So apparently for wedding reviews, you now have to go to the resorts & villa sections and find RPRM. I posted my review there. I also copied it so I could post it here.... Here goes:
We got back from our wedding in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico at the Riu Palace Riveria Maya a couple of weeks ago. It was the most amazing and perfect wedding, although I may be biased ! I would like to thank this forum for giving me so many great ideas and advice over the past year. Especially all the girls previously married at RPRM! Here is a review of my wedding, let me know if you have any other questions:
The resort was everything we could have wanted and more. It really made you feel like you were in a palace as you stepped into the lobby. We traveled from 12/15- 12/25 and they had a bunch of holiday decorations set up, which my group absolutely loved since some of us were leaving Christmas day.
As soon as we walked in, everyone was very helpful. We got to Mexico pretty early, was at the resort by 11 AM, so unfortunately not many rooms were ready. But they gave us our wristband, and offered a hospitality room for changing in. The manager called me and my FI (now husband J) up to the front desk thought right away though and let us know they had a Suite ready for us. Free upgrade with the wedding package, and we didnâ€™t even have to ask. This was pretty cool because the resort was full, I had guests book the week before and couldnâ€™t get into RPRM because it was full!
The pool bar= awesome. Be ware of sitting in the booths all day in the sun and having too many drinks. It took a couple of my guests as victims one day. They always seemed to have music playing around the pool bar. But, we did get up early to claim seats!
Restaurants: I thought the food was great. My guests who have stayed at other all inclusive said this was the best food theyâ€™ve had. Mimosas and bloody maryâ€™s at the breakfast buffet was great. Oh yea, reservations for the specialty restaurants were fairly simple to. Yes, it required leaving the beach/pool for 10 minutes any time between 12-3, but you can always just send a different person each day (only need one person). The buffet was great too, so no need to make reservations if you didnâ€™t want to.
Welcome Dinner A+
We arranged with Nancy ahead of time a welcome dinner at the Buffet the night before the wedding. They even included it for 2 of our guests staying at a sister Riu (through emails, Nancy made it sound like they werenâ€™t going to be able to come at first). They sectioned us off a more private (as private as you can get in the buffet area) of 3 tables of 10. They even added simple decorations on it to make it feel more special.
***This is one of the three tables they set up for us!
Ceremony A+ (3pm)
We bought the royal package because we had 36 people attending (so under 40). Included in the package were two fresh flower decorations for the gazebo. Since I brought down real touch flower for my bouquet, she changed my bridal bouquet into another bouquet for decoration no extra charge. I also brought fake flower petals for my FG since we had 3, so she took the rose petal bag included onto the cake table.
We met the minister right before the wedding, and he did a great job. Mexico being so catholic, he automatically inserted prayer and bible versus without us asking. We are both more spiritual then religious so it wasnâ€™t something we anticipated being apart of the wedding but didnâ€™t bug us (it was actually a really nice passage). But if you for some reason donâ€™t want prayer apart of the ceremony, I would make it known ahead of time. He also introduced our readers and our name at the end without hesitation and good pronunciation!
We did have some music issues with the Riuâ€™s CD. The bridal party song, cannon in d, jumped around and skipped, etc. But it was really no biggie.
All in all it was absolutely beautiful! I wouldnâ€™t change a thing. We even had random person come up to us and told us they watched our whole wedding and it was perfect (Randoms will watch, but it felt a lot more private then the beach location. I didnâ€™t really notice anyone watching)
Cocktail Hour A + (5:30-8:30 pm)
We did this outside the Lyrico Bar. We also had the mariachi band play from 5:30-6:15. I would recommend, having the band start at 6 if you are doing the cocktail hour at 5:30. Some of our guests were a little late, so missed the beginning of the mariachi band and even our first dance. (Our flower girls were down for quick nap between the ceremony and reception )
We decided not to do appetizers, but for our group this was just fine. People grabbed a snack following the ceremony at the snack bar. And then we danced so much and socialized during the cocktail hour that it didnâ€™t seem like were missing anything. That being said, we brought down a sony stereo system for our ipod (like a bose, my dad just liked the sony better). We had a wedding playlist set up, but were able to browse through songs when wanted. It was perfect!
Another tip: make friends with the staff, they are soo much fun! Also, treating them with a little $$ to show gratitude for what they do goes along way. Santos, one of our favorites, came in on his day off to serve our cocktail hour reception! We got the best tequila they had for one of our toasts (it didnâ€™t even burn going down!)
*** I didn't really have any good pictures that show how they set up the cocktail hour. But here is the Lyrico Bar. They set up the cocktail hour on the far left side facing tables inward creating a rectangular-ish shape.
***Here is our first dance with the mariachi band during the cocktail hour. They were great!
Reception B (8:45pm-11pm)
We had a semi-private dinner at Chilliâ€™s for our reception dinner. Unfortunately with the size of our group, the only time we could have was during the second seating at 8:45. It worked out just fine for us, and no one complained about the late dinnertime.
For dinner they provided the two appetizer options on the table for everyone. There was chicken caesar salad and a seafood plate (it had crab legs, shrimp, smoked salmon, calamari). Everyone got to order his or her own dinner option.
So we had a group of 36, so they had 4 tables of 8 and a head table of 4 (which was sort of awkward since our bridal party consisted of 6+ us two and we had 2 MOH and 1 best man). They took our order first, and had brought out just our appetizers before anyone else had really ordered. The last table didnâ€™t even place their orders until we had already ate which was really weird. We knew with a big group the odds of us all getting food at the same time was slim, but we thought they could have done a better job. Also the servers never came around with wine or soda options for any of our guests. That being said we were fairly disappointed by the service we received (there was like no one else in the restaurant either, so it was not like they were busy)
All in all, it was such a great day that I donâ€™t think my guests were too disappointed by the poor service. We were all chatty and in such a great mood that we made the best of it. We had really great service at all of the other restaurants, so I have to guess they were having an off night there.
**Here is the setup for dinner... You can see the head table in the background!
Wedding Cake A+
We got the wedding cake included in our package. We chose vanilla cake, with strawberry filling and vanilla icing. Was going to go with chocolate, but when I wear white I am prone to spills. I thought vanilla would look better on my dress . It was REALLY good. Although we were full and couldnâ€™t enjoy it fully, I am still really happy with the job they did.
** our cake.. they brought over flowers from the gazebo and my BM put their bouquets there as well.
Wedding Coordinator A
Nancy was our wedding coordinator. She did a great job at responding in a timely fashion. We communicated through emails until our on resort interview a couple days before the wedding. That being said, I was not all that needy so really didnâ€™t see her much or have any big requests she couldnâ€™t handle.
Photographer A++++ Alan Johnson
We flew our own photog down and he is absolutely amazing. He did all my familyâ€™s senior pictures as well as my sisterâ€™s dw in Jamaica 2 years ago, so calling him a â€œfamily friendâ€ that is apart of our wedding guests really wasnâ€™t a lie. Nancy was really cool about us having one of our guests take photos and no questions were asked during all day pictures or the TTD session a few days later. Alan did amazing job, anyone in Northern MN area definitely should look into him! He took 71 gigs (I think thatâ€™s the term) of pictures for us J!
***First picture Alan sent us the day after we got back. Still waiting to get more
*** sent us our family photo early so my mom could use it for a christmas card!
*** He sent us one more sneak peak of the pictures! Can't wait for the rest!
Renova Spa A
Included in our package we got a couples massage. It was only 20 minutes so it was kind of a teaser but they did a great job. We were very pleased.
My sister and I also got our hair done thereâ€¦ I had done a hair trial at home and brought pictures. My hair turned out exactly how I wanted it. It was perfect! My sisterâ€™s hair turned out great too, although it wasnâ€™t exactly what she wanted. But she hadnâ€™t brought a picture down so had to look through their pictures and describe what she was thinking. I would definitely recommend bringing a photo!