At ten minutes until 3, no one had come. Erik leaves to get some shots on the beach and Stacey and I decide to go down to the bottom level of the resort. We run into Carolina and Gilberto, who takes Stacey away. I wait with Carolina and her ever-present walkie talkie until they are ready. She tells me just how to hold my veil so it won't fly in my face (it was quite windy that day) and off we go when we get the signal. I will post pics when we get them, but it was breathtakingly beautiful, Stacey was standing down with the minister. He had a chance to talk with her for about 5 minutes and told her how important Jesus Christ was to us and made sure she understood to emphasize Him. He also told her this was not a Vow Renewal, but our real wedding. When I got down to the spot, and yes I wore flat Silver sparkly sandals, we faced each other and listened. The minister had the whole ceremony memorized and it was beautiful; much better than I imagined. We went over to the side table to sign the Certificate of Marriage (symbolic) and then it was over! Beautiful Day, indeed! She did not ask if we wanted to say anything special, so when we did the champagne toast, I told Stacey I wanted to say something. Of course, my long speech became about one sentence because I started crying so hard which made him cry. Later, we heard everybody at the resort (10 people, haha) had gathered at the retaining wall to watch and were crying with us! Awwwwww!
Erik kicked it into gear and had me laying all over rocks and jumping around and Stacey throwing me. He would show us the screen on his camera when he got something really special and WOW, he made me look like a tall supermodel sometimes! Oh, I am 4'11''...We actually decided against the TTD session because all of ours were so candid with no family members to photograph. Erik and the videographer were so easy to work with and wanted to know where we wanted to shoot and what we liked and Erik has perfect English. I think they actually stayed over time. Funny story-as we were walking around getting new places to shoot, a girl and her parents stopped us and said, "Are you a real bride? Or just models?" We laughed so hard. We hung out with them the rest of the week; they were from Jersey and she is getting married there Summer 2009. They kept calling us "the models." Hardly.
Here is what we looked like HOURS after the wedding with fallen hair and dirty dress. We took these so they aren't too fantastic:
My hot husband:
Check out the "Pinch Bustle" ... very nice...
Carolina came up to us in the lobby after the last round of photos and said she had a surprise for us and to meet her in 30 minutes. She made me close my eyes, and they took us down for the private candlelight dinner in our gazebo. No charge. Very beautiful. We had 3 waiters, Hector was our favorite! You saw the one photo above of the dinner. The prepared a 4 course meal with wines and champagnes and printed our names on the menu. It was very nicely done and we were grateful. We felt the only people in the world.
All in all, it was great, and we were very pleased. I will post some other pics for you now. I met Andrea, who was the 4 PM wedding on November 8. I will not post her photos out of respect but it was on the beach and her colors were beautiful-I think a hot pink and kelly green? Really nice. We met earlier in the week and she was pretty anxious and upset about the calamity of the newly opened resort. I did not talk to her after the wedding, as we left Sunday, but she saw us watching closely and we waved vigorously and she seemed very happy. One comment-they did a legal wedding and had a microphone. Their female minister spoke very poor English and sort of halted her way through the ceremony. Our minister officiated the 5 PM wedding (see pic below) and she was MUCH better. Don't know if you could choose but her name is Alina Monroy, Minister, Community of Faith Church. Her email is actually printed on my certificate too:
I will post this bride's photo as she is not on the site, but I will keep her name private. I wanted you to see her flowers, colors, aisle and chairs for those that want to see samples.
Here is where Andrea's reception was held, same as the owner's friends' wedding reception. It is in the center of the resort, behind Zocolo:
The 5 PM bride had her reception INSIDE Zocolo, like everyone likes, BUT the resort was at about 10% capacity. The outside patio was availiable for dinner for non-guests. The patio would be fine for a reception, not sure about where to dance? The bar is right to the right of this photo and it is right up from the beach gazebo. Here is the patio:
Nobody last week chose this option, but the Rooftop Garden Patio is beautiful. It is just not down near the beach, but up off the lobby at the front of the resort:
Two Last Photos
One of the pool beds they were finishing midweek:
and another showing how close Secrets Silversands is to Sensatori. This is looking just over the fence at the south side of the resort. We almost snuck over there a few nights to check out the nightclubs but never did:
Things I would do over (maybe)-really short list
*I really missed our family and my 14 year old son especially. With resort being so empty, it was very romantic, but we craved a little interaction later in the week. That is why we stayed 2 extra days, when all the Americans were coming in for the weddings because we met them and were having fun with them. So, perhaps I should have brought my family!
*Pinned my veil better
It blew off twice during my ceremony as the wind came out of nowhere! But it was funny and probably made some funny photos!
*Had my hair down for some later photos with no veil
I hope this can help you guys. Bottom line: the resort will be a First-Class facility in a few months. I believe everything you will read about in my resort review will be taken care of soon. You have made the right decision! Andrea might disagree! We will look forward to her review as well....
Best of luck and contact me for more specific questions anytime.