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Barcelo Maya Palace Brides
Posted 11 November 2014 - 06:02 PM
Hi Everyone!!! We are back and the wedding was AMAZIINNNGGGG!!!!! Seriously Amazing..
You can visit my facebook page for pictures Sarah Bristow (Douglas)
Ok on with the review:
Our wedding coordinator was originally Claudia, she has since left Barceló... we then started with Marlene who to be honest wasn't that great with communication. When we arrived and had our meeting, we actually met with Estriella, as Marlene was away on business. THIS WAS A GODSEND!!!! Estriella was AMAZING.. I cant even tell you... she was there from beginning to end. I literally handed over all my centerpiece stuff, my ipod with the play lists, our décor that we brought down, our message in a bottle and guest book stuff, place cards, seating chart, EVERYTHING. And it was set up perfectly and exactly how I imagined. She was amazing.
We chose the coral beach (cliff area) on the palace side. We were told that we would have to pay 15$ extra per person to have the ceremony there (we were guests at the tropical)... I told them that was ridiculous and our wedding planner decided to wave the fee for us We chose this spot because I saw previous weddings that week and did not like how there is no traffic control for who is behind you in the water, and also the coral cliff was SO private. Perfect for 34 guests We had our champagne toast shortly after the ceremony on the cliff area while taking group shots. it was fantastic. there was music that we chose from my ipod being played by one of the barcelo workers... everything was perfect.
It was threatening to rain that day, overcast weather, and while that is fantastic for pictures, it is NOT fantastic for dancing on the beach if it rains. So we were given the option to be in the Mariachi open air grill area. I absolutely do not regret this decision. In my mind I had wanted to be in the grill, because there is a huge fan, there is a good floor for dancing, and there are bathrooms and the bar in the center. They hung paper lanterns for us, they put strings of lights up the poles, and the DJ (700$ for 3 hours, but he stayed for 5 in total--no extra charge to us) brought lights as well which helped light up the entire room. We had 4 square tables, and a head table, dance floor was in the center. Mint green chair sashes and runners. Centerpieces were clear glass plates with sand and shells with a candle. It looked amazing and I am so happy we chose that area. It wasn't super dark and I wasn't stressed about wind or rain We were completely private as well
We chose, Cesar salad (SOOOO GOOD), Minestrone soup (YUMMM), Beef Tenderloin Wellington (huge hit, it was a great steak), and Chocolate Mousse (it was weird... but pretty to look at).
We chose a 1 layer chocolate cake. OK, so they said that we should get 2 tiers because 1 tier only feeds 15 people???? that cake was HUGE!!!!! Seriously, it could feed AT LEAST 50 people. Don't waste the extra money on 2 tiers... you only need 1. And by the way, get the chocolate, it was the best chocolate cake ive ever had.
The bartenders danced with us, they gave us shots while we were dancing, they were fantastic and made the night even better. All of the servers and bartenders were great and worked SO hard to make sure we had a fantastic night
Originally I did not want a DJ. We were just going to use my ipod, which would have worked out fine. But my dad wanted someone to do all the music so we wouldn't have to worry about it. It was 700$ for 3 hours, but Estriella got him to stay for the full 5 hours for 700$... it was WORTH IT. He played all my music, mixed and blended it, put some of his own into there... it was well worth it. Plus the cool lights that were part of the package really helped with dancing atmosphere as well. This is the Barceló DJ, not an outside vendor, he was great
HAIR AND MAKEUP:
Everyone warned me not to go to the spa at the resort for hair. It was part of my wedding package, and I knew that there was no way I was going to pay 300$ for an outside person to come in to do my hair. So I went to the spa with my 2 bridesmaids.
They did a supurb job. I have NO idea where the bad reviews came in. I showed the girl pictures of what I wanted, she put my extensions in, she did an AMAZING job. I would recommend the spa at Barceló for hair.
They also did side curled hair for my bridesmaids with their extensions too, their hair turned out exactly as asked and we were all very happy.
I did my own makeup and my bridesmaids makeup... (something I am very particular about) I wore Estee Lauder Double wear light foundation, Nars creamy concealer, Makeupforever eyeshadow with primer underneath, Stila waterproof pen liner, Sephora Mink False strip lashes, MAC lipstick with YSL gloss overtop. For powder I used Urban Decay Naked Powder. Eyebrows are makeupforever pencil. Nars Orgasm Blush, Nars contour palette in Olympia, and Makeupforever powder highlighter...and then Urban Decay All night set spray. My makeup did not budge. It lasted through crying, sweating, wiping.. Check out these products if you need makeup that wont melt.
Everyone met in the lobby at 2:30, Estriella picked up our 34 guests at the main lobby via gold cart train, and brought them over to the ceremony site. They were shuttled back to the lobby bar for cocktail hour, and shuttled to the Mariachi Grill for reception.
Myself and my bridesmaids, mom and dad, were picked up at 2:50 at my room to be brought to the ceremony space, the ceremony started at 3pm.
We filled out the paperwork at home in Canada... we had a symbolic ceremony. With that being said its not much different, you just are signing a unofficial certificate at the ceremony. the officient costs $300 US CASH. This is collected before the ceremony. I actually did not speak to her before the ceremony, but my husband did. She did a fabulous job. We did our own vows, and a sand ceremony (the resort provided the sand ceremony as part of our package).
My family friend took all of our photos. He is not a professional photographer and does it as more of a hobby. With that being said the photos were great and we are so happy with them. There was no outside vendor fee obviously because he was a guest at the resort for a week with us. As well, I wasn't announcing him as the photographer.
We used none... Why would you pay 500$ to have someone come in... when the Barceló staff and what they provide are great??? Our wedding was $5400... we stayed on budget, and it was amazing. PS... I know that dance floor is tempting, go for the DJ instead with all the lights, same thing, just cheaper... and I saw the dance floor the night after, it was very small.
BEST NIGHT OF OUR LIVES!!! There were no hiccups, no bumps, no issues... it was fantastic... THANK YOU SO MUCH BARCELO!!!!!!
Posted 11 November 2014 - 08:53 PM
Thank you so much for the reassurance that I shouldn't use vendors! Love the pictures! The review helped so much! Congrats on becoming Mr.& Mrs.
Anybody on here getting married in January?!
Posted 11 November 2014 - 08:54 PM
Thank you so much for the reassurance that I shouldn't use vendors! Love the pictures! The review helped so much! Congrats on becoming Mr.& Mrs.
Anybody on here getting married in January?!
Me! But not at your resort
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance
Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/
Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36
Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600
Posted 11 November 2014 - 09:12 PM
- NurseNurse0101 likes this
Posted 12 November 2014 - 06:13 AM
@NurseNurse0101 Thanks for your wonderful review!
I have had some poor communication with the WC (it keeps changing?) and not hearing back from anyone for a week at a time. This close to leaving (SUNDAY!!) I'm getting nervous...we are just figuring out the final details.
Our group size is about the same size as yours..we have 37 people total. Most of us are staying at the Palace, with a few staying at the Tropical/Colonial. Right now I have a FEW questions I'd greatly appreciate your insight on having just been there:
Where is the best place to have everyone gather during the day? We were thinking at the Palarmas Pool Bar/Grill around lunch time and then people can come and go from there, and Tequila Bar/Veranda for cocktail hour. We just want a few meeting points to help people with getting together once or twice a day. I asked for a list of activities from Barcelo, thinking there might be some kind of Olympics or fun games to participate in during the day... any that you would recommend? I see there is "crazy game" most days at noon at the pool, what kind of crazy games were there?
Also- what is the best stretch of beach for having a large group meet? I'm assuming most would prefer proximity to the rooms (between palace and tropical), but not rocky.
How did you handle payment and tipping? Did they give you one big final bill after the wedding, or upon checkout? We plan to bring one CC that has no foreign transaction fees...I'm just wondering what additional charges we could expect beyond out selections that we are aware of. Was there a service charge for the wedding coordinator? Thanks for mentioning the $300 cash for the officiant! I have a feeling we will be going through customs with lots of cash on hand..
I have looked at multiple forums and am hearing differing opinions regarding tipping. I am paying for the styling trio to come out, and I plan to tip them either per stylist or each on top of the services for my bridesmaids. I wasn't sure about the WC and DJ, since we are paying for them in the package. I have heard that tipping the bartenders and waiters is much appreciated, so we'd like to do that. Of course the maids and other staff for exceptional service.. I'm just not sure who and how much.. My fiance wants to just not worry about tipping, but it's a big concern for me regarding having the right amount of cash and having it all ready to distribute without counting out bills etc.
For the DJ- we will be using the one through the resort too. We haven't given much thought to songs we want played beyond the ceremony and presentation, etc. Was he good enough to just let him take the reins? I honestly don't want to have to worry about it at all. I'm assuming we can just bring our selected songs on our phone and they can hook up to speaker?
Our reception is pool side, weather permitting. I'm glad you said not to worry about the light up dance floor.. I really wanted it but my fiance thought it would be a huge waste of money. We are doing paper luminaries around the tables, votive candles all over the tables (one per person), and a centerpiece we are bringing from home with a hurricane filled with shells and backlit with waterproof candles. The bridesmaids bouquets will sit inside. Speaking of bridesmaid bouquets..are the ones you get for $35 very small? How much do they charge for extra fullness/more flowers? I think it will look very romantic and am excited about them..but not excited about lugging all this stuff to Mexico. On this point- is anyone getting married on Nov 22 that would like to use our centerpieces? We will be there until Nov 23. We have 4 or 5 depending on your party size.
Thanks so much for listening to me go on and on...its getting down to the wire and nerves are kicking in!
Posted 12 November 2014 - 08:24 AM
We didn't have "official" meeting places, we hung out a lot near the palmeras grill on the tropical side where the pool was and the pool bar was. You are correct there are activities there. There is a big chart in the tropical lobby about the days activities. We did water aerobics and the guys got into water polo and volleyball on the beach. We also had a spot on the beach usually everyone went to every day,... actually, directly across from our pool spot, but on the beach
The palace beach is rocky. We hung out on the tropical beach, it was perfect and the water there is nice, its central
We used the tropical lobby bar for meet ups. like I said, we never had official meet up times because some people wanted to be with everyone, and some people just sometimes wanted to be by themselves at times. The tropical lobby bar is a good place though.
A lot of people on here are talking about welcome dinners and welcome bags etc. We didn't do any of that. Honestly, people spending the money going to Mexico want a vacation too... so we didn't want to take up anyones week. Some people did excursions together, some people hung out at the beach together, and people booked dinners together. The only big dinner we did was our bridal party dinner at the steak house (8 people) the night before the wedding. we noticed as the week went on after the wedding everyone kind of went their separate ways with their significant others to have their relaxing/private part of their vacation
We arrived at Barceló Tropical Oct 26... we had our WC meeting Oct 27 at 9:30am. She picked us up from our lobby. Check your phone messages too, we had one from her. If you need to confirm your meeting times, the wedding office is located at the palace, in the main lobby but bottom floor. you can also look on the map that says "Bodas" or you can look at the info book and get the extension from the wedding office and call there. Call laundry the day before to set up your dress steaming, they will do it in the room for you. They also did all of the guys outfits for us too
At the meeting, you go over EVERY detail from head to toe. She takes you on a golf cart to the available locations for your day. There are literally sometimes 3 functions going on per night, we saw a total of 10 functions the week we stayed. ours was the only one that night. I had pre requested the coral beach cliff for ceremony and the palmeras grill for reception (OR palmeras beach). Palmeras grill is HUGE.. and I mean HUGE!!!! They told us for 50 people or more, so we didn't have that option, they told us our choices would be mariachi beach or mariachi grill (right next to the beach). We wanted the beach, however that day was threatening to rain, so we made the decision to move into the grill just before the ceremony, It didn't rain until like 10pm that night Never the less, I am so happy we had it in there, it was perfect, there was a breeze, the floor for dancing was awesome. and, I had heard from a bride the night before who had her wedding on the beach the sand was getting blown into their eyes, their food... the mariachi grill is the same as palmeras with huge chandeliers etc, but just a smaller version. there is good light in there too.
Like I was saying, you go through every detail... and then, she writes up the bill. My parents paid in credit card. they take all major credit cards. there
In total it was like 6,000 Canadian (5,400 US). We had 5 hours, DJ, a couple extra charges for extra lights and stuff, 34 people (so the 66 per person over 15 people (I believe their new prices is now 77), and extra $ for extra hours of bar as well for the extra time),
I brought my own centerpiece stuff, my own decorations, and my own chair sashes and runners. We had fans made up with details of the wedding on them (people LOVED these), and then we had luggage tags for our favors. OH and our on topper and thumb print palm tree guest book thingy, and we did a cute message in a bottle. All of this fit in ONE carry on for luggage, it wasn't a ton to bring down, but it brought the WHOLE wedding reception space to life... along with the extra lights they put up!
Tipping: As a present to us, a couple friends tipped all the servers and bartenders, I think they gave them each 40$ US,.. there was about 10 servers and bartenders total all personally for us, I believed they tipped the DJ too . they were amazing and they partied with us all night long! My parents left Estrella a 100$ tip, and my husband and I gave her 50$ extra at the end of the night just because I literally handed my stuff to her and she made it all happen. She even got them to close the mariachi grill down early (snack area) so that we could have our reception in there starting at 6:30pm. We tipped in US Cash.
The officiant collects 300$ US cash from you before the ceremony starts. Make sure you your husband tells her what you want and whats happening as you will NOT see her before. You will be picked up privately from your room. My husband told her we had our own vows, sand ceremony, and we are non-religious. She did perfectly
He was amazing. I had certain songs that I wanted for dinner, and dancing, first dances, isle walk, entrance to reception etc.
I basically made playlists on my ipod:
-Yay we are married Music (post ceremony)
He mixed it with his own as well.. he basically had everything I had, but we like some Country too (he had none), he was good at mixing our songs with his, and it was cool because the lights kinda danced and strobed with the music too. Iliterally handed my ipod to Estrella the day of our meeting and when I was walking with my dad down the isle and up the ceremony space, the correct song was playing... and that continued all day and night long
If you don't feel like having all your dinner music and dance music picked out, I would say that the DJ is great and he can handle that. I would have play lists for your specific stuff like first dance etc.
I have a picture on my facebook of the flowers ---> Sarah Bristow (Douglas)
My bouquet was huge and amazing, and my bridesmaids flowers were perfect. They were not small in my opinion and worth the 35$ (which is on par with flower prices here at home for that size). I wouldn't bother adding anything, they were gorgeous. We got my dad, my brother (who was a bridesman), and all the groomsmen and the groom the flower pin (boutonniere?) they were good size too.
Don't be nervous... and that's easy to say for me now, I was very stressed. But it was an AMAZING day and literally NOTHING went wrong. It was perfect.
AND GIRLS: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE SPA FOR HAIR... maybe there is different staff now? but man those girls can do hair... they put in all of our extensions, looked at our pictures and gave us exactly what we asked for!!! Its part of your package, USE IT!!!!
hope this helps, and go check out my pictures, it makes it all more clear
- calgarybride2015 likes this
Posted 15 November 2014 - 02:08 PM
Was the officiant not included in your wedding package? I am planning a symbolic ceremony as well, but I was under the impression that the officiant would be included in the cost of the package....
I have Marlene assigned as my wedding planner, I have yet to contact her still as we just finalized our date and time, but do not have confirmed guests yet and I am still not sure which package I want... anyone know if I can or should request Estrella? She sounds great!
Posted 15 November 2014 - 09:13 PM
Thanks for posting such a detailed review. Your wedding photos look amazing. What a beautiful bride you were.
I am leaving in 4 days getting married on Nov.22, 2014 and I am so nervous I can't sleep.
Thanks also for the details on the spa. I was hesitant on paying to get my hair done at the resort but now I am sure it will be great.
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