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amyh's Puerto Vallarta Wedding (and more) Review - in the works

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#1 amyh


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    Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:08 PM

    I have no idea where to start! We had an amazing time and I only regret not taking the time to do this earlier so I hope this is going to be thorough enough. My pics are taking too long to upload so I will update the thread later.
    Planning thread Click the image to open in full size.

    Melia Puerto Vallarta (C-)
    DO NOT STAY HERE! This is very hard to judge since we knew that the hotel was not going to be that great. We were limited with choices for hotels for our group. We needed an affordable AI close to the Mayan and there are only 2 within walking distance. Melia was literally a group decision (my bro made an excel sheet and passed it around to our guests in sometime last year and we added a poll on our website). We did not get a group rate, guests paid between $55-$125 per night depending on when they booked. Our TA (a family member) would contact us when Melia was offering deals so we could send out mass emails. We had about 80 guests at this hotel.

    I’m giving the negative review because so many of our guests got sick. One was even diagnosed with salmonella (she lives in GDL so she IS used to the food) and another guest fainted twice and was picked up by an ambulance. My dad was bit my something and his foot was so swollen I freaked and made him go to the doctor on call. My cousin had bed bugs in her bed, yuck!

    The service was okay. They were a little rude to my guests and refused to serve them beer. I know we had a rowdy group, but it is an AI! No upgrade for us even though they kept calling us “Los Novios”. No big deal for us, but they did screw up some of our guests rooms who paid for ocean view. They tried to comp them and provided them with massages, but you all know what a hassle it is to switch rooms.

    Positives- Lots of activities for kids, huge pool, a variety of restaurants. With in walking distance of the Mayan (where our reception was held).

    Personal plus- We arrived to Melia and walked through a theater. I looked up to a sign which read “Julio Cesar Teatro”. I have mentioned before, however, my brother passed away 12 years ago and his full name is Julio Cesar. I got chills and so many people commented that they knew he was with us all!

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

    Mayan Palace (Reception Location)
    I’m not sure how to grade this since we only stayed there one night and I was a bit intoxicated, lol. It is a beautiful resort. Great food. The pool is not that nice and I actually preferred the pool at Melia. But it was a great place for our reception.

    Grand Velas Vallarta (Honeymoon) A++++ (service)/ A+++++ (spa)/ F (rain)
    This resort has amazing service. From the moment we arrived it was like “Mr. and Mrs. Santiago, can I offer you a drink…” I noticed more staff than guests (not sure if it has to do with how expensive the resort is). The rooms are very spacious and comfortable.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Food is AMAZING! They have one restaurant with buffets for every meal, a snack food restaurant and three others you need to make reservations for and follow the dress code. There was even an “ice-cream man” making rounds in the pool area! The rain totally ruined our honeymoon.
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    It rained three days straight. Hans and I spent our days ordering room service for breakfast and lunch and watched Law and Order reruns. There was not much to do in terms of activities so I was a little disappointed.

    The Spa is a MUST!!! We splurged and had a couples massage. I have never been to a spa so I have not way to compare it, however we were told that it is one of the best in the world. So if you do not stay at this resort, at least try their spa! Hans and I had a couples massage and it was amazing. The moment you walk in, some one is there to guide you to the “rituals” (sauna, orange-menthol steam, cold pressure shower, Jacuzzi, Hot-Cold plunge pools, foot massage, etc.)

    #2 amyh


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      Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:12 PM

      Puerto Vallarta Tours – Yelapa (C-)
      Waste of money and time. I feel like we wasted a day doing this tour. It was boring and the food was disgusting. Little activity. Save your money or spend a little more and go to Las Caletas.

      Puerto Vallarta Advantures- Las Caletas/ Rhythms of the Night (A)
      We almost didn’t do this tour since it was pouring rain and I was freaked out to get on the boat at night. However, the crew flew to LC and we saw a great show and had great food. I never realized how huge LC was. You LC brides made a great decision!

      Mandala (A)
      We went to this club two nights in a row. I actually through a fit because I wanted to wait until the second night, when the rest of the group was arriving, to go to this club. It is very nice. A must.

      Zoo Bar
      No grade. It was empty so I don’t want to give it a bad grade since we went on a wrong night. It was small though and can only imagine how hot it must get on a good night.

      #3 starchild



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        Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:18 PM

        Omg what a nightmare at the Melia! Yikes!!! And sorry about the rain but at least you were stuck at the Velas, I've been there and the rooms do kick ass! Plus a little indoor time on your honeymoon isn't bad...wink wink

        Glad you got to check out LC and I'm bummed that the Zoo was dead when you went, it's always been jam packed and -yes- HOT when I've been. I can't wait to see some pics, we've missed you!

        #4 amyh


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          Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:36 PM

          The wedding :)

          Priscilla of PrisarVallarta Events (A++++++++)
          You can search my posts in this forum and find that I once contemplated hiring an outside WC. If you are unsure, I suggest you go out and get one! We had a huge wedding, it poured, we even had a mini electrical fire. She handled it very well and it was great not having to stress about it on our day.

          We arrived on Tuesday, July 1st and met with Pris and her husband Hector that evening at the lobby at Melia. We went over the last minute budget, paid her the balances and I handed her all of the wedding stuff. Thursday we again met, had our food tasting at the Mayan (amazing!), met with the band manager and the tent vendor.

          So many things could have gone wrong (if you are a pessimist, you would say they did) however, Pris handled everything well. To sum up, waves were eating up the beach, Pris had workers digging trenches along side the tent, she managed to have the fireworks set off even when we were told it was not going to happen because of the storm and she even surprised us with FIRE DANCERS!

          Pris met up with us for a third time during our honeymoon to give us receipts and go over last minute expenses (she tried to give us back money!). I can go on and on…

          Mayan Palace A

          The food was amazing! We had a meal tasting even though we had already chosen our menu. The purpose was to choose the platting! The display of each plate was beautiful, I told the photogs to take pics!

          Again, it poured during the reception, the poor waiters were running in the rain to get the food out. It was insane, but they got it done.

          The only negative, some of the bartenders took money from our guests who were not aware that we purchased the bottles of alcohol. They were trying to purchase a bottle to take back to the hotel and the bar tenders took their money! Very shady. Another guests mentioned that one bar tender asked her if she was going to tip them.
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Enlace A+
          Definitely get a live band if you can! They were amazing. Again, we met with Carlos, the manager of Enlace, on Thursday. Gave him a list of songs and a breakdown of the sets. Also handed over the pre-recorded mixed CD’s, including our first dance and parent dances. He allowed us to use their sound system when they were on breaks and even for an hour after they ended since we still had access to the venue.

          Mariachi/ Tent/ Fire Dances/ Videographer

          I don’t have contact infor for these since they were all contracted by Pris. The Mariachi was great and added so much for the cocktail hour. It was so croweded in the sunset bar since (again) it was pouring and everyone was trying to seek cover during the cocktail hour.

          The Tent- if your WC advises you to get a tent then GET ONE! LOL, it was very sturdy and was definitely needed!

          Fire Dances- Amazing. Everyone kept talking about them the next day. It was a great surprise.
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Videographer – TBR (to be reviewed :) )

          #5 amyh


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            Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:46 PM

            Our Lady of Guadalupe (D)

            Be prepared ladies, your ceremony will be nothing like you planned. I was warned by my WC about this church, but I wanted pics in the church and in downtown so I went against her advice.

            I could hardly hear the priest. There was a point where he was asking us questions and Hans turned to me and answered “Yes?” It was so funny.

            We had chosen three readings and readers, somehow this man with no shoes and ragged pants did the first reading and read the wrong one.

            We had a traditional ceremony and wished to have the blessing of the coins, rosary, lazo, bouquet for the virgin mary, etc. Of course the priest only called up the coins and the rings! My cousins ran up to us place the lazo over us once they figure the mass was almost over and the priest never called them up. The bouquet was never given to the Virgin Mary and our rosary was never blesses. Oh well, but if this is very important to you, be prepared.

            There was a festival or something going on outside and all you could hear as a drum band and cars honking! I also noticed a broom to the side of the alter! I was hoping someone would notice it and move it so that they wouldn’t show up in the pics!

            Click the image to open in full size.

            #6 amyh


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              Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:53 PM

              Betty Gambil (Hair/Make-up: A)
              She and her assistant did an amazing job with our hair/ make-up. She did my hair, 2 mom’s and 9 MOH’s. If you need more info, please pm me.

              Click the image to open in full size.

              Art Lemus and Rudy Arpia (pre-pics A)
              I don’t have pics, but I was very please with their work the day of. We met the day before as soon as they arrived. They advised us that they were heading out to the venues to check out some photo ops. Once they were “off” Hans invited them to stay and enjoy the wedding. They kept taking pics even though they were no longer on the clock.

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

              I believe that’s it Let me know if you have any questions J

              #7 JaimeLynne

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                Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:49 PM

                Eeeeek, Amy I am so sorry about the Melia and the church!!! It sounds like the Mayan and Pris were fab though (minus the shady bartenders). I can't wait to see PICS!!!!!!!! :)

                ~ Jaime & Martin ~
                "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

                We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

                We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!

                #8 Alyssa

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                  Posted 15 July 2008 - 11:54 PM

                  great review Amy! sorry about Melia but at least it was a group decision so people can't slam you and Hans for it KWIM?

                  i CAN NOT wait to see your pics girl - i know you were gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  #9 1elephant

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                    Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:12 AM

                    wow, sounds like a rollercoaster of a week!!!! i hope in the end, you had a great time - and hey - you're married! congrats girl!

                    #10 Martha

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                      Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:16 AM

                      Amy, that sucks about the Melia and the church! Sounds like you had an amazing time anyhow! Can't wait to see pictures!!

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