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Valerie's Wedding Review - Riviera Maya, Allegro Playacar Resort & Spa


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#1 VALERIE

VALERIE
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    Posted 13 February 2007 - 04:38 PM

    First, I have to apologize for not being as quick getting to this as some of you newly married gals out there! Sorry! I hope the detail and length of my review makes up for it!!!


    Needless to say, I had my share of things happen to us... but all I kept thinking the entire time was 2 pieces of advice you gals gave me

    (1) Live in the moment because everything will go by so fast. Just be in the moment!
    (2) Roll with the punches and don't let the little things get you down!
    Travel:

    Casey and I (along with my Matron of Honor and her husband) flew out the day before all of our guests. We flew to Chicago and then direct to Cancun. Like others, I highly recommend finding the direct flight to eliminate much of the hassle!

    Also, I did get the advice to carry-on my dress and Casey's suit in garment bags. I am going to go against the grain and tell you that it is just as easy to pack it carefully in some sort of suitcase or something to carry it on in. The garment bags of clothes were so much hassle! And the airlines (United) didn't have anywhere for it to go, so I did end up stuffing it in the overhead compartment anyhow. Thankfully, it didn't really wrinkle so it didn't even need to be steamed.

    Transportation to Resort:
    When arriving in Cancun, the airport wasn't really busy. We flew through security and customs in less than 30 minutes and were waiting for our transportation to pick us up. We used Lomas Travel (and have in the past), because they are easy to find and get things done.

    We were loaded into the van and on our way to the resort (we did splurge for the non-stop transfer). However, about 5 minutes down the road we were in a vehicle accident! Ugh! After sitting in the van for about 10 minutes waiting to see what we had to do, they sent another van to come and get us. It felt like a scene straight out of a horror flick... moving everything we had to an unmarked white van and climbing in! :)

    By the way - We booked the entire trip through Fare Deals and FunJet Vacations. FYI

    Allegro Playacar Resort & Spa:
    The resort looked lovely as we were driving in! To be honest, my hopes going in were not very high, so I was pleasantly surprised!

    Check-in was chaotic and unorganized. I left VERY frusturated after than, not to mention our rooms were not yet ready. They wanted us to leave all of our things with the bus boys, who would then bring everything up for us. I, for one, was not about to leave our wedding clothes! So, we carried them around until our room was ready 2 hours later.

    The grounds were beautiful and I loved the little "houses" spaces (rather than the hotel feel)! The hammocks on the decks were wonderful! We spent alot of time on them over the week!

    Click the image to open in full size.

    The rooms on the other hand left alot to be desired! They were much smaller than I anticipated. We had the upgraded room, which was the exact same room with a better view and a mini frig. The bathroom shower was icky (dirty and grungy) and the room had a distinct spell. Our air conditioner didn't work very well. However, it seemed that all of the rooms were a bit different - some better than others in a variety of ways.

    Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

    The beach is indeed gone. It is filled with sandbags, as well as many of the resorts nearby. We were able to go to the neighboring beach (couldn't use their chairs or anything), but we could frolick in the ocean.

    Wedding Coordinator (On-Site):
    Difficult to communicate with Karina via email. There were several times that I had to ask my travel agent to call her (thank goodness she did!) to see what was going on. About 2-3 months prior to the wedding, she finally started to pay attention to me.

    She did arrange all of the blood tests and paperwork we needed to do the first day we were there. She came to the wedding and helped with whatever needed to be done. In the end, she was fine (I wouldn't have paid any more for her though!)

    Out of Town Bags:
    Everyone loved them! I did real simple things like meds, lotions, bandaids, aloe, air fresheners, kleenex, and a note thanking them for being there. I also wrote a little note with everyone's room numbers and stuck that in there as well. I heard tons of good things about this!


    Dress(es) and Suit(s):
    I loved our outfits even more in Mexico than I did here! My dress didn't wrinkle at all from the flights and travel and was perfect! I did get heals to wear and immediately sunk into the sand - didn't feel real good on my calfs, but it worked.

    My matron of honor and I actually changed after the ceremony into formal dresses. Because we had the at home reception the weekend after we returned home, I didn't want to chance spilling or sitting in something. This worked fine other than the waiters and staff didn't know we were the ones who got married.

    The suits were perfect. They didn't get too hot and actually ended up wearing them the entire evening.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Private Lobster Dinner:
    The night before the ceremony, Casey and I had a 5 course Lobster dinner on our balcony. This was also part of our package. Very romantic, but the food sucked. We ended up hitting the buffet after the dinner! HA!

    Spa Appointments (On-Site):
    The afternoon of the wedding, Casey and I both had massages, manicures and pedicures at the on-site spa. This was part of our package, and we both loved it! It was something we would have never done if we would have had the traditional wedding back home.

    Then my Matron of Honor and I had our hair done. Depsite the lack of communication, I liked my style there better than the one I had done back home! They really did a nice job!

    Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

    Ceremony:
    I forgot to ask anyone to be an usher, so everyone just kind of sat when they wanted to. Didn't work real well, but we made the best of it! :)

    I really didn't like the hotel staff person reading the ceremony (after the Spanish judge said it). Nothing meant the same thing and she read it so no emotion and wasn't very loud. I wish I would have just had someone from our family read it or made sure the judge could do it in English.

    Oh - I couldn't justify the cost for the videographer, so I asked two of our guests to bring along their cameras. We set up those two plus mine, and ended up with some great footage that we'll cut together!

    We also used a CD for music - no band. We didn't have a dance or anything either. After dinner, we headed for some more cocktails and then the nighttime show.

    Everything else went really well! I loved the whole thing! We did have to rush through photos before we lost daylight, though. I wish the wedding would have been at 4 instead of 5 p.m. to make the most out of the daylight.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Cocktail Hour and Dinner:
    We just made reservations for our group at the on-site Mexican restaurant. I didn't get the "private service" because I wasn't about to pay the extra money at an all inclusive resort. Can me cheap, but it worked just fine!

    We were all able to eat at the same time, but for the benefit of the staff - I had to choose the menu prior to going. People didn't like that they didn't have the choice, but most were fine with my choices.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Flowers:
    I loved my flowers in the end! It was alot of hassle to get to that point though! I had white lillies and stargazer lillies in our bouquets. We also had two detachable pink roses that I gave to the mothers as I walked down the isle. SO glad I did this!!!!!!!

    The flowers at the ceremony site were chosen a few months prior to the wedding. She gave us 4 or 5 choices to choose from.

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Cake:
    Again, we just did what came with the wedding package. When we had our meeting with the WC when we got to Mexico, we had the choice of filling and cake. I chose my husband's favorite - white with strawberry filling and it was absolutely wonderful!

    Click the image to open in full size.

    Photographer (On-Site):
    I really hated the fact that she wore jeans and a slightly see-through white shirt. There are some points in the video and on other photos where she's in the background, and it just looks aweful!

    She did take some good photos, and I was very pleased in the end. We received a very cool album, 24 or so 4 x 6 photos and 1 8 x 10. We also got the negatives back, which are in getting reprints as I type right now!

    I have more photos in my profile! Take a look!

    Also, remember that we did have an at home reception when we returned. So, we decided to forgo things like favors and decorations in Mexico (because we did that back home).

    #2 *JillD*

    *JillD*
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      Posted 13 February 2007 - 04:47 PM

      Sounds like everything went well for the most part! Glad you guys had a great time!

      #3 Jessalyn

      Jessalyn
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        Posted 13 February 2007 - 04:57 PM

        Great review! Thanks. I'm glad that everything went so smoothly for you! You were a beautiful bride!!
        My new man....Donovan

        Wedding photos and avatar by Jonathan Thrasher Photography - www.jthrasherphoto.com
        Our wedding slide show www.jthrasherphoto.com/slideshows/jessalynhttp://tickers.Ticke....k/27c1/age.png

        #4 LEIGH

        LEIGH
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          Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:03 PM

          great wedding review! It sounds like you were satified for the most part....if it matters at all, you looked wonderful!!!!!
          I'm with you on the idea of paying extra for a dinner at an all inclusive...I'm having a really hard time with that one! But I realize that we are really paying for the service i guess...But, you said it worked without paying extra!!
          Leigh and Bryan
          October 7th, 2007

          http://tickers.Ticke....5da3/event.png
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          #5 TammyWright

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          Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:07 PM

          valerie,
          you looked so gorgeous and your hair looked perfect! i am so glad you were able to roll with the punches and enjoy your wedding.

          great review!

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          #6 andreslove

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            Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:21 PM

            I'm glad everything worked out. You all looked lovely! Congratulations!

            #7 VALERIE

            VALERIE
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              Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:27 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by sydskyga
              great wedding review! It sounds like you were satified for the most part....if it matters at all, you looked wonderful!!!!!
              I'm with you on the idea of paying extra for a dinner at an all inclusive...I'm having a really hard time with that one! But I realize that we are really paying for the service i guess...But, you said it worked without paying extra!!
              There was just no way that I was paying $15 per person for service. It did work just fine. I ordered everyone's food prior to even getting to Mexico (which allowed me to Google all of the dishes to figure out what they were!. The waiters just kept bringing the food out and getting everyone's drinks. They even cut up the remaining cake and served that for me as well.

              I'm not sure what else we could have gotten if we paid, but noone seemed to figure out the difference.

              #8 LEIGH

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              • 478 posts

                Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:34 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by VALERIE
                There was just no way that I was paying $15 per person for service. It did work just fine. I ordered everyone's food prior to even getting to Mexico (which allowed me to Google all of the dishes to figure out what they were!. The waiters just kept bringing the food out and getting everyone's drinks. They even cut up the remaining cake and served that for me as well.

                I'm not sure what else we could have gotten if we paid, but noone seemed to figure out the difference.
                We were considering doing this, but I think that our party might be 2 big to pull if off instead of doing a coctail reception and a buffet after that....
                How may guests did you have?/
                Leigh and Bryan
                October 7th, 2007

                http://tickers.Ticke....5da3/event.png
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                #9 VALERIE

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                  Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:39 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by sydskyga
                  We were considering doing this, but I think that our party might be 2 big to pull if off instead of doing a coctail reception and a buffet after that....
                  How may guests did you have?/
                  We had a group of 22 - 20 adults, 2 children.

                  We didn't do the cocktail reception either. We just went to one of the bars! I think you're idea for the cocktails and buffet is great! How many are going in your group?

                  #10 anaderoux

                  anaderoux
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                    Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:48 PM

                    Great review Valerie!! I'm glad you didn't have to pay extra for dinner!! that's great!




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