The photos are from the resort photographer. We had Simone, he was a nice French man, very easy going! I was so stressed about the photos as well but my now husband made a good point. You can spend so much money on photos for an outside photographer, pay the outside vendor fee but at the end of the day, everyone in our group is going to be taking photos, even ones that the resort guy might not catch. For the photos that matter, the resort photographer did an amazing job! They even have packages to upgrade what you get in your package. We had the Ultimate package and the video was cute, they ended up printing us 54 photos and they are 6x8... not 4x6 or 5x7. We were VERY happy with the resort photographer, glad we didnt drop an EXTRA $2000 on an outsider. If you are doing trash the dress, hire an outside photographer!
In the ultimate package, we got the choice of the gold menu. We had some gluten free and vegetarian guests and they got to pick of seperate menus than the main one. For the majority of the guests, they got bruschetta, salad with vinegarette, steak and shrimp with tiramisu for dessert. The gluten free and vegetarian guests got to pick from a menu individually. It was a great selection and it was delicious all around! Well presented, delicious food! We started doing the speeches between the food courses and it flowed really well, then it didn't cut into our DJ time. We got up to do pictures with the miriachi band and do some mingling of our tables and the guys removed all the food before the DJ started. So didn't get to finish my steak but thats ok!
My husbands family is very quiet. We still did the dinner and dancing. Although we were supposed ot be out on the beach, it was raining so we moved into the convention centre prior to the rain. We had a sit down dinner, dancing and everything! The nice thing was we could all eat together, have some speeches and tequila shots and enjoy being there together. Then peple either left on their own accord or got wasted and had to be driven back to their rooms! When all was said and done, we finished our party at 10 pm with an impromptu cake fight and it was a forced shut down by the staff. Then we all went and partied by the bar across from coco cafe! The live music is more like the resort DJ and its not every night. Sometimes he is playing outside or in the lounge, sometimes is karaoke or nothing, depending on the weather. There is a show in the square at coco cafe every night and that sometimes runs until 10 then the DJ doesn't start until 11 when he is playing in the lounge.
Yeah we went in the low season/hurricane season and we had decent weather. Things pick up again at the end of October. We had 2 days of rain with all our guests and then our last 3 days after everyone left was rainy and windy. It was nice to relax without all the running around though. We found it hard to manage seeing everyone but after a couple days i let it go. I never got to have dinner with just our parents or just the wedding party. The nice thing about doing this resort wedding stuff is that it's your vacation as much as it is theirs. So do your thing, and people may join. We started off by usually all having breakfast around the same time, not planned. Then if you were just chillin by the beach that day word got around. We usually had all 30 of us in the pool or on the beach playing volleyball and swimming by 11 AM. Then if people were going to the ruins or Playa, they went. Sometimes there was a small group and they all went together. Most people asked about what plans for dinner were and showed up at dinner in small groups. I hear about people planning an ENTIRE week of activities for their group, we didnt want to do this and it worked out great. You and everyone else understood they were welcome to join in for daily stuff/small trips but it wasn't a pressured to do it type of thing.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though your flight is sold out, not everyone will be going to your resort unless its chartered flight for just your group! There were only 25 of our group on the full plane and we were the only 25 going to our resort! Regarding my post on Dukoral, if any of your guests are getting gastro issues, do not let them take pepto or immodium. They need to get the virus out of their system, not hold it in! Or get a prescription of Cipro, it will help at first signs of gastro issues!
Hope you have a great wedding, good luck!