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PV Vendor reviews from our wedding 6/2008

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Hi all

We had a wonderful wedding on 6/14/2008, and here are my reviews for various vendors that might be helpful for all the PV brides:


1. Location: I was debating between hotel and villa, and I decided to pick the villa. Hotel is not as private and not much freedom on the wedding planning. Villa is definitely the best choice we made. We not only had private wedding and rehearsal dinner hosted in the villa but also had a wonderful private family vacation. Many of our friends came to visit us, and our villa became the center point for everyone to meet. We also allowed our guests to choose their own hotels based on their budget instead of forcing them stay in a hotel they might not want to stay. We did spend a little more but it's really worth the money. Three villas were on our final list:

a)Villa Cosmos (http://www.casacosmos.com/description.htm):

Pro: all rooms have an ocean view, directly on a private beach, pool has direct view of the ocean, outdoor Jacuzzi, huge Palapa

Con: too small, private beach disappears during high tide, ceremony and reception has to be at the same place when it rains, pool is not big, max. 50 guests, owner won't allow noise after 11.

Conclusion: It's a great villa for vacation but not as good for a wedding.

b)Casa Macumba (http://rentalo.com/109143/casamacumba.html):

Pro: Wheel chair friendly, big enough for 100 people, right on the beach, huge yard for reception and ceremony, more rooms to accommodate guests, every room has an ocean view

Con: Beach is very small not big enough for the wedding, villa name means witchcraft in Portuguese (not good for wedding), ceremony and wedding are hosted at the same area, need tent if rains

Conclusion: Due to the name and no beach ceremony we ruled this one out.

c)Villa Celeste (http://www.sunworx.com/board/chinas/celeste/info.htm):

Pro: Big pool, ocean front, large beach for wedding, one can choose cocktail, reception and ceremony hosted at three different places rain or shine, master bedroom is a real treat for the bride and groom.

Con: The beach is not private and is a short walk from the villa, not wheel chair friendly

Conclusion: We chose this villa because of the authentic Mexican deco and details throughout the villa, its uniqueness and breathtaking view.


My 2 cents on saving money: We loved our villa. Staffs are extremely friendly. However eating in the villa can be quite expensive, so I would suggest doing the grocery in Costco and have lunch and dinner in various restaurants. The next door restaurant (in front of Conchas Chinas hotel) is excellent with a great ocean view. I should have suggested all guests stay at Conchas Chinas hotel; it's right next door and made everything more convenient. Guests can come visit us at any time and enjoy the swimming pool. Booking villa directly from the planner is cheaper than booking separately.


2. Wedding Planner: I contacted a few planners before I went for Vallarta Weddings. After a lot of debating I picked Vallarta Weddings over Dazzling Details:

a)Dazzling Details (http://thedazzlingdetails.com/):

Pro: Prompt response time, Great wedding design, little work on your end, hard working, quality service

Con: Not flexible, way too expensive, not too many choices between vendors, a little snobbish (only my personal feeling, many brides loved them)

Conclusion: If you have good wedding budget and very little time to plan, this will be a good one.

b)Wedding by Lana (http://www.vallartaweddingsbylana.com/):

Pro: Quick Response, Very budget friendly

Con: A little fishy (Pictures they sent are the pictures from Dazzling Details, so unless they have worked together, it's quite impossible to have same exact wedding pictures), lack of experience

c)Eventful Moments (http://www.em-vallarta.com/):

Pro: Experienced

Con: Long response time, expensive (exceed our wedding budget)

d)Incredible Wedding and Events (http://www.vallartaincredibleweddings.com/):

Pro: Fast response time

Con: Not too thrilled with their wedding gallery, also more expensive, seem to be new

e)Vallarta Weddings (Vallarta weddings) - Eva and Michael:

Pro: Total flexibility, great price, great web site with tons of information regards to vendors, honest, great price, and good experience

Con: Very busy so response time is long, bride needs to do the leg work, which I enjoyed a lot because that gives me complete freedom on what I want my wedding to be. They helped me to execute the vision and add more details to the design. It turned out to be much better than what I expected.

Conclusion: Vallarta Wedding turned out to be great choice. We were able to save a lot of money and have quality service at the same time. If you do decide to choose them, you need to book things a little in advance. Do remember to settle all payments before departure to Mexico. It’s a good idea to have a one on one meeting with them to discuss all the details 1 or 2 months prior. They are extremely friendly and flexible. To shorten the communication time, include as much information you want in one email. What I appreciate the most is that they really cared about our preference. We wanted a beach ceremony and outdoor reception, but the weather was bad during our wedding day. Instead of moving everything in door, the planner had reception equipments moved in door during the rain and then outdoor when the rain stopped; they also had umbrella covered all the ceremoney seats on the beach and moved them out when the rain stopped. There will always be little things not going right, at the end you have to let go and have fun.


3. Photographer - Roberto Aceves (http://www.robertoaceves.com/wed.htm): We picked Roberto Aceves based on the reviews I saw on the internet. It turned out to be a great decision. The weather on the day of our wedding was cloudy and dark. All of our wedding pictures turn out to be great thanks to Roberto. However do remember to pay extra $500 if you want the CD that contains all the digital images.


4. Videographer - Promovision (http://www.promovisionpv.com/): The videographer Promovision did an excellent job on capturing our wedding. We received a DVD with a movie what include Planning, Ceremony, Reception, Party and an Overview with music. It was very well made and contained all the greatest moments of the wedding.


5. Entertainment:

a)Trios - Trio Los Faraones: They are great and we loved the Mexican love songs they played. They provided us 2 hours of nonstop local music during cocktail and reception. The price is reasonable.

b)Cuban Band - Coco Ache: We had so much fun with the Cuban Band our planner found for us. They played great Latin music to dance with. Everyone liked the music very much.


6. Caterer/Food Vendor: We had quite a few food vendors to choose from. I picked Elite Services because they are a local caterer that specializes local Mexican food. The food turned out to be great. The cooks came early in the morning and made all the dishes fresh from the villa’s kitchen. I picked the Mexican buffet, which was plenty to satisfy everyone’s appetite. Remember to ask for the leftover of the buffet. We had so much leftovers but the vendor didn't leave to us. We were too busy with the wedding to remember until it was too late.


7. Florist: Our planner picked the florist for us. The price is great and they did an excellent job on all the floral arrangement. We had 7 different vases with 7 different fruits and various daisies for our center pieces, and they looked so beautiful.


8: Salon: I used two salons suggested by our planner. Curquita’s Hair Salon for my bridesmaids and Franc Gole Salon for me. Curquita’s price is better and my bridesmaids are quite happy with them. Franc Gole is a little more upscale but with only one very good makeup artist and hair stylist. I love my makeup. The hair stylist is also good but you need to be very specific on what you want for your hair. If you don’t like what comes up during the trial, simply bring it up. They are quite flexible.


9. Cake: The cake is delicious. I had a 3 tier square cake with red ribbons and red/orange daisies. The Kahlua, chocolate and vanilla flavors were delicious. My planner contacted the baker for us, so we don’t have the name.


My 2 cents on the wedding planning:

1.Timing of the wedding: June is not a good month for the wedding, but we did it anyway. Most rain storms take place in the evening when the wedding would take place, so you are really at risk to have a wedding in the rain. If I get to choose again, I will pick October or April. If you want to save money May will also be a good month since it’s off season yet the weather is still sunny and hot.

2.You can save a lot of money by getting some of the deco yourself. I bought the red Chinese Laterns, personalized candy bags, ribbons and various things from the internet and brought them with me to Vallarta. Try Personalized Wedding Favors Supply, Wholesale Wedding Cameras, Favor Bags,.

3. I have a web site setup for our wedding. It's very helpful. The earlier you book the cheaper the ticket is, so ask guests not to wait for cheap deals because there isn't any, book as soon as possible.

4.Toward the beginning we only wanted the photos, but about 2 months before the wedding, we decided to add the Videographer. Luckily they were still available. I totally recommend every bride get videographer because I was so busy during the wedding and only when I watched the video, I was able to relive my wedding in a more enjoyable and relaxed way. This is the memory you will treasure for a life time, so have a video made. Also professional videographer does make a difference.

5.Live band turned to be a great choice, and we will choose it over iPods at any time. They can play impromptu music for games, bouquet tossing and songs on request. It's also much more fun to dance with live band than prerecorded music.


At the end the total cost of wedding including our villa is around $15000 for 50 guests. My friend spent the same amount for only the wedding without live band, buffet, open bar, villa and planner in Seattle for the same amount of guests. Destination wedding really can help you save money and have a wonderful time with family and friends. We were able to have a wedding, a vacation and tons of fun.


Thanks for all your help during my wedding planning. Hope you will have a wonderful wedding in beautiful PV. :)


Wedding Album Link: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...zZMnGw&notag=1



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