What restaurants are they letting you choose from?
Wilma only had room for us at the Oriental (Mo Ho Na Na or something like that) or Mundaca when we were there. We went with the Mundaca Steakhouse on the Cove side for the dinner. I asked Wilma to let us eat outside on the terrace, which was no issue at all. There was a pretty nice breeze and even though the restaurant is fairly big I felt like we were the only people there. When we arrived, the tables looked great... we didn't pay for any flowers/centerpieces but the table was decorated with tons of flower petals, carnations and candles when we arrived. They really do want you to have a lovely time.
The food was excellent and we had 4 wait staff and a manager taking care of the 15 of us (and only us) the entire time. Needless to say, service was excellent. They brought out appetizers, wine, and champagne shortly after we (bride and groom) were seated. They were definitely planning on serving things in courses, taking appetizer orders first, then salad orders, then soup orders, etc. so the dinner would have taken a good few hours if we'd allow it. Neither husband or I had eaten all day so we just asked if we could order everything all at one time instead. This was absolutely not an issue and the food was out fairly quickly thereafter.
We decided to do a DW to save money, so we didn't pay for any kind of sound system, DJ, etc. Also, I wanted a quiet dinner (family politics.... eeek!) and wanted to cut out and head to the disco right afterwards. We were pleasantly surprised by the show the hotel put on for us in its place- they brought the mariachi band over from La Hacienda to sing for us.. they sang 4 or 5 songs and "made" us do a first dance which was kind of a fun surprise. Then the waiter did a mayan coffee setup for the table (lots of fire and quite a production) after the band left, followed by our cake and desserts.
We did the complimentary package and the cake was ok.. Do keep in mind they make it "mexican" style which means it is very moist cake. I love that, but some guests hated it. We did the chantilly frosting which was like light buttercream. The flowers were fondant, which was also yummy... Word of advice if you're worried about the cake- I'd swing into a Mexican bakery if you have one nearby just to try it and make sure it's what you want. Otherwise, I'm sure if you asked they could make dry American cake (for lack of a better description) if you asked. And honestly, by the time they stuff you full of dinner no one eats the cake anyways. I ate two bites of my filet mignon b/c I was too full from the appetizers/soup/salad!!
Honestly though, I wouldn't stress too much about the restaurant but I would consider what kind of atmosphere you're looking for. Keep in mind it gets HOT hot there and a little AC may go a long way depending on what you plan to wear!! Husband wore a suit (his choice!) and was dying by the end of the ceremony. My dress was wet to the touch with sweat by hour 3. It was hot hot hot. But beautiful all the same. :-)
Here's a quick run down (spelling could be a little off):
La Trattoria:SPA side- Italian- very small restaurant- maybe 60 seats? There were about half indoors half out. Dimly lit but in a romantic kind of way. The food was great but small portions. The night we ate there they were hosting another wedding party who had payed for a violinist. He did a fantastic job but it was a little bit loud for such a small place. You really couldn't hear each other across the table while he played.
La Hacienda: COVE side- Mexican- one of my favorites. Indoors and depending on your party size you could probably have them sequester you to the back area where people wouldn't see you. Very fun atmosphere with a "roaming" mariachi band. It's quiet and the decor is very "mexico" from the floor tiles to the pictures on the walls to the paint.
Mundaca- COVE side- Steakhouse. They have indoor and outdoor seating but it's all open air so NO AC. The outdoor seating is maybe 60 seats? and indoors is much more. Nice place, great view of the water and Cozumel. We ate there twice and left full and happy both times. It was funny on our wedding dinner because we sat outside and a stray cat wandered onto the terrace and meowed for steak. My family is a pack of animal lovers so he/she ate VERY well that night. Keep in mind a lot of the outdoor places get "visitors" like birds, geckos, and the occasional cat. The wait staff runs them off pretty quick when they spot them... we're pretty casual and found it amusing. (I'm not saying the place is a zoo- just saying you may see a critter every now and then)
La Ventana- COVE- Pizza and pasta. All indoors... not set up for a wedding. The food was ok, but I was least impressed with them- they were more of a kid food/pizza/cafeteria type ambiance if you asked me. It was very brightly lit and felt like a golden corral or something, with grey floor tiles.
Oriental- SPA-(can't think of the name but it's something like mo no ha na na) all indoors. This one doubles as a breakfast buffet in the morning and an oriental place at night. The windows overlook the ocean and the evening atmosphere is very nice. It's a big place, but there are several "levels" of seating so again, you could probably have them move you to one end or the other and keep it somewhat private.
El Greco- SPA- seafood- indoor/outdoor seating. This is one of their staple restaurants and one of the only ones open for lunch time. We ate there for lunch almost daily and for dinner twice- once we had the chef prepare spanish mackerel that we caught on a fishing tour and the second just straight off the menu and it was fantastic both times. There is NO AC at this place- indoors or out. Also, it appears that if it rains they shut the place down. It rained two days that we were there and they closed the lunch buffet both times. The roof of this one is thatched- I assume it must leak. Also, because it's completely open air there are a lot of birds in the daytime stalking your lunch. We just kept in mind it's a fun place and you're in Mexico and it's not worth getting worked up about. And the staff chasing them around is kind of amusing. ;-)
La Huerta- SPA- "california light". We actually never ate there for dinner but it's all indoors and looked really nice. The menu wasnt calling to us (health food? yuck!) but there were always people going so it couldn't have been bad.
As for the packages, you can use your vacation dollars on them now. Had this been an option when I booked, I'd have done it. The meeting with Wilma was very smooth and only took about half and hour/45 minutes. I didn't feel rushed at all and it was pretty "to the point". I LITERALLY planned nothing in RE to cake, flowers, etc. until I got there 3 days prior and all went well. She showed slides with what they had, I picked, moved on. The doctor was very professional and took our blood samples on site. Wilma brought us drinks and cookies to distract my needlephobic husband while he got his blood drawn (lol). She did ask that we bring four songs for the ceremony- the staff ran the sound system and it all sounded great., they did a good job fading everything in and out as needed and it really sounded flawless. I did the free bouquet and it was a nice size and gorgeous! I also bought a flower for my hair but honestly could have spared one from the bouquet if I'd have known how big the bouquet would be.. for some reason I expected some kind of sad bouquet with like, 4 flowers lol.
My only regret as to not purchasing the "extras" was the horse and carriage ride.. Just do it! I felt kind of ghetto riding in on the golf cart. :-) Wilma drove in and parked us a decent distance from the gazebo but I think the horses would have been sooo much more dramatic.
As for the photographer, I booked an outside vendor because I panicked but after seeing the hotel's work with another couple that was there I can tell you that they did a fantastic job and know the grounds REALLY well and can get those nice shots that an outside photog wouldn't know about.I opted to hire Sascha Gluck, based on this thread and I'm very excited to see the pics. He was very professional when he was there- I'm still waiting for the pictures and will post a link the second he gives me a sneak peak. I left my mother in charge of taking pictures (other than Sascha) and she cried the whole time and didn't take a picture. :-(
I didn't tell the hotel that I hired an outside photog, just said I had a couple of friends coming and paid for their day passes (86 each) through the wedding planner. Wilma didn't ask and no one said anything when he was taking photos all night long!
I have quite a few pictures of the room/grounds/etc though, if you want to see them.
Sorry for the book but I am trying to leave no stone unturned!! :-)
Originally Posted by jszy10
Steph..here we go! )
Where did you have your reception at? I am going to be having mine at a restaurant, is there one you would recommend? I want to try and have it as private as possible.
Did you use a wedding package or did you choose a'la'cart? Anything you would definitely recommend having??
and I know everyone wants to see pics!!!!!!!!