’s time I finally write all my reviews! So hard to know where to start and even more crazy is how fast it all went!! This will be very long…sorry, lots to say!

We arrived at Barceló June 7th and it was a little chaotic right away. A lot of my friends and family where around the lobby with us checking in, but they ushered Jimmy (my now husband) and me into a completely different area/room.  It was a bummer getting split from the group right away since it then took us all awhile to catch back up with each other. Like a lot of people were saying, the check in process is kind of a mess. We sat in this new room for probably at least 30-45 minutes waiting to be helped; my husband was getting really frustrated. After being taken from the lobby into this room not one person had said hi or had greeted us, we had no idea why we couldn’t check in with everyone else! So we sat there and sat there…finally someone came to help us. While everyone at Barceló is extremely nice, we learned right away that NOTHING happens fast there. When they say 5 minutes, they mean at LEAST 30…just fyi. Finally we got to checking in, got our welcome drink, they gave us a free VIP upgrade (which is SUPER nice if you plan on getting room service, want WiFi (although it sucks and works in about one small place in your room), and like upgraded drinks), and upgraded our room for free. We got to our room and the rooms at the Palace are all SUPER nice. They have a ton of room, all have a sitting area, huge bathroom, our room had a patio (others have a balcony)…no complaints there! However, we were thinking our free “upgraded room” would be a little more special. However, the room was the same as all the others but the location is what made it an upgrade; it was right by the pools. So that part was nice, it was closer to everything, just don’t get TOO excited if you get a free upgrade. J Then we sat and waited for about an hour for our luggage. VERY frustrating, and we had to call about three times to check where the bell boy was. Obviously we wanted to go see all our friends and family but we also wanted to change from our flight clothes! So we were pacing our room for quite a while waiting for that. Also, our safe didn’t work so we had to wait even longer for that to be fixed. Our first couple hours were a little frustrating for sure…so be aware of that! Our check out process was about the same…it took around an hour to get all our costs figured out. They charged us for items that were included in our wedding package and it took a long time to get it sorted. Again, frustrating. If you have a plane/shuttle to catch when you are leaving, make SURE you leave plenty of time to check out in case you run into the same issues. Also, when we switched rooms to the suite midweek, they initially told me they had no suites available even though we had already booked and paid for the room! Needless to say I was freaking out. It took them another hour or so to figure that mess out, but they did eventually get us into the suite. The day before the wedding though, when I’m already stressed about everything, this was NOT needed. So they do seem a little unorganized though I must say they do usually fix the problems (although they are SLOW at it). The suite we stayed in was out of this world. It was HUGE; with a big balcony that had a mini pool…it was a lot of fun to hang out in the rest of the week. I would for sure recommend it!

A quick review of the resort and the activities we did before I get to the wedding stuff. Barceló is insanely huge. One of my biggest issues the whole week was trying to find everyone and spend equal time with people. If you have people split up between the resorts, especially from the Palace to the other resorts, I’ll warn you…it will be VERY hard to spend equal time with them. Luckily I only had about two people not at the Palace, but I rarely saw them unfortunately. Otherwise the resort is really amazing. The grounds are immaculate, the beach and pool are gorgeous, bars everywhere, the kid pool was SO cute and fun…really a GREAT resort with a LOT to do. They have a scuba shop right on the property so a bunch of us went scuba diving two mornings which was great. Let me know if anyone wants more information on that. They also have a free dolphin show daily, which is also where you can swim with them, right on the property which the kids loved. The food was pretty good. Some people said it was really good and some people could hardly find anything to eat, all up to your individual taste. The French and Japanese restaurants were probably my favorite, Caribe was my least (remember to make your reservations early at the restaurants, also they don’t allow open toe shoes or shorts on men)…I could always find SOMETHING at the buffet. There was always some sort of food station open which was REALLY nice as we all kind of had different schedules. I think a few people did get a little sick but nothing major, just a minor upset stomach. I’m sure the food is just different there too. By the end of the week I would have to say I was pretty tired of the resort food. It all started tasting the same and the menu doesn’t change too much…but it really was fine. I won’t complain too much about it, everyone who had stayed at all inclusive before said this was the best all inclusive food they have had, so that’s something! Otherwise, we also did a day trip to Chichen Itza. If you are going with a group make sure they all book with the same tour group…we had that issue too, people booking with different tour guides since they all have a day trip there. There are about three different tour groups you can take that all have an office at Barceló. Luckily we were able to fix everything without TOO much trouble, but something to keep in mind! The trip was VERY long but amazing! I for sure recommend it! I can also give you more info on that tour if anyone is interested.

Now for the wedding! I meet with my wedding coordinator, Xhail (Chi-el) the first Monday I was there, the wedding would be on that Thursday. I brought A LOT of items for the wedding, lot of décor etc. I hauled in at least three huge suitcases filled with stuff! Xhail is extremely nice and did an amazing job and didn’t seem to mind at all about all my stuff! She works CRAZY hours; I can’t believe how they do it all there! There are weddings happening all over the place! First, we went through every little detail of the wedding. Things we have talked about, things we haven’t…I didn’t mind going through it all again at all! It for sure set me at ease. I gave her my final guest count, confirmed all my details, set up our rehearsal for Wednesday night…it was a great meeting! We also did the final payments (and don’t forget the tip to your coordinator…they do A LOT!)…we paid some cash but put most on our credit card. We are going to be charged 3% for the international charge but it’s really not that much compared to what we’ve already spent. Haha Plus it was just way easier that way. After going through all the details she went through all my items I brought and how I wanted them set up. I even brought water bottle labels with our initials that still needed to be taped to the bottles (I had a bottle of water on each seat during the ceremony) and I was more than committed to attaching the labels myself but she did it for me! Again, they really are great at what they do and do anything to meet your needs and wants. We did the rehearsal that Wednesday. We decided to have the wedding, and forgive me but I can’t remember the name of the location, on the far left side of the beach near the Coral Buffet I believe it’s called. It’s the little cliff area people have talked about. It’s a LOT more private then having it right on the beach with everyone but still in the sand overlooking the water. I would say it’s by far the best location. It also has a little greenery right before the ocean hits; the pictures I have gotten from friends so far are amazing. The colors are great! Rehearsal was fairly easy and quick. A different coordinator helped us with the rehearsal since Xhail had a wedding that evening. I was worried about that at first but she seemed to be in the loop on everything so it was very smooth. She told us where to walk from, how to walk, gave instructions to the guitar player (who by the way was awesome and seriously knew how to play anything and everything), helped our singer and our readers…super easy. After that we went to our rehearsal dinner at the Brazilian restaurant. If you have 25 guests or under do not pay to have a private dinner, at least that’s my opinion. I even had I think 27 and squeezed them in and still didn’t have to pay extra, plus they set us up on the far side of the restaurant so we were pretty much alone to do speeches etc. It was very nice and everyone loved the food, we had the steak. Also, for the rehearsal dinner, at least at this restaurant, they have a set menu which you will pick during your meeting with your coordinator. Rehearsal went off without a hitch and everyone was getting really excited!

Wedding day!! The Styling Trio arrived around 2 for my 5:30 wedding. If I can tell you one thing it would be HIRE THEM! No joke, they made my day. One of my most special memories of it all was all us girls hanging out in our room getting ready. Adrian and his team are seriously the nicest people I have ever worked with. They came in with all smiles, full of excitement. They opened bottles of champagne for us, answered the door and phones for me so I could relax, went above and beyond hair and makeup…amazing. I showed them a picture of what I was thinking for hair and makeup and they took it from there and I loved the end results much more than the pictures I brought them. They are amazing at what they do. Adrian is SO much fun and did SUCH an amazing job with my makeup. I could ramble on about them for another page but I’ll continue…however, I can’t stress enough; they are worth every single penny. My mom took my hair and makeup package at the salon at the resort. Her hair was REALLY cute but she took all the makeup off and did it over herself. She didn’t like it at all…which is why I was afraid of using the salon. So just keep that in mind. Also, I did get a pedi/mani and a massage at the salon…so real quick, the hot stone massage was very nice, the pedi turned out well, but the mani (French) was pretty bad. It was already chipping that same day and looked a little weird close up. Oh, well…least of my worries really but the salon seems to be a hit or miss and I just couldn’t trust them with my hair and makeup for the big day! My photographer, Ivan Luckie, came around 3:30. He had some trouble getting into the resort even though I already paid the fee…that was a huge pain. But he handled it for me so I didn’t have to stress about it ended up ok, if not annoying for him. They are SUPER picky about letting anyone on the resort, and as I mentioned before, they are unorganized! Ivan was amazing though. I won’t see my pictures for like 3-4 months apparently (bummer) but I am SO confident that they are amazing. He has a very good eye and was doing some awesome shots with us on the beach and on the resort. I’ll give a full review for him when I see my pictures; we also did a trash the dress session with him in a cenote Saturday morning which was SO awesome, something you want to do for sure. Xhail came to get me and my bridesmaids in the suite once everyone was ready on the beach outside. We took a golf cart near the area and started our walk down!! It was so amazing. To see it all set up for the first time while walking down…everything was gorgeous and set up just how I wanted. The hoopa with the flowers were breathtaking with the ocean behind and my husband to be standing at the front! I’m sure I was beaming! The Christian minster, who you don’t meet beforehand, did a really good job. She was really nice and helped us along the ceremony and read some really great pieces. We had two readers, a singer (the resort guitarist accompanied him, who again, was awesome), and did a sand ceremony. Everything went off without really any issues! After she announced us we walked down the aisle as husband and wife and there was champagne waiting for everyone, very nice touch. I was supposed to have a rose petal toss at that part but Xhail forgot to pass out the flowers. Not a huge deal and because of it she gave us like an extra 45 minutes of reception time plus apologized about ten times! So I really didn’t mind. After, the wedding party did about two hours of photos while everyone else went to the lobby for snacks and drinks. After seeing how well that worked out, you do NOT need to pay for a cocktail hour. During that time the resort set up the reception at the same place. When I got back to the area I could hardly recognize it! SO amazing! Our DJ was DiscoMovil and we used their light up dance floor. I know it can be pricey but it was one of everyone’s favorite parts of the wedding. It looked so awesome on the beach in the dark against the full moon we had! I also had puff balls that I brought down which the resort set up for a VERY small fee for me. These were up during the ceremony and reception and really looked great. The DJ was pretty good. They played everything I wanted them to play, even mad me a mix of my first dance song ahead of time since we wanted something more unique. The only thing I would say, is that I wish they would have helped move the reception along better. We were the ones having to go up to the stand and tell them, “Ok…we’ll do speeches now…ok, we’ll cut the cake now.” Instead of us having to think about it all, I kind of wish they took the lead and went ahead with some things. We didn’t end up cutting the cake until almost the end because we forgot about it! I guess I always thought DJs kind of did that scheduling for you? Other than that though we had a good time and they did a good job. They even let a groomsman hook his phone up to their equipment to play certain songs which worked just fine. So I would recommend them for sure. The food was pretty good and the drinks kept coming so that was all great! We did the surf and turf, scallop salad, lobster bisque…maybe too much seafood. J But it was all good. The cake was really good too…I didn’t care for the frosting too much but the cake was really pretty and was SUPER moist. We ended up throwing away most of it unfortunately, just too much food! After the reception ended most of us went to the lobby bar and kept the party going. It was all such a dream and such a blur! You will not be disappointed having your wedding at the Palace. They are all so nice and really care about your day…it was so great!

I don’t think I’m missing anything…it’s long enough! Again, keep in mind…everything moves at island pace there, which is my biggest complaint about Barceló. The wedding couldn’t have gone better though so feel confident you picked the right place!! If anyone wants more detail about certain vendors or other pieces of my review ask away! I don’t know how to share pictures, but I don’t mind if you want to find me on Facebook to see my album (Chelsea McFarlane (Vincent)). I’m still adding photos from my friends, I have quite a few! Ok, hope this helps someone! Thanks for all the help the past two-ish years girls!! J

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Seeing all the reviews here makes me so excited :) 4 months tomorrow and counting!!

I haven't even seen my dress yet (TAKING FOREVER), and I haven't finished planning yet. However, I kinda took a break from emailing the resort as they were so busy with the weddings Jan-May that I was getting incomplete responses etc. I just emailed them my reception stuff and the seating plan :)
 

I think ours will come to about 6000$ USD... with exchange rate it will be around 7,000 Canadian...

I wanted to know about everyones experience with the person who conducted the ceremony part of the wedding. We are just having a symbolic wedding IE-getting married here in Langley, BC and then going for the "wedding" in mexico. Which I know is common. As for the ceremony itself, do you have a choice with what the officiant says etc?

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@@cvincent84 WOW!! Thank you for your review!!!! So glad to hear everything went well!!! I'm glad I didn't pay for the cocktail hour and I'm not stressing over that either since you mentioned they can go to the lobby bar.

 

 

Today I am exactly one month away from my wedding day!!!! I'm starting to get a little stressed out and anxcious! I pretty much have everything set and worked out with WC. The only thing I'm still stressing over is Ivan! I didn't book him a room, I'm just going to pay the $500 fee, however I don't know what to do for the TTD. He's scheduled to come on Monday (i'm getting married on a Friday) and I don't know if I can get away with just paying a guest pass. 

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@@cvincent84 WOW!! Thank you for your review!!!! So glad to hear everything went well!!! I'm glad I didn't pay for the cocktail hour and I'm not stressing over that either since you mentioned they can go to the lobby bar.

 

 

Today I am exactly one month away from my wedding day!!!! I'm starting to get a little stressed out and anxcious! I pretty much have everything set and worked out with WC. The only thing I'm still stressing over is Ivan! I didn't book him a room, I'm just going to pay the $500 fee, however I don't know what to do for the TTD. He's scheduled to come on Monday (i'm getting married on a Friday) and I don't know if I can get away with just paying a guest pass. 

Yep, lobby bar is a good way to save money! SO easy!

 

I'm so jealous you're a month away! I want to go back and do it all over again! haha You'll have a great time, try to not stress...it will all come together! The resort is SUUUUPER picky about letting guests in that don't have a room. We actually bought Ivan a room (AND they charged us) but when Ivan tried to check in they said they didn't have his reservation! UH! We are still waiting on a refund for that. So he had quite the issue getting to the resort for our TTD...he was over an hour late as he was fighting with the gate to get in to pick us up. Just make sure you go over that with your WC...like three times. :) They should be able to put his name down so he can get in to at least pick you up. It'll work out. Ivan is SO great, you're going to love him. He was SUPER nice and you could tell is so creative. Are you doing the TTD in the cenote? It was a lot of work...two hours swimming in the cold water...but I can't WAIT to see how they pictures turn out. The area he brought us to was absolutely beautiful.

 

My DJ did use his generator so I didn't have to pay a fee but I think they stopped that, I do think you have to pay the fee now. What I'm NOT sure is if you have to pay a fee then for the photographer AND the DJ or if one fee will suffice. Those fees are insane. I don't know anything about the resort DJ unfortunetly. I'm sure they would be ok though...you could always give them a list of your must have songs etc...they couldn't screw that up THAT much could they? :)

 

@NurseNurse0101 We did a symbolic ceremony too. They didn't ask us if we had a preference in what the minister said. I'm SURE if you had something specific in mind they would let you adjust it. But I will say, everything she (the minister) said was REALLY nice. There wouldn't have been anything I would have changed, she did a great job.

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