Review on my wedding experience
Welcome Party on 05.27.11 and Wedding on 05.28.11
Planning: We booked our wedding through bestdestinationweddings.com. Our first representative was not so great. We were reassigned to Debbie Ryan. If you get her, rest assured she will take good care of you. She also answers emails and telephone calls in a very timely fashion. Our first LOMAS representative left some room to be desired as well. We were reassigned to Elizabeth Riffin and she was great too! For the most part I would draft a list of issues, concerns, desires, etc. and then we would arrange a teleconference (the 3 of us) and cover everything. I think we had about 3 total. Very efficient. Again, great ladies to work with!
Arrival at airport: We arrived at the airport in Cancun and proceeded outside where we saw the LOMAS representative immediately holding our name tag. We talked for a couple of minutes and were whisked away in a Lincoln Navigator. We chose private transport over the group shuttle. This was a good choice for us. All but one set of our guests said LOMAS was there waiting when they arrived. We talked to Carlos at the LOMAS desk at AS and made sure that everyone was squared away for departure because we were not happy that one set of our guests had waited around 20 minutes before LOMAS showed up to get them from the airport.
Arrival at AS: We were greeted by cool aromatherapy washclothsand champagne. We were upgraded to a premium room on the 2nd floor. We loved all the extra amenities that came with this, and there were always Bali beds available either on the beach or at the pool. We loved the pool butler service, and the aromatherapy pillows in the room. Our room was decorated nicely each day with rose petals, towel art, twice our bathwater was ran with rose petals too. The room was clean, the bed was comfortable...we had NO complaints. Thanks Debbie because I think you had something to do with making this happen for us! We were supposed to get a 1 category upgrade due to when we booked, but this was better than our upgrade. We also booked at a time when all private events were 20% off.
Candlelight dinner on the beach: We had this our first night. It was romantic and the waiter was very nice. I know we were tired from all of the hustle leading up to our arrival in Mexico, but even minus that, I still believe the time between the courses was too long. Main course was great. This was included in our gold package.
Sunset cruise to Maroma: This was also include in our package. We went here our second night. We had a group dinner for our guests (also included in our package) this night. It was a time for them to get together, as they came from many states. Sunset cruise was really nice and bar service was included. When we got back to Maroma, we had dinner on the beach again. This was very nice, and they even had a saxophone player come and play at each table. My then FI and I danced for an entire song that was played for us. The food was very good, but like at AS, the time in between courses was too long. We took some nice photos on this trip.
3rd night: We had the BBQ Deluxe for our White Attire Welcome Party on Pool Deck 4 from 5p-9p. Hindsight on this, starting at 6p would have been better because it is still very hot at 5p. This was a very nice event and everyone looked nice. The food was excellent and the bartenders were the bomb. Carlos was THE BEST and he became my now-husband's "new best friend" in Mexico. I brought our BOSE IPOD docking station for this event and it provided the right amount of volume for dinner and dancing . We had Caribe Photo for one hour at this event. (One hour of photography was included in our wedding package. As we hired an outside vendor for the wedding, we used the one hour of photography at this event and it was a great choice.) The photographer brought the book of photos, along with 2 additional CDs of photos taken in that time frame to my husband and I at our honeymoon resort. How awesome was that?
4th night: Wedding Day! Our wedding was on the beach and scheduled for 3:30p.m. Our on-site wedding coordinators were Israel and Denise. They were both very good! Word of advice to brides-to-be, and I know you won't listen, but it is so true... Try not to stress so much about the planning process prior to getting to Mexico. They really do a great job once you get there. REALLY! Will there be some bumps in the road? Yes, it's a destination wedding, but they really will help make your dreams come true. Another tip: You will likely have too much stuff when you get to the airport. We flew on airtran, as did many of our guests. Perks about airtran, if you fly business class each person gets first 2 bags checked for no additional charge, you have nicer seats, and you get to start drinking and snacking from the moment you get on the plane. This was so worth it for us. ALSO, we have a lot of military in our circle of family and friends. Each active duty service member can bring 3 pieces of luggage (even overweight for free.) This is how we got our wedding stuff to Mexico. If you have this option, take advantage of it!
OK, back to the wedding. Our wedding started approximately 1 hour late. My girls and I were on time. The flowers were late getting to our room and it appears that my IPOD was misplaced somewhere between the bridal attendant (provided by resort) and the wedding coordinator getting it. I hate that my friends and family were waiting, as we are always on time. You also have to walk quite a distance if you are in the premium section around the resort to the wedding gazebo. For some reason, the coordinator did not guide my bridesmaids down the aisle (wooden plank) and all of them except for my MOH and my two nephews, the bridal criers, walked around the outside of guests. ???? Oh well, like I said, it's a destination wedding, and in the grand scheme of things although it looked crazy, it was something small. The only music that they played from my IPOD was the music for us to come down the aisle, The One He Kept For Me, and then After the Rain for the processional. I know this is because my IPOD was misplaced, as mentioned earlier. I am so glad I had talked to my MOH's husband and told him, "If they don't get anything right, make sure they are playing The One He Kept For Me" when all of us come down the aisle. That was my FI queue that I was coming. That was most important, and he knew I was on my way.
Everything was set up just as I asked, from the way I wanted my sheers hung (only 3), to the placement of the flowers on the gazebo, to the placement of a memory candle on the table where we had the sand ceremony and signed the legal documents. THEY ALSO GAVE US AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING JUDGE!!! We had the legal ceremony. Everything about the ceremony was beautiful, despite the heat. I have no regrets, even with the bumps in the roads that we experienced. I also had a moment of anxiety when I was waiting to walk down the aisle, and Israel was right there for me with a shot of tequila that I requested at the last minute!
I know I am prejudice, but I tell you, I feel like I had the most beautiful wedding that ever was, and you will feel that way too.
We hired Ivan Luckie ( outside vendor) and Mike Cantarell of Cancun Wedding Video (preferred vendor) for 6 and 5 hours respectively. They work VERY WELL together. Because our wedding was late, we did not have as much time as we wanted for photography under the gazebo and on the beach, but I am sure they got some good shots. We sent our guests to a 2 hour cocktail hour, which really ended up being about an hour because they wanted to watch us taking pictures on the beach. They said the food was great. It was at Zocalo al Fresco. We also had the wedding reception here. Cocktails with appetizers were until 6p and then the reception started at 6:10p. We were taking pictures the entire cocktail time, so we had none of the food. We had wanted Zavas Plaza for our reception site, but my bridal twin, the most awesome lady married on the same day, had already booked it. We corresponded through this site and have similar personal and professional backgrounds. It turned out that Zocalo al Fresco ended up being the better choice for us because it was cooler, covered, and had nice trade winds. I would pick it all over again if given the choice. We kept our decor at Zocalo just white table cloths, silver table runners that I got from Kohls at the After-Christmas-Sale, and our ivory hanging corsages from the wedding. As Zocalo is a burnt rust and gold, introducing orchid (the color of my bridesmaid's gowns would have been too much.) I loved the way they set the reception up, and we chose to keep the brown chairs that come with Zocalo instead of the white covered ones. My Dad is 6'6" and was having some medical issues. They even brought a high bar table and two bar chairs for him and my mother for the reception.
We had the filet mignon and lobster dinner served. It was good and the alcohol was flowing. We hired DJDoremixx (outside vendor) and they were great! I liked them a lot. I also advised them that they could take requests from our guests. Anyone that has them can feel good that the outcome will be pleasant.
OK, problem area again. I think our head waiter was Eduardo. He was great, but we had one problem. I kept asking for the cake and cupcakes to come out. My Spanish is pretty good, as I have had to use it at work, and I frequent Spanish-speaking countries quite a bit on vacation, but the whole cupcake thing was not working. After getting frustrated, I got my best friend, Spanish is her first language, to translate that I wanted the sweetheart cake (that came with our package) and the cupcakes to be brought out. I just don't think he understood cupcakes in English or Spanish. We went ahead and cut our cake. It was very good. I recommend the strawberry! About 10 minutes before the reception was over, he said the cupcakes were baking. Too late...our reception was over. We had older people that had already left, and approx 10 of our guests were heading out because they were booked at other resorts. Despite this, we still had a great time and most of my guests said that our wedding weekend was the best they had ever attended. I can't tell you how many tears were shed. It was so beautiful.
My wedding twin invited us to her reception after ours. About 10 of us went and celebrated with her and her new husband after our reception. What a nice group of people! She and I even had a celebratory shot together and some pics, both professional and amateur. I am so pleased that I have met a new friend. Awesome lady. Truly first class!
After we left her reception, we went to the nightclub and partied some more. I had the best wedding day ever! I am sure that you will too!
Day after wedding: I went to the WC office because I wanted reimbursement for our cupcakes. They were $8 a piece x 38 guests. Too significant to blow off, especially since I had lost our room safe key the night of the Welcome Party ($150). I was told that because we paid through the Miami office that we would have to be reimbursed through the Miami office (LOMAS). They said they would send a note to them immediately, but noted we could have the cupcakes at our brunch (part of our wedding package) that morning. I advised we did not want them at the brunch, as they should have been served when we cut our wedding cake for our guests to enjoy at our wedding. Additionally, in our welcome letter, I told our guests that the brunch was another optional event as I knew some would be tired, some would want to be at the pool beach or on an excursion, and that approx 10 of our guests were not at the resort and would not be there. Bottom line, you want your cupcakes on your wedding day when you have your wedding cake. I am still waiting to hear back from Elizabeth Riffin on my refund for this.
After the Wedding Day Brunch: This was at Zavas, and it was very nice. I think there were only 8 of us, as many were recuperating from the night before or just doing their own thing.
The bad: I did not know until my return, that my sister had a horrible experience with her room. I wish she would have told me. You can see her review on tripadvisor.com at the end of May. She is rockie128. I wish she would have told me, because I truly believe that as the bride, if I would have gone to the resort her room issues would have been resolved. This was a major bummer for me to find out upon my return to the States. I wanted this to be a great experience for everyone. She went through a lot more than the average person has to go through to get herself and my nephews to our wedding. I am very disappointed about her experience. It is my understanding that one other set of guests had serious room problems too, but were moved the next day.
Honeymoon: We went to Secrets Capri Riviera by private transport after the brunch. We upgraded to the top of the line suite on the top floor. We were oceanfront and in front of the wedding gazebo. We had a powder room, kitchenette, dining room, living room with balcony, bedroom with two more balconies, to include jacuzzi on balcony looking at the ocean, master bath with 2 showers, commode, bidet, full size toiletries (to include sunblock). We only did this because we knew we would never do it again. I always get the bottom of the line room because I prefer to spend most of my time at the beach. The beach was much nicer than AS, the water was murky in areas, and very blue in others. We enjoyed it. The resort is small and the drinks were bad...watered down and just bad. We found that if we ordered Corona or soda we were good, but that was it. The food was ok in some places, and not so good in others. The staff here was not as friendly as AS and that was a big let down. We figured for the amount of money we spent here, we would have been treated just as well. The only people that stood out were Lou Ann and the ladies in the spa. We booked our hydrotherapy circuit and massages. The ladies in the spa were also awesome. Lou Ann made sure we got $40 off of our spa treatments, as the concierge basically stopped talking and did not give us any pertinent information that he was supposed to because we were not interested in some program he wanted us to buy into. Sad. Would we go back. Yes, but only because it is our honeymoon spot and a perfect place to just concentrate on each other. It would have nothing to do with the staff as they paled in comparison to the staff at AS.
We have a lot of pics from our white party. I'm not sure when Ivan is going to have any of our pics from the wedding. Mike from Cancun Wedding Video said he will start editing on our video sometime this week. I will post when it is up on his site. I have some photos from friends/family of the white party and some of the wedding. PM me if you are interested.
Best wishes to all of the brides to be. My husband and AS made all of my wedding dreams come true!