Hi ladies, I just posted a new thread of my review of DT... here it is...
Virginia’s Dreams Tulum Wedding Review (13-May 2010)
Overall, our wedding and one-week stay at Dreams Tulum was fabulous. DT offered exceptional service and delectable food in an enjoyable environment. The staff did an incredible job making sure all the guests were comfortable every step of the way. Our wedding was picture perfect. We had 26 guests and everyone had a blast. My husband and I would definitely recommend the Dreams Tulum Resort to friends and family.
I am a foodie and the a la carte restaurants at DT passed my discerning taste with flying colors. There was a broad selection on the menu at each of the restaurants. While the serving portion was on the small side, we had no problem getting second entrÃ©es. There was one incident where a server at Portofino had some resistance initially but it was resolved quickly and we had the second entrees within 10 minutes. Portion size wasn’t a big issue for the ladies since dinners were usually three- or four- courses (appetizer, soup, entrÃ©e, dessert). The quality of food was exceptional. At first, I was skeptical of the sashimi at Goran given we were in Mexico. But to my surprise, it actually measured up to Toronto standard. If you like fish, the Grouper at Seaside Grill and Red Snapper at Himitsu are scrumptious. The World CafÃ© Buffet is great for breakfast/ brunch but I’m not a fan of its dinner. With the quality of food at the a la carte restaurants, you are better off waiting for a table (which usually is ~30 mins).
We organized a meet-and-greet dinner at the World Buffet to introduce all the guests. For no extra fee, World Buffet is the best place to host large group dinners as the a la carte restaurants only have small tables. We had two dedicated servers for 25 people. The food was not that great but the servers worked hard at making the gathering fun. They offered us a couple of drinking games “Tequila Boom Boom” and “Mayan Sacrifice”. The guests enjoyed it quite a lot.
We organized a 4-hr sailing and snorkeling cruise for our guests as a Thank You gift. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. It was a memorable experience sailing in the Caribbean. We used Paradise Catamarans and they provided transportation, snorkeling equipment, food and beverages. Everyone loved it, even those who didn’t know how to swim were able to snorkel because of the life jackets. My husband and I didn’t realize that about half of our guests had not snorkelled before, so this was a very special experience for them. The catamaran was very rocky because it was a windy day. So a couple of our guests got seasick; luckily, someone had some medicine. But that didn’t detract from the amazing experience.
We brought our own decoration, except for the chair bows. We found that it was more economic (plus allowed for greater control) to purchase the decoration at home or over the internet. Plus, there is a $150 setup fee for decoration, so you might as well bring everything. Michaels was a great place to get all of our fans, bubbles, tulle for the canopy, bags, candles, etc. We signed up for their online newsletters and received 30-50% off coupons. We purchased a dozen 9”-10” starfishes to line the aisle and various seashell decoration from Shell Horizons (Shell Horizons, Inc. Seashells Shells Wholesale Shell Dealer
). Shell Horizons has a wide selection and very good prices. They were able to ship to Canada. Unfortunately, we were charged 100% of the cost of order for duty upon delivery. We don’t blame them but international buyers beware. During the first meeting, I told Natalia, the resort wedding coordinator, how I would like everything to setup and everything went as planned.
Our ceremony was on the beach near the Seaside Grill. All the decoration was carried out as planned. Although the sound system rental was pricey ($150 for 30mins!), it was well worth it because all the guests were able to hear us. Plus, it was nice being able to play music as the guests were being seated and during the processional. Another tip, if you are planning to tape your ceremony with your home video camera, make sure you have something to reduce with the wind noise. Even though we rented the microphone system, the wind noise covered almost all the audio on my video. My bridesmaids and I all had our hair and makeup done at the spa. The spa actually had some really cute pink and white flowers for hair-dos, so it could have saved me from ordering orchids from the wedding coordinator. I ended up using those orchids for decoration.
My reception was by the Dolphin Pool. We were happy with the overall setup. Because it was really windy that night, none of our candles stayed lit. So it was pretty dark. It would have been nice if we had more lights. The food was very good and the waiters were very attentive. As a tip, if you want any of the decoration back, you have to mention it to them ahead of time. We didn’t and in the rush to move the party over to the disco, we forgot our guest book on the table. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it the following day.
My husband and I hired DJ Doremixx and it was one of the best decisions. He was very responsible. He came to meet with us a couple of days prior to the wedding to ease my nerve; even though, in hindsight, it was probably not necessary as we sent him our reception timeline and requests ahead of time. We requested a couple of songs for the dancing portion and left the remaining time under his control. He came equipped with spot lights and microphones. The dinner portion ran overtime so we only had ~20mins to dance. DJ Doremixx helped everyone jump right into it with great songs, balloons and masks. It was such a great party that I wish we had more time with DJ Doremixx on the dance floor. We moved the party over to Desire the resort disco for the remainder of the evening.
Initially, we had wanted to hire Elizabeth Medina because we had come across her website while we were selecting resort. We admired her work so we didn’t even bother to search for another photographer. However, upon reviewing the contract, we became very uncomfortable with some of the terms. The two major sticking points for us were: 1) In the event that there is a fire/hurricane/strike/etc, she would get to keep the money. 2) If for some reason, she can’t come. She can use another photographer as a substitute. Personally, we found it rather unfair that if there is an act of god which is also out of our control, we would have to take the full hit. In addition, it is odd for the client not to have the right of refusal/refund if she decided to use a substitute. Afterall, we were willing to pay the high rate for her work, not for a photographer whom we have never met. Unfortunately, she was unwilling to compromise. Given how important photos was to us and high much money was on the line, it was a risk we were unwilling to take.
I ended up searching for photographers based in Canada, mainly Toronto. It was great to be able to meet with the photographers ahead of time because you can get a better sense of their personalities and less probability of them not showing up on the big day. After some intensive internet search and meeting numerous photographers, we decided to go with Verve Photo Co. based in Toronto. My husband and I really like their photojournalistic style and photos from previous local and destination weddings. Krista and Melanie were also very generous with their time because they believe that since they were on location solely for the purpose of our wedding, there would be no time limit on the day of the wedding. We also did a whole day of Thrash-The-Dress shooting the day after the wedding. One thing that really impressed my husband and I was that instead of hanging out by the pool when they first arrived on site, they rented a car to scout the locations and planned the whole route for the TTD shoot. My husband and I both had tons of fun going off the resort and getting unique shots around Tulum. I haven’t seen the end product yet since it won’t be ready for another 6-8 weeks. I will post the photos on the forum, so you can make your own judgment. But the process of the whole photo shoot with Krista and Melanie was certainly very enjoyable.
As part of the wedding package, we received 36 photos from the resort photographers. We used it for the Welcome Dinner since we were bringing our own photographers for the wedding. The Welcome Dinner photos were average at best. They were similar to the ones taken by our friends. So we were really glad we didn’t use the resort photographers for our wedding.